Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Have a GREEN, GREEN, GREEN Christmas

Green is my favorite color..but that's not what this is about..

Super swizz-eet, ecologically sound, made in the good ole U.S. of A toys!

Other sites I love for great natural(some USA, some European-made) toys:

Here's a cute idea: wrap your present in a reusable shopping tote- they are had for as cheap as 99 cents at the dollar store, and can be reused over and over- a gift that keeps on giving!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Dream a little dream...

I love books. I always have. They have been sanctuary and sanctification, mourning and dawning, all things provoking and stilling, usually simultaneously. I will fall directly into one, and not be able to see my way out until it is finished.

In my dream house, there is a room.. a library, but not those cavernous ones that you see in manor houses in the movies.. it's tucked off the front door in a small octagonal shape, wornly polished shelves of dark wood gleaming, a cheery fire in the grate by which an overstuffed chair and ottoman reside; There , on all the walls, shelves only broken by windows, looking over a garden or footpath or perhaps fountain, it is no matter, all my scenery lies in words. Light from the fire bounces off the wood floor, absorbed into the braided rug not good enough for a front room anymore- a sort of velveteen rabbit of the lounging set. There is of course, a purring furry cat, curled on the ottoman, a drowsing blanket and a piping tea pot accompanied by cookies and small sandwhiches ( a girl has to eat, right?) all the books great me as friends with volumes of things to say, years of history, new vistas, stacked in piles on the floor beside the chair; the room smells of vanilla, peppermint, cinnamon, and orange, scents of the time of year when the best story comes open once more and all is spices, and myrh, and mystery. I have loved this room for so long, it is a part of me. I think I should rather it than a golden mansion in Heaven, if we're allowed to order those things up.

Great Teacher Present Idea

Looking for a good teacher present idea? Here's a thought... in case you don't know, lots of teachers don't get paid for 6 weeks during the Christmas holidays (depending on how they fall) Sometimes, they get a first paycheck right after Thanksgiving and the next one comes around January 14th or so.

This means that the pennies in the family budget are hollering all during the holidays. This is what one class did for their teacher, which alleviates some of that stress. They gave her 12 Nights of Christmas...Dinners. Either baked a favorite casserole or freezable entree and froze it with directions or bought a gift card to a restaurant or fast food place or made taco meat (frozen) and added tortillas, chips, hot sauce- whatever... at any rate, it added up to twelve days of Christmas Dinners. They brought them up to the school on the last day before holidays and presented them to the teacher! ( I think there were enough kids that the parents could team up in sets of two for each night or gift card) Anyway, I thought this was a cute idea. Obviously, you'd have to ask about allergies... but still cute idea.
Obviously, if you're in a super PC place, you'll have to say 12- days- of- holiday- that- is- unmentionable dinners!
What do you think?

Hearts & Hands Together!

What can we do for our neighbors? for our friends? for those in need?

Yes, times are hard, and will get harder before this is over , I think. Don't get down! Let's put our thinking caps on and go to it! Let's find some one else who has greater needs than our own and help them!

Make something- think of using/repurposing things like shirts and jeans, old towels, fabric, etc. Here are some Handmade Holiday ideas from this great sewing/crafty blog ... The Domestic Diva's Disasters (cute name, no?) She's got, like, a month of ideas... Totally!!
(why is the link thing not working??? scratches head...will work on that)

Make lunch sacks for kids at school with no lunch boxes, shopping bags for greener shopping (old jeans are great for this- use the pocket for a, um, pocket..., blankets for children in need or older folks... aprons for a HeadStart or low income school art class... you keep thinking while I get to linking...

Pattern for bandana shorts/pants.. go here:

A thought occurred to me... what if we, here in America, in home ec classes, Sunday schools, and homes, sewed these cute skirts and some of these bandana shorts for children in Africa or Mexico or here... brand new clothes.... I think I need to be on the look out for a cheap- to- free sewing machine!

Maybe you don't sew... that's okay, really, I don't either.. yet. But I dream...

Let's think of what we could do.. free photos for a down-and-out family, extra couponing surplus donated to food pantry, fasting to feed another, knitting hats, etc. Get your kids involved in some sort of a project....