Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.


 Contact me at yetanotherjournal (at) mindspring (dot) com

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» Sunday, February 19, 2017
IKEA and Vegetables

James went downstairs to his "man cave" last night and didn't emerge until after one, so we both slept in this morning, which is very rare for him these days. He's usually up by eight and has the dog walked and sometimes even breakfast eaten before I emerge. Tucker was as slugabed as both of us, so he didn't go out until after breakfast was eaten.

We had decided if nothing else came up today we would go to Ikea, so we set out about 11:30 for Northside Drive by way of CVS (we had a coupon, so I bought more BreatheRights and a newspaper) and Costco (gasoline). Noticed the huge crowd at the Cobb Galleria (otherwise known as the world's most boring mall) which is also a conference venue. They were having a dinosaur discovery event today and lines of children and parents were pouring inside. Funny, I have always been crazy about archaeology and anthropology and prehistoric life, but have never been a big dinosaur fan. I went to see Jurassic Park only because of Sam Neill.

Ikea was pretty crowded, too; when we got there we had to park in the lower garage. It was so close to breakfast that I wasn't really hungry, but we had lunch there anyway: James had the chicken meatballs with mashed potatoes and steamed veggies, and I had a light plate which consisted of three strips of grilled chicken breast, some baby greens, four baby carrots, a stick of mozzarella cheese, and three strawberries. I dipped the chicken breast in James' gravy and it was edible; I gave him the cheese because mozzarella just tastes like mucus to me. Needed some salad dressing for my carrots and greens, so tried some "Newman's Own" light Italian. Ugh! I just used a little bit and it was so vinegary that it made my nose clog up. Yuck.

My walk through Ikea (James just rolled...LOL) was about two miles; it's a good place for a workout. Found some little things: a simple tea strainer,  two small bowls for James to use for cereal, I got one of those artists' model wooden figures, and we wandered around the pretend rooms and I recommended the Billy bookcases to a lady who was considering them (I'm a Billy pusher ☺). I really need to pick up a couple of things when I have a little more money put by; I would like to put a Gnedby (the media bookcase) in the hall bath to hold books and toiletries, for example. They also had some nice garage-type shelving. I still miss the old Leksvik stuff, though, like our bed and china cabinet. They really haven't replaced it with anything comparable. Picked up the 2017 catalog as well.

On the way home we stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond. I had a coupon and picked up a seat cushion for James to use in the truck. He is having a lot of trouble sitting due to the deterioration of his hipbones and driving has become uncomfortable. This is one of those bamboo pillows with the sacroiliac support which I hope helps.

James cooked himself more ground beef to use in impromptu lunches and then made us an Asian salad for supper using the kit from Sam's Club and teriyaki chicken strips. Next thing we knew it was time for Victoria and now it's time for bed!

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» Saturday, February 18, 2017
In Which Tucker is Drowned and Steak is Consumed

James got up at seven to start work at eight and I dozed luxuriously until nine (again having absurd dreams). I should have filled the bird feeders the moment I emerged from the bedroom, because by the time I finished breakfast and we'd been disappointed because this morning's scheduled space launch from Cape Canaveral had been aborted—they were launching a new SpaceX mission from one of the old Apollo launch pads, and it brought back such lovely memories—it had begun to rain. Tucker was not happy with being taken out into this drippy world.

He wasn't going to be any happier later.

But when they scrubbed the launch I grabbed my keys and went off on my errands. Since I had to go all the way up to Roswell Road to fetch the cleaning, I stopped by Sam's Club on the way to pick up mushrooms, milk, Skinny Pop, onions, eggs, and some Asian salad mix. Then I picked up the cleaning and made a slow half circle back to Smyrna to stop at Publix. Got all the rest we needed, including chicken to go with the Asian salad, but was annoyed at having to once again climb on the dairy case to get my yogurt. Had a lovely chat with the bagger who helped me outside with my stuff. So all the shopping was done by noon.

James was just about to stop and have lunch, so he helped me upstairs with the groceries and then we had lunch. The rain slacked off. And then...it was time...

Tucker was summarily bundled into the car, along with his dog soap, and taken to Petco for a bath. He's begun to smell like a boys' locker room. As I started to scrub him another woman came in to take advantage of the dog wash, with a dog that looked like it was all or part dachshund. Both of them moaned and whined through their bath. I think he is starting to understand what I mean when I waggle my hand and say "shake!"

Brought him home, stripped out his crate, and then waited for James to finish up his work day while I completed Hidden Figures and began With the Might of Angels. When he did sign off, we got dressed and headed for the West Cobb Diner in search of a good turkey dinner, but it was packed, so we ate at Longhorn instead. After oatmeal, yogurt, and two slices left from a personal pizza as food all day, the salad, steak, and potato was extra delicious!

Our final stop of the night was at the Hallmark store on Dallas Highway. I had a 40 percent off coupon on one item. I probably should have spent it on a Christmas gift for someone, but instead bought the new stuffed Lassie that's been tempting me. I also did pick up a couple of pretty Christmas gifts, and some stocking stuffers on discount.

And then it was home to perambulate the pooch and watch some Rosemary & Thyme.

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» Friday, February 17, 2017
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2017

Outside my window...
...sunny and clear. It started out at 35°F this morning and now is 55 and will be around 70 today. 70s all next week, too. Pollen abounds and my sinuses already hurt.

I am thinking...
...I'm not ready for spring; we've hardly had winter yet! Not ready to be sneezy and sweaty and the Atlanta Pollen Festival scattering drifts of yellow pollen dust everywhere.

I am thankful...
...that I've finally getting to post on the following: for Thanksgiving we had a "Thanks Jar." I forgot to post about the results after Thanksgiving, then Christmas came, and the party, then my work picked up...you know, life happened. Instead I just posted about it in my holiday blog in the chronological order to which it belonged. So here is the result of being thankful after a very bad year:

What We're Thankful For

In the kitchen...
...nothing going on but dishes in the dishwasher needing put away. We will probably eat at Ken's Grill tonight as that is cheap and filling. Their pork chops are good, but I'm about pork chopped out. :-)

I am wearing...
...green "Mutts" pajama pants and a Soft Kitty t-shirt with a red plaid flannel shirt on top. I turned the heat off this morning so the 70s wouldn't get it hot in here this afternoon. It's about 65 right now. Plus white socks and beige scuffs. My toes are freezing, but I can't wear slippers because it will raise static electricity on the carpet and I don't want to kill the computer.

I am creating...
...a gift. I just have all the parts for it now, but I'm not satisfied with one of them. The base needs to be worked with a little, then I will have James prime it for me in his spray booth.

I am going...
...I finally believe, to get the shower stall clean without killing my back. I bought a rather expensive gadget called a Hurricane Spin Scrubber which has a motorized rotating brush. Previously I used to use a Mr. Clean scrubbing stick, but the "clean" never satisfied me. My alternative is to go in there with a sponge and scrub it by hand; this is a problem because I am so short. I can kneel in front of the shower stall and pretty much have to lie down to be able to scrub the whole floor of the stall and I still can't reach the back wall! I used the Spin just to give the stall a lick and a promise last night and even James commented on how nice it looked! But the "lick" didn't get the corners.

I am wondering...
...(still) how the dog's squeaky bone got into the wastebasket! I didn't realize it until the trash bag squeaked when I dumped it in the bin on Sunday night. Good thing I keep spares!

I am reading...
...Hidden Figures, which is wonderful. I am so impressed how these women persevered despite so many obstacles: because they were women, they had to be twice as good as men, because they were black, they had to be twice as good as whites. A super, super look behind the scenes in aviation and space travel. BTW, the funniest review of this book that I read went thus: "Boring. I wanted more about the women and less about the science." They talked about the women, their busy lives, the way some of the families were uprooted, their fight against bigotry...what did the reviewer want? Their bra size and what they listened to on the radio?

This, people, is why we can't have nice things.

I am hoping...
...to get some crafting in this weekend, even if it's just a little cross-stitch kit. Still, I'm quite happily reading through my magazines, too. I'm trying a media mystery magazine, "Crime," and this year's "Writer's Digest" annual.

I am looking forward to...
...Anachrocon! It's next weekend. Already have lots of panels in my schedule, including one about the space race and another about anthropology and yet another about science fiction television in the 1960s (not Star Trek).

I am learning...
...has already been listed under "I am reading..." When I watched all those space launches in the 60s and 70s with those rows upon rows of men in Mission Control, who knew women—least of all African-American women—were making this work behind the scenes. Need to read Rise of the Rocket Girls, too.

Around the house...
...I am teleworking and listening to "The Tech Guy," which makes Snowy quite happy. Tucker is standing by the door to the deck, but he'll chase off the birds at the feeder, and it's the Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend. I want to be able to join the count, not have the dog chase all the birds away.

I do have an amusing incident for the bird count. When I took Tucker out this morning, our resident hawk nearly dive bombed me. He was fleeing from four angry crows nearly as big as he/she was. Once he went back to his nest, the crows left off and flew back west, cawing angrily.

I am pondering...
...my next read. I want to get to Maisie Dobbs, but I also have a couple of NetGalley books to read, and when I finish Hidden Figures I want to read something else for Black History Month. I have to get out the "Dear America" With the Might of Angels.

A favorite quote for today...
"Happiness is morning and evening,
Daytime and nighttime, too,
For happiness is anyone and anything at all
That's loved by you."
                 "Happiness," from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown

One of my favorite things...
...we ate last night: homemade turkey soup. This was the last of the turkey we made for Christmas Eve dinner when Mom and Candy came up.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
James has to work tomorrow, so I get to go to the cleaner and pick up our things. And Tucker needs a bath. We might go to Ikea on Sunday, "with the help of God and a few policemen," as Mom always said.

A peek into my day...
This morning's sunrise:



If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

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» Sunday, February 12, 2017
Let's Chill Because It's Warm

It was just after eight. James couldn't sleep, but I turned over for another snooze, thinking it was too warm to go back to sleep. And then my Fitbit buzzed me because it was 9:50. I always sleep better in the mornings; an "owl" for sure and not a "lark."

After breakfast we ended up going back to Publix because James needed cheese and eggs to finish his burritos and sandwiches. Now he should have enough to see him through the weekend after Anachrocon. We took our finds home and decided, because it was so warm and sticky, to go get a frozen hot chocolate. It was cloudy all day and very sultry; we drove all the way to Acworth with the windows down.

Books-a-Million was having an excellent book sale, but nothing I really had to have. Bought a book about bad food ingredients and also bought James a "Wild Cards" book. On the way home he stopped to let me pop in the Dallas Highway Barnes & Noble to check out their clearance. Found a cute figure of "Sadness" from Inside Out which I got for about 80 cents. I can take her to work.

It was spattering when we got home and remained sort of rainy all night. We had chicken and wild rice soup for supper and before I knew it, it was past America's Funniest Home Videos and time for Victoria.

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» Saturday, February 11, 2017
Bargains and Books

No alarms are so nice. We woke naturally about eight; with James going through his morning routine—weight, blood pressure, shot, pills, the whole nine yards—while I snuggled a little bit more. By the time I was dressed and up, he had taken Tucker for his walk and was cooking eggs for breakfast. Enjoyed my oatmeal and yogurt, then after James helped me get the heavier of yesterday's groceries out of the car and I helped him mount the power chair on the truck, he went off to his club meeting and I grabbed my pouch and my phone so I could head out to Hiram.

Michael's had a 2-day coupon, yesterday and today, 30 percent off all regularly priced items. This is a good coupon for buying low-priced craft supply items: charms, beads, chains, etc., but I wanted to go to a larger Michael's than the one on Cobb Parkway. Hence the trip to Hiram. Of course I had to go check out the pets for adoption at the PetsMart next door. There were two pretty adolescent cats, a black and a grey tabby, and the black kitty, with stunning yellow eyes, kept hooking a paw outside the cage and rubbing against the bars. Aw.

Picked up a variety of things including something to embellish a Christmas project and two things to complete the gift I started yesterday at Barnes & Noble. I also walked up to Five Below, and, even though winter is pretty much over, bought gloves for James (he's always losing one glove) and replaced one pair of mine that were unraveling. Picked up some Yardley Oatmeal soap at Dollar Tree in case we need it again, but they had no Pears soap. I pretty much stock up on the latter every time I'm in Dollar Tree. Would you believe it sells for three for $15 at the Vermont Country Store? I use it for my face and it has really helped although apparently nothing keeps me from having a zit once in a while. Silly me thinking that would be all over with once I quit puberty!

Once home I put things in their places as well as some of the groceries I had brought in. My Vine orders had come in: the new Maisie Dobbs book for me and a Brita water pitcher for James; hoping he will drink more water at work if it tastes better. I just grabbed some bread for lunch and noted in dismay checking out the DVR that I was seven episodes behind in Elementary. (I still love the show; it's just that when I get home anymore I just want to take my glasses off and be done with it!) So I watched two from back in November and started in surprise when a character in the opening scene of the "Sausage" episode began to speak. That voice! Yes, it was Jonathan Freeman, good ol' Rollie Pruitt himself. (The opening of this episode was also notable for all the classic Holmes references: Freeman plays a character named Holder who brings Sherlock a beryl coronet, Sherlock leaves a note to Joan to check on six Napoleons, and later a Musgrave is mentioned.)

James got home from his meeting and almost promptly fell asleep in the recliner, with Tucker sacked out in front of him. Some time later I warmed up the Italian wedding soup, which had not been very soupy when I bought it and now was basically thick glop that needed thinning out with no sodium chicken broth (which was what I planned to do with it in the first place). Watched the news and then put on Father Brown, Rosemary & Thyme, "the crazy lady" as Mom always called Hyacinth Bucket, and As Time Goes By.

I'm excited to see the book at left coming out in June! A few years ago someone on Facebook was advertising a new Lassie book about the television series, but it never came out. I'm thinking it's because Dreamworks refused to let the author publish it. They made the 26-episode cartoon when they bought the Lassie property and then have let it languish ever since. The least they could do would be to give us uncut season sets!

Anyway, something to make summer coming worthwhile! I was thinking today that here's another winter gone by without my ever having gone into the back yard as I've wanted to and doing any work. I certainly don't want to be outside working when it's warm out!

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» Friday, February 10, 2017
Where the Trail Leads Me

My first wish for this Friday off was to sleep late, and that I did. Through the 8 a.m. alarm for three quarters of an hour. Next, took Tucker on a longer walk than he gets on work days and had breakfast. It's not going to get warm until tomorrow, so I'm enjoying the cold weather.

Finally I was off to the Barnes & Noble at Buckhead to look for a new "Breathe," as I haven't seen it nearby. The traffic was much quieter than before Christmas, but sadly I could see even more of what has been aggravating my nose and eyes in the mornings besides our neighbors' lawns being festively decorated with dandelions and vetch: trees blooming! The magnolias are past budding, and the flowering plums or cherries are bursting white, daffodils pepper the landscape. Spring is inevitable, but must it be so early?

As always, was greeted with the delicious smell of coffee as I entered the store. Coffee brings back such lovely memories: Mom sipping hers in the morning, family gatherings with Aunty Margaret or Cousin Anna brewing pot after pot in the percolator, the wonderful scent of sugar and coffee on winter mornings. I did find "Breathe," and also bought the "Life" 1920s special magazine. The store has a special until Valentine's Day, 10 percent off, which is 20 percent for members, so I was looking for remainder books, clearance, etc. And clearance is now 75 percent off! I only found one small clearance item there, but I did find something else to put away for a gift. Plus the hardcover of Hidden Figures was half off, which means eventually I got it for $11. I've heard such good things about the film that I wanted to read the book. I've read all sorts of books about the space program and women (neither black or white) were ever mentioned as part of the workforce.

Since the clearance price had gone down, I hit the Akers Mill Barnes & Noble on the return journey and turned some goodies: something that will be half a gift, and a few other nice things to use as presents. (I love finding nice things on clearance, so I can give better gifts than I can usually afford.)

Next, I needed gasoline, so it was across the road to Costco. I could see just from looking from the pumps that the store itself was very crowded, and I was very hungry already, but I thought that if I could find a close parking space...and one providentially appeared. So I made it through Costco (we needed mandarin oranges and toilet paper and trash bags) on four pita chips and two samples of "cocoa rabbits" cereal, then went on to Kaiser to pick up my prescription, and then finally...

I could go to Publix for a few twofers..and Toufeyan wraps for James and Those Damn Bananas and bread and lamb shoulder and yogurt, and then finally...

I could go across the street to Sprouts where they had great meat sales: beef bits, boneless pork, ginormous chicken legs, turkey thighs—and Italian wedding soup to boot, and then finally...

I could go home and have lunch, and by this time it was 4 p.m. :-) But the bargains were great.

Soon James arrived home, and we went up to Town Center hoping to get some goodies at their Barnes & Noble; alas, my luck didn't hold here. Most of it was wrapping paper and cutesy signs. We were close to Olive Garden, but we opted for Giovanni's instead, since their food is better. At least they know what al dente means.

Finished my book of Valdemar short stories tonight and can now go on to Hidden Figures.

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» Sunday, February 05, 2017
All Electronics All the Time

(or "Football Game? What Football Game?")

James tramped sleepily off to work on Saturday and I commenced the hunt for the wild laptop. I stopped at Sam's Club, but they had nothing interesting. However, I did get milk, Skinny Pop, Chex Mix, onions and sugarless gum. Stuffing the milk in the insulated bags, I took our dry cleaning by the cleaner finally, having discovered that we hadn't done any dry cleaning since Leigh and Robbie got married. (Yes, that was last March.) Chatted to the elderly lady who runs the place. She broke her leg last May and was in a cast for the first eight weeks of summer. Bleah.

From the cleaner I went to MicroCenter. Why do they have 15.6 inch laptops for $300 and all the smaller ones are "gaming computers" that are $1,500? Gah. I did see a Dell two-way that looked interesting. The thing I liked best, however, in the entire store was a mechanical keyboard. Computer keyboards just don't give you that visceral feedback that typewriter keyboards used to. They had some keys sticking out of the box so you could try them out, and it was dreamy. But it was on sale for $129!

Since we had gone to Office Max last night and not seen anything promising on the laptop front (more huge cheap ones and expensive small ones, except for one that was a maybe), there was no use in stopping at Office Depot since they're now the same store. So I bit the bullet and went to Best Buy. I hate Best Buy half from a bill altercation I had with them years ago and half because their fluorescent lights make me lightheaded. Looked at a Lenovo 2-in-1 that would have been promising had it not had a lousy monitor; it looked like someone turned down the contrast button on the screen (but there is no contrast button on a computer, so I couldn't figure that one out). I was kinda taken by the 11.6 inch Yoga, which was small, but the keyboard just fit my fingers, but when I test typed on it, I understood the lengthy complaints on Amazon reviews: they have made the right shift key so small (the same size as a letter key) and then stuck it there next to the page up key so that when you touch type anything that needs a capital letter at the left side of the keyboard instead of a capital the cursor leaps one line up and you get a lowercase letter instead. Evidently the engineers do not touch type.

I should have stopped at HHGregg, but I was getting tired and hungry since it was nearly two o'clock. I did try to get into Costco, but the whole place was in a furor of pre-goodie buying for the Stupid Bowl and I couldn't find a parking place even at hiking distance. So I went to Barnes & Noble to get myself something to read (the collection of Valdemar short stories, and also picked up the formerly expensive making-of-Back to the Future book for 75 percent off) and then did a survey and had lunch cheap from Tin Drum, and finally went home to wait for James to get back from work so we could go to dinner (Hibachi Grill).

I have spoilt myself looking at that silly Surface Pro 4, but I can't help it. It has a dream processor and the screen is gorgeous. Looking at laptops after that is like driving a dump truck after testing out a Maserati. But I need to find a peppy dump truck and get on with it.  So we went back to MicroCenter to look at the Dell that was so promising, but it was now sold out. However, on the next table full of laptops was an Acer with the same specs (8GB RAM and a 256SSD) and not a bad picture. Guess what, they were out of that, too, but the Gwinnett store had three left. So we made arrangements to pick it up today. Just came home because James was tired and watched some Rosemary & Thyme and got off to bed.

So after this morning's breakfast and dog walking and tiresome going to the grocery store (where I got cut in line at the deli just for taking a minute to talk to James by some woman stocking up on a ginormous store of cold cuts for "the big game"), we headed out to Gwinnett County. Hadn't been to the MicroCenter here since they were near the Aviarium. The new store is as untidy as the old one, but larger and filled with all sorts of little gadgets and gizmos. Need to come back before Christmas to buy for geekish friends. All we did was pick up the laptop and come home because James wasn't feeling well. Spent the afternoon watching the Puppy Bowl and setting it up. (Also stumbled upon National Geographic Wild's Fish Bowl which was a series of terrible puns before settling on the National Dog Challenge.) We had a late lunch of chicken and wild rice soup from Publix and then just noshed for supper.

So I've caught up on Victoria, have WordPerfect and my HTML editor and Paint Shop Pro 5 loaded on the laptop, and after all the sturm und drang the Falcons lost to the Patriots, so there is no joy in Mudville Atlanta. At least there won't be a victory parade holding up traffic tomorrow.

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» Sunday, January 29, 2017
On and Off the Road

So we were up at 8:20 this morning to have breakfast and walk Tucker before leaving for the RV Show. I wanted to get there as close to opening as possible, and we would have arrived there about 10:15 at the time we left. I put on "A Way With Words" and we headed down there via I-75.

Except I only remembered as we were approaching downtown that I left the free passes on the secretary. Right next to the stairs. Passed them leaving the house. Grrr. Given that getting in without them would cost $18, we turned around via Williams Street and dashed home as quickly as safety and law would allow so I could snatch up the passes and we could go back.

We got there at 11:15 instead, but it worked out okay after all: someone was just backing out of a handicapped parking space out front. We were there almost three hours and explored everything from those claustrophobic pods that are pretty much just a bed with a camping kitchen in the rear to a bus with three awnings that looked like it could be the party bus for the Rolling Stones (albeit cleaner). We actually found some kind of a little camper that was not claustrophobic and still could be pulled by our truck; we'd have to put a gardener's cart (like the ones they carry their lawn mowers on) on the back of it for the chair, though, or we'd have to stay stuck at the campsite. (I bet Tucker would love camping, though. I can see him trying to trail rabbits.) We saw a couple of pretty neat van conversions where the vans were more square, like a Transit. Some absolutely huge trailers, too, to be pulled by a large pickup truck, that had full-size refrigerators and electric fireplaces! And then there were the big buslike campers with ridiculous stuff, like lighted countertops and patterned ceilings and leather (ick) furniture. They did have washers and dryers, too, though, and nice queen-sized beds.

These shows always have gadgets (like knives and cookware) and services (like different campsites advertising) being sold, and I bought myself a little desk lamp to use at the sofa when I want to cross stitch and also three lights that look like light switches, but they hang on the wall and are battery powered. You switch them on and LEDs come on to light up small dark places. I want them for stacks in the library.

We got done a little after two and were ravenous, so we drove home—back through downtown and surprisingly encountered traffic (not so surprising after all; there was some do for the Atlanta Falcons heading off to Houston for the Stupid Bowl)—and had lunch/dinner at Ken's before going home.

Later on we watched last week's and this week's (the season finale) Alaska: the Last Frontier. As I was in the middle of this blog entry, the laptop dropped its wireless connection. I thought the router had died again, but it was fine. Either the Tenda wireless USB adapter has just quit or the laptop has quit responding to it. My "Q" key also doesn't work well anymore. It sounds like it is well and truly dying. :-( It's nearly nine years old, which I guess is geriatric for a laptop.

And, most aggravatingly, James tried connecting to the VPN at work one more time—and it worked flawlessly. That means something was wrong with the VPN yesterday, not either of the cell phones. Snellfrocky. Dirty socks.

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» Saturday, January 28, 2017
Life Goes Better With Sleep, But Not With Technology

I was looking forward to this Friday off. No party prep, no Christmas decorating or divesting, no errands to run. I could do what I liked.

Unfortunately what I would have liked to do was sleep, because I hadn't slept properly for two nights. I understood it Wednesday night: the cold front hadn't come through properly yet and it was too warm even with three fans going. But Thursday night it got nice and chilly and I had fans blowing cold air into the room all evening. It should have been a grand night for snuggling up and instead I was awakened every half hour because with the comforter it was too warm and without the comforter it was too cold, or I had to go to the bathroom, or that my knees were hurting, ad infinitum, and only slept well after James left for work at seven. Since I was short of sleep from during the week, this wasn't a lot of help. I've been having a lot of trouble with my neck where I had the thyroid cancer was removed; because of the surgery I have nerve damage in the right side of my neck. It pretty much is stiff all the time, but this week it's been cramping as well and feels like I'm being strangled on one spot on my right shoulder.

In the end I did get some stuff done Friday, but was abominably groggy doing it: went to Publix and scored twofers and other things we needed, stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought James' Valentine's Day gift and ordered an Angry Mama, and ordered and picked up my lunch at Tin Drum. When I walked up to the cashier she grinned at me and said "Teriyaki, steak, no fried chicken." They have me pegged. Yes, indeedy.

On the way home, swung by Costco and bought gasoline and stopped at Aldi for milk.

Came home to make Snowy happy by playing Leo Laporte and dozed off on the sofa with my head bobbing over my lap. When James got in from having his second iron infusion, I still wasn't hungry after that big lunch. So we stayed in for the rest of the night. I had cereal for supper and he did something with eggs, and I finally got to watch part two of Victoria which I missed on Sunday night.

Friday night I finally got some sleep, so felt reasonably human this morning. Unfortunately James was inadvertently fighting a demon we didn't know about. He volunteered to work today to make up for the last two Friday afternoons at the doctor, and he was given permission to telework. When I got up he hadn't had any calls. By the time I left to go to Publix—he needed to make breakfast burritos and sandwiches and had no wraps or Rotel—he suddenly noticed that his board showed that he was on a call when he wasn't. He was troubleshooting as I left.

Picked him up the stuff he needed, plus fresh ground beef and some dog biscuits I didn't notice were on BOGO yesterday, and also ran to Michael's since there was a one-day 60 percent off coupon. I got some Sharpie markers and then dashed back home.

James was really upset. He finally realized that, although the system logged him on this morning, he wasn't actually ever on. He let his supervisor know, and was just told to knock off for the rest of the day. So he made his breakfasts and then we had supper at Longhorn and spent a nice hour at Barnes & Noble before heading home and fiddling around with the connection a little more. It appears it might be a problem with our cell phones (yet another thing the stupid perfect Pixel doesn't do). James' cell worked perfectly with the system the last time he teleworked, which was about a week ago. A couple of days ago, Verizon pushed Android 7.1.1 to his phone. I already had 7.1.1, so I had James try transferring the calls to my phone. They won't transfer to mine, either, but they will transfer to the landline. Makes me very suspicious of the upgrade in general.

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» Sunday, January 22, 2017
Peace and Quiet and Weeping Skies

After all the action last weekend we decided to take it easy this weekend. We finished up the shopping Friday night after having supper at the West Cobb Diner and James having to go through the first of another trio of iron infusions.

Saturday morning it poured. We aren't supposed to take the power chair out deliberately in the rain, so instead it was a leisurely breakfast and we did a fun thing: had "Saturday morning cartoons." Watched an episode of the 1960's Filmation Fantastic Voyage, another episode of Dreamworks' The New Adventures of Lassie (which isn't bad if they would just get rid of those stupid little animals in the barn, including the pug who has a crush on Lassie), and "Rin Tin Tin in the Flaming Forest," in which a trapper's Boston-raised son (played with a sneer by a very young Tim Considine) turns up his nose at Rusty and Rinty and gets them lost in the woods, then starts a forest fire. Rinty, of course, rescues everyone.

There was a rain respite in the afternoon, so we took a ride out to Acworth to go to Books-a-Million. James treated himself to a frozen hot chocolate (they make the best) and me to a peppermint hot chocolate. I picked up two remainder books and then was told I could pick a third for free; it was a sale. Couldn't find anything for myself or James, so picked one up for a gift instead.

Got home in time to walk Tucker before the rain began again. We ate in because we are going out to lunch tomorrow, and then James went down to the Man Cave and I watched the first three parts of The Crown, which is a British drama about Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne and her first years as a monarch. Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) plays Prince Philip. I started crying in the second episode when Princess Margaret goes to see her father while he is being embalmed and sobs over him. John Lithgow plays Winston Churchill.

We were between rainstorms this morning when we walked the dog and then dropped off my prescription at Kroger while we went to Sprouts for some beef and pork bits, giant chicken legs, Yukon gold potatoes, more Litehouse salad sprinkles, and a couple of other things. We weren't home long to put it away, as we had to turn around and go back to Keegan's for the retirement dinner Jessie was throwing for her mother. This was fun, but we didn't stay long, as everyone was in a hurry to get home for the Falcons game; if they win they are going the Stupid Bowl. [And they did win, 44-21. It's gonna be North vs. South.]

Again, after swinging by to pick up my prescription and a Sunday paper, we got home in time for me to walk Tucker before it started to rain, and it poured, just like it did last night, with the raindrops drumming ceaselessly on the chimney cap, thunder, the whole nine yards. I put instrumental Christmas music on and read Bryant & May and the Burning Man all afternoon (I literally couldn't stop, the plot raced that quickly).

Arrrrgh! Tonight I couldn't watch Victoria because GPB was blank again! Apparently a piece of construction equipment is blocking their signal to Dish. Say what?

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» Tuesday, January 17, 2017
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, JANUARY 17, 2017

Outside my window...
...mostly cloudy. I hope it stays that way. It's bad enough it's going to be in the 70s today. It's like it's April.

I am thinking...
...at this point I am just coasting. I'll save the thought for when I'm working.

I am thankful...
...that I am not sick today and can take down the Christmas tree at lunchtime and after work.

In the kitchen...
...there's a chicken thawing in the sink. I will cook some very plain chicken tonight. I've only had oatmeal, yogurt, and dry toast today.

I am wearing...
...Mutts blue pajamas and white socks.

I am creating...
...order. By this evening the "Christmas closet" will be all neat and tidy.

I am going...
...to get rid of some of the long Christmas hooks I had to buy to get short Christmas hooks. I don't need them.

I am wondering...
...when I should take another retirement class. They're really all the same, but Juanita said you should take a couple.

I am reading...
...Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters, about prima donna Victorian writers.

I am hoping...
...for cooler weather soon. Having 70s in January is a drag. I don't want anymore eighteens, like we had a week or so ago, but 50s would be nice and 30s at night. I'm sleeping terribly because I always wake up being too warm.

I am looking forward to...
...Juanita's retirement dinner (given by her daughter) on Sunday and the RV show next weekend. We have free tickets. Next month is Anachrocon. At least I won't be having an allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine this year.

I am learning...
...I bought another book about watercolor painting. It was watercolors I used on my Advent wreath.

Around the house...
...the dog stands on the non-burning deck, Snowy's kind of quiet. I'm not playing "The Tech Guy" for him because the day goes by too quickly when I play Leo's shows. Don't want my telework days to go by quickly!

I am pondering...
...still buying a new stove. The old one is getting on my last nerve. At least it still cooks meat properly, but it nearly ruined my wine biscuits this year.

A favorite quote for today...
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
--Edith Sitwell

One of my favorite things...
...being all spic and span after taking up the holiday things. Sadly, it doesn't stay that way for long!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Work! Juanita's dinner.

A peek into my day...
How about a peek into something inspiring? So true!





















If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.

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» Monday, January 16, 2017
Roller Coaster Weekend

Well, it was a long weekend to remember, but, unfortunately, mostly for the wrong reasons.

Friday I continued a combination "de-Christmasing" of the house, putting up the winter decorations, and cleaning up for the party. I got everything packed up but the Christmas tree—it just wasn't going to happen and it was a postponed Twelfth Night party anyway, so we needed some appropriate decoration. Otherwise I had put up the winter decorations everywhere except on the room divider, because the Christmas tree was blocking the way.

Since we had to go to Sam's Club to get supplies, we tried to find somewhere to eat Friday supper nearby. The Marietta Diner was slammed. The Chinese buffet is too salty. Didn't want the halfhearted food at IHOP and fast food was out. We ended up at Williamson Brothers for barbecue (yeah, salty too), and then went to Sam's. Got honey barbecue wings and "Lil Smokies," but their mini-egg rolls were spicy, so we skipped them, but picked up chips and popcorn as well. Then we went by Publix to do the shopping and pick up another BOGO set of pot roasts. We were going to serve one of them at the party.

Saturday was Hair Day, so James zipped off to get his hair cut while I continued cleaning and clearing. There are so many books everywhere! :-) He came home when he got done to get the bowls down, the utensils, etc., help me move the table, and all that. We got done early enough that I could relax down for a little while and that James could be done with most of the warming up before the first guests arrived at five. Since Willow isn't around anymore, there is no Ritual Barking of the Dog, but all our dogs have known John and Betty are soft touches anyway. :-) We had a nice crowd—Bill and Caran even drove all the way here from Stone Mountain—and a good chat/feast/gift opening was had by all. We watched the Falcons beat some other team, which means they are one step closer to the Stupid Bowl, talked about commuting and Juanita's retirement, watched Aubrey find the pickle on the tree for the umpteenth time in a row (I didn't even remember where I'd put it this year), and generally enjoyed ourselves. Unfortunately my tummy was being a little touchy and I had to retire for a bit, ostensibly to walk the dog, but also to get me a little air.

Once the last guest had left around ten, we put up the perishables, stretched out for about an hour, then went to bed.

Took our time getting up Sunday and spent the rest of the end of the day mostly cleaning up, but we had a nice break in the early afternoon: we had to go up to the Town Center Kaiser for James to pick up more insulin, so we took the opportunity to stop at Barnes & Noble with our coupons. James got lucky and found a new "1632" book, and I picked up a book about a man who walks the old roads of Great Britain, plus two cross-stitch magazines. I also asked James to drop me at JoAnn to spend some coupons: needed more superglue since mine had gone stringy, bought a Command shelf for the bathroom, and a red bandanna for the truck since the old emergency one has appeared to have done a bunk (plus the new "Just Cross Stitch").

We had eaten lunch at Panera after going to Kaiser, and were still pretty full at suppertime, so we just potlucked it for dinner. I wasn't feeling hungry much and just had a PopTart and some cereal. I was okay up until after I walked Tucker at eight thirty, so I could be ready to watch the first part of Victoria at nine. Alas, about five minutes to nine, I started getting terrible stomach cramps.

I'll spare you the details, save that I saw very little of Victoria, not to mention my bed. Nothing stopped until nine in the morning, and by then I was exhausted. I had my usual breakfast yesterday and neither the PopTart nor the cereal should have bothered me; it had to be something I'd eaten at Panera. I suspect the cream cheese I had on my bagel. It didn't taste bad, but it's a likelier trigger than the soup. Anyway, I finally slept from nine to noon, then watched Victoria and, thanks to PBS and no thanks to Dish Network and its amazing disappearing channels, last week's Sherlock, which was literally mesmerizing—I couldn't take my eyes off the odious Culverton Smith, who had definite Jimmy Savile vibes. Just plain creepy. And then I went back to bed until James got home. I didn't eat much today, just dry toast and milk, and had plain chicken broth and rice for supper. I hope I feel better tomorrow; I never even got to the tree and feel like a bowl of boiled spaghetti.

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» Sunday, January 08, 2017
No Funday

We slept in this morning and had a leisurely breakfast instead of finishing cleaning up after a party. It seemed very strange not having had the party last night and I felt rather disconnected. Plus James was not feeling quite well (not heartwise, but as if he might be coming down with a stomach bug).

We finally went out around 11:30 as he wanted to go to Nam Dae Mun for more Jamaican ginger tea. We also picked up more low sodium teriyaki sauce. The plan from there was for me to run into Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up something with an expiring coupon, then we would stop at Barnes & Noble for a short time, and finally go to Publix for twofers.

It wasn't to be; as we approached Akers Mill he started stomach cramping and feeling sick, so we turned for home where he could dose himself with Pepto Bismol. But I still needed to use the coupon and get the twofers, so I went out by myself and did both. I went to Publix first because it was so cold I didn't have to worry about anything perishable spoiling. Then I stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Texted James to see if he might be up to Tin Drum. He said the curry would be okay, so I brought stuff home and he ate and felt a little better. We watched Aerial America all afternoon.

James said he was sorry for spoiling my day, but what really spoiled my day was turning on GPB for Sherlock and finding out Dish Network was not getting the channel. GPB is too far away for our antenna to reach, so we got skunked. Grrr.

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» Saturday, January 07, 2017
Party Overthrown

After you've lived in Atlanta for years, you tend to view weather reports with cynicism. "Monster storms" turn into drizzle, snow becomes frost, "just some rain" coats the road with ice, and "a nice day" turns out to be a blistering 89.

So it was with a sense of exasperation we greeted the snowstorm reports that started on Sunday. We had our annual Twelfth Night party planned for tonight.

Instead of petering out like they usually do, though, the snowstorm reports got worse. James said we should just call it off, but I grimly hung on, knowing that the expected storm would just turn out to be a bust if I did. Yesterday I realized that if we did have the storm they predicted, we wouldn't be able to go shopping on Sunday, so I ran out to the grocery store early for milk, bread, and other things needed for the workweek.

Last night it started raining, and it was so cold the rain almost immediately began to freeze. I'd brought in the two little Christmas log deer so they wouldn't get wet (after cutting some new "antlers" for them out of tree branches) and also the St. Nicholas banner, because I've never seen another like it and I need to care for it, and now my new snowflake flag was flapping outside. As the half hours went on, it flapped a little less because it was slowly being encased in ice, as was the American flag and the railings leading up the steps.

The news kept promising the rain would stop and it would turn to snow, and up to four inches were predicted. By 10 p.m., when I took Tucker out through the garage and disappointed him by not going much further than our own grass, which was already crunchy while the driveway and the sidewalk were slick with rain/ice, no snow seemed forthcoming, and we went disappointedly off to bed.

It actually did snow, but just enough to edge the lawns and the road, and the tips of the branches and the tops of the bushes were covered with a glaze of ice that made all the trees and plants look set with diamonds and silver. Tucker had another short walk, which he also hated, especially as he was bundled in the tweed coat because it was only 20°F and the wind cut like a knife.

So I finally went online and canceled till next week. Sadly, the house will be less festive by then because I will need to start taking down the decorations. The supreme irony in all this is that by next weekend it will be nearly 70!

James and I did go to Kroger for a little bit this afternoon as he was out of mushrooms. We also got Bisquik and he made biscuits late in the afternoon. I don't think James has made biscuits since before Willow got sick. We had them with Kerrygold butter and blackberry honey and they were better than all the gourmet meals in any food magazines. And the biscuits came in handy later on: we were going to have homemade pizzas, but the crusts were stale. So we had pizza fixings on biscuits. Not the best alternative, but it worked out.

Looking about for something to do tonight and put Frozen on; it's been sitting on the DVR for awhile. I enjoyed watching it and I did like the reindeer, but I guess maybe I came on this one late. Not seeing what all the fuss was about. Then I put on the Vicious special. Sorry this series is over; for all the bile I love Stuart and Freddie (or maybe what I want is their apartment ☺ ).

Now we're seeing out Christmas watching The Good Life and All Creatures Great and Small.

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