Gift Ideas and Jackal Maker Showcase Open Thread

First, check out this fabulous Red-Shouldered Hawk who visited earlier this week and was kind enough to hang around for a photo-op:

I think it’s a juvenile. It was engaging in obnoxious youngling behavior like flying at similarly-sized wading birds and generally disrupting its fellow fauna. Plus, I think I spotted a helicopter-parenting adult nearby.

Anyhoo, holiday gifts: Since I put out a call for gift ideas the other day (and thank you for the many great suggestions), I’ve had a couple of requests to put up a thread where people can discuss gift ideas and where jackals who create nifty things can HAWK their wares. (Get it? No need to jostle; I’ll show myself out, thank you.)

So, have at it. Also, open thread!

113 replies
  1. 1
    SFAW says:

    I think I’m getting an idea for what happened to your chickens …

    Beautiful picture, and (for real) sorry about your chickens’ demise.

  2. 2
  3. 3
    rikyrah says:

    Adam Best (@adamcbest) Tweeted:
    @samstein Nobody got killed because the crimes that allowed Trump to win the election? What about Heather Heyer? The Capital Gazette journalists? Parkland & Pittsburgh? The little girl border patrol let die of dehydration? Hurricane Maria victims? People who died because ACA was sabotaged?

  4. 4
    MomSense says:


    Oh no!

    Betty I’m very sorry about your chickens.

    I don’t have any hand knit items that are already made at the moment (except for a couple random baby hats) but if someone wants a small hand knit item to gift, like mittens or hats or baby things, I could make them for you.

  5. 5
    rikyrah says:

    If you’re interested in natural soaps and stuff, our own satby makes a wonderful gift basket. Have had nothing but rave reviews from everyone that I have given them too.😊

  6. 6
    Rob says:

    I’m sorry about your chickens too.

    The hawk is an adult, as it has the full panoply of orange-y feathers on the underparts and a perfect black and white pattern on the wing feathers. It’s a very nice-looking bird.

  7. 7
    tobie says:

    Oh cool. Now I know where the red-shouldered hawk winters and replenishes its ranks. I usually start to see them in Maryland in March. A few years ago a friend of mine even spotted one in Central Park. The young one in this picture already has a regal look.

  8. 8

    OMG, @BetttyCracker – what happened to your chickens??

    I dealt with raccoons and a juvenile coopers hawk this summer and fall – only a juvenile would be dumb enough to go after ducks with dogs in the backyard – but those damn raccoons terrified me re:the ducks.

  9. 9
    HeleninEire says:

    So I’m fresh out of a Christmas party with my girls. We were there for 4 hours. When I first came here I could not believe how much time people spent in restaurants after coffee was consumed and the bill was paid. They sit there for at least another hour. I kind of got used to it after I was the first one to leave after my first 10 dinners here. Anyway I don’t know if this is an Irish thing or a European thing. Jesus Christ, dinner is over.

    I was in charge tonight and said “should I get the bill?” Yes, everyone said. So I paid the bill and put on my coat as they all were saying “You’re going? We’re having another one” It was like I was the party pooper and I’m the best partier ever.

    Time to go home. Bitches.

  10. 10

    @rikyrah: Rave reviews, I assume. Rave!

    I have books for sale. YA and middle grade fantasy that adult readers seem to enjoy too (stinger, MaryG, frex).

  11. 11
    Ian G. says:

    My two favorite bird sightings from my trip to Everglades National Park 3 years ago were a pileated woodpecker who wasn’t so much as pecking at a dead tree by Flamingo visitor center as ripping it to pieces, and a red shouldered hawk that went shooting like a missile past me on the boardwalk of the Anhinga trail. Florida wildlife is so exotic for this lifelong northeasterner.

  12. 12

    Well, I have a book, too. Still weird to say that. Here’s the blog link, you can read excerpts, see if it’s your thing.

    I had a little surprise at the end of November – I’ve sold more books than people I actually know. LOL

    Link to book

    Two more books in work for the spring/summer. And I’m revising a cookbook I started years ago and hope to finish that soon.

  13. 13
    MattF says:

    Ever read H is for Hawk? A great book.

  14. 14
    West of the Rockies says:

    Pretty bird, but I think hawks are kind of A-holes. Blue jays, too. Loud, aggressive resource piglets.

    Hmmm… Sort of like the Trumps.

  15. 15
    MazeDancer says:

    Introducing new “PostCards for Friends”. A gift subscription full of surprises.

    Every other month, for 6 months, a surprise package of original PostCards, celebrating a theme, arrives at your friend’s. The first theme is “Right Action”.

    We will email you a beautiful gift announcement you can wrap and put under the tree. Or email same to your friend. Since every package is a surprise, you can also be your own excellent friend, and gift yourself.

    More here:

    Also, at the bottom of that page, are 3 free Gift Announcements for everyone.

    1) Make every gift a last-minute gift.
    Say you find just the right thing in this thread, or perhaps you procrastinate ordering, so no time to get it there. Print up a gift announcement, describe perfect gift, wrap it up, or use provided pretty second page to turn it into a gift scroll.

    Everyone has permission to use the PDF anyway you like. Put ’em on your websites, makers, stretch out your gift-shopping time.

    2) Worthy cause gift announcements
    Give to a great cause in someone’s name. Wrap up a gift announcement to put under the tree.

    May be trying to offset expenses of Political PostCards a bit, but gotta give stuff away, too.

    Not free, but really inexpensive: Holiday Cards. Even have on for Solstice:

  16. 16

    @TaMara (HFG): I went back and found Betty’s original comment. Now I’m sad for Betty’s birds. It does feel odd to mourn a backyard fowl, but they are funny and quirky and just make the backyard better. I missed all the years I didn’t have ducks and am glad that these two found me.

  17. 17

    @MattF: I listened to that on audio book and enjoyed it. Afterwards, I heard some sort of horrifying reports on how the author really treated her hawk. I can’t remember the detail. I think I chose not to.

  18. 18
    Betty Cracker says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Here’s the original announcement. No predators or discernible disease got them. I think it was age and the stress of relocating. We just lost them one by one in fairly rapid succession. 🙁

  19. 19
    debit says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Link?

    ETA: Never mind.

    Betty, I’m so sorry.

  20. 20

    @TaMara (HFG): I read Run Aground and enjoyed it. Gotta love a book that’s set in a funeral home in Peoria.

  21. 21
    debit says:

    @Betty Cracker: So, is everyone getting you a chick for Christmas?

  22. 22
    WereBear says:

    Kitty fans! Kindle lovers!

    Get my book:

    The Way of Cats: How to use their instincts to train, understand, and love them

    Print version still in progress, stay tuned.

  23. 23
    debbie says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    Aww, I’m so sorry.

  24. 24
    MattF says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Ugh. Unreliable narrators are a plague.

  25. 25
    Tom Levenson says:

    Not exactly maker-fodder, but I did in fact write a couple of books folks might like as stocking stuffers.

    Here’s the link to my Amazon Author’s page.

    I’d love anyone who might enjoy any of these to get a chance to read it/them. I’ll note, though, that I only make money off of The Hunt for Vulcan and Einstein in Berlin (which is sadly only available as an electronic book). But they’re all fun (I hope) and interesting (I really hope).

  26. 26

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Thank you! Your first one is on my nightstand. Sigh. Along with a few others.

  27. 27

    Also, just as an aside, if you read something and enjoy it, you give the author a big gift by reviewing the book on Amazon and/or Goodreads. The review can be very short (I enjoyed this book). It doesn’t have to 5 star. The issue is that Amazon uses the sheer number of reviews as part of its algorithm for which books to promote. Also some sites ( Book Bub, frex) require that a book have a certain number of reviews before you can promote on there.

  28. 28
    MazeDancer says:


    “Something being knit just for you” is the perfect case for using one of the free gift announcements at

    Hire MomSense to knit something nice. And wrap up the gift announcement heralding its arrival. There is even one that says the perfect gift is on special order.

    (Scroll to bottom of page:


    Satby’s soaps and lotions are divine. If any BJ folks have been reading about them, without trying them, you are missing out. Here’s her store:

  29. 29
    ruemara says:

    I’ve had some art stuff on zazzle etc. but I’m at work.

  30. 30
    jeffreyw says:

    I’m a flashlight geek and this thing is my fave for everyday carry. I use these batteries in it, they are not for continuous use because the light will overheat but it makes the little light into a fucking lightsaber. They are the same size as a AAA alkaline but higher voltage.

  31. 31
    jeffreyw says:

    I’m a flashlight geek and this thing is my fave for everyday carry. I use these batteries in it, they are not for continuous use because the light will overheat but it makes the little light into a fucking lightsaber. They are the same size as a AAA alkaline but higher voltage.

  32. 32
    MomSense says:


    Oh cool. Satby’s Stuff is wonderful.

    Sorry I haven’t been helping with postcards but locally they count on me to make lots of calls. Postcards sound more fun!

  33. 33
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    As it’s an open thread, I’ll just leave this here — mostly for Tony Jay and SloaneRanger and RJud and litlebritdifrnt — but really for anyone paying the least attention to Brexit.

  34. 34
    Aleta says:

    nice boid

  35. 35
    Steeplejack says:

    I was late to that other thread about gifts for people who don’t need anything. I second the recommendation to get them something consumable: wine, cheese, some particular thing they are known to like—or might like.

    Last year I bought my brother a three-pack sampler of infused olive oils. Got more positive feedback on that than I have on some big-ticket items. Hmm, there’s an idea: I might get him some Penzeys spices this year. There’s a store just a few miles from me.

    There is also the gift of time: doing something for the person or helping them do something to make it go easier or faster: babysitting, dog-walking, help with a chore, etc.

  36. 36
    ruemara says:

    Oh, wait. You can listen to the Ostium audiodrama here at libsyn, which helps the podcast. 5 star reviews help us out as well, on any podcast platform you listen to. If you really like us, subscribe on Patreon and listen to the embarrassing outtakes of my recordings the creator puts up behind the scenes. We should be doing subscriber only side stories next year and I’m hoping some will be the shorts I’ve written in that world.
    I do a terrible job of promoting it because I’m very burnt out from promoting at my actual job 5 days a week, but for 2019, I promise to do the work of repping my work.

    And if you’d like a purty picture on a thingy, you can buy a purty picture of a thing on a thing through my Smugmug site. This is the flora gallery, but there’s also a wildlife gallery.
    Anything you buy feeds kittens. Won’t someone please, think of the kittens?! Kitty would like to know why you are neglecting thinking of kittens.

  37. 37
    Old Dan and Little Ann says:

    @HeleninEire: A-fucking-men. I used to lose my shit going out to bday dinner with my wife and her friends. Stfu already. Luckily everyone has kids now so I get to stay home in peace during these occasions. Slainte.

  38. 38
    ruemara says:

    I also sent out a reasonable cookie recipe with the last gofundme update. They are very nice for gifting to people.

  39. 39
    randy khan says:

    Mulvaney has been named acting Chief of Staff. AP sez

    “Acting.” Hmm.

  40. 40
    dmsilev says:

    Newsbreak: Apparently Mick Mulvaney drew the short straw and gets to be the next person chewed up and spat out by the job of being Trump’s (interim) chief of staff.

    He deserves it. Every last bit of humiliation and likely criminal-liability exposure, he deserves.

  41. 41
    Comrade Colette Collaboratrice says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: DAW, a blunt question: which earns the author more – paperback or Kindle?

    I second the recommendations for satby’s lovely soaps.

  42. 42
    Mnemosyne says:


    It may be an Irish thing. I went to my spouse’s cousin’s wedding on the 7/8ths Irish side of the family and they defeated the staff at Caesar’s Palace who wanted them to leave the banquet room after the party was over.

    First they turned on all of the lights. The family kept talking.

    Then the staff cleared all of the tables — no food or drinks left. The family kept talking.

    Finally, the staff started vacuuming the room … but the family kept talking.

    Eventually, the staff just left because it was basically a bunch of middle-aged and older people standing around talking with no additional alcohol consumption, and it was already 11 at night so the room wasn’t needed again until the next day. They just asked the father of the bride to make sure the door was closed when the group finally left. And he did. 😂

  43. 43
    Betty Cracker says:

    @debit: I’m out of the domestic bird biz for the foreseeable future. There are tons more predators out here in the boonies, so I was worried about that all the time. Think I’ll just enjoy the wild birds and remember my chooks fondly.

  44. 44
    MomDoc says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Great comment! It’s so true. I have to do better about reviewing the products of friends and independent writers to help publicize their content.

    I have now published several journals on Amazon for those of you who enjoy using them. I also have several planners for 2019 with more of each coming soon. Hopefully, by the middle of 2019, I will have my first novel published there.

    Here is the link to my Amazon author page: They have been published under my blog name (Life: The Reboot) that I started after my kidney transplant last year. December 26 is my first anniversary!

    I missed the first post about Betty’s birds but I am sorry to hear about their fate.

  45. 45
    Mike in NC says:

    Chris Christie has turned down being Chief of Staff.

  46. 46
    Betty Cracker says:

    @dmsilev: I was kinda hoping Jared would draw the short straw.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:


    for 2019, I promise to do the work of repping my work.

    Other than flacking all of us jackals about it … why? Let someone else do the work if you don’t have the time or inclination. PR professionals need to feed their pets, too, and they actually enjoy the work.

  48. 48
    debbie says:

    @randy khan:

    Hopefully, he won’t act like an asshole.

  49. 49
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Ugh ugh ugh. Trump has named the odious Mick Mulvaney as his new CoS. Ugh. UGH.

  50. 50
    randy khan says:


    That would require some serious change in his approach to life.

  51. 51
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I suspect that someone in Trump’s legal staff managed to convey that any family member that Trump tried to appoint would have to undergo a rigorous background check as required by law in order to accept even a temporary appointment, so they all backed out.

  52. 52

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice: In my experience with small presses, I get about the same amount for a paperback or e-books–about $1 per book. It may be different with big presses or self-publishers.

  53. 53
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: Because we are a small indy outfit, no one gets paid except by the rare times we have leftover in the pot after podcast expenses are covered and you really have to understand I do not have advocates for my creative work. I have people who use me when they’re broke & pay others when they have money. No one will rep me but me and that’s the issue with hustle. You have to get to a level to have a PR person.

  54. 54

    @Mnemosyne: So is Mulvaney still going to be budget director? Everyone seems to be juggling multiple jobs. Except for the TV- watcher/tweeter/golfer in the WH of course.

  55. 55
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Comrade Colette Collaboratrice:

    As DAW said, it really depends on the publisher. I’ve heard that people who are contracted with big publishers usually get screwed on the eBook sales.

    People who self-publish on Kindle often don’t bother with a paperback copy, because it’s money out of their pockets to produce one.

  56. 56
    Jane2 says:

    @TaMara (HFG): How did I miss this! Ordered – Merry Xmas to me!

  57. 57
    randy khan says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor:

    That’s my question, too. I’d think that being CoS would be incompatible with any other job, but it’s not like they have a whole bunch of qualified people jumping up and down to do it. It’s possible the “Acting” label is intended to let him keep his current jobs, or maybe he’s really just stepping in temporarily while they look for someone who’s not obviously unqualified to take the job on a permanent basis. (I’m fascinated that Christie took the humiliation interview, but maybe he thought Jared had a change of heart.)

  58. 58
    Martin says:

    @jeffreyw: For a higher-end gift, I recommend the FourSevens Prion P1 – same size as the one you linked to, but 4x brighter (100 vs 28 lumens). Or for someone looking for a safety light, the Mini MK III. It’s only 2 inches long, so considerably shorter than the Streamlight, but a bit fatter, but will throw off 900 lumens, which will pretty much wake the neighbors. Those old 4 D cell Maglights would put out 98 lumens, by comparison. Thought a lot easier to beat someone to death with the Maglight, unlike the little 1 oz Mini.

  59. 59
    Jane2 says:

    @WereBear: Do you have an ETA? I can make up a “You’re going to receive” card as the recipient is a luddite.

  60. 60
    frosty fred says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Thanks for the reminder, I was feeling kind of last-minute shopping for my niece but now she has a book on the way.

  61. 61
  62. 62
    trollhattan says:

    It is a nice boid!

    Last year I was working on our fish pond, which is hemmed in between garage and fence, plus trees. Bird flies down and alights on the pond edge, just in front of me (startled the hell out of me, too). Because it was facing the pond I got the chance to study it–about the size of a robin, mostly brown with mottling and stripes, and the beak and eyes of a hawk. I was completely stumped. It turned, saw me and burst into the air in a flash and a chirp. Perched in the powerlines for awhile but never approached the pond again.

    My best guess was a merlin. Too bad my camera was in a drawer fifty feet away. Another time, killing time between soccer matches I stalked a redtail into a stand of oaks, camera in hand. To both our surprises he flew down from the tree, landing at my feet. Looked at me, realized his mistake and got the hell out of there before I could even lift the camera. They’re big.

    Fvcking birds.

  63. 63
    MattF says:

    @dmsilev: Meh. I was rooting for Sean Hannity.

  64. 64

    @frosty fred: You are a literate gentleman and a good uncle. :-)

  65. 65
    Brachiator says:

    @ruemara: As an aside, I think you mentioned “If Peale Street Could Talk” as a movie you are anticipating. It’s been getting a lot of positive buzz, and I ran into a very warm review here: Another Cinematic Wonder from Barry Jenkins

    Moonlight director Barry Jenkins returns with If Beale Street Could Talk, an adaptation of the novel by James Baldwin. Romantic and tragic, Beale Street is gorgeous and emotionally stirring – the type of movie that only comes along every so often.


  66. 66
    Mnemosyne says:


    Okay, fair enough. It was sounding like you thought it was somehow morally better to rep for yourself rather than hiring someone and I was like, “Nnnnoooooo!” Because that’s how indies drive themselves crazy, or land themselves in the hospital.

    Have you sent out new agent queries for your screenwriting now that you have a short film and a few spec scripts under your belt? By law in California, they can’t charge you anything until they sell your work and then get to take their 10 percent. Let them hustle the work you’ve already completed while you create more work.

  67. 67
    A Ghost To Most says:

    Almost done with the brass latches on the leather bag that holds my newly adorned pipe case and case for my tin. Black leather and brass.
    The pipe case looks like a gremlin is crawling out of it; head, arm, and tail are showing. The leather case for the tin has a Cooley bird, complete with red eye.

    Once it is complete, probably this weekend, I will figure out how to post pictures. I am really pleased with how it turned out.

  68. 68
    namekarB says:

    Well as long as we are posting about gift ideas, here is my shameless commercialization of my water color art. One can order an image on posters, post cards, tot bags, coffee mugs, throw pillows and shower curtains or just about anything else.

    Or you can browse some stuff from real artists at

  69. 69
    trollhattan says:

    @jeffreyw: @Martin:
    Orrr, Olight S1R. It’s bloody grrreat {/Willy from Simpsons}

  70. 70
    opiejeanne says:

    @SFAW: Betty’s chickens are no more? Oh no!

    I missed the announcement somehow.

  71. 71
    HeleninEire says:

    @Mnemosyne: I asked an Irish friend tonight and while she wasn’t absolutely sure she thinks it’s an Irish thing too.

  72. 72

    @namekarB: You’re in Barrington? We moved there (here?) in July.

  73. 73
    Martin says:

    @trollhattan: The S1R is very similar to the Mini MKIII (same LED, same battery). Mostly aesthetic differences. I’ve never owned an Orlight, but my FourSevens lights are basically indestructible. Orlight is a bit cheaper, though.

  74. 74
    Mnemosyne says:


    I was a little worried at first when I saw a summary of the plot, but then I saw it was Barry Jenkins and I was like, “Okay, I’m in.”

    Because possibly the thing I loved most about Moonlight was that Jenkins went the very radical route of letting those two characters have a happy ending. That was EXTREMELY radical, for two Black, gay characters to get to be happy together. Killing off the Black and/or gay protagonist at the end is such a cliche at this point that for the last 5 minutes of the movie, I was praying that there was not going to be a last-minute drive-by shooting or something to make it “realistic.” And he didn’t fold to those expectations — he had the courage of his convictions and made an unabashedly romantic movie with an optimistic ending.

    So now I’m willing to see Beale Street because I know that Jenkins won’t give me a cheap downer ending just because he “should.”

  75. 75
    Yutsano says:

    @randy khan: Unpossible. CoS is one full-time gig. It will eat up 25 hours of his days 8 days a week. All he could do is plop in ideological actings (and he’s already an acting at CFPB so he can’t just name his replacement) while he does this detail. Even trying to do two as it is must already be exhausting him.

  76. 76

    @Steeplejack: Great idea. I also try to give people something local, like maple syrup made in the next town, or blueberry wine made locally. Or home made. I make several variations of a hot, sour and sweet cranberry chutney (with mango or pineapple, or apple) or hot pickled cranberries made with spices from India. East meets west (east coast of United States meet west coast of India)

  77. 77
    TS (the original) says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: A shortage of people who want to work in the WH for this president*/family is not a surprise to anyone except himself – and the minions take on extra work so they don’t have to tell him of this fact.

  78. 78
    NotMax says:


    Hannity voluntarily walk away from a seven (or maybe eight) figure income? Not in this space-time continuum.

  79. 79

    @BetttyCracker@top: I suggest increasing the saturation just a bit, works well to bring out birds color.

    If you’ve liked my pics here at Balloon Juice; there’s Great News, you can purchase one for you or your loved ones for the holidays. Either click on nym or here. If you’ve seen one here that’s not for sale, drop me an email on my web site.

  80. 80
    A Ghost To Most says:

    I back fitted my trusty Maglites with LED bulbs. Much brighter, batteries last longer. Still heavy enough.

  81. 81
    opiejeanne says:

    @Betty Cracker: I’m so sorry to hear about your chickens; I really enjoyed hearing about them and worried over their safety when you had to evacuate for the hurricane.

    I am plotting to get two or three but first I have to provide them with a safe environment. We have coyotes trotting down the road in the middle of the day, bald eagles hunting small animals including kitties and small dogs, and raccoons. Oh, and there’s a weasel living a couple of doors down the street and a bobcat as well. The bear hasn’t been seen recently and The only thing missing are opossums, but we don’t seem to have those here.

  82. 82
    trollhattan says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Did that with a three D-cell Maglight we inherited from the inlaws and it’s quite transformed into a useful, if Very Large flashlight. Handy if I ever run into one of the backyard raccoons.

  83. 83

    @Yutsano: They can do it because they don’t actually do what the job requires, because they are both evil and ignorant of what the requirements might be

  84. 84
    dmsilev says:

    @Yutsano: He’s done at CFPB; his deputy got confirmed by the Senate last week. She’s one of his acolytes, so don’t expect any deviation from the “trash the place” program. He still is (I think) the permanent director of the budget office, so I guess that one will get an interim director. Or not. Who the hell knows any more?

  85. 85
    Luthe says:

    Well, if we’re supposed to be plugging our art & such, would y’all mind taking a wander over to my Redbubble store? Lots of pretty pictures of far away places (well far away for most of us). More being added soon!

  86. 86
    Steeplejack says:


    Do you have a link for the MKIII? Nothing showing up (as available) on Amazon.

  87. 87
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @trollhattan: Maglites make excellent clubs, if needed. I don’t know about those new fangled tactical jobs.

  88. 88
    Brachiator says:


    Because possibly the thing I loved most about Moonlight was that Jenkins went the very radical route of letting those two characters have a happy ending.

    That’s part of it. But the cinematic poetry of the movie is in how displays its characters with such vibrancy, affection and surprise. And simply at the audience enjoyment level, the movie makes you want the protagonist to find someone in the world to love him as much as he wants to love.

    So now I’m willing to see Beale Street because I know that Jenkins won’t give me a cheap downer ending just because he “should.”

    You might even be able to work in some time to read the James Baldwin novel, on which the film is based.

    Hmmm, Jenkins wrote the screenplay as well as directed. Adapted Screenplay Oscar nod, perhaps?

  89. 89
    jacy says:

    I offer prints of my art in my Etsy shop:

    I also do custom pet portraits.

  90. 90
    ljdramone says:


    about the size of a robin, mostly brown with mottling and stripes, and the beak and eyes of a hawk.

    Description sounds good for a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk. They and their larger cousin the Cooper’s Hawk are fairly common visitors to North American yards where there’s bird activity. We regularly have Cooper’s and sharpies in our backyard in Baltimore, MD.

  91. 91
    ruemara says:

    @Mnemosyne: No. I haven’t. Because much like my anxiety in making the car repairs from this years sets of accidents, I have no idea what to do. I have checks from the companies and I’ve let them expire because I’m overextended, tired and really clueless on what I’m supposed to do after I get the insurance company to say, here’s money to repair shit. I’ve done some scripts, I plan to do more, I just don’t know how that translates into being worthy of someone repping me.

    @opiejeanne: Maybe a covered chicken run area for grazing and a very sturdy chicken house?

  92. 92
    jeffreyw says:

    @Martin: I still have a functional 5 cell Kel-Lite, it lurks behind the front door, pretending to be a baseball bat.

  93. 93
    Steeplejack says:


    The chutney sounds good. I can’t really picture the cranberries. Maybe you’ll post some recipes at some point?

    Reading this thread, I’ve been thinking that there are things you could give someone that would be a big treat to them but you might overlook because they’re no big deal to you.

    Example: My brother loves Wegmans, but the closest one to us is past “convenient” and into the “hassle to go there” zone. He has a stressful job and two little kids, so he hardly ever makes the trip. But there are things he can get only at Wegmans or that he prefers to get there. I have much more free time, so it’s not a big deal for me to drive out there. Eh, I don’t do it very often, but in a good cause . . .

    Also, for anyone here in NoVA, I’ll throw out a recommendation for the Red Truck Bakery in Marshall, VA. It’s about 40 miles out Route 66 from the Beltway. Great stuff! They sell some things by mail, but they have a much bigger selection on site. If you go out there and you want some particular thing, it’s good to call ahead and order it for pickup. I’m going out there next Wednesday!

  94. 94
    satby says:

    Oh, thanks for the very kind words everyone! (Blushing)

    @Steeplejack: and those “gift of time” gifts are beautifully announced through one of MazeDancer’s lovely PDFs.

    Everyone has such and skilz! I’ve previously purchased lovely prints from both ruemara and BillinCA, and MomSense knit my hat for the first Women’s march! I’m hoping to get a few more gifts from this thread too.

  95. 95
    MazeDancer says:


    Please check the free PDF download gift announcements. Possibly they would work. Scroll to the bottom of the page:

  96. 96
    jeffreyw says:

    @A Ghost To Most:
    Yeah, same here. I was nostalgic for my mag lights, carried one on my hip at work for years. Flashlight tech took a giant step forward with lithium batteries and leds. And I’ve not relied on old school lights since I picked up one the new breed.

  97. 97
    namekarB says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor: Nope: Northeast of Sacramento in California. However, if one is on the Moon looking at Earth, Sacramento would look pretty close to Barrington

  98. 98
    jeffreyw says:

    @trollhattan: I did that to one of mine, I went with the plastic sabots so the light could take AAs. Serious reduction in weight, along with the same in run time.

  99. 99
    Suburban Mom says:

    @satby: Do you have a link for ordering? I know I had gotten some of your soap from an Etsy shop but haven’t been able to find it again.

  100. 100
    J R in WV says:

    @Ian G.:

    My two favorite bird sightings from my trip to Everglades National Park 3 years ago were a pileated woodpecker who wasn’t so much as pecking at a dead tree by Flamingo visitor center as ripping it to pieces, and a red shouldered hawk that went shooting like a missile past me on the boardwalk of the Anhinga trail. Florida wildlife is so exotic for this lifelong northeasterner.

    I have to tell you, both of those birds are really common right here in SW West Virginia. I see pileated woodpeckers most times I walk in the woods. They indeed do destroy dead trees, like a big hammer on an excavator doing old concrete material into sand and pebbles.

    Hawks of all sorts inhabit the middle Appalachian mountains, including red shouldered predator birds. They’re a little more shy than the Pileated woodpeckers, but they’re around none-the-less.

  101. 101
    NotMax says:


    Click on satby’s name in any of her comments to be sent to da right place.

  102. 102
    MazeDancer says:

    @Suburban Mom:

    Posted it up thread. But here it is again:

    Great stuff!

  103. 103
    NotMax says:


    Oopsie, got my moms mixed. That ought to read Suburban Mom.

  104. 104
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Mike in NC:
    I knew it!

  105. 105
    VeniceRiley says:

    I bought some motion sensor magnet LED light bars that stick to the wall with usb rechargeable batteries. make good small gifts for folks’ house dark spots (laundry room is mine) and good way to light the path to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Oh, and my resto/brewery bought a canner. so 32oz craft tap beers in holiday festive cans for coworkers!

  106. 106
    noncarborundum says:

    I’m a little late to the party here (a perennial problem for me), but I have a shop at CafePress that sells t-shirts, mugs and assorted tchotchkes, mostly with sayings in dead and imaginary languages (Latin, Egyptian, Sumerian, Klingon). If you have anyone on your list who’s a language nerd, you might want to check it out.

  107. 107

    @namekarB: Hm. The site must be showing my location rather than yours.

  108. 108
    tokyocali (formerly tokyo expat) says:

    I’m late to the party as well. You’d think being 17 hours ahead of PST that I’d be able to arrive first.

    I am terrible at promotion, but know I need to get better. So, I will use this thread to hawk my wares as well. If anyone is looking for a romantic suspense story to read over the holidays, please consider my novel, Killer Secrets, part of my Dangerous Encounters series, which has received a brand new cover, courtesy of my publisher. The second novel in this series, Killer Lies, is available for pre-order. It will be released in January, I am told (and not December as is currently posted). Next year, Killer Deceptions will follow and I’m currently at work on Killer Vows.

    As @Dorothy A. Winsor: stated above, if you can leave a review, it helps an author immensely in getting wider viewership on sites like Amazon.


  109. 109
    Mnemosyne says:


    It’s possible that in the new year I may get to know some people who know people. I’ll sniff around and see what’s what.

  110. 110
    Mnemosyne says:


    If a movie I want to see is based on a book, I usually try to read the book second. Otherwise, I just get mad at the movie for what it left out or changed.

    Reading One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and then watching the movie basically cured me of that, because the movie is ridiculously shallow compared to the book, and yet it was a very acclaimed movie that I could not appreciate because it was so different from the book.

  111. 111
    Suburban Mom says:

    @MazeDancer: Thanks!

  112. 112
    LibraryGuy says:

    Late to the party, but a year ago a lot of you Balloon Juicers helped us save our store by shopping with us at Woodstock Reveries and a year later we recreated our store on our new front porch and can still ship gifts before Christmas!

    You can click on my name to take you to the store website.

    We carry artists who make jewelry from semi-precious stones, designer handbags and totes, and a wide variety of crystals. All of our gifts are cruelty-free and a portion of the proceeds of each sale go to various animal rescues and charities.

    And thank you again, from Rhea and Tom and our pup Benny, for helping us when we needed it most!

  113. 113
    susanna says:

    Late entry, sorry.
    If you want something in $50+ range, for any or no reason, try (friend sent me 4 giant peonies last spring) or Manhattan for fruits, cookies, treats. Both are exceptional quality.

Comments are closed.