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 theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Tuesday, December 11, 2018
Packages and Tinsel
It was time for mailing packages and trimming the tree!

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» Sunday, December 09, 2018
The Second Sunday of Advent
It rained all weekend, but we tried to keep it merry.

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» Sunday, December 02, 2018
A Festival of Lights

Moving about on the First Sunday of Advent.

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» Friday, November 30, 2018
Apple Annie Time Again

At the Apple Annie Craft Show with my best fella, and other Friday events.

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» Monday, November 26, 2018
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...'s dark, and, based on the weather report that aired several hours ago, very cold. We are supposed to go down to 28℉ tonight. It's going to be very cold the next few days, but then warmer and wetter on the weekend.

I am thinking...
...that it was a rather unexpected day. Monday is my usual housecleaning day, and I accomplished that: washing of both bathrooms and the sweeping and washing of the kitchen floor. I also organized some things in my craft room. Since I knew it would be very cold the next few days, between the bathroom cleanings I went outside and removed the Thanksgiving decorations from the porch and removed the Thanksgiving cover from the mailbox, to be replaced by the Christmas cover. I put the new flag up, and the wreath as well. However, when I walked the dog, I noticed the bushes would be much too scruffy to put lights on. So I pulled out my trusty hedge clipper and clipped. Definitely unplanned. As was what happened as I was doing it (see below).

I am thankful...
...for many things. We decanted the "thanks jar" tonight and had a tidy pile, from simple things like "gingerbread" to more sober things like "sunrises and sunsets" and "no more dialysis."

In the kitchen...
...supper is long cleared away. We had leftover ham and mushroom rice for supper.

I am wearing...
...a purple sweatshirt and blue sweatpants, and white socks. Tomorrow I will need to wear long stockings!

I am creating...
...I have a gift in the works for a friend if I can find a part for it.

I am going... have to go out in the cold tomorrow, as I need to exchange something. I'll try to make it a pleasurable trip. And wear a heavier coat! 😀

I am wondering...
...what to do next. I've never had this leisure previously; I've always had to decorate at lunch time and during breaks and after work. I do have to put the Thanksgiving things away first!

I am reading...
...two different books about Advent. One began on the first of November, and the other on the 21st, so right now I'm just catching up.

I am hoping...
...we will have a good Christmas, despite James' diminished pay, and a better 2019. I have bought a new journal with hope in my heart.

I am looking forward to...
...all the goodness of December: Apple Annie crafts and the Mable House craft show, and perhaps the ARTC performance; baking for Christmas and dinner with friends.

I am learning...
...I would like to learn how to do minor electrical things, like install dimmer switches.

Around the house...
...watching the news after having finished watching the new Good Eats Reloaded and my new favorite show, Caught in Providence, about Providence Traffic Court.

I am pondering...
...why people get addicted to drugs. I keep seeing more and more commercials for getting help for opiod addictions. If you use opiods for legitimate pain, you aren't addicted, so why would you take medication if you didn't have pain? I hate taking medicine and wish I didn't have to, and don't understand why you would do it for pleasure. There are so many other wonderful things to do.

A favorite quote for today...
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.” – Oprah Winfrey

One of my favorite things... I said, one of my new favorite things is Caught in Providence. Very funny and sweet sometimes. If it is syndicated in your area, try and catch it someday.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Christmas decorations, a Goodwill donation (running out of time for this year!), maybe a bookstore run.

A peek into my day...
So as I am trimming the nandina so St. Francis can be seen again, I pull away the branches to discover his face has fallen off! The concrete head split from ear to ear, and his face was resting "face up" in a tangle of branches. The head was cracked so I guess some water got inside and split it. So now St. Francis has a cap of duck tape to keep his face "face front."

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



» Sunday, November 25, 2018
Super Markets, Books, and the Alps

It turned out to be grocery-store hopping morning on Saturday again. We had Kroger bucks, so we went there for milk and mushrooms. Found a couple of meat bargains, too, then skipped over to Publix for the twofers. Fortunately they had Crystal Lite so James could continue to make his icees, but they only had two lemonades at the Smyrna store, and the meat counter, as usual, had no turkey parts at all. (You can't get turkey parts at the Smyrna Kroger or the Smyrna Publix. I don't know if it's illegal or what.) So we had to drive to Highland Ridge to get more Crystal Lite and some turkey thighs.

Chilled out, played with the dog, and then James cooked the carrots we bought to take to Alice's house. You've heard of Second Breakfast? We had Second Thanksgiving on Saturday night; Juanita cooked a 28-pound turkey and David made ham, and someone else brought ham, and there were sides and a bunch of us had dinner and gabbed and enjoyed ourselves. We checked out all the work Alice has done since she retired, including converting an office into a library.

Came home to chill out until bedtime; didn't stay up too late, but fell directly to sleep. Would have slept later, but nature screamed.

Yesterday Juanita sent us home with the turkey carcass, and James wanted to turn it into soup today. But we also had Barnes & Noble coupons, so as soon as breakfast was finished, Tucker was walked, the dishwasher was started, and the towels were thrown in the washer, we were off to the bookstore. I was a little ticked at them because usually on Black Friday I get a notice that all magazines are 30 percent off. Didn't get one this year. I did get one announcing the magazine discount, but it was dated Saturday, so by then the discount was gone. Grr. However, they did take the 25 percent coupon I had off the new "Breathe" 52-week journal. But I could have used that on the new Valdemar book if they'd sent the e-mail as they should on Friday, and I could have gotten a discount on the Christmas "Daphne's Diary," too. Piffle. But they did take that coupon on the journal, and I found a gift for James and one for Rodney.

We stopped at Publix to get the bread James forgot yesterday, and then were home for the afternoon while he made the soup. We love the result, but boy, when it finishes, what a mess: the dirty stock pot, dirty containers for the vegetables, bones, and the meat James has laboriously picked off the bones, the bowl we had to strain the soup into, and the strainer. But we got three big almost eight-cup containers full of turkey soup, meat, and carrots into the freezer and had soup for supper with carrots and the white meat from the turkey that we brought home last night.

This afternoon I watched a bunch of episodes of a show I just found called Caught in Providence. It takes place in a Providence, RI, courtroom (chiefly traffic violations) with an older judge named Frank Caprio. (The show seems to be a family affair: there are two more Caprios in the credits, and his brother is the cameraman.) This guy is what my mom would have called "a hot sketch." He's very fair, but can be funny or sympathetic. Usually if a person has their kids with them, he will invite the kids up onto the bench and talk with them. Also watched the British production of The Sound of Music that was done by ITV, presented on Great Performances. It was okay. The woman who played Maria was better than Carrie Underwood, and I liked the actor who played Max. The girl who played Liesl was almost too waiflike, though. On the other hand, they tried very hard, at least with the women, to have authentic 1930s hairstyles. But it was still a little restrained; something missing from it.

The soup was really good, too!

We ended up the evening with Alaska: the Last Frontier and the news.

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» Friday, November 23, 2018
The Best of Autumn Holidays

Thanksgiving Day and a shopping day in Holiday Harbour.

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» Saturday, November 10, 2018
The Perfect November Day

Although it was Saturday, we were up to an alarm at 7:30, since we had to be out early. It went down to the 30s last night and it was hard to get out of a warm, toasty bed. Slept like a log in this chill. I don't think I sleep anywhere near as well in the summer, when I'm quite "sleep depraved."

Dressed for the weather this morning, in my Vermont sweatshirt, jeans, and my boot socks, which keep my feet toasty warm. I'm quite chuffed at getting to wear all this—every year (even as busy as I've been this year) summer seems to take longer to go by. Emerged with Tucker to a bright blue sky and a brisk walk, then came in for breakfast. As James finished up, I started packing stuff in the back of the truck, but waited for him for the last, awkward box with the MopVac sticking out of it.

Electronics recycling was much quicker this year, as they were sorting people right as you entered, rather than waiting for you to go through the gates where the employees were waiting, and electronics is always the shortest line, as odd as this sounds, as today they are also taking old clothing or offering mass paper shredding. Most of the people seem to be here to either have their papers shredded or to recycle clothes. A quick twist of the wrist, a return of the boxes, and like that, it was all done for the year. I am so happy to get that junk out of the garage. On the way home we stopped by Advance Auto Parts to get new bungee cords to hold down the trunk in the back of the truck (they literally rot away in the Georgia sun); we installed them once we arrived home. James packed up the truck with some models he was donating to the club auction, and he was off.

I "mounted up" as well, to buy milk and mandarin orange cups at Sam's Club. As always, came out with a lot more: slippers for James, fresh mandarins, two Christmas magazines, and two wonderful meat bargains: chicken drumsticks at 85 cents a pound, and some discount stew beef at $2.36 a pound. They had pork chops for $1.25/pound, but I passed as we had a lot of pork. On the way out, I gave a contribution to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and got a poppy for my car.

Since it was still chilly, I stowed the perishables in insulated bags and headed up to Town Center. I had a good coupon for JoAnn and wanted to make sure it was used. I stopped to take a photo of a gorgeous orange-leaved maple tree, and then was greeted with Christmas everywhere. JoAnn has a nice selection of plaques and other things this year, but very large pieces for larger homes than ours. I picked up a magnet sheet with my coupon and some golden candle bulbs. I'm running short on blue bulbs for the welcome candles in the front windows and think the golden ones look very pretty, like a real flame.

Stopped at Michael's, but they didn't have what I was looking for, so I just went on to Costco for gasoline. They are at $2.259, which is mind-boggling.

On the way home I drove home through the battlefield park, golden with autumn and perfect for walking, surprised that I did not see more people out exercising. If I wasn't toting a trunk full of groceries I'd be tempted to stop and walk myself. Once home, I had my lunch, then washed the kitchen floor, which badly needed it. Looked outside and thought I should fill the bird feeders since the weather is going to be cold and then chill and rainy on Monday. They were finally dried out from the last rainstorm and I was able to do so, and brought fresh seed up from where I'd stored it in the garage. Then I thought I would hang up some suet. The suet cage was on the floor of the deck, but most of its hanging chain was stuck between the boards. I had to retrieve what I could with a pair of pliers and fix the links. When I went to hang it up on the existing double-strand thick cord that suspends the thistle seed holder, it fell out of my hands. I had to take off my shoes (because the back yard is still awash in mud), put on my dog walking shoes, go all the way outside and into the back yard, pick up the suet cage, bang the mud out of it, walk back in, get out of my dog walking shoes, put my regular shoes back on, and then go back on the deck.

The cord turned out to be rotted and broke in my hands. So I had to replace the existing cord and made up a second cord to hold the suet cage separately, take the stepladder outside to hang the cords, and finally rehang the thistle seed holder and hang the suet cage. All that just to feed the birds!

When James came home we were off to the West Cobb Diner for supper. Really surprised at the crowd, because we were much earlier than we usually arrive. But the turkey was worth it.

We finished up by completing the grocery shopping and returning home for Father Brown and the Britcoms.

Incidentally, today is our 28th wedding anniversary! I thank God for seeing another one.

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» Sunday, November 04, 2018
Blue Sky, Books, and Bonny Trees

Never did get that extra hour's sleep. Knees were still hurting, and James got up early due to (yet another) call of nature, so we were up and going before nine o'clock, even though we leisurely ate breakfast and I took Tucker out, but all he wanted to do was to hunt down raccoons.

(We had a strange postscript to the raccoon story. When I pulled up Facebook this morning, another neighbor down the street was responding to the Facebook post I'd put on the neighborhood association page. While we were rousing ourselves out of bed this morning, the raccoon had wandered into her yard. Well, her family has big dogs, Italian mastiffs, and one went after the raccoon and killed it. Sadly, it wandered into the wrong yard. I hope the dog was okay.)

We had forgotten to get onions (again; I have no idea how this keeps happening the way both of us love onions!), so we combined a short grocery trip along with our fun trip this morning. We went to the Kroger on Dallas Highway because it was across the street from our destination and picked up the onions and a few more things that added themselves to the list. Once again, it was chilly enough for us to be wearing flannel shirts, so we had no qualms about stuffing some meats and two frozen pot pies into an insulated bag and heading across the street. We were headed to Hallmark first to return a duplicate ornament, but they weren't open yet, so we went to Barnes & Noble instead to kill the 45 minutes until they did. (As if we couldn't fritter that much time away in a bookstore!) James used a coupon on a book he's been waiting on, and I bought the newest Christmas edition of the "Chicken Soup for the Soul" books along with "Just Cross Stitch."

Finally it was after noon, so James got his refund and I bought a Christmas gift, then we stopped at Yankee Candle so I could get air freshener for my car. I have no idea what's gotten into Yankee Candle. This is just a little store; maybe the larger one at Town Center Mall is still okay, but this one seems to stock only YC's new line of "trendy" looking candles (I can't explain them; they have fancy jars and stuff) and a smaller selection of scents, and the newer scents are really terrible, too fruity or too sweet, sometimes both. Where are the good scents like gingerbread and cafe au lait instead of the blue spruce one (ugh) or another with some winter name that smelled terrible?

I treated James to a soup at Panera before we came home. The place was packed since it was just a little after noon, but it was warm enough that we could sit out on the terrace and I was quite content eating my chicken noodle soup with a surfeit of carrots and reading "Just Cross Stitch." Got some photos of beautiful autumn trees, too. The trees that started to turn when we finally got a cold spell are coloring up beautifully!

It would have been a big temptation to sit down again when we got home, but instead I finished up the job I started on Friday: there were still books stacked horizontally on James' bookshelf in the bedroom and everything there was quite dusty. So that was all removed and dusted and sorted, the shelves wiped down, some junk on James' dresser tossed out, and the carpet vacuumed again. I also vacuumed the stuffed animals on the shoe rack on top of the chifforobe; our bedroom really gets dusty despite the fact we spend very little time in it. No idea why.

I also sorted James' and my pills for the week and washed the towels.

We had sausage and cheese tortellini for supper in the last of the Prego no-sugar-added sauce and half a Ritter "Pfefferminz" bar each for dessert. Watched a couple of episodes of M*A*S*H that hadn't come up in the rotation lately, then The Durrells in Corfu (Gerry's nearly disastrous birthday party—noticed last week that Milo Parker, who plays Gerry, is getting a shadow on his upper lip and looked up his age; he's sixteen, but Gerry has just turned thirteen), and Alaska: the Last Frontier.

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» Saturday, November 03, 2018
Green Ginger and Masked Bandits

We awoke on Saturday morning to find it chilly. It's been great sleeping weather, but I had worked so hard on Friday cleaning out James' side of the bedroom that I hadn't slept as well as I could due to aching knees (and a lot of other things). He has a tendency to finish a book and just stack in in a pile and the piles were just in the way, plus there was a stack of magazines at the foot of the bed. I sorted these out, tossed out what I thought he'd want to toss, and made neat piles of what he thought he wanted to keep. I also found out which books he'd read and which ones he wanted to keep and which he wanted to take to McKay's, and cleaned out under his nightstand to put to-be-read books there. To my surprise he told me to toss the whole kit and caboodle of the magazines. Then I vacuumed out the area, and took the two piles of books downstairs. The "keep" stack I will shelve and the "give away" stack went in the boxes for McKay's. Friday night was spent quietly watching The Cool Kids and Hawaii Five-0.

Anyway, we confined out activity on Saturday morning to limping around supermarkets to finish the shopping. We emerged to a cloudless sky except for one lone, scanty cloud in the north, but the air was so dry James watched in fascination as it just faded away. We had flannel shirts on when we left, but by the time we got to our first destination it was warm enough to remove them. First we went to Sam's Club because they still have skim milk. Got various household needs and I bought more boot socks in the forlorn hope it may be cold enough this winter to use more than four pair. 😉 Then we visited Publix for the few BOGO items and, as always, bought more than we expected. By the time we got home I was aching, so after puttering around the house starting the process of turning the clocks back—there are fourteen clocks and six timers—I fell asleep on the sofa while James gamed and read Facebook.

I only roused because it was time to go out and we were planning to get to our destination early. We dressed, stopped at Wendy's for simple burgers each and a shared lemonade, and then headed to the Unitarian church on Mount Vernon Highway for the November edition of the Hungry Ear Coffee House. Our friend Louis Robinson, who is originally from England and worked for many years at the BBC, had, like many young men in the 1970s, been in a band, and his friends from that band, "Green Ginger," had flown to the U.S. for a visit and they "got the band back together" to play at the coffee house. We brought the usual largesse (you are to donate a canned good for every seat) and were there early enough so James could get a seat near the door for calls of nature, but to our surprise the place was not filled the way it was for the "Summer of Love" concert a few months ago. The opening act was by Pat Walsh, who plays these offbeat "stream of consciousness" folk songs (that's the only way I can describe them), and then "Green Ginger" performed. For four guys that haven't played together in over forty years, they did a very funny and excellent concert. They did some traditional folk songs—including that ultimate folk song, "Wild Rover"—and a short, hilarious piece that was a parody of a train advertisement, and at least two songs that have become standard at Louis' solo concerts, including the beautiful wedding song, "Michaela." We had a grand time, snacking on cheesecake, grapes and hummus, and brownies, and drove home happily in the dark.

Tucker and I had an adventure when I took him out when we got back. We had walked down the street and he'd done his business, and we were back in the driveway for me to drop off "the deposit" when Tucker began barking hysterically behind me. I wheeled around to see a big raccoon trundling up the lawn toward us, wobbling a little and making little trilling raccoon noises. Now, for all I knew this was a raccoon that was fed by humans and was just looking for some food, but he was walking funny and Tucker was practically apoplectic, yelping and squealing and dashing after an animal that probably outweighed him by ten pounds until he got snubbed by his leash. The raccoon fled, but I hustled us inside fast, because there were over a dozen rabid raccoons discovered last spring next door in DeKalb County. I posted a warning on our neighborhood association Facebook page and one of the neighbors up the street said it had been sleeping on her doorstep earlier.

It must have been wandering outside all night, because Tucker practically barked that long.

Anyway, turned the rest of the clocks and timers back before before bed, which was gratefully welcomed! Farewell till spring, sucky DST. Wish you didn't have to come back!

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» Sunday, October 28, 2018
Books and Pasta

We had a lovely sleep-in this morning. I have slept better in the last few nights that it's been chilly that over the entire summer. I wish it could be under 65 just in our bedroom! Then there was breakfast and dog-walking.

Glad we went to the Jonquil Festival yesterday, even though it was damp and muddy: not a cloud in the sky today, which wouldn't have been bad had it not gone up in the 70s. Ugh.

About noon we headed to Buckhead and Barnes & Noble. We went the usual way through Northside Drive and West Paces Ferry Road and found quite a lot of traffic on it. This at least gave us some time to enjoy the hints of fall on the big homes that line Paces Ferry. We discovered the reason for the traffic when we reached the Atlanta History Center: they are having a Day of the Dead presentation today.

After that the afternoon was quite nice: we perused the books and the magazines. I bought a copy of Peter Pan for myself as I have never read it. It also contains the excerpt of "Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens" from The Little White Bird, which explains where Peter Pan came from. I also bought a copy of The Venderbeekers of 141st Street, which takes place at Christmas in New York City. James got the new Honor Harrington book.

We went next door to one more Publix; alas, they do not have small packages of the Bertolli sausage and cheese tortellini (which is BOGO this week). So we just stocked up on the chicken and proscuitto flavor, which, since we have found a new no-sugar spaghetti sauce (both the Prego and the Ragu are pretty good), make a quick and dirty meal. We also bought some various sharp cheeses, as we have finished the cheese we bought at the Apple Festival last week: a cheddar with cranberries, and one with bruschetta flavor, and some smoked. This will make a better light snack than something carb-y. We just have to watch the salt.

Came home to have a very late lunch and finish a book that I wasn't really happy with (The Spellbook of Katrina Van Tassel) and sort James' pills and wash the towels. James discovered that, although we've been in three supermarkets this weekend (and I was in more on Thursday), we totally forgot to buy onions! He had to cook up his ground turkey for the week without onion.

We had potstickers (BOGO again) for supper and then watched The Durrells in Corfu and Alaska: the Last Frontier.

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» Saturday, October 27, 2018
Happy Jonquil Festival Day

It was quite cloudy and damp when we awoke this morning, but it was not raining, which was just what we wanted. We emerged from our cocoon of blankets—it was down into the 40s last night—and dressed and breakfasted, and I took Tucker out for an airing. And then we were off, with Tucker in tow. It was the perfect day for the autumn Jonquil Festival, even if no one else thought so: cool, cloudy, open jacket weather.

We found a parking space behind the library, and began to stroll around the booths. Tucker was intensely alert, pulled in all directions by people and scents. The first dog we encountered was an Australian shepherd, mostly white with merle markings, and his name was Tucker, too. It's a small festival, so we ran into the other Tucker several times. Our Tucker got petted several times by people with small children, got barked at by a nervous pug, and tried to mark everything in his path. We admired jewelry and gadgets, and then stopped by a balsamic vinegar booth. We were out of our peach vinegar, so we bought that (now we don't have to drive up to Woodstock) and also some plum vinegar (which should taste smashing on lamb and beef), and a small bottle of spicy lime for James. We sampled huckleberry honey and dips, talked to some people with a shy border collie, walked past the rescue greyhounds, and looked at the Smyrna Library book sale books (here James bought some pecans for charity as well). As we were coming around we found a booth where a man was selling inexpensive clockworks in handmade wooden frames.

Now, way back when I was living at "the Cubbyhole," my studio apartment, and there was a Remington store at Perimeter Mall, Mom bought a little faux gold mantel clock with a rotating pendulum at the bottom which looked like the real one my Confirmation godmother Margaret Azzoli had in her parlor. Mom always adored that clock but couldn't afford an antique like that. When Mom passed, we took the little mantel clock home and it's been on our own mantel ever since. But the pendulum broke several years ago, and it's been going through batteries like water, sticking on certain hours, and running slow. I'd checked into lookalike mantel clocks online and they were very expensive and all plastic, and made in China.

James saw the look on my face when I came to one clock with an "aged" face set in dark walnut with a maple leaf cut on one side. He bought it for our anniversary, and when we got home I put it on the mantel. It fits right in with the fall decor and looks like it's always been there. The only thing wrong with it is that it takes "N" batteries and I will have to go to Batteries Plus for those.

We had some "island noodles" for lunch, chicken with vegetables and long noodles. It was very salty and I was equally sorry for suggesting it. We should have just had Williamson barbecue. James picked up some jambalaya for dinner and we were about to leave when we noticed a frisbee dog exhibition starting. This was just a short show, but there were three of the cutest dogs: a little smooth-haired bullet of a terrier-type dog, a border collie, and a red heeler. They all did a funny show where they deliberately disobeyed and had the crowd in stitches. Tucker completely ignored them!

By the time we got home he was completely "tuckered out" and sacked out on James' recliner for the rest of the day. I put the clock up on the mantel.

We were still both in good spirits, so we transferred all the junk from the box of Goodwill donations to the trunk of my car and took them all to the donation center. This gets rid of the Soda Stream, which James doesn't use anymore because the syrup changed manufacturers and got more expensive, a whole collection of small Hallowe'en decorations, a tailed mouse, plastic Christmas dishes, and a bunch of other little things.

Finally we strayed into dangerous territory by going to Kroger on a Saturday afternoon. However, it was less hazardous than we expected and we emerged unscathed. We came home to play about on the computer, watch some television, eat a little supper. James spent part of the afternoon and some of the evening downstairs in the "man cave" for the first time in a long time, and I worked on a tiny cross stitch "Colonial Sheep" that I bought so long ago in the gift shop in Yorktown.

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» Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Look, Ma, No Tubes
Today James had his official post-op appointment. Unfortunately we had to drive all the way down to Kaiser's Southwood office (near Southlake Mall in Morrow—or Jonesboro, depending on what GPS we were using). Since we didn't know how long it would take us to get down there, we left rather earlier than needed, but were able to take the freeway, which was more freewheeling than usual. By the time we got down there and sorted out where it was (they laugh about Atlanta having so many Peachtree-named streets, and this place has Mt. Zion Parkway, Mt. Zion Boulevard, Mt. Zion Road...), we were rather frazzled.

The Southwood office is huge, about the size of a small hospital. One building is for regular offices, one for specialties. We lucked out, someone was backing out of a handicapped parking space right as we got in, and urology was the closest department to the door.

Last Thursday James had a buildup of blood in his urine until it was very dark at night. When it was no lighter in the morning, we drove up to Urgent Care. They did several tests on him and told us that not only did it look worse than it was, but that, in fact, all his tests looks pretty good. He had just gone back on Brilinta and the ACC doctor said to hold it until we saw Dr. Starr today. Ironically it went back to normal abruptly on Friday afternoon, just about 24 hours after it began.

To cut to the chase, the nurse removed the catheter, James retired to the restroom, and...finally the waterworks have returned. However, the doctor was still concerned that he was not voiding enough. His policy is that only 150ml or less should be left in the bladder after you urinate. So he basically sent us out for lunch and told us to come back around 1:30. I was high as a kite with the news the surgery had worked and the foley could go while James remained more sober, but we did celebrate by having lunch at Olive Garden. James had soup and salad with a meatball pizza bowl, and I did the all-you-can-eat pasta. Sadly, two plates were all I could eat, so it was a little wasted on me. I had cavatappi with meatballs for the first course and just plain spaghetti for the second. It was all yummy, except the cavatappi was overcooked. The spaghetti was nicely al dente, though.

We got back to Southwood about 1:45, James having availed himself in Olive Garden twice, and miraculously again got a good handicapped parking spot near the door (otherwise the parking lot looked like the Courtland Garage during DragonCon); he got re-tested and passed the under-150 test. The catheter, for now, is suspended. So we endured another terrifying ride home on I-285, passed by three sports cars that were obviously racing each other, and stopped at Kaiser Cumberland to pick up the insulin James so desperately needed.

And since then he has been free of needing tubes. It actually may be a little too free. He's in the bathroom every hour (at least) and has to get up multiple times a night. The doctor warned us about this, though; being on a foley catheter since April has atrophied his bladder muscles, so he must respond immediately. However, he just needs to get a proper amount of liquids now, two liters per day, he doesn't have to drink like a fish as he had to to keep the catheter clear and free of infection.

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» Sunday, October 21, 2018
Apples of Our Eyes

It's been a busy weekend! Yesterday we had Hair Day. Charles made beef chili and the Butlers chicken chili, we brought rice, there was the usual wonderful relish tray, and David, although not there, contributed cornbread. Juanita came with Jessie; the poor kid looks so pale. She has had to have more transfusions, and they are still doing tests to find out where she losing blood internally. They think she may have a bleeding ulcer, but it's in a place that's inaccessible by normal tests.

While the morning was fine, we spent the afternoon playing grocery store hopscotch, which I hate. We stopped on the Macland Road Publix to do our BOGO shopping since it was on the way home, only to discover they were out of the item we needed the most. We got the rest of the things, then angled our way through surface streets to the Smyrna Publix to pick up that needed item, and got a few extra BOGO items as well. But milk was too expensive there and we needed bulk unsweetened applesauce, so we tried going to Costco. Stupid idea; you can't get a parking space on Saturday afternoon. So back we went to Kroger for the milk and a smaller container of applesauce, plus I grabbed ramen noodles. And only then could we go home.

Spent the evening watching Father Brown and Britcoms, but went to bed early because we needed to be up this morning at 6:45! A little breakfast, a little dog walking, and then we drove off to Ellijay listening to an episode of "A Way With Words." We also wrapped up well: when I walked Tucker it was quite chilly, since it had gone down to the 40s during the night, and, at least early this morning, there was a good breeze coming out of the north. I wore a flannel shirt outside with my "kimono" wrap over it, and that wasn't good enough, so I decanted the lighter jackets from storage at the back of our closet.

We got to the Lions Club fairgrounds a little after nine and got a nice parking space right at the end of a row. It rained more up in Ellijay yesterday than it did here, and we were afraid of sodden paths, but there was only a small patch of mud churned up and they'd blocked that off. By then we had to don hats and gloves for a while, and the first thing we bought was some hot chocolate, which warmed us nicely. The sky was completely clear and a gorgeous, deep royal blue, the air crisp and clean, one of those days when you're glad to be alive.

We were there about three hours, having a nice leisurely prowl among the booths. We bought some teriyaki rub, a new hot pad for the kitchen (I doused one in chicken soup two years ago and had to throw it away; they had no fall patterns last year or this year, so I just bought one with apples this year instead), some homemade cheeses, and six pieces of fudge. I was tempted by the ceramic Christmas trees again, but I have no available surfaces and even less cash. They always remind me of my godmother.

By the time lunchtime rolled around, it was warmer and we were hungry. I was interested in the Greek booth's kabobs, but they'd run out of steak, so we had chicken instead. This was a ton of chicken. There must have been a pound of it on each kabob, and it was very moist and flavorful, seasoned well. I got some of the tzatziki sauce (cucumber and yogurt and herbs) on the side and dipped the chunks of chicken in it; it gave the chicken a nice sweetish taste to go along with the savory. James sat in his chair and I perched on a plastic-covered hay bale and we had a good time eating among the other fairgoers.

On the way home we stopped at Panorama Orchards. I realized with horror a few months ago that we were out of the blackberry spread we always buy there; this is my "jelly" of choice for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It's just simply blackberry puree with a little apple juice and pectin, no added sugar, just a deep, deep fruit flavor, simply scrumptious—I think this is what the angels eat for breakfast in heaven. (I tried buying some Polaner "all fruit" blackberry to tide me over; it was dreadful, sickly sweet and too many other juices mixed in so there was no real blackberry taste at all.) So when we got there I scooped up three jars (the jars are smaller now), and James got a jar of the blueberry, which is also richly flavored. We also got more pot pie noodles, some of the goat's-milk hand lotion that I like, sugarless taffy for James, peanut brittle as a treat, and a big peck of Granny Smith apples, one of which we munched on the way home. We also stopped at Costco for gasoline for the truck.

All that fresh air wore me out; I fell asleep on the sofa after we put up all the food!

Alas, we thought we found a forgotten container of turkey soup in the freezer, but instead it was some really old chicken cacciatore legs. James warmed them up with a side of ramen noodles, but they were pretty bad. James ate both of his, but I couldn't finish mine. Anyway, they're out of the freezer, so we have room for fresher chicken (or more turkey soup).

Finished the evening with The Durrells in Corfu and Alaska: the Last Frontier.

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