Wednesday, January 09, 2008
A Picture of Efficiency
We set a new record yesterday, a high of almost 70 degrees. That's really nothing, I set my own personal record today - mailing out the Christmas cards on January 9. It's so late I had someone in my sewing group ask if they were the cards for 2008 - not exactly.

A couple of months ago, all smug, thinking I was being terribly efficient, I went and bought beautiful Christ-message spreading cards at our church bookstore, nice discount, yada yada, then I ordered complimentary address labels, and went to the post office and picked up nice Christmas stamps.

They never got mailed.

We got home from Colorado and started getting all these nice cards, and yearly Christmas newsletters, but there was no way I could get cards mailed in time. So I put the beautiful Christ message-spreading message cards and their labels away. Maybe next year.

The more I thought about it, the more it bothered me not to send a card to Don's best friend since kindergarten, etc. So I got the brilliant idea - Holiday cards after the New Year! Perfect. Off to the Hallmark store, and sure enough they had the most adorable snowman cards - tri-fold, and when you opened them up, the cutest little red cardinal popped out. I loved the glossy black paper, very out of the ordinary for me but it'd been a less than ordinary year, so I grabbed them. Came home, spent an hour updating the address list, printed out the labels. I wrote a nice Holiday newsletter, following my own personal rule of never more than one page long because either way it's just tacky - either you had such a great year and you drone on and on (somewhat like this post) , or you had so much misfortune your letter sounds like something from "A Series of Unfortunate Events" that depresses everyone so much they're afraid to call. So the letter was done, approved by DH, and printed out. I sat down to address them.

Black ink doesn't work so slick on black paper. Great. It's just not good to mutter while you do cards that are sending good cheer, so I put the cards down for the night.

Next morning, I'm off to the same Hallmark store to buy the pens they surely sell to write on the black cards they sell. 'Sorry, no, we never noticed that.' Okay, the grocery store sells gel pens and they will show up. But the ink takes a good thirty minutes to dry, so I signed them all, and laid them out all over the kitchen table, and while they dried I baked a batch of cookies, which is one more batch of cookies than I baked during the entire Christmas season.

So I stuff all the letters in the cards, and all the cards into the envelopes, which are weird because there's this flappy thing at the end, and apparently it's to keep you from having to pay extra postage for a square envelope which is apparently a lot more work for a machine to shove through than a rectangular envelope. So they look weird, but I keep moving on.

Holding the card in my hand, I know - it weighs too much. So off to the post office, and sure enough they need an extra 17 cents, so the nice man sells me very holidayish stamps that have big horn sheep on them. I leave the store, go back to Hallmark to ask if they have any holidayish stickers to seal the envelopes and they do not, but the nice teacher store down the mall will. I pop in, and they look at me like they are a dairy farmer and I'm asking for milk, because when I ask if they carry stickers, the woman doesn't even talk to me but rather waves her arm toward the entire center aisle which is nothing but stickers. So I ask, in a slightly smaller voice if they happen to have any holiday or winter stickers, and she just waves her arm again, then I ask in the teensiest little voice, do they happen to have little red cardinal stickers, and she says, "No!" Okay - so I buy these great looking comical snowmen, and leave. At which point I realize I never bought the first 41 cents of postage I need for the cards because I've used up all the previously purchased Christmas stamps on bills, etc. so I go back to the post office, stand in line, and when I get to the counter, the nice mailman just looks at me. Then after a really fun conversation, which the entire post office listened to and had the effect of making me sound brilliant, the nice man sells me these wonderful liberty bell stamps which will look just great with my big horn sheep and comical snowmen.

So I come home, grab the cards, the various stamps and stickers, and letter, and head off to sewing group to do last year's Christmas cards. Rather than sew. Girls, we're nothing if we're not the absolute picture of efficiency around here. Just like that nice deep voice on the television says, "making progress every day."


  posted at 11:16 PM

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    Girl Raised in the South

    I have a deep, abiding love for full octane coffee, sewing, knitting, quilting, reading, cooking, gardening, God and my family - not in that order.

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