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cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
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» Sunday, October 19, 2014A Great Day for a Festival
I don't get up at seven on a Sunday willingly, but today was different. It was wash, dress, walk the dog (under a beautiful dawn sky, the brightening blue striped liberally with pink clouds from one horizon to the other, with a silver scythe of a moon hanging over the roof of the house), and finally shove the Rollator into the back of my car so we could head up to Ellijay for the Apple Festival. We stopped by Publix for cash and Burger King for breakfast (thank God you can get plain oatmeal now; the first batch I ever got had those fake blueberries in it and was dreadful), and then headed north.
It was just a plain wonderful day: Sunny, but only about 50°F when we arrived. I discarded my jacket anyway and just went with my pashmina; it was a bit chilly until we started walking, but I didn't much care as long as I wasn't warm. There was a wonderful breeze, too, that made the pash flap. We had a grand stroll around the Lion's Club fairgrounds, sampled dip and cocoa and jams, checked out the pretty crafts, and enjoyed the nice cool air. James did really well; we didn't stop all that much; our longest break was for lunch in which we had meat "sundaes": I had turkey and James had beef, served over mashed potatoes, with gravy, shredded cheese and a cherry tomato on top. (We both decided it was good, but too much potatoes, and neither of us finished the potatoes. They were real mashed potatoes, though, with chunks of potato in with the mash.)
We bought the second and last batch of Ginny's Fudge (they won't be at the Jonquil Festival), some of the lovely soft caramels we got last year at the Jonquil Festival, a half-dozen cider doughnuts because James likes them, peppermint cocoa, and a container of ginger pickles (yah, I though of Beatrix Potter, too). James bought himself a new leather wallet, a grey Stetson sun hat, and an anniversary gift for me, a sweatshirt with a chickadee amongst fall leaves and snowflakes on it. It was just starting to get too warm (high 60s) when we headed back to the car. On the way home we stopped at the edge of Ellijay at Panorama Orchards and bought a peck of Granny Smith apples, a bag of onions, and an apple pie, and each had an apple on the way home, listening to, as we did on the way up, "The Splendid Table." Ran into one mystery jam, but made it home okay, if still feeling a bit sunburnt.
For the rest of the afternoon, Tucker played cat and wanted on and off the deck. Snowy sang. I finished some book reviews. James paid some bills.
Had pizza for supper, and watched the 25th edition of "Treehouse of Horror" on The Simpsons (the first one with Bart going to Hell was the best, since we all figured he was going to end up there anyway), and then Alaska: the Last Frontier.
» Saturday, October 18, 2014"The Chores Are a Circle Without a Beginning..."
No sleeping late for us this morning, sadly. James had to be into work by ten, and we had to be at the bank by nine. We are taking out a home equity loan to pay for our share of James' power chair and the lift on the truck. Our loan officer understood James had to leave by 9:15 and let us in five minutes early and had us out of there by 9:15. Of course we had the same loan with the last house, which we'd used for the siding and the roof, so we pretty much knew the routine.
James went off to work, and I went off to Michael's with a coupon, except I knew they weren't open yet. Instead I went to Costco, intending to buy milk and Skinny Pop, except they've stopped carrying the latter again. Much gnashing of teeth, as they still have that awful Boom-Chicka-Pop crap, which is tough and dry. I got the milk anyway, put it into the insulated bag, and went into Michael's to pick up two tiny things for some gifts I am making. I needed Chex Snack Mix anyway, to put in my lunch for work, and I got that and the Skinny Pop at Sam's Club. I also bought gas there, because it was $2.999 a gallon.
My final stop was Publix, to drop off the plastic bags for recycling, so I'd pretty much made a big circle since 8:45. Am spending the afternoon cleaning up, running the dishwasher, vacuuming, dubbing off The Roosevelts, keeping Tucker and Snowy company, and maybe finishing re-reading The Years With Ross.
» Thursday, October 16, 2014The Walden Moment
We got cheated out of our work picnic last year because of the furlough, but I didn't want to go anyway; it was supposed to be at Stone Mountain Park, which is not only a long drive, but a charge of $10 to get in. This year we were back to Jones Bridge Park, which I love. The picnic pavilion is on one bank of the Chattahoochee River, and right behind it, stairs lead down to a walkway to the river, and then to a little stand of woods. After a few hours of chatting and loud music, I always wander down to the water to watch the wildlife and then have a walk in the woods before leaving for home.
This year the picnic was not mandatory attendance, so I played it by ear. Today dawned cloudy and delightfully cool, about 58°F when I took Tucker out for his walk. It was supposed to be partly cloudy most of the day, and wasn't supposed to get over 65, so I put on my fall sweatshirt and left the house in time to stop at Sprouts to get some muffins for the picnic as well as some inka corn for me. I picked up some homemade Italian wedding soup for supper, too.
Had a good time at the festivities. Had a burger and a hot dog, some chips, and cucumber and tomato salad, plus one of the chocolate muffins, and sat talking with Tiffney and Gordon. The temperature had been slowly climbing when I left the house, but the clouds had come back in by the time I arrived at the park. The wind was quite nippy and people were wrapped in blankets or rubbing their arms. Our branch chief gave a sum-up of the fiscal year after everyone had a chance at the food, and then the line dancing commenced. I took a few photos, then the river called and I had to follow it.
I headed up the shore and took pictures of the heron from several angles, and then took my walk in the woods. The scent of the fallen leaves brought autumn home. Squirrels scrambled up in branches around me. An elderly woman walked two dogs just ahead of me, crunching through the leaves, the smaller dog running rings investigating all the scents. Tucker would have gone berserk out here, trying to track down squirrels. Once the sun broke through the trees and pooled around me.
I reached the end of the woods just as my back started strenuously complaining, so I got into the car and headed home, stopping briefly at Barnes & Noble to use the bathroom. Not only did I find a parking space right out in front, but I found a copy of "Best of British." Score!
Stopped at Publix to pick up some bread to go with the Italian wedding soup, and then arrived home, walked Tucker, and finally stretched out on the bed. My right shoulder was cramped and painful, for whatever reason; it's been a right pain in the butt ever since the thyroid cancer surgery. Today I needed Motrin and the lie-down was appreciated.
The soup was delicious!
» Monday, October 13, 2014Attack of the Bookazines!
I really, really did intend to do some housework today, but the siren song of crafts supplies egged me on. After breakfast and dog walking, I went up to Town Center. We had a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon expiring today, so I got a few things we needed: Plinks, string, and a pastry brush (well, okay, I need the pastry brush for the wine biscuits), and I found some nice plastic plates. Back in the "olden days," good frozen dinners (like LeMenu) came on plastic plates, but over the years our accumulated collection from both our efforts and my mom's has broken, and we have one measly LeMenu left. They're good for lunches, serving, etc.
Stopped at both JoAnn and Michael's for a few more craft items, and then got a wild hare to stop at 2nd and Charles, the used book store. I have found a couple of things here in the past, but nothing very exciting. Hit a bumper crop today: a decent copy of Theater Shoes, since the copy I got at the book sale last year looked like it was chewed by a dog; a novelization of Miss Potter which I loved despite the fact that the story was so fictionalized; The Sixty-Eight Rooms which I first saw at ::sob:: Borders; the lovely Little House Christmas Treasury (Christmas chapters from the Little House books with colored illustrations); and, finally, three of the five Marian Bray "Lassie" books. These came out in the 1990s, but I'd never seen or heard of them until I was compiling a list of books for my Lassie website. These are middle grade books with a Christian bent. In this incarnation, Lassie belongs to the Harmon family and specifically to 12-year-old Jimmy, whose father is a minister. If you're a Lassie fan, the basic plots to the books may sound a bit familiar: it's because Bray based the books on plots from the television series. The first one is based very loosely on "Lassie's Odyssey" and there are also touches of "The Dognappers." The elder Harmons are named Paul and Ruth, the next book features an "Uncle" Cully, and the third a "Mr. Krebs" and a mysterious "Mr. Nicholson." Bray even riffs on Lassie Come-Home twice in the first book. (One time she's incorrect: she describes Lassie as a tricolor, but the television Lassie is a sable. A tricolor is mostly black.)
Finally I stopped at Barnes & Noble because I hate to let a 20 percent off coupon go to waste. I bought James a jets calendar. Oh, and three cross-stitch magazines because the Christmas designs were out.
I had come home, eaten my lunch (leftover pasta and pork!), and had taken Tucker for his walk, and was just checking the mailbox when the garage doors came up. Work was slow today because of Columbus Day and Canadian Thanksgiving, so they sent James home early. So we had some time together and I had Snowy in the carry box for a while, had a nice dinner (grilled chicken thighs and Yukon Gold potatoes) and watched television.
» Sunday, October 12, 2014Rain...No, Sun...No, Wait for It...
We slept in until ten. That was so nice. It would have been nicer if I hadn't wakened in the middle of the night and started thinking about trailer hitches and power chairs...never a good thing. Oh, and it was raining outside.
I walked out the door with the dog leash in one hand and an umbrella in the other. Our "rough, tough 'terror'" stepped out about five paces into the rain and looked back at me intreatingly. "Don't look at me. Go potty fast and we can go back in." Yea, verily, you can get a dog to relieve itself quickly: just take it out in the rain.
We wanted to go to the camper show, so we grabbed BelVita bars and drove out to Gwinnett County. This time the bar didn't do its job and we had to stop at Krystal before we got there; I was so hungry my head was throbbing. We had gotten rained on going out there (while listening to "The Splendid Table"), but it was only cloudy as we arrived.
We walked around the show for a couple of hours. They had mostly towables, some which were veritable palaces, but a few class As and Bs, including a retro Winnebago with some 21st century additions (a pullout tray in the passenger seat so you could use a laptop). (One Class A had a "doggie window" in the footwell of the passenger seat. Yeah, as if. Tucker would be in James' lap, trying to drive.) The smaller trailers were...well, small. We saw a couple of "half popups," which were basically a bed and a soft with a little air conditioner in the compartment. A couple of the popups had a toilet, and one a toilet/shower combo. I like that idea; not a problem showering in a campground shower, but having to trudge to the toilet there in the middle of the night isn't worth thinking of. The two that we could afford, and that the truck could haul, that I liked the best was one of the tiny trailers with just a bathroom, kitchen area, and table area, but with a popout for the bed rather than sleeping on the seat cushions, which to me makes it less claustrophobic and more liveable, and the A-frame trailer that had a popout on either side which wasn't claustrophobic either.
Anyway, trailers are moot, as the truck will have to haul the power chair now.
Bother. The sun was out again.
We stopped at Kroger and did the shopping on the way home. For supper we had breakfast: the bacon from Pine Street Market and buckwheat pancakes. Double yum. Watched America's Funniest Home Videos, the first two episodes of the Charlestown house on This Old House, and are now on Alaska: the Last Frontier.
The Saturday Stuff
We went to the Farmer's Market this morning for the first time in a long time. We arrived to find big signs: "Event parking, $10." We don't want to go to the event, dammit. However, city parking is free on weekends, so we went around the back of Johnny McCracken's and parked there. The tents were lined up near the courthouse, so even if we had found a parking space in the usual place, James would have had to hike. We didn't buy much, just some chicken salad, boiled peanuts, bacon from the Pine Street Market. We'd planned to have breakfast at the Australian Bakery Cafe, but it was starting to rain, which was really bad news for the event, which is called "Chalkfest" and was for street chalk artists. We got there just as they had finished chalking out the various areas, and the artists were just starting to work as we left.
We decided to go find the mobility center so that we could see how much the carry ramp will cost for the truck. It was kind of sobering, even though I'd looked up prices online. For one thing, we really liked a unit called a "Chariot," but the guy said they weren't selling them any longer because of numerous mechanical failures. He also told me my car can't tow anything. (Funny. It says 1000 pounds online, just enough to carry a chair.) But we can't get the chair till we get the ramp, and we can't get the ramp until the bank completes our loan. "For want of a nail the horse was lost..." and all that.
James got me back home in time that he could go to lunch with the guys and attend his club meeting. I was feeling a bit puny and definitely headachy, but went back by the book sale to see if there were any good leftovers. I got six more books, reported here in "Cozy Nook." When I finished there I went off to Publix because they had Brawny paper towels on sale. I also got some chicken and wild rice soup for lunch, and got a deal on some box potatoes: there was a coupon for Betty Crocker potatoes on the coupon stand, buy three boxes, get a dollar off. But on the back of the store flyer, you got a dollar off on Betty Crocker potatoes if you bought meat. I always check to see if they have lamb because they have the cheapest lamb. I found some nice lamb. Oh, and the box potatoes were a dollar a box. So I got three boxes for a dollar, and there's lamb for supper one night. Excellent.
James came home feeling tired out, so we just ordered in: wings for me and Chinese for him, and we watched That's Entertainment! before Doctor Who came on. Why look, the Doctor has jelly babies! Hm. Another story about a soldier. What's the "piont," as they used to say on Ask the Manager?
By the time Who ended, I had a headache that would kill a horse. Didn't even bother going on chat, but crawled into bed at the first opportunity.
» Friday, October 10, 2014It's Booksale Time!
Why, why, why...must I have to use the bathroom fifteen minutes before the alarm rings? And then I had to hit the ground running: dress, assemble, eat breakfast, walk Tucker. The sky was serrated with cirrus clouds that kept the sun away during the walk, but it came out as we re-entered the house. I did it all in time to arrive at Jim Miller Park at about ten minutes of nine and had to hunt up a parking space; I was going to park in the back, but the long line was blocking the driveway. I had to start a new row near the equestrian ring. The rodeo is this weekend, and along with the books, I had this cool experience!
Leaving the book sale, I headed for the Battle Ridge Kroger because my gas light was on. Gas was 3.199. ::boggle:: Once finished, I decided to go into Buckhead to the Barnes & Noble, although I looked at the time and worried if I'd run into lunch-hour traffic. Thankfully, it was very light, and the worst annoyance was a diesel-fume spewing truck in front of me. And when I got to the bookstore there was a parking space right out front!
But first, I was hungry and the coffee shop in Barnes & Noble doesn't have soup the way the one at West Cobb does. So I went into Publix next door, only to find out they had chili and cheddar broccoli. I bought a baguette and an apple instead.
Sadly, no luck in the bookstore. I guess they don't carry "Best of British" anymore either, and I didn't see "Victorian Homes." Maybe Books-a-Million will have it, or someone on my Christmas list will see it and I can ask if they can send it to me. I can't see either of the supermarkets having it. I did pick up the new Sleepy Hollow novel with my 20 percent off coupon. On my way home I stopped at Michael's and got a couple of things for a craft project and a Command hook to hang up my cross-stitch project holder. I saw an alphabet pattern book with a fall pattern and a nice Christmas and also a redwork pattern, so I had to grab it, as well as a 23rd Psalm one. Unfortunately Michael's won't let you use coupons on books, not even pattern books.
Came home to have lunch and then take Tucker in the back yard. I had laid my apple on the coffee table, intending to finish it after I'd finished his walk. Suddenly I heard a "thump!" and there was Tucker walking off with my apple!
James got home early due to working late earlier in the week; we had supper (turkey! cucumber and tomato salad!) at the West Cobb Diner after narrowly escaping an accident. We were in the parking lot and had slowed down to approach a space right in front of the diner when this woman driving an SUV just zoomed past us; I looked right at her in the driver's seat and it was as if she didn't even notice us. Probably yapping on a cell phone. Idiot. Checked out the Barnes & Noble at West Cobb after eating, and James sat in the truck for five minutes while I checked out the new scents at Yankee Candle. They have something called Pumpkin Ginger Bark which is quite intriguing, and I think "North Pole" is peppermint scented, although the Peppermint Bark candle is stronger. I need a new tumbler of Cinnamon Stick; they have Cinnamon and Sugar out all year, but it's just too darned sweet smelling. I'd like to combine their chocolate layer cake scent and the coffee scent—it would smell just like a family gathering when I was a kid.
Finally we bought ice cream for dessert, and then headed home.
Tucker spent the rest of the evening bouncing off walls after having such a quiet day. I watched parts five and six of "Inferno" on Doctor Who and looked through my new books, and thought about those lovely horses trotting about the ring and the woman riding them so effortlessly. Made me feel like a kid again.
» Tuesday, October 07, 2014
FOR TODAY, OCTOBER 7, 2014
Outside my window...
...still pretty gloomy. Some clouds this morning, which is fine by me so I don't have to dodge the sun when taking Tucker for a walk. My phone says the temp outside is about 61°F, so shirtsleeves should be enough.
I am thinking...
...here it is October and I don't have the rest of the fall decorations up yet. Just been busy with life, Tucker, Snowy, and work. Now that EOFY is over, we have training classes to take, and now we have to close out files, too. We didn't used to close out purchase orders; the money was just allowed to expire. It's an easy task, but fiddly as well, as we have to put specific dates on the closeout form, and we can't do those yet because Finance is closed to finish totting up FY2014. Miserable numbers...
I am thankful...
...we've had a taste of fall weather, even if it's going back up to the 80s tomorrow. (sticks out tongue) I am about fed up with summer, not because it's been particularly hot, but because the mosquitoes have been terrible this year. I haven't been able to go out into the back yard without getting bitten, and that's never happened since we've had the house. (The other house, yes, but we were across the street from a creek. They bred there.)
In the kitchen...
...chaos as always. I have to dig out something for supper.
I am wearing...
...turquoise "scrubs" pants and a budgie T-shirt. And blue socks.
I am creating...
...that would be telling. :-)
I am going...
...I'd like to be going to McKay's, thank you. I have two full Xerox paper boxes of books downstairs.
I am wondering...
...why I feel so achy this fall. I have been told it's my allergy, and I am allergic to near everything growing outside. I killed 20 minutes of today's lunch hour early, so I could trim the nandina bushes, which were obscuring St. Francis. That will come back to bite me later.
I am reading...
...The Rocketeer: Jet-Pack Adventures, which is a heck of a lot of fun. This is Dave Stevens' original character, not the milder Disney version, so it's super-pulpy, it's Betty instead of Jenny and she spends a lot of time half-clad, and Peevy smokes. So far there have been shark-men, flying monkeys, Zane Grey, Shangri-La, a guy who sounds like Sam Beckett, mad scientists, Cliff's doppelganger, and lots and lots of Nazis. Also still working on Coolidge.
I am hoping...
...to getting some things done this long weekend. I'd really like it to be cool so I could do a couple of other things in the yard, but alas, that isn't to be.
I am looking forward to...
...the library booksale! maybe the Mistletoe Market! the Georgia Apple Festival! the Fall Jonquil Festival! There's a lot to like about October!
I am learning...
...about other sources for my crafts. I've bought something off eBay that will provide some gifts. I've already done one but...as River Song says, "Spoilers!"
Around the house...
...presently surrounded by work materials. I have Today on in the background for Snowy and he is singing...well, like a bird! Tucker has vanished. I don't hear him eating, so I suspect he's in his "cave" under the dining room table.
I am pondering...
...certain friends, who I really miss talking to. :-(
A favorite quote for today...
"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October." . . . . Nathaniel Hawthorne
One of my favorite things...
...ah, we're back to the Friends of the Library Booksale again. I know I really need to be more choosy, but when you find a nifty looking history book, it's hard to hold back. Hoping I can find some of the World Book Christmas books I'm missing. They're expensive full price. I was listening to a "Travel with Rick Steves" podcast where they were talking about Belgium and the difference in customs between the Flemish and the Walloons. I bet that is a big part of the World Book Christmas volume about Belgium.
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Booksale. Maybe an early-morning foray into the yard—which, sadly, involves an early morning, a sad occurrence for a night owl.
A peek into my day...
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Labels: Simple Woman's Daybook
» Sunday, October 05, 2014Timesink
Annnnd he's off to work again...while I was occupied by a long, complicated dream that included bad guys, a threat, and three dogs that I'd never laid eyes on before, and there was no conclusion to the mystery. Phooey.
When I emerged from the bedclothes, it was quite chilly; the thermostat was standing at 64°F, which is what we keep it at during the night in the winter. Got dressed, walked the dog, and the two of us had breakfast, then I was off on errands. I needed bread for sandwiches for lunch, so I went by Publix, got some French bread, the mushrooms James had forgotten at Kroger last night, and a newspaper. The sky was a bright, bright blue; pity it's going to get warmer again. The sky looks so anemic when it's warm.
I'd gotten a half-off coupon from Michael's via e-mail, so I drove to the Smyrna store and decided to get one of the big carousels to keep crafts in. My craft table is always a mess and I have to clear different containers off it if I want more room to work. This would keep all supplies corralled in one place and easily shifted. It was already half price, so I used the coupon on one of two tiny craft items. Checked out Dollar Tree at the opposite end of the strip mall looking for cheap, small dog collars, the idea being to put them on the two extendable leash handles, this way while we clean up we can dangle the leash from one wrist rather than having to hold the handle with one hand and fumble with the bag in the other. Only one big dog collar left. So I thought I'd go on to Big Lots. I took a shortcut through King Springs Road to check out the dog park at Tolleson Park, but could only find the swimming pool and the tennis courts. I either missed the internal road, or there's more of the park somewhere else, because I could see the rest of the park over the trees bordering the pool. [Later: Checked a map; the entrance for the other side of the park is on another road, which is what I figured.]
Never went in Big Lots as there is a Family Dollar next door. I picked up baking soda for the fridge, a can of chicken spread for a lunch sandwich for me, and some thick elastic headbands that will do the leash job as well as a cheap dog collar. Finally it was home for a chicken spread sandwich on the last of the demi-baguette from Trader Joe's.
I had a lot of things I could have done this afternoon. I did get two essentials accomplished: giving Snowy another turn in his carry box and replacing the duct tape on my splash guard. I gave Snowy his "ride" first. I put a sprig of millet in the box as an incentive, but he didn't pay attention to it, as there was too much to see for the little guy. First I just talked to him while carrying the box down the stairs, pointing out the artwork on the stairway. I hope just speaking to him calmly will help him get used to it. Then we went out to the porch. I pointed out bushes and trees and grass and houses. I know he doesn't understand, but it keeps the communication open. Then, keeping at an even gait, I walked down the porch stairway and took him to sit in the passenger seat of the car. I had to be careful to keep him out of the sun, as white birds and yellow birds can sunburn. I turned on the radio hoping it would make him feeling better; he was pretty calm, but still panting a little. The only time he freaked out during the trip was when we went out under the banner and it flapped in the wind. Finally I took him inside and walked him around the hall and the library before returning him to his cage. Five minutes later he was fluffed up and singing to his mirror.
I got the purple duct tape on the splash guard of the car as well. It is fastened on (it was pretty solid when I took the old silver duct tape off), but the mechanic said some tape would help its stability since the piece the splash guard is fastened to is broken. Not sure I feel like dealing with Ed Voyles' dealership to get a new part!
I ended up spending the afternoon cleaning up my craft room. First I loaded all the supplies: paintbrushes, markers, colored pens, pliers, scissors, some beads, some other jewelry-making supplies, and other bits and bobs into the new craft carousel. I am angry at myself because I knew I should have changed before I started this. One of the pens was leaking and now I have green ink spotting one of my weekend shirts. Grr. I also put up some floss, put the discount Christmas cards I bought in January up on the top of one cabinet, put the rest of the beads and charms in the new containers I bought for them, emptied some craft store bags still sitting on the floor (discovering something I bought for James God knows when), vacuumed, and finally washed off the desk. It was dry not long after and I finished a craft project on a nice cleared surface.
I'd loaded the dishwasher and was starting dinner when James arrived home early, so he took Tucker outside while I got the turkey thighs in the oven. They were cooked with parsley, thyme, a little salt, and some white wine, and were quite yummy. We had Bear Creek chicken pasta as a side.
Tonight: season premiere of Alaska: the Last Frontier. This was proceeded by a clip show, and I wondered if some new material was put in, or if we'd missed an episode, because I don't ever remember seeing Atz's wife Bonnie in an episode except in the background. They also had a sequence with the "bad luck calf" (he was separated from his mother on the cattle drive to the summer pasture, then a few months later was attacked by a bear) that I don't remember. Otto and Charlotte had to lance an abscess in its throat. I have to hand it to healthcare professionals and people who live off the grid; that was really gross.
» Saturday, October 04, 2014There and There...and There...and Back Again
A good thing it was a quiet day at work on Friday, because we've been bouncing about since then. I got home at 4:30, walked Tucker and he did all his good dogs, fed him while I changed clothes, and I waited for James to get in. Of course, he got caught on a late call (ironically they had told him to leave early, because he had to work late another night, and he ended up staying late again) and didn't make it home until almost six. ::sigh:: So I missed classic Doctor Who again; they're on Pertwee now, and he was my first Doctor and I still love him. But we had things to do.
Supper was at SteviB's, because we get a cheap supper (they give senior rates). It had rained earlier and been cloudy most of the day, but it seemed to be clearing up. Suddenly the clouds were back, it poured for less than five minutes, and then the clouds scurried off, the ones left forming big buttery peaks in the late afternoon sunlight. Then we went into Barnes & Noble so I could get a refund. Last week when I bought the three books, I was also charged for three things I didn't buy—I was feeling so wiped by the time we left that I didn't check my receipt. Two items were toys (!!!) and the other was a Top Gear item; I hate Top Gear. They figure it was some sort of mistake in the register. So they gave me a refund, but I ended up buying two more Christmas magazines. It almost evened up. :-) I saw the new Sleepy Hollow novel, but will wait until I have another coupon.
We also stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond because I noticed on Tuesday that the fan that I have next to my side of the bed had died completely. I had checked online, and it said the store at Town Center had one left, so I marched in with my coupon, only to find all the summer stuff wiped from the store and the space heaters out. (This is preposterous. We're in Georgia, where it's been 70 degrees on Christmas Day. Keep some fans in the store, willya?) The fans had been sent back to the distributor. So they ordered one for me, but I was at least able to use my coupon. I felt bad for the poor guy helping me; he'd been there since six this morning and it was after eight; he was rather punchy.
It was cool outside after the rain earlier in the day (we had a cool front coming through), and we drove home with the windows down. It was almost too cold! James took Tucker out about nine and he said it was too cold for him with a T-shirt and shorts. It was nice being able to go out and refill the bird feeders without sweltering.
We woke this morning to 50 degrees F. I took Tucker outside and it was lovely! Actually it was too lovely; I needed a jacket, but I managed to finish the walk without one. I grabbed my light jacket and also my pashmina.
Then the flittering began: first to the bank to take care of some business. Then we were off to Merchant's Walk and Betsy's Hallmark for the October ornament premiere. James bought the Blackbird [jet] and the Delorean [the 2015 flying model], and the 1989 Batmobile, and also a Magic Cord which was on sale today. I bought a stuffed [cough] for [cough] and a [cough] star for [cough].
All we'd had for breakfast was a BelVita bar apiece, so we figured it was about time for lunch. We decided to go to the cafe at Whole Foods where they had a buffet. I had a cup of minestrone, a slice of brisket, and some roast potatoes, and James had some chicken soup, curry chicken, corn, and yellow rice, and we both had water, and shared a cucumber and tomato salad. James said the chicken soup tasted too much of onion and the brisket was a little tough, but the minestrone was fabulous, not overly seasoned as they usually are, James loved the curry chicken, and the salad was a complete surprise, because I love these, but they are always so vinegary. This had a very mild vinegar taste that did not even come up on me. It was such a full lunch we decided to call it dinner and just nosh tonight.
For a chaser I bought two Granny Smith apples and we also bought some specialty granola that was not overly sweetened; in most of them the sweet comes from fruit in the mix; others have just a tiny bit of sorghum sweetener. Most granola tastes like a sugar bowl; this really tastes of oats and fruit. The apples were good, too, nice and sour! Back outside we were treated to air warm enough that I could ditch the jacket and just toss the pash over my shoulders. It came in handy while in shady areas.
I had some Michaels coupons, so we went to Michaels for some craft supplies I needed for gifts I want to make. I got so sick of jewelry, especially when all three of us were working in jewelry shops [as in factory, not store], that I can hear my mom laughing at the irony of me working willingly with links and beads and necklace chains. :-)
We also stopped briefly at Trader Joe's and CVS; only I went in. We had forgotten to pick up chicken sausage last week and I also got James a few more boxes of pumpkin bars to put away, since they'll go away by Christmas. We also had a CVS coupon, which was a good opportunity to buy more BreathRights. Our next-to-the-last stop was the cleaner. James got his shirts, but they apparently couldn't fix his kilt, and they'd forgotten to clean it!
Our last stop was at Baskin Robbins, because since we'd already had dinner, we had dessert!
Alas, it was only the last stop on this trip. I brought the things inside, refrigerated the sausage and James' lunch, and then we went to Kroger to do the weekly shopping. The store looked crowded, but we had no trouble checking out. I got some turkey to make for tomorrow night's dinner, and there was the usual milk and bananas.
Then finally we got to light! Oh, and open the door and a few of the windows, too, and now it's time for Britcoms.
» Sunday, September 28, 2014Sunday Always Comes Too Soon
It was a sleepy morning. Our natural sleep cycles run late, so we are always chronically short of sleep during the week, and Sunday is a blessing. As I peer nearsightedly out the bathroom window, I smile; even with all the edges smoothed off, I can still see more and more yellow leaves every day. The arrival of autumn fills me with anticipation, both for the coolness and for the autumn activities. We have a lull until October, and then it will be the Georgia Apple Festival and the Fall Jonquil Festival—not to mention the Friends of the Library Book Sale and the Mistletoe Market (if I go this year) and next week's Hallmark October ornament premiere.
We ate a sketchy breakfast, then went to Kroger for the weekly shopping. James got stuck with a recalcitrant scooter which would just stop in the middle of aisles. And they had yellow bananas this morning, instead of green, which is a rarity.
After we put the groceries up, we decided to check out Ollie's Outlet, a new store off Mableton Parkway and Veterans Memorial Highway, in the same shopping center with the only Kmart left in the area. We hadn't had lunch, so first we went through the drive-through at Krystal.
Ollie's is like a Big Lots/Odd Lots/Job Lots store, a bunch of remainder items, a lot of it from Canada. They had a small book section, but most of them were large print or inspirational. James found some "Combos" snacks, and we got bungee cords, tie-downs, and a small tarp for the Rollator. I also picked up two storage ottomans for the library. Their Christmas decorations were cheap, and there were odd, interesting things like a camouflage metal dog crate. I did like some of their inexpensive shelves, including one with a drawer in it. There were a lot of people there, as the store just opened on Wednesday, and, as James puts it, "the new hasn't worn off yet." A lot of the stuff wasn't tagged, either, like the storage ottomans, so it took us forever to check out.
James waited in the car while I went into Kmart. I'd noticed when we went by that they had their Christmas trees out. Last year they had the nicest looking trees and I wanted to check them out. Well, they had them out of the boxes, but not fluffed up or plugged in (all appear to be pre-lighted), so it was hard to judge. I was fond of a six-foot tree. It doesn't look as "plush" as the old one, but then I thought the old one was a but too plush—I like to put ornaments on the inside so you can see them sparkle. I'm not sure about a pre-lighted tree; I hear arguments for and against: that they are so easy, but also that the lights do not last. I supposed if the lights die you can just cut them off! I'm looking at the tree.
It was heavily overcast all day and a bit humid, but cut by a breeze, and had only sprinkled earlier. Thankfully it didn't precipitate while we were bringing the ottomans home.
I really want to make some changes here. I want to get rid of the VCR case in the hallway. These are James' videotapes, none of which he's watched since we moved, since he usually watches his old stuff downstairs. If I can put the videotapes in the ottomans downstairs where he can access them, I can replace the VCR case with a bookcase. The cookbooks and the games are overcrowded. I'd like to shift the history cookbooks to the hallway, and some of the smaller games. I also want to get rid of the server downstairs, which James got free when they discarded it at work. James used to use it when he got on chat, but since chat has whittled down to just three people, he doesn't participate often. It's only running Windows 2000 and has a miniscule hard drive. I also want to get rid of the old computer desk, since the fix we tried on it didn't work. We can keep the 10-year-old monitor for an emergency. Perhaps we can fit in another bookcase downstairs.
Have spent the late afternoon watching the birds at the feeder. Tucker loves to go out on the deck and just sniff and look around. Today there was a gang of goldfinches at the feeder, and I did not see one male. I am wondering if they have already moulted into their winter coat and I just can't tell them from the females. There is one young goldfinch who is still pestering his parents to feed him, although he's perfectly capable of perching on the feeder—I've seen him!—and eating on his own. You could hear his little "feeeeeeed meeeeee" cries all afternoon.
Had some delicious stew beef we found at Sprouts for supper, cooked with onions and mushrooms, with a pasta side. We have the cake from Sprouts for dessert.
» Saturday, September 27, 2014Pattering Down the Pumpkin Path
We had a nice sleep-in this morning. When I emerged to take Tucker for his walk, it was cool and overcast again, with a nice breeze. Lovely! We had a nice turn around the neighborhood, and then the three of us had breakfast.
Today we mounted an expedition to Sprouts. Instead of going to the Dunwoody store, like last time, we went to the store in Norcross, which is cattycorner from The Forum, a shopping center which just happens to have a Trader Joe's. Two birds, so to speak. We were able to drive cross town with the windows open; it's so nice not to have to be hermetically sealed in a vehicle or in a building just to be able to breathe.
At Sprouts we picked up a lunch for each of us, and then bought a few more things: some turkey "pot roast" for supper (it was a huge thigh, fixed as if it were a rotisserie chicken), Asian soups, Yukon Gold potatoes, and also pumpkin seeds and something called Iska (?) corn from their bulk stores. They are huge corn kernels which have been roasted and salted. I love their bulk section—they have nuts, granolas, grains, rices, and even some chocolate-covered things—and can't wait until the Sprouts near us opens next spring. We also got some chocolate cake to share for a dessert.
We took our sandwiches off to the tree-dotted parking area behind the Barnes & Noble at The Forum to eat our lunch, parking under a maple tree that was just, just showing signs of starting to turn, a little fading of the green at leaf tips, even bits of color higher up. It was still cloudy and we had a nice breeze as we ate our tuna salad (me) and roast beef with lettuce and tomato (James). Then we stopped at the bookstore for a little while. I found one of those nice "Reader's Digest" books, this one America's Forgotten History, about people, places, and things that were once very popular and now most people don't remember. Plus "Holiday Home" was out. I have not seen the fall "Victorian Homes" issue and hope B&N still carries it, because I love their Christmas issue.
Then it was off to Trader Joe's, where we were drowned in pumpkin everything. I mean it, starting with real pumpkins plus: pumpkin desserts, pumpkin cereal bars, pumpkin scone mix, pumpkin bread, pumpkin coffee, pumpkin tea, pumpkin chai, pumpkin pancake mix, pumpkin butter, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin and pecan oatmeal, pumpkin ice cream sandwiches, canned pumpkin, pumpkin bread mix, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cornbread mix, and even pumpkin brittle, which I bought—it's delicious!
We had the turkey "pot roast" (not sure I like my turkey cooked like rotisserie chicken; too salty) and a seven grain "rice" side for supper and watched North by Northwest. A great Hitchcock flick which includes the iconic Hitchcock cameo: he misses the bus during the opening New York City montage. How I would have loved to have visited New York City back then! Then James watched a new episode of Airplane Repo and finally it was time for Doctor Who. I just finished watching a special from Albany Public Television about the nine days after William McKinley was shot, and am watching one about the Hudson River Valley. I love the Internet!
» Friday, September 26, 2014I Am a Bookaholic...If You Like Me You Will Sell Me Books at 20 Percent Off...
Honest, I intended to get up at 8:30, but the bladder alarm went off at 8:23. Since I was still feeling a bit achy in the back, I took three ibuprofin and reset the alarm for 8:45—and then managed to doze through an hour of Miss Gladys Stevens of Omaha, Nebraska intone "Time to wake up, sir." (It's my Andromeda Strain alarm. Heh.)
After breakfast and dog walking (a beautiful day out, cloudy but not rainy cloudy, with a lovely breeze) and some minor tidying-up, it was approaching lunch time. I gathered up my Michael's coupons and went out to the garage and looked underneath the car. I have these plastic splash guards on either side of the front of the car, way under the front bumper. Since I'm so darn short, I can't see the front end of the car, and too often have run the very low front end over a curb and then have to back up slowly to get it off, hearing ominous scraping that is the plastic of the splash guard on concrete curbing. This forth-and-back motion yanked one end of the right splash guard off so it was dangling back early in the summer. What with end of fiscal year, I never got the time to take the car to the mechanic, so I taped it up with duct tape. I asked them to fix it yesterday along with the innumerable other things I had done to the car...
...flashback...Wednesday when I got in the car to drive home from work, my check engine light came on. I've owned Twilight for ten years and two months, and never in that time has the check engine light ever come on. So Thursday morning I drove it directly to the mechanic. It turned out it was the oxygen sensors that go with the catalytic converters. Yes, indeedy, I won't pass emissions inspection without those puppies working. So they fixed that, plus did the emission inspection, but there were other checks coming up that needed doing. I had it all done: brake fluid flush, cooling fluid flush, etc. They also said they'd fasten up the splash guard...
...but the duct tape was still on it. Did they forget? So the first thing I did was drive there to ask about it; he put it on the rack and said yes, they did fasten it back up; the problem is the piece of plastic that it's fastened to is broken. So even though there's some extra bolts in it, the thing would wobble back and forth when I drove at high speed. So they left the duct tape on. I could go by a Chrysler dealership and pick up the part, and they would put it on for me, but he couldn't find the part in a catalog. In the meantime, the duct tape was doing a good job.
Oh, great. Just what I want, a visit to Ed Voyles. I'm still pissed at them for the way they treated us when I was out looking for a car in 2004 (they basically ignored us).
Anyway, I went on to Barnes & Noble. It's Member Appreciation Week, so I get 20 percent off instead of ten! So I bought the new "Southern Living" and "Landlove" (the latter with a deliciously autumn cover), two cross-stitch magazines, and...okay...The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane. I admit it; I'm hooked on Sleepy Hollow.
From there to Costco for gasoline and then to Michael's. I got some beads on sale for a special project that I can't start until my package comes from e-Bay, and two small sets of fall note cards. Oh, yes, and some purple duct tape. If I'm going to have duct tape on my car, the least I can do is match the paint.
By the time I got home it was around three o'clock. I had a little lunch and then popped Snowy (this sounds so easy—I have to catch him first, and his wings work really well!) into the little carry box. We went out on the deck, and I whistled and very soon the birds began to show up: the brave little brown-headed nuthatches, the chickadees, and the chipping sparrows, although only the former stayed around very long. Mrs. Cardinal chipped disconsolately from a tree but she wouldn't approach while Snowy, Tucker and I were out there. The big wide world, even with overcast skies, overwhelmed Snowy; his eyes looked like two huge black buttons in a little white face. Then we went inside and watched an episode of Lassie together (at one point Tucker got jealous of all the attention "Brother" was getting, and leaped into my lap), and he was just starting to get restless when James arrived home.
We had supper at the Panera/Chipotle combination on Barrett Parkway. James had the latter, myself the former, and we ate on the terrace out back. It was still mostly cloudy and delightfully cool, with just a hint of a breeze. Afterwards I made quick stops at Michael's for more project parts and JoAnn, which had nothing I liked, and the one thing I bought the coupon was useless for because it was already on sale. The sun was just setting as we turned south to use the Big Shanty Connector—the most useful road at Town Center!—to get to Barnes & Noble without having to hit the mess that is Barrett Parkway. By the time we got there I was tired myself, and disappointed that they still don't have "Best of British" anymore, but I made the mistake of wandering by the science fiction and mystery books. I picked up the Doctor Who novel Silhouette (featuring the Paternoster trio), a book of Rocketeer short stories, and the sequel to Murder at the Breakers, Murder at Marble House. I wasn't impressed by the first book, but it takes place in Newport—how could I resist? Home in time to see the very end of "The Krotons" on Doctor Who and then the season premiere of Hawaii Five-0 with a murderous drone.
» Monday, September 22, 2014Spavined
Happy, happy, joy, joy. Have thrown my back out for the first time in years. The first time this happened it served me right; I was moving furniture much too heavy for me. Ever since then my back feels the need to throw a fit at the stupidest thing. Once I threw it out by turning to get out of the truck carrying a full gallon of sweet tea (we were having a fundraiser lunch for an employee who had used up all their leave due to cancer treatments). Once at the office I sat on the edge of my chair to get someone info off my computer in a hurry, and when I straightened back out—I couldn't. I stayed for the rest of the day because sitting in a chair at work was the same as sitting in a chair at home, but I remember needing help just to walk to the bathroom and then out to the car. Last night I did it by drying my toes after a shower. [eyes roll]
Monday's a bad day to call Kaiser (anyone who gets sick over the weekend calls first thing Monday morning) and today was no exception. I swilled ibuprofin and sat with a heating pad until the busy signals went away after noon. The advice nurse told me to do what I was doing, but it was better if I would lay down and put my feet up, and call back tomorrow to make an appointment if the pain was (1) the same or (2) worse. So I spent the rest of the afternoon in bed with my feet up, and was able to go to Aubrey's 21st birthday party by sitting up straight in a chair and staying that way.
I don't want to go to Kaiser if I don't have to. They will just give me muscle relaxants and then I can't do anything at all because I'll be drugged and my ears will ring like Big Ben.
[Tuesday: Better. Sort of. As long as I sit still and don't sneeze, which is hard due to all the ragweed out there. So, working, but not very comfortably.]
» Sunday, September 21, 2014Let Us Eat Cake
We had a lovely sleep-in this morning and then I took Tucker for his walk. It was sunny outside with an autumn sky that, sadly, vanished as the day went on, and about 71°F with a nice breeze. Tucker decided not to growl at the big dogs at the end of the street (they look like mastiffs, but are black), which I appreciated.
We went off to Kroger with the rollator still in the back of the truck from last night; a good thing because it was after eleven and all the handicapped parking spaces were SRO. Once James was inside, he got the cart and I walked the rollator around. We got groceries for the week and soup for supper. It was even handy for getting the groceries out to the truck.
Once the groceries were put up, we took a little ride out to Acworth with a Books-a-Million coupon. We had found the missing free dessert coupon from Longhorn that James got for his birthday, so we were going to split a dinner and then have the dessert. We decided to have ribs...and they were all out! So we shared a big ribeye instead, and then got the Chocolate Stampede. As always, we ate the ice cream and took the huge slices of cake home, as that will be dessert for two nights for both of us.
The Books-a-Million trip was underwhelming. I did get a new "Chicken Soup" book with dog stories, and a gift for someone, a magazine about Theodore Roosevelt, and a cross-stitch magazine. By te time we'd eaten and perused, and then drove home, it was after four. For dinner watched last night's Doctor Who, "Time Heist," which was a good episode but not particularly memorable, Too Cute, and then, because nothing else was good on, put the McBride movie marathon on Hallmark on. Good grief! Hallmark is starting their Christmas movies on Hallowe'en this year!
I'm sad this weekend is over. We had such a nice time together, and with friends.