Buying my own Christmas presents 

I admit it’s selfish. But I wait til the after Christmas sales and get what I want for myself. So while it is selfish it’s half price off or better.

My mom started it. She told us she liked what we gave her but it was never what she wanted so she bought herself a present. At the time I felt it was a bit much, but as I’ve gotten older I see the point. Most of the presents I get are nice and I appreciate them, but they are not usually things I’d choose. This year my sister Layah gave me shampoo. Useful, and I do need it but its not exactly festive.

Frankly most gifts aren’t personal, little or no thought goes into it and while we are glad to be remembered we know not to expect much. And it’s not about the amount spent, there are expensive generic gifts, one size fits all solutions that don’t require any effort. Jerry did spoil me, he put thought into his gifts to me and I got used to it. So getting something I really want is sweet even if it means having to buy it for myself.  Which I did.

Angel, 66% off. Technically not a gift but something I needed and wanted, so yeah, a gift.

Darth Vader. Ornaments were half off and bonus, I got to use them this year.

Who’s a cute little bounty hunter? Greedo

Scotty dog travel organizer, behold. I hit the Vera Bradley outlet.

This was my big present, what I wanted most. Love this pattern

I didnt stop there. Plum Crazy wristlet, from the Vera Bradley outlet

More Vera Bradley, Marrakesh messenger bag

EDIT : I ended up returning the messenger bag. It was a case of buyer’s remorse, I wanted it in the store but when I got it home I didn’t. I don’t really need it and so it went back. But I did keep everything else and I’m still thrilled with my Scotty dog travel organizer, wondering when I  can use it.


This Christmas 

It’s been a year for last minute surprises. I expected to be on my own at Christmas; I’d go to Midnight Mass and have lunch Christmas Day with my dad. That would be it, as my sisters would be with their husbands’ families. A little bummer but I’ve been through it before.

Then Thursday night my sister Kandi texted me, they would be staying home after all. Their car wouldn’t make the trip.  Also my sister Layah and her husband would be here Christmas Day night. I rejoiced a little then thought about it. I offered my house, said we could bring and open presents here. I would make the traditional cheese dip and chips, Chex Mix and maybe she could get tamales. Kandi said okay.  I texted Layah and she agreed too. I only hope Kandi remembers the tamales.

So I went to Wal-Mart,  did battle and bought what I needed. Found some of it, they were out of Chex and generic Chex cereal, which caused considerable distress. Not as bad as the near riot of 5 years ago when they ran out of Velveeta. I went to Crest then and did again.

The second surprise was sudden and not. I’ve thought about getting a cat again. Porkchop passed away in July, my dad moved out and I wanted company. The empty house is too quiet and still, it’s lonely and so am I. I had looked at Petsmart’s website, saw when they would have pets from the Humane Society for adoption, looked at the Humane Society website and decided it was time. But I missed the last adoption event because of last minute stuff. Maybe it wasn’t right, and frankly the $60 adoption fee at Christmas was a bit much. Then came the 12 Days of Catmas.

The adoption fee was waived, free kitties available at the pound and Humane Adoption Center. I went yesterday. They were out of cats, the good news was they all had good homes. But they would have more the next day and the adoption center had cats too. So I went there and took my pet carrier. I had the pet equivalent of speed dating, met a couple of cats, liked one but there was no interest from the cat. Got hissed at by one. Decided I’ll never do speed dating.

I went back to the pound, telling myself the cats were probably gone and I was wasting my time. I left the carrier in the car and asked if they had any cats left, expecting to hear no again. They were very busy and I waited to ask. This time they said yes. Three cats were left, they were in that room and I could go in.

I went inside, took off my jacket and looked around. A pretty cat with a salt and pepper coat meowed at me, a solid black glared at me and another cat with a brown and tan coat hid inside the kitty tower. It did not look promising.

Then the salt and pepper cat walked over to me, still meowing. She let me pet her and crawled into my lap, gently clawing my leg. She purred and I knew I found my cat.

Her name is Cho Chang, like the Harry Potter character. I saw it as a good sign. I learned she was 13 years old, had been there 2 days and her coloring is called tortoiseshell. Her people were moving and couldn’t afford the pet deposit so they brought her there, reluctantly. She was a little timid and hid under my comforter for a couple of hours. She’s sleeping on my bed now, progress.

Christmas food and polar bear butt

Cho Chang, I call her Cho

On the bed

Checking out her new home

Post Thanksgiving 

Lots of people posted pictures of Thanksgiving,  of family, food and more food. Although some Indians don’t celebrate Thanksgiving my family does, with a vengeance.  I consider Thanksgiving to be Indian Passover– they tried to kill us, we survived,  let’s eat. 

I didn’t take pictures,  mainly because I was busy and because I forgot. Like most families there was a lot of food, relatives from out of town, some awkwardness and lots of football. 

But I tried to make up for it the next day.  

This was my Black Friday. I stood outside waiting for the tote bag and $5 giftcard with a bunch of other people. We were an object of curiosity to the crowds going in and out of Michael’s next door. 

Last of the mashed potatoes.

Pashofa, table of leftovers.

Took the tree out of the box and decorated it. Various fandoms represented: Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, hockey and Nightmare Before Christmas. My old angel disappeared so I had to improvise. 

Thrift chairs

Thanksgiving is coming up and it’s going to be at my house. I realized that I need some kitchen chairs, sturdy ones. I have chairs, but 2 are wobbly and I need a couple more. I figured I’d have a look at the thrift store but didn’t expect much.

Surprise, 4 chairs, 2 trips, 60 bucks

Bought these because they are cute

Thrift store haul

I need to do a lot of things: laundry, cleaning house, getting plumbing and electrical repair estimates and buying groceries. I did none of these, I went to the thrift store after work instead.

I went in looking for a full sized navy blue flat sheet. The navy and purple sheets I bought before turned out to be twin size so I’m still searching for a full flat sheet. I didn’t find one. The first rule of thrifting is “do not go in expecting to find a specific thing.” Go with an open mind, an open heart but keep your purse/money close. 

I admit to looking for a couple of OSU t-shirts, the logo ones, in black but preferably orange. I found OSU shirts but not the kinds I pictured. I didn’t go expecting to find a great Doctor Who shirt or Vera Bradley bag or the travel organizer. I’ve wanted a Vera travel organizer but even at the outlet store they are a tad pricey. I saw some at Target and Wal-Mart,  not as cushy but okay and cheaper. But since I don’t plan to travel again for a long time I put the idea aside. Then I saw this one, the price was right so I put it in my cart. 

Today’s total

It’s been six years but we were Big 12 champs and won’t forget it half ptice, 1.00

Back of shirt, unfortunately will be covered up by my hair

Before Bedlam I realized I needed more than 1 OSU t-shirt. My hair should clash wonderfully with the pink and orange. full price, 1.99

I had to show my Doctor Who sign, from the Hastings in Norman. Perfect. Half price, 1.00

This will be covered up by my hair too

Another Vera bag, I may put it up on ebay, I may keep it. Still debating. 3.99

Hanging travel organizer, I’ve been wanting one since I got back from Saigon. Full price, 1.99

Bonus accessories– 2 band-aids, bunch of Q-tips, facial wipes. No cash though.

Rey costume 

At the beginning of the month there was a company email about the annual Halloween costume contest. I looked at the Itty Bitty Rey on my desk and thought, “That’s an easy costume, I could do that. ” 

The answer is yes, and no. I made a trip to Goodwill on the way home. I found khaki capris, a white top and an infinity scarf. “This is easy,” I thought “no problem.” 

Since then I made other trips to other thrift stores and Dollar Tree, bought stuff and looked through closets and drawers at home. I do not want to spend too much money or time on this, it’s for work not cosplay and I’ll probably wear this only once. 

I looked at tutorials on youtube and googled Rey images. There’s some very impressive Reys out there, from cute toddlers to grown up Reys. There are costumes, from cheap looking ones to decent copies and even a couple of skanky ones. I thought about maybe buying one of the decent versions until I looked at the prices and thought “I can do this and for cheaper.” Maybe not better but cheaper. 

Then there’s Rey’s hair. Someday I want to ask George Lucas why the women in the Star Wars universe have to have such complicated hair. Leia, with her Hopi style hair, Padme’s senator hair and headpieces and now Rey. So back to youtube.

Update: costume contest was today. No, I did not win but was not surprised. I enjoyed wearing the costume and had to tell a few people who I was– older Rey, after the Empire is finally dust and she and Finn have settled down, maybe had a couple of kids. There were lots of good costumes, my favorite was a couple dressed as Curious George and The Man With the Yellow Hat, they didn’t win either. 

Everything but the tiny bag and my boots came from thrift stores, already had those. I also borrowed the big brown bag from my sister, maybe I’ll tell her someday, maybe.

Stuff I bought but didn’t use, I did use the belt for my left wrist cuff though.

The thrift gods smiled on me, .99 and last minute.

Doraemon photo bomb. Two scarves, from Target by way of Goodwill. The long wrap was the hardest piece to find, I considered sheets and a curtain as well but I liked these cotton linen like scarves for the softness, color and price, $2 apiece

Bought one at Wal-Mart, found the other in a drawer. Thought about buying 2 at Wal-Mart but figured the making do would be more Rey so I wore unmatched arm wraps. On purpose

Felt badly cutting up this nice top but the ragged edges worked. Don’t know what I’ll do with those sleeves. 2.98

Very comfy, the first thing I bought. I don’t wear capris but liked these especially since they were half price, yellow tag. 1.99

That’s duct tape holding my wrist cuff together. There’s duct tape keeping the belt in place and lots of Bobby pins in my hair.

The hair, most intimidating part. I watched 3 youtube videos several times and tried, this is my 3rd attempt and best effort. Great view of my cluttered bathroom too

Bear visit 

My son is here. He had a cold and fever when he arrived so the first 2 days were sucky. He sweated out the fever, took Zicam and feels better, not well but better.

He’s accomplished the big important stuff like talking to an immigration attorney for his wife. He got his drivers learner’s permit. He had the chicken fried steak sandwich. Now he’s hanging out with 2 of his friends, guys who went to the wedding.  He’s getting through the culture shock, mostly through food.

I took him to Dollar Tree, and he bought this for me.

Historic visit to Braum’s 

We went to Dennys, he marveled at the fast service and thst they got his order right, even let him substitute biscuits for toast. I had a veggie omelet.