Tuesday, December 16, 2008

You know you live in a poor area when ...

this is hanging at your local gas station:

(You can not buy fountain pop on foodstamp card. Thanks Mgt!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Hodge Podge Ramblings and Dollar-Store Christmas Decor

I've been so lazy lately, which explains my lack of posting. I would always think to myself "I've gotta blog," but then the Hallmark Channel's repeated playing of One Magic Christmas or, my favorite, A Very Brady Christmas, would capture my attention and the thought of moving from the couch to the computer chair just didn't seem like a great idea. But, I'm sure you're all thrilled that .... I'M BACK!!

With a swift kick in the butt from Stephanie, this morning seemed like a perfect morning to post a new blog. The problem I was having, however, was what to blog about? At first I was going to do a post titled "Crazy People Make My Day," because I have a crazy lady who calls me at work to talk about her diabetes, her mentally ill husband, her one-bedroom apartment, etc .... Nothing at all to do with my job. I seriously think she's one of those crazy people who calls help lines and social service agencies just, well, to talk. This led me to think of a potential business venture for myself. Why not start a 1-800 number, like 1-800-IGiveASh$% and charge people $1.25 a minute to talk to me about their problems? I'd even pretend to care.

Then, I was going to post a blog titled, "The Historian and All Things Vampire," because The Historian, in my opinion, is a fabulous book and I'm currently obsessed with vampires. I got bored with this topic quickly, however, and chose not to go with it. Then I decided to write a blog titled, "Quirky Ohio Language," since there are so many weird terms that prior to living here, I didn't know existed. For instance, when someone says "I need a new sweeper," they are referring to what in Minnesota we would call a vacuum. Or, if someone says, "4-lane" they are talking about a highway. Further, if you hear the word "Meemaw" you know they are referring to their grandmother. The list of quirky terms goes on, of course, but as I was typing I thought, "Eh, no thanks." So I quit that blog too.

Then, it came to me: Duh, it's Christmas! So, I went with a Christmas-inspired blog theme. I decided to showcase my dollar-store decorating tastes, since, well, I don't have any extra money to spend on holiday decor. So, let's start with our stockings. I think most people probably purchase their stockings from the store, but when you are trying to have a budget-friendly Christmas you make your own! I think total our stockings cost us around $10 and have lasted us for 5 years. Both Hilde's and Madge's stockings are made from old pants. (You'll notice the skull and crossbone patch on Madge's, because she has a little evil in her.) The rest of the fabric we got at Walmart either on clearance or for very little money. The boys, of course, wanted camo fabric and Mason wanted to replicate Santa's boot. My stocking is fuzzy and has snowflakes on it and I just liked the fabric, I guess.

Our Christmas ornaments are also frugal. Some of them, like the Buddha, are just things we found around the house and then made into an ornament by super-glueing a hook on it.

While most people probably throw away those homemade ornaments people give you, we use them. In fact, they make up a large portion of the ornaments on our tree. The gingerbread tree ornament, is an actual cookie that was given to Mason by a colleague in 2004. Yep, it still goes up every year. The hand, reindeer things were given to us a couple of years by my little cousins ...

We also have the lone candy cane that someone gave Mason this year ...

We have the dollar store or clearance ornaments such as: A reindeer pooping, Santa with a gun, a dog with a gun, and this weird Monkey that Sean insists on putting up every year.

Our tree is ugly. We bought it from Big Lots like 4 years ago. We would prefer a real one, but they are messy and it would require us to buy one each year instead of just pulling this crappy one out of it's box in the basement. After we bought this tree, we were searching for tree toppers and couldn't find one that was the right size or price. Most of the toppers we saw were GIGANTO and our little tree would not have been able to handle the weight. Further, they were also more money than we wanted to spend. So, we had a star ornament that Mason attached to a spring and turned into our current topper.

The rest of our decorations are either from the dollar store or things that people have given us over the years. I think that in 5 years we have probably spent a total of $60 on Christmas decorations including the tree and Christmas lights. Not bad ...

Merry Christmas!!