My Holiday Season wish for You

Hit the wall with frustration over technology, the un-common sense of the human race, etc., today and spent the last 6 hours on Facebook (okay – was there about an hour) and WordPress (about 5 hours) getting caught up on reading – – If you have a bazillion likes and comments on posts that are 2 months old in your Notifications window, you know I made it to your ‘place’ – if you don’t, give me time, I’ll get there – and you may wish I hadn’t, cuz I can’t help but comment on posts you wrote that touched me, even if you did write them back in September … of 2009… 🙂

The calvary is on it’s way – – a young, graphic artist/college student/library co-worker has accepted my offer of partnership in my website business!  I’m so Excited!!!   During the year I worked with him at the library, I know his zeal for customer service fits mine, I can play all day with structure/navigation/organization of data/writing content and no longer have to waste time coming up with some (ulitmately) lame logo/color scheme/layout – he’s finishing up his college semester and soon, so very soon, I shall be able to indulge in reading and writing as a pleasant activity done when there is time in the day, instead of the stolen luxury I engage in when I can no longer sustain my anal working habits – and seek respite from a world I don’t understand by coming here, reading your posts, viewing your pictures and soothing my soul with the knowledge there are good people in the world and everything is not as bad as I thought… 🙂

Since I’ve been MIA for so long, I did take the time to make one little graphic for all of you, instead taking the easy way out and re-blogging last years Charlie Brown Christmas tree post (which is still true, still appropo, but not indicative of any effort put forth for this year’s well wishes – re-blogging it would be like re-gifting to you what you gave me last year….)

For all those here who I love and cherish, including those who do not celebrate the listed holidays, or endure the American form of capitalism – I still hope that the coming weeks bring you joy – that whatever date you celebrate the coming of the New Year, it is a good one for you  – whatever nationality, faith, creed or culture courses in your veins, please know that I wish you the best – – 🙂

HappyHolidaySeason

Not Happy…

I’ve been bushwhacked and waylaid!   My failure to log into WordPress on a daily basis here recently means:

  1. I’m upset that I have to WORK hard and CLICK multiple times to get to my beloved & familiar Dashboard
  2. My Reader contains posts from ding-dongs I haven’t followed (and after viewing a few, have no wish to follow)
  3. I’m trying to keep up with my Favorites (you know who you are, but don’t think just because you don’t have likes/comments from me that you’ve been abandoned – trying to catch-up….)
  4. ARGHHH!  Feels like WordPress is taking lessons from Facebook (FB) – PERISH the thought!

**********

I innocently promised a tech-challenged customer I would create a FB page and maintain for them – thought I could do it without actually having my very own FB account, but, if that’s possible, I didn’t figure out how and am now logging into FB to keep abreast of things.

I admit to liking an easy way to keep up with others – I struggle with the fact I have to scroll past adverts/game challenges/mindlessly shared articles that only highlight the narrow-world view of the sharer,  in order to do what I promised and keep up with the world –

I religiously change/tweak my FB settings to avoid as many ‘please don’t make me see this….” items as I can – – which was a full-time job during the pre-November 4th period, I tell you!

Now, discover I may have to do the same exercises here at WordPress…sigh… the journey of a self-labeled Life Long Learner is never easy – tired of learning, but no help for it if I decide to stay and want to maximize my scrolling/reading efforts – – …. 🙂

P.S. Some indication that “Stats” records may be out-of-kilter/undergoing changes in how they are represented – don’t know about that as I haven’t checked my stats for anything other than if I should update old info posts with new findings, or not.  🙂

The Hypocrite on Thanksgiving

I’ve previously discussed and posted my chagrin over Black Friday – the hype – the lines – the over-promoted prices/understocked inventory- but a couple years ago, most fervently did I post against the suggestion Black Friday Insanity should leak over into Thanksgiving Day.

I seriously thought all the football fans would save me (and you) from any possible encroachment on this most sacred of days – maybe sacred for various reasons, but inviolable, nonetheless…

I’ve been informed that some stores are proudly advertising they are closed on Thursday, to allow their employees time with their family.

Awesome!  The People Have Spoken!

**********

Here’s the confession:

I hope I can go out to eat on Thanksgiving –

I know, I know – you’re shocked – but let me tell you my Story of Justification (which any human being can come up with for just about anything they’ve set their mind to -)

October 27th, 2011 – I had a stroke.  Mom, tired from the stress, strain and worry over me being in such a fine kettle of fish, managed to trip and fall on ice the next day and ripped the rotator cuff in her arm. Not that we knew it at the time – 6 months and various Dr. visits/tests before the light bulb went off for someone who could actually diagnose/help – but still, a month after 10/27 and the two main cooks weren’t up to kneading bread, cutting home-made noodles, lifting the roaster pan into the oven….

My brother could have fed us gourmet style – a crawfish boil poured onto a table covered in butcher paper – but he had his own things going on….

So we went out to eat at the Thanksgiving Buffet offering available 50 miles away

(I live in rural America – either I travel to the nearest metropolis or I stay local, fill my truck up with gas and grab some Slim-Jims/Doritos for Thanksgiving dinner from the gas station 20 miles from me.  Nothing else is open.)

That Thanksgiving, we arrived early for dinner out (because I thought we should avoid the rush and Mom remembered the early 1970’s, when I was little, my baby brother and her had been ill and Dad thought he could take us all out to dinner – a gesture from the King of the Palace that couldn’t cook the full traditional dinner, but was eager to provide it anyways – every place but a truck stop was closed and when the plan to eat out was hatched in 2011,  Mom wanted to have time to throw something together, should our foray end in disappointment) –

The local Buffet, complete with traditional dinner fixins, and a whole bunch of other offerings, saved the day – we finished, left a generous tip and note of thanks for those who made it possible and exited as the great masses arrived to take our place. (see? I was right about getting there early….)

And we all agreed on the way home – no, it wasn’t as good as home-cooked, but man, were we glad it was available….

**********

Because it was easy – because it was available – we did it again – –

And we’re considering doing it this year too – –

My grandmother is probably turning in her grave

**********

Circa 1940’s – South Central Ohio, America –

My grandmother attends Sunday school & church – a few of the ladies in Sunday school wish to pray  (and get intervention for) the local entrepreneur who has blasphemed by keeping his  grocery store open and by working on Sunday.

Grandma observes these same ladies pulling in to his establishment, (the one in dire need of salvation) after church.

Because after all, he’s already open, and they just need to get a few things…..

She told me this story and commented, “If no one showed up to shop – he could have easily justified taking the day for himself – to rest, replenish, connect, commune or worship – that’s his business what he does with his day off – but, as long as people shop, he will feel the need to stay open.”

I shared this story when supporting a boycott of stores who thought it grand to hold Black Friday sales at 8pm Thanksgiving night….

**********

If we stay home to eat, it won’t matter, because the grand buffet will be open anyways – – it only means I have to gird my loins to do marathon cooking this year…

And so, I listen to my internal debating committee and realize – I’ve found a way to justify boycotting the Black Friday sales frenzy and eating out on Thanksgiving – to myself at least -all at the same time – –

Sigh… Robert Fulghum was right – Sometimes, the Examined Life is no Picnic…

What Barbie Really Represents

Tonight, my Facebook community alerted me to a deficit in Barbie world:

Mattel should put out a Barbie for little girls struggling with cancer – make her bald, dress her in pink, name her Hope and donate the proceeds to St. Jude

Why couldn’t I just Like, Share and move on?  Because of my life experience – and instead of just posting and being done, I came here, instead, to expand – 🙂

Agree – but had to share – Years ago, I made and sold Barbie clothes on eBay – a friend of mine became foster mom to two little girls who were refugees – I wanted to make a gift box for each with a doll/clothes.

At the time, I owned Barbies in a variety of skin color, facial features, could provide or produce all colors/textures/styles of hair,  had patterns for dress from different cultures/time periods/countries –

I asked her what I could do the girls would want – to my surprise, they chose blonde/white -with the 1950’s evening gowns, jewelry & fur wraps –  to them, the Barbie that has been criticized for her ‘supremacy issues’ actually represented the glamour they pictured  of American Girls and the hopes they had for their future – –

So while I support Barbies that represent some semblance of diversity and reality, I also learned that Barbie is to a little girl what a novel/movie is to adults – a chance to walk through a world different from what is known, a chance to dream of  what could be…

For me, I can make luxurious clothes, fancy gowns, custom jewelry and then dress another personage in a get-up I:

  • Can’t afford in real people’s size
  • Couldn’t walk in without tripping
  • Couldn’t wear without ripping out the waist

Did I post my response? No – – still can’t figure out to format responses with bullet points and a break in my long-arse ramblings –

Instead, I come here – You chose to follow and read this far – FB pals can click or not – – I’m all for democracy and free-choice…

***********

I confess – I portray myself as a no-nonsense, what’s-practical-and-sustainable, functional-first-pretty-if-possible,  type of gal…

But I have my cache of Barbies – my prized possession is the Princess of Ireland – her long, dark red hair –  oh-so-carefully dressed in a soft, moss-green gown of velour, with hand embroidered, in gold thread, embellishments – replete with a gold taffeta underskirt and hand made muslin & lace undergarments –

Barbie may be an icon, but her factory bestowed threads do not do her justice.

And, she rarely comes outfitted with proper underthings that cover modesty or the period/culture of dress.

I also custom outfitted my first Silkstone Barbie.

(given to me as a Christmas present from my brother, who chided, “Christmas is for FUN!  How is a grain grinder fun?!?”)

She wears a hand made, grey, silk sheath with seed pearl embroidery and embellished shoes and jewelry to match – about killed my eyes and ruined my fingers with the beading needle getting her decked out, but it was worth it.

Ms. Silkstone could give Audrey Hepburn a run for her money.

***********

I still add a “Scarlett O’Hara” Barbie doll to my Christmas list every year.   Someday, I shall receive this prized possession – -and I don’t want every model – just one – I own the book, the movie and can recreate every dress Scarlett wore – just give me the doll with the jet-black hair, green eyes like a cat and dimples that sent young bucks in three counties wild every time she smiled –  I can clothe and dress her in the manner befitting…

And, since she’s made as in the image of  Barbie, no worries her famed 16″ waist won’t be accurately portrayed….

**********

Why don’t I just buy my own doll?

  • I don’t earn my living from making Barbie clothes anymore – no write-off for ‘business expenses’ –
  • A slew of Life surprises, financial chaos and social responsibility moments these past few years have taught me not to buy unless I need
  • I trust that the patron goddess of Barbie and Scarlett O’Hara World is looking out for me – she’ll take care of it – I need only wait…

I like to think of this saint as “St. Dreamaria – Patron Goddess of those who believe Wishes Come True”

**********

Barbie lives the life I sometimes dream about, but have no real desire to actually work or scheme for  – she always has her own stuff and easy access to anything Ken owns.   She can do anything she wants and never lacks capital to open her own grocery store, hospital or pet clinic.

She’s social & civic minded as she dons her cheer leader skirt, her business outfit or teaches a schoolroom full of Kelly’s friends.

She donates time and money to a variety of causes and no matter what you say about or to her, she always smiles and gives a wave fit for a Rodeo Queen, Miss America or Queen – how can you not admire her graciousness in the face of those who despise her?

Even though it’s not widely advertised, she also hangs out with G.I. Joe and Batman, drives their cool vehicles and engages in high intrigue at times…

I’ve witnessed Barbie as Gi Joe’s go-to, James Bond’s match & the Mission Impossible quest in my own living room, when Master Chief swore they needed a girl on the team who knew how to fire a rocket launcher – – yes, I know, we’re mixing and matching characters, but hey! who am I to poo-poo someone else’s storyline?

MY Barbies have lived in Lego masterpieces, brandished light sabers and, upon occasion, have covered their eyes and sobbed as their friends fell victim to the friendly fire of Nerf guns.  But she always comes up smiling no matter what the dictators of the World of 6 year old boys comes up with…)

***********

We all have our weaknesses – our ‘go-to’ when we need to take a break and some self-medication for our pains, our fears or the reality of  a today that seems too harsh to deal with –

First project on my “After I retire” list is – “dedicate one room in the house to building a to-scale model of a pre-Civil War plantation home and fill it with dolls dressed in style…

Not because that actual period is one of the highest points in the history of mankind – but because I just can’t resist making the beautiful, mile-wide hoop-skirted dresses for my Barbies to flounce around in -who can resist trying to pique the interest of  Rhett Butler- a man who swears he is a scoundrel, yet cares just the same?

And who else, pray tell, will keep the mill houses of England open if no one is ordering 12 yards of material for one dress? (perish the thought of brushing by flickering, flaming candles or falling into any body of water deeper than a few inches…)

**********

Mattel – Please fashion our new Barbie, Hope –

Create her in the beauty of bald, package her with an array of wigs in every hair color, texture and style –  I’ll make sure she is front and center stage in a ball room that will span the entire 3rd floor of my Georgia Column doll house – she’ll have her own room with a canopy bed on the second floor and I’ll make her a beautiful pink dress that’ll bring tears to your eyes…

And while you’re at it, could you include Mammy and Melanie dolls in my order?  Because Scarlett couldn’t have made it without their own brand of hope….

P.S. Sorry no pics – they are permanently locked in the dead computer in my storage room that I hope to someday retrieve files from – and my beautiful Barbies are lovingly wrapped in tissue paper, and stored in a rodent-proof container, awaiting the day when I can once again give them their proper place in my home….  Retirement can’t come soon enough….

UPDATE: 11/06/14 – The child-unit and I discussed needs vs. wants – dreams and passions vs. mindless consumerism – and placed our amazon.com order for those things that we just want, but aren’t necessities for each other for Christmas – He gets a pre-ordered copy of the Halo Master Chief collection – I get Scarlett and Rhett Dolls for the 75th Gone with the Wind Barbie collectibles – Why?  Because he admits that others think he is not a ‘halo die-hard’ because he doesn’t stay up for 72 hours straight playing – but he has loved the world of Halo and as been playing since he was 3 years old (even if his brother wasn’t fully honest about what the help tips on-screen dialogue Really said)

Me?  Plenty to choose from, but I chose the 75th anniversary Scarlett that was donned in her “red, flamin’ whore of community’ dress – why?  Her facial expression didn’t mimic Barbie’s standard, “Hey! Ain’t life great and let’s all go to the beach and dance” smile – it held a smile, tempered by an eye expression of, “How do ya do?  I’m up for being friends, but first sign you f**k with me or my family, I’ve killed someone and ain’t afraid to do it again…..)

Mattel – sorry if you didn’t plan on your mold portraying all that – but…. there is honor is taking care of ones own – there are bumps in the night that many have never experienced – and hopefully never shall – but I chose based on the model that spoke to me – thanks for not just recasting your Brunette Barbie HS Cheerleader as Scarlett O’Hara – I appreciate it.”

This holiday season, my son and I are celebrating that we can purchase ‘wants’ instead of ‘needs.’ I hope you and yours have the same luxury and if not, I hope that your time to do so comes about very soon…..