Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Grand Plan

I had it all planned out ahead of time. The weekend before Thanksgiving, my husband and son were to get all of the Christmas decorations down from the attic.  For once, my house was going to be that house where it was completely decorated and ready for the holidays by the time people were arguing over who gets to eat the turkey drumstick on Thanksgiving day.

Christmas, holidays, decorations, handcrafted, plan, new year, resolutions

In my mind I could see the beautiful Christmas tree in my front window, bright lights hung on the eaves of the house, and our Santa Claus yard sculpture lit up with a spotlight in the yard.  This year I even bought extra twinkle lights to string along the top of our fence.

Oh yes, my intentions were good and my hopes ran high.  Two weeks before Thanksgiving I sat my family down and explained the game plan. I wanted all  of the Christmas decorations brought down from the attic and for "Project Stun Santa" to commence.

"This year, we are going to be the house that's celebrating Thanksmas.  We aren't going to be the house where the boxes of Christmas decorations sit untouched in the living room until New Year's Day, when they are hauled back up into the attic.

No one will be complaining about stubbed toes from boxes sitting around helter-skelter or stockings not hung by the chimney with care.  For once, Santa isn't going to slide down the chimney, think we are moving and leave us packing paper and bubble wrap in our stockings.

No sir!  This year, Santa is going to be dazzled by our Christmas spirit and the amazing handcrafted decorations we replicate from "pins" we saw on Pinterest."

Oh what a grand plan!  And then........ life happened.  My husband got hurt and required surgery.  One kid came down with the flu, then another kid dropped to a tummy bug.  Then I came down with the flu.

decorations, crafts, family, kids

The grand plan fell by the wayside and became the yearly pile of unopened plastic tubs full of Christmas decorations.  I think Santa finally figured out we aren't moving because this year he didn't leave packing paper and bubble wrap in our stockings........... he left Clorox sanitizing wipes and disinfecting spray.

Now, as I sit here with the new year staring me in the face, and new year's resolution ideas whirling around in my head, I have decided to make a New Year's Grand Plan.  I think I'll start with putting all of the Christmas decorations back in the attic......... it shouldn't take long since the only thing decorated is the tree.

Written by Christie Bielss

Friday, December 5, 2014

A Blast from the Past

I grew up in a time of bell-bottom pants, the peasant blouse, and the super-short hot pants. Wedge heels and gaucho pants were all the rage for the ladies. Men tottered around in platform shoes while wearing double knit polyester leisure suits. Yes, I grew up in the groovy 70s.

Photo courtesy of memecrunch.com

If a person wanted to look really hip and cool, he/she would carry a boombox on his/her shoulder while he/she strutted down the street to the beat of music from artists like The Village People, The Bee Gees, or Donna Summer.

Little did I know that shopping for a cell phone would take me back to those formative years.  Over the course of the past six months or so, the battery life on my cell phone has continued a downward spiral headed toward self-destruction.

In addition, my phone had been cutting out in the middle of conversations or other tasks that I was trying to perform (like playing on social media).  I didn't have enough storage space left to update to the newest operating system, which also started to cause major issues running apps on the phone.

Cutting a redhead off mid-sentence or crashing and losing everything in the middle of writing a blog post is dangerous to both man and machine.  The likelihood of this machine being smashed to bits with a hammer or run over by my car was becoming a very real possibility.

Even though the problems with my cell phone were driving me to the brink of insanity, I dreaded the idea of changing phones.  Even worse than the change of phones is the idea of having to go shopping for new technology.  Shopping for a cell phone ranks just below scrubbing toilets with a toothbrush on my list of enjoyable activities.  

But, the situation with my phone had become dire, so with an open mind and a pocketful of chocolate, I hit the stores.  I did decide to take my daughter with me so she could explain the latest technology at my level..... which is somewhere between the IBM Selectric typewriter and pencil/paper.

I told the salesman I would like a phone I could read without having to wear glasses.  Before I had time to blink, the salesman held up a Samsung Galaxy Note.  I smiled at him and told him it was very easy to read and it looked pretty, but I was really looking for a cell phone, not a tablet computer.

He looked at me as though I were daft and explained it is a cell phone "and so much more".  I pondered, apparently out loud, whether it would even fit in my handbag or if I'd have to switch to using a piece of rolling luggage just to carry it around.  The salesman rolled his eyes at this crazy middle-aged, unhip woman who was obviously over exaggerating.

Just as the salesman put the metal slab of a phone up to his ear, my daughter started to get a little wiggle as the store's intercom music started playing "Hot Stuff" by Donna Summer .  With that 70's inspired ghetto blaster of a phone pressed to the salesman's ear, the only thing missing in this scene was John Travolta dressed in a white double-knit polyester leisure suit striking a pose.  Whoop-whoop!

I tried but fell far short of containing my snort of laughter.  Smiling, he said "I'm guessing you prefer something a little smaller."

"Why yes, I do believe something smaller would be nice.", I said. "Something I don't have to wear hip-huggers and a halter top with would be marvelous.  I don't really want to be the next viral social media meme captioned 'Granny's got groove'....."

Written by Christie Bielss