Yet Another Journal

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


 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Tuesday, January 15, 2019
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, JANUARY 15, 2019

Outside my window...
...it is, amazingly, sunny. We have had so much rain over the last eight weeks. Before Thanksgiving, James got cut down to 24 hours per week until the end of 2018, and we planned to have little "mini-vacations" on the Thursdays and Fridays he was off. The only mini-vacation we got was the Friday we went to Apple Annie together; otherwise all it has done on Thursday and Friday is rain, which meant we couldn't go anywhere but the supermarkets or Costco and Sam's Club because they have little shopping carts, since he's not supposed to take the power chair out in the rain. It was quite annoying! Of course now that he is working full weeks again, it is raining on the weekends. Last year was such a bad year for us that I hoped we could do some happy things in December, but it was not to be.

I am thinking...
...how quickly Advent and Christmastide went by this year. I started putting up decorations on December 2 and only took them down last week, but it seems as if time just zipped by and I had no time to enjoy them, even though I didn't have to go into work two days a week. I skipped several Christmas favorites I usually watch as well. I thought now that I was not working that I would have hours to savor the lights and the music and the stories, but somehow that didn't happen. It went by in the flash of an eye, now that I look back on it, as if I were watching it and not participating. But at the same time we had a great time: I've talked about some of it in "Holiday Harbour," and after Christmas we enjoyed the turkey leftovers, went to Bill and Caran's New Year's Eve party (it was raining...go figure!), and had our usual Twelfth Night party only ten days ago.

I am thankful...
...well, James was thankful he had no doctor's appointments in December, so I was, too. Crossing fingers he will not need a doctor except for his regular appointments. We indulged at Christmas, but as mindfully as we could, and I am actually very glad to get back to nice, plain food again rather than the Christmas treats we were sampling. On the other hand, I miss the wine biscuits. I finished them on Monday. 😊

In the kitchen...
...quiet now. Later I will cook some spaghetti to go with the leftover chicken cacciatore we are having for supper tonight.

I am wearing...
...a forest-green sweatshirt and dark grey sweatpants. I also put my boot socks on today, as it was in the thirties this morning. I will need them next week as the morning temp is supposed to be 18℉ on Monday. That is positively polar for Georgia.

I am creating...
...I'm still creating order. I doubt I will go "all Marie Kondo," especially on her attitude to books (I understand she says you should have no more than 30 books in the house? quelle horreur!), but I do want to continue decluttering. I do indeed have things I do not love in the house and I am going to donate them to someone who will. I've already decided to cut down on some of our party supplies. We received something as a wedding gift, for instance, that's been sitting in a closet for 28 years. We also have some very heavy glass bowls. They both are going. I have no anticipation of ever using the aforementioned wedding gift and the glass bowls are so heavy it makes it difficult for James to get them back in the closet. I have other bowls we can use instead that are not hard for him to manage. I will keep the chip and dip/salad bowl, and we need to use that.

I am going...
...to be looking into smaller decluttering jobs this year. Last year I moved great swaths of things out of closets (and the kitchen pantry) and now I'm going to concentrate on smaller items that need sorting or fixing. Today, for instance, I cleared out under the china cabinet. There were three mugs there I really didn't like due to the color, and something I bought on clearance for a couple of bucks that was silly and I never used. I also tossed out a tin of Christmas candy. James can't eat it, I never had more than three or four pieces a season, and I just bought it for the nostalgia factor: there were always bowls of multicolor, multishaped Christmas candy out at my relatives' homes at Christmastime. But having the candy doesn't recreate the feeling, so it needs to go.

I am wondering...
...(still wondering!) where December went! I keep wanting to turn and look at the tree in the corner.

I am reading...
...the latest Bryant and May mystery, Hall of Mirrors, which is a flashback to the late 1960s. I can't say I'm enjoying the 1960s any more reading about it than I did living through it. I didn't like the fashions (especially those awful miniskirts I had to wear) or the music or the drug culture.

I am hoping...
...to go to the grand opening of Lidl tomorrow. We have our first Lidl (which has been described by our infamous consumer advisor Clark Howard as "an upscale Aldi") opening on January 16. We get another, on Floyd Road, in February.

I am looking forward to...
...oh, I dunno. Maybe a weekend without rain so we can go to McKay's in Chattanooga? Maybe? Please?
 
I am learning...
...patience from this meshuggeneh weather! But damn, I had hoped to go up there before Christmas.

Around the house...
...Snowy is relaxing, and Tucker has gone back into his "cave" under the dining room table after having gone on a fifteen minute walk. I scrubbed the bathrooms and washed the kitchen floor and vacuumed yesterday, so today I have just done little things (also having discovered that our USB floppy drive reader no longer works). I'm listening to an episode of "A Way With Words."

I am pondering...
...what to work on next.

A favorite quote for today...
I love autumn and winter, so this is particularly apt, as the wind is high today and even though it is sunny, it is nice and chilly.

"In winter, the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity." . . .  John Burroughs

One of my favorite things...
...finding open space now that I've donated some things, or thrown some things away!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Going to Lidl, maybe a trip to Walmart or to Staples.

A peek into my day...
Since Christmas is over ::sob!::, the mantel is back to normal.






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

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» Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Christmas Day is Here!
In which we are full of turkey and friendship.

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» Sunday, December 23, 2018
A Trip to the South
 
It's Christmas time and time for family!

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» Sunday, December 16, 2018
Yet Another Tree Trimming, Christmas Programs, and A Big Beef

We go to Hair Day, finish Christmas shopping and wrapping, and generally watch Christmas stuff!

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

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

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» Sunday, December 02, 2018
A Festival of Lights

Moving about on the First Sunday of Advent.

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» Friday, November 30, 2018
Apple Annie Time Again

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

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

FOR TODAY, MONDAY, NOVEMBER 26, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The soup was really good, too!

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

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

Thanksgiving Day and a shopping day in Holiday Harbour.

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» Saturday, November 10, 2018
The Perfect November Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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