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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» Wednesday, November 30, 2011
A Lull
...from the Latin "lullare"...ooops, sorry, wandered into a Remember WENN episode.

The lull is in the Christmas decorating; there simply wasn't time today, as I had to do the laundry during lunch. Work, on the other hand, was reeeeeallllly busy. I'm hoping with my team lead's help the last-minute hotel order will get done. There's also a vaccine storage order. And a no-cost extension that has to be done before next Wednesday. Not to mention five new orders. Wheeee.

Getting increasingly disenchanted with Harry's Law. Too many extra characters now—not fond of Ollie or Cassandra, and even though I'm fond of bombastic Tommy, he dilutes the mix even more—and the quirky "shoe store" plot has been abandoned except for occasional references. It's basically turning into LA Law or some other ensemble law drama, with "ripped from the headlines" storylines. Heck, Harry was barely in the last episode!

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» Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Oh, God...It's Us


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» Sunday, November 27, 2011
Sunday Times
 
We did get up early to fetch the final Tintin ornament, the solo Snowy, holding a bone. It's a bit static, as James observed; wish he'd been in partial leap, or at a run or a trot.

We had breakfast at Ken's Hometown Grill (I indulged and had two orders of toast with a slice of ham; ever since I read A Discovery of Witches, which is full of characters eating delectable or cozy meals, I have been on a mad buttered toast jonesing) and then finished the week's grocery shopping at Publix. By this time it was 10 a.m. and after six hours sleep we were a bit punch-drunk. I did actually crawl back into bed, but couldn't sleep and got back up at eleven. Eventually all the things got put away, and we meandered about for the rest of the day with the Lord of the Rings trilogy running in the background on Encore. Read the paper, and then did get the three boxes out into the garage and the Christmas boxes taken down from the storage closet. James also helped me cut the red-checked gingham I bought and we tacked it to the front of the bookcase we are using as a pantry. We had no tacks and used push-pins, which look dreadful. Will replace them next weekend or whenever.

Had some thin steaks we found at Publix for supper with couscous and James is now watching Punkin Chunkin 2011. Yes, Virginia, some perfectly normal adults do spend autumn afternoons trying to hurl pumpkins long distances with catapults and trebuchets. Beats wasting money on professional sports.

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Christmas Approaches...
...some Advent links in Holiday Harbour.

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» Saturday, November 26, 2011
An Early Saturday
 
Well, we were planning to support Small Business Saturday, but didn't do too much for it, just a visit to the hobby shop. Nevertheless, it was a tiring day, but fun.

We were up early for Saturday (7:30), but as we had gone to sleep at 11:30, it wasn't as bad as it could have been. We wanted to be at Cost Plus World Market when the doors opened to get the second Tintin ornament, which is Tintin on his motorcycle. (And yes, we're planning to go tomorrow to get the third one of Snowy.) I found some goodies for Christmas, too. Then we went for breakfast across the parking lot at the IHOP. We're disappointed because they don't have the same specialty pancakes as in previous years, except for the pumpkin...I wanted to have the gingerbread ones again; they were delicious. We had the Nooks with us and connected to the IHOP wifi and were watching the pre-launch activities for the launch of the new Mars probe "Curiosity" via NASA's streaming channel. Cool, eh?

We crossed Cobb Parkway so James could get a look at a Kindle Fire at the Office Depot. Had the Nook with me, so noticed that the screen of the Kindle is slightly smaller. Unfortunately it only had a demo mode, so you couldn't really judge how it worked. Office Depot also had the new Asus EEE tablet, but we couldn't check that out, either; they didn't have it plugged in. [eyes roll] Nice way to sell something, guys.

We needed some things at Costco, so we went there next, arriving just as they opened, which was very nice! We needed soap, Breathe Rights, and mushrooms (there's a weird combination for you) and also picked up an Entertainment book for $20; there are at least $20 worth of coupons in it—plus a "few other things." They had the book I've been drooling over, Harry Potter: From Page to Screen, which is a ginormously huge coffee-table tome with dense text and gorgeous photography as well as original drawings of costume and set design. Still thinking about it.

So, home to drag all the stuff inside, and a bit of a respite while checking e-mail and stuff, then we drove out to Merchants Walk for a visit to Trader Joe's. Found a pumpkin tart, peppermint bark, and other Christmas treats, but...no almond bark! The manager said they didn't get any! Blast. I wait all year for their almond bark. I wonder if it's just the Marietta store...we could check the Sandy Springs store...

We stopped by Betsy's Hallmark to get the Lucy section of the "Peanuts" band. Also got the Pongo ornament, which meant I got a freebie item, and I also had a coupon for a free ornament, and then $7 off the entire purchase.

We headed back to the hobby shop past the Kroger where we had gotten the delicious beef and chicken soups recently, hoping to take more home for supper. Sadly, they had different soups today and none looked good, so we got some pork loin instead. (I didn't eat much of it, sadly, as it was too highly peppered as well as being thick and juicy.)

Ended up at the hobby shop for a while, where I read my new issue of "Birds and Blooms" and wrestled with a sinus headache created by the approaching rainstorm. I finally downed three ibuprofin and closed my eyes on the way to our last stop at Barnes & Noble. We both looked covetously at the Nook Tablet, but only I found a book: Simon Garfield's Just My Type. Made for each other: me and a book about fonts! He even mentions College Humor's "Font Conference" and "Font Fight." Also got an Agatha Raisin book off the remainder table, as I'm rather curious after hearing the Raisin radio shows during vacation.

And then home for a rest, and supper, and listening to Schuyler give a budgie concert, and then finally chat. Hadn't talked to Rodney in several weeks, so that was nice.

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Missal Changes
On Sunday, Catholic Mass Won't Sound the Same

Interesting...I remember when the Mass was in Latin and the priest faced the wall, not the congregation, and also the introduction of the first reading from the Old Testament. It was a great change for the older people, who thought it a bit sacriligious.

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» Friday, November 25, 2011
The Simple Woman's Daybook
 
FOR TODAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2011

Outside my window...
...the world is bathed in darkness. It's been a busy week and I've finally had a chance to sit down to do this.

I am thinking...
...that it will be nice to get some sleep! I was up at five this morning to "do" Black Friday. No, I didn't go to the mall or any of the big stores, just Office Max and Depot, World Market, JoAnn and Michaels.

I am thankful for...
...everything: life, love, family, friends, animals, plants, fiction, reality—why limit thankfulness? Be thankful for waking, and sleeping, sunrise and sunset, the earth and the sea, the ground and the sky, and the lovely, lovely stars.

(Okay. I am not thankful for summer.)

From the learning rooms...
...I just finished reading Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates. I didn't really enjoy her snark, but there were many interesting facts about Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, which we never learned in history class. Coming from the home of Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, this is rather neglectful.

From the kitchen...
...well, it needs to be cleaned...LOL. We ate out tonight as we always do on Fridays.

I am wearing...
...my ratty old Lassie sweatshirt and blue sweatpants and white socks. It's a bit warm even for that.

I am creating...
...order in my craft room. Pretty much just shoved extraneous junk into my assembled "Chopper Hopper" for now so I could move around in the room and clean off my drafting table.

I am going...
...to relax some tonight. It was a long haul this morning, and I didn't even go anywhere busy!

I am reading...
...A Pocketful of History, the stories behind the images on the state quarters. Pretty cool.

I am hoping...
...to do some business with small businesses tomorrow. It is Small Business Saturday. Not many small businesses around here, though, to buy things we actually are interested in.

I am hearing...
...Flying Wild Alaska! It's an episode about the Iditarod.

Around the house...
...we're winding down for the evening. Schuyler is singing us a song and Willow is asleep on her dog bed.

I am pondering...
...how quickly the month has gone by! I still have gifts to put together, Christmas cards to write—and decorations to put up! Where does all the time go?

One of my favorite things...
I'm watching it on television: Flying Wild Alaska. If I were younger, healthier, and stronger (and if there was proper storage for the books), I'd be up there in a minute.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Sadly, I'm writing this so late there's not much of it left. A trip to the hobby shop for sure. :-) And Hallmark to get the next Peanuts jazz band member.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Alaska Photos
This photo of Alaska is courtesy of TripAdvisor

We have a lovely planet and need to keep it this way. No one's telling you not to "live." But try not to waste.
 
If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook

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OMG, I Agree With Ted Forth...


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Shopping for Fun and Profit...
...in Holiday Harbour.

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» Thursday, November 24, 2011
Best Wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!


Happy Thanksgiving 2011!

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» Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Cool, Cool, O So Joyful Coolness
Day one of Thanksgiving leave from work! I celebrated by sleeping until 8:30, making up for losing sleep the last two nights when it was so warm. My joints ache so much when it gets this humid and warm that I wake up due to my knees hurting and my shoulders stiff.

Next I had breakfast and headed out to do some errands. In the Sunday paper, the Target ad showed wireless mice on sale for $10 and I wanted to see if there were any left. There were; they were smaller than the one from Microcenter, but I bought one anyway for use with the laptop.

I made the mistake of wandering into their Christmas aisles and found the cutest little ceramic reindeer salt and pepper shakers; one has a red scarf, the other a green, luckily not expensive. They are a bit cartoony but very cute, with pointed faces, and the pepper one has his eyes closed as if he's just sneezed. I was very taken with their Christmas lights; as much as I don't like the LEDs I did love the sets they had that were all six colors of the rainbow, with the yellow clearly different from the orange. When I see things like that I am tempted to do multicolor on the front porch rather than blue! They also had a nice variety of different figurals I hadn't seen anywhere else, not even at Bronner's: from media like Mickey Mouse, Disney princesses, Frosty the Snowman and Rudolph (Rankin-Bass versions) to lobsters and other animals.

Before I stopped at Target I had made a brief stop at Kohl's. I checked out flannel sheets (not a lot of colors, and expensive) and flannel jammies. I also checked out the flannel pajamas at Target; it looks like if I want them they will run about $25. Still not sure I should buy them, as it gets cold enough for them only about two weeks out of the year!

From Target I turned up the East-West Connector and went to the Barnes & Noble on Dallas Highway. By then I had my phone plugged in to my car stereo and listened to instrumental Christmas music. It was such a lovely day I wanted to burst with happiness: just cloudy enough to keep the sun out of my eyes, 55 degrees, and the breeze was at a good clip, whirling leaves about. Talk about energizing! The ride through West Sandtown Road is pretty, too, kind of country/suburban, with tree-surrounded yards.

So I took a look at the new Nook Tablet. It's really slick and zippy. But...there is that Color I bought all too recently. Goodness! does gadget envy ever end? Strolled around the bargain books and the new ones as well. Very surprised that this year there is not one Christmas book that I want!

Stopped at Publix on the way home to get a baguette and picked up a couple of twofers and gave $5 to the Can Bank. I haven't seen any donation barrels this year! That's a shame because I loved walking through the store last year buying staples and then watching the cashiers' faces as I told them it was all for the barrel.

At home I had the baguette with some goat cheese and dubbed off two episodes of Castle before I realized I hadn't started the laundry and it was nearly three o'clock. So I stuffed the washer for round one and then tackled a chore downstairs.

We have a bookcase in the hallway that we have filled with old APAzines. We don't read them and I really don't like the bookcase anyway. However, we do need an additional place to add food items that we are storing in our pantry closet. So I emptied the zines into Xerox paper boxes, then cleaned off the bookcase and refilled it with light things: granola bars, tea, Sweet'n'Low, cereal, box potatoes, etc. Next time I am at JoAnn I will get a piece of material large enough to cover the front (24"x60"). Maybe in red gingham. It will look cute and be an extra "closet."

When James arrived home we had supper and then he started baking the sweet potato "sonker" for Thanksgiving dinner. It has steamed sweet potatoes in it and is basically a pie. He used the leftover bits of crust to make little cinnamon rolls, the bits rolled out, basted with a little butter, and scattered with cinnamon and nutmeg, baking them in the oven. My mom used to do this if she made a pie, knowing I'd rather eat the crust anyway! Made me feel like a little girl again.

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» Tuesday, November 22, 2011
An Unplanned Autumn Ride...
...in Holiday Harbour.

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» Sunday, November 20, 2011
There and Here and There Again
 
::grump::

Yes, I was a grump immediately upon arising. It was going up to 70°F today and it was already getting warm. Plus we'd gone to bed late, then my alarm went off at eight, and almost immediately after that the power burped, so that every single light in the room went on, including both cell phones and the Nooks, which also bleated. ::gnash:: So, short of sleep, and warm, I was grumpy.

So we went to Publix for twofers, and I bought yogurt there just in case, because when we went to Kroger last week they only had a paltry few left. And they still had chicken broth ten for $10, so I got more of that. Chicken broth now averages $1.50 a can, so this is a good sale. Then we went to Kroger for the remainder of the shopping.

Once home with everything stowed, I pulled out and signed and addressed some Thanksgiving cards. I had a headache compounded from only having oatmeal for breakfast and the cloudy, sultry weather outside, and the fact that I had procrastinated on this was solely my own fault. But soon they were addressed and stamped, and we could combine the mailing trip with something joyous: bringing old stuff to Goodwill, including that clunky old Kirby.

I'm still feeling guilty about the Kirby. Mom spent a lot of money on providing the down payment for it. But it's heavy, difficult to maneuver, hideously complicated to put on the hose for the attachments, and the bags cost a fortune. It just doesn't work. We also brought our original DVD player, some cases for floppy disks, and both Mavicas. I looked on Gazelle.com, which Leo LaPorte is always talking about, but the cameras weren't worth anything. However, they do still sell batteries for them, so I felt comfortable donating them. I even tossed in some floppy disks for each one.

We circled around to mail the cards, then went to Aldi, then had to stop back at Kroger again. James is making a sweet potato "sonker"—a kind of pie—for Thanksgiving dinner and what with buying the usual groceries and the supplies for Thanksgiving, he'd completely forgotten the crust for the sonker.

Had a nice afternoon watching some episodes of From the Earth to the Moon and reading the paper, with a pot-roast pot pie for supper as a chaser.

Can't believe the weekend's over already!

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» Saturday, November 19, 2011
Chicken Soup for the Soul
 
We had the last Farmer's Market of the season today, so we stocked up on things like pilaf, dog biscuits, more goat cheese, a pot pie, chicken salad and pimento cheese, plus apple and peach bread and a baguette to take to Hair Day. We did hear that in January they are going to have a "winter market" that will apparently be indoors. This will last through March until the outdoor version starts again.

We drove to Ron and Lin's house through Polk Street, Dallas Highway, and then Villa Rica Road. The last is so pretty with the little smallholdings, now looking austere with the faded leaves and bare branches, horses grazing in the paddock, cows lying down in the meadow, a small still pond, a picturesque barn.

A good time as usual at Hair Day: Lin passed around a funny story from "Reader's Digest," Oreta talked about her new librarian assignment, and we had chicken rice soup for lunch. This was procured from a nearby restaurant, and was thick and filling and delicious, with just a hint of lemon in it. The baguette went perfectly with it, and the apple and peach breads were gone long before that.

We went to the Hobby Shop for a while, then stopped at MicroCenter on the way home. I bought an enclosure for the hard drive that came out of my original laptop, as well as a new wireless mouse. My old mouse is still working, but it takes fits; it wears out two rechargeable AAA batteries in a week and sometimes when you put the batteries in, it doesn't power up; you have to wiggle them to get it to work. This new one (a Logitech) takes only one battery, which they claim has a life of 12 months. We'll see about that, as the old one (an Inland) claimed alkaline batteries would last three months and they barely lasted three weeks. Plus you can shut the Logitech off at night so it's not wasting battery life.

I put the laptop hard drive in the enclosure and was dismayed when it started making a grinding noise. However, I had it seated badly, and eventually it did work. I was rewarded by finding old Remember WENN chats dating back to before the series was cancelled in September 1998; heck, from before fourth season aired!—Joanne, who began the chats, was actually on one transcript, and folks we haven't heard from in years like Emerie, Lee, Jess, Diane, Jill, etc., as well as our late friend Dana Sherman—plus my original diary entry for our trip to Nyack, NY, to see Rupert Holmes' play Thumbs, Jess' prom photos, conversations with Rupert's dad Leonard.

Watched some British Christmas things tonight: The Good Life's "Silly, But It's Fun," the To The Manor Born Christmas special, "Christmas Crackers" from Are You Being Served?, and All Creatures Great and Small's "Merry Gentlemen." I love the last...just the coziness of that old house, and the Dalelands; I want to transport myself into it, like Lucy into Narnia.

Ended up the night on chat and watching a couple of Thanksgiving specials I'd recorded in previous years, Thanksgiving Unwrapped and The Secret Life of Thanksgiving.

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» Friday, November 18, 2011
Free Friday
 
Today was the first of my use-or-lose Fridays off. For some reason, although I could fall back in somnolent comfort every morning this week, today I couldn't sleep. Typical. So I dressed and had breakfast, then went to the bank. We've had a safe deposit box for years, but I've never put the savings bonds into it. Today I brought them over along with some rolled coins to deposit. Several were matured, so I had planned to cash them in, but the teller let me know they are still accruing interest, albeit at a lower rate, so I just put them all in the box.

Then to Office Max for a dog's breakfast of things—bookends, labels for Christmas card envelopes, and coin rollers—and a stop at Lowes. Bought some blue bulbs for the candoliers and also one of their battery-operated LED candles, which is a warm yellow rather than that creepy, dim LED-blue color of the cheaper ones I bought last year, plus a new timer.

I kept giving wistful glances over my shoulder at the empty Borders store. I keep thinking perhaps one time I will look that way and it will all have been a bad dream. Alas, still empty. At least they haven't converted it into something horrible, like...a shoe store or something. Talk about degradation and squalor.

(I don't get the women-and-shoes thing. Really, I don't. Shoes are to keep your feet warm and protected. Why would you want hundreds of them, in different styles and colors? Very strange.)

Did a quick check of the Dollar Tree, then zipped into Walmart for a few things, including the Lean Cuisine dinners I like that no one else carries, and then it was time to turn for home. I spent the afternoon having goat cheese and crackers for lunch and dubbing off two episodes of Castle and appearances by Julie Scardina and Pauley Perrette from The Tonight Show, while working on a cross stitch of a bird. The kit's been sitting on the coffee table for months and I'm tired of it being there.

We had supper at Ruby Tuesday because of the coupon, then had a novelty dessert: a doughnut each. We haven't had a doughnut since Atomicon (April). Finally a stop at Hobby Lobby. All their Christmas decorations were half off, and they have a village set this year. Well, we found a bookstore! There's no more room on our Christmas village display, but I thought the bookstore—which is so minimally Christmas-themed you almost might not notice, except for the wreath on the door—would make a good nightlight for the library. Coolness.

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The Simple Woman's Daybook
 
FOR TODAY, NOVEMBER 18, 2011 (yes, late again, but Wednesday was very busy at work)

Outside my window...
...sunny and delightful—it's only 53°F right now! Sadly, it will be into the 70s again on Monday and Tuesday. [sticks out tongue] Florida needs to keep its wretched warm air where it belongs. Wild birdies at the feeder. Much fewer autumn leaves on the trees than there were Wednesday; we had a terrible storm blow through...tornadoes north of us...a sky that looked like the hounds of Hell were coming...wind, rain, some thunder, tornado sirens shrieking. It was not a good day.

I am thinking...
...I'm glad to have a chore finished. I finally have placed the savings bonds in our safe deposit box. We've only had the box for...well, it's been awhile. I was going to cash out the matured bonds, but the teller says they are still earning interest, so I will hold them until I need them. It's not like I have a fortune in them, but I may need even that paltry sum someday.

I am thankful for...
...all the good things: James, Schuyler, Willow, friends, relatives, nice co-workers, cooler weather, favorite television programs, autumn leaves, our past vacation, my car, books, cross-stitch, the Christmas music I have on right now...

From the learning rooms...
...reading the young people's version (which is not all that dumbed down, but more condensed) of Nathaniel Philbrick's Mayflower, Mayflower and the Pilgrims' New World (appropriate before-Thanksgiving reading). Did you know the Separatists (what the "Pilgrims" called themselves) were not married in religious ceremonies, only civil ones? Or that, while Franklin Roosevelt's mother's family did not come over on the Mayflower, they did come over on the very next ship?

From the kitchen...
...quiet. Just had a nice Granny Smith apple. I hadn't even sat down with it before Schuyler was cheeping frantically: "Apple! Apple! Give the birdie some apple!"

I am wearing...
...my autumn chickadee shirt and the tobacco-colored "Amanda" jeans from Gloria Vanderbilt, and my black leather Reeboks. I didn't change when I got home from my errands (bank, Office Max, Lowes, Dollar Tree, Wally World), just commenced to having goat cheese and crackers for lunch and then dubbing off a couple of Castle eps.

I am creating...
...a bird cross-stitch. I was tired of it sitting on the coffee table. Was working on it last night while watching the rest of this season's History Detectives (which I had to watch online) and today during Castle.

I am going...
...to drop off some things at Goodwill this weekend. Why on earth we are keeping an 11-year-old DVD player and two 13-year-old digital cameras we haven't used in years I'll never know. Oh, and that boat anchor Kirby's about to get the boot out the door, too.

I am reading...
...besides the Philbrick book, Acceptable Loss by Anne Perry, which I had on reserve at the library. Luckily I checked online, because they never called to tell me it was in, and Sibley is closed today because of budget cuts. (Cut politicians' salaries, not library hours!) Oh, and I still haven't finished Boneshaker yet.

I am hoping...
...to get more rubbish out of the house by the end of the year. It's really silly to keep these old things.

I am hearing...
...Christmas music—Dish's Traditional Holiday channel. Not bad. Their other channel has modern stuff on, like N'Sync and newer. Not my cup of tea.

Around the house...
...I need to put away the useful things I bought today: coin rollers, Christmas labels, bookends, a couple more strings of Christmas lights, blue lights for the candles. I have to try out the battery candle. Last year I bought one from Lowes and then a pair elsewhere. I tossed the two posthaste in the donate box: they are that ugly "cold" white LED light that looks so awful. The Lowes candles have a yellow glow and flicker like a real candle. These have a special feature I like: you decide when you want them to turn on—say, 5 p.m. You put the batteries in exactly at that time. The candle comes on and burns for six hours, then shuts off and thereafter comes on at 5 p.m. until you take the batteries out again. So you can put them in the window the first day you start decorating and just leave them there until Christmas is over.

I am pondering...
...candles in the bedroom windows for Christmas. :-) I was only going to buy them for the living room windows. The front windows have Mother's five-candle candoliers in them, and the rear have the color changing single candles; downstairs has our three-candle units.

One of my favorite things...
...I'm listening to it: Christmas music. When things get bleakest in summer it even helps to put it on then. Usually I choose instrumental for summer; it isn't so obvious, and, played low, no one knows the difference.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Hair Day. The last Farmer's Market.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Such a little thing, but so bright and cheerful. Love and friendship is like a little candle in the darkness.


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

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» Thursday, November 17, 2011
Workin' and Hopin'
Yesterday was...a trip. At exactly 11:09, my DSL connection crashed (yes, again). I immediately signed back on to work via dial-up, while screaming at Earthlink on the phone. After a half-hour the technician determined it was...an outage. As usual, Earthlink didn't tell its support staff about it. It was AT&T's fault again—the outage just on area code 770. He told me the problem wouldn't be fixed until tomorrow. So I pegged away at work and about 3 p.m. checked Earthlink's outage site on my phone. They said it had been resolved at 1:23. So I tried to get back on the DSL only to discover that my computer was no longer talking to the network. I could connect to DSL directly through the modem, but not through the router.

James helped me test this later when he got home. I plugged into every open connection of the router, but it still kept telling me my cable was unplugged. I even plugged into the one James was using which worked perfectly. So the network card works with the modem, not with the router? Gee, thanks.

However, some time ago, James bought a wireless dongle from MicroCenter because it was on sale. He pulled this out now and installed it to my computer. After fiddling with it a while, it worked. So I'm connected to the network, and the internet...but I have a perfectly good wired connection and it won't work. ::grumble::

In the meantime, outside all hell was breaking loose. When I went into the kitchen for breakfast, I had stopped at the windows out to the deck, admiring the color outside. "I should take a picture," I muttered, then went on to get my breakfast so I could get to work.

I should have grabbed the camera then. By afternoon we had tornado sirens in stereo (Smyrna and Marietta), I turned the television on to find Chesley McNeil at WXIA describing hook clouds and tornado sightings (while people whined on Facebook that he was pre-empting Days of Our Lives), rain fell in torrents, and I had the dog on a leash, ready to grab Skye's cage and run downstairs, while the weather radio shrieked in the background. It got terribly dark at one point, as if all the Hounds of Hell were leaping over the horizon, with surprisingly little thunder and no hail to speak of.

By this morning the terrible, oppressive 70s of yesterday were but a memory, and it was cold, one that bit down to your toes. I loved it, but not the sight out on the deck: half the lovely leaves were gone. Autumn is ephermal enough!

However the cool was quite welcome, and the wireless worked fine for work. I am trying to juggle proposals for a conference that was given to us at the last minute. The big problem with it is that it's being held in Guam, so I can't talk to them during the day. I phoned two of the hotels late last evening to get the e-mail address of the events directors so I could discuss with them via e-mail; thank God for e-mail! Plus I got a neat item on Amazon Vine, and, had I reacted a tad quicker, I could have had Bluetooth headphones. Phooey.

Not to mention I had to toss on my jacket about 3:30 and rush to the library. For the third time in a row, they haven't called me when a reserved book has come in; I just happened to check the web site to see where I was in the queue. This was for Anne Perry's Execution Dock.

Oh, and I gave myself an early birthday gift: I joined Amazon Prime. Two-day shipping and video access! I used my Amazon credit card points to buy Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, and 320 watermelon-flavored Jolly Rancher candies (since you can't buy them separately in bags at the supermarket anymore). At two a day they should last a while.

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» Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Networkin'
The NBC network is 85 years old today.

NBC Chimes Through the Years

NBC Chimes Museum

Three Famous Notes of Broadcasting History

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» Monday, November 14, 2011
Summer in Fall
Ugh...75°F today. Thankfully, it was cloudy most of the day, especially on the way home, so I didn't have to worry about a herd of Atlantans who evidently have no idea what a sun visor is for. Smells more like spring today than fall, despite the mellowing fall colors surrounding the city. Every once in a while a gust of wind sends dozens of them swirling around. It was so positively grey on the way home that I needed to put my lights on.

I'm afraid this is going to be another year like the loathsome winter of 2001-2002, when it was 75 or more every other day. The house was overrun with flies and the ants came marching in. Makes me thankful for quarterly extermination.

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» Sunday, November 13, 2011
Worktime and Playtime and Back Again
 
Saturday was a busy day, but most of it was entertaining.

We heaved the box with the dead electronics into the truck and went on to the Farmers Market first. It was cool at this point and we had a nice amble about, buying salad veggies and a few other things. There wasn't a crowd at the recycling event, and we dumped and went, stopping off at Food Lion before going home, as we still had a few chores to get through before game night: James cleaned the kitchen and I did the hall bath and finished the vacuuming and tidied other things up.

James was still sneezing badly today. I've never seen him have an allergy attack last a second day, but I've had them myself and know they can happen. Nevertheless, he still went to his club meeting. I tidied up a few more things, then put on BBC4X and listened to some radio drama, including an excellent adaptation of Michael Morpurgo's War Horse that has been such a hit as a play and is the subject of an upcoming film.

Folks started arriving right on time at five. We had a jolly evening eating the turkey and stuffing James had prepared—it was quite delicious! We had a variety of sides provided, including mashed potatoes, green beans, fruit, a relish tray with olives and pickles, cornbread, a chocolate peanut-butter cake, chips and salsa, and some wonderful homemade fruit pie made from peaches, strawberries and blueberries. Some folks put on the football game and later James, Jerry and John retreated to the library to set the universe straight while the ladies played games and Mel and Ken watched television.

We first played "Urban Myth," which I had as an evaluation copy. You are supposed to determine if a clue read to you is true or a myth. If you are on a certain square and answer the question correctly, you get a letter which either spells "myth" or "true." If you get the letters to spell either one, you win. We all felt there were some bugs in the game; it was okay.

Then we went on to play Yahtzee Free-For-All, which is a favorite. It's a version of Yahtzee where you have to match cards that have been drawn. You can also take cards others have earned. It's loads of fun.

And then one by one our guests left. We did most of the cleanup except for the vacuuming, then relaxed and got on chat, talking with Jen and Emma. Alas, the busy day caught up with me and we signed off half an hour early.

I was hoping for a restful night's sleep, but bad dreams nagged me all night, and I wasn't all that refreshed this morning. After breakfast we went out to Trader Joe's. They had some of their Christmas favorites out, and we were able to sample cranberry goat's cheese on some wonderful ginger cookies, and hot cider. James was still feeling under the weather and I wasn't much better, so we got some mints and also mint tea. Neither of us ended up sampling the latter, but the former were good on the stomach. We also stopped at Kroger for the weekly needs (milk, bread, etc.). Since it was close to Trader Joe's, we stopped at the store on Johnson Ferry Road, which had a Dollar Tree in the same shopping center. [shakes head] All the ladies in my Christmas group walk into Dollar Tree stores and find bargain Christmas DVDs. I haven't even found a Dollar Tree in the area that sells DVDs! James did find some sugarless candy there. Anyway, we walked into Kroger and this one dumps you directly into the deli. We hadn't had lunch and bought some delicious soups for each of us along with the staples. Finally, we stopped at Sam's Club for gas before coming home to read the paper and having the soup. I had chicken and he had beef vegetable; both were excellent.

Yesterday while I was listening to War Horse, I started the little cross stitch kit I'd purchased at Michaels on Friday. This afternoon and this evening, while we were watching Murdoch Mysteries, I finished it tonight. "My girl" is on the right.


I added the little face to give her a little more of a personality. I also made a mistake with the reds, which I'm glad I did...it looks like she's wearing an overskirt.

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» Friday, November 11, 2011
Fun Before Chores
 
Alas, this morning when I wanted to sleep a little late, I woke up with a clogged nose. James had woken up sneezing violently as well. I'm wondering if it's keeping the windows open, since numerous neighbors are burning leaves.

Well, since I couldn't sleep, I could get up and have breakfast, and then skedaddle off to JoAnn. It was a chilly but beautifully sunny day; the trees, whether bright or dull, made a picture against the vivid blue of the sky.

I haven't been in a craft store since way before vacation, and was not surprised to see that all the autumn things had been whisked away. I was delighted in JoAnn's line of red and white decorations this year; it's very Swedish. They even have matching scarves and hats! (Incidentally, I've never seen more "Jayne hats" than I did in JoAnn today, in all colors.) They also have a very varied line of figural glass ornaments this year, including ethnic Santas, themed ornaments (like Paris or ballerinas), and items I've never seen as ornaments before, like a fortune cookie.

Well, I wasn't really satisfied with the craft item I had to pick up to finish my project, but that's all they had and I don't know any other source for it. I can make it work; it just wasn't what I wanted. I did pick up something to use as a gift, and fixings to make another gift.

I stopped at Michaels next door because they had a 25 percent off entire purchase coupon. Not much I wanted, but I did find something to add to the first gift I bought at JoAnn. Usually I find some stocking stuffers in the dollar bins (which are now $1.50), but it was pretty sparse. I did get a little cross-stitch kit.

Also stopped in Hobby Lobby to get a few small fall picks to put into the china cabinet to give it an autumn flair, and a very pretty garland for the stair rail. It is shiny silver with a matte muted gold mixed in, very distinctive. It was all on sale, so a very reasonable purchase.

Then I turned toward Barnes & Noble, where I did find the November British "Country Living" as well as the Christmas "Victorian Homes," always a favorite, and the January "Cooks Country" for James.

I stopped at Hallmark because I thought there was a new piece of the "Peanuts" jazz band out this week. Turns out it is next Thursday. So I headed for home through the edge of Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, a lovely day to do so. When the trees started turning this year, they were really quite dull, but the ones that turned later often turned out to be spectacular. Near the Michaels there was a quintet of trees that should have accompanied the definition of crimson in an illustrated dictionary, a dark, rich red with undertones of purple. On the way through the park, before I passed all the business buildings on the left, there was reddish-orange tree, really more red than orange, but with enough orange undertones that it looked afire. The rest of the ride, though the old homes lining Kennesaw Avenue, was duller but very pleasant.

Once at home I had some leftover soup and some goat cheese with crackers for lunch while watching a Rick Steves DVD, Austria and the Alps. I let it run all afternoon while I was giving the table a good cleaning for game night tomorrow, washing it down and giving it a little mineral oil treatment, and also ironed the runner.

James was home early, in the midst of what looked like a full blown allergy attack! He had hot chili for dinner, hoping it would help unstuff his nose, and I had more soup. Afterwards we tidied up the living room and I got together the last of the things to go to electronics recycling tomorrow. Finally it was time to watch Flying Wild Alaska! Look at all that snow! I love this series.

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Thank you!

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» Wednesday, November 09, 2011
The Simple Woman's Daybook
 
FOR TODAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2011

Outside my window...
...it is light out! A rather watery light, as it is cloudy in preparation for rain later in the day, but it really seems morning as it never does in spring and fall when Daylight Saving is in effect. It is so much easier to rise when it's light out; you feel as if you ought to be awake and not as if you are forced that way.

I am thinking...
...it's time for Thanksgiving decoration. I toyed with doing it last weekend, but there was never time. I love Thanksgiving much more than I like Hallowe'en. It's a mellow holiday, one where people expect nothing but a good meal together and sports or parades watched in happy cameraderie around the television, or perhaps even games inside or out.

I am thankful for...
...the end of the year, with all the lovely holidays before us: Veterans Day to remember all who serve; Thanksgiving to be grateful for your blessings, Advent to prepare for Christmas, and Christmastide to enjoy friends and family.

From the learning rooms...
...reading A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey about the beginning of the space race. Many details I did not know before, especially about the fate of Laika (that was not the dog's original name).

From the kitchen...
...dark and quiet right now. Perhaps later on I'll burn a candle. Coffee would be suitable today.

I am wearing...
...Mutts pajamas, socks and scuffs. [Here I was interrupted.]

I am creating...
...nothing right now! We are having a game night on Saturday, so I am going to be cleaning rather than creating.

I am going...
...to need a trip to JoAnn. A piece of a craft project is not in my possession and I could not find a similar product at Michaels. This weekend is their Veterans Day sale, so that should get me a nice discount.

I am reading...
...A Ball, a Dog, and a Monkey by Michael D'Antonio, as mentioned above, The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (essays on Doctor Who), and just finished Murder on Lexington Avenue by Victoria Thompson.

I am hoping...
...to find an inexpensive new flannel fitted sheet for the sofa. I use one as a seat cover. The one I have with the autumn leaves on it sadly has developed a worn spot and has torn.

I am hearing...
...well, since I'm late in finishing this, Harry's Law is on right now. We have to watch it, as we have two other things recording on the DVR, Mythbusters and Law & Order: UK.

Around the house...
...well, I did the Thanksgiving decorating during lunch. It didn't take very long—there's no tree to decorate or fussy bits to do, just put out Pilgrims, Indians, and about fifteen turkeys, including the cute turkey lamp I got at Cracker Barrel two years ago—and I was even able to go put out the mailbox wrap, Thanksgiving wreath, and Thanksgiving banner, and take a few minutes to use the pruning shears on the two bushes on either side of our St. Francis statue so that he is visible again. I have new batteries in the "electric" candles and they are "burning" within my sight. The coffee table needs to be cleaned off.

Again.

I am pondering...
...how to get the coffee table cleaned off by Saturday! It really is a problem: it's holding magazines, books, DVDs, remotes, coupons, my daybook, and catalogs! Nope, it's not that big, either...LOL.

One of my favorite things...
...Reminisce magazine! Received a bumper issue yesterday and have already read it cover to cover. There were many stories about the service, celebrating Veterans Day, and stories about being gathered around the table in honor of Thanksgiving, and the usual just plain fun nostalgic stories. I love this magazine.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Gaaaaaame night! Knock on wood, the Spiveys, the Elders, the Boulers, and the Lawsons are coming. We're having turkey and stuffing, and Alice is bringing mashed potatoes and Sue vegetables, and we'll have a good feed and then commence to gaming (well, the ladies will...most of the time the guys just sit around "saving the world"). :-)

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...


Memories are precious, no matter which era they are from. :-)

 
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Remember The Emergency Broadcasting Test Today
At 2 p.m.

I'm wondering if the tornado siren will go off.

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» Monday, November 07, 2011
Now It's Really Getting Ugly
Barnes & Noble Unveils $250 Tablet

Two days after Amazon starts shipping the Kindle Fire.

I can hear the little voice of Bugs Bunny now: "Of course, you know this means war."

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» Sunday, November 06, 2011
Sleep, Shop and Savor
 
Oh...dear. We had a fun chat last night, discussing earthquakes, Jen's Naval future, and Christmas music.

But, oh, up too late. Much too late. :-) Maybe it's why I woke up with a sore throat, although I had a sudden attack of post nasal action yesterday that probably was the primary contributing factor. Ah well, if we didn't sleep that extra hour, at least it was spent with friends (actually, I should say family, because all the folks on chat are friends who have become family).

Got the shopping out of the way this morning, then James started the turkey we bought yesterday. He made a basting sauce of butter, wine and maple syrup, then put the turkey in the oven. We then ran out to get gas for my car and to make a brief stop at Barnes & Noble, to pick up a book of Sherlock Holmes homages I had seen.

Then we came home and waited for the turkey to finish. James made a super gravy with the giblets and the neck bones, adding vegetable flakes, and then combining it with the turkey dripping. Yum. James' gravy should be a food group.

Listened to a Christmas music during the afternoon, the news, then a fascinating Nature about animal homes. Now watching Holmes Inspection...next up, Pan Am.

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» Saturday, November 05, 2011
A Cool Fall Day, The "Mister," and Me
 
Our first Farmers Market in weeks! Today is the third from the last, so we went a bit mad: a beef pot pie; jalapeno cheese spread, chicken salad, and sun goat pesto; cookies; dog cookies; boiled peanuts; country sausage; plus breakfast and some corn on the cob. Oh, and more onion and chive goat cheese—jolly!

It was a bright blue day, not a cloud in the sky, and 39°F when we left the house, with a slight but searching little breeze. Perfect for walking, although I felt bad for the vendors: it's easy to keep warm when you are walking, harder when you have to stand there and wait for customers! We further warmed ourselves by walking across Glover Park to see if the British store was open. alas, not until eleven. We also noticed that Old Ephraims, the country-type place we had my birthday dinner in last year, is gone.

We put the perishables in the insulated bag and drove up to Woodstock to BJs. We wanted to stock up on peanut butter because it is about to increase radically in price due to bad crops. We were also going to stock up on a few other things, and noticed that if we did, along with a couple of other things that we would use, we could get a free turkey! So we did; James plans to cook it tomorrow. I also found another pair of jeans to replace the mislabeled ones I had purchased.

A treat in the DVD section: two sets I had seen in the BBC America online catalog: BBC Holiday Comedy Collection and BBC Holiday Drama Collection. Things like the To the Manor Born Christmas special, the All Creatures Great and Small episode "Merry Gentlemen," Blackadder's Christmas Carol, a Hogmanay celebration from Monarch of the Glen, etc. Super!

On the way back from BJs we stopped at Barnes & Noble. I wanted to pick up Stanley Weintraub's newest book, Pearl Harbor Christmas. James got a book of science fiction short stories. I also bought the November issue of "Atlanta" magazine, which later turned out to be a dead loss. I thought it would talk about some of the upcoming events for the holidays, but there were only a few meager pages about the subject.

We were at the hobby shop for about 90 minutes. I read my Nook while the guys gabbed, and then, finally, at about 2:30, we headed for a late lunch at Shane's Rib Shack. James was in the mood for barbecue and Shane's bothers me the least. Had pulled pork as always, saving some for a lunch, and had some of James' sweet potato fries, a better "not good for you."

We arrived home around 3:30, put all the groceries away, and relaxed for the rest of the evening. Made the bed, put some things away. Read e-mail, and discovered that Dish has not one, but two Christmas music channels already up. I'd discovered "Holiday Pop" after it was mentioned on my Christmas movies and music group. I'd left it on for about four songs; when they hit Britney Spears singing something I quit. (Later in the evening I found them playing N'Sync...uh...no.) "Traditional Christmas" is more to my taste: Nat Cole, Johnny Mathis, Barbra Streisand. Okay, they did have Frank Sinatra, but nobody's perfect.

Sometime during the evening we both got hungry. James had some soup, and I descended on my lovely goat cheese, eating it with crackers, along with a glass of milk, and had some yogurt as a chaser.

While looking for something to watch on television, we discovered that HGTV was actually showing...don't faint now...a decorating show! Really. Design on a Dime, followed by something called The High/Low Project (HGTV's successor to Sensible Chic, where the designer tries to recreate an upscale room with similar, less expensive furniture/curtains/decor). Today's HGTV seems chiefly comprised of House Hunters, House Hunters International, My First Place, Property Virgins, and other related homebuying shows, like the one that takes place in New York City and will give you heart failure when they talk about prices. Most of the DIY shows have been transferred to DIY Network, so it's one relentless relocation search after another. It's nice to actually see some home retention on HGTV!

About 9:30 I rose from my comfy chair to change clocks. If I was in a cartoon, there would be a little black mark floating over my head. Fourteen clocks! And my watch! For heaven's sake, stop this madness!

Now watching The Incredible Dr. Pol. Seeing all those really gross things James Herriot wrote about in All Creatures Great and Small and sequels, last week a prolapsed uterus, this week a cow that retained its afterbirth. And using [mumble] to work on a gift for [mumble]. Heh.

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Didja Ever Notice How We Eventually Must Lose The Special Ones?
Remembering happy minutes spent listening to Andy Rooney:

CBS Commentator Andy Rooney Dies at 92

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» Friday, November 04, 2011
The Simple Woman's Daybook
 
FOR TODAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2011 (yes, it's late)

Outside my window...
...nothing like yesterday, which was dark and still. Today the sun is peeking its way through fall-dappled leaves, and the wind is tossing the trees a good bit. The breeze is making the window shades in the bedroom slap against the window frame.

I am thinking...
...how, while we saw some great things (and even some beautiful things) on vacation, I simply could not relax and did not sleep well at all. It was very disappointing and very tiring. I had wanted to see the Henry Ford almost all my life, and I really enjoyed it, but parts of the trip were just a bust for me.

I am thankful for...
...getting to GO on vacation at least. We had a great time doing things: the AF museum, the space museum, seeing the artifacts and memorabilia at Henry Ford, seeing things like Edison's lab and the Wright Brothers' house and riding in a Model T, shopping at Bronner's, seeing Lake Erie (if however briefly) and the Ambassador Bridge, driving through the countryside, even traveling with the fids. Schuyler's such a good traveler for a small bird!

From the learning rooms...
...well, having been on vacation, I now want to read a good bio of Edison, and Henry Ford, and find out more about the Polar Bears [U.S. soldiers sent to Russia to fight Bolshevism after WWI]. I read about them briefly in another book.

Plus, after the Armstrong Museum, I want to watch From the Earth to the Moon again!

From the kitchen...
...blissfully quiet, thanks. I have a candle burning, Yankee's "Nature's Paintbrush," which an apple/fallish scent, but sorry to say the scent doesn't disperse as well as my other favorites, the coffee or the cinnamon.

I am wearing...
...my old Lassie sweatshirt Alice made for me, navy blue sweatpants, and scuffs over my socks. My feet are cold, but I can't put my slippers on. With the heat on, it makes static electricity, dangerous for the computer. I killed a computer mouse once with static electricity.

I am creating...
...purchase orders again. new fiscal year this time. :-) Nothing creative; all by the book as it should be.

I am going...
...to finish listening to "Paul Temple and the Spencer Affair" on BBC4X today...and, oooh, look, they have the second series of "Tomorrow, Today!" airing!

I am reading...
A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia De Luce Mystery by Alan Bradley, featuring precocious 11-year-old Flavia, a chemistry devotee living in a crumbling old British country house with her widower father and her two bullying older sister. Also A Ball, A Dog, and a Monkey, about the early days of the space program.

I am hoping...
...to get to JoAnn this weekend. I am missing the part I need for a birthday project.

I am hearing...
...the hum of the furnace and the tap-tap-tapping of the window shades driven by the wind.

Around the house...
...pretty quiet except for the furnace. In a few minutes I'll turn on a podcast; I'm way behind again in my "Tech Guy" and "TWiT" broadcasts. This weekend we need to pull out dead electronics, to prep them for next weekend. My original laptop is completely dead, and has been sitting in the closet since we moved in; we're going to remove the hard drive and see if we can get anything off it, and junk the rest.

Oh, and we can donate that awful old Kirby now!

I am pondering...
...Christmas without Borders. I know, it's silly. It's gone. But I found an unexpected "gift" from Borders the other day: I looked into the Hallmark bag we got at the ornament premiere back in July, and at the bottom discovered the July British "Country Living" we had bought at the East Cobb Borders the same day. I was so frazzled during end of fiscal year that I didn't even realize I had bought it and didn't read it! We'd go to Borders a lot during Christmas: survey the new stock, buy gift cards, relax in the cafe and have a wonderful "Cocoa Trio." Bother. All gone.

One of my favorite things...
...the ongoing season. I love the fall; it's like I come alive again after hibernating in misery all summer in air conditioned enclosures. There's air you can breathe, cool air that doesn't make you break into a sweat the moment you twitch a limb, beautiful colors, festivals to attend, delicious foods back to the fore, Christmas to look forward to, and lovely Thanksgiving. Couldn't care less about Hallowe'en; I decorate for form's sake, not my own.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
BJs for a stockup tour, the last of three (or is it two?) Farmers Markets. I really should put up the Thanksgiving stuff!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing...

Look at this lovely fall pathway! Wouldn't you just love to walk in this beauty, packing a sandwich and some fruit, to sit under a tree and eat, perhaps discover a little place for coffee around the corner and sit near a window sipping cocoa? Bliss!



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

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» Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Just an Ordinary Workday
A bit of an aggravating one, as there has been a problem with Earthlink's DSL since Monday. Our download rate is supposed to be 5MB and we were barely chugging along at .22. Several calls to Earthlink determined the problem was theirs, except there was nothing on their website about it, and their first and second tier support knew nothing about it. Way to go, guys: don't give your employees the information they need to work properly.

The clog finally cleared about noon; it didn't really bother me unless I wanted to look something up. I worked on an advertisement and four new orders, and in the afternoon was finally able to listen to some things on BBC Radio 4X that I couldn't listen to earlier because at that slow a speed the player just clogged up after five minutes—they had started a new series of a Paul Temple mystery story; I really enjoy these, which are a breezy old-fashioned type adventure of a husband (detective story writer and amateur sleuth) and wife (journalist). This one is "Paul Temple and the Spencer Affair." They have something I want to listen to tomorrow: Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula.

At lunch I took down and put away all the Hallowe'en decorations and put the fall things back up. I've usually not put up the Thanksgiving things until after Veteran's Day in the past, but it gives me so little time to enjoy them. Didn't have time to put them up today, but may later in the week.

Soup for supper, then the laundry finished, and Harry's Law followed by Extreme Couponing.

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