To shop local...
About a month ago I bought a new pair of tennis shoes. I had a pair, but they were a bit too small and my danskos are not appropriate for winter (or basically anytime for me... they are dangerous for me to wear...) so I needed some shoes to wear outside!! I went to Fred Meyer and bought a pair. I wore them for a bit, and then realized that my hip was hurting. I mean HURTING. It was bad. I realized the only thing that had changed was my shoes. I hadn't been walking more or less, but the footwear had been changed. So I tried to take them back. Apparently, the policy is if the shoes have been worn outside they can not be returned. These shoes are perfectly fine... I just can't wear them. I bought my next pair of shoes at REI (which I realize isn't local, but it is still a store with great customer service, and I'm a member of the co-op, so I kind of own it... :) ) where I can return them for ANY reason in ANY condition at ANY time. (I think I have three or four YEARS to decide if I like these shoes.) Luckily, my hip has not been bothering me, and my new shoes are even cuter than the old ones.
Today I went to AK Mill and Feed and bought presents for the holiday parties at both my work and W's. They already had all of their Christmas stuff marked down 40% and their pet holiday stuff marked down 50%! So I got a lot of stuff for not too much money. At a local store!! I was very pleased. And they had awesome customer service... I had asked one of the employees if they had any more penguin items and she found three things for me that I had overlooked! She was awesome.
I also treated myself to a holiday gift... since I have been trying not to buy yarn and fiber I decided to invest in a pair of Hiya-Hiya interchangeable needles. For $70 I now have a bunch of different circular needles! I'm super excited about them. I will be knitting my cabled hat from Knitty on them soon... I just have to finish the sample hat for my class so I can take it to work. I am very excited about the new issue of Knitty... I think I queued like four things, which is a high number for me. And the shawl is amazing. We just got a new shipment of quiviet at the shop and there is a pair of skeins that are bright green and AMAZING. They were calling to me and I think they may be destined to become that shawl... we will see.
Alright, I have to get my gifts wrapped and then head off to a holiday party!