Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Candle Shopping.

"Yankee Candle" is to candles what Starbucks is to coffee - you can hate it, but you can't escape it. The difference is you can actually get tasty overpriced coffee at Starbucks, while Yankee Candles are mostly disgusting. Not all of them, but most of them. Their Christmas collection is a case in point - there are no pure, simple Christmas scents among them. There's a pine scent that will clear your sinuses, like huffing Pine Sol. There are various blends of scents that smelled gross. There are various sweet, cloying odors that smell like Santa's elves got loaded on powerful eggnog and rich desserts and then barfed into the candle molds. They do not have a simple bayberry candle, let alone a simple taper - if you can't sell it by the vat and preferably add on the butt-ugly painted ceramic holders and lids and such, there ain't enough profit, I guess.

While Murphy was at the groomer's, I walked the mall. Yankee Candle has squeezed out every other candle brand, except for those no-name things from China with asbestos in the wicks, the ones that will turn the ceiling and your lungs black. Murphy was done by the time I had thrown in the towel. I came home and let my fingers do the walking on The Google, and found real hand-dipped bayberry tapers at Southern Lights in St. Augustine. And I somehow resisted the urge to get in the car and go pick them up in person. (Boy, that was hard because I adore St. Augustine, but it is two hours each way and it was already noon.) Instead I called the shop and asked if she could still ship to get them to me in time for Christmas Eve if I ordered today. And she said that she's shipping the out of state orders today and she will ship her in-state orders tomorrow, so I ordered my bayberry tapers. St. Augustine is an overnight mail delivery from here, so even allowing for the Christmas rush I should have them by Friday. And I will take a weekend trip up there with Cousin C soon, and stop in to shop in person. I can't believe I've never visited her shop, candle-holic that I am. I will correct that mistake shortly.

I've been out of work less than a week and I'm already losing my mind. I am not well-suited to this life of leisure. Tomorrow I have the pond repair guy coming to assess the fix to my pond - I know it needs a UV filter, and he has worked on L's pond and she was very pleased. So as part of the house fix-up, I am going to finally get the pond worked on by professionals. He takes credit cards. Then I'm meeting L for a beer, to exchange Christmas gifts. We're so touchingly cute and girly that way, we will do our gift exchange over beer and wings.

Unemployment and weight loss, or rather stress and weight loss- despite mostly sitting on my ass and feeling sorry for myself for the last week, I've lost a pound and a half. Yesterday and today I finally started dragging the Murphinator for his much-bitched-for Walkies. He's learning the truth of "be careful what you wish for," because his mother has morphed into a ruthless Yorkie walker. His freshly groomed self is now snoring.

Oh, and the other upside of Dudley moving out - Murphy got groomed today and was not promptly rolled in the dirt and licked all over to put the familiar smells back. I can let his coat grow out, too, into a more traditional Yorkie look, instead of sheared chubby sheep. And if we keep up this walking habit, he'll lose the chubbiness fast, and get his formerly trim self back. (Me too.)

He does wander the house now and then and look at me all confused, I think he has figured out that Dudley should have come home by now but didn't. Girl reports that Dudley is learning his new neighborhood and adjusting nicely, though he still has to work out the pecking order with the big dog. Hopefully without getting his ass kicked. Worrying grandma would of course overprotect him, so I'm keeping my distance as he learns that he isn't the big dog anymore.


vi said...

your little guy is very cute hon

and btw
you need to come to the pocono's
we get real bayberry candles here
at the local candle makers

i probably should get some too huh?

here is a thought to make you laugh

my thaddeaus the manly laperm cat, is bald....... he lost his hair in an illness......
he's wearing a bright pepto DISMAL pink union suit.......
cause he is so damn cold inspite of the woodstove

i think it looks good on him

bernie is upset that the boy is in princesss pink....


Catherine said...

You need to take his picture. In a subtle way, so you don't offend his dignity.

Thaddeus, not Bernie. ;-)

Anonymous said...

Yeah, you can offend Bernie any way you want...No, wait. Not what was meant.
Murphy is cute that way! Eyes and everything.
I went out and snooped around a bit in the local stores - no bayberry. Off to the big town tomorrow, to try again.

ikate said...

Ugh - I can't even be near a Yankee Candle shop without gagging. Their scents are AWFUL! And the crap the sell - nothing in there looks even remotely interesting to me.

Nothing like finding a good local-ish candle shop. I had one in my old town and stocked up before we moved. I will need to search the new town for something similar.

Catherine said...

We used to have an Illuminations store at the Florida Mall - www.illuminations.com. Several levels above Stinkee Candles and for around the same price. I was crushed when they closed, their cranberry orange candle was my holiday standard. Apparently crap really does sell and quality doesn't. Why am I saying "apparently?" That's the story behind WalMart and everything on Fox. Sigh.

Cursing Mama said...

Not a single Yankee candle in my hood - we're all White Barn with a Pier one thrown in here & there for good measure. The Murphinator is looking quite yorkie & cute with the new cut!

Mia said...

I have been buying soy candles online. Yankee Candle scents make me sick. The smell doesn't last anyway. I prefer to pay a little bit more and get a better candle. And Murphy will get used to Dudley being gone. He has his mommy all to himself.

Amy in StL said...

I really like a lot of the Yankee Candle Scents. The clean Laundry one is great in my guest room and I have the Balsam Cedar one in the living room for the holidays. I stay away from the food scented ones, except for the Pumpkin pie one. I love that in the fall.

Catherine said...

I don't hate all of their scents, I like the basics like vanilla and lavender, and I think there was one with some sort of "seaside" kind of name that I did like. But for commercial candles I prefer White Barn (we used to have a store, it closed) and Illuminations (ditto). And I really wish, in my crotchety old broad way, that they would stock some basic stuff like plain unscented tapers and classic things like bayberry, at least seasonally. They are way too into the sickening sweet things, especially at Christmas - it's all Elf Barf to me.