They're starting to arrive, mixed in with the political flyers--circulars and catalogs proclaiming BIG SALES full of bargains. Clothes, jewelry, small appliances--anything you want or need and it's all ON SALE--at BARGAIN prices!
GO BUY IT, NOW!!!!
You know, until the last year or so, it never occurred to me that our entire economy is entirely based upon GREED. Capitalism depends on people wanting EVERYTHING they can get their hands on, whether they need it or not. Businesses, from tiny to gigantic, want us to max out our credit cards and strive to acquire EVERYTHING. And we fall for it!
I was caught up in that treadmill myself. A few years back, my mother asked me what I wanted for Christmas and I said EVERYTHING. And I still do ... but, I'm finding that while I may still want everything, I'm learning to live with only what I really need. And you know what, I don't always need to pay retail for what I need, either.
How did we come to this "avarice is everything" type of life? (And more importantly, what does it say about us as a people?) We've allowed ourselves to be seduced by ads and TV commercials--with colorful photography--to want everything and RIGHT NOW. From hamburgers to hummers--and the bigger the better.
For instance, take fast food commercials. They make every burger or slice of pizza look like a million bucks. Usually with long strings of gooey cheese (stretched in slo-mo), or hamburger buns that look like they've been sliced with a laser beam. When you get the actual food at these establishments, the meat is gray and the buns often look like someone sat on them. The cheese is gooey all right, but it's so stringy you need a pair of scissors to cut it before you can stuff it into your pie hole. No wonder there's an obesity problem in this country. You can't watch TV for more than ten minutes without some fast food giant telling you to EAT IT ALL and hang the calories.
It's time to say ENOUGH. It's time to go back to gilding walnuts and stringing popcorn to decorate the tree. It's time to say "family first" not "consumer debt" to the holiday season. It's time to say, "I will not go into hock so some CEO (of a company where the labor has be outsourced offshore) can collect his multimillion dollar golden parachute."
What do I want for Christmas? A few books. Maybe a couple of CDs. But do I want my family to go into hock for it?
I'm going to try for a more simple holiday season this year. I have a feeling, I'll enjoy it a whole lot better.
Over the weekend, Mr. Ivy and I drove through Central New York and admired the brilliant colors--spectacular oranges and reds stood out against the evergreens and deep blue sky. Just gorgeous. Lots of the best trees weren't in the woods, but in regular people's yards. And ya know what happens when they fall? Someone is gonna have to rake them up.
Why is it that TV commercials (and usually for some kind of pain reliever) try to convince us that raking leaves is fun? It's not. It's back-breaking work. Yesterday I raked a bunch of leaves. Mostly, I dragged them. Hubby walked around the yard (about a million times), with the proton pack (otherwise known as a leaf blower) and herded the leaves into BIG, l-o-n-g piles, while I raked them onto a long green tarp, and dragged them around the side of the house, through the backyard and into the field behind us. E-I-G-H-T-E-E-N times.
Okay, it was my idea to rake the stupid things. I figured if it rained (and it looked like it might), it would be a lot harder trying to scrape wet leaves off the grass--or worse, try to find any grass under the wet leaves come spring. So, out we went to take care of the leaf problem.
Two hours later . . .
To reward myself afterwards, I decided to take care of the catnip crop. More fun! Years ago, we decided to buy a catnip plant to give our guys a treat. Since then, that one little plant has produced hundreds of children scattered around the yard. To some people, catnip is nothing more than a weed, but to our cat, Buster, it's his drug of choice. And we are his enablers.
A few weeks back, I went around the yard and rounded up all the plants. I put them in the garage to dry and have been meaning to do something with the leaves. Yesterday was the day.
Buster came out into the enclosed porch, while I ripped the leaves from the stalks outside on the picnic table. A lot of catnip dust flew into the air, and Buster tried to jump through the screen to get it. While I did the harvesting, a bumble bee paid me a visit, sitting on the watering can. It was in the 50s, and Mr. Bee was quite tired (and probably cold). He rested for a while, and we conversed, then he flew off, hopefully for home.
Like my beans, this catnip crop was stellar. We've got more than enough to last the winter . . . uh, unless Buster learns how to open Tupperware.
Oh, and guess what: it rained all night. We got those leaves up just in time.
Okay, I admit it ... there should be a self-help group for people who fall in love with one particular item and don't care what form it comes in. For me, it's watercolors.
I saw this one at a yard sale over the summer, and even though it's no longer "in" to have these kinds of images around (that form of Country is sooooo passe these days), I fell in love with this original watercolor of a young girl. It's just darling.
I don't yet know what I'm going to do with it, but it's just so sweet. Don't you agree?
As I've mentioned before, the yard sales have been few and far between. But for some reason we were blessed with fantastic weather this past weekend, which caused a bunch of people to have sales--even though they hadn't advertised them. (Maybe I can just sniff them out.)
The best stop, though, was in Wolcott at the Presbyterian church's rummage sale. Look what I found!
And here's the back side of the poppies.
And the back side of the rose mug.
I want to believe that these are hand painted. (One of them is signed.) But I'm just not sure. Sadly, the cups themselves are cheap. (They look like Fire King, but they aren't marked.) But who cares when you can drink out of such lovely mugs.
Goodness, where does the time go? I just realized I went to the Sodus Harvest Festival almost two weeks ago. Well, here's the report.
My friends and I wanted to get there early because for the past two years we've arrived near lunchtime only to find that the apple crisp has been sold out. So guess what--there was NONE this year! Not only that, but last year we had the most amazing Mexican food sold by a local (authentic) Mexican restaurant. They didn't show up, either. (And they don't appear to be listed on the Chamber of Commerce brochure, anymore ... and since this was a chamber function . . . .)
After wandering around, we decided to buy a bag of kettle corn. Before I could take a picture, we'd gobbled it up. (Oops.) But I did find a copy of the logo on line.
Since nothing much was happening, we inspected the contestants for the biggest pumpkin contest.
Believe it or not, these are the small ones. (above)
We figured that big boy in the back was the winner and got to talk to the guy who owned it. (He was quite proud, and rightly so.) All the "contestants" were going to be lifted by a crane and dropped to earth to smash into a million bits. What fun! (NOT!) In fact, the guy told us he had no intention of letting them smash his pumpkin--not after all he'd done to grow it. He intended to take it to church to let the kids climb over it until it rotted. (Then he'd cut it up for the seeds.)
So ... that was the fun (?) of the Sodus Harvest Festival. Will we go next year? Why not? What else have we got to do on a cold and rainy weekend in September?
Every year my next-door neighbors plant tomatoes next to their house. At least five plants. Every year they pick one or two of them and let the rest of them rot. Every year I vow I'm going to go over and steal them.