Thursday, October 1

a 'tempter' in our midst...

it does seem rather mean to 'rat' on my 'tempter' now that he has made amends for the 'panini episode of 2008'...

i do believe a two year subscription to selevedge, (a magazine i love, but yet find myself unable to cough up the dollar amount myself), is enough for me to find closure on the whole panini 'happy 40th' business that has plagued my thoughts for over a year.

the irony of the panini maker situation is seeing it become the most beloved item in the kitchen (not by me you understand, but by my clan).
when ever it is reached for i 'sigh'... and then who ever is with me quips
"but you have to admit it, what a great gift. look how many times you've used it"...

only last week as our #2 lay upon the couch muttering words of "...yep, i think it might be swine flu" and feeling quite sorry for herself. i served up a panini that was cremated on the outside but with the brie still unmelted on the inside. i actually stood and marvelled for sometime at how one can achieve such a badly cooked panini... how i kept that brie unmelted is still a mystery to me.

but you did not come here today for me to go 'soft' on my tempter, for that would never do...
no, you came here today for me to 'unveil' this awful tormentor of 'new things' that shares the same mossy shed as me...
and so i shall...
dearest readers i must tell you a tale from a few days back,
a tale from the life of moi,
trying to stay on the straight and narrow path of 'handcrafted, thrifty' goodness
but with a 'tempter' in her midst...

last friday, my man and i went out together to Costco for groceries.
i don't like Costco at all, but it is a necessary evil for a family of our size and one that is mainly done by my man.
but this time i went along to escape (that's what you have to do as your kids get older, you have to go out, to escape them...)

not two steps inside the warehouse and my man darts over to an enormous pile of 'thick walking' socks.
"how could he" i thought, (my weakness being 'thick woolly' socks of any color)
i walked on past but damn him, he loitered further with a "look, a pack of four... see Tif, they are really thick. just what we need"
i turned around aghast, "have you forgotten already, we are not allowed to buy such items remember?"
"but they are such a good deal."
"that is not my problem, i have some in my drawer you are welcome to borrow"
"but technically i'm not doing this challenge with you so i can buy them" he offered up
"nope, you can't... i can not be seen to condone you buying new, therefore if you are with me, you can't buy them, so put them back"
i purposefully moved forward...

a few seconds later i had lost him again,
this time he was found admiring 'holiday lights'.
for a second i was speechless ("impossible" i hear you cry)...
then i regained my voice, once again striding purposefully towards this tempter in my midst...
"what are you doing?" i cried
"but look Tif..." his voice trailing off
"we have an attic full of holiday lights for the house, and surely you can see they are not handcrafted in any way, the box says, mass produced in China"
"but these are LED ones and more to the point, a fantastic price"
"i don't care, we cannot buy them"
"but it will save us money to run them, doesn't that count?"
"put them back, i cannot have these lights in our cart or on our shed. even if they are cost efficient"
"no, no, no"
and so it went on...

the next day, whilst sitting around the table eating a meal, walton's style. our #1 and #2 started sniggering as the tale was retold... mumbling words of "oooh, were the lights not doilified" and other such things.

the sniggering stopped when i voiced the word 'christmas' and started discussing all the lovely handcrafted doilified items i was working on for them.
their faces went dead pan,
"you're not for real are you?" our #1 squeaked
"dead serious... i'm actually having trouble buying anything new, it just feels wrong, like i'm cheating. so if you wish for something that is new, you better talk sweetly to your dad, for he's in charge this year."
to which he looked at me with 'desperation' in his eyes, knowing for years what we all know to be true... there is no Father Christmas, only Mother Christmas.
and this year, she is toughening up...

she is thinking about little olive and her 'disgrace' at puppy training class last night ~ Tif


Amber said...

Way to stay strong - I think I would have caved at the Christmas lights :-)

Alison Russell said...

I have one of those, too! I am, however, fortunate that DS is quite happy with secondhand (got a used graphing calculator for his Bday and is content), and we rarely buy gifts for DD anymore, because she almost never plays with anything you give her except the box! Autism is a mixed blessing - I'll be able to make her school clothes for her all the way through High School, because all she cares about is how they feel!

Pomona said...

I love it! It's just like me threatening to knit the boys something (and they do snigger at my knitting) - and however sweetly I say it, it is considered a threat! I know I'd love something doilified for Christmas - but you've given me an idea for keeping the men in my life in line - just threaten them with doilies!!

Pomona x

Lorene said...

I love, love, love reading your blog. For me, it's the perfect mixture of disgruntlement, craftiness, family and vintage touches. Really. Just wanted to remind you that there is an admirer of your writing style who follows your blog (just in case you are tiring of maintaining it!).

And my 40th was an emotional tragedy for me. For an entire year I said I would allow myself to wallow in the slights I felt but surely when I turned 41 I would have recovered. Here I am approaching 43(!) and I have yet to recover from my 40th.

I truly am surprised by this current state of affairs but remain optimistic that one day my unreliable longterm memory will kick in and I will have only pleasant thoughts of that stressful day!

Lola Nova said...

Oh yes,
My man discovered that I had taken on the challenge by reading my blog (oops). He looked at me with a doubters grimace and said, "Do I have to?" When I told him it was entirely up to him he laughed, "oh good, I wont." He then asked if it were true that gifts were exempt, when I said yes, he actually told me in all seriousness, "You'll be getting a salad spinner for your birthday."
Oh for heaven's sake!
Lovely gift by your tempter though, well done for him!

Elicia said...

"no, no, no" reminds me of a favorite quote from singing in the rain.
"yes, yes, yes!"
"no, no, no!"
"yes, yes, yes..."

Anonymous said...

LOL you were so good to stay strong I think I would have bought the lights.....

willywagtail said...

Very funny!! Good on you for being tough. Cherrie

~ Junkyard Jennifer said...

Christmas has felt like my biggest challenge so far. And, one I've been thinking of a lot.

My kids are still young enough that if I somehow wave a magic wand (to make me feel creative and productive), I just might be able to come up with some fun handmade things for them. (But, as of yet, I have not found that magic wand!)

You make me smile. I hope that adorable and naughty little puppy starts behaving as she should in class! :)

~ Jennifer

P.S. I love the leggings you have on in the picture in the post below. And, the fun socks.

Apryl said...

I don't know that I would be strong enough to stick with the challenge for a year... as it is my clothes are practically in rags (I don't buy alot of clothing I hate clothes shopping probably because I'm fat)... I have thought about your challenge though, as well as the 100 things challenge and i'm sure I would definitly cave at that. If only the charity shops around here had a decent supply of well anything, its few and far between that you find something useful in them.

good luck to you and I shall think very hard about trying to join in.

Elissa said...

oh MY you are GOOD. best of luck at staying strong! i am not "up" to your challenge, although i do my best to always thrift before buying new. but Christmas does trip me up a bit with my wee ones. last year some hand made and some store bought worked well. i love that you are sharing this experience!

mamas collection said...

Loved the clear image of the whole Costco scene!! (probably because it is so reminiscent of many discussions between hubby and me....!)

And what in the world could darling Olive done incorrectly at school??