Friday, November 13, 2009

Here we go again!

The furor is beginning... the Holidays continue to merge one into another as Christmas decor faces off against Halloween across the isles. The soggy economy is a moot point, I think, for the hype of BUY BUY BUY for the winter holidays seems to change little in intensity from one year to the next.

Everything from cars to homes through useful gadgets and clothing to unnecessary geegaws, produced only to separate us from our money and add to the landfills... all is being hyped with increasing fervor... and we are not even to Thanksgiving yet!

Yes, you probably all know that I have never been "a consumer" in the classic sense. Though I no longer have it on my wall, the motto "Use it up. Wear it out, Make it Do or DO WITHOUT" is indelibly etched on my brain. Not that I don't every buy stuff, mind you... and I have even been known to engage in "retail therapy" of a sort... but in my world there is much more focus on DOING than on HAVING. And, quite frankly, I think that is the better way.

I have been reading about the new and "serious crowd control" measures some of the major retailers have been planning for the post-Thanksgiving buying frenzy and several thoughts cross my mind. The first is "Thank the Gods I don't have to deal with this" from either side of the counter. And the second is that you don't either.

Even if you do plan lavish gift giving and holiday decorations there are other ways to get there.... Planning ahead is just one... What if they gave a sale and no one came? And they cut prices and still no one came? Do you supposed they might get the idea that a FAIR price, every day, was the way to go? No, probably not.. but no one ever said that I am not an optimist! LOL

But once again I take my stand to promote "Buy Nothing Day" not to cripple the economy but to bring some sense of SENSE to the marketplace. We don't need to be fighting (and even dying) over STUFF, folks. Yeah, I am likely preaching to the choir here, I know... but the more who stand up and say "NO.... not this way, not this year" the better.

For myself, from Thanksgiving day through the first of the year, I do not set foot in anything like a department or big box or discount store unless it truly is an emergency. Pretty much, I go to the Post office, the bank, a grocer or two and pick up petrol, kero and propane... and by pulling back from the fray I have the chance to relax and enjoy the season of darkness more as it feels to me it needs to be experienced...

I'll be in the "monkey business" in a few days (making stuffed toys for Grands from the old red heel socks) and finally making the yarrow salve that I have had the ingredients to make for a few weeks now. I'll jar up the remainder of the dried herbs, paint hex signs, fuss with the web and read. I'll bake goodies and clean the office and -- weather permitting -- likely just spend some time sitting and watching the snow fall. There are snow shoes to wear and doggies to walk, and lots of time to plot and plan for the coming of the Light. And once the Yuletide has passed, there will be plenty of time to think about buying again, as the seed catalogues drift in with the blowing snow.

Buy Nothing Day --- give it a thought. and consider expanding it... "Take the perspective gained from your 24-hour moratorium on consuming and apply it to the most hectic and wasteful shopping period of the year: the holidays. Make this holiday season a time to reflect on your consumption habits instead of expanding them."

Friday, November 6, 2009

My Hex Signs made the "local" news

A reporter and photographer from the Bangor (ME) paper were out a few weeks ago to interview me.

The article is appearing in the weekend edition of the paper, on line and print.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

November has arrived

Yes, I know... it's on the calendar so what's the big deal? Just that the earth signs, here in Maine at least, concur.

A couple of days ago we were blessed by some more serious winds than we've had of late. K commented that this was the "leaf stripping wind" and it appears he was correct. Most of the deciduous trees are now bare, and the bushes as well.

Today we got our third snowfall and the first to happen in the daytime for multiple hours. Most of the afternoon into the evening, snow was falling as I worked in the garage, assembling the fence panels for which I had cut the wood yesterday. There were lots of big, fluffy flakes and in late afternoon, they began to accumulate a bit, making the first "sticking" snow. The forecast was for it to continue into the night with an accumulation of several inches but I do not see than happening now, unless there are more waves of precipitation to come. We will see.

I took the funnel and measuring tube out of my rain gauge in anticipation of having a bit of an accumulation of snow gathering in the 4" cylinder, to be melted and properly measured as liquid tomorrow morning. I have yet to set up the snow accumulation measuring station, but the parts are more or less in place so if there is any accumulation tomorrow morning I will be able to at least take a ruler to it.

The fence, which will enclose the dog yard and hopefully keep Coffee confined, is being made from a load of cull rough cut lumber... mostly 1x6 and some 1x4 boards. I do not have a count of the number of panels I have made, but I used up nearly 100 verticals -- all of the 1x6s. I decided to save the vertical 1x4s, of which there were only a handful, to go with parts cut from the remaining long 1x4 to make a gate. The gate will not be installed until next year, when we get "real" fence posts set. For now, the wooden panels will be held in place by being bolted to metal posts, the kind most often used for electric or wire fencing.

Neither of the dogs jumps against the fence, though at times they lie -- and lean -- against the bottom and the posts should hold against that. The main issue with the current fence -- plastic netting held in place by cheap plastic step-in posts -- is that while Brandi, the full grown Saint Bernard, views it as a barrier, Coffee, the now 5 mo old pup, see it as not even a challenge any more. She just walks it down and is out.

Cutting the wood yesterday and assembling panels today has left me tired and sore in many places but feeling pretty good. "Making sawdust" as my dad used to say, is fun.

Now, if the ground will just hold off on that freezing thing until after next week and we can get the posts driven and the fence up!...