Rain At Last

We have been close to twelve weeks without any measurable rain at our house. Yes, it sprinkled once or twice in that time, but those were nothing but cruel reminders of what rain looked like. Today I was the lector at church so I was sitting up front. Russ came in a separate car because he had a meeting after church. As I was waiting for church to start I got a text from Russ on my watch, “It’s raining!”

If I weren’t Presbyterian I would have shouted “alleluia!”

It was a good rain that was still drizzling when we came out of church. I had not brought an umbrella, but I gladly would have gotten drenched, but it was not that kind of rain.

All day it rained. It was very light most of the day, but hey, after 12 weeks it was welcomed. Then it picked up a little and now it is full on thundering. At first I asked Russ if that sound was a dump truck. It had been so long since I have heard thunder I didn’t recognize it at first.

We have been awaiting the building permit for our new church building for weeks. We have a big dry square of dirt that has just been sitting awaiting the permit so we can put in a foundation. All this dry weather, perfect for building but no permit. I am certain that the permit will come tomorrow and it will rain more this week. All I can say is God works in mysterious ways.

When The South Africans Come to Town

Our friends Mark and Kelly, who live in Atlanta now, came to Durham for the weekend to visit their son Adam. Never ones to miss a chance to throw a party, they invited a few friends to a local Zimbabwe restaurant, which was as close to South Africa as they could get.

It just happens to be Kelly’s birthday tomorrow and Mark’s in two weeks, but Kelly said this was not a birthday party. I just want to wish her a big happy birthday anyway.

Kelly is wonderful at gathering interesting people and tonight was just another example of that talent. It was so fun to see people I haven’t seen since Carter graduated. And Russ immediately connected with the other introverts he recognized up against the wall.

Getting a chance to visit with Mark and Kelly is always fun. I wish we were not so far away or that Russ was not so busy so we could visit. There is nothing like a South African friend. Once you have one you always have a friend.

Back in the Sweat Shop Suspicions

I took about four months off from my sweat shop due to painting the kitchen cabinets and Carter being home during part of the summer. My sweat shop is attached to her bathroom and bedroom. It used to be her “office” when she moved down there and took it away from Russ. When she left for college I claimed it and cleaned out her stuff and installed all my sewing stuff, but I promised her I would not hang out there when she was home. I think it is the only room in the house that has changed hands and been used by all of us for different purposes.

When Carter called yesterday she asked me what I was doing. I told her I was back in the sweat shop working. She didn’t ask me what my project was. Then today she texted as I was working and I told her I was sewing. I think this got her nervous.

A few hours later she sent me her Birthday/Christmas list that I had been asking for. Her grandfather will be asking us for her list any day now and I prefer to be prepared.

I got the e-mailed list and opened it. Three items, and one was sock and another money. She followed up with a text. “My space in Boston is tight. I don’t want any random stuff. My list is short because anything I really want is too expensive and I would rather not have stuff I don’t love.”

I think she was worried I might be making her something, something random, something she did not pick out. I get it. I agree I don’t want random stuff either. I am happy she is not a pack rat. So I am going to tell the relatives not to get her anything, except those socks or cash.

For the record I was making a baby blanket for a baby who is coming in December. So to put Carter’s mind at ease this blanket is not for you. I am not planning on making a baby blanket for Carter for a long time.

An Imaginary Phone Conversation

Oh, the never ending Ukrainian/Giuliani/45 story keeps on unraveling. I can only imagine how the conversations between 45 and his nut job lawyer are going. Here is a sample of how it might sound if we could listen in on their phone calls.

45: Rudy, you know your friends, those Uke thugs who donated all that money to my super pac?

Rudy: Yeah, I did a great job getting them to funnel that foreign money to you.

45: The fake news hasn’t found those guys yet, have they.

Rudy: Well… they might be on to them. I think those Dems might be trying to get them in to testify.

45: Damn, Rudy. You can’t let that happen.

Rudy: I know, I know. I’ll buy them tickets out of the country and take them out to lunch, explain why they have to scram and then take them to the airport.

45: Just get one way tickets, no need to spend more money on these guys.

Rudy: Got it.

45: Also take them to my hotel up the street for lunch, I might as well make some money on their lunch while you are giving them the news.

Rudy: Got it. Can I put the lunch on your tab?

45: No way Rudy. You have to pay for your own lunch.

Rudy: Donald, I’ve got a great idea how you can throw everyone off this story. You should pull the military off the program of helping the Kurds and guarding the Isis fighters in their prisons.

45: Good idea Rudy. You really come up with the biggest plans to throw people off the scent.

Rudy: Thanks. I also have an invoice coming your way for all my Ukrainian work.

45: Look Rudy, I’m not going to pay any invoices and if you don’t like it there is nothing you can do about it since you can’t sue me as a sitting President.

Rudy: I’ll just send the invoice to Putin. He’ll pay your bills.

Cheating AND Bad Customer Service?

Today I stopped by a food store, which shall remain nameless. It was late and there were very few customers in the store at the time. Despite the low number it appeared that all three of us were headed to the deli counter at the same time.

As the three of us stood waiting for the one clerk to acknowledge us I watched as she filled containers with chicken salad, one after another. At first I thought she was doing this to stock a display. I thought something was fishy about what she was doing when she put a small box of yellow stickers up on the scale and created a “chicken salad” price sticker that weighed in at less than three ounces and attached it to each container. She set those containers aside and finally offered to help the man in front of me.

As I was still waiting I watched as another employee came by and thanked the deli girl for the containers and took them away. Finally the deli clerk turned to me and I got my order.

I went to the check out and that same clerk who took the under priced chicken salad was there ringing up her own chicken salad. I didn’t say anything because I have no idea what the store’s deal is with employees, but it all seemed very fishy because of the box of stickers being used as the weight on the scale, rather than the actual chicken salad.

I am not accusing the clerks of cheating, but at the least it seems like they should wait on customers before they wait on each other. It is not normal to use some lighter weight item to create a price sticker for things that must be weighed, and it certainly should not be done in front of customers. I’m not sure I will visit this store again, or perhaps it won’t matter because I’m not sure how long they can last with these kind of employees.

How Does She Do It?

I know I have called out my sister Janet before for the cool work her business does, but today takes the cake. Janet owns a business called Reaction Retail, which makes gift boxed sets of beauty products for stores like Macy’s and Ulta. If you aren’t sure what that is, think of a set of ten perfumes in a gift box.

Janet is a genius and has the coolest people working with her to design these things and then assembles them and ships them to stores in time for the holidays, all the holidays.

Today on You Tube there was a beauty vlogger who did an in boxing review of one of Janet’s products, the Macy’s beauty advent calendar. I had no idea there even was such a thing as a beauty advent calendar. I watched this You Tube with my mouth open.

It was amazing, not the You Tuber, but the box. Just take a look at how cool this thing is. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UbDyfsWz8ao…this

I have to say I am one proud sister! If you want to buy one of these things just search advent calendars at Macy’s. My Sister is the bomb. If your u don’t want to watch the whole ten minute video, the vlogger gave it a big thumbs up.

The Pinterest/YouTube Rabbit Hole

Before there was Pinterest I never knew how many crafts, quilts, pies, table decors, wreaths, fonts, monograms, yada, yada, yada, things there were for me to learn to make. Then once I discovered a new thing I wanted to make, I never knew there were so many YouTube videos to teach me how.

I realized yesterday that Christmas is two blinks of an eye away and I have not done a thing about gifts. I am doing my best not to add the the “piles o’stuff” that all my relatives already have, but still want to show my love. I consider something hand made, as long as it is not a clay ashtray, or something consumable that is yummy, is a better gift than anything except cash. Well, no one except Carter will get cash so I got right on researching things I might make.

That was a twelve hour search and it could go on forever. Once I found something on Pinterest I wanted to make I had to try and learn how to make it. I never knew that there were so many thousands of people filming themselves teaching strangers all their crafting secrets.

What I really wish existed is a rating system of all the videos that show who is the best teacher. I have found myself watching one for ten minutes when I realize the teacher wasn’t making sense. The amount of conflicting advice is huge. So I watch multiple YouTubes hoping to aggregate my knowledge.

All this Pinterest searching and You Tube watching is eating into my time to actually making presents. I pray this research equips me to be proficient and prolific. The only issue is now I have discovered more things I want to learn that have nothing to do with making Christmas gifts. When will I get to do that?