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» Sunday, November 14, 2010A Weekend of Surprises
We loaded the truck Friday night so we didn't have to get up any earlier than necessary Saturday morning. However, James woke before the alarm, so we were early getting to Jim Miller Park and directed into the queue. So we went to Martin's to get James some breakfast, and by the time we got back there was no line at all.
You see, today was Free Electronics Recycling Day. You can always recycle electronics on County Services Parkway, but you have to pay. One day a year they take it for free, unless it's a television, which you have to pay $10 to dispose of. We had at least two years' worth of junk that had died, most of it not replaced, like James' old computer (fifteen years old), a boom box he bought used to play CDs, but the radio didn't work, my old keyfob which they told me I could just throw away, mice, keyboards, etc. We left behind the television (also from the pawn shop and fifteen years old, which just up and died during the summer) because Alice posted something on Facebook from Clark Howard's website, that Best Buy takes TVs for recycling. You have to pay $10, but they give you a $10 gift certificate.
Then we came home. Now that all that crap was out of the garage, we could rearrange. The plastic boxes that were formerly on the wire shelf that collapsed are still in a pile near the little "closet" that the water heater is in. They are in the way. By rearranging, partially with James' help and partially after he left, I was able to wheel them against the wall and still have room for the shop vac and the seeder. The wire shelf was lying edgewise on the floor, and we managed to get that up and out of the way, pinning it over the extension ladder with the bent supports that are still fastened to the wall. The bikes are parked in front of the containers and the shop vac, and the old electronics box is now up against the wall, ready to fill again, although I think we've gotten rid of any extraneous junk.
James left for work, and since I was out there, I got out the hedge clipper and trimmed the bushes in front of the house. I know this isn't the proper time of year, but when Paulo or Alex trim them, they do them nice and straight, but never clip the bits overhanging the sidewalk or crowding the stairs. So I trimmed just that. Sadly, the bushes are all stalky inside, no leaves. When February comes I need to trim them down good, cut back the front, and then the top, so you can see St. Francis better again. I used the pruning tool to get any odd branches and trimmed the larger of the two bushes next to St. Francis.
Came in, cleaned myself up, then had a peanut butter sandwich before going out. I stopped at Hobby Lobby for more light bulbs, then stopped at Lowes to look for a figure for my Christmas village. I am looking for a cheap, single figure that would not look out of place in a 1940s town, cheap especially because I intend to cut the feet off the figure. I want to put the abbreviated figure in the subway entrance, back facing outward, so it looks like it is going down the stairs to the subway. So far I have either found too many figures at too high a price, or unsuitable figures, like women in pants or Victorian-era figures. (I know women did wear pants occasionally back then, and they wore overalls to the war plants, but to me it would just not look right.) Unfortunately Lowes had very few figures, and those that were in the right time period—their It's a Wonderful Life figures and buildings—had a ceramic finish and didn't match the resin ones.
So I went on to BJs, bought gasoline, then stopped at Food Lion for groceries since I had a coupon. Then I went on home, to the odious task of unblocking "my" sink (the right-hand one) in the master bath. It gets clogged up frequently with soap scum and errant hair. This actually cleared quickly and I didn't even have to use baking soda and vinegar.
By this time it was nearly four o'clock, so I started some rice to have with soup, walked Willow and fed her, and ate supper while watching the most recent version of The 39 Steps. I read the book several years back; they've made the female lead spunky and not a shrinking violet, but I don't recall any of the other changes.
James got home a little before nine, and we spent the evening watching the latest This Old House and R5Sons Alaska, and finally accumulated Law & Order: UK.
And then Jen showed up on chat! She graduated boot camp yesterday and has the rest of the weekend to spend with family and friends (her parents and sister and brother-in-law and our friend Mike) as long as she checks in every morning and evening. So we were up very late "reunioning" and did not get to bed until after two.
Of course we read before bed, and my current book of choice was a new book, Thanksgiving: The Biography of An American Holiday. I'm constantly on the lookout for books about Thanksgiving that aren't about recipes or entertaining, as most adult books about the holiday are (kids' books have more variety: they can be about the holiday, about giving, retellings of the Pilgrims-and-Indians story, etc.), and this one came up the last time I searched. It's part of a new series of books called "Revisiting New England" on all types of subjects like regions, ethnic groups, events, etc.
I had read a few pages, then decided to stop, but before I did, I thumbed through the rest of the book and the footnotes (yes, I'm one of those people who reads footnotes). I was suddenly arrested by a URL that was familiar—familiar because it was one of my URLs. I turned back to Chapter 9 and found the author had quoted something about televised holiday parades that I said on my Thanksgiving web page! Like...wow!
So we were up after ten this morning, and shuffled around for a while before going out.
After the great Kmart/Sears merger, Kmart pretty much disappeared around here. The one near the hobby shop became a Sears appliance store. The one at Brookwood had vanished even before Kmart declared bankruptcy. The one at East Cobb is a Sears. Needless to say, neither of us have been to a Kmart in years. However, there is still one left, near where Floyd Road turns into Mableton Parkway, in Mableton, and we went to that one today, on a tip from someone in my Christmas group. While I didn't find what she mentioned, we did find some small goodies, including a heavy-duty timer we can use for the space heater in the master bath, a "tin" airplane from Country Living's line of retro metal Christmas ornaments (they also have an ocean liner, a Zeppelin, a dog on wheels, a trolley car, etc.), and...ta-da!...a figure for the Christmas village. It is a man in nondescript, 20th-century clothing carrying a toolbox. I can dry-brush a little white on his hair, to depict an older man working at a war plant.
We stopped at BJs to get gasoline for the truck, and walked about inside. This was both good and bad, because I found The Christmas Vault, a book someone on the Christmas list had mentioned last year. This is one of those volumes that has little inserts in it, like cards, letters, booklets, etc. that enhance what you have read. (There are other books in this series, on World War II, Star Trek, Star Wars, D-Day, etc.) The source material seems to have come almost entirely from the National Christmas Museum we visited last year; there's even a blurb on the final page to visit the museum. Anyway, it is sooooo cool.
Then we decided to have a treat and stopped at Borders for a small cocoa trio apiece and a slice of chocolate peppermint loaf. Finally we picked up a newspaper and came home.
So James is making breakfast for supper: buckwheat pancakes and the naturally-cured bacon we bought at the farmer's market. Yum...
[Later: Schuyler likes buckwheat pancakes!]