Thursday, December 5, 2013

Put 'em up: Seven Quick Takes

1.  I survived Black Friday.  In Walmart.  On a bike.  Just barely.

You see... my sister-in-law (who visited over Thanksgiving) and I were eager to obtain I-Pad's. My desire for an I-Pad is fueled primarily by this last, shaky week of blog withdrawal symptoms.

My eldest daughter has a lot of homeschool computer work during the day.  And I'm Mrs. Crachitt by night.  Thus, I haven't touched a keypad since my last post.

This shall never, ever do.

Curiosity having grown into want and then slowly blossomed into "need," I finally justified the expense of an I-Pad, at least by the price you can get around here at 1 in the morning the day after Thanksgiving.

2.  Oh yes, and the bike.  The beautiful yellow bike with roses and the super comfy seat.  For my birthday girl, who turned 10 the day before Thanksgiving, in true "if it snows, it blizzards" fashion.

I know you've seen the pics of the hordes waiting outside for hours to enter the hallowed halls of sales, but once inside the frenetic place you realize: there are an awful lot of employees who have no idea where things are, or what they should be doing.  I had an intense discussion with a party of five blue-vested folk who all told me I should look for "Steve, the one with glasses" who was roaming with the pieces of paper that equaled a bike, which I was then supposed to take to "Pet/Garden" to redeem.  All before actually purchasing said bike.  I guess it's a traffic control thing to confuse and disburse massive crowds by putting bikes in the pet/garden center, and I-Pad's in the fishing aisle.  (I only wish I was joking here).

After several minutes of fruitless chit-chat, I went to the correct department, straight to where I could plainly see the bike I wanted hanging two feet above my head.  I yanked the metal bar out, jumped up, unhooked the bike, and eased it down to the floor.  After three visits to the chiropractor, I can tentatively say no lasting harm was done.

So now, I have this gorgeous bike, in a store packed with exhausted and exasperated people.  I pedaled down a couple aisles till I met gridlocked humanity (the checkout line wrapped around the store).  I then painstakingly guided the bicycle past packed carts garnished with huge TV's.  I was alternately complimented on my selection and sworn at for my existence, depending on the stages of consciousness and conscience of the people I came across.

3.  Finally, my sis and I landed at the check out line.  3:30 in the morning.  Only to find the VA card she was using had been put on hold for "suspicious activity" (as in, purchases made in RI when she had--gasp--previously been in VA).

In our caffeinated glee, we had failed to bring a back-up method of payment.  Like oh, say, cash.

Ransacking our purses, we were able to leave with my bike.  But without the doorbuster I-Pad.  I saved $30 in three hours.  Woo...hoo.

It's harder to buy an I-Pad at full price when you had a tremendous deal in your hands.  Give me some time folks, give me some time.

4.  Anyway.  Other than that, I'm currently a rather full-time actress, with an eclectic stage family, who bizarrely hangs out for hours in a black theatre blocking, staging, spiking props, and practicing embracing my new husband in the "vom."  I watch my oldest daughter dancing around as my son, and my younger daughter first pulling an old man around on a chain, and later all in black, gliding around with a lantern as the Ghost of Christmas Future.  Tempers are wearing thin, diva personalities are emerging, colds are spreading.  And overall, I'm having a ball in this crazy life within a life.

What's also fascinating is how the theater works brilliantly with actors of special needs.  One excellent actor has Down's, one is blind, and a few have other handicaps... this also requires extra attention, prompting, and guidance in rehearsal.  But overall... Pepper, thanks for getting mom this fun, fun role.  And y'all come see us, if you can!  :)

5.  But I'm pretty tired, I have to admit.  It does qualify as "work."  Having memorized my lines in a cockney accent, I had to re-memorize them in "my own voice" for a "modern approach."  I managed to elicit tears during my Tiny Tim mourning scene, but just last night it was decided that Mrs. Crachitt would have been "tougher."  (growl)

Speaking of sleep... I'd better seek some now.

6.  While I likely won't be able to blog quite as much this month, I'll try to post some pictures here and there, and will check in more.  Hope you all are handling this beautiful season with aplomb.  As a friend of mine put on her status: "I thought the whole reason for advent was to 'slow down and prepare.'  I'm feeling a lot of 'hurry up and freak out' instead."

So, so true.  In response, I'm sharing a poem (you weren't expecting free printables today, right?)  I actually found on the wall of my husband's ex-girlfriend.  No, not the one I wrote about.  :D  The wonders of Facebook...anyway, it's perfect.  And I don't even know the song that goes with it; I'm just going by the words:
Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;

Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.
Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.
-- John Greenleaf Whittier

7.  Okay, one more while I'm on my poetry kick.  This one was actually written by a friend of mine, who happens to be Rosie's older sister:

Early Christmas Lights

True, they smack a bit 

Of ignorance...and in sardonic mood
Remind me of how hastily the poor denuded Christmas trees
Will be cast into the gutter on December 26th...

But tonight,

There is a small glow in my heart
Because those lights all seem like little candles
Set out impatiently
To light the way for Christ...
Even the stones cry out for Him,
And even our poor shopping-crazy culture
Longs (without knowing) so much for His coming
That, like small children waiting for a Guest,
They put out all the welcome signs
A month before He comes.

Like I said in the title: if you're so inclined, just put 'em up.  In joy we await our Redeemer.  Happy Feast of St. Nicholas!
"Let clouds rain down the Just One, 
let the earth be opened and bud forth a Saviour;
let justice spring forth." Isaiah 45:8

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