Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Stress

Whew! November is over.

It begins with the craft fair at work. I start getting ready a couple of months before, making things to sell. But the big push happens in the week before the sale. Gathering things together, deciding what to charge, making the tags and attaching them. Then setting up the sale and taking it back down again.



Then I have to redo all the tags for the Front Range Fiber Artisans holiday sale that comes a couple of weeks later. It also requires a shift of product. The craft fair is lower end and the holiday sale is higher end.

During that are 2 birthdays in my family which we all gather for and celebrate. We took the niece and nephew to the Denver Art Museum that day to have some fun and get out of the house.


As soon as the sales and birthdays are done it's time to gear up for Thanksgiving. With my immediate family all living fairly close together, it's always a big affair. With the addition of my Dad's side of the family we had almost 20 people at my Mom's house. Naturally we all pitched in to help with all the work. It was great family time, but wore me out.

Then, there's the new addition to the family. Calypso. Kittens are so adorable it's hard to say goodnight. So I find myself staying up too late just to enjoy her.

And now it's December and time to get ready for Christmas.

Christmas us fairly simply compared to the families of many of my friends and coworkers. We try to keep it with little to no financial expectations with regard to gifts. It's about family, not the presents. Although, that's more of a grown up attitude, so we try to have nice (but not too extreme) gifts for the kids that feed their interests and will inspire them long after the holiday is past.

Since my husband was laid off, it's a handmade Christmas for us this year. Fortunately we both sold enough at the sales to buy materials to make gifts. But, handmade gifts take time. So while Paul sits at his jeweler's bench all day, I sit in front of the TV and crochet and knit all evening...when the cat isn't playing with my yarn or knitting needles.

Tree hunting is a family tradition and that's on Sunday the 4th this year. So I should be able to get fairly far along on somebody's gift on the way up to the tree cutting area in the national forest.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Inventions That Make a Difference: LuminAID

It's been a long time since I did an Inventions That Make a Difference post. So here's something I ran across today.

LuminAID inflatable solar lights.

It's a flat piece of plastic with a hole to inflate it. On one side is a film thin solar panel with a place for 2 coin cell rechargeable batteries. It's a great idea and puts out a lot of light. Especially for disaster areas.

The only long term drawback I see is the batteries. How long do they last before they need to be replaced? If they have to be replaced, or the light itself has to be replaced, how do you go about doing that in a long term, developing world situation? Solar is awesome until your batteries wear out and you can't replace them. Then you're back where you started.

If you're interested, they are seeking funding for further development. If you are part of an NGO interested in using something like this, give them your feedback. They will appreciate it.