Just Like Christmas

I just got home from two heady hours at Value Village’s 50% off sale.  I had three large bags crammed with stuff, all for a total of $55.00.  I actually forgot to get groceries because I was in such a hurry to get home to look at everything.  Things look so different once examined in the cold light of home.

Thanks to the Internet, I no longer have to wonder about the provenance of the things I buy.  I googled a jacket I’d bought for $5, and found it was made by a company called Finn Kariela, which appears to be based in Europe.  I got a sweet necklace for $3 which still had local potter and jewelery maker Betty Gordon’s tag on it from a craft sale.

I got three pairs of sandals, because at $5 per pair, it seemed silly not to.  One of the cutest things I got was a 100% silk scarf by Bill Blass for $1.  It’s always hard to go wrong with vintage Bill Blass.  But then I did go wrong with a top I threw into my cart impulsively, and which doesn’t fit.  Oh well, $3.50 wasted.

But the thing is, at the big sale the line-up for fitting rooms is ridiculously long.  So I just went in looking for things that didn’t need to be tried on in a dressing room.  It was just a wild hunch on the top, and a wrong one.  It’s funny, but I’m always sure I’m a lot smaller than I really am.  But then I always think I’m 18 too, so there’s another misperception.

Luke decided two weeks was enough for a holiday, so headed back to Alberta on Sunday.  That meant on Saturday night I made the traditional pot roast, mashed potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, gravy, salad and vegetable dinner.  Luke asked for chocolate mousse, which I gladly made for dessert.

I’m totally bloated after the visit, as the house was filled with all manner of poisonous foods.  I don’t know if you’ve ever seen these, but the kids managed to find giant marshmallows, called Campfire Marshmallows.  Each one is the size of your freaking hand!  Of course I ate one and instantly felt my insides say no.

Yesterday as I cat-napped while reading the Globe and Mail, a vague thought began in the back of my mind.  As I regained consciousness, I thought, I wonder how I’m going to get 3,000 fruitcakes made between now and Christmas.  And you know something?  The terrible realization came upon me that I have to start now or I’ll never be ready.

Most people find it odd that one would make fruitcake in the spring or summer.  But as I can only make about 400 a month, ideally I need 7.5 months to get it done at a humane pace.  And if you’ve been reading this blog for the past several years, you pretty well know what’s going to happen as the weeks tick by.

Which is precisely why I need second-hand shopping; it calms my nerves.  I hope I’m calm enough to start soon, though, because I’m going to use my past sales at Potters Nursery at the Coast to flog my product to Art Knapps.  If they decide to carry my fruitcakes, perhaps they’ll sell like vintage Bill Blass.

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