Friday, November 25, 2016

Why I've Seemed Busy This Last Week or Two

This is a bit complicated. About a month ago, I realized I had a gazillion Christmas cards in my shed, bought years ago when Jane and I always got them on sale after Christmas. At first I wanted to send one to everybody in my senior MHP. Then I did the postage-math and realized I didn't have $200 for that.

Next option: why can't I deliver one to each resident along with the monthly newsletter? If it went with the newsletter, I didn't want it to be just from me. So I had each member of my newsletter team give me their first-name signature (IN CURSIVE, kids!). So far, easy, right?

Here's where I didn't do all my homework.

About two weeks ago, I brought in all the cards from the shed. Because we have a great mix of residents, I didn't want to offend any one person or faith, so I put aside anything with a strongly spiritual message (these I'll send and give from me, personally, this season). It took me hours to go through all the cards. I finished with 300 that I could use. I still needed another 100. 

That costs money Thankfully I had some Swagbucks accumulated, so I used that to buy the last 100 cards plus the labels I would need to use for the signatures.

Here's where time got in the way.

I had to shop for the cards, buy the labels. Not even an hour. Early this week, I scanned each signature, cropped it, inserted each one into a box on a page, grouped them, added a message from our "team" (7 of us), and plopped them onto a Master, 10 to a page. I printed 400 labels. The graphics and the printing didn't even take an hour.

But we are delivering them this weekend and early next week. I had to do the rest quickly.

This week, I wrote, edited, and had the newsletter proofread. I made the changes and printed it, even with the laser drum issues.

In the midst of printing, I was busy peeling and sticking 400 labels onto 400 cards, and inserting them into their envelopes. That took almost 4 hours!

Yesterday, I stapled our newsletters (about 1-1/2 hours). Afterwards, I punched a hole in the corner of each card. My first few efforts were a mess. I had to use two hands to punch through the thickness of card and envelope. Then I remembered another hole punch I had lying somewhere in here. Once I found that, it was easier. Still, that took another two hours.

Today, I go to the charity crafters from 10 to Noon. When I come home, I need to rubber band the newsletters on my own delivery route (about 60 papers, now that I have help for my route). That's easy. Then I need to pull/loop rubber bands through holes in the cards for my route. When we deliver, I'll just band the card on the front porch railing first, then the newsletter.

Tomorrow morning around 7, I'll deliver my newsletters and cards. The rest of my team will fit in their own deliveries according to their own schedules.

So I've spent no money out of my own pocket on this project. I have, though, spent a lot of time. It's not an impressive year-end gesture by any means - the cards are not glamorous, the graphics and label are not professional quality. But I do know that, in here, there will be at least 50 to 100 folks for whom that might be the only card and wish for good cheer and peace that they will get this holiday season. For that reason alone, it is worth it.

Moving along. My tech guy should be here sometime this weekend to help me set up my PC tower. I am scheduled for a small craft fair on Dec 1, Thursday. That means I now need to gather the stuff I have here, tag it if need be, sort, do whatever prep is necessary. December 2, I will relax. And begin making token gifts for Christmas...

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