02 December 2011

Operation Christmas, Part 3

Well, the idea was to get a bit of Christmas decorating done during lunch hour while I was teleworking. Maybe I could even get up early and unpack a few things before starting.

No dice. I had five new orders when I logged on Wednesday morning, and my Guam order was still ongoing because I can't even contact the hotel's events management people until 6 p.m. due to the time difference. My team lead ended up talking with them via e-mail until 10 p.m.

But finally it worked out, and I got some things advertised—but I never did get much done during lunch because I didn't take one either day, except for the fifteen minutes when I put up the ceppo on the etagere on Wednesday.

But things have proceeded:

•  Dining room and kitchen fully decorated.

•  Village up on the mantel.

•  Rudolph tree up.

•  Christmassy nicknacks on the bookcase.

•  Decorations up in the spare room for any Christmas visitor.

•  Woodland tree up.

•  Airplane tree out of the box and table prepared.

•  Santa and wire tree up in the library, as well as the lighthouse "vignette." The library tree is still in the box, waiting for me to get the table out.

•  The little tree and its Scottish and Italian trim are up in the bedroom.

•  I have put the "Peanuts" band from Hallmark in front of the television, with a cute foldup "Ho-ho-ho" in front of it.

I didn't get much done, except for the Rudolph tree, the village, and the woodland tree and getting the other stuff out because today was the annual "Apple Annie" craft fair at St. Ann's Church in Marietta. Knowing I wouldn't get a parking space if I went early, I chose to sleep late, listen to a Sherlock Holmes radio show on BBC4X, eat breakfast, and then finally go out about 10:30.

First I went by Sibley to return Acceptable Loss. The Sibley Library is no longer open on Fridays due to budget cuts, so I had to put it into the book dump. Then, since I needed money, I stopped at Publix, which has branches of my bank. I also checked out the twofers and got juice, diced tomatoes, chocolate chips, some crackers for the Twelfth Night party and some for James, and a couple of other things. I also bought a contribution for the Food Bank, so I got a free reusable bag in a Christmas theme. I bought their other two designs, so now I have a set of Christmassy shopping bags.

Finally I headed out to East Cobb. Despite the fact it was Friday and I usually have a quiet ride, the traffic was terrible. A bunch of people must be taking Fridays off to shop. I stopped at the Mount Bethel post office to send something off and get stamps for Christmas cards, then went on to Betsy's Hallmark. The parking lot around the shop was packed; there must be a good sale either at Stein Mart or Kohls. I had to drive around twice before there was a parking space closer than five rows down. I didn't mind the walk, but it was stupid since I was going in the store only to pick up the last of the "Peanuts" band (Snoopy) and a card for my sister-in-law, whose birthday is the day before mine.

Once done at Hallmark, I went on to Apple Annie. By this time it was 12:30 and there were parking spaces in front of the church rather than on Roswell Road. I had a nice time. Most of the stuff is jewelry or cutesy kids' clothing, but I did buy some gingerbread-themed stuff and a sheep—I can't resist sheep—from the "prim lady" and some notecards and the "Prayer of St. Francis" in calligraphy from the "papyrus lady." I also got two cute cards to frame, a Woodland Santa, and "American Cowthic," two Holsteins doing the "American Gothic" pose. They sell baked goods for charity, so I bought eight brownies on a cute Christmas plate for $6.

Before I leave, I always go into the little courtyard between the church proper and the parish rooms. (Sadly, I couldn't peek into the church proper as a funeral was going on.) This is a triangular area with rose bushes, a Japanese maple, and some statuary, including the Virgin Mary, a cross, a weeping figure, and a statue of St. Francis. It's very peaceful and lovely, although the water feature was covered up with wire. This was covered with scarlet maple leaves. The rose bushes near St. Francis still had a few brave blossoms despite the heavy frost earlier. I sat on one of the benches and enjoyed it for a few minutes.

On the way back I stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond, but didn't see anything I wanted to wait in line for. I did stop at the little used bookstore in the same shopping center as Hancock Fabrics. It wasn't overflowing with romance books like most used bookstores, but there wasn't anything I was looking for.

I decided to stop at Abecedarius on the way home as I hadn't been there in ages. I think it's the only cross-stitch store left in Atlanta, so I'd better appreciate it. I found three small patterns including a cute "Quaker" Thanksgiving design. This pleasure was completely blunted by the annoyance of driving down Roswell Road, which, like everything else, was clotted with traffic and people doing absurd things, like cutting across lanes without looking. At one point, I was stopped in traffic waiting for a light across from a gas station. There was a left turn lane next to me, and the westbound lanes are separated from the eastbound lanes by a narrow concrete divider higher than a curb. This didn't prevent some jerk in a jeep from just cutting his wheels when he came opposite the entrance to the gas station and bouncing right over the divider rather than going a few car lengths further on and making a legal left turn.

When I got home it was four o'clock and I was tired, but I did put up the Rudolph tree. When James got home we went to Giovanni's for supper (we were headed for Stevi B's pizza, but when we got there it was gone). Wow, the place was nearly full—first time I've ever seen that many people there. Once home I unpacked the box with the library, airplane, and woodland tree, and put the woodland tree up.

Then I asked James to bring the white board upstairs, and put up the village while watching Christmas Past. We also watched Flying Wild Alaska, which had enough snow to last Atlanta for a couple of winters. :-)

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