Thursday, December 18, 2008

2stacys-christmas-blogfest-0814

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Waning Moon
Cloudy and cold

Come on over to A Biblio Paradise today and learn all about erotica writer Tula Neal and her work – she’s got some fascinating characters and premises.

Tired, tired, tired.

I created an icing/glaze for the spice cakes yesterday – I took the recipe for the cappuccino glaze I used in the brownies a few weeks back, but instead of using coffee, I used vanilla, and I upped the heavy cream a bit. It worked. Glazed the cakes, let them set, put together the platters, and spent the afternoon delivering them. I’m glad that everyone was so delighted by the platters, and several people (such as our mechanic) were thrilled and surprised to be thought of with baked goods at the holidays.

Of course, last night, on the news, a “concierge” that the news team consulted as an “expert” claims that the ONLY acceptable gift to anyone who’s provided a service is cash. I disagree, and my experience today during my rounds reinforces that disagreement.

Anyway, it was a really fun afternoon. I didn’t think I’d get anywhere near as enthusiastic a response as I did. The truth is that handmade gifts and gifts of food ARE appreciated. Personally, no matter what my economic status in any particular year, I know how much I love receiving handmade gifts, and I truly enjoy making something – be it foodie or crafty – that’s geared to someone’s individual interests and tastes.

I make sure that I shop at local stores that not only give me good prices but treat their employees well and give back to the community, so I’m supporting the type of store owner who makes a positive difference, and we all win.

Speaking of a positive difference, there was a lovely story on the news the other night about how Sears supports its employees who deploy with the military – paying the difference between the military pay and their salaries, maintaining their benefits and merit increases, and keeping the jobs open for them when they return – even in these difficult economic times. Now, I haven’t shopped at Sears for years – there isn’t one readily available around here, so, frankly, I don’t think about it that often. But you can be sure they are back on my list – if they carry something I need, I’ll spend some money there so that they can continue this program. Not that my few dollars make that much of a difference, but hopefully, running the news story and bringing people’s attention to their policies will make enough people shop there, continue to shop there or try them out so that they can continue these programs. Every dollar we spend and every place we choose to spend it makes a statement and can make a difference. Especially in difficult economic times, it is vitally important to support stores that reflect your values. I definitely buy less – a lot less – lately – but I’m a lot more aware of where I buy it.

Now that the holiday preparations are done, the mail sent, the gifts delivered, I am diving back into the rabbit hole of writing for the next couple of weeks to clear off all my deadlines. I plan to blog regularly until Christmas, but then it will be intermittent until after the new year; not only do I have deadlines for year’s end, but I also am working on site bouncing between two different jobs between Christmas and New Year’s. I’m also going on retreat for New Year’s Eve and Day. I’ve done that for several years now; this time, I’m going to a different place, and I’m very excited. If you email me, there will be a slower response time than usual. I’m also working on my new brochure and a new target list, so that the first week of the new year, I can get off a big mailing.

I’ll read blogs intermittently, but I’m staying off most forums until after the new year – I’m sick and tired of threads and threads and threads full of excuses for not writing or people who expect published writers to do the work for them when these unpublished writers aren’t even willing to search the threads for the answers to questions that are asked every week or two. We all have to start somewhere and questions are important, but do a little research people, before you demand that working writers put aside their own writing to answer – for the forty-seventh time – the same old questions. And then, when a working writer is kind enough to answer – don’t argue and don’t make excuses. No one is forcing you to TAKE the advice, it’s up to you, but at least be gracious when your questions are answered.

I need a few newbie-free weeks.

We’re supposed to get up to a foot of snow tomorrow, so I’m off, in a little while, to the grocery store (again) to get in milk and eggs, and then I’ll bake bread later – I’m on my off-store-bought-bread bit again, it all tastes like soft cardboard to me, so I’m going to make my own for the next few weeks. Flour’s on sale right now, with holiday baking so prevalent, so I’ll stock up and then bake bread every few days. The bread around here is over priced ($4/loaf and up) and has no taste. The local bakery prices are a bit higher than that — $6/loaf and up – but at least there’s taste there, so I might treat myself to some of their bread occasionally. But the stuff in the grocery store lately is flat and tasteless and overly sweet. So I think I’ll skip it for awhile.

Back to the page.

Devon

christmas-play-06-002

Violet guards a gift.

This photo is actually from 2006, but it’s really cute, so I’m re-posting it.

Published in: on December 18, 2008 at 9:18 am  Comments (11)  
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