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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» Friday, December 09, 2016
Lots of Hits and One Sad Miss

So, this week we've had some new work done, one training course completed, one telework agreement renewed (I have my Friday back! yay!), one backache—contracted from one dog yanking me out the door to chase a cat—successfully defeated, and some sad news: James' wedding ring turned up MIA on Thursday after he came back from the doctor. He's pretty sure he had it on that morning, but he has checked at work and I have checked at Kaiser and no one has seen it. Blast.

And now to something fun: the Christmas tree!

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Flourish

» Sunday, December 04, 2016
Second Weekend of Advent

We had a fairly happy and busy weekend.

"Hair Day" was scheduled for Saturday morning and we were bringing the main dish. On Thursday and again on Friday I had supervised the cooking of pot roast in the crock pot. We used a pork roast recipe with brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and cinnamon, and it came out wonderfully. There was a nice crowd, but we were all a little subdued: Lin was sick and Phyllis coming down with a cold, and Charles was, after eating with us, heading back to Pennsylvania to be with his mother, who is under hospice care. There were veggies to snack on for breakfast and mashed potatoes and rolls to go along with the pot roast.

I was rather appalled by the stories we were hearing from Pat and Alex's son. He said he was often distracted by kids playing loud music in class or talking aloud, and we in all innocence asked why the teacher didn't make them shut up. He said the teacher can't do that! If he/she does, the parents of the kids will complain to the school board and the teacher will get into trouble. How on earth do kids learn anything today if their teachers have no authority? What rubbish!

We were on dessert (a nice cake) by the time we had to leave and go get James' eyes dilated. They couldn't do it when he had the eye exam because he had it at night. (If they dilate your eyes, it makes your pupils open and more sensitive to light. So why couldn't they do it in the dark???) So we had this done, and then went down to Kroger and did that part of the shopping. By then the eye dilation kicked in and he was getting a headache, so we came home with the groceries and were in for the night. Put on John Denver and the Muppets, Muppet Family Christmas, "Santaclaustrophobia" from Hill Street Blues, and the documentary Christmas Past. After that, when James couldn't find anything decent to watch besides Guy Fieri, we went to bed!

As of Friday Atlanta had not had rain for 42 straight days, but finally rain was coming toward us. One of the reasons we came directly home from Kroger is that we had to get the power chair under cover because the anticipated rain was starting. Today it rained, it misted, it mizzled, it showered. James woke early, but I tried to stay in bed, defeated finally by a stuffed nose and a dry mouth. We went to Costco and while James had eaten breakfast, I forgot to grab a Bel Vita bar on the way out, so I was happy for a few samples at Costco. We found Skinny Pop there and bought sausage and mushrooms.

(We also bought new chair pads for our desk chairs. I've been using a rectangle of padding and a "chill pad" that was out of shape. These are nice and firm and so much better. We need to go back and get two more for work, especially on my $1600 supposedly ergonomic chair which has to be the most uncomfortable piece of office furniture ever.)

For a little fun we went to Barnes & Noble next. Checked out the books and the magazines, and we had some cocoa. On the way home we stopped at Big Lots for a new "airplane tree" and Publix for Smart Balance, lunchmeat for my work sandwiches, a Sunday paper, and a few other things, then arrived home for lunch, a movie, and decoration of the airplane tree.

This evening we watched America's Funniest Home Videos and Pearl Harbor: 75 Years Later.

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» Sunday, November 27, 2016
Life is What Happens When You're Making Other Plans #1257

We got to bed kind of late, but this morning we had a chance to sleep in. We needed to get some milk today, and I had to go back to Verizon to get my Hum installed, and we were thinking about going into Buckhead to see what they had at Barnes & Noble since 30 percent off a book and off all magazines doesn't happen every day.

At 5:30 a.m. I was awakened by a thump, what sounded like books falling over, and James' voice near my side of the bed. He was on the floor, having headed to the bathroom, then somehow twisted on his feet and stumbled forward, heading for the door instead and clonking his head on my dresser.

So in a few minutes I was playing nurse in the bathroom—James' skin has gotten very thin and he had scraped his hand and his elbow—and I was doing the usual "clonking" questions: is your vision blurry? how many fingers am I holding up? what's your mother's name? etc. He wasn't dizzy, his pupils were equal, he was coherent, and we just stayed up for an hour before going back to bed. He got up before me and limped through walking the dog and scraping together breakfast, but he was in a lot of pain. He called the advice nurse at Kaiser and she told him some stuff he could do, but she recommended going to urgent care. Sigh.

While he was eating I went on the porch and took down the Thanksgiving decorations and put up the Christmas ones, including the net lights on the bushes and the little blue pine tree on the table. I usually do a little bit of decorating on the first Sunday of Advent, even if it's only putting the candles in the windows. Didn't know if I would make it today. And I ran to Publix to get that milk we needed, a couple of yogurt cups, and some bread, which I made a sandwich with since God knows how long we would be at urgent care. We went by Wendy's to get James a grilled chicken burger.

We still had to stop by Verizon first. They'd opened at noon and at ten past were already slammed, so I had to wait. I filed my nails while I stood there. Finally got the Hum install (it plugs in the socket they use when they inspect your car), but then we couldn't log on to James' e-mail to get it fully connected. Sigh. But then finally we could head up to Kennesaw at urgent care.

We were actually taken care of pretty quickly by a nice team of folks, but it took a while because there were so many things to get through. First we talked to the nurse, then went into the back where we talked with the Physician's Assistant. Even though the bump on James' head did not break the skin, she wanted a CT scan just to make sure he wasn't bleeding internally (because he's on blood thinners), and then they had to do an X-ray of his back. In the meantime the tech cleaned out the scrape on his hand and cut away all the dead skin and bandaged him up, and he had a flu shot. The CT scan came up clean and the X-ray showed a lot of arthritis but nothing broken. The PA talked about giving him muscle relaxants, but he wants to go to work tomorrow because he hopes he can get his computer in shape to telework when it finally rains this week. So instead he has the week's worth of steroids that will make his blood sugar go crazy. Hopefully it will make him feel better, too.

We came home by the Town Center Barnes & Noble so we could use a coupon on the new David Weber book, and I got some modeling magazines for him as well. And we went by Best Buy and I finally got this year's copy of Big Bang Theory. So everything got done anyway (except the fun trip to Buckhead), and we had the City Cafe soup for supper, since we needed some comfort food. And I did manage to get the candles put in the front windows. We are the first house in the complex with outside lights, although Eddie and Miranda next door and the new folks down the street from Florida have Christmas trees up. Will commence more decorating tomorrow.

Later watched the animated A Christmas Carol (with the voice of Alistair Sim) and needed a laugh so put on The Fiveish Doctors Reboot. And then finally it was time for Alaska: the Last Frontier.

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» Saturday, November 26, 2016
Day Trippin'

We'd been toying with going to Chattanooga today, and the subject had gone back and forth for a couple of days. James worried about it possibly being crowded on the road because of shoppers and travelers, but then we wouldn't have a chance again until right before Christmas. And we got skunked out of our vacation, so today would be kind of a mini-vacation for us. So we set an alarm for eight and ended up waking at 7:30. Still, we didn't actually get on the road until 9:30, after eating, Tucker's walk, and a stop at Sam's Club for gasoline and to use the facilities. (We got there at 9:01. The sign on the door said that until Christmas Eve they were open at 7 a.m. The doors were still locked. They let us go in the exit, and didn't look ready to open yet. How strange.)

Anyway, it was a nice ride up, with pretty trees that faded about the time we got to very north Georgia. I drove, and we listened to "A Way With Words." The time passed pretty quickly. I don't know why we complain so much about driving up there; it takes me longer to get home from work half the time, and the ride isn't half as pleasurable.

McKay's was crowded, but not terribly so. A man helped us carry in the books and we sent them forward for trade in, and then set to investigating the shelves. They had the Christmas CDs right out front and I was chatting with a lady about music we liked to listen to as I thumbed through the albums. I got a nice selection of books, including three Malcolm Gladwell volumes, a book where a family cycles the Lewis & Clark trail, another where the narrators travel Spain and stay only at monasteries, some linguistics books, a book about the Harvey Girls, another about Queen Victoria's daughters, a big beautiful anthropology book in full color for only $4, and a bunch of other goodies including some nice Christmas music (Robert Shaw, Narada, etc.).

By the time we were finished, we were both hungry as wolves, breakfast having been five hours ago. As usual, we went to City Cafe for lunch. They are attached to a Best Western motel, have a diner motif, cook yummy food, and I love their chicken soup: it is very light and flavorful, with carrots, celery, and parsley, pieces of chicken, and the noodles are the way my mom and aunts and godmothers did them in a hurry, just spaghetti broken up into small bits, so it's very nostalgic. We both had a cup and James had liver and onions with pilaf and green beans, and I had spaghetti with meat sauce. It came in a huge bowl and I took most of it home. We also bought two extra servings of soup to bring home.

Sadly, by then it was three o'clock,so we had no time to go by the Barnes & Noble at the Hamilton Mall (I like to see the regional books and magazines) and still get home before dark. So we topped up the truck, since it's around 25 cents a gallon cheaper up there, and headed south. Ran into a couple of small traffic jams, but nothing else, and spent the rest of the night relaxing and messing with the new phone again.

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» Friday, November 25, 2016
Ready, Set, Shop...

Thanksgiving having been covered here, we were ready to go on to the next phase of the weekend: acquiring certain items (or at least looking at them).

So we (James having worked Sunday to take today off) got up by my usual work alarm, ate quickly and I walked Tucker, and then we went to H.H. Gregg. I still would like to buy James a stove. The ones they had on sale weren't all that prepossessing, and I've been attracted to this one, but it's not cheap. I am thinking that since we would mostly use the top half, it would use less gas in the long run. But, oh, that price tag, especially when I'm still paying off the HVAC.

So we left there to go by Best Buy to pick up the latest Big Bang Theory DVD only to find out they weren't open for ten minutes. Instead we went across the street and picked up my online purchase from Office Depot (a couple of wireless mice and some backup media) and by the time we came back they were open, but I could not for the life of me find the stupid DVD. Usually they have it on a rack or in a bin, and I walked around four times and never saw it. I hate going into Best Buy anymore; the lights are so bright and the televisions and the sound systems are cranked up so high that I get disoriented. Plus last year when they opened on Thanksgiving there was no one in the store on Friday; there was already a long line forming after 20 minutes, and BBT wasn't worth standing in it.

So out we came and went to Verizon. Frankly, I think we stepped on a rocket to the moon. You see, James got a tablet from them two years ago with 4G access because when it's slow at work he's not allowed to surf the internet any longer on his work computer. It's a security thing. But the tablet has been shutting down abruptly when he's in Facebook or even just reading an e-book, even after we reset it, and, worse, last month we went over our data plan because all of a sudden it has been pulling more data than usual. So he wanted a new one. After what seemed like hours we not only came out of there with a new tablet, but new phones, and even this gadget called a Hum which is like Onstar. It monitors your car and you can call for roadside assistance and for help. Plus they said our bill would stay the same and we have more data.

I really wanted a Droid Turbo 2, but we ended up with the Google Pixel because it was the special, and it has gotten terrific ratings. I spent the rest of the day wrestling with it (I even had to chat with tech support to find out how you got it to show up on your computer), and guess I like it. It's a tiny bit smaller than the old phone, but very light and the sound is better. The camera is supposed to be better than any phone, even the new iPhone, although I noticed it doesn't have a zoom. (I have the app Camera Zoom which does have one, so we'll see how that works.)

So we stopped at home to use the bathroom—it took forever there because their computers were messed up with all the people upgrading—and then dashed to Staples to pick up the thumb drive I'd bought online before having lunch at West Cobb Diner. It was warm enough to eat outside and we took full advantage of it, taking a table under a tree. Afterwards we stopped at Barnes & Noble because all their magazines are 30 percent off this weekend. I was fabulously lucky that the new "Bella Grace" was out (with all that heavy paper it's expensive), and I also got the Christmas "Smoky Mountain Living" and "Southern Lady Christmas."

From there we finally came home and I spent a lot of the evening putting stuff back on my phone.

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» Wednesday, November 23, 2016
A Week of Freedom!
And it started today!

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» Sunday, November 20, 2016
The Hygge Department

So James got up for work and I got to sleep in. I really missed having him here today. Of course he's tied to the laptop for eight hours, but he's still here; it's very companionable between calls.

I wanted to make sure I got some bread today and we needed a paper, so after I took Tucker for a nice long walk—it was too pretty to just make it a short one, all bright and blue and breezy again—I skipped breakfast and went back to Publix. This time they had baguettes and I got the last double newspaper. I also picked up onions, Band Aids, Neosporin, and a small bottle of Dawn. Yes, I kept to my grocery list for once. Well, except for one thing: I bought a dozen of Davidson's eggs. These are safe to eat raw because they are pasteurized in the shell, so I made myself an eggnog for breakfast. This is what I had for breakfast all thirteen of my school years. We bought the eggs fresh from Stamps' farm and never worried about salmonella. Instead of that icky thick stuff you get in cartons and cans, this is fresh and light: eight ounces of milk, one egg, and less than two teaspoons of sugar. I remember that at Christmas mom would add nutmeg, and when it got really cold she would put some brandy in it.

And that was all I did outside today. I put the rest of yesterday's groceries away, aired out and made the bed, did my usual Sunday chores (counting out pills for the week, putting out my work clothes, getting my work bag ready for the week, setting up my lunch box, etc.), and spent the afternoon either listening to DishNet's Traditional Holidays music channel or watching back episodes of Elementary. Read a bit of Kirkpatrick's Thanksgiving, fiddled a bit more trying to get Paint Shop Pro 9 off my computer (it quit working and I've been trying to uninstall it and possibly reinstall it, but it keeps getting stuck in the removal process, even with a software removal tool I got from the PSP people), paid some bills through online banking, walked the dog again, did a blog entry for "Stir-Up Sunday," read the paper and cut out coupons, and a bunch of other little chores. Snowy sang to the Christmas music, and Tucker, looking depressed since James was not here, settled for sleeping on my right leg for a while.

James was home on time, having had a slow day, and we finished up the tortellini from last week and had a cucumber salad with peach vinegar dressing. Watched the lighting of the Christmas tree on top of the Macy's store at Lenox Mall, then The Durrells in Corfu (the final episode, it looks like), and a Thanksgiving episode of Alaska: the Last Frontier.

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» Saturday, November 19, 2016
The Busy Department

Yesterday the high was 78°F, any wind blowing sullenly from the south with heat oozing from every pore, only dipping into the mid-fifties after the sun set. And there it remained, only creeping up two degrees during Saturday. Along with the cold came a long blast of wind and this combined to make it chilly and breezy all day.

Needless to say, it was beautiful. The sky was clear and so blue it hurt. All that cold air puts heart back into me after the sweaty despair of summer.

We were up at 7:30 to eat a quick breakfast and get the dog perambulated before we had to load boxes of dead electronics/electrical items in the bed of the truck and also load the power chair. We took dead lamps, defunct computers, burned-out fans and all sorts of nonsense, including all those lousy pigtail CFLs. There was already a line to get in when we arrived at Jim Miller Park at 8:58. We got directed into the wrong line, then into the correct line, but they didn't take lightbulbs, and James protested that we had just gotten out of the lightbulb line and they hadn't told us that was for lightbulbs, so they took the lightbulbs anyway.

We had the power chair with us because we wanted to go to the Farmer's Market, but on the way there we spotted an inspection station. I had my car done when I had the window switch fixed, but the truck still needed to be completed. So we stopped and had it done and now I can go online and pay for the car registrations.

Most of the vendors at the Farmer's Market today dispensed with the tents because of the blustery weather. We hadn't been for a while and discovered that they have fixed the sidewalks from the parking lot to the square; it's all been bricked and what was already bricked was repaired, much nicer for James to trundle on. We bought fresh tomatoes and cucumbers for ourselves and to make a salad for Thanksgiving Day, dog biscuits and some Thanksgiving dog cookies, pumpkin bread to take to the "kitchenwarming," and scones for desserts. Stopped and talked to the guy who used to sell the chicken salad, substituting for Diana who sells salmon, and he said his wife is so retired she won't even make chicken salad for him anymore. LOL.

While we were surveying the booths, America's Best called. They couldn't get James' insurance to run; did he want the new glasses anyway? James said yes, because he'd priced them online and they aren't much cheaper. Those "cheap online glasses" aren't just cheap frames, they're plain single vision lenses with no other additions. Once you get bifocals, progressive ones no less, anti-glare, anti-scratch—it all adds up.

So from the Farmer's Market we went to put in the final order for the glasses. They are pewter color and will go well with his beard, and should be here in around a week.

Finally we stopped at Publix to round up a lot of twofers. We found not only the ones I had on my list, but a bunch more (nothing we couldn't use)—but no oatmeal in my flavor and no French bread. I only need one sandwich next week and there's no use buying a whole pack of buns. Was astonished by the absence of the bread, since it wasn't even noon yet.

So we came home for the rest of the afternoon. We had lunch, I did a few chores, and then watched Ray Mears (Wild Britain) until it was time to leave for the "kitchenwarming" party at the Spiveys. Their old kitchen was not only outdated, but had safety problems, so they had it remodeled and new flooring put in (due to water damage). It looks lovely now; the kitchen is no longer boxed in, and the new floor now connects what was the old "Florida room" to the rest of the house and makes it look all of one piece. Best yet, it makes the whole family happy.

So we had a lovely party, guests flowed in and out, we saw familiar faces and met new ones, especially the minister who put James on their prayer list, ate goodies, and loved every minute of it. Sadly, it was soon 9 o'clock and time to go home so James could set up his laptop so he could telework tomorrow.

Except that he couldn't. While his work laptop performed flawlessly the last time he teleworked (Election Day), it would not connect to our internet. It kept saying there was some error. All we can think of is that some Windows update confunded it. But this meant we now had to rush to bed so that he could get up at 6:20 to get ready for work. What a rotter of an ending for a beautiful day.

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» Friday, November 18, 2016
The Buying Department

I was chivvied from bed by calls of nature, but I didn't have much time to waste if I was going to be down at the Northside Library when they opened. So I performed the usual morning ministrations, ate breakfast, walked Tucker, and pulled out the Thanksgiving cards and printed out an address list and made everything ready until I'd get back.

On the way to the library I stopped at Barnes & Noble with my coupon and picked up the new postmistress mystery paperback. Lots of new books out including Blanche Weisen Cook's final book in her Eleanor Roosevelt biography. I'm a little disappointed; it's much smaller than the first two and covers twenty-three years! I don't know if she is ill and just wanted to finish up, got sick of Eleanor, or, just maybe, that by 1939 Eleanor had become the Eleanor we remember, was now fully formed, and the previous books covered how she became that Eleanor, which was more interesting to the author. Anyway, David Bianculli has a new TV book out, and I saw several books for James. Now I have a whole pile of books I want, and I also have to save coupon or Amazon credit for the new Bryant & May book. I also noted that the first of the 2017 magazines have appeared. How fast the last few months of the year go. November, at least, is whizzing by.

About 11:45 I headed down to Northside. They've had budget cuts so the library opens at noon, which I think is barbaric. This is a very small book sale compared to the Cobb County one, but I found two brand-new books which I won't mention since they will be gifts, and found three for me, a small book about Christopher Radko Christmas ornaments, one hefty volume about Victorian country houses, and one called The New England Experience from 1962 with photographs from the six states up to 1962, most earlier. Since it's from 1962, the pictures are in black and white, but it's the NE I remember as a child, old homes, white churches, country stores, etc.

I took this in with me to Tin Drum to read and was amazed when the author said they were all taken with a "view camera," one of the type Matthew Brady used, with the bellows and putting your head under the black cloth and exposing the photos on glass plates! I had no idea people still used them during my own time.

When I finished my lunch, I went to Costco to top off my gas tank, and then went inside to pick up "a few things." So i did get milk, picked up stuff James needed like BreathRights and aspirin and Tylenol, I bought one of the books for James that I'd seen first at Barnes & Noble plus Bill Bryson's Road to Little Dribbling—oh, yes, and a birthday present for myself, Adobe Photoshop Essentials. It was half price!

When I reached home I put everything away, and then wrote out the few Thanksgiving cards I was sending while watching episodes of Lassie and actually managed to do all that before the postman came, but he does come really late!

James was also really late tonight; he had an appointment at America's Best to get his eyes checked because supposedly they take the medical insurance he bought at work. (Turns out they don't take it! There are different entities, and they take a different entity.) He's going to do some research online on other prices and the America's Best people are going to try to put it through the insurance anyway. So we just went to Ken's for dinner by the time he got home, and then came home for the night. I was finishing up the Bess Crawford mystery The Shattered Tree and we had to be in bed early anyway.

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» Sunday, November 13, 2016
Dejunking

So we slept in a little this morning; won't be able to do it next weekend as we will need to be up early for recycling day on Saturday and James is working on Sunday so he can have Black Friday off. I can't believe we are almost halfway through November already. October went by beautifully, not too slow or too fast, and now November is speeding away!

The smoky smell and grit in the air was back, which was a pain as we headed out after breakfast. At least it was chilly, which kept the air from being stagnant as well. Clouds hung over the house as we emerged from the house. Sam's Club's electric carts are so undependable that we loaded the power chair for this trip. Had to get Skinny Pop, mushrooms, trash bags, and milk, and had to search around the store for the first, as they had rearranged again to get all the Christmas items in. We passed some Eddie Bauer brand slippers that were ninety dollars. Are you kidding me?

On the way home we stopped very quickly at Publix so I could pick up eggs, yogurt, lettuce, bananas, and a paper. And I didn't pick up anything extra! :-)

We spent the rest of the afternoon getting rid of old computer junk, rather than being stuck doing it on Friday night. James had taken home a discarded server from work many years ago and we'd paired it with an old monitor and left it in the library just in case the kids got bored at one of our parties and wanted to play computer games. That never happened, and now everyone has a phone with games on it, so it's barely been used. We brought that all out in the garage to dump into boxes to take to Jim Miller Park next Saturday morning, plus an old light James uses when modeling that has completely burnt out. The last thing I need to extricate is a window fan that has burned out its bearings, and that will be it (I think) for the load. It's been piling up because they didn't bother announcing it online last year and calling them is like talking to a tree.

We also put aside some salty food James can't eat anymore to give to Alice for her church's food pantry, and cleaned out some expired stuff. Our trash can is already overflowing and we don't have trash collection until Thursday!

This took most of the afternoon. James made pork for supper and we spent the evening with AFV, The Durrells in Corfu, and Alaska: the Last Frontier. So sorry to hear that Charlotte's mother has died! I love Otto and Charlotte.

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» Saturday, November 12, 2016
Two Sheets to No Wind

We'd talked about going to the Farmer's Market this morning, but it was a much nicer morning to sleep, cool enough to use two blankets! So very happy it's gotten cool. I've even closed the vent in the bedroom in anticipation of cold nights.

We had a leisurely breakfast and Tucker had his walk. The wind was blowing from the Northeast this morning, so most of the wildfire smoke from up north was headed over Alabama, and it was pretty and blue and cool. Soon James was off to his meeting. I'd remembered the other thing I wanted to look for at Walmart, so I grabbed up my wallet and went. After digging through the supply, I did find the flannel sheets I was searching for (not too light colored, as I use the fitted bottom sheet as a cover on the sofa cushions to keep them clean), bought a new rug for the foyer, and picked up other items I needed (air freshener, light bulbs, that sort of boring stuff). Oh, yeah, and first season of The Librarians on DVD, because "why not?" When I finished there I decided to go to Sprouts to pick up some beef and pork, and something for lunch. I tried to feed the car at RaceTrac first and the pumps shut down when I got there. Was it something I said? :-) Ended up using the QT instead after I finished at Sprouts.

Had a delicious lunch of Italian wedding soup and some bread while watching episodes of Lassie, and then started the next Molly Murphy mystery and was so immersed in it that when James came home early I just kept reading when he fell asleep in the recliner. Needless to say, we didn't go out to eat until after six.

We ended up at Cracker Barrel for supper—I didn't think they had as much Christmas-oriented merchandise as in past years—and that was pretty good and we had a super waitress. From there we drove to the Hallmark store at Town Center, because I had $10 worth of coupons, $2 of which would expire soon. I bought a retirement gift to put away.

We ended up the night at Barnes & Noble to have a peppermint cocoa at the Starbuck's. It was getting chilly and it tasted good. I picked up a couple of Christmas magazines as well.

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» Friday, November 11, 2016
Smoke Gets In Everyone's Eyes

I probably could have slept longer this morning, but didn't. Lots of interruptions during the night, including having a bad dream about some small animal dying—James woke me up to ask me why I was crying—and my alarm going off because I'd forgotten to turn it off last night.

It was chilly but nice when I took the dog out, with a smell of smoke in the air. For a moment I wondered if someone already had been at their fireplace, and then I realized it was still smoke from the wildfires burning up at the Georgia/North Carolina/Tennessee state line. When will we get some rain? I don't remember it raining since that thunderstorm we had when James was in the hospital. That was July!

Driving into Buckhead early did nothing to alleviate the traffic; oh, well. It was a pretty ride. I went through Vinings, which has a pretty little shopping area planted with maples and other colorful trees, and then down Paces Ferry Road, which is all "swells," with houses far back from the road, long driveways (even little bridges over creeks), and surrounded by trees. Our trees are muted compared to up north, but occasionally there's a patch of nice color, and the arch of the trees and the diffused sun made a pretty scene of it. West Paces Ferry Road, where the Governor's Mansion is and is now a mix of "old money" and modern McMansions, was also a treat. They were preparing for a Veteran's Day ceremony at the Atlanta History Center and a man in colonial uniform crossed the street in front of me.

I spent too much time in Barnes & Noble, but did find the "This England Annual 2017" and bought a Christmas magazine. Really too early for the winter edition of "This England," and I'm not sure when the winter issue of "Bella Grace" is coming out. I was quite happy with the autumn one. I've finished almost all the journaling portions. Also saw an interesting new book called The Dog Merchants, about breeders, puppy mills, pet shops, shelters, etc. Came back through the streets behind West Paces Ferry, which have beautiful homes, including a Tudor-style and a Colonial house that would not look out of place at Yorktown. Smoke was still in the air.

I thought about going to Sam Flax to see what they had in art things, but I had a 60 percent off JoAnn coupon and was hoping I might get another Ott light. Heh. Of course they had all the expensive stuff already on sale, which means I couldn't use the coupon. I got more superglue with a 40 and India ink calligraphy pens.with the 60. Also popped into Michaels and got a couple of tiny sale things with a 20 percenter.

By then I was hungry, so headed home through Kennesaw National Battlefield Park. Again, more mellow trees, chiefly pale golds and a lot of oaks fading directly from green to brown, autumn color enveloping the cleared fields. The route home passes through another ritzy area with huge old homes or big low bungalows with trees hanging over them like benevolent guardians.

Came home to some leftover chicken and played a couple of episodes of Lassie to update my website. Was worried about Tucker—I had let him out on the deck, where he remained happily until I brought him in for his walk, and abruptly he was throwing up what looked like bile. I walked him slowly and then he slept until James got home, which perked him up considerably.

We had supper at Hibachi Grill, where it seemed like they oversalted everything tonight, and then just came home. I was trying to finish a book but half watching a new show on HGTV, We Bought the Farm, which is House Hunters with smallholders. Meh. When I took Tucker out for the last time tonight the wind had freshened and the scent of smoke was back.

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Once again, I spent a happy day off. I went about my town and drove home. I walked my dog and talked with my bird, and was able to have supper with my husband. And I can do this all freely because some man or woman offered their time and perhaps even their life to defend my country and my freedoms. Thank you to all those who serve and who have served. We owe you so much.

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» Sunday, November 06, 2016
Let There Be Light...Almost

Sigh...well, it was a partially successful day. Unfortunately what we didn't succeed at we fouled up really good.

The nice thing was waking up this morning actually feeling rested. We went to bed by Daylight Savings Time at 12:30 a.m., but woke up at eight on Eastern Standard Time having slept eight hours. I was alert and didn't have the rotten headache I had all day yesterday. But then EST makes me feel good.

Despite getting up that early, we didn't get out of the house until almost ten. I needed sandwich bread, so we went to the Kroger at Dallas Highway and did our shopping. We found 100 watt and 75 watt LED bulbs there, so we decided not to go to Lowes. Once home, we put the perishables away and started in on the light bulbs. We finally have all the awful CFLs out of the house. They will go to electronics recycling. There are now two 100-watt equivalent LEDs in the garage that don't have to warm up—that was aggravating; wanting to look for something in the garage and having to wait for the CFLs to get to 100 watts.

I was having trouble seeing in the laundry room, so we put in a 60-watt LED equivalent in the laundry room fixture (I wanted a 75 up there, but the 75 bulbs are too big for the fixture) and discovered that the bulb in there was original to the house! No wonder it was so dim. Also put another 60-watt equivalent in the hallway to replace another CFL that took forever to warm up, wasn't bright enough, and was starting to buzz.

Then the bad luck took over. The downstairs bath has the sink in one room; the tub and the toilet in another. It was too small for the door to the toilet/tub area, so James took the door off and brought it into the attic. There is a waterproof (well, presumably) canister light fixture over the bathtub and James got it popped out—we'd hoped the plastic clear cover might twist off, but no. So he gets the fixture out, but the light bulb inside it will not fit through the hole in the top of the fixture, either to get the blown-out bulb out or to get the new bulb in! We don't see any way else to get the fixture open (no screws or other fasteners). James put it back where it belonged, but it's still Stygian darkness in there.


To compound that failure, we tried to replace the bulb in the ceiling fan fixture in the library. We've done this before; it comprises taking the whole bottom part of the fixture off. Got it unscrewed and down, James started to unscrew the light bulb—and the glass part broke off leaving the screw part. Easy, get a plier to unscrew it, right? Nope. Wouldn't come loose period. The plier just broke off bits of the metal screw part, so half of it's in bits in the rug and the rest is still in the socket. Grrrrr. So we will have to replace the socket, I guess, and there's still no big light in the library. It shouldn't be this hard to replace light bulbs!

James was pretty ticked off and had to sit a while to calm down. He was bemoaning the fact earlier that we could only find about four flavors of low-sodium soup, and none of them had beef in them. So he made his own today: no salt beef broth, rinsed canned mixed vegetables, and canned roast beef, and set it to simmer altogether on the stove for a few hours. Smelled nice and he had some for supper. He also had to make himself some breakfasts; homemade burritoes and thin sandwich roll "McMuffins" with Eggland eggs, 97 percent fat free hamburger, some Rotel tomatoes, and spices. I had chicken broth and rice for supper and we read the paper and watched Rick Steves, AFV, The Durrells in Corfu, and Alaska: the Last Frontier. 

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» Saturday, November 05, 2016
Let There Be Lightbulbs

So I followed a night in which I slept beautifully except for James waking me three times thumping his heel against the side of the bed with a night where I barely felt like I slept at all. Which means I was bleary and headachy most of the day, and so sleepy I forgot to take my stupid omeprazole until late in the afternoon, so I was sick most of the evening.

We wanted to head to Trader Joe's to see if they'd traded pumpkin bars for cranberry bars, so we decided to have breakfast out at the IHOP on Johnson Ferry Road. We had a delightful Japanese waiter who made the kids at the table around us laugh; we left him a nice tip. The Trader Joe's  trip was less successful. They have straddled the line between Hallowe'en and Christmas by still having pumpkin but also getting the peppermint stuff in stock. We bought a couple of things including peeled and diced butternut squash for a "squish" side, but not as much as we usually do.

We thought we'd check out Half-Price Books again, even though I find them overpriced. James found some model kits for a couple of dollars each and I bought a book about geographical place names and another about unusual historical events. Then we backtracked to check out the LED bulbs in the Home Depot on Johnson Ferry. They have a bigger assortment than Lowes, but man are they more expensive! We will check out another Lowes first.

Finally it was about 2 p.m. and we were both getting hungry, so we stopped at Sprouts. I got clam chowder and James had a salad with chicken and we picked up beef and pork bits and cashews, and we came home from there to have lunch. The clam chowder was a bad idea; that's when the indigestion began.

I finished reading a book I got from NetGalley, Martians Abroad, and posted a rather sour review of it; sorry, I liked it better when it was called Podkayne of Mars and Robert Heinlein wrote it (really, the parallels are that close), and James took a nap. Then he took Tucker outside while I finished writing the book review.

Later on I had some oatmeal for supper and then started the long, arduous process of turning the clocks back. Why we can't stay on Standard Time I don't know. I'd much rather have it light in the morning when I'm on my way to work than be light as late as 9:30 p.m. in the dead of summer when I practically have to start getting ready for work the next day and then go to bed. They've already proven it doesn't save energy; it actually wastes more of it.

While I was downstairs turning back the library clock I tried to check out what wattage the overhead ceiling fan bulb in the library had; it's been out for months and we need to replace it. Alas, it's been almost ten years since we installed it and neither of us remembers how the light cover comes off. We did check the seriously dim bulb in the laundry room to discover it's one of the original bulbs that came with the house! I went upstairs to finish the clocks—the one in the master bath, the two alarm clocks, the one in the hall bath, the one in the spare room, the one in the craft room, the one in the kitchen, the one in the dining room...you can see why I hate this—and then regarded those two 40 watt equivalent LEDs in the hall bath. The light is still too creepy bright for words. So I took them out and put real 40 watt bulbs in them, and put the 40 watt equivalents in the downstairs bath. James is down there the most and the creepy brightness doesn't bother him the way it does me. Now we just have to replace the light bulb over the bathtub (yes, over the bathtub; it's high up under a protective dome) in the downstairs bath; I think it's been out over a year.

Watched a Rosemary & Thyme I don't ever remember seeing, "the Bucket woman!," As Time Goes By and French Fields. Two more clocks to change and we can go to bed!

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