Have you been to your local craft store recently? No? Well you better get over there fast, or all the good stuff is gonna be gone for sure. The lines at the check-out counter last week reminded me of what Wal-Mart musta been like at 5 in the a.m. on the blackest Friday of the year. Not that you would ever catch me up that early … even if they are touting one killer of a sale. Actually, I hadn’t intended to paddle my row boat down the murky aisles of the craft store, but my oldest child forced me to go. Yep, Katie actually dragged me kicking and screaming. She had just finished putting up all her Christmas decorations at her apartment and was a tad excited to share the joy. When she gets like that there is no stopping her. I have learned to just give up and go along for the boat ride. “Mom, you should see my Christmas wreath. I actually learned how to make the most adorable bows on the Internet,” Katie gushed. I still can’t get used to people learning stuff off the Internet. Call me old-fashioned, but I’m a firm believer that some things are better learned by taking a class, or someone just showing you how to do it. Of course, I should talk. I’m the one that for a couple of years now has tried to find the time to take a class on knitting a pair of socks. My mom taught me to knit when I was just a child, so I got the nuts and bolts part down. Ask me to knit an afghan, a sweater, or a scarf, and I can certainly oblige, but socks present a different set of challenges. Has something to do with the heel that throws up all kinds of road blocks with flashing red warning lights. Geez, and I bought this really cool blue yarn with multi-colored speckles a couple of years ago at a yarn shop near Old Town Spring.  The trendy yarn is gathering an exploding family of dust bunnies on a shelf as we speak. One guess what my New Year’s resolution is gonna be this year. But I digress. So after I got past my childish tantrum in the car on the way to the craft store, I started seeing the possibilities. After all, it was true that I really did need a new Christmas wreath. The old moldy one that used to populate the front door is currently decomposing deep under a nearby landfill, as it should be. I’m certain some of my neighbors wondered why I kept the Christmas wreath up year round … for like probably the past 10 years. There certainly wasn’t any sentimental attachment to it. It was just a nothin’ special kind of Christmas wreath. Then a couple of years back, a little brown bird started sleeping inside the wreath. Sometimes we’d forget he was there and open the front door late at night. That’s when the little bird would fly into the house. Our special needs daughter, Mimi, always squealed with delight at seeing her frantic parents run around the house with the front and back door open trying to gently coax the tweet-tweet outside where it belonged. Haven’t seen the little brown bird in a while, but if he comes back, there’s a brand new Christmas wreath on the Frantz family front door to call home. The craft store had the most adorable Christmas ribbon, and yep, Katie showed me how to make, you guessed it, the most adorable bow. We picked out the ribbon with my husband in mind. It has cute little squirrels all over it. Did I tell you that Rick can’t stand squirrels? They munch on the roof vents and are currently chowing down on our wooden deck one sliver at a time to get to the bird seed that has fallen through the cracks. We figured cute little squirrels on a bow would help create a more accepting environment for the little woodland creatures. Katie believes that, sadly because of the Internet, “how-to” books will soon be going the way of the dinosaur. After seeing with my own eyeballs the bows the girl can conjure up, I may become one of her first subjects to convert. Dixie Frantz is a Kingwood resident and newspaper columnist for the past 12 years. E-mail Dixie with your comments at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..