Thursday, April 5, 2012

Deals from Deals and My Porch the Helicopter Pad

Hi Dears,

Dan and I have been working hard getting the garden in shape this spring. Monday after I finished up planting seeds and putting a few plants in pots, I swept away the old leaves, dirt and mulch off of my porch and called it a day.  We looked proudly at what we had done.  The next morning, I made my little breakfast and decided to take it out to my neat little porch to enjoy my handiwork and opened the door to discover that Mother Nature had had some fun with me, there were maple keys (winged seeds) all over the place in a greater abundance than I have ever seen them!  You know, the things we called helicopters when we were kids.  We don't have a maple tree, but they blew over from a neighbors tree.  After eating my breakfast I grabbed a broom and began to sweep them up and picking them out of the pots I had so painstakingly made perfect just the day before. The place is also dripping in catkins from my oak tree, pollen everywhere.
I thought this was a lot when I took the picture, I have since decided that sweeping them up is just plain silly, at least until the tree has shed them all.

A nice pile of helicopters and lots of oak catkins thrown in for good measure.

Yesterday, I went outside and found twice as many helicopters and decided that sweeping them up at this point was a loosing battle.  I happened to be outside when Tristan came home from middle school and reminded me what they are really for, not for grumping about or trying to clean up, but for fun!  He began picking them up and flinging them into the air, and a big smile came over his face.  When did I grow up and think these things are for anything but tossing joyfully into the air?  Thank goodness Tristan pulled me back from the abyss of adulthood, at least where helicopters are involved. 

My Deals

I don't know if you have a Deals where you are, but we do have them around here.  Deals similar to the many Dollar Stores springing up all over, except Deals also has items that are not a dollar, but still reasonably priced. 

So I was over there killing some time while I waited on some printing I was having done at the UPS store nearby and I found a couple of interesting items that I just had to share.  First of all, I found a 35 light string of LED lights that are, get this, solar powered!  So I picked up one pack to try them out.  I figured if they are as cool as I hope they are, I'll get a couple more packs.  And guess cool as I hoped!  They are attached to a little solar panel on a steak, that you just stick into the ground and leave it in the sun an when the sun goes down and, voila!  Little shining lights!  They are that blue colored light that we have come to expect form LED's and my son said when he leaves in the morning and it's still dark out they have run out of power, but they last as long as any outdoor evening fun, so I'm really happy with them.  I strung them along the edge of my little deck.
35 LED solar powered lights from Deals $5.00

Now this next item is actually pretty silly, but I knew it was when I bought it.  What can you expect from a Tarot deck that cost $1.00?   But I collect many decks, they are like little art galleries and when I saw it, I figured, "What the heck?"  And the box it said (and I can't read this line without hearing a mysterious voice from and old horror movie) "Read your friends minds!"

The mysterious "$1.00 Tarot"

It reminded me of the adds in the back of the comic book that claimed Sea Monkeys look like little people or x-ray glasses can see through your hand! 
When I got them home I pulled them out, they feel kind of cheap, and that's probably because they are uncoated cards, it's a printer thing.  The art is very stylized but dynamic, red, black and a cream color, they actually look kind of rock-n-roll. The card backs were actually kind of cool as well.
The art was actually simple but cool, although the printing is cheap.  It was actually worth about $1.00, so I didn't feel ripped off at all.

They have included some of the Rider Waite-Smith symbolism, most of the images are re imagined and close up giving it a funky comic book feel.   The major arcana and the aces are illustrated and have definitions for the past, present and future written right on the card, and that may be annoying to some, but it eliminates the need for a booklet and helps new readers.  The minor arcana have no pictorial references or definitions either, just literally three cups, or five pentacles.  A seasoned reader could probably use them, not that they would probably want to, but a kid or newbie picking them up will be disappointed unless they have another book for definitions for the pips.  Although we should remember that the decks of true antiquity have only the majors illustrated.  It does have a little pamphlet that tells you how to use them for a "tarot game" and a fold out spread for the game. 

According to the back of the packaging it was designed by Docc Hilford and John Stetson, both mentalists.  It does make me curious about the artist who designed them, probably an in-house artist working for the printer or something, they seldom get credit.  It takes some talent to create interesting art with so few colors.  This deck will go on the shelf along with my others.

Well, that's all for now, I'm off to work on sketches for my upcoming tarot deck Mystical Cats Tarot.