This season I have been blessed with a great creative opportunity. A semi-large installation that will be featured on my Aunt and Uncle’s back patio. Projects like these are my absolute most favorite to undertake. I will be honest: projects like these are extremely challenging. It is crucial to manage your time and break every part of the work down into manageable bits. You also have to ask others’ for help when shopping. The best part about living in a pleasant community -minus the road rage- is the department stores are staffed with helpful people.

Gathering materials in shopping madness.

Trick: Go as early in the morning as possible.

As a slight introvert I tend to have an aversion to large crowds and screaming children. How I combat this during the holiday turmoil is seek out 24 hour grocery stores and food establishments. Then I visit those stores right as the sun is peaking over the horizon. I recommend if you hate long queues, small talk, and traffic do all your shopping at 5am or earlier- if possible. Just drink an extra cup of coffee- you’ll be fine.

I called ahead of time to this particular Home Depot to make sure their lumber cutting service was available at 6am. Don’t judge, but yesss, I had been up since 4am waiting for stores to open… Thankfully there was a certified employee available that day at that hour, lucky me! The following comic is pretty much how my visit went:

I misjudged how large and heavy a piece of thin plywood would be and *smushed* myself. Bewildered employees inquired if I needed any assistance, “No no I’m okay, thank you.” I then dragged my material to the back of the store. I needed to seek out the “skilled one with the buzz saw” to cut down this 4ft by 5ft piece to 33inx32in.

I’m not use to asking people for help. I’m one of those: “NO I don’t want to ask an employee where the light bulbs are, I’ll find them”- types. I had no problem getting the lumber cut at this Home Depot because the employees were very friendly. Carrying it out of the store was, again, resulting in bumbling about. WHY would one want to use a cart? Just seemed too logical at the time. I made it to the car without breaking the important project materials. Maybe I dropped my cell phone but the screen was already flickering so…

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