Maybe not "in demand", but they sure got used while I was in WV. My aunt Nora took advantage of my arrival to have me finish her decorating. But let's start at the beginning shall we?

The trip up to WV was fairly uneventful. We left early enough and the weather and traffic managed to cooperate, so we made it in one day. I think we managed to leave Cracker Barrel at the airport exit in Jacksonville at 8:45 AM and pulled into my aunts around 7:30-ish maybe. I don't know what time it was, I was driving, it was dark and I was dang tired by that point. All I really wanted to do was sit quietly and maybe have a nice drink. That completes Wednesday's activities.

Thursday I slept in. I mean I really slept in. I didn't manage to get out of my nice warm bed until around 11:30 that morning. Just in time for my aunt to return from her hair appointment and a few errands with some makings for a sandwich. That was a nice surprise. After she left again mom and I went downstairs, to where I usually "live" when I visit, to start the decorating we had been tasked with the night before. To my aunt's credit she normally does all her decorating, but this year she needed some help. Our cousin Kathy helped her decorate upstairs and for some reason I didn't manage to get pictures of that. Let me say it is beautiful. Nora's living room is mauve so her tree there is a pretty white tree with pink lights and all pink and mauve and gold. Very pretty. In the dining room there was a lovely arrangement on the table, her big Bethlehem nativity on the sideboard and some trimmings on the china cabinet. Then in her "family room", or as we call it, "the room where we watch t.v." she has one of those fiber-optic trees, that turns colors. Anyway, she has all this red and white, candy-cane stripped ornaments and stuff in there, so the tree was all in red ornaments with about 4 white birds and some red & white stripped ribbon with bows at the top. I kept looking at it, and decided that I knew what I thought it needed....white ornaments. (You'll hear more about this on Friday.)

But, back to downstairs. My aunt basically has 2 houses stacked on top of each other, it's very nice. Downstairs there's a "game room", or more likely a music room since there's a really nice old upright piano and an old pump organ in it. That's where I had to work my decorating magic. The tree was set up, but nothing else. We finally got lights on it that managed to stay working, then of course came the decorations. Like us, Nora has lots of decorations that are just all kinds of lovely Christmas goodness. So that's what I put on this tree. My uncle had stacked some boxes of floor tiles under the tree to elevate it off the floor so we could then put her lighted houses under it. The result was pretty cool.
Sorry for the picture. I was really trying not to use flash, so you get that yellow incandescent look too. But you get the idea.That's a little better looks at the left side of the "village".
Right side look, with a bit of the piano showing.

So, that was my Thursday, and some of my Friday since in putting all this together I figured out she needed some lights and a couple of strips to plug the lights in to. That brings us to Friday when mom, Nora & I headed out to pick up the things needed for decorating (remember the white ornaments I mentioned?) and for her 50th Wedding anniversary party on Saturday.

First, JoAnn's Fabrics. Unlike here, the JoAnn's there is not one of the huge mega-type stores. It's small. But we did manage to find some pretty white ornaments and the strips to plug the houses in to, as well as a couple of multi-light strands for the houses. That was a good stop. Then we went to the dollar store to score some pretty, and less expensive, gift bags and tea lights. Another good stop. Then lunch. Yummy! We went to Bellacinos, it's a franchise, owned by local guys and is excellent. I opted for their house grinder (and for those who don't know that term, it's basically a hot sub). And the scenery in there isn't too bad. (The owners are twins, and as my aunt said, "There's living proof of a God right there walking around, and not just God, but a loving God because he gave us TWO of them to look at!" That's right the owners are basically identical twins and very nice looking men at that.) So, score again for lunch, both for the food and the scenery. Then they dropped me off at Lowe's to try and find these candles, and that's where it started to go wrong, but luckily not terribly wrong.

Let me back up a little. My aunt and our cousin Kathy, mainly Kathy, had made these beautiful centerpieces for the tables for the anniversary party. They were all pretty gold, pink and garnet poinsettias. Lovely. Nora, my aunt, had found these really cool, battery operated (I guess) tall, slim candles to put in the middle of the arrangements. This was good, she bought them somewhere in VA I think at a Ben Franklins. She bought enough, or so she thought. However, they ended up breaking one and needing at least 2 more. So, here we were, hunting these things that all I knew were what they looked like and that I think they were called "candleiers" or something like that. So, back to Lowe's (which BTW is not my uncle Jim's favorite place to shop and he builds cabinets for a living, I think he's jinxed the place for me). Mom and Nora drop me in front of Lowe's while they park the car in front of Sam's Warehouse, which is right beside Lowe's. I'm tasked with going to look for the aforementioned "candleiers", purchasing them if found and then going to Sam's to meet them while they start getting the many food and paper items needed from there. To make a long story short, not only did Lowe's not have said "candleiers", but they barely had any Christmas decorations left at all. It was kind of depressing.

But a trip through Sam's trying out all the food they were handing out helped my mood. Yeah, I know, I'd just eaten a nice lunch, but hey, it was good and they were handing it out and we might have wanted to buy some of it. We did manage to get the stuff we needed from there and headed for our next stop....Wal-Mart.

You see, a few days before Nora had been in the big "Mart" and had spoken to some man about those pesky candle things. He assured her he had them, but that they were in a box up somewhere near the rafters and he didn't have his machine-thing to get up there to get the box down so she could buy them. Now, here's a little thought, if you have something to sell, and you want to sell it, shouldn't you have it somewhere so people can get their grubby little fingers on it and take it to the long lines at the check-out counter to hand over some form of payment??? Is this really too much to ask? But I digress. So, this kind employee said to give him a couple of days and he'd get them down for her. So, we head there thinking we're sure to find them. First, nothing in the Christmas decorations, which for some reason is where these little monsters pretty candles apparently like to live in stores. Then we make our second mistake of the trip to "Wally World", we ask an "associate" for help. They don't know anything. So they finally ask their "manager", who looks to be about 19 and barely able to think (not that all 19 year olds can't think, but this one wasn't looking to swift in my eyes). He said he'd check. Now I'm fairly certain that 1) he had no idea what my aunt was talking about and 2) could have cared less if he found the item for her or not. In no time he was back to say they didn't even have them in stock. Now, somebody's not telling the truth. Either the 1st man who said he could get them if he had his little machine was full of it, or this "manager" was, but either way we walked away with no candles. Well, we did get candles, those kind you are used to seeing, but that run on batteries and one of them was defective when we got it home, but they made it work. The rest of the trip there was spent hunting stuff to make "hammy sammies" as mom and I call them, for the Sunday party. We didn't have any luck finding the right rolls, so thought a stop at Kroger would fix things. It did and it didn't. We found some rolls to use, but they aren't the kind we normally get. Sigh, sometimes I just like to be at home and be able to walk into my favorite grocery store, Publix, and find what I want, or have some nice person ask can they help me find something or order something I want that's not stocked...sigh....

So, that's Thursday and Friday. Tomorrow I should some of the party pictures and a slightly compromising photo of me and the "big guy". Stay tuned!
2 Responses
  1. Bad candles. Evil candles. Shouldn't have made you go anywhere near a Wally World at Christmastime.

  2. DBG in Texas Says:

    WOW! I'm all tuckered out just reading about this. It's amazing what you got into in such a short time period. I can't wait to read more about the Party and after party events. Go girl!

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