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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» Friday, June 22, 2018
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, JUNE 22, 2018

Outside my window...
...partly cloudy and otherwise very green. Summer is here in full force. I wouldn't mind if that meant warm days and cool breezes. But when it goes up to 90°F plus, that isn't summer, it's Hell. I miss June in Rhode Island; it used to be very civilized. However today it is nearly 80 up there. Not much better.

I am thinking...
...that I'd like to have a mandarin orange, so that's what I'm going to do. 😊

I am thankful...
...that James is feeling better, though he's still having side-effects from the UTI he had. He will be going for a test on Monday, so we can discuss with the doctor then. In the meantime, if we can get through the rest of the afternoon, he will have worked 40 hours. He does that so rarely anymore.

In the kitchen...'s reasonably clean. The dishwasher is open to dry the dishes I washed this morning, and there are a few lunch things in the dishpan. Nothing defrosting this afternoon as we usually go out on Fridays. Tonight we have an O'Charley's coupon we want to use.

I am wearing...
...grey shorts, pink-flower dotted tank top, white socks and beige scuffs. It's the only way to be really cool.

I am creating...
...I've begun the long process of finally updating my web pages. By the time I got done with work the last few years, I didn't want to sit at a computer anymore. I'm just going to take it slow and do things when I feel like it.

I am going... keep wishing that life stays boring. If that means no pleasant surprises, so be it. I am tired of the nasty surprises.

I am wondering... James' tests are going to come out. I hope there is a positive enough response that we can go on to the next step. While this won't be pleasant for James, it would mean that eventually he would not need a Foley catheter.

I am reading...
...a great book called On Trails, which is ostensibly about hiking the Appalachian Trail but is also about trails in general and how they form: animal trails and human trails alike. I love it; the scientific bits about trails are fascinating and so are the stories of hiking the Trail.

I am hoping...
...that bills will quit coming and I can actually have money left over from my check! Now I have to pay the dialysis bill and the bill for my new eyeglasses. That pretty much wipes out a whole check.

I am looking forward to...
...Hair Day on Saturday. The last time we were able to get together with everyone we couldn't stay long because of the stupid catheter falling out. No fun spending time at Urgent Care rather than with your friends.

I am learning...
...well, I figured out how to make a permanent link on my FTP software to upload my web pages. It quit working about the time we had the broadband put in, but it was not the broadband. I had to call tech support and they walked me through making a connection, but I had to figure out what it was actually doing so I could make the permanent link.

Around the house...
...James is teleworking today because it's supposed to pour about the time he usually gets out of work, so he's hitched up next to me at a portable desk. At my left Snowy is singing because I'm playing the Leo Laporte podcast. Tucker is asleep under the dining room table. When I finish this I'm going to take him out to the mailbox.

I am pondering...
...what to clean next. I know what I really need to do is in the kitchen, but it's kind of a grimy job and I really don't want to do it. Yeah, poor me. I'll get to it eventually.

A favorite quote for today...
Since it's now the horrid season of sweaty, sweltering, simmering, smelly summer, here's a nice fall quotation!

“I was drinking in the surroundings: air so crisp you could snap it with your fingers and greens in every lush shade imaginable offset by autumnal flashes of red and yellow.”
― Wendy Delsol, Stork

One of my favorite things...
...I'm listening to it! Leo Laporte, "The Tech Guy." Fun tech tips but too many sad stories about losing all your files or your photos. People! Back up your files! Back up your phone camera photos! Don't lose this stuff!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Hair Day is Saturday. I am still on the fence about getting my hair cut (don't know which style; don't want a haircut that's "work" and don't want to have to put any "goop" (hair spray or...ugh...mousse) in it), but James needs his done. We are bringing rice to go with Shannon's chicken.

A peek into my day...
A cuteness of Snowy!

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


» Sunday, June 17, 2018
The Great Hunt in the Steamy Country

So we slept in this morning, or rather I slept in, because James informed me that he hadn't slept very well. (I'm wondering if it's because he's planning to go into the office tomorrow. It's tough on him these days going in; he has to get up a half hour earlier when we both sleep best in the morning. Plus it's just more difficult with the catheter.) In fact, when I got up I found he'd already swapped out the towels like we do on Sunday, and he was installing the new shower head.

(Digression: We had a fairly nice shower head with a separate wand. You could set it to shower, or wand, or both, and you could switch from shower to wand with a button on the wand. Except some time ago the button, which was always a bear to switch back and forth, broke off. Luckily it broke in the open position. Unluckily, I am too damn short. I could switch it back and forth at the top, but I had to do it on tiptoe using the tips of my fingers. PITA. So in February we bought one of the Moen magnetic ones. One shower head, but you can take it off and on and it sticks up with a magnet.)

It's been sitting next to the sofa since February, and then all the rubbish with the hospitals and urgent care got in the way. I put it in the bathroom yesterday because it was in my way while vacuuming.

Looks good. Still needs to be tightened down a little bit, although it might be the washers needing to swell up.

After breakfast and the ritual dog walk—it was late enough for the heat to already be hellish—we went out to Sam's Club to fill up the truck and then next door to Walmart. As an assist to his problems, the urologist has ordered James to get an athletic supporter. Did you know Walmart doesn't carry these? They have helmets, elbow, ankle, wrist, knee supports, tape wrap, mouth protectors...but no athletic supporter. We did get other stuff, including more sugarless hard candy. However, this meant instead of going to Publix, then going home to get out of the stifling air, we had to go up to Town Center, because there are no sporting goods stores in this area anymore.

First we went to Dick's. They had them, but upstairs with the basketball gear. But pretty much only in youth sizes. I did buy a rear-view mirror for my bike, because what Walmart sells is terrible. Then we went to Academy Sports, same thing, except they were with the baseball stuff (which makes more sense to me). We are going to have to order online.

Then finally to Publix. Dog biscuits were on BOGO, so this was a must. 😀 By the time we got out of there we were exhausted and thirsty, so we picked up a limeade at Wendy's and headed home; it was nearly suppertime! So I stuffed the towels in the washer and sorted the pills for the week—I have James' medicines on the shelves in order of when he takes them, with the twice-a-day in the middle, so I pretty much sorted them this week without even using the paper lists I made, which kinda makes me sad; I know these pills better than I know my friends' phone numbers—and then had a chance to sit and cool off as he started making dinner. We'd picked up some round steak at Publix (since it is Father's Day) and had that with a rice side. For dessert we had a peanut butter Twinkie. We found these in Walmart; the cake part is dark chocolate and they have used a good peanut butter, so these are actually pretty good.

Television has been so abysmal today I was watching Fixer Upper when we got home, and I really don't like Chip and Joanna, and then after the news it was Guy's Grocery Games.

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» Saturday, June 16, 2018
Well, That Was Pleasant

These days have become so rare. Thank you, God, for this day. We woke naturally without alarm and did morning ablutions. I walked the dog and then ate breakfast; James made a small English muffin breakfast sandwich to hold him through until lunch with the guys. Soon he was off to his club meeting and I got to my vacuuming. I can't do it when he teleworks; he's either on the phone or he's relaxing at lunch or break, and the roll-out desk and side table are smack in the middle of the floor. With him happily on his way to his club meeting, I could move chairs and the desk and get all all the crumbs and fruit bits and the dog hair everywhere. I emptied the stupid cup at least four times, one after the bedroom/hall, one after the dining room, one after one half of the living room, and another after the other. Shook out the dog's blanket, moved the recliner, even vacuumed the spare room and part of the craft room.

And when I got done with that, I vacuumed the stairs, too.

All this rubbish, and tossing out some other stuff, and dumping an old keyboard in the recycle box, and then cooling off by brushing my hair with cold water and sitting under the fan, took three hours. Finally I was able to take the car down to the Ray Library to pick up The Private Life of Tasha Tudor. I also saw something called The Strange Case of Dr. Doyle, about Arthur Conan Doyle on a Jack the Ripper tour. There is a character in it named Adelaide and it was so coincidental I had to see if this is where they got the inspiration for the character in Houdini & Doyle. I checked later and she's not, but it still looks intriguing.

From there I went by Krystal to get two plain pups (mini-hot dogs) so my stomach would quit growling at me, then stopped by America's Best to look at eyeglasses. To my disappointment, they have no rimless frames, but I really don't want to deal with Visionworks again, and they do have acceptable frames. I want to get one pair of glasses and one pair of sunglasses as my old prescription ones will no longer do. They distort my vision. They have a deal to buy two $59.99 frames with a free eye exam. These cheap frames are fine, as I sure as hell don't want some weirdo celebrity-named crap. I made an exam appointment, looked at frames, and got an idea of the price: for two pairs of glasses it would be only $400, but for two with one as sunglasses it will be $550.

James has some vision insurance, but I don't know who it's with.

Then I went across the parking lot to Kroger and bought milk and peaches and desserts before coming home (one of the peaches didn't survive the trip). I was just pulling the bags out of the car when James got home. He'd had a good time at the meeting. One of the guys made a big Nautilus model (from the Disney 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea) with not only light but sound.

We had supper at Hibachi Grill and watched it get darker and darker outside as a storm crept up. Lightning was spiking in the north against the ominous grey-blue-black clouds as we came out, so we covered the power chair before going to Barnes & Noble. Thankfully it didn't rain, although we got spit on lowering the power chair. We wandered about for quite a while and I bought The Daughter of Sherlock Holmes with my coupon and he got an anthology of military science fiction with his. I looked at the summer issue of "Bella Grace," but it's too expensive, and besides, I spent all last summer doing the prompts in the 2017 issue complaining about how much I hate summer. Waste of money just to complain.

Watched something mindless for the evening, Howie Mandel's Animals Doing Things, which is basically funny animal videos. Cute. Really mindless, though. During the commercials I read the Tasha Tudor book, which was not a hard read; it's mostly photographs of Tudor's lovely garden and of her lifestyle. She lived very simply, wearing long dresses (she would say that when she died she would probably go back to 1830, where she always felt like she belonged) and other vintage clothes, used a wood stove to bake, and always had a Christmas tree with candles. For all the books she illustrated and wrote, she didn't even have an art studio, she painted on one end of her big farmhouse table.

I like mindless. I want to be bored.

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» Wednesday, June 13, 2018
Well, That Was Interesting (In the Chinese Sense)...
When James' urologist lined up a course of examinations for his problem, he didn't include an MRI, but a couple of weeks ago he wanted one added to the "investigation." He just said "for a further look," and I really would have preferred a better explanation, but today we went: had to get up at 6:30 to beat rush hour traffic (didn't I retire to avoid this crap?), neither of us having slept, James because he was having an MRI and me because even the thought of him having an MRI made me want to curl up in a fetal position), and I drove in case they had to give him a sedative for him to get through the MRI. And of course this was at Glenlake, the most irritatingly-located Kaiser location, right near the office buildings around Perimeter Mall and near the new Mercedes-Benz headquarters they are building (and damn, it is an ugly building).

But he got undressed and prepped to go in. They let me sit in the power chair outside the door to the MRI room (actually outside the door to a CT scan room) and wait for him rather than go out into the waiting room. He walked in there looking pale and apprehensive, but he did walk in. I would have been in a fetal position screaming for my mother; I get claustrophobic in small elevators. Heck, I was perspiring sitting in the chair outside the room. I finally plugged earphones into my phone and listened to Leo Laporte and read my copy of "The Simple Things." He walked out seventy minutes later, still looking pale, and in the car told me that he had the "panic button" in a death grip the entire time, but never hit it. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

So he hadn't had breakfast, and oatmeal and yogurt wear off quickly. It was now 10:30 and we were starving, so we figured we'd head home via some restaurant and have lunch. Alas, we got halfway home, at Interstate North Parkway going over the river, when the urologist called James. He wanted us to turn around and go back to Glenlake immediately; his nurse was awaiting our return.

What happened????? The nurse who replaced his foley catheter—the one that fell out on Saturday, remember?—at Urgent Care on Saturday, after four hours of us cooling our heels, put it in improperly. It was in his urethra, not his bladder as it should be, so once again, his bladder wasn't emptying out properly.


So back we went to Glenlake, up to the fourth floor, let him know we were there, then James had to have the catheter reseated. 1200ml of urine promptly filled up the bag. I repeat: !#$!@#%!$!!@#$!

We just came home and had lunch and fell asleep; so much for him working this afternoon.


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» Monday, June 11, 2018
...Followed by an Elevator Day
We were getting ready for bed last night when James finished taking his shower and suddenly felt very weak in the knees. He continued to feel like that for a few minutes, so I had him sit down and take his blood pressure. It was 88 over 48. A minute later it was 92 over 50, and then it went back down to 88 over 48, and when he took it a third time, it was still there.

There was no help for it. He got dressed and I got dressed, and we went to Urgent Care. He had already taken his nightly medications, including the Ambien, so he slept all the way there. Ironically, the same nurse was on duty at the front desk as on Saturday, and the same nurse that checked us out on Saturday brought us into the back tonight.

They hitched James up to take his vital signs and now his blood pressure was back up to where it should be. But the doctor wanted to make sure it wasn't his heart, so we settled down for about five hours of tests. They thought he was a little dehydrated (how on earth when he drinks so much!) and gave him an IV of saline, some potassium, and, because his urine is still showing up with an infection, IV antibiotics. (I'm sure hoping that will help!) He was able to sleep through most of it; I spent the time trying to doze by leaning my head against his pillow, and, later, turning a chair sideways and then resting my head on a wadded-up sheet between his legs. For the last hour or so we were there they brought me a recliner and I kept my sheet for a pillow.

Well, they found no heart problem and didn't have any explanation for the blood pressure drop, although they though taking the Ambien before his shower might have caused a vasodilation and made it drop. The doctor was more concerned because his creatitine was at 2.8, which was higher than the last score (2.1), and wanted to keep him to "get it down." However, he has been taking furosimide for several weeks. The first thing the nephrologist did when his creatitine score started creeping upward was take him off furosimide; he only went back on it when he started to retain water. And when they took a second test right before they let us go, his creatitine had already dropped to 2.7. While he was there he did have a kink in his catheter line; the moment they cleared it the score dropped. That, the furosimide, and the Cipro may have combined to raise his score. I was afraid it would go up once he went back on the furosimide again. He will just need to drink more.

We got sprung about five o'clock. When we emerged the birds were already greeting the dawn even though it was still dark. The fastest way home was the freeway and it was already crowded with people heading to work. When we got home I took Tucker outside, and then we changed our clothes and crawled back into bed right at six and slept until after ten.

At noon James logged into work and worked for the rest of the afternoon (five hours). I was feeling terrible. Breakfast made me nauseated and I did the minimum of chores and then fell asleep on the sofa for a couple of hours listening to instrumental Christmas music. Later we had supper and I fell asleep again. We spent the evening watching Hunt for Red October.

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» Sunday, June 10, 2018
A Real Elevator Week
It's eventful week. Several of the events were pleasant. Some were not.

Monday, for instance, I got some good housework done, and worked on a project I'd long thought about, a tribute page to author Gladys Taber. I finished with it and uploaded it on Tuesday.

However, James came home from work with a painful problem stemming from his infection. So he teleworked on Tuesday, and I went with him to see his cardiologist, who was pleased with his progress, and then we had to go back to Urgent Care to have the problem seen to (even though in visiting the cardiologist, we were one floor down from his urologist, but we couldn't get an appointment, and we were told he would be better treated at Urgent Care—go figure). He had an ultrasound which noted that there were no serious problems; they just extended his antibiotic. Unfortunately he was just going to have to "get through" the pain.

Wednesday and Thursday I did an errand for James, the laundry, washed the kitchen floor, and completed my monthly computer backup.

Friday James had such little sleep I went with him to his iron infusion just to make sure he didn't fall asleep. He told me he slept through the entire infusion. I took the truck and went to JoAnn and to the library, taking out The Art of Tasha Tudor, The World of Louisa May Alcott, and The Edwardian Lady (about Edith Holden, author of the Country Diary). James was just emerging when I got back.

Last Saturday was a nasty bitch of a day. James had ordered new batteries for his power chair since he is losing power very rapidly even with little use. The chair is almost four years old and batteries only last a year or two. They called us during the week and we went to Batteries+Bulbs to get them; they had promised to install them as well. Well, the poor guy was the only one there, so he had to keep serving customers while doing the install. After over an hour he came out and had to confess he couldn't do it. There are two types of batteries that fit that chair, and he had inadvertently ordered the type that had the straight posts, not the tilted posts that we need. So he will have to send the batteries back and order the right kind. Terrific. James has his club meeting next week!

So we went to Sam's and picked up milk and a couple of other things; however, they did not have the mandarin oranges we went there for. We headed home to put the stuff away and go to the open house for Colin Butler, who just received his Master's Degree. James decided to empty the catheter bag before we left.

His catheter balloon must have become deflated, because the catheter fell out. Damn.

We still went to Colin's party for about a half hour, then spent almost four hours at Urgent Care. There were many more people there than Tuesday, and also last Saturday, so we had a wait. All we wanted was the catheter replaced, but they asked a whole bunch of questions and we had to go through the whole stupid thing about why he's wearing the catheter. I swear I need to write it down. I am so sick of telling the same story over and over.

We got out of there after seven and had supper at Fried Tomato Buffet because something else nice besides Colin's party had to happen today. We feasted on barbecue ribs and chicken'n'dumplings, then came home and I watched the nice Perry Como special they recently did on PBS.

Today has been quiet, but frustrating because James is still in pain. This is very hard for me to know I can't do anything to help. We did go to Publix to get him some lunchmeats and bread, but then came home because he was so tired out from the pain. I spent the afternoon washing towels, sorting James' pills and re-doing his meds list, and finally trying to fix the cover of a used book I got in the mail yesterday. I ordered two used books from Amazon Marketplace in May. They were both mailed on the 23rd, then spent fifteen days cooling their heels in a post office facility in Pontiac, Michigan! They were supposed to be delivered on Monday. When they weren't, Amazon went looking for them and apparently gave them a kick in the butt, because both packages suddenly left the facility the next day, and were delivered on Saturday. One book, which was described as in "good" condition, had a good inch and a half of the lower front cover chewed up! I contacted Amazon immediately and the vendor gave me a refund, but the book still looked horrible. It's an amateurish  "fix" but it looks better than being chewed.

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» Saturday, June 02, 2018
A Quick Escape

Well, we woke up this morning facing a very unpleasant task. Friday morning James woke up having pain when he urinated, and what he was outputting was dark like stout and unpleasantly fragrant. After all the efforts we have made to make certain the site stayed sanitary, he still had what looked like a urinary tract infection. The urologist's instructions were clear: because of the foley we couldn't let it linger. So this morning we had to go up to Kennesaw and Urgent Care. This was a bit flashbacky because the last time we were there was April and they thought he was having a heart attack (instead it was the fluid on his left lung) and the time before that it took us an hour to just get in the office because of all the flu patients, and then we were in the room for so long they had to feed us because James' blood sugar was tanking.

To our relief, there were only about six other people there, the nurse agreed that this sure did sound like a UTI, and the doctor concurred. A tech did a bladder scan to make sure James wasn't retaining any fluid, then they sent a sample to the lab and this was the longest we had to wait, for the results of the test. Sure enough, nasty little bacteria were present. They gave James a prescription for Cipro, we picked it up at the pharmacy, and then we were off. It was only a little over an hour.

We had lunch at a place we could see from Kaiser TownPark: Capriotti's. It's a soup/salad/sandwich place on the same idea as Panera. Unfortunately they had no chicken soup today, but I had a very nice clam chowder—it even had real clams in it! (sorry, Shoney's joke...)—and tuna salad sandwich. James had a "Bobbie," which is basically Thanksgiving dinner in a sandwich, and turkey chili. Not bad. I would not be adverse to stopping by again when we are in the area (although I hope it's not at Kaiser TownPark). Very sad, though, to notice the Uncle Maddio's in the same area closed.

We stopped at Barnes & Noble for a bit. I bought a gift for someone and James got the DK book The Story of Food. The we went home via Batteries+Bulbs. The battery in the power chair is slowly starting to die. James doesn't use it when he's at home, only when we go out or on a trip, or when he goes to work, and he doesn't use it much at work, but he's been coming home in the afternoon with it down two notches. It won't get him through DragonCon, that's for sure. He's had the chair 3 1/2 years and with hard daily use I hear they last only about one to two years. So we ordered the set of two (it needs two for some reason).

By the time we got home it was 4:30, still hot as all get out, and muggy. We just went in and undressed and I put on Jurassic World. It's passable. It doesn't have any sense of wonder like the first, though, which is its biggest problem. Also, the parents of the kids in the story (two brothers) and the aunt of the kids are freaking annoying. The parents are presumably about to split up, presumably because Mom the executive can't seem to even take time away from her job for her family, and the aunt is the same driven businesswoman. Chris Pratt as the male lead is cute, competent, and it was kind of nifty the way he used the velociraptors' imprinting instinct for him. No one cared when Vincent D'Onfrio's baddie died because he was such a twerp. More idiot upper management!

Afterwards we put on From the Earth to the Moon so we could pay tribute to the late Alan Bean with "That's All There Is," and then of course we had to watch "Spider," because it's our favorite. Here I am still pissed 20 years later that HBO did not give us a CD of the original score to this series. All they releases was the opening and closing themes with a bunch of stupid pop tunes that were played in the episode. Mason Daring's music was brilliant, and there are other lovely themes. Marc Shaiman's wistful theme in "The First Wives' Club" is a particular favorite. James requested the first episode.

[Later: Sunday was quiet. We went to Kroger because we had coupons, and then to Microcenter to replace James' keyboard. He has become fond of the wireless one he uses while teleworking and wanted a permanent one for his computer. Sunday night we started to catch up on the Hawaii Five-0 episodes we have backlogged because I had read there was a scene where Adam's kidnapper put ants all over him. I gave the remote to James so he could control the DVR once the scene happened. Luckily it was at the beginning so I could close my eyes and plug my ears!]

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» Monday, May 28, 2018
Holidays in Hush

It was a very low-key holiday weekend. The high point was Hair Day on Saturday morning. Charles brought sandwich fixings and Lin made oriental salad—the lunchmeats were delicious, but if we got a message one day that said the only thing they had for lunch was Lin's oriental salad, I'd be perfectly happy! I had two sandwiches and four helpings of salad. Phyllis and Mel were able to come and it was nice to see both of them feeling better.

We were so full we didn't even have supper. That evening I saw the musical film Singin' in the Rain for the first time. I've heard about this movie for years and never have seen it. It was funny and fun to watch, but I wish it had been on when James was in the hospital. We could have used a movie like this to pass the time!

Since we'd done all the shopping on Friday, we had Sunday to ourselves. James went down to the man cave, I did chores and read magazines. During the evening we watched the National Memorial Day concert from the Mall in Washington, DC. The stories are always inspiring, but the music was excellent this year. Nobody "warbled" the National Anthem.

James gathered karma points on Memorial Day by working. It's double time and hopefully will make up for his two iron infusions. I slept late and then started working on a web page about Gladys Taber.

God bless all those who gave their lives so James could horse around with his models and I could get some sleep. There is no amount of thanks that can ever repay their sacrifice.

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» Friday, May 25, 2018
Cleanup City
So I finally went out last weekend and bought a battery-powered hedge cutter. I should have done it years ago; I've probably killed as many heavy-duty electrical cords with the electric one as the battery-powered one cost. Monday morning I plugged in the battery and went to work on the bushes. It works a treat; the hardest part was cleaning up the cut-off branches. I had to quit when the sun worked its way around to the front of the house, but St. Francis can see out again.

Later on that day I finally shelved all those books in the library, and packed my work stuff in a Xerox paper box. Doesn't take care of it, but gets it out of the way.

Later in the week I pulled my "old" typewriter (old being an operative word, as my manual Smith Corona went the way of the dodo bird in the early 1980s; its replacement, the electric typewriter "Treasure" in the late 1980s—this was an electric typewriter I bought at Lechmere about 1989 or 1990) out of the closet, just to see if it worked. Surprisingly, it did, but only for a few minutes, and then I started getting error messages out of it. Not sure why. But that keyboard still felt good! You can't get a typewriter keyboard feel even with a clicky computer keyboard.

Otherwise I've been cleaning up little things: washing floors, scrubbing bathrooms, the like, and went to a doctor's appointment with James.

Tossed off a small watercolor painting this week, too. My weaknesses are all very evident.

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» Saturday, May 19, 2018
...And Someone Got Married

Yes, yes, I did get up early for the last royal wedding, DVR'ing the first two hours, but live at six. It wasn't that I was so into "Wills" and Kate, but more that I love seeing all those lovely historic buildings, vehicles, and the wonderful horses! (Not to mention those mysterious "fascinators" that the ladies wore; some of them were very pretty or cute hats, and some were just plain strange, like the spider hat Princess Beatrice wore.

Alas, the body seven years ago and the body today are two different things. I let the DVR do the job (recorded BBC America and, God help us, Today) and slept until eight, and then we dressed and ate and went to the Marietta Square Farmer's Market. We haven't been in a dog's age, not since it was cold, and maybe cold and 2017. The days have gotten all blurred.

We took Tucker with us and had a nice time, despite the fact the sun came out and because of the past few days of rain it was very humid. We had veg, so we just bought two big scones for dessert, a little chocolate cake, some pound cake to eat the rest of the strawberries over, and dog biscuits for Tucker. He was overwhelmed by all the dogs he could sniff noses with, including a snobby Corgi, a dog three times his size and still a puppy, and a little half-pit-bull who was being socialized by his girl, not to mention the rescue greyhounds ("Mommy, they're so skinny! We need to get them some dog food!"). Two little girls petted him, and he stopped to be petted by innumerable adults. At one point he was nose-to-nose with a huge harlequin Great Dane! When we were done shopping we crossed the square to the Local Exchange so I could pick up The Best Pretzels in the World, and then we waited a few minutes so I could go into the candy store and stock up on mint julep chews again (I finished the last bag, which I bought in December, just a few days ago; I'm trying to be good with them).

Oh, I saw calendulas for the first time today at a flower booth. I had to ask what they were. The blossoms looked like narrow, pale blue teacups with fluted edges. I also saw real snapdragons, yellow and orange. They looked like larger versions of butter-and-eggs (toadflax) and were quite lovely.

We brought Tucker and the goodies home, then gathered up our coupons and went up to Town Center, stopping by Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a new fan for James (his just died out of nowhere), and then went to JoAnn with coupons. I didn't have anything I needed except for Scotch mounting tape, so I bought some things for [censored] for [censored]. (Sorry, the person won't get them for a couple of months.)

We had lunch at the Twisted Noodle, then climbed the hill to Costco to feed the truck, then headed home.

Now I am on the DVR watching the BBC coverage...I wish they would stop talking about ladies' hats and identify more of the crowd. Of course they pointed out Idris Elba, Oprah Winfrey, and George Clooney, but who was that neat guy with the Georgian beard?

[There wasn't even enough going on Sunday the 20th to write an entry. We watched the end of Little Women. Unsatisfactory whole, but good parts. I liked Maya Hawke as Jo.]

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» Friday, May 18, 2018
Out, Out, Damn Clutter
I haven't done one of these in a while; this is what I've been up to now that I'm not running back and forth to the hospital. Again. Also can report I have lost 25 pounds since last year. Unfortunately still have much work to do on that. More walking, more stair climbing, more biking. Unfortunately with summer here, I am not going to want to go outside any time after ten a.m.! So I can loathe summer now for another reason: I need to get up earlier! 😄
  • Drains in bathrooms have been cleaned with vinegar and baking soda, with a boiling water chaser.
  • Had two new tires installed on my car.
  • Finally got Tucker bathed (as well as his bedding).
  • Scrubbed out the master bath shower compartment. (I love my spin scrubber!)
  • Cleaned out floor of hall closet and tossed some stuff.
  • Cleaned in front of my computer desk and polished it.
  • Contributed to post office food drive.
  • Cleaned out the spare room closet. Tossed a bunch of odd papers out, got convention programs all boxed, made all the tissue paper and wrapping paper neat, added another box to store gifts (also found paint-by-number oil paintings of Lassie that I did in the 70s).
  • Brought a bunch of stuff to Goodwill, including the old Epson printer I got from Amazon Vine.
Had to go to the doctor again with James. Nothing scary. When he was on the dialysis they took him off all his blood pressure drugs and off his potassium tablets, because people on dialysis are not supposed to have too much potassium. Well, now that he's off dialysis his blood pressure has gone creeping up, and over seven days he gained seven pounds. So on Wednesday the visiting nurse got him an appointment for Thursday. It went fine, except for being forgotten for ninety minutes. Dr. Mobley put James back on two furosimide (Lasix, a diuretic) and two KTab (potassium) a day, and we picked up prescriptions we needed in the pharmacy.

(And boy, did the furosimide work well. His output was six liters and he lost all seven pounds overnight. He didn't drink anywhere near that much. We told the nurse we were going to cut down to one a day, and she said that was okay. By Saturday morning he lost three more pounds.)

I have much, much more work to do. The library looks like a bomb went off in it. All my stuff from work is still down there, and I must have thirty or forty books to shelve. I also have to cull out photos from the autumn and winter magazines. Plus I have several strings of still good Christmas lights I want to save. And a desk I don't want that I need to disassemble because otherwise it won't come out of the library.

So we actually spent a very quiet Mother's Day weekend. On Saturday James went to his club meeting for the first time in three months while I watched a few more episodes of The Crown in preparation for Prince Harry and Meghan's wedding. People have seen Prince Philip for so long they don't realize how unpopular it was for Queen Elizabeth to have married him! On Mother's Day the biggest thing we did was watch the new version of Little Women. I am torn on it. I do like the way Marmee is portrayed; more careworn and less perfect, especially as played by Susan Sarandon. Maya Hawke is a good Jo. I love Beth with her freckles and their showing how difficult it was for her to go to the Lawrences. Laurie looks the part, but not much spark. Meg rather slips into the wallpaper and Amy seems...almost wicked. Angela Lansbury is delightful as Aunt March. They are trying to use sort of "American music," banjos and harmonicas and things, and it doesn't seem to fit.

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» Tuesday, May 08, 2018
You Can't Make This Stuff Up! Coda Ultimate
Another blood test today!!! Creatitine 2.1 and GFR is 33! I am delighted and flabbergasted. Dr. K has cancelled the dialysis and has cancelled the vascular surgery on Friday as well.

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» Friday, May 04, 2018
Gone Running to WHOlanta

Today was a very full day. James had the day off, but he had errands to run. We had breakfast and I walked Tucker, he cleaned up the kitchen a little and I mopped the upstairs bathroom floors, vacuumed upstairs, and vacuumed the stairs and swept the foyer. James left halfway through those chores to go to work to pick up and check and talk to his boss about his work schedule (since he's been officially cleared to go back to work, but if he goes in to the office he will need to use the restroom frequently) and then go to the bank.

Once I finished with my chores I got dressed and went to Kroger for mushrooms and milk. I also called my mechanic and finally ordered the two new tires that the car needs. I have no idea when I will get the brakes done. That's going to be expensive and I keep using up my money on paying for emergency room co-pays.

James got home just in time for the visiting nurse's appointment, except she was late, and so was the physical therapy nurse who was supposed to come an hour later; they had both run into traffic. Both nurses were really nice, but we had to tell the entire medical saga again. In the meantime I had cooked some chicken thighs and made them into sandwiches for lunch at WHOlanta, since I really didn't want to waste time eating when I could be attending panels. James made his own sandwiches, and we popped them in the fridge, then gathered up all our stuff, stopped at Kroger for gasoline, and then braved the freeway for the ride down to WHOlanta's new hotel, the Atlanta Hilton Airport. Traffic was a fat bitch until we reached I-20 and everyone diverged, and then it was clear sailing.

At home we had discussed stopping at a restaurant and having an early supper (we had had a burger each for lunch and more of Wendy's delicious limeade) because we didn't know the price on the restaurants at the hotels (there are three and a quickie mart), but Clay and Maggi were already on their way up and we wanted to eat with them. Once we parked we couldn't leave the lot again, so we decided to chance it.

Registration was already open by the time we arrived, and this was quick and painless. We sat down to talk with Alice and Ken when Clay and Maggi showed up. Opening ceremonies were at six, so eventually the six of us started looking for a place to eat. We were going to try the Italian restaurant, but it wasn't open on Fridays! You could order food at the bar, but not a real meal. WTF? The quickie place charged $12 for prepackaged sandwiches, so we decided to go downstairs to the sports bar, the Finish Line. The waitress was nice, but the service was terribly slow. There were two appetizers on the menu, wings or nachos, a couple of really expensive salads, and then five burgers or sandwiches, ranging from $12 - $16, and only one entree, salmon for $24! Most of us got the steak and cheese with some fries. Instead of a nice full hoagie roll we got (after a half hour of waiting) these tiny sandwiches like you might get at afternoon tea, and a container of fries smaller than the small fries at a fast food joint. This "repast" cost $13 each! Screw this place! I'm making another sandwich for lunch; James already got four sandwiches out of his chicken and had enough.

Anyway, went to opening ceremonies, and then the first panel, "A Genre is a Genre is a Genre," about the increasing number of subgenres into what used to be simply "science fiction," "fantasy," and "horror." Now we have "urban fantasy," "steampunk," "dieselpunk," and at least two or three dozen more subgenres. I think everyone felt it was sort of confusing, but that it was basically a marketing attempt to target different readers.

After this panel, James was on a panel about gaming, but I went to "Red, White & Who: The PBS Experience," basically talking about how each of us found Doctor Who in the US. Yes, there were some episodes that were released into syndication in 1978—most of us remember the Tom Baker stories with the Howard daSilva narrations that premiered on local stations (it was WLNE in Rhode Island)—but we watched the majority of Who on PBS, along with other SF and other imports (Blake's 7, Red Dwarf, Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and of course stuff like the Britcoms and All Creatures Great and Small. (When Peter Davison took over for Tom Baker, most PBS viewers already knew him as Tristan.)

Since Aubrey Spivey was on the panel, we stayed for one last one, about diversity in young adult lit. I am for diversity in more than YA, thank you, like in cozy mysteries. I'm tired of reading the same generic whitebread woman starting a new craft shop or bake shop and meeting the most gorgeous guy in town and they lock horns about solving mysteries. (He's usually a detective or with the police.) They live in picturesque little towns. (Okay, I do like some of these. The Manor House mysteries, for instance. The Postmistress mysteries, which, okay, I bought because they took place in Massachusetts. I liked Celebration Bay, but I think the author ran out of ideas.) That's why I love the Ellie Rush mysteries and have found another new series with an Asian lead. Are there U.S. cozies with African-American or other ethnic leads?

Oh, I didn't mention the convention charity this year is a no-kill shelter, Furkids. Well, at their table today they had the most adorable dog. He was about a year old, reminded us a good deal of Willow, with a light brown and white coat, but his tail was curled like a spitz, and he had the most adorable undershot little jaw, with his lower teeth sticking out. He was stinkin' adorable cute, named Simba, and if we could actually afford another vet bill I think Tucker would have had a little brother this weekend.

Finally we wended our way back home, I walked Tucker again, and we were soon off to bed.

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» Thursday, May 03, 2018
You Can't Make This Stuff Up! Coda
So James got blood taken on Monday; to our amazement his creatitine was back down to 2.6 with a GFR of 26, even after the temporary blockage. Dr. K called us first thing Tuesday morning; he was going to call DaVita and discussed discontinuing the dialysis, but he wanted yet another blood test. James teleworked all day Tuesday and all day Wednesday, and we went to Kaiser after work to get another blood test. This time the creatitine was 2.4 with a GFR of 28. I was frankly flabbergasted because James' creatitine hasn't been under 2.6 since January of 2016. The dialysis is cancelled and the doctor wants him to cancel the fistula surgery. We are undecided about this. All the nephrologists have told us James will eventually need dialysis, so it would be expedient to put it in. But after the fistula is put in, he can't have blood pressure taken on that arm or IVs put in. It would also be another surgery.

Dr. K has asked us to have another test on Tuesday, and I guess then we will decide.

In the meantime we saw a different cardiologist for a followup on Thursday. I think we confused him with this story. God knows we are confused; think of coming into it now. He did look at the wound where the permacath was—it was scabbed over handsomely with a nice thick scab. The doctor said it was okay, so we covered it up with a waterproof bandage and James got to take a real shower for the first time since March 8! He was so happy.

Unfortunately his next urology test is not until mid-June, and only if he passes it will he be able to have the TURP. Meanwhile he will have to live with the foley catheter.