Tag Archives: Wal-mart

Antlers! My Kingdom for Some Antlers!

Good morning everyone!

A Working Mother

Picture, if you will, a working mother.  No, that description’s not specific enough.

Picture, if you will, a working mother with a cold.  Well, we’re getting closer, but we’re still not there yet. 

Picture, if you will, a working mother in her mid to upper 40’s with a (bad) cold who has to find some sort of festive holiday hat for her child to wear on the class field trip the next day during her lunch hour, and you will have a pretty good idea of what I looked like yesterday.


Kayla and the other Purple Ambassadors at her school are taking a field trip to the nursing home today (Friday) somewhere to sing Christmas Carols.  She mentioned to me Tuesday night at 8 that they were supposed to wear a Santa hat, reindeer antlers or elf ears as part of their wardrobe for said field trip.  Before you start admiring my child for telling me in advance, bear in mind that Wednesday nights are always filled with church activities and Thursday night this week was blocked off for her new basketball practice, so telling me at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night is the equivalent of telling me at the last minute.


I admit that perhaps I should have looked for it on Wednesday during the day, which I took off, but my cold had started and I was trying to get it beat before I went back to work on Thursday, I had to take Tyra to the vet and get the oil changed in the car and I just didn’t have it in me.

Of course, my cold was worse on Thursday, but having left it until then, there was no choice but for me to venture out into the cold, cruel 50 degree world from my office in search of a holiday hat for my child at lunch.  The biggest problem was that I was anticipating having to go to the Super Wal-mart to find what I needed, and entering the Super Wal-Mart is always an other worldly experience.  No matter how determined you are when you walk in (I am going to go to the battery aisle, pick up one package of double A batteries and walk out) it never happens.  A mental fog gently descends upon you three steps into the store and you start wondering if you might need a toaster, new house linens, a new fishing reel (and I don’t fish!), a new TV, steaks for the next three months or other assorted items.  If you’re lucky, the mental fog breaks just enough for you to remember what you originally came there for – batteries.  This process is not helped by the fact that Wal-mart rearranges everything periodically so that you have to hunt for it.

As you can see, the Super Wal-Mart on a good day takes a great deal of effort and willpower, but the Super Wal-Mart on a day when you feel like you’ve been run over by an 18 wheeler and you’re sporting an attractive cherry red upper lip and nose from all the Kleenex you’ve been using seems like Mount Everest.  I told our receptionist when I left that if I wasn’t back in two hours, to please send help. 

So, to go back to the beginning of my story, I sallied forth into the cold cruel world in search of a holiday head adornment of some kind.  (Oh, I forgot to mention that Kayla had expressed a preference for reindeer antlers – I admit my self-control broke just a tad as I told her that I would look for reindeer antlers but if all I could find was a Santa hat, then a Santa hat it would be.) 

I went to the local Hallmark store first.  (Don’t laugh; you’d be surprised at all the odds and ends those stores have tucked around them in addition to cards.)  They had Santa and Elf hats.  I probably would have bought one, but the hats said “Ho, ho, ho!” and sang “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” when you pressed a button, and Kayla has at least one hour of regular school today before they leave on the field trip.  My bet was that with a singing hat, she would be on four conduct numbers by 8:15, nixing both the field trip and her future membership in Purple Ambassadors, so I did what was best for her and let them go.  The clerk at Hallmark looked at me rather strangely when I asked if they had any hats that didn’t sing as if that were an odd request.  I guess I missed the fashion switch from non-talking to singing hats.

Winter Hats and Scarves

The same strip mall has a Goody’s that used to be a Peebles, so I went to it next.  That store had a few hats that, strangely enough, were designed to cover your head and keep it and your ears warm, but were not designed as holiday adornments, so that was a wash, too.  At least the hats didn’t sing!

Just when I was facing the inevitable conclusion that like it or not I was going to have to drive down to Wal-Mart, an angel whispered into my ear that perhaps I should look at the Dollar Tree store at the end of the strip mall that I never enter.  It was two shops away, so I decided to give it a whirl.  You can just imagine my delight when I saw, in a bin out front, headbands with reindeer antlers!  I snatched a pair up, went into the store to buy them and came out having accomplished my mission for the grand total of $1.09 (9 % sales tax here) and no trip to Wal-mart!  (Do I hear applause at this happy ending?)

Of course, the reindeer antlers have bells on them but nothing in this imperfect world is perfect!  (If you do not have children, please consult with the parent next to you as to why the bells are problematic!)

Have a great day everyone!


Of Craft Stores, Wal-Mart and Striking Back

Good morning Everyone!

I love craft stores.  All I have to do is enter one, and I fall into a trance even worse than the one that hits me every spring when I go by a garden center.  (See, Spring, Roosters and Butterfly Farm.)  One of the reasons it is worse is that I only enter the garden center trance once a year, at springtime, while the craft store trance is guaranteed to hit each and every time I walk through the door of a Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, Jo-Ann’s Crafts or Hancock Fabrics.  (A.C. Moore’s used to be included in that list, but alas, the one in our area closed about two years ago.)

It is thanks to this quartet of stores, with an assist from a small store in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee that sells wood craft patterns (I can’t remember its name, but if you are familiar with that area, it is in the shopping center behind the Old Mill Restaurant on the right as you travel away from the main highway) and the local fabric shop in one of the cities in our area, the Opelika Sewing Center, that I have one of the finest craft closets for its size anywhere.  In addition to a copious stash of supplies for counted cross-stitch, craft painting, sewing and scroll-sawing, (all of which I have done sometime in the last two years),  along with various supplies for art class I have garnered, I have beginning supplies for a number of things I intend to try some day, including beading supplies, modeling clay and knitting supplies.  I just can’t leave a craft store without buying something; there are days I manage to restrain myself to just a skein of cross-stitch thread or a bottle of craft paint, and other days when my buggy is full by the time I hit the check out counter.

Cross-Stitch Magnet I Made, 2011

Wal-Mart used to have a craft section where it sold cross-stitch supplies, craft painting supplies, yarn and knitting/crochet supplies and fabric.  In fact, the cross-stitch supplies were one of my reasons for going to Wal-mart – it is a well-known corollary to Murphy’s law that no matter how many different DMC thread colors you have, you will always be short at least one color when you start a project.  However, in the last two years all of those items have been phased out of all Wal-marts and I suspect I am not the only person who mourned their passing.

Craft Painting on Mini-pumpkins in 2005 - Mine is the one on the left; Kayla's are the three on the right

For those very select few who might live somewhere where a Wal-Mart does not, Wal-mart is a store that generally sells a little of everything.  Originally, Wal-Marts were relatively small, and made a living by moving into a plethora of small towns.  Over time, however, the Wal-Marts mutated into these giant stores called “Wal-Mart SuperCenters” which added full service grocery stores onto the other part of Wal-mart and in doing so created a store where you can pretty much buy anything from live fish (as pets) to asparagus to bed linens – but apparently not fabric or counted cross-stitch threads!

However, here where I live, we have one of the last original small Wal-marts in existence, and it took longer than most to ditch the craft supplies.  Finally, though, even it was forced to bow to the pressure put on it by corporate, and it put the fabric and other craft stock away.  In my small town, we are now left with one generic craft aisle that sells a few sewing notions, a few skeins of yarn (but no cross-stitch thread or supplies), a few craft painting items, and a huge array of Crayola products for children.  

The 2007 ornaments I painted for people at work, Part I

That being said, you would not think I could manage to enter my craft trance at a Wal-mart anymore, but yesterday I managed to do so.  You see, some enterprising buyer had the thought to put some “I learned to knit by myself” and “I learned to crochet by myself” kits immediately beside the yarn skeins.  I went in to buy needle threaders (Singer has a three pack for just under $1) and before I knew it, I had added two skeins of yarn and the crochet pack to my buggy.  It took an enormous effort of will, which wouldn’t have been possible in the old craft section because it was big enough to induce the trance for a much longer period of time, but I managed to argue myself into putting the crochet pack back.  (The yarn had to stay because Kayla is working on her first needlework project – do you hear the tone of motherly pride in my voice? – and somehow the dark blue and black yarn that came with the kit had been lost.) 

2007 painted ornaments, Part 2

So take that Wal-mart!  You lost at least $8 in revenue yesterday because you decided to emasculate your craft section.  Just imagine how much more you may have lost in the meantime!

Have a great day everyone!