Yet Another Journal

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


 Contact me at yetanotherjournal (at) mindspring (dot) com

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» Saturday, October 31, 2009
Never Trust Expired Crackers
So help me, I didn't know saltines could expire.

The little goblins were very sparse last night because of the rain and we had an appointment elsewhere, so we shut down at 8 p.m. and went to trivia. This is at a new place, Varner's, which we pass occasionally. It's a sports bar and a restaurant, but the bar is quite separate.

We had a good time, except for the televisions being quite loud (all football games). We played lightning round trivia so people could watch the football games (...whoopie...), which means they ask you all three questions at once. We did pretty well at the questions, and ended up winning tonight's game! As a definite plus, the food is good and not as expensive as the Vinings Grill. I had something called a steak skillet, beef on a bed of peppers and onions with grilled potatoes. Yum.

Now, before the trick or treating had started, we had a small "tea." I had some oatmeal and fruit, and James warmed up some Progresso sausage soup. As his habit, he crumbled some saltine crackers into it and also added what was left of the rice. He ate a few spoonfuls and then said it didn't taste very good. I sampled it and didn't find anything wrong, so prepared to settle down to eat a little more with some of the saltine crackers.

I ate one dipped in soup, which covered the taste a little, until I gagged on it and had to spit it out. They tasted...terrible. A chemical taste. It lay coated on my tongue. James checked the box and it turned out they were expired in 2007! But why would they taste like chemicals? I thought the wrapper was waxed paper; I guess not. Anyway, James dumped the soup and the crackers, and I brushed my teeth and my tongue to get rid of the horrible taste, which lingered even after I ate half an apple.

However, dinner had dispelled the taste, but as we finished up I felt an ominous rumbling in my tummy. Let's say my system dealt with the "poison" as the body is supposed to. It was an uncomfortable night; I even had chills that continued after a hot shower; it took me a long time to fall asleep.

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Hazy, Lazy, Breezy Rainy Hallows Eve Day
(Actually, it's officially the Saint's Day of St. Wolfgang of Regensburg.)

Spent a lazy morning lolling about the computer, harvesting crops in Farmville and checking out the comics. The Science Channel was running a Junkyard Wars marathon this morning, so if we wanted to turn our attention to the idiot's lantern, we could.

We headed out about noon, grabbing a Wendyburger. We were headed for Trader Joe's and went through Lower Roswell Road. I was reminded of Col. Potter's line at the end of "Dear Sis"—"This place is almost pretty." While there are trees slowly browning or turning a dull gold, every so often one of them, usually the maples and some other tree with long narrow leaves, will shine brilliantly. The best was a line of trees where Lower Roswell makes a sharp left turn; they looked as if their leaves were aflame. But there were other vignettes: a bright gold tree behind an old white farmhouse, a red-and-orange tree in a parking lot, pyrecantha berries spotted red-orange on vines growing up a fence next to a driveway.

We stopped at Borders because the East Cobb store usually has the best stock, and I had the "Mouse" with me to check out the new free wifi. (It works fine.) Well, cool beans, good thing we did: Susan Waggoner has a new Christmas book out, Christmas Memories, with photos and clips of advertisements and toys and decorations from the 1920s to the 1960s. (My childhood is now nostalgia...LOL...now I know how my parents felt!)

Bought a few things at Trader Joe's, including, finally, a pumpkin tart! We have been waiting all year for them; they only make them in the fall and right around Christmas. Even better than pumpkin pie—more crust! Also made a brief stop at Hallmark, then went to the hobby shop, where I leaned back and read while the guys talked. Finished "Country Living" and was deep into the "Mary's Farm" column in "Yankee" when someone asked me something. I was so involved I just said "Huh?" "Mary's Farm" chronicles the daily life of a woman living in the New Hampshire woods, and this was about her 12-day experience without electricity after an ice storm.

We had no candy in the house, so we came home past Life University to see how far they are in erecting their Christmas display, and then went to Publix. Of course nothing inexpensive was left! We just got one bag, as the weather is nasty and we aren't expecting many kids. We'll see.

First it was going to be cold for Hallowe'en. Then it was going to be warm. The predictions for warm were so prevalent that I went to Michael's and bought myself an alternative "costume" that I could wear with short sleeves for the neighborhood "block party" tomorrow night. Then it was supposed to be warm and rain.

It started raining during the night, with a cold front hot on the heels of the rain clouds. That was the reason we didn't go to the Farmer's Market this morning. It drizzled all day, sprinkled a bit in the late afternoon, and then the wind shifted in from the north with a flap of the banner on the front porch. The temperature started dropping like that proverbial rock, down from about 60°F this morning to 50 right now (with the wind chill it's probably more like 45), down to 44°F for the low. So here I am sitting on the steps near the front door, wearing my Hallowe'en cat sweatshirt and a hat (since I have the door cracked to hear the kids coming up the walk). Wifi is truly a great thing. :-)

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Don't forget to check out the treats in Holiday Harbour!

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» Friday, October 30, 2009
A Good Morning's Work and An Afternoon Project
I would have rather slept late, but I was up early this morning so I could get the car for an oil change. It only took a half hour, so I sat there reading The Serpent's Daughter (the third Jade del Cameron mystery) while they worked. Since my battery is five years old, I asked if they'd check the charge on it, and see if all the belts and fluids were okay and the tires were at proper inflation. Was quite chuffed by the results: the battery is operating at 93 percent (after five years!), and everything is okay, although he does recommend doing the 60,000 mile checkup, especially for the transmission fluid. He said he wished all the cars he saw were in such good repair. Way to go, Twilight!

Stopped at Hobby Lobby with a coupon to get a new timer for the outdoor Christmas lights. The one we have works...erratically. From there I stopped at Borders to use this week's coupons on the new Christmas Ideals. I have searched all over the book sites and do not see that the Ideals folks did a Thanksgiving edition this year. :-( They always had the most lovely poetry of late, and some nice fall photos, too. Found the new "Early American Life" and the November/December "Yankee" (wow, a "Yankee" two days before the month's issue starts—I haven't done that in years).

The last stop was at BJs. Had coupons, so did a big stock up: "Leisure" peas, canned corn, Dinty Moore beef stew, Progresso soup, Classico tomato and basil sauce (which has no sugar, like it's supposed to), Progresso chicken broth for cooking, and Campbell's chunky soup. We are trying to keep a stock of food inhouse for emergencies. Plus got the usual stuff for lunches—Chex and granola bars—some Breathe-Right strips, something for a Christmas gift, some Lean Cuisine chicken meals, some beef bits for suppers, and the November "Country Living." Unfortunately, while I was there, it began to rain. Good thing it wasn't hard or everything would have gotten drenched. I tucked the magazine and gift under my shirt and just trundled the rest to the car.

This afternoon I started working on a project: I have a bunch of magazines downstairs, like "Country" and other regionals, that I just bought for autumn, Christmas, and winter photos. I am going to cut the photos out and toss the rest. It's really silly to keep them. I started out by putting neatly in organizers what I'm going to keep whole: all my "Best of British" magazines, for example, and "Early American Life" and "Reminisce," and the Christmas issues of "Victorian Homes" and "Early American Life." This has left the ones I need to "chop," and also ones I have to decide about...do I want to keep all the "Yankee" issues, for example, or just the Christmas ones and ones I really liked, like the issue featuring lilacs?

Right now I have just finished with a break and watched The Worst Witch. This is a goofy, British-made special starring Fairuza Balk as Mildred Hubble, a well-meaning but clumsy little girl at Miss Cackle's Academy for Witches. Charlotte Rae, of all people, plays Miss Cackle (and her evil twin sister, Agatha, who has pink hair, and, for reasons known only to the production staff, a Deep South accent) and Diana Rigg is the potions teacher who acts like she has a broomstick stuck up her...uh, Miss Harbottle. Maud Warlock is Mildred's best friend and Ethel Hallow the evil Draco Malfoy-ish classmate. The guest star is Tim Curry as the Grand Wizard, who has a mind-blowing psychedelic music video smack in the middle of the piece. Everything was filmed with really bad special and process effects, and the dialog is really strange sometimes, but it's a fun little Hallowe'en piece. (Oh, and for Doctor Who fans, the title tune is sung by Melanie Bush herself, Bonnie Langford.)

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» Thursday, October 29, 2009
A Warm Interlude
Spent the day working and trying to keep the house cool. It didn't get that warm, but 75°F is a bit high for late October! Someone sent me a massive slideshow of the big snowstorm in Colorado; lots of photos of Hallowe'en decorations peeping from the snow.

I had a rush order which I managed to get done, but didn't get a confirming quote early enough to work on another one. The rush order took me almost two hours to finish because the system kept hiccuping. Urrgh. Wretched Microslop-based piece of junk.

I started work early this morning again, ate breakfast and then took my walk. This is better because by the time I do so, at least it's light. I can't wait until next week when we are back on real time again and it will be light in the morning when we need it. This isn't Leave It to Beaver land anymore: everyone rising at seven-thirty so the kids and dad can have a hearty breakfast before dad has his 20-minute drive to work and the kids their 20-minute walk to school to start at nine o'clock. A lot of the people I work with, especially the women, get up at four and five in the morning to be able to get the kids up and take them to daycare/before-school activities and beat traffic in 30-minute plus commutes, arriving at work at seven. These days we don't need light late, we need it early.

My one question: where is that guy from TruGreen? I have received calls three weeks in a row saying, "We'll be out [name of day] to aereate and reseed your fescue." This week it was supposed to be Wednesday. Still haven't seen hide nor hair of him.

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» Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Neat and Tidy
During lunch today, I cleaned off the coffee table.

Oh, yeah, you might not think this was such a big deal, but I swear it contains some magic attractant for junk. Magazines, coupons to be cut, DVDs, books...sheesh. Now you can see the middle. Also merged some DVD sets that came in enormous packaging and taking up too much space.

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C'mon By
This is the time of the year I post autumn and winter holiday happenings in Holiday Harbour, so come on by.

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» Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Today's Forecast
First Witch: "Rain!"

Second Witch: "Rain!"

Third Witch: "Rain!"

Yes, it rained all day. Light rain, heavy rain, drizzle and back. Grey, silver, ash-color, charcoal sky. Damp, dreary chill.

And all that.

One nice thing about the rain is that the color of the brighter trees "pop" against the grey. The trees seem to change each day now. I don't even need to go far afield to find beautiful ones; there are several stunning maples nearby.

Arrived home after an eighty-minute ride (at least half of it devoted to the eight miles between Peachtree Industrial Road and the Northside Drive exit; everything else was easy, even Spring Road, which is usually a tailgater's horror when it rains) to find James almost finished making pork chops and baked sweet potatoes. Yum! I had a "big" pile of books waiting. Once was the last of the "About Time" Doctor Who books that I had finally ordered. I kept checking the old edition waiting for the second edition, until last week, when it occurred to me that, duh, it would have a new ISBN and thus have a totally new listing. It actually came out in July. I also got a small Christmas book to review from Amazon Vine. I'm caught up on my reviews so I can wait a bit closer to Christmas to read it.

I also received the books I ordered from Hamilton Books [remainder book outlet]. One is Christmas at the Home Front. I have several World War II homefront books, but this one is different as it is the British homefront. Nice hardback with heavy paper and all sorts of reproduced posters and adverts. The other book is...no, I can't talk about it. I bought a duplicate as a gift, so I can't mention it lest the surprise be spoiled. But let's say the person it's for should love the first part of the book especially!

I noticed searching around Amazon.com yet again that Ideals did not seem to publish a Thanksgiving edition this year. They do have a Christmas issue. Odd.

Watched It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown followed by You're Elected, Charlie Brown. Now I remember why I disliked the later Peanuts specials: somewhat contrived and a lot of Snoopy gags. None of the simplicity of the strip or of the earliest specials.

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» Monday, October 26, 2009
I Love In Jokes
Loved, loved, loved opening joke on Castle tonight.

(If you missed it, Richard Castle was preparing for his Halloween bash and was dressed as a "space cowboy"—specifically Mal Reynolds from the series Firefly, who was, of course, also played by Nathan Fillion. His daughter complained that he'd worn the costume five years ago and wasn't it time to get over it. Too funny.)

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A Change of Plans
Well, that tears it. It's supposed to be 74°F on Hallowe'en and the same the day after. I definitely can't wear my cat outfit—too hot!

So I stopped by Michaels on the way home. I will wear my brown pants and green top, with two fall garlands wound and draped about me, and a garland of fall berries on my head, with a wand of fall plants, and go as the Spirit of Autumn (or something to that effect).

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Things on the Internet Live Forever
I just had the most unusual telephone call. A person was inquiring about an information technology procurement that was out there, but that she had attempted to call the contact listed and they were not at CDC. Then she named the person, and I was so flabbergasted that I bumbled my way through a few intelligent-sounding responses until I got my wits about me. The person she wanted to contact was someone I had done support for years ago who is now retired, and the RFP she was trying to track down was nine years old! I explained to her that it was an old requirement and answered a few more questions for her, then when the call was over did a search on that retired person's name. Sure enough, three pages of results came up on Google, half of them having to do with this RFP, including one site where the dates of the requirement were never mentioned, like it was something brand new! Wow.

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» Sunday, October 25, 2009
A Quiet Day...
...that's chronicled in Holiday Harbour.

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» Saturday, October 24, 2009
Temporarily South North Again
James was finished up just as I was finishing the last entry, so we walked leisurely back to the car. Checked out a small used bookstore on Russell Parkway and was very surprised by their collection of children's and young adult books. Fully one fourth of the store was of those books, including one big bookcase of vintage series books, from Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys all the way back to Dick Prescott and the Horatio Alger books. They even had a partial set of the original Junior Classics from 1912!

We also stopped at Books-a-Million on the way out of town, where I was delighted to find the Christmas issue of "Victorian Homes." They had been talking about it on my Christmas list and I was dying to see it. I also found the September "Country Extra" with a nice collection of autumn photos.

We stopped at the Red Lobster in Macon for supper, since they are still doing "endless shrimp." Two helpings of teriyaki on a stick, some shrimp scampi, and a small dish of popcorn shrimp was enough "endless" for me. I barely ate any of the mashed potato; James brought it home for lunches.

We emerged from the Red Lobster to the song of a mockingbird being belted out. As we walked back to the truck it was evident he was close by; he sure was! in the little mulberry tree directly in front of the truck. He was on one of the top branches and didn't turn a hair as we walked up, got in the truck and backed out, just kept singing his lovely song.

The rest of the ride was in the dark, and it was getting chilly on the way home; I had to put my jacket back on. It really was a nice day to go out there, sunny with high light clouds, most of them cirrus, warm, but with a nice breeze from the west that kept it from getting hot. It was overcast on the way out, so that once the sun actually set, there was a beautiful sunset effect: the dark mauve/grey clouds forming a "cap," and around the edges between the cloud and horizon a band of intense orange-scarlet.

The only problem we had today was that we forgot the second battery for the camera and it turned out the one already in it was only half charged, so we didn't get too many photos. Ah, well.

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Temporarily South, Continued
So, where was I? Oh, yes, the joys of wi-fi. I was outside, sitting in the shade and a breeze, because it's really too pretty outside to be inside, but the signal outside is nearly non-existent. The "Mouse" is performing exactly the task I had intended for it, "tucked under the arm," so to speak, to go anywhere. It doesn't have WordPerfect on it, but then you really can't have everything. :-)

We haven't been here in ages. Oh, we've been to the main building, the one that's built like the rectangular Air Force symbol with the bulge in the center, several times. We used to come here when the "museum" was nothing but a few Quonset huts interconnected (with a gift shop; it's a state law...LOL). But the last time we were here was right before building 2 opened. So, after James placed his entries, we looked around this building.

Aside from the aircraft I mentioned before, it has a gallery on either side of the building with showcases of memorabilia (the "feet" of the showcases look like aircraft landing gear—cute!) of Georgia aviation and aviators from all walks of life, from Eugene Bullard, who had to go to France to be able to fly in the first World War because of the color of his skin; to Jacqueline Cochran, "aviatrix" as they used to say in her day, who started out as an unwanted orphan who worked in a cotton mill at age eight for six cents an hour; to Georgia flyers in all wars and Georgia astronauts, to Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame inductees. Cool stuff.

Building 3, next door, is for World War II aircraft. The city of Warner Robins, as it exists today, exists because of World War II; in 1942 the government plunked down an air depot here. Back then it was a sleepy little town called Wellston, a mere "jerkwater" town (the trains stopped for water only unless there was a passenger coming or going), and early on it was called the Wellston Depot before the name of the base, and the town, was changed to Warner Robins after its first commander. It also has a super D-Day exhibit.

"Hangar One," next door to us, has some Vietnam-era aircraft and is right now the home to the Tuskeegee Airmen exhibit which will move into the WWII building eventually. That's where we were when I abruptly broke narration; we realized we hadn't looked through it.

We also had lunch here, but the cafe isn't much and is frankly overpriced. Ah, well, captive audience.

Jen, if you are ever in the area again, let us know if you want to come. It's a nice little museum; you probably would have enjoyed it. Too bad we didn't have another day.

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Temporarily South
I'm presently blogging from a hangar.

Well, it's built like a hangar. It's building 2 at the Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, GA, and the local International Plastic Modelers Society (IPMS) chapter is having a model contest. Flanked by modern jets, two Sikorsky helicopters, and some drones and engines (oh, yeah, and the military Hummer and its trailer I'm sitting next to), there are tables laid out and even a small "dealer's room" of models for sale.

James entered five models at the last minute, but this is ace competition and it looks as if he hasn't won anything.

Oooops, wait, I'll be back...

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» Friday, October 23, 2009
In the "Why Isn't This Series on DVD?" Department
1967's hilarious He and She starring Dick Benjamin and Paula Prentiss, as Dick and Paula Hollister (a cartoonist and a social worker, respectively), with Jack Cassidy as Oscar North (star of the Jetman television series based on Dick's comic strip), Hamilton Camp as Andrew (the handyman-of-all-trades who seems to spend all his time in the Hollister apartment), and Kenneth Mars as Harry (who works at the fire station next door and crosses into the Hollister apartment using a board between the windows—heaven forbid Harry should do anything so mundane as take the stairs), created and written by much of "the gang" from Get Smart: Leonard Stern, Arne Sultan, Allan Burns and Chris Hayward.

Here are two episodes on YouTube, the opening episode "The Old Man and the She":

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

and "Don't Call Us," from November 29, 1967, with original commercials (and oh, how wonderfully understated and quiet they are—well, except for the always obnoxious Wisk "ring around the collar" commercial, to which my mom always snapped, "Tell him to wash his dirty neck!" LOL—who knew we'd come to cherish them?). For some reason it's in black and white, but no less funny:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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What a Difference a Day Makes!
Completely different walk: a breeze from the southeast making it acceptable, but 66°F out and very humid, completely overcast and the sound of birds, but only one lone crow making its appearance.

I have been having a great deal of trouble with my neck this week. I have had problems with the right side of my neck and right shoulder ever since I had my thyroid cancer surgery. The doctor had to scrape nodules off tissue in the area of my right scapular and it has been stiff and sore all the time every since. Sometimes I wake up with a "stiff neck" from "sleeping wrong," but twice in the past three days the pain has begun after I am up and moving. It extends from the mastoid bone area (that lump of skull behind your ear) all the way down the right side of my neck and straddles my shoulder. If I bend my head down right now I see stars! Bad enough this one started out of the blue when I washed my face; the pain on Wednesday started during my walk. I thought exercise was supposed to loosen you up!

I should take something and lie down, but I have something I'm working on and the TruGreen guy is expected any minute to aereate the fescue in the back yard.

Speaking of the weather, that 34° the other night has jump-started the trees. We had an all-hands yesterday and as I drove in I marveled at the changes in the trees just since Tuesday! There is a glorious little maple tree with scarlet tips at the front of a condo development on Spring Road, a half dozen maples standing out in orange and saffron between pines and live oaks on I-285 westbound Riverside Drive, and even one jaunty yellow-orange-and-red tree between the buildings at the Chamblee campus where we had our meeting. I allowed myself a treat after the 40-minute drive by stopping at the used bookstore on Clairmont Road. Drat! No Christmas books out yet; this is where I found the wonderful William Sansom book last year. I did buy a small book of essays about Boston. Appropriately, on the day after what would have been Mary Bloemker's birthday, I opened the book at random in the middle of an article about the Maverick area of East Boston, where Mary used to live. Life's funny that way...

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» Thursday, October 22, 2009
Walk with Caw-tion
I did something different today. Usually I get up, dress, and walk. It's still dawn and partially dark, and there are several cars and kids at the corner waiting for the schoolbus, which means I have to thread through them.

This morning I logged on to work early, read my e-mail and noted some problems I needed to take care of, then took the walk. By then the sun had risen some. It was a lovely sunrise, partly cloudy with blue sky peeping out, with grey billowy and shreddy clouds to the south and a rank and file of mackerel clouds moving in from the north, forerunners of the rain due tomorrow. The mackerel clouds were outlined in orange and tinted a dark mauve, and what I could see of the eastern sky had a bright orange-almost yellow tint.

As I walked a flock of dark birds, sixty or so, burst from the trees and wheeled and maneuvered above. What a camera shot that would have been! I'm not sure if they were starlings or blackbirds. About a half dozen crows added their caws to their cries, and I followed the flock until they disappeared over the trailer park.

From across the street one tree was alive with bird voices. As I approached the main street, suddenly this second flock (about the same number, around fifty or sixty birds) launched themselves from a tree fronting the apartment complex. Looked like more blackbirds or starlings. The crows cried along with them. This flock headed down our street, pausing briefly at a tree where about half of them lighted while the rest of the flock went on and the laggards hurried to catch up with them. These disappeared going south, leaving the crows to caw derisively in their wake.

It was a swell walk. :-)

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» Wednesday, October 21, 2009
A Break in the Weather
We have had a break in the "gingerbread weather," as I suspected we would. 70s today and 70s tomorrow, with high 60s in the offing. Ah, well, at least it was nice for the apple festival. I could only wish it would be like it was on Sunday on Hallowe'en; then I could wear my cat outfit with no problem. I can probably get away with it through lower 60s if I don't move around much. Actually, I need it to be cool on November 1, because we are having a costume party get-together in the community. James' pirate shirt and kilt are light enough, but my cat costume is mostly comprised of black sweats!

Not sure if it was last night's sausage or just a bug, but I was feeling pretty puny today. I would be hungry and eat and then be nauseated. Urgh. As I always do when I'm under the weather, I lit a candle—cinnamon stick scent today—and played some of my Christmas LPs: "Rocky Mountain Christmas" and the Grants Christmas album I grew up with. Finished an order, did payment authorizations, clarified performance dates, answered phone calls, things like that, and did laundry during lunch and vacuumed when I finished up for the day. Just had some Italian wedding soup for supper.

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» Sunday, October 18, 2009
Weather Wow
33°F tomorrow morning? Wow!

"Treehouse" turned out to be a bit dull. But then we never saw 28 Days Later. I guess the last segment was a spoof of...Sweeney Todd? Whatever.

The entire kitchen smells like cinnamon now, from the new hot pad. Mmmmmn.

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The Youngs and the Blustery Day
When that alarm rang this morning, how I hated it! It was 7:30 and we went to bed after one and it was so nice and cozy under the blankets. But we did get up, muddled about, and managed to get out of the house and on the way to Ellijay for the Apple Festival by 8:30.

What a morning! The low, dark clouds had vanished and the sky was bright blue with some marshmallow clouds dotted about. It was in the high thirties—yes, you heard that correctly!—with a nice breeze. I was still sleepy, but we put the Marcelle Willis Celtic CD we bought at Yellow Daisy (she plays dulcimer, and the CD also includes Irish whistle, some lively, some more sweet), and that brightened me up a good deal. Once we arrived at the Lions Club parking lot, however, and emerged into that brisk, clean air, it was if I just woke up from hibernation and was finally alive after another stultifying summer.

Wow, wow, wow. We got there about 9:30 and walked around for two hours and weren't even tired afterward. Previous years we came early, it was cool for about an hour and then the sun switched to "roast" and we'd leave sweating and exhausted. This was just glorious! We checked out all the booths in turn and did the following:

• Bought two Christmas gifts.
• Bought a new cinnamon scented hot pad.
• Bought five pieces of Ginny's Fudge for dessert.
• Bought a peck of Granny Smith apples fresh from the North Georgia orchards.
• Bought a cute small ceramic statue of stacked jack o'lanterns and also a small ceramic Holstein calf that sits on the edge of a shelf with one leg hanging down.

And two most wonderful things: first, we went into the one building there, and they were selling sweat- and T-shirts after applying iron-on patterns of your choice on them. They had a fall design with chickadees on a dogwood branch with rusted leaves and the dogwood "hips" berries, and a winter/Christmas design with chickadees on a holly branch. Lovely sweatshirts like these are usually $35-$45 each from catalogs, and they had them two for $25! So James bought me the Christmas one for my birthday and I got the fall one myself!

And then, the lady with the little "feather" trees was there. (Hers are not actually made from feathers; they look like the branches are done from some type of thread, but it's designed like a feather tree.) Hers was the little feather tree that I turned into this last year, a perfect little jewel. Well, when I conceived it last year, I debated either decorating the way I ended up doing it (the 1890-1910 look), or doing something old-fashioned, like handmade-looking ornaments and wooden toys that looked like someone living in the country made the decorations. So now that I have a second tree, I can try the look I didn't try. Cool!

And we tasted the dips and the jellies without being disturbed by bees and hornets, enjoyed browsing each of the booths, and after we bought our apples James sat under cover watching the cake walk while I ran back for the pumpkins and one of the gifts without him having to tow twenty pounds of apples.

The only thing wrong with the weather was that I felt bad for the vendors. They are in these little pavilions with plastic roofs and plastic sides you can button down for inclement weather. Yesterday they had rain, which is nasty when you're out in the middle of a grassy field that tends to mud (there was still mud today left over from yesterday), and today the wind was blowing so hard that several of the vendors had to take down the plastic sides, which they had erected to keep warm, because the wind picked up so much that it was rattling the merchandise on the shelves. I had to pick up two little plaques for one lady because the wind just swept them off the table they were set on.

But this wasn't the end of the wonderful day. We left the festival through downtown Ellijay and started back south. Just south of town are two "farm markets" on the east side of the road. The one on the right is the larger of the two, the Panorama Farmers Market. We wandered the building looking at the things available: more fresh apples, dried fruits, jellies, salad dressing, goats' milk lotions, cookbooks, canning supplies, and a room devoted to penny candies. For a moment it was like being back at Tom's Superette again. They had candy buttons and candy cigarettes, licorice and Mary Janes, buttons on a string and peppermint pillows, and all sorts of goodies including peanut brittle (yes, the peanuts predominated...LOL). We bought a big apple pie, some dried cranberries and cherries, and a jar of blackberry spread that was like something from heaven, strong-flavored and sweet with no sugar added. Yum!

The other place was more of a plain farm market, selling mostly apples, and also some ciders, gourds, and pumpkins. I did get a nice trio of Indian corn. I love Indian corn!

On the way home we stopped in Canton for lunch. We at first headed for Olive Garden, then didn't want to spend so much money and decided on Subway instead until I noticed the little Asian place next door. Frankly, it wasn't very good. Very slow service and the little appetizer I ordered in lieu of lunch, "beef triangles," had very little beef in them. Oh, well, live and learn. The wonton soup was okay.

Visited the Books-a-Million in the adjacent shopping center and did find a copy of "Country." I let my subscription lapse because I really only want the fall and winter issues, and I was finding the magazine quite regularly last winter and spring. Of course the moment I really wanted it, all the supplies dried up! So I suppose I should re-up.

As a bonus this issue has an article about Rhode Island in it! They are in Chepachet.

Had to stop at Kroger for gasoline and a newspaper, and then the lovely day was over. Just finished watching Clark Howard and are now on Adam Hunt-Davis' What the Victorians/Tudors Did for Us—great stuff! Love these British history shows!

Oh, and tonight is the newest "Treehouse of Horror." We quit watching The Simpsons ages ago, but always make a point of watching the "Treehouse" ones, even if lately they've been injected with annoying political humor. This is the first time in years that it hasn't been on after Hallowe'en, I guess to take advantage of sweeps. Guess that means Homer and the gang aren't ratings fodder anymore.

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» Saturday, October 17, 2009
Rude Surprises
We got to trivia tonight only to be met with unexpected news: the restaurant it's held in is closing tomorrow! Apparently their idiot landlord jacked up the rent and would rather have no money coming in than an inflated rent!

Anyway, the company was great—Mel and Phyllis were back from visiting their granddaughter and Jake and Nancy also were there—but the place was hellishly noisy, with the stupid football game sound turned up loud, which means, of course, that the commercials WERE EVEN LOUDER, and the heat was up too high for the crowd that was there. I was getting downright claustrophobic.

The clouds are finally starting to clear, which means it's going to be even chillier tonight. It's already 42.

Incidentally, we stopped at Publix on the way home from the hobby shop...yay, more oatmeal on twofers. Anyway, you'll never guess what I found there, and for a good price, too: fuzzy ankle-high slippers! I needed a new pair; I washed the old ones and the padding wadded up. I bought two pair, black and blue. Just in time for the cold spell.

I hope cold this early doesn't mean it's going to be 75 at Thanksgiving. Ugh.

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A High Wind in Georgia
Okay, a good breeze, anyway. Goodness, but it did get cold for October! Our outdoor thermometer stood at 46°F when we got up at 8:30 this morning.

But then it was chilling down nicely last night: the wind was whipping in from the north as we went to dinner. Did something different and went to Golden Corral. Yow! That's gotten expensive! And I really don't eat enough to justify going to a buffet. The steak was nice and rare, though, and I had shrimp for the rest of the meat entree.

Went by Borders and I did get Boneshaker, as well as the Christmas issue of "Bliss Victoria." I'll put that away until Thanksgiving week. Came home by the "Hallowe'en Costume Superstore" that's in the old Progressive Lighting building. James has been looking for a "pirate" shirt—you know, the open collar and the blousy sleeves—to go with his kilt. Either we find complete costumes where the vest is part of the shirt, or they have what they had at this story, one with a ruffly collar down the front of the shirt and ruffles around the cuffs. I guess you'd call it "pirate formal," or really more Regency!

However, we did find a shirt like he wanted at Party City. Yay.

So, last night's Monk was tres interesting, no? Randy actually had a brain except for a few minutes when he was interviewing the guy who died. Loved Natalie and the guys plotting the surprise party. But what's with the new lady Stottlemeyer has met? Her name is Trudy? Is this a red herring? A clue? Was Trudy not really killed? Of course the first thing you think is "Witness protection? Trudy wasn't killed and had her appearance changed?" But why then did she tell Stottlemeyer her name?

And I notice there is no description for next week's episode with Sharona's return on Zap2It. They're keeping that close to their sleeve. :-)

It was a lovely night to sleep, although ironically I had a nightmare for the first time in a long time. Maybe because the bedroom door was closed (since the windows were open in the bedroom, we had to or Schuyler would get a draft). We did go to the Farmer's Market, and although I was enjoying the 40s and the stiff breeze, I felt sorry for the vendors! (And boy, am I glad I bought a new hat at JoAnn yesterday!) We bought nice ears of corn, four sweet potatoes, two slices of chess pie, a loaf of bread, a beef pot pie, a half-dozen chocolate cookies, some smoked chicken spread, and boiled peanuts for James.

They were also having a little craft show (several of the vendors which we recognized as we strolled around watching most of them shiver), a 5K run for the Make-a-Wish Foundation that was just completing when we arrived, and "Scarecrows on the Square," businesses and schools which had prepared scarecrows to represent things. I liked the Edgar Allan Poe one, and the one from the prostheses company was clever. It was so breezy several of the scarecrows had fallen apart.

I love the nice breeze, but the change in the weather always does a number on my sinuses. By the time we'd put the things away and had some breakfast—yum, whole-grain light English muffins with peanut butter!—I had a nice drumming headache which I had to treat with ibuprofin and a lie-down. It wasn't entirely gone by the time we went out, but that could be because I was now hungry. The plain junior burger with mandarin oranges at Wendys helped.

I'm typing this at the hobby shop. They're watching a football game in the meeting room and it's really loud. :-)

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» Friday, October 16, 2009
Temperature's Falling
Wow...the temperature's dropping like a rock. It's already 54°F, after being 60 last night when we went to bed, and about 57 when I got up at nine. It's what I think of as being "perfect" weather, cloudy, mid-fifties, with a breeze. Well, there sure was a breeze when I set out...a stiff wind from the north!

Went up to the Barnes & Noble at Bells Ferry. Found the new "Shop Smart" and also an issue of "BBC History" with articles about the 70th anniversary of the beginning of World War II. Also indulged myself with a mystery I have not been able to find at Borders (World War II set: The War Against Miss Winter.) Saw a steampunk book I want to get at Borders: Boneshaker.

From there I went to Michaels and got something for a craft project, and also found the cutest little country lantern to go with my woodland Christmas tree setup, and then stopped at JoAnn. You could use a coupon on the magazines again because they weren't on sale, so I got the new "Cross-Stitch Crazy" with a lovely "Delft" winter scene and also cute little Christmas designs.

On the way home I stopped at Batteries Plus and picked up the new battery for my netbook which I ordered last Saturday. After our ill-fated trip to Gatlinburg during the heatwave in June, I tucked the netbook away and didn't use it again until last weekend, whereupon I found out the battery was dead. My bad. Since the difference between a 2-hour battery and a 4-hour battery was $20, I bought the four.

Since WalMart was on the way home, I stopped for yogurt, bananas, and milk, and found more of those lovely Lean Cuisine Pasta Romano With Bacon dinners. (Had one for lunch.) Bought some canned pumpkin, too; heard there was a bad crop this year and there may be a shortage of pumpkin? Dunno. Canned pumpkin's good for lots of things. Oh, and those little single-serving Edy's Slow-Churned cups? They come in coffee, too. [evil grin]

When I got home it was chilly enough for me to set the thermostat to automatic and sure enough, the heat came on! (This one has an automatic switch from cool to heat.) I only left it on about two or three minutes because some of the windows are open; I like to turn the heat on first thing in the season with the windows open (or cracked, at least) because of that stale smell that comes out of the vents first time the heat comes on. Rather have the air circulating for Schuyler's sake.

Now I'm watching backlogged Ellen shows.

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» Wednesday, October 14, 2009
The World Changes Color...
...with accompanying birdsong in Holiday Harbour.

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Free Again
One week to the day when I had to shut the windows and turn on the air conditioner, I have opened the windows and turned the dang thing off again. It's that aggravating time of year where it can't decide whether to be fall or summer. We had rain come in again, and it was dark, and gloomy. I worked, did laundry at lunch and watched Rick Steves in Czechoslovakia, and only half noticed when some large vehicle braked to a sharp stop outside, then proceeded. Willow didn't even bark.

So when I opened the front door to take her out for a walk...O frabjous day! My package from Amazon! Time Quake was here!

And that's where I've been all night. Yeah, I should have savored it slowly, but, honestly, I couldn't. I had to turn the next page, and the next, and the next, and then the next chapter, and the next...to see if they caught the Tar Man, and how Gideon would accept him, and if Kate would survive—not to mention if her terrifying visions of the future came true, and if Lord Luxon would succeed in his plan of changing the history of the United States, and if the dang history scholar would twig, and, and, and...fabulous from beginning to end. That's two great books I've finished this week (although The Cosgrove Report took a bit longer...LOL).

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» Monday, October 12, 2009
Rainy  Night  Day in Georgia
It was no holiday for James, so he went off to work in the dark. I got up two hours later—still pretty much in the dark. It was a gloomy day, rain drumming on the deck and chimney-top, the occasional rattle of the banner outside. I had breakfast, harvested crops in FarmVille, worked on a craft project, and kept an eye on radar. The weather radio had already gone off several times with severe thunderstorm and rain warnings. We may have had thunder—Willow did bark several times—but mostly what we had was rain.

I still needed yogurt since Kroger was out of my flavor yesterday, so I decided to go out to East Cobb and kill two birds with one stone: a book I wanted was out there, and I wanted to stop at Fuzziwig's for a new supply of Jolly Rancher watermelon candies. I've been nursing a bag all through the summer, but it was time for me to go through the bin again.

The roads were a bit...awash. Not deep puddles, but steady streams running across most of the roads I traveled. Ran into Borders for the book, fished through a heavily-sticky bin of Jolly Ranchers for watermelon candies, then went to Michaels. I was looking for buttons shaped like autumn leaves and finally found some. Found some other buttons which will come in useful in another project (based on something I found on clearance that will make two nice gifts) and also autumn leaf brads, plus bulbs for the candles I keep in the front windows.

On a wild hair I stopped at the Food Depot on South Cobb, closer to the house, rather than going all the way to Publix, and found my flavor of yogurt, although the Food Depot near the house doesn't carry it. Cool.

This afternoon I finally dubbed off Good Morning, Miss Dove before the DVR decides to flip out, as it does periodically. I love this movie. It got me through a hard time in high school, too. I don't remember which grade it was, but I had a very tough teacher one year. He was a former coach who now had multiple sclerosis. I guess he was afraid of the kids taking advantage of him because he was sick, because he was strict to the point of being mean. Miss Dove was never mean, but I remember how Tommy Baker survived out on the raft by thinking the geography period was almost over, and coped similarly.

Oh, I found a Lean Cuisine that I really like! It's bow-tie pasta in a fire-roasted tomato sauce with Romano cheese and tiny bits of bacon. Belissima!

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» Sunday, October 11, 2009
Shopping in the Oddest Places
It's been a lazy day. We slept late, went to Borders where I picked up Foundation (Lackey's, not Asimov's) and also contributed a book to the elementary school that was flooded out a couple of weeks ago. (I picked Black Beauty.) James got another Steve Sterling book. We also stopped for mushrooms and a few other things at BJs, and went to Kroger.

Oh, and we did some Christmas shopping at Publix.

Make of that what you will. LOL.

Back watching Bullshit! after Clark Howard, yesterday's episode of Jeopardy, and the episode on ammunition on Lock'n'Load With R. Lee Ermey. Quite a history lesson on projectiles in this one; I've never really understood how a flintlock worked until I saw their diagram.

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» Saturday, October 10, 2009
In the Cool, Cool, Cool Again
A day of rejoicing over the ugly lamp being down was followed by a day of frustration trying to get a rush order done, frankly because, after it being initally asked about early Friday morning, the only person in a rush was me. The reason it wasn't further along was because questions had not been answered about it, and the answers still weren't forthcoming until the very last minute. But with help it got done and will be completed on Tuesday.

(I also got ticked off at Borders; Time Quake came out this Tuesday, and there's a 40 percent off coupon this weekend, but it still wasn't showing at any of the stores. So I called to see if they knew if it might be coming in this weekend. I was told they didn't even have it on order! Well, phooey. I've been waiting for this one for ages. I almost ordered it from England, where it came out in July. So I just put in an Amazon order, and also got the Benbella House book. And wow, they've mailed it already!)

It was downright sultry yesterday morning when I took my walk, so there was much happiness about the cold front approaching for the weekend. (I sure hope the forecast for next weekend stays "as is," because it would make it dandy for the Apple Festival!) It was starting to rain last night when James took Willow out for a final walk, and then I "drowned" her. I wish it wasn't so uncomfortable washing her in the tub—boy, does that make my back hurt, and it took longer because she kept squirming—because she hadn't been bathed in a few weeks and looked like a little ragamuffin. I wish there was some way to explain to her that if she stayed still it wouldn't take as long!

This morning it looked as if the clouds were clearing, but it was just a "sucker hole," as James calls it. As we drove to the Farmer's Market a mountain of dark clouds were marching our way, just piles upon piles of dark, grey, and white smoky-looking clouds with a plow edge moving to scoop up the blue sky and existing mackerel clouds. Very striking! By the time we finished buying one huge tomato, a cucumber, some corn on the cob, two slices of pie, two cookies, some chicken salad, some cabernet jelly (boy, is that good! it tastes like wine biscuit dough), two croissants for breakfast, and an organic mocha java energy bar (I've tried her peanut butter chocolate bar and it tastes almost like a Squirrel Nut), the clouds were spitting at us.

Now yesterday I had a surprise in the mailbox: a coupon from the Hallmark shop at the Avenue at West Cobb, offering 20 percent off an entire purchase. How providential! Today was the release of the last part of the miniature "gingerbread Santa and reindeer" set, and I also wanted to get the Bolt ornament. I also had a $10 off coupon, and the paperwork I had with it said if I bought three ornaments I got so many extra points, and five ornaments I got so many more points, and if I purchased this weekend, I would get another $5 coupon.

So, since we were pointed in that direction anyway, we went there. Except for Bolt, like last time I didn't buy anything for the main tree. I got the cloisonné cardinal and the Holy Family minis for the foyer tree, Belle reading and the bears reading for the library tree, the rest of the gingerbread set for the kitchen, a little ornament for a gift, a small peppermint-stick Christmas tree (also for the kitchen), a little autumn themed-basket with berries, nuts, and prim stars with the "live-laugh-love" message, a reindeer Kinzclip, the Peppermint Pup as a Christmas decoration, and the Signature Pet timber wolf as a birthday gift for myself. (The latter is gorgeous. This is really a collectible-type stuffed animal, nothing you'd ever let a child play with.)

The cashier also let James use my coupon. He bought Robbie the Robot and the Star Trek phaser, and one of those light-up musical houses. It's a cute set. There's eventually a set of four of them. Each plays two songs and when you interconnect them, they all play and light up together. The last one will have Santa Claus and reindeer on the roof and, appropriately, plays "Up on the Housetop" and "Jolly Old St. Nicholas." (Do you know those are two of the oldest Christmas songs that are not hymns? Both are from the late 1800s.) He says the guys at work are always talking about their Christmas light displays, and he's going to have "his own." LOL.

We drove to the store via Polk Avenue, and then returned via West Sandtown, giving us a nice vantage of trees turning color. We passed one maple tree which was about 75 percent changed and some leaves already on the ground! This is not the average for this time of year. Most trees have little "speckles" of color, or small patches, or have vines twining around their trunks which have turned to yellow or scarlet. We passed another maple tree whose leaves were turning color on the edges only, so the green centers looked outlined.

We got the groceries home and I took a time out to nurse a headache engendered by the approaching front.

And this was written at the hobby shop, where we watched a missile DVD of old Air Force films. All this after stopping at Goodwill to divest ourselves of that wretched Ugly Light Fixture. It's gone! It's gone! It's really gone!

(OMG! This Old House just started new episodes! They're back in Massachusetts, in Newton, putting an addition on a Dutch Colonial home, and also redoing the kitchen and the basement.)

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» Thursday, October 08, 2009
Unidentified Flying Object
I just took Willow out a few minutes ago, and since the sun is glaring again, was wearing my "straw" hat. As I was crossing the driveway, I was dive bombed by a bird, who then went fluttering in front of Susan and Josh's house next door, then landed on the railing for their porch for about a minute. It then flew to the top of our gate and went in the back yard. It landed on the railing of the deck at least once.

I looked in the bird book and couldn't find exactly what I saw. It had a dark grey head top and wings, but the underside of its head and its belly were a lighter color. It had a short grey tail. The closest I saw in the bird book was an Eastern kingbird, but it didn't exactly match the description. The book says the light underside is white, but to me it looked a pale buff color. I also didn't see the "distinctive" white edge to the tail. It does say the Eastern kingbird will attack birds larger than itself and is thought of as having an "attitude," so perhaps it was one, thinking my hat was a threat.

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Let There Be [Proper] Light...
...in Autumn Hollow.

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» Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Lunch Can Be Fun
I wasn't sure what sort of day it would be, as we both awoke groggy because Willow barked all night. It rained all night, so it's possible there was thunder. This was at the point where I wanted to threaten her with "Dog fur coat! Cruella DeVille!" :-)

We were between rainstorms when I got up, so I did go on my walk. I know how Hugh Laurie feels about his House limp, as I banged the dickens out of the small toe on my left foot last night, to the point where it hurt when I turned over in bed, and I was limping rather strenuously. But I did make it through the whole walk.

Tried to clear up some problems this morning, advertised one order, and deciphered an ambiguous statement on a sole source justification. In the meantime, it rained hard again, then the sky was swept and the sun came out, bringing the birds back to the feeder. Unfortunately I can't hear them because I finally surrendered and turned the A/C back on again. It was so sticky last night that it contributed to sleeplessness. It's going to be too warm tonight to sleep without the A/C anyway, and I need to make sure the programming on the thermostat works before leaving the fids alone with it.

Had fun at lunch, though. I had to get the bench, the little table, the bookcase table, and the vase out of the foyer in preparation for tomorrow's light fixture installation. I cleaned off the tier table, but left it and the lamp for later. This only took a few minutes, and I then took a few more minutes to open up the light fixture box and make sure all the parts were there. It's a good thing I opened the light shade fixture bags: all three of them felt...slimy and sticky. I washed them down with Windex and then some alcohol to degrease them, then spent the next half hour having some fun.

I wanted the fixture to look a little more fall themed. So I pulled out my glass paints. There are some "petals" that are violet and some that were more pink. I used the amethyst glass paint to banish the pink ones (I hate pink!). Some of the glass pieces were white. I colored a few of them with a light wash of amber to make them very slightly yellow and colored a few others with a mixture of pumpkin orange and sunset coral for a slight orange tint.

And now Rick Steves has left Venice and it's time for me to get back to work. Later, gator...

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» Tuesday, October 06, 2009
New Doctor Who Logo
Well, okay. Interesting use of the TARDIS shape.

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» Sunday, October 04, 2009
Willow's Addiction
If there is a newspaper or sheets of newspaper on the floor, Willow must lay on it, not on her bed, or on the floor, or on James' lap, but on the newspaper. Anyone else have a dog with this particular habit, or is it just one of Wil's particular quirks?

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Just Sunday
A nice sleep-in, a grocery expedition that got us caught in a minor traffic jam (last day for the North Georgia State Fair, and we went by the park), more laundry, turkey Asian salad for supper with a Penn and Teller's Bullsh*t chaser (much fun, especially the segment on bottled water)—oh, and that pesky programmable thermostat, but I talk about that in Autumn Hollow.

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» Saturday, October 03, 2009
Getting Trivial
Wow...had a great night at trivia tonight...we won! It was only Matt, Kelley, James and me, but we did quite well, and the final question was easy if you grew up during the Sixties! (Hint: the answer was a song and had something to do with "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme." Get it? Got it! Good!)

When we left the house it was still twilight and a big harvest moon was rising, soft glowing gold over a darkening sky streaked with red and orange. It had been cool enough all day to drive with the windows down, and we enjoyed the ride to the restaurant. Wish the meal had been as good. I had the soup, which is thick with chicken bits, carrots, celery, and linguini noodles, which would be otherwise delicious, except I think they dump a cup of salt in each stock pot. I'm glad I don't have high blood pressure, or I'd have to take an extra pill now.

On the way home the moon was now higher and colder, and it was actually chilly enough that we had to keep the windows up in the truck!

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Dust and Sun
I stripped the bed this morning preparatory to changing it and realized that now was a good time to clean off the two big ceiling fans, the one in the master bedroom and the one in the living room, since the flat sheet can be used as a drop cloth for all the dust that develops on the leading edge of the fan blade. James also removed and we washed the light cover on the fixture on the master bedroom fan. This is what I don't like about "upside down" light fixtures; they just collect dust. This also had dust in it from the last time I cleaned the fan blades.

We waited until the sheets and blankets were done washing and ready to go into the dryer before we went out, then went to the hobby shop for about an hour. Next we stopped at the Publix on Johnson Ferry Road for tortillas. Since the WalMarts near us seem to have quit stocking the fajita-size low-carb whole-wheat tortillas, this is the one place we know we can still get them. Got a couple of twofers, too. As we were strolling the frozen food aisle, we noticed these tiny one-serving (six ounce) containers of Edy's slow-churned ice cream (which is made with skim milk) in chocolate and vanilla. We bought two and ate them in the car. Really nice, rich flavor!

Next stopped at Borders, as we had $5 in Borders Bucks that expire Sunday. I actually had $10 of Borders Bucks, but decided to save the other five and the five dollar coupon I have for Time Quake, which, cross fingers, is out next Tuesday. I did get a remainder book, the (out early) October issue of the British Country Living, and the new Victorian Homes, which I usually buy only at Christmas, but this has some lovely fall photographs.

Last stop, Trader Joe's: salad and turkey for tomorrow's supper, more oyster crackers, a couple of other things. James and I both headed immediately for the dessert table and were crushed: the pumpkin tarts are not out yet. It's October! They only have these pumpkin tarts in the fall and through Christmas and we wait all year for them.

It's been bright and sunny all day, although cool enough to have the windows down when we drive, but now I feel like I'm sunburned, dammit.

Sheets and blankets are still drying and it's getting time for trivia...

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» Friday, October 02, 2009
A Profitable Day
This started with a minor sleep-in (not as late as yesterday), breakfast, then errands.

I bought Schuyler some new seed at Petsmart. A few weeks ago I made the mistake of getting her the Fiesta Mix from Kaytee. It has bits of flakes, and other extras in it, which Skye just tosses out of the dish, and the extra bits block up her food dispenser. So I bought the regular Kaytee seed and dumped the rest of the Fiesta Mix in with the wild bird feed. Also stopped at Michaels next door and bought...nope, can't say that. It's part of a gift. :-)

From there I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond. One of the things we bought home from my mom's was a dustpan and brush with a long handle, made to help people with arthritis. But the handle on the brush keeps falling apart so I am going to relegate it to downstairs and bought a new one, with a slanted brush and an adjustable handle on the dustpan. Our bathrooms and the kitchen are so small I usually end up just sweeping with the long-handled brush anyway!

On the way home, gas at Costco and then a stop at Costco. Time for more granola bars, toilet paper, and all that. Had some great samples, including Hebrew National franks, crab spread, and several different types of a brand of pizza whose name I can't remember (began with "P"), but it was all thin, crispy crust. One with fresh tomatoes, garlic, and a couple of different kinds of cheese was quite tasty.

Came home, did some laundry, Facebook, and vacuuming. It got pretty warm in the house today and I was definitely getting queasy by dinnertime. Did enjoy most of Ellen: Jack Hanna was on with a bushbaby, a "screamer" (a funny-looking grey bird whose ancestors go back to the prehistoric and which still has a talon on each wing), a remarkably mellow alligator, and the smallest—the burrowing—and the largest—the eagle—of the owls! The little burrowing owl didn't look much bigger than Schuyler (okay, probably closer to Bandit's size than Little Miss!), and was almost a cartoon image of an owl. They were so lovely!

We had supper at Shane's and then went to Lowes to take advantage of the energy-saving tax-free promotion this weekend to buy a programmable thermostat. We figure if James can install a ceiling fan, the thermostat should be manageable as well. Oh, we bought a new filter for the water dispenser on the refrigerator, too.

Oh, someone should be in to install the drop fixture in the foyer next Thursday. Cool!

And, last but best, thank you so much for the sweet thank you card, Jen and Meg!

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» Thursday, October 01, 2009
My Guy
James got a notice a few weeks ago that he was called for jury duty. And not that plain old jury duty either, but jury duty in Federal court. He was to be on call starting September 28 for two weeks.

Anyway, he worked last Saturday and had today off, but kept joking that it would be ironic if he had to go in today. So every day that he called in and didn't have to report was just one more chance he might have to go in today.

Irony was not served. Thanks!

So I took the day off, too, and we slept deliciously late. It was about 48°F again last night, great sleeping weather. Then we had breakfast and messed around at the computer and finally went out to the hobby shop after the TruGreen guy finished treating the lawn.

Spent about an hour at the hobby shop, nipped in at Book Nook [used book store] for a few minutes (James bought some books and I didn't—don't faint!), then went up to Town Center. Wandered about Hobby Lobby and found something cool.

Okay, we don't have a back door. We do have a door that leads out to a second story deck, but there's no stairway down to the yard. So when we go out to walk Willow we go out the front door and walk around to the back. There is a gate on either side to get into the back yard, but we only use the left one. The floodlight they installed, of course, is only on the right side, and the floods aren't really aimed well anyway. Neither actually lights the yard.

Last year after Christmas we bought a string of C9 lights for only $1.67. The idea was to fasten them to the deck to create some ambient lighting (there is a light out there, but it doesn't light anything but the deck area) that would also light up the yard. We tried it; it's not brilliant lighting, but it is light. It would be a help when James went out to walk Willow at night.

Trouble was, how would you turn it on? Walk out to the deck, plug the string in, walk across the house, down the stairs, outside, in the yard, back in, walk to the deck and outside again and pull the plug? A bit of a pain.

In Hobby Lobby with the Christmas lights we found a remote control outside light outlet. You plug it in, and plug the lights into it. The remote control works for up to fifty feet. So if Willow needs to go out after dark, we can just leave the remote dangling near the door, and press the "on" button. The lights come on. James and Wil come back in, shut the light off. Cool.

Also stopped at JoAnn and James went into Hobbytown while I sat outside in the nice fresh air and read The Cosgrove Report. Neat book!

Was able to watch the next part of The National Parks via broadcast again. The antenna has to be pointed precisely south-southeast; even a degree off will not do. Splendid shots of the Everglades.

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