I'm getting people "stocking stuffers" and giving them money for Christmas, so I didn't exactly break the bank on presents. Practical and/or fun, for the most part.
I also did the last of the pre-Christmas food shopping--or thought I had, until I got home and realized I hadn't bought a cheesecake mix. (In my defense, it wasn't on the list.) So I need that one little additional thing....
The "stocking stuffers" came from Harbor Freight, which I needed to go to anyway in order to use the coupon for a heat gun for $10. (Regular sale price, $14.) I also wanted to buy some solderless terminals because I discovered that I don't have any except for a few butt connectors for 22-gauge wire, and some ring terminals for 1/2" bolts. Yeah. And then while I was browsing I saw a cheapass staple gun with 500 each of three kinds of fasteners--for $7--so I grabbed it, too.
Plus assorted stocking stuffers, upon which I will comment after Christmas, lest any of my family accidentally read my blog. Wouldn't want to spoil the surprise! Whee....
...I did look at the HF ad before leaving the house, saw the machete for $7, and said, "No. Oh, no, no one's getting a machete for Christmas.</i>
Once done with HF I headed for the grocery store. Stopped at the Ace Hardware next door for a couple bundles of firewood and furnace filters; after depositing same in the Jeep, I did the shopping, then finally got to go home.
Got the perishables put away and everything else inside, then turned my attention to the Christmas lights. Using my nifty new staple gun, I got the lights put up on the porch columns.
...one set of lights had a broken wire in it. The wire had pulled right out of a socket. So what did I do? Why, I stripped some insulation off, twisted the end, stuck it back in the socket...and then used my nifty new heat gun and some heat-shrink tubing I've had forever to keep that thing from coming apart again! Win!!!
If that bulb ever blows out it'll remain blown out forever, but WTF.
I had to search all over the damn place for a 3-way outlet tap; then I had to modify an adaptor because the Christmas lights don't have polarized plugs and the extension cord that carried power from one set of lights to the other did. But now everything is all lit up, and it looks wonderful.
I also took the part of the fence that had been knocked down lo these many years ago around to the back of the house; and once everything was put away I went back inside.
I was removing all the junk from my pockets and I felt something cold and slimy in my hoodie pocket. "WTF is this," I said, pulling it out and--
EEEEYYAAAAAGGGHHHH WTF WTF IT'S A SLUG
I flung it off my hand; the slug was unhurt by its rapid trip to the floor. Then I got a paper towel and picked it up, and when I looked at it again I saw that it had already extended its antennae and was moving around on the paper towel. I briefly considered keeping it as a pet, but then realized that I have no idea how to take care of gastropods, so I took it outside and said, "Sorry, my slimy friend, but we must say 'goodbye' now," and released it by the window well. It should be able to find good shelter from the cold there.
Who says there is no adventure in suburbia?
* * *
Anyway, so among other things I bought about a 4-lb turkey breast. I have no idea if I'm even going to need it, but I've got it. For the time being it's in the downstairs freezer, and since Butterball wraps its product very well freezer burn won't be an issue if it ends up being there for a few months.
Boneless-skinless chicken thighs, because they were on sale and will go good in some kind of stir-fry. Bread, "Red Gold" salsa because it was $1 per jar, and Pepsi at 4 for $11 with coupon. A few cleaning supplies.
Just need to go get the pies and the Cinnabons now, and the outside preparations for Christmas will be complete.
For inside prep, I need to finish cleaning the house and wrap the stocking stuffers.
Tomorrow I expect to be heading out to get pies and Cinnabons; worst case, Friday afternoon.
...and then nothing major, hopefully for the rest of the year, but we'll see.
* * *
Still not done: contacting the church secretary about what was up with the videotaping. Argh etc, because now it's probably too late to have a copy of it by Christmas Eve. Oh well.
I also broke down and ripped all the Mannheim Steamroller Christmas CDs to MP3 (with the exception of "Christmas Song", which doesn't deserve it) and putting them on my Christmas music SD card.
To make room, I had to baleet the America Christmas music I never listen to anyway. I like America; their Christmas album was better than "Christmas Song" but an orchestra of rectal flutes could manage that. I didn't really like the way they did the old tunes.
(WTF is a "rectal flute"? No, do not tell me.)
I also pared down the list of Maggie Sansone music (hammered dulcimer and other renaissance instruments, very cool) to the songs I actually liked to listen to. No tedium here!
...then while I was cleaning the dining room last night I had the MP3 player set on "random" and was listening to Christmas music while I cleaned. Win-win.
And now I must go feed my cats, and have dinner myself.