Saturday, December 31, 2011

......

DEAR READER, this holiday week streaked by in a Donder and Blitzen blitz! It was a seven-day spell of getting together with kith and kin, of gift-giving and gabbing and game-playing.

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There was lots of celebrating;
it naturally follows, there was lots of food!












It naturally follows that besides the gift-giving and gabbing and game-playing, there was gobbling and gorging. Well, ahem...what I mean to say, Reader Dear...I ATE TOO MUCH!*


.......
*Most of it not lovely salad with pomegranate seeds!**

**Much of it starting with the letter "C"!***

***Christmas cookies, Christmas candy, Christmas chocolate, if I must spell it out! Christmas cake, (did I say Christmas candy?!)Christmas everything, Reader Dear!****

****Handily providing me with a New Year's Resolution!*****

*****Which happily must wait until next year!******

******One more party to go---HAPPY NEW YEAR'S EVE!!!



.....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

......

OUT WITH THE OLD,
IN WITH THE NEW!!!


Er,
uh...I mean, IN WITH THE NEW,
OUT WITH THE OLD!!


It's not that I
didn't want it to go
the typical,
chronologically-enhanced way,
it's just that
that's the way
things went
with the
phone calls.
"We'll be there with your new refrigerator
between nine and eleven."




















video

And then at noon, another call: "Our drivers will be there to pick up your old refrigerator in twenty minutes." So back I went to Apartment Thirty-six to ensure that it was not OUT WITH THE NEW!

video

video

video

If you're expecting something new in the next few days, Reader Dear,
hope it's all fine and dandy!
Happy out with the Old!
Happy in with the New!
(In that order!)
......

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

......

THANK GOODNESS FOR THE CHRISTMAS TREE with its lights and baubles! At early afternoon today it looks for all the world as though dusk is settling in.























,,,,,,

Monday, December 26, 2011

......
YESTERDAY THE LITTLE ACTOR was at my house, Christmas-ing.
Now he's got several more movies to his credit.

video
"It's a fire truck!"

video

"Thank you, Gra-ma-ma-ma-ma-ma!" (Oh, my [Christmas] stars, I've been called many things, but none quite so adorable as this moniker!)
......

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

(Cont'd)
......

....It is eleven-fifty-nine-and-a-half when I rush into the post office, where the postmaster is waiting on what he supposes is his final customer of the day. He's poised to push the button that closes the window and officially says, Too late! But by eleven-fifty-nine-and-three-quarters, I'm at the window.
"Here!
" I exclaim, all out-of-breath and panting, "This one has all the postage, even an extra penny. And this one..."I thrust the larger box toward him, "I don't know how much more I need. I didn't have time to add up the stamps I've put on it." (There were already enough on there to lavishly illustrate an American history book, Dear Reader).

Hmm. He's had a busy morning. I can see it on his face: Shoulda given this woman that darn zip code! (Or...er,possibly: Shoulda given this darn woman that zip code!) And me, I'm thinking, Ha! But then he's looking at that mass of stamps and getting flummoxed with his little calculator, and I do, after all, Dear Reader, have some Christmas heart (not to mention that I'll have many future tete-a-tetes with the guy)!
"Here, I can do it," I offer, " if you want, if you'll let me use the calculator."
"Oh, sure!" he says with relief. He hands over the goods.
I work at lightening speed, toting up stamps (you wouldn't believe, Dear Reader, how inscrutable some of those old stamp values prove to be. One of them--what the --?--had no number at all! [my Christmas spirit is taking a hit]). In a flash, I slap on additional stamps, well over-shooting the needed total.
"Okay, here you go!" I return the package to the postmaster, who's been busy at other work, delaying the closing of the window. "It's got more than it needs," I said, "not even figuring the one that doesn't say how much it's worth." He accepts my parcel, gives it an appreciative glance, hand stamps it hurriedly, and tosses it into the outgoing mail bin.
"Okay, great," he says. "Thanks!"
......
I coast down off of my high dudgeon. It gives one an amazing feeling to be trusted by the United States Postal Service!*





*So why can't the IRS be more like this, I wonder.**

**I'm feeling so good, in fact, by the time I return home, that I'm ready to start layering my outgoing Christmas cards with vintage stamps!










......

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

......
AH, DEAR ME, I AM DRIVING myself crazy with this hobby of mine! This notion that I must put stamps on every outgoing package, can't let the United States Postal Service plaster my decorated parcels with their strictly utilitarian postal strips! I fear postage stamps will be raining down on me in my dreams tonight.

As many hobbies go, this one has its tricky little aspects, but I enjoy it (otherwise, why do it? [though I've got an answer for that, too*]). It's just that December twenty-five was providing me with a time crunch. I waited until Saturday to send out two packages which had to arrive before the big holiday. And Saturday, as you know, Reader Dear, gives us only half a day of postal service.






By eleven-nine I had finished affixing my adornments to the boxes. My next
steps: rush to the post office (a mile-and-a-half away) and have the packages weighed; come home and put on the stamps; then speedily retrace my route to the post office.

Glancing at the clock, I supposed I'd be able to beat it. But then--arghh--at the post office there stretched a line! But then--ahhh--it moved right along! By eleven-sixteen I was saying to the postmaster as he hoisted my second package onto the scales, "That one's going to Asheville, North Carolina. I was in such a rush, I forgot to put the label on it."
"What's the zip code?" he asked. "I need the zip code."
"Oh, the zip code?" I frowned and twisted up my mouth. "I don't know," I said. "Can't you tell me the zip code for Asheville?"
"Nope," he said, and he shifted my box off the scales, and looked expectantly toward the next person in line.
I beg your sympathy, Dear Reader, but I couldn't help myself; a note of irritation crept into my voice when I exclaimed, "You'd think of all places, I could get a zip code at the post office!" Then I added a bit hopefully. "I can look it up myself. Surely you have a zip code book?"
"Nope," he said. "We used to have one, but not anymore."
"Nothing?! You have NO way to find a zip code?" I looked around, just waiting for some guy to pipe up and tell me his ex-girlfriend used to live in Asheville and he well knew the zip. Or... ...geez, where is a smart phone when one needs one?!
"Nope," the postmaster said. It was his final answer.
.........
My phone is not so smart, but it does make phone calls to smart people. Alas, however, the calls to smart folks are not always to smart ones who answer each call. Six attempts I made, gritting my teeth each time I failed to hear "hello." Then I grabbed up my packages and marched out of that package-mailing place in a high dudgeon. It was eleven twenty-four.
........
The back of my car was loaded with paper and plastic and perfectly reusable stuff and the garbage disposal business that picks up our garbage accepts recycling on the first and third Saturdays of each month. They too close at noon. I knew if I missed that deadline, I'd have paper and plastic and perfectly reusable stuff to make me perfectly unhappy for three more weeks over the holidays. But...tick. tick. tick!
.....
It's eleven thirty-seven. I have unloaded my recycling, gotten my smart son on the not-so-smart phone, gotten the zip code, gotten back to the post office, gotten the postage due figure. Now if I can catch a reindeer...or maybe catch a break...
......
It's not nearly as much fun when I have to race the clock!
Back home, I pull out my chaotic pile of vintage stamps. Stamps are flying everywhere. It's eleven forty-two. I'm feverishly sorting and sticking for the next ten minutes. Tap-tap-tapping on the calculator. The old Christmas stocking? The drive-in movie? Otis Reading? How about the African violet? And the 37cent I Love You candy hearts? (good grief, all wrong for the season, but I've got so many, and something seems downright odd about mailing payments to the garbage disposal company with those heart stamps, even if the company is a dear when it comes to helping me unload my recycling with great dispatch!)
....
It's eleven fifty-four when I look at the clock. My first package is stamped and ready to go. I'm working on the second. But I know I've run out of time. I snatch up a handful of stamps, grab both boxes and go directly to the post office. I do not pass go. I do not put on a coat. I do not think to take my little calculator....
......
(back soon)

Monday, December 19, 2011

......

I'M RELEASING A PUBLICITY SHOT of my Small Actor that I took the liberty of obtaining yesterday morning while he was in his bath.

This morning, after packing up their packages and parcels and paraphernalia, his caretakers picked up their small son, installed him in his car seat, and whisked him away.

With his career picking up the way it did this past weekend, I see a bright future ahead for the little guy! In fact, just yesterday he starred in one of my movies as an infant taking his first increments in crawling (whatever it is, Dear Reader, one calls those tiny shuffling advances), and he was amazingly believable in the role!
Reel I.
video
Reel II.
video
Reel III.
video
......

Sunday, December 18, 2011

......

I GOT A CALL FROM THE SMALL ACTOR'S caretakers in Richmond, Virginia. "We'll be coming there for the weekend, since we can't come at Christmas." And eight hours later, in the dark of night, they arrived! The next day my yard man kicked into high gear, rushed out to buy a hunk of meat* (a favorite activity of his), and donned an apron. Then the Little Actor and his caretakers arrived. We sat down to Christmas dinner exactly a week early. As may be suspected, I skipped over many details, Reader Dear--as I am now leaping over a few more, and going straight into filming and production. Trains, Planes, and Fire Engines:

Reel I.
video
Reel II
video
Starring both of my tiny actors in my pictures was severely hampered by the fact that the younger was ill with a cold and cough. A security guard of the elder was determined the two would not touch. (The elder, my Little Actor, slightly more experienced than the Small Actor, has an important out-of-country engagement next week. He'll be starring in pictures by other producers, which you, Dear Viewer, are not likely to see [If he wins any awards for acting in these foreign flicks, I'll surely inform you!]). Hence, my scripts had to be altered to accommodate this restriction. It's why in this next picture my actors play their own true selves in a story of two tiny tots forbidden to express spontaneous feelings of affection for one another. The elder makes adaptations, which the younger finds highly amusing. (Ending unscripted, Viewer Dear. Simply left to chance).

Reel I.
video
Reel II.
video
Reel III.
video

Likewise, end of today's post is left to chance.
Chances are-- this is it!
(Chances are, there will be more tomorrow).

......
*Does your little eye spy, Viewer Dear, a small clue?
Guess the entree and I'll tell you if it's true.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

......

SUDDENLY, READER DEAR, it seems someone's gotten downright fixated on the Green Dragon! I mean, when I ran over there yesterday afternoon (it's to my east), I figured it was my fourth jaunt there in as many weeks (I've tramped around the place every Friday since Thanksgiving!)

video

Yesterday's visit was a quick dash to buy a Christmas present;
I wasn't sure what the gift would be, but seeing as how I'd have to package and send it, I decided against any kind of fowl.
......

Thursday, December 15, 2011

......

THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT. That's who I stand in solidarity with, Reader Dear, that vast majority! The other day a friend of mine suggested I might wish to help feed the Occupiers. "You know," she said. "We can show them that we're behind them, that we support their peaceful protest."

There were three of us altogether. Mimi brought the sandwiches, Joanie brought the fruit and hot drinks (ha, I've changed their names to protect my innocent friends, who, for all I know, have neighbors or family members accustomed to weekly tea parties [possibly taking their tea with gossip and raised eyebrows]). I'd gone out and gotten a veggie tray with dip and chips and salsa.

We met outside the city,Mimi and Joanie and I, and we pooled our edibles in Mimi's car. She was the one who'd made the arrangements. "I like to do something a little out of the ordinary every year at Christmas," she'd said. She'd talked to Angela via email; none of us knew Angela, but Angela is one of the percentage that gives of her time to the Occupation, and she had pronounced the donation of a "light supper" a fine idea. We guessed our food would feed about twenty.


It was cold and dark at the corner of Chestnut and Prince. There wasn't much action. But we unloaded our meal--(boy, those sandwiches of Mimi's looked yummy!)--and trundled it across the street. A few chairs encircled an empty table, so that's where we set our offering. Very quickly, two young men materialized.
"This is some food we brought for you," Mimi explained, "because we want you to know we stand in solidarity with you. We admire you for doing this and support the cause. Did you know the food was coming?"
"Oh, yes, thank you so much!" they responded. "We were told about the food. We really appreciate it!"
Due to the lack of illumination, we detailed what we'd brought, and pointed out the hot drinks. Then we peered into the darkness. "How many people are here?" Joanie asked.
"Well, there's only four of us here right now," said one of them, "but we'll be having a meeting in about an hour, and there will be a lot more then. We really appreciate you doing this!"
My friends and I asked a couple more questions and chatted briefly. We were told that the group that actually spends the nights there had shrunk considerably since cold weather set in, and to some extent the group takes turns being there. "Except for me," said the one who seemed to be the spokesman. "I am always here."
When we took our leave, the two of them thanked us again sincerely.
But then we had more questions, of course, as soon as we'd crossed the street, climbed into the car, and pulled into traffic.


video

Which is how it happened that Mimi circled the block, pulled into an entrance where parking was absolutely prohibited, and let me hop from the car and scurry back through the darkness to present our additional queries. Which is how it developed that that tiny percentage of the large percentage, now hungrily eating, put down their sandwiches and escorted me over to a lit-up tent with additional information. Which added a few extra minutes to our conversation. Which is how I happened to climb back into Mimi's car with police supervision (and just in the nick of time). "I thought I was going to have to drive away and leave you here!" Mimi said.
Ah, Reader Dear. I stand with the ninety-nine percent, but it was cold, and those tents were dark, and thank goodness I did not have to Occupy one of them last night!
......

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

......


IT WAS AN ABSOLUTE MIRACLE!
I saw it happening!
















The sun "came up" this morning in a rush of pink!

Slightly less phenomenal an occurrence, but still enough to make me gaze upon myself with amazement (metaphorically speaking, of course): Rather spontaneously I knelt on the floor before my refrigerator and cleaned from beneath it great gobs of gunk, dust, filth or whatever one might wish to call the creepy clumps.





I used a long-handled fork to assist me. Along with the dirt, enough to start my own waste disposal company, I also retrieved the lid to a plastic container and a slightly chewed-up pink pencil labeled Tyler Wolfe*.






......
*(If you know Tyler [I don't], and see him [or her], please
tell him [or her], "She's got your pencil."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

......
ONCE THE LIGHTS WERE ON the tree, the decorating of it was a piece of (not so scorched ) cake! After all, we brought it home with one red adornment already in place.







And then, wow, I found a natural enhancement as I was stringing the lights. Inveigling its way into the very heart of the tree is a fine and lovely vine (and yes, uh-huh, I liked it, Reader Dear, even before I knew of its close attachment!)





*****
The Little Actor came for a brief visit this evening and very quickly learned a valuable Christmas lesson: All that glitters is not unbreakable!





Of course, it was far from the first thing this mite of an actor has learned; as producer-director, I'm convinced he's well on his way to reading scripts!

video
......

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

......

I BAKED TWO CAKES TODAY. The two cakes were dutifully delivered and served at a church meal this evening. The empirical evidence has all been gathered now, and here are the findings: Great blunders, how I bungle the baking of cakes! Perhaps you'll recall, Dear Reader, that interesting little chocolate number with the fall leaves that I baked for the Thanksgiving dinner. I gave a mumbled comment that it was nothing to rave about and hoped you would not ask questions, Reader Dear. I can't say for sure what went wrong, other than using fake butter (alas and tut, tut) and possibly under-baking the thing (though you can't imagine how I tortured that toothpick).



But ever the optimist (ha, I'm slightly pessimistic concerning that sentence opener), when the opportunity to contribute arose, I opted to bring two cakes.
(Openings on the needed list were limited by the time I signed up; in fact, other than bringing an "Opera singer,"
"Two cakes" was the only option.




This time I was determined to follow all instructions precisely! Use all quality ingredients, the fattest possible! Measure correctly! Not under-bake!

I made a run to the grocery store and purchased all ingredients that weren't already in my cupboards or fridge. Then, with the Christmas lights at my kitchen sink cheering me on, and the oven getting hot under its collar, I mixed up the batter for one cake. Pouring that into the pan, I rushed to mix up the second one. Into the oven with the two of them, then. The timer was set for forty minutes, since the recipe stated: Bake for 45 to 50 minutes at 350 degrees. It didn't take long to produce the cream cheese icing, but once again I made two batches, fearing my bowl would not accommodate a small truckload of confectioners' sugar.

I was very satisfied with myself, tidying up the kitchen, waiting for the timer to sound the alarm, when...with a start (or to put it more accurately, with a START) I got a whiff and a whisp of smoke! In five seconds flat I had that oven door open, those two cakes yanked from within and set on the counter to mourn over. They were scorched! As I pondered the degree to which this was the case, the timer impertinently squawked.
......
Part II. The scorching didn't seem to be extreme. It was way too late to start over. Icing covers a multitude of sins, I reckoned.
.....



While the cakes cooled I created two Christmas packages for sending (using no recipe). It was consoling.






















Part III. The cakes were iced and decorated.

Part IV. They were lugged through the cold rain to the car, transported, served to all those unsuspecting souls who--from that tempting array of six cake choices--chose mine (Dear Reader, there will always be winners in life; alas, there will also be losers)!

Part V. I lugged home the leftover third of a cake. I tasted a piece.

Part VI. As I said, Reader Dear, the evidence is in!
......

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

......

I'VE GOT SEVEN sisters-in-law. Seven. I'd wager that's more feminine siblings- in-law than the average person can boast. It happens that the great majority of these relatives came to me via The Yard Man. He's got no brothers (pity the poor man) and a whole caboodle of sisters. Two of the five live away off in other states, but the three who live in this area occasionally drop everything and have a whole wonderful day's worth of tripping around the county. These generous sises-in-law are always welcoming if I wish to join them on their excursions (lucky for me).

So this morning I set the alarm clock for seven-thirty. Sister-in-law-the-Fourth was driving, bringing Sister-in-law the First with her, picking me up at eight-fifteen; Sister-in-law-the-Fifth was meeting us here at my house. The flurry of emails the night before had included this question: Does anyone have to be home before 5 pm.?

We were fortunate, because no one had to be home before dark and, by golly, there were so many places to go! Thus we made the whole rainy day bright with conversation and piling in and out of the car, and enjoying the greenhouses, gift shops, clothing shop...oh, and that place where the Amish woman had cookies for sale in her house, and I asked to take a picture of her confections, but then I worried that camera in my pocket, cause what I really wanted like Santa wants a plate of cookies was a photo of her three tiny tots.

















And there was the cafe, of course, where we had lunch. Hurrah for the tomato pie!

This tour that we took was mostly to out-of-the-way places. My sisters-in-law had booklets filled with a list of small businesses in the county that would be easily missed by the casual tourist.
We followed directions to get to a few, and it was hard to tell what we'd find. Anything from cabbage to cotton to the world's largest wreath on the side of a barn. (There's a smidgen of a chance it was billed as only the county's largest, but you never know...) At one greenhouse, we took aim at balls atop pedestals and played a little shooting game the owner had set up, his young pig-tailed daughter watching in fascination. You see, Reader Dear, there was just no telling what we'd discover on our expedition!

video

Ever go to an art gallery in a (working) cow barn, Reader Dear?!
video
Well, when the sises-in-law dropped me off
at the end of the day, here's what we all had
to say: WHAT FUN!I said, thank you, thank you!
They said, come along again next time!(Hmm. Do me a favor, Viewer Dear. Mum's the word on these
video clips. I may have taken at least one of them on the sly).
......

Sunday, December 4, 2011

......
HERE WE ARE, the yard man and I, still at the Christmas tree farm, Reader Dear. The tractors are roaring and the horses clip-clopping, and the people milling. The yard man and I wander around a while, trying to figure out the protocol. We discover a gift shop, where they're passing out free cocoa and candy canes, a cafe set up in an empty barn, and...hmm...an area where already-cut trees are standing elegantly by, looking for all the world as though they're...for sale!

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Employees are running around like elves on the night before Christmas, but we finally snag one and ask our question: How does one go about actually GETTING a tree?
Well, we're told, one can ride a wagon-- pulled by tractor or horse--to the far reaches of the farm, where a tree of one's choosing is tagged, cut down, brought back and trimmed and tied up for the buyer. "There's an area where we have cut trees, too," explained the guy, over the din of the arriving tractor. "And any that you see with a red tag are ones that have something wrong with them--holes, misshapen--stuff like that. We get them ready for you, just like the others. They're a discounted price. But they're still nice," he added, "and they were just cut yesterday!"

video

Not so long after, the yard man was hoisting our twine-bridled tree with the lovely red tag into the truck. (It sure hadn't looked like it had any flaws to me, and the yard man was downright chipper, singing the praises of the tree farm, "This is such a great place, so nice for families, a fun experience!" He really put himself into loading that tree, too!)













......
Riding home, I bemoaned to the yard man, "I looked EVERYWHERE! That nice big tree-holder I got a couple years ago is not to be found! I searched the attic--twice! It's not in the basement, not in the storage shed! I can't imagine what happened to it!
"Did you look in the bathroom closet?" the yard man inquired.
.....
We hurried home, dropped the tree on the porch, and went off to spend the evening with that famous Little Actor, who, spotting the handmade creche I carried in the door ( built by my father a long time ago, discovered as I scoured the attic for a second time) crowed, "Barn!"and promptly filled it with horses of various sizes and a beloved sheep that looked to be on steroids.
video
......
When the Little Actor had retired for the night, I told the yard man, "I'll be back real soon," and I trundled off to Walmart for a tree stand.
......
The next day was already lurking around the door by the time the yard man and I got home, but I pounced on the idea that the tree--hog-tied and lying forlornly on the porch--should be released from it's binder twine bondage and given some water without further delay. "Just sit it in the holder, it'll only take a minute! I cajoled my yard man, "I'll take care of it from there."
He harrumphed, but heave-ho'd that tree into place.
......
I can only imagine the tree was happy for the well full of water I poured into its base. As for the untying--it gave a low rustling sigh as I snipped the string and its arms reached out further...and further...and, wow, this is a portly one, Reader Dear!


Oh, Christmas tree, O, Christmas tree, as I go off to bed, I'm smiling. How lovely are they branches.













......

Saturday, December 3, 2011

....

O, CHRISTMAS TREE, O, CHRISTMAS TREE, how lovely are thy branches (at least I've got my fingers crossed, hoping so). When I said to my yard man this morning, "We've got to go get ourselves a Christmas tree TODAY, if we're going to get one!" he got a pained look on his face. He's always been a teeny bit of a Scrooge when it comes to driving out into the far countryside and hand-hewing a tree (though I'm supposing the story would be different if he got to hitch up his big ol' horses to go fetch the tree!)

It was mid-afternoon by the time we climbed into his truck and headed north to the tree farm we visited last year. It's a long drive, and we passed a 'Closed for the Season' sign at another tree farm along the way. It didn't bode well, but I held out hope that the widow who'd previously let us carry away one of her half-orphaned trees would extend the same privilege again this year.
When we finally reached the spot, after a nervous drive through areas where men crept around with guns and visions of venison on their dinner plates, I discovered my vision of finding a tree from this particular tree farm was bound for failure: No one answered the door to say, "Sure, help yourself!"

Well, now we had a problem. My yard man was all for high-tailing it to the nearest cut-tree retail outlet, where the trees, I maintained, had all been sitting, shipped and waiting, for at least a week. No lovely tromp through a quiet stand of evergreens. No pungent scent of a tree just released from its moorings.
"Oh, please," I implored, "can't we stop at Elizabeth Farms? They are one place we passed that didn't say 'closed'..."
"We don't have much time," the yard man grumbled. "And I think it's a big production there."
"A big production?" I asked. "What do you mean, do you have to sign a contract or something to buy a tree?!" (I was verging on grumbling myself, Reader Dear!)
"You'll see," my yard man said tersely, and soon after, we pulled into the long driveway that led to Elizabeth Tree Farm.

Great towering tannenbaums, the place was a virtual city! Traffic directors pointed us toward an overflow parking lot while all around us eager tree-shoppers streamed into and out of a hub of activity.
video

From the parking lot, we found our way to the main concourse.
"My goodness," I exclaimed to the yard man. I had to speak up to be heard, "This is the Walmart of Christmas tree farms!" I (secretly) wondered if I could find Christmas-tree happiness here.

video
......
(If you're wondering yourself, Reader Dear, come back and find out on the late-season day of tomorrow...)

Friday, December 2, 2011

......

THE GREEN DRAGON. I'm now ready to tell you, Dear Reader, about this amazing farmers' market. It'd be SO much easier if you were simply to hop into my car and let me take you there to see it for yourself, because I know your eyes would be darting everywhere and your mouth would be hanging open in fascination. However...I'll do my best to describe this maze of buildings and indoor and outdoor stalls; eating places juxtaposed with stands selling underwear, used toys, or almost any kind of trinket or tool or item of clothing one can imagine.





You can expect to see some pretty odd characters at Green Dragon (and you may not expect to see it, but occasionally you can have a friend who is willing to take you up on a dare by approaching one of those colorful characters and requesting to sit on his lap!)




It's almost a guarantee, as well, you'll see many Amish and members of other plain sects.


But on to the merchandise...
video


...there is color wherever you look, Reader Dear!









And there are so many "finds." The trick is in finding them--all these items that would be neatly arranged in an organized way on shelves or racks or counters were you to go perusing your customary-plain-Jane-prim-and-proper-ho-hum retail store (Green Dragon, indeed, Reader Dear, is the genuine flip-side).

video

There's a stand where Essential Oil Blends are presented, offering "Help for Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Headaches, Skin Problems, Anxiety, Anger, Insomnia and More."
Wow! Think of it, Reader Dear, all the marriages that can be saved!
"(Grrr) UNBELIEVABLE! You did WHAT?! You can't POSSIBLY be serious....oh, wait a minute, Honey, let me dab on my "Anger" oil, and then we can talk..."

There are hundreds of vendors, and I've decided to declare there are hundreds of thousands of treasures for sale because I'm so sure that's the case; heck, I've got hundreds of thousands of photos to show, and there's so much I didn't capture!

But that's all supposition, of course. Here, Reader Dear, is a genuine FACT:
This is all you're going to see of Green Dragon today. It's late and your tour guide is a dragon...er...I mean, draggin'.
......