Friday, November 20, 2009

A rant

We went out for dinner tonight, and did some grocery shopping. At least one grocery and one hardware already have cut Christmas trees for sale. So here goes:

Attention Stores!

Thanksgiving is still a week away, which means that Christmas is at least 5 weeks out. It's too freaking early to be selling "fresh-cut" trees. Would you sell Valentine bouquets on New Years Day? Just because a tree quietly sheds needles instead of blatantly wilting doesn't mean it's okay. In four weeks, any tree sold now is more than likely going to be a dried out, brittle fire hazard, no matter how much you water it or how much fire-retardant spray it was treated with.* You were jumping the gun with the Christmas candy sitting in the aisles on Halloween night, and you're doing it again. Stop it!

Anyone who buys a cut tree before Turkey Day had better not complain about needles in the carpet, in my opinion. They were asking for it.

* I worked on a Christmas tree farm for a few years. Most trees are sprayed with a fire retardant mist. It also happens to be tinted green. Either way, if you leave the tree sitting around for 5+ weeks, all the spray in the world won't keep it from drying out.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lucky Burrito

El Burrito is a lucky child, as he proved last week. I should buy a lotto ticket for him or something.

We went to the library, as usual, and went to the big monthly book sale. He had to say hello to his cashier buddy first thing, and as usual she had a little book for him (Where is Skipper's Bone, a cute pop-up sort of book), which he had to carry himself. Because he's That Age these days. Then we went book shopping, and found quite a few goodies. It was cookbook day, so I ended up with an armload. I was juggling El Burrito, my purse, the library tote, a bag of sale books, and an armful of heavy cookbooks (Taste of Home annuals, $2 each), and at some point he put his book down and left it. I was kind of distracted and didn't realize it until about midnight that night, and felt sick that I'd let it happen. (Guilt Trips R Us, self-induced, no waiting)

That night, I emailed the Friends group that does the sales, hoping that one of the volunteers might have found his book (and not sold it to someone else). I figured it was a lost cause. Finding one book in a library isn't even "needle in a haystack" territory, as I told my sister - it's more "one specific needle in a barrel of needles" or something. I figured that it was either picked up by another little kid and taken home, or that he put it down in the sale books and someone else bought it.

But the Burrito is a lucky boy. Next morning, I called the library, and lo & behold, there it was in the lost and found. It was a bit of a miracle, since he'd only had the book an hour tops, and I couldn't remember anything other than the plush puppy that was on the pop-up tab.

But wait, there's more. :) I bought one of the random tote bags from the Friends, since the cookbooks were more than my Acme bags could handle. It turned out to be more stained than I'd thought, but it was 50 cents, all cotton, and pretty sturdy. I washed it with everything I could think of - Spray & Wash, Clorox II, even Fels Naptha, and nothing got out the brown water-stain marks. I had a brainstorm yesterday, and hunted down the peroxide. After two sunny afternoons of being doused with peroxide and dried in the sun, the brown stains are gone. There are still a lot of black marks (tire or something), but it looks much better. I was considering an experiment in tea-dyeing, but I think it'll do for now as is.