Friday, December 5, 2014

Waiting and Preparing {+Holiday Gift Ideas}


We've been waiting on the rain for a year. Maybe more, because I really only remember it on the roof tops a few times this summer and once or twice last winter. The eaves of our house have gotten so filthy, but it wouldn't have been right using up drinking water to hose them off. 

When we were in Catalina last weekend, we had to buy bottled water at the restaurants because they are down to their last drops in the water towers. The waitress said if they don't get enough rain this winter, then they might have to start limiting how many tourists they allow on the island next summer. That's one of those things so drastic, I can't even picture it.  

I guess one positive thing about all the warm weather is the fact that strawberries and tangerines are still growing locally and our plumeria is producing new flowers, but I think I joined a collection of Southern Californians this week in a sigh of relief once the rain finally came down.

It's also allowed me to stay inside and focus on preparing for Christmas--making gifts, going on Pinterest, texting my neighbor about DIY burlap wreaths, eating cookies. Since you might have gift giving on your mind too, I thought I'd mention a few things we like, in case you need ideas. And if you have any for us, please feel free to share! I've still got about four people on my list with question marks next to their names. 

-First off, the Electronic Popcorn Popper is awesome. After I caught a bag of popcorn on fire in the microwave and we had to wash the walls, my parents came to the rescue with a Stir-Crazy electronic popcorn popper for Christmas. They've had theirs for 30 years!
favorite features:
-you can't burn popcorn
-you get to watch it pop (still exciting) 
-the lid becomes the bowl
-wipe down the non-stick cooking surface with a damp towel and rinse the bowl and it's ready for the next use.
-we like to try different varieties of gourmet popcorn when we have friends over and for special movie nights.

-Arbor Skateboard: This is the skateboard I just got from women's skateboarding advocate Amelia BrodkaAmelia set it up with theeve black titanium trucks, bones bushings and size 58 wheels. This setup, I'm told, is best for skating bowls and skateparks. I like it because it feels stable and smooth. 

-Purl Soho Knit Kit-This is the kit I learned to knit with (as for the book, think concise instructions, big pictures). I still reference it to learn new stitches. The yarn it comes with (choose your own color) is 100% marino wool (soft as a real lamb). If you're not looking to learn to knit, but to continue to, check out their yarns. There's a million pretty colors. I had to call them today because I wanted to add another skein to my online order. I was caught off guard when, after one ring, I heard "Hello, this is Natalie". I don't think I've called a company in the last two months that didn't put me on hold first. Good customer service keeps holiday spirits in the 'Good-Great' zone. You know, if there was a scale or something. 

As for items to celebrate Christmas, I wanted to mention this Frasier Fir candle because it smells like a live Christmas tree. I burned the whole thing back down to the glass container it came in last year, so I was so excited when my mom gave us a new one this year. 

I'm sure I'll think of other things that we use and love, but all of these items have been in frequent use this year. On my Christmas list is the movie Boyhood on DVD. I still like owning and collecting movies, even though they are kind of space wasters. Have you seen it? I'm really enjoying the soundtrack on Spotify right now, too (embedded below). I love numbers 1 and 8 most.

And finally, this was a popular article about the kindness of humanity that went viral a few years ago, but in case you've missed it, check out 26 Moments That Restored Our Faith in Humanity


11 comments:

  1. Wow! A water shortage that drastic is so incomprehensible to me - I wish I could send some of our rain to southern Cali. I don't think it would feel like Christmas if it was still warm - it was unseasonably warm here in the beginning of November and it just didn't feel right; I think that might be why it feels as if Christmas has snuck up on me! xx

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    1. I wish you could send us rain here too! Occasionally we get cool, rainy weather on Christmas day, but more times than not, it's sunny and warm. It does feel a little weird, but you get used to it, I guess.

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  2. It's pouring here today. We get a good bit of rain (especially in the Spring) so it's easy for me to forget that there are places that don't get enough rain. Hope you guys get more rain soon!

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    1. It's funny for me to picture getting too much rain! Once, when we were in Hawaii, it rained the whole time and I was kinda like "enough already!", but it's rare that I feel like at home in California.

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  3. Oh it's wonderful when you ring a company and an actual person answers AND can help you isn't it? Well done Purl Soho. Your popcorn story made me laugh. Setting it on fire is quite impressive, well done you. Droughts are scary aren't they. A number of years ago I watched a programme about Australia. Parts of the centre had not had rain for seven years. Whole massive farms had been abandoned, people's whole livelihoods gone. There was just nothing left for the sheep to eat. So I can imagine how welcome the rain is for dry areas. Long may it last. Wishing you and Scott a good weekend. CJ xx

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    1. That sounds like an interesting program. I'm always intrigued by the behaviors of nature and weather. How devastating for those people. We were supposed to have an El Niño situation this winter, with lots of rain and lingering warm ocean water, but I've heard it's tapered off a bit. I still have my fingers crossed. I hope you have a nice weekend, too CJ!

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  4. Just a few random thoughts....we have fake trees so a fir smelling candle is a must...love it! Your music mix rocks...I absolutely love the entire Wilco album, Sky Blue Sky! Not a bad song on the entire CD. Ah, the rain....I hear it is the worst storm to hit California in over 10 years. Portland is getting its fair share, plus very strong winds. Take care, Stacy

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    1. Yes, we have a small fake tree too, so the candle has helped me forget it isn't real! I'll have to check out that Wilco album. I haven't listened to it, but I have a feeling I'm going to like it. Enjoy the rains. I know they sure make Portland pretty.

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  5. It's drizzling here right now. I was annoyed by it, but after reading your post, I feel more thankful for it. I would be even happier about it if it wasn't so cold to go along with it:) That is scary when you think about water not being readily available. It makes me thirsty just typing that. A lady I work with lives in San Francisco and said that they're having a huge storm today. I hope what you're getting is just enough to keep things growing. It's nice to have an excuse to stay inside and prepare for the holidays. We're having a birthday/holiday party on Saturday and have been scrambling trying to get everything decorated. I keep changing my mind every year about colors I like:) That popcorn popper is a great gift idea! Not being able to burn the popcorn is something I need, too. Can't wait to see what you knit--that yarn is so pretty!! Hope you're having a great week, Devon:)

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    1. I heard that some of the power went out in SF today. That storm is headed for us next. Best case scenario: everything gets wated and the reservoirs get filled up and there are no mud slides. Fingers crossed. I can't wait to see pictures from your party and the colors you ended up liking most this year. I actually brought two little Christmas trees with metallic pink, green, gold and blue ornaments on them. I guess I've been gravitating towards different colors this year too! Have a great weekend Kari!

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  6. Sounds like Christmas is alive and well at your place Devon. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas! Its been a while since last checking in, sorry things have been pretty rough with my recovery. Its good news about the new popcorn maker and now you won't have to worry about burning the place down! Have a fantastic weekend!

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