Friday, December 14, 2007

To the Burgh and back

I made a quick trip into Pittsburgh today to pick up some gifts at a running store. I got some good stuff for the kids and they had asked me to pick up a couple of small things for their running friends. It was what we all hope for in Christmas shopping - Easy to get in, helpful staff, everything in stock, and back on the road in about 30 minutes.

I had planned a short side trip, also, to a new needlework shop in Pittsburgh called The French Knot. Yes - I planned it. I went to their website, got the address, Googled directions from the running store to the needlework store...and somehow I completely missed the fact that it was closed on Fridays. Yeah. That was on the website, too. But did I see it at 7 o'clock this morning? Noooooo. I was pretty bummed out. From my seat in the car it looked like a nice place. It was decorated for Christmas. It had some neat stuff on spinner racks in the window. But the big CLOSED sign was certainly a Christmas downer.

This'll sound snarky, but isn't it kind of hard to have a successful retail business that closes on Fridays? Oh, and Tuesdays. On the other hand, it's open on both Saturdays and Sundays, which is kind of unusual for a small shop. Most shops are closed on Sundays and some close on Mondays, too. So maybe it's just what I'm used to, and it's tough to teach this old dog new tricks. I know I'll go back - I just had to gripe.

But folks, all was not lost, because on the way home I remembered that I would be driving past Quilter's Corner! Oh my, it was even better than I had remembered it and I brought home some lovely project ideas, especially as they relate to finishing needlework, and some scrumptious fabric, and a long sought-after needle threader.

OK, time for the Christmas decoration uglies. Why do I have uglies? I don't know. Dave and I sometimes have wildly different opinions about what's attractive and what's not, and rather than fight over it, I just put up with it. I mean, what can you say to a guy who likes to decorate with his collectibles... and they are still in their boxes? Even with the Wheaties box of the most recent Super Bowl Steelers? And the relatively new Matchbox cars - still in their blister packs and boxes. I think it looks like we're trying to sell the stuff, and I complain that my living room looks like a cheesy variety store.

So Christmas decorating can sometimes be a challenge, because he takes stuff out and then I put it away and then he takes it out and then I put it away and then....well, you get the idea.

So----here is Christmas ugly #1, and I can't really blame this at all on Dave except to say that he was there when I bought it and he didn't stop me.
What? Was I drunk when I bought this? I know it was around the time of a Christmas parade and I had gone to watch the kids march in the high school band. And I know that we had found a nice bar with comfortable seats...And it was warm in there. And then we went shopping. But anyway, at the time, I thought this was adorable and quirky and the perfect thing for my pencil tree. Now all it does is scare my children to death. And they're teenagers. Yet I put it out every year, mostly because I won't/can't admit that I was wrong and it really is butt-ugly.

And here is Christmas Ugly #2 I keep sticking this angel on top of the other tree, and then each year I take it down because I just can't deal with her condescending face. Is she supposed to be serene? She looks like she's just smelled something bad and she's getting ready to accuse me of causing it. So I every year take her down and stick a bow up there.

There's another angel that Dave and I had "words" over this Christmas. It's this big patchwork and rick-rack thing with a huge white face and floppy wings and I positively hate it. He wanted to hang it. I said I hate that thing. He said it was nice. I repeated that I hate it. And he said that we should give it away, and God knows why but I stuck it back in its box and walked away. So she isn't available for pictures today.

Don't ask me why I didn't dump it in the St. Vincent DePaul box. I can't tell you. Maybe I'd miss these Christmas decorating arguments too much? Because truly - they usually end in a good laugh.
So I guess this crap will stay around for another year


  1. I'm a big fan of stars, but I'm sorry. That is the CREEPIEST star I have ever seen in my whole life.

    And would have been perfect for my BIL's college Christmas tree. You see, he always felt sorry for the ugly ornaments that people either left in the box or hid on the back of the tree, so he came up with the idea of having an Ugly Tree and everyone brought their ugliest, most hated, most bizarre ornaments and BIL hung them front and center on his tree every year. (Until he got married and his wife put a stop to it! LOL)

  2. oh god this post is hilarious. I love your commentary!!

  3. I *like* that snowman star. I need it! But that angel is the bitchiest looking thing I've ever seen.

  4. Oh, the snowman star creeps me out!! The angel isn't too bad, but she definately looks like she has a chip on her shoulder! *rofl*

  5. Decorations-I have tons of them and I'd say more than half are still packed away or my house would look like a Christmas store! My husband doesn't decorate, so I get to do as I please. There is an Eagles football stocking hung with the rest of them (but on the fireplace tool rack).
    I just saw a grimacing snowman at Home Goods on Friday. I do believe that was the style in those years long gone by.
    Sorry you missed out on the LNS! I hate when that happens!
    Hey-your son is probably finished his 1st semester! Cool!

  6. Thanks for the really good laugh. "Christmas uglies" - what a great phrase.