buying local, consumerism, Family, Marvelous meals

Thanksgiving and Buy Nothing Day

Pecan and pumpkin pies, by Lisa

I hope that you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and friends like we did. We have four great Southern cooks in my family – Willye Kate, my mother, Lisa, my sister, me, and Brooke, my niece. Here are a few photos from our dinner. Note the cornbread dressing (only my mother’s is acceptable) and the many casseroles, butterbeans, and deviled eggs. This is how we roll in North Carolina.

Here are my two grand-nephews. Jake is the one modeling the gas mask. He has a great talent for antique and thrift store picking.

Zeke was lost for two years once. His human mama finally gave up and went to the shelter to adopt another cat. She saw a cat that looked just like him. The animal shelter worker told her that he was not adoptable because he was mean and he was about to be euthanized. The cat was Zeke. I’d love to know what his story was. Believe me, this is NOT a mean cat.

Today is Buy Nothing Day, a day that I used to celebrate here with much fanfare. Now I am more in favor of supporting small local businesses and supporting your local economy. But there is a lot to be said in favor of rejecting the travesty that the winter holiday season has become. Driven by sales, some people actually claim that they ARE spending family time by camping with the kids in front of Walmart or other big box stores on Thanksgiving in order to be first through the doors at midnight. This craziness is a family ritual that they want to pass on to their children.

People, let’s please not go further down this road.

The positive thing is that the Buy Local movement has spread and the Black Friday nonsense has gotten so nuts that I hear more and more that people are rejecting the pressure to buy buy buy for the holidays and returning Thanksgiving and Christmas to their original meanings. Of course you won’t hear this much in the news. There might be a token reference to the simplicity movement or the local movement. I hear this from friends and family and it makes me feel better.

Remember how the news media did their best to convince you that the presidential election was still too close to call when quite a few polls and trustworthy, impartial analysts indicated otherwise? It is in their best interest to keep the frenzy of consumerism whipped up in the same way.

The longer I live, the more I would like to get rid of most of my stuff and just spend my money on the essentials and experiences. Really, how much do we need? I live better than probably 95% of the world and I am probably considered to be lower middle class in the United States. If you’re thinking about giving me a present, please donate the value of my gift to a charity who will truly spend it to help the needy. I will be much happier if you do!

art, book arts, political activism

Life update

I think that I’ve pulled myself together again. It’s been a a little over a week since Guido passed on, but really the whole bad situation started last December. In a way, it is a big relief that I no longer have to make the decision, and certainly it is a huge relief not to hear him cry and wonder if it is senility or pain. The last few days he had stopped eating, although he was getting around okay. It was time, and I didn’t want to forcefeed him or pill him or take him back to the vet or watch him starve to death. The vet’s office made a house call and he never had to get off my bed.

I’m pretty happy about the national election. It went as well as I hoped and a little more. North Carolina continues to spiral downward with a total Republican majority in the house and Senate and governor and lieutenant governor. Yet most of the state offices such as attorney general, etc. remain Democrat. North Carolina is a very strange political state. I am ready to leave here but I am lucky to have a great job that I enjoy so I’ll probably grit my teeth and bear it. At least I live in a university town which is one of the blue spots on the electoral maps. Of course, I still have many issues with Democrats and President Obama and I will remain unaffiliated until they come back from their center right positions.

I’m proud of myself for getting off my butt and arranging this election night get-together at Sessions in Greensboro. I am not a social gal and generally avoid parties and crowds of people like the plague. But these are my peeps and it was a wonderful occasion to get together with this crowd.

Art making has ground to a halt and I’ve decided not to try to force it. I’ll make art for myself for a while and see if anything comes out of it that I’d like to put up for sale. In the meantime, I did put three new blank books in the gallery. Looks like I’m going to start doing the computer inventory entry for the gallery soon.

Oh, and for only the second time in my life (the first being about 20 years ago) I had my hair colored, at Leon’s Beauty School. The base color is “cherry cola” and there are blond streaks on top. I like it a lot – part of my image transformation. I got tired of the fading mousy brown look. I don’t mind gray or white, but I am ready for a change. In 2013 my vision insurance kicks in and I’ll get a funky new pair of glasses. I’m wearing earrings again every day. Hell, at this rate, I might have to invest in some “organic” make-up. I haven’t worn make-up in years. Will dental caps and a chin tuck be far behind? Um, yes. Very, very, very, very far behind.


Political rant alert

We received our first robocall of the day right after 9 a.m., equating same sex marriage with the destruction of America. You know, I don’t want to live in a liberal bubble, unaware of the crazy things that many people believe. But honestly, there is no freakin’ way to avoid it and I’ve had my fill of it. I find it interesting that as an independent, I get the most calls from the far right, and they are overwhelmingly negative about the Democrats and talk about extreme positions when they do talk about their agenda. The few calls I get from Democrats talk about why their candidate is best for the job. This is a big reason why I will never, ever vote for a Republican. The moderate Republicans have been run out of the primaries by the Tea Party. Even the centrist Dems are fighting for their careers in North Carolina. As a new independent this presidential election, I am definitely seeing the tactics of both sides, and yes, there is a lesser evil by FAR. I’m going to vote early today for a straight Democratic ticket. I know it won’t matter because the redistricting damage resulting from our last election ensures that we’ll end up with a far right state government majority. I get to retire in 16 years, hopefully (if I still have a job as a state employee), and then I am getting the hell out of here.