Eat local drink local sign at Bastrop Brewhouse TX (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Eat local drink local sign at Bastrop Brewhouse TX (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

After a 1700+ mile road trip from Texas to Alabama and back, I’m looking at Black Friday ads with new eyes.

Although I’m not a big shopper on the post-Thanksgiving day of buying excess, I’ve gone out early a few times and picked up a couple of items that we needed anyway. It was fun to join the scrum at the big box stores, but you know what?

You don’t need some off-brand electronics item for US$139, and neither do I.

After sticking my head into places as varied as….

**  The Lost Pines Art Bazaar in Bastrop, Texas (picked up a lovely scarf – Merry Christmas to me!)

**  The Lowe Mill Arts & Entertainment complex, a former textile mill turned into a beehive of arts studios  (snagged the kitchen towel you see below plus artisanal chocolates)

Graters gonna grate towel from Green Pea Press Lowe Mill Huntsville AL (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

Graters gonna grate towel from Green Pea Press Lowe Mill Huntsville AL (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

**  Historic Harrison Brothers Hardware, since 1879 in Huntsville, Alabama (couldn’t resist a stunning blue glass window ornament)

….and then gorging on the best pecan pie EVER from Oxbow Bakery & Antiques in downtown Palestine, Texas, I’m even more determined this year to stay out of the big boxes, scale back my spending and see what unique items I can find in my local, independently-owned shops.

Every year I talk about it, frankly, but don’t make it a mission to “Shop Local.”

This year, it’s a mission!

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