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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» Friday, June 29, 2012
Trying to Fledge

My doctor said to try to do some simple things as I felt I could do them. I typed a couple of Facebook posts this morning. There was no pain at the wrist but my third through pinky finger still hurts when I type. I made sure to have the wrist support on.

Did breakfast, did the meds, did the ice, went downstairs for a little bit and reshelved some books. My hand started to ache about the same time I ran out of bookends, but I need more. Did lunch, did the meds, did the ice. Figured I'd pushed my luck as far as it could go. Watched Animal Cops Phoenix and finally something called Flipping Boston, about two house-flipper partners operating outside the city (Lynn and Lowell). The partners argue a lot. Just like an Italian family! (They're not Italian.) Felt quite at home. :-)

Supper at Shane's Barbecue. To Office Max for more bookends, then Bed, Bath & Beyond for another CO2 charger for James' Soda Stream. Dessert at Bruster's and then home by 7:45 because who in their right mind would want to be out when it's 102°F outside??? And it's supposed to be hotter tomorrow and Sunday.

I'm not going to waste finger power typing "Summer sucks!" But it surely does.

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» Thursday, June 28, 2012
On a Hand and a Prayer
This will be a short entry since I am short five fingers.

Tuesday I awoke with a sore wrist. Faced with a pile of purchase orders that now resembles the city bird of Atlanta [a construction crane], I kept working...7:30 through 5:30, with a half-hour to lie down with three ibuprofin because of the pain. There was no swelling to speak of, but an almighty sore spot at the wrist where it met my hand, which hurt more when I wrote than when I typed, except when I hit the space bar, and when I bent it, flexed it, tried to stir my oatmeal. I finally couldn't lift a glass of milk.

Then it kept me awake all night, with my arm feeling like it was on fire.

So I spent Wednesday teleworking with one hand, which didn't work well because then my left arm started hurting, until I went to the doctor. Tendonitis is the diagnosis, accompanied by "horse pills" (anti-inflammatories), and no-typing-or-mousing orders. And applications of ice, which hurt worse than the tendonitis.

So how has your week been?

Me and the remaining five fingers waving goodnight.

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» Sunday, June 24, 2012
A Midsummer's Day's Dream

From my point of view, it was perfectly logical today to escape the midday sun. Those celebrating Midsummer's Day can keep it, thank-you-very-much. :-)

First Sunday morning chores: putting out my clothes for the week, hanging up a new hair towel and nightgown, sorting out my medicines for the week, turning the alarm clocks back on (::sob::), etc, followed by the usual shopping trip this morning: heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it's off to Kroger we go. We found the soup bar; they relocated it closer to the Starbuck's counter. And the buns I usually buy for lunch at work were not overcooked. Will miracles never cease. And I had coupons for yogurt and Chex. Forgot the baby carrots, though.

Despite the steambath proportions already outside at noon, James wanted to try going to the Sunday Farmer's Market to see if the vendor of his favorite chicken salad was there. So we came into downtown through a side road and did find a parking space on the square. Alas, no chicken salad and no goat cheese. We did get the dog some more biscuits.

Some of the shops downtown open on Sunday since they know people will be there for the Sunday market, so we walked down to the new Christmas/candy shop. This had a cute assortment of "Old World Christmas Ornaments" as well as what used to be known as "penny candy." Will have to come back when I feel more in the mood, as even Christmas ornaments could not induce me to stay out much longer in this weather. By that time, having walked one block down and nearly one block across, we were already overheating. We walked back to the car, but were distracted by Sarah Jean's Ice Cream, so we went into the shop to sit in the coolness and enjoy a cone. Excellent coffee ice cream! I expected there to be families with kids there, but most of the patrons were folks our age and older.

We were out only a bit longer, to stop at Office Max to pick up the bookends and magazine organizers I need to use to tidy the library. Then we came home—it was almost three already!—to chill out. I put the ceiling fan on afterburner until we got cool. Transferred everything back into my carry bag for work tomorrow. Been watching HGTV most of the day, endless Property Virgins this afternoon and Holmes on Homes tonight, with a break for the news. Dang, I miss decorating programs! They had two on yesterday, or rather early this morning, at midnight and half-past. What a relief to watch.

Now back to my "Early American Life"... I'm so sleepy; I hope I sleep well tonight.

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» Saturday, June 23, 2012
Unstitched

Whose idea was getting up early on Saturday morning?

Oh, yeah, the vet. Today Willow gets her stitches out and we have to be there before nine. Not like I wasn't awake already; my knees were killing me all night and kept waking me up. Phooey.

There was no time for breakfast first, so we just grabbed fiber bars and went. Willow backpedaled upon entry into the vet's office and had to be firmly led away.

We decided to go to the Brookhaven Farmer's Market since the folks whose jelly we like, One Screw Loose, are regular attendees. James loves their "Cherry Bomb," a rich, delicious jelly. He also wanted more of their balsamic garlic jelly, which he uses as a finishing sauce on pork and beef. Surprisingly, this Farmer's Market, which is held on Dresden Drive in the little community that they created of townhouses and small shops, is very tiny; there were no more than a dozen booths, and most of the food was gourmet-type specialty stuff. There were two vegetable sellers with small stock.

The jelly ladies were there, and, though they didn't have the balsamic garlic (what they had there had pepper in it), they did have the balsamic onion, and also the cherry jelly. We were quite hungry by this time, so we bought two meat pies called a "barek" from a vendor who had Eastern European food. This was ground beef, potato, and onion in phyllo dough and was pretty good, despite a smattering of pepper. Half was enough to satisfy me.

From there we went to the Buford Highway Farmer's Market. Annoyingly, we had forgotten the insulated bags, so all those nice tempting lamb steaks were out of reach. (I was hoping they sold insulated bags, but I didn't see a one.) This place is like a big toy shop for foodies, with aisles of different foods from much of the world. (There's no African, South American, or Australian food, which would be interesting.) And they actually had bananas that were yellow, unlike Kroger. We also bought grapes and white potatoes, and then our cart became a multiethnic smorgasbord: German chocolate and alphabet soup, a Russian something we can't mention, Japanese buckwheat noodles, two kinds of soy sauce, and a nice crispy-crusted baguette. Still love the Armenian wine bottles, which are figurals and almost worth buying for that: a horse, a rabbit, and even a dragon boat.

James was still looking for his elusive "Highlander," so we trucked down Buford Highway and then cut through my old stomping grounds in Buckhead to get to their Barnes & Noble. The whole place is a world away from the neighborhood I used to work in, the small buildings and bars having given way to high-rise hotels and apartments. There's actually a Staybridge Suites on Pharr Road! Happily, we discovered that Fantasyland Records didn't close at all, but moved on Pharr. We'll have to stop by someday.

I see the parking lot of the B&N, which they share with Publix, is just as bad as ever. Their magazine selection is prodigious, but alas, no "Highlander." We did find a new book which is about the history of breakfast cereal, complete with the most wonderful old ads, and there we stood, paging through the book, two aging Baby Boomers singing old commercial jingles. LOL.

Since the vet hadn't called, we went to the hobby shop for about an hour, where I continued reading Black Out by John Lawton, a convoluted mystery taking place in London during the second World War. Quite good. The vet called while we were there and so we trucked once more out to Dunwoody, picked up a frantically happy Willow, who thankfully had been treated to a complimentary bath and no longer smells like a goat. (Well, that's what I kept telling her anyway.) Then we came home to have lunch; I used that nice baguette to make a proscuitto sandwich...yum!

It was only 1:30 by then, but it felt like we'd been out all day. Spent the rest of the afternoon reading under the fan and watching stuff on the History Channel (plus the Flying Wild Alaska we missed bits of last night). I found two new magazines in the Nook market worth trying: the old reliable "Good Old Days," and another Reminisce-like publication, "Looking Back," and am trying them out for fourteen days. They're only a dollar each if you subscribe which is pretty good reading for a buck.

Had oatmeal and yogurt for supper, and some of the most delicious watermelon ever. Really. Usually it looks good and we buy it and it turns out to be mealy or over-ripe or sour, or it's so anemic-looking we don't buy it at all. This was bright watermelon red, still crisp, and exquisitely sweet. Very sensual! When Schuyler saw it, she recognized what it was immediately and started clambering all over the cage bars, kissing. "Mummy, Mummy, gimmee, gimmee, gimmee!"

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» Friday, June 22, 2012
Keeping It Cool

I badly needed today. Yesterday I started at 7:30 and worked until nearly six, having taken only two short breaks and no lunch. Did I get a lot done? Who knows? It never seems enough.

But I wasn't going to waste my day off sleeping! Eight hours only!

Would you believe eight and a half? And I had to discipline myself to hold myself to that!

James asked me yesterday where I was going to go today. As far as I was concerned, since it was going to go up to 90°F, I wanted to be out as little as possible. However, I did need to get gasoline and buy more Pill Pockets for Willow, who has another week of antibiotics to go. (Once I walked outside, I was glad of that decision—it was only 10:00 and it was like standing next to a hot iron, with no breeze at all.) So after breakfast I drove up to the new Petsmart at Powder Springs at the East-West Connector, but I stopped on the way to buy something at Hobby Lobby for [mumble], which finishes a gift, and also got some cash for the Farmer's Market tomorrow.

This new Petsmart is tiny! Nevertheless I stopped to say hello to the budgies before picking up the Pill Pockets, and then came back to the neighborhood to stop at the Dollar Store. They have completely redone it and I had to scout around to find what I was looking for. Many more name brands there than there used to be. Then I bought gasoline at Kroger and came home.

Very nice afternoon spent in tank top and shorts cleaning house some, listening to BBC 4X, sorting some computer files, and also going downstairs to work a little on the books. I haven't been putting them up properly and they were all sitting on the edge of shelves or sitting on the hassock. I took care of almost all of them except for those in the history/biography/science/linguistics bay. That needs not only work, but large bookends so I can start putting books on top of the bookcases. The biographies are overflowing as are the history books.

James came home to find all three of us napping in the living room. We had supper at Hibachi Grill and then drove up to Town Center to see if Barnes & Noble had the new "Highlander" magazine James was looking for. Even at seven the air was still as thick as hot jelly. Ugh.

Of course, with the air stagnant all day, the thunderstorm rolled in smack in the middle of Flying Wild Alaska and flipped the DVR out. If  you look at that thing the wrong way it seizes up. Good thing there was a repeat later.

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» Sunday, June 17, 2012
Welcome Weekend

Really needed the trip to the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning, since we were out of salad veg completely. Arrived to find all the stalls crowded on Mill Street because there was a Juneteenth celebration going on on the main square. To James' dismay, the chicken salad folks weren't there. We did get cucumbers, sweet corn, and tomatoes, and a pot roast pot pie for Sunday supper, and James bought some lemon chess pies from the Sweet Auburn lady. We also got a couple of apple turnovers to have for breakfast and bought a loaf of French bread to take to Hair Day.

Then the nice drive through Polk Street/Dallas Highway/Villa Rica Road to get to Ron and Lin's house. Bother. Forgot Neil's graduation card and gift. Juanita brought barbecue chicken legs, Lin made baked beans, we brought yellow rice, the Taylors brought salad, Charles brought a fruit tray, there was cantaloupe, and there was potato salad—a nice assortment of food. The chicken legs were wonderful.

We were home a little after one, and James went on to his IPMS meeting and I set the house to order: vacuumed the dining room and put the table and chairs back in place from Thursday dinner, changed out the futon and made it (I'll need James' help to close it), and just ran the vacuum again and made the bed. By then I needed a nap, since we went to bed so late. That was an hour treat!

When James got home we closed up the futon, then went to JoAnn for the Firefly Frenzy. Only three coupons instead of two pages of them, so very strange. I was looking for new ultrafine Sharpies and found them, but, although we stopped at Hobby Lobby first and went next door to Michaels afterward, no one had the new DMC Color Combinations floss. ::grump:: Got some autumn and winter glitters and some little bells (trim for book thongs), and found something we could use to differentiate the tablet cases. We also bought something for {mumble]. (Well, I'm not telling.)

On the way home we stopped at La Parilla so that James could get Mexican for supper. I sat in the truck and played Angry Birds Space. Coolness! Love the trajectories!

I had oatmeal and yogurt for supper and spent the evening watching Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III—a real Sam Neill festival! Emma came on chat late and we talked about all the great stuff she found at a city-wide yard sale.

And then sleeping late this morning! Till ten! (Well, it was two when we went to bed.) Actually woke up feeling awake. We ate something quickly, then went to Costco. Was very tempted by Anne Frank's Family and the DVD of Downton Abbey for $15, but didn't do it. We just got mushrooms and soap. Dang it, they didn't have any Chex again! We also each bought Omeprazole because it's $12 right now, but with the discount just on one at a time. If you don't think I'm going to stock up at that price, you have another thing coming.

We stopped at Aldi on the way home because their milk is cheapest, and then went to Kroger for bread, Those Damn Bananas, and a few other things. Looks like they are replacing the soup bar for a stupid salad bar. Barf. I can get salad anywhere. Good hot soup, that's a treat. Boooo, Kroger. I'm already tired of them; they didn't even have my favorite sandwich buns today, and when they do have them they are covered with cornmeal.

And then we went home, having forgotten the newspaper and a small bag of Chex. Sadly, we didn't miss the newspaper and I have a few kettle chips I can substitute one day for the Chex. We'll have to go to Sam's again or truck up to BJs to get a bag next weekend. Spent the afternoon finally finishing my book reviews for May, listening to shows off BBC Radio 4X, and communing with Schuyler. And we finally put Willow's collar back on. With the bandanna on, Willow's neck is healing nicely and is no longer red and irritated where they shaved her hair.

Now we're watching Holmes on Homes because, in lieu of watching our Netflix disk, which we really should do, but what the heck, it's the best thing that's on television right now.

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» Saturday, June 16, 2012
Visitors Ho!
We had a whirlwind visit with friends overnight that began for me yesterday with the usual attack on the ever-increasing stack of purchase orders. They're well over sixty now and increasing every day. At lunch I took a welcome break to start dinner (and you know work is getting to me when I'd actually prefer to cook!). I never did find out what cut of pork my mother used in her "gravy" (well, that's what Italians in Rhode Island call it, anyway). I asked her once, and she said, "I don't know." ???? "Well," she said, "I just would say to Ermano [the butcher] 'I need pork for gravy' and he gave me the right meat."

I've used everything from pork chops to pork steaks, but there was an article in Cooks Illustrated not long ago which said to use boneless pork spare ribs. These we bought on Sunday and at lunch I cut each of them in two, and set them to brown on James' grill pan while I decanted two bottles of no-sugar-added spaghetti sauce, one from Cost Plus and one Classico's Tomato and Basil, then added water amounting to about one third of each bottle (this gets the last of the sauce out of the bottle, too). As each portion of pork finished browning, I put it in the sauce, added two slices of green Bell pepper, and then set it to simmer.

Then I went off to do a bit of spot dusting. I actually ate lunch at my desk while juggling e-mails, 653 forms, and phone messages.

Jen and Mike were due at five. Earlier in the week Jen had packed up her little car with everything from her uniforms to DVDs, books, and her laptop, and left San Diego to hookup with her husband Mike in Oklahoma City, and then both proceeded eastward. Upon going through Louisiana Jen had visited her 49th state and I have no doubt she will hit Alaska someday. Having graduated Naval tech school, she is on the way to her assignment in Norfolk, Virginia, the USS Truxton. We were the next to the last stop before they end up in Norfolk, being on the way to introduce Mike to her grandparents in North Carolina.

Anyway, Jen called at five saying they'd just crossed over the Alabama border. This was actually fortuitous, since I hadn't had a chance to (a) finish up work or (b) make the salad yet. The drive from the border to us is pretty much nothing; they arrived at six, whereupon I dumped the ziti into the water and cooked it, and by six-thirty we were eating a pretty luscious dinner, if I do say so myself. I didn't get to sample the other thing I'd put in the gravy, some salami we got from Cost Plus World Market, but James said it wasn't very good. Won't buy those again. But the pork was exquisite: you could flake it with a fork and it was nice and tender, and the gravy had absorbed the taste of the pork. Yum. To paraphrase Josh in Red Sky at Morning, pork should never be cooked any other way than for gravy. :-) The salad...eh. Cucumbers were good, but the tomatoes had become a little mealy, although they still tasted way better than those red things that pose as tomatoes in the supermarket.

We had never met Mike before, although we've known him since 1997. He is one of the original members of the Remember WENN chat group still around, which included us, Rodney Walker, Emma Redmer, and some folks that still turn up at Christmas like Biz Savage, Rita Widmer, and Katie MacNamara. So it was a great treat to get to meet him in person! And so what do we do for the rest of the evening? Watch Remember WENN, of course! We started with all the little minutiae I'd collected from the series, one Bob Dorian intro, all five of the season four promos, an interview with Tom Beckett (who never spoke on the series), the CBS Sunday Morning cast appearance, a CBS profile of Rupert Holmes, etc. Then we watched "Who's Minding the Asylum?", "Armchair Detective," "Some Good News, Some Bad News," and "Scott Sherwood of the FBI."

Willow discovered immediately that Mike was a dog person. Every time we turned around she was next to him to get her back scratched. Schuyler gazed at them curiously and even hopped forward when Mike or Jen would whistle to her.

Anyway, we probably would have WENN marathoned into the night had James not needed to be up at six (I'd already let folks at work know I'd be in late). So the chimes were silenced, James gave out farewell hugs, and we all trouped to our beds.

James was off to work at 6:30, but I received an additional gift of being able to sleep a little later. Then the three of us had breakfast and Schuyler sang us the sweetest song. She doesn't usually sing in the mornings so this was a real treat. And then it was time for our traveling troupe to be off, and this is when I got the first look at Jen's car, literally packed floor to roof with Stuff. Wow. She had to put the little gifts we gave her (a couple of appropriate Hallmark ornaments, a book about the history of the Navy, a Christmas plaque, a thong bookmark, a Dan Gallery book, and a hostess gift of chocolate covered turtles) under her feet because there was no other room for it.

And then they were off, and I was off to work (only to return in five minutes because I forgot my lunch). I wished I'd chosen another route, because they were repaving Atlanta Road this morning and it took me a few minutes to get through that mess, and then I had to stop at Kaiser to get my cholesterol medicine refilled. But I did finally make it to work, and the necessary modification to pay the vendor got through and a couple of orders got out, but I had to face the fact I'd made a complete hash of the scanner order because I didn't know we had an IT blanket purchase agreement.  Bother. I hate doing that to people.

This combined with my lunch made me sick most of the afternoon and I was pretty nauseated and in pain by the time I got home. James took me out for something kind to my tummy—French toast at IHOP—and we had Baskin-Robbins for dessert. I sat later and read Helene Hanff's sequel to 84, Charing Cross Road, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, since after all this time I'd finally hunted down a copy. Just brought a big smile to my face.

Books are such a comfort. And cuddly husbands and calendar dogs and sweetly-singing budgerigars.

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» Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook
 
FOR TODAY, JUNE 12, 2012
Outside my window...
...cloudy, I think, as the windows are so fogged it's hard to tell. That means it is hellishly humid outside, since we do turn the A/C down at night to be able to sleep, but not that bad! Perhaps watery sunshine, leaking through the still-wet trees.

I am thinking...
...how much I have left to do till company comes...just a short time, which is a good thing!

I am thankful...
...to however much energy I have lately. Not much of it, though. I never feel as if I've slept enough. I'm not tired, per say, but sleepy. I think it's my allergy; I got a whiff of some cigarette smoke yesterday and my eyes swelled up, so I was quite miserable. I'm sorry, but I don't understand why people smoke! You take plant leaves, dry them until crumbly, roll them in a cylinder, cover them with paper to form a tube, set it on fire, and then put it in your mouth! Very strange.

In the kitchen...
...every time I walk in there, I am refilling another water bottle to go back into the car or the truck. It takes 30 seconds a bottle.

I am wearing...
...black tank top and shorts, the flower-patterned scuffs. The usual.

I am creating...
...just finished a couple of crafts, but can't mention them here, since the persons who they're for read this blog.

I am going...
...to start work in a few minutes, and later will need to clean the hall bath and finish the laundry.

I am wondering...
...now that it's nearing end of fiscal year? Seriously, about my own sanity...

I am reading...
...Walt Disney's Tales from Other Lands, which has the narrative text and screen caps from the old "People and Places" featurette series, so, quite cool and Johnson's Life of London. Just finished Turner, the painter, and am now on to the Rothschilds.

I am hoping...
...that the sanity holds out. This pile of papers makes me want to scream like a little girl.

I am looking forward to...
...visitors! Oh, and just found out John Barrowman's coming to DragonCon. We're doomed; the crowds will be insane.

I am learning...
...how to juggle. Not balls, papers. More like knives in that respect.

Around the house...
...quiet, with the sound of typing. And budgie crunching on seed. Soon will be alive with sound of washing machines. :-)

I am pondering...
...the moving finger having writ and moved on...my cousin Frankie died a few days ago. He was only 70. When I was a kid I thought that was very old. Now it seems so young!

A favorite quote for today...
"By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day." . . . . . Robert Frost
Sorry...no. I've seen the boss's job...and I don't want it. Not for all the trips to Europe in the world. Terrifying.

One of my favorite things...
..."Headlines" on The Tonight Show. Always the funniest part of the week.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Friends visiting! Hair day! Need to go to the "Firefly Frenzy" at JoAnn, although the sales flyer was remarkably chintzy with the coupons. Need to get some new Sharpies...and the new DMC Color Combinations floss if they have them.

A peek into my day...
::grump:: thinks Willow. They shaved my pretty ruff.



It will grow back, sweetie. ::pats::



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

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» Sunday, June 10, 2012
All Wet

Ah, sleep! It was almost ten when we got up.

Of course we didn't go to bed until two. I so function better when I get up late and go to bed late, but the Real World doesn't work like that. Pity.

After breakfast we went off for groceries and prescriptions. Alas, we bought too much for our freezer, so we had to put off the usual summer salad tonight. (Instead we had a Hormel beef tips in gravy, which we couldn't wedge in—they were on sale and we had a coupon.) We had to hang around until our prescriptions were ready, which made it really tedious. But I'm a little pissed. They just opened the Kroger and when we got there they are constructing an area of the deli and got rid of the soup bar. The olive bar was still there, and the sushi bar, but no soup bar. Grrrr!

The weather was closing in on us already and the air was thick with mist, so we came home and stayed home, did some housecleaning and I worked on some crafts. Last night I had pressed, backed, and framed my "French Country" Christmas cross-stitch; today I framed something else for a gift and made another. And, very late, I have worked out (or hope so) a fix for an item that won't work without the fix (there, that's suitably obscure...LOL). Seriously, I have an item that is a perfect gift for someone; however, there is a minute thing wrong with it. James and I have been brainstorming a solution since we found it. I think just a minute or two ago I worked it out. We'll see.

And that was our day. There was so little on TV we ended up watching reruns of The Big Bang Theory. I think this show is starting to grow on me. Like a fungus. :-) And now we have the Tony Awards on—the best show of the year.

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» Saturday, June 09, 2012
Sleepy and Shopping in Atlanta

I left the alarm firmly "off" this morning. There had been enough lost sleep. We got up just before ten, had breakfast, and left to fetch Willow at eleven. We were a little late because James had to get gasoline, but Wil seemed quite anxious to see us when we arrived. :-) "Daddy! They stabbed me and cut me with a knife and then knocked me out." No, Willow, it was the other way around... They did send the cyst off for biopsy after all. Crossing fingers. We have three pain pills for the next three days, and of course the antibiotic until it is finished. There's no trouble giving them to her, as we put them in Greenies "pill pockets." I don't know what's in that stuff, but it's irresistible to dogs.

We came home via the hobby shop so James could drop off and pick up his shirts at the cleaners. Rusty was there and earned Willow's lifelong gratitude by scratching her in just the right spot to make her hindleg jerk and then giving her chicken dog jerky treats. The vet said she ate very little this morning. We also stopped at the bakery to pick up a couple of desserts each for the coming week.

So we spent the rest of the afternoon looking after Willow—she immediately started cadging food—and tidying up for visitors later in the week. We had pizza for supper and then James said, "Don't kill me, but..."

He was suggesting we go shopping tonight instead of tomorrow, since we're supposed to get drenched. I did agree with him, so off we went, leaving Willow looking depressed and Schuyler watching television near the sofa. We went to Walmart first, because Schuyler's wild cousins have nearly emptied the can of birdseed. In fact, the feeders were empty this afternoon, and I saw the brown-headed nuthatches, one after the other, hop down the railing of the deck to peer down at the can! I could hear them thinking "I know the food comes out of this, but how do we get in?" The titmice just fly by the window and give it a thump with their wings. "The service at this restaurant is terrible!"

So we got the seed and James wanted to see if they had any different flavors of sugar-free pudding to go in his lunch. All he's had for weeks is chocolate because he hates the banana cream pie and doesn't like what we both refer to as "dulce de yuck [leche]." Well, they not only had Boston cream pie flavor and a milk/dark chocolate mix, and my yogurt on sale for fifty cents a container, but they had the chocolate milk he likes and hasn't been able to find for almost two years! This is Hood Calorie Countdown, which is only 80 calories a cup, so he can have a treat once in a while. We thought they had quit making it! Also got him some turkey croissants for breakfast.

As we came out of WallyWorld it was spitting rain, so we got everything under cover but the bird seed, which is in plastic, and went on to Publix for the twofers. We had dog food coupons, so we bought Willow two bags of different flavors of Racheal Ray dog food (she is apparently tired of the beef and chicken).

We tried to go by Aldi for milk, but they were already closed by the time we arrived. We still have to refill prescriptions, pick up some boneless pork ribs to be part of dinner for company, and get the milk and a paper, so we still have to go to Kroger tomorrow, but it will be mostly things that it will not hurt to get wet.

Willow has been a bit of a trial later this evening. Instead of alerting us, she is just peeing. We've had to mop up the carpet three times now and spray it down with Urine Gone. I'm not sure if the anasthesia made her a little befuddled or she's pissed with us. [Pun intended.] My two Disney books came, Walt Disney's America and Walt Disney's Tales from Other Lands came today. I've been reading the former most of the evening. It uses the same Lady and the Tramp story as in the Walt Disney Storybook, with Darling staying home and apparently being oblivious to how badly Lady was being treated. I'm still waiting for my Helene Hanff omnibus. I realized of late that I had never bought the sequel to 84, Charing Cross Road, The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street, and when I went looking for it, discovered I could get a nice copy of an omnibus edition instead, which has both of those books, plus Underfoot in Show Business, The Apple of My Eye (essays on New York City), and Q's Legacy.

I also ironed the cross-stitch project I just finished, put the iron-on facing in the back, and cut it to fit the glass of the frame. I thought it needed a little extra "touch" and cut two thin slices of dark green scrapbook paper to bookend either side. You can see it here, I hope!

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» Tuesday, June 05, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, JUNE 5, 2012

Outside my window...
...a grey morning. It rained yesterday and then cleared up, and now the clouds are upon us again.

I am thinking...
...about a friend I knew only online. He passed away just before Memorial Day from complications from a broken bone. I have read chaffs about online friendships; that they are somehow less legitimate than face-to-face ones. But if you read someone's thoughts or memoirs, don't you learn something of them? Perhaps it is not as close as a face-to-face friendship, but it is still legitimate, is it not? I still felt unhappy upon the news, enough to cry. It must count for something.

I am thankful...
...for all my friends, both those face-to-face and those online. They all give me joy.

In the kitchen...
...there's some ground pork defrosting. I think we're having it with tomato parmesan noodles tonight, since we had "pork glop" (pork with crunchy peanut butter) last week.

I am wearing...
...purple and blue leopard spot black top with aqua shorts and purple and white scuffs. And my watch. :-)

I am creating...
...just finished a cross-stitch! The "French Country wreath," a Christmas design. The original was in plain red thread, but mine is in variegated thread, shading from dark red to garnet and back again. And I put the umlaut over the "e" just because I'm anal like that. LOL.

I am going...
...crazy! You should see all the purchase requests I have. I think it's up to fifty, but I don't have time to count them, I'm so busy doing them.

I am wondering...
...if I'll ever catch up. There are so many problems with all the orders.

I am reading...
...a book I bought at the library book sale, part of a series called "The Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney." This one is about Nature and has narratives from the True-Life Adventures and also the story of "Flash, the Teenage Otter." I want to get two of the other four books (the other is about fairy tales and I don't care about them). One is "America" and includes the Disney version of Pollyanna and the other is "Stories from Other Lands" and includes Zorro, Big Red, and Mary Poppins. I'm also reading Johnson's Life of London, written by the mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

I am hoping...
...to get some things done this weekend! We must clear somewhere to sit for our guests next week?

I am looking forward to...
...well, our guests next week. Jen and Mike are coming by on their ride to Jen's new duty station in Norfolk, VA. We've never met Mike and are looking forward to doing it in person; we've only talked to him online for the past fifteen years. See what I was saying about online friendships! Some of them go back so far that they are no longer just friends, but are friends who have become family.

I am learning...
...lots of facts about the people who made London, as chronicled in Johnson's book. I knew most of the Dick Whittington story was just that, a story, but not how wealthy or influential he was. The same about Chaucer...didn't know he served in the Army and was held hostage in Reims until he was ransomed.

Around the house...
...quiet now. So quiet that I wish I could go back to sleep. There never seems to be enough any longer.

I am pondering...
...absent friends. ::sigh::

A favorite quote for today...
Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. . . . Ashley Smith

One of my favorite things...
...history...which is why I'm having a grand time watching all this Diamond Jubilee celebration for Queen Elizabeth II. It's like super Fourth of July! Look at all those grand old buildings: the Houses of Parliament, Tower Bridge, the dome of St. Paul's...marvelous!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Cleaning, cleaning, cleaning...Willow's surgery :-( ...maybe surgery on my computer.

A peek into my day...
How about a peek into last weekend, which was quite happy save for the insomnia and the dead battery:
"The Fids" at the hotel last weekend.



Click on the picture to enlarge!


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» Sunday, June 03, 2012
A Non-Conventional Weekend

Compared to the tumult of last weekend, a jog in the park. We were back to the routine Saturday morning, and what a lovely morning it was! A cold front had come through and as we walked through the stalls, the sky was bright blue, it was in the low 60s and there was a lovely breeze. We bought more sweet corn, a cucumber and some tomatoes, chicken salad and jalapeno cheese for James (and boiled peanuts), some chocolate cookies for a dessert, apple turnovers for breakfast, and more biscuits for Willow. We walked by a stand where they had fresh peaches and pecans that had just been picked and the sweet, heady aroma of peaches struck us. We couldn't resist and bought a bag (nine of them, one which I ate on the way home—absolutely luscious!), then went directly to Kroger and did the grocery shopping, since James is working tomorrow. We went to our old Kroger, since it was on the way home, and I was much more satisfied with their bread. The Smyrna Kroger needs better bakers! We did get bread, those damn bananas, marked down pork and beef, and a few other things we needed.

Oh, when we got home, there was a bunny in our front yard! Our neighbor's back yard is clotted with trees and brush, and it's a perfect living place for rabbits; this one certainly thinks so!

Once those purchases were put away, we went to Lowe's to get James a few "Blue Ice" inserts for his lunch box, as his old ones were leaking. We also bought some Reveal light bulbs for the upstairs rooms.

From Lowe's we went to Panera Bread to have lunch. We decided to have a big lunch and just nosh for supper, so I had the usual chicken soup with a half sandwich (the Italian sandwich with just meat and bread). James had a cup of chicken tortilla with a whole Cuban sandwich. We bought a chocolate duet cookie for dessert and I also saved the baguette that I would have dunked in the soup to have for supper.

Then it was off to the hobby shop for a while. I was reading a book I got for free on Kindle, Trapped on the Titanic, about a Virginia teenager who discovers that she had an ancestor who died on the ship. But is the ghost of the child trying to contact her? This has the bones of a good story, but the narrative is very stiff and sometimes the vocabulary is not something a teenager would use, even a nice kid like Callie. Also, an event happens about two thirds through the book that is very unlikely to have happened as smoothly as it did. But there are definitely pluses to the story: a very warm relationship between Callie and her grandmother, the historical background of the mystery, the fact that it's a Titanic story that doesn't rely on someone going back in time in a dream or a fantasy to tell the story, and a unique setting (Virginia). I'd recommend it, even with the shortcomings.

We had a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon, so we drove there next to pick up a bottle of the diet ginger ale mixings for James' Soda Stream. He is really enjoying it, and the drinks do not have as many calories or sugar as the commercial stuff. We also stopped at Michaels. I was disappointed because they did not have any of the new DMC "Color Combinations" threads. There is a whole new 24-thread set, including one that looks like coffee and one that is in autumn colors. I did get some foam to use as padding.

And finally we stopped at Publix to get something for James, and here we were on a Saturday night, done at 5 p.m.! Since Borders closed we have no standby places to go! (We went to Barnes & Noble at the Avenue at West Cobb on Friday night, just to do something different. And the ride there, through West Sandtown Road, is nice, too.) We did nosh for supper (I had the oatmeal and yogurt I didn't have for breakfast, and that baguette) and watched the Flying Wild Alaska marathon they were running...yay! season  premiere next Friday!

Eventually James went downstairs to work in "the Man Cave" (he has some egg planes to finish; his club is sending a collection of them to the IPMS Nationals in July) and I returned to work on a cross-stitch. Yes, I finally pulled one out after all this time; it was this that I started over a year ago! I'm doing mine a bit differently; instead of straight red thread I have used red varigated, so the color shades from dark cherry red to garnet and back again. I also put the umlaut over the "e" because I'm just anal that way. LOL.

No one showed up on chat, so I went to bed with James. It's not like I can't use the sleep.

Of course I didn't get it. I had stomach cramps sometime after one a.m. Thank God for the Nook where I can read without putting the light on.

And Willow started barking just after James left for work (about seven). He'd taken her out, so it couldn't be that. Hush, puppy!

So I got up later than I wanted and then was mesmerized by the Thames River Pageant, which is a celebration of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. There are all sorts of boats, from the Queen's royal barge to personal motorboats and narrowboats and sculling teams in their shells down to a guy in a kayak, and some military ships, including HMS Belfast. Some of the sailors were veterans of the second World War. It was so beautiful and colorful: the boats flying pennants and British flags and banners, going past all those historical buildings: the houses of Parliament and even the place where Charles Dickens worked in the blacking factory when he was a boy, down to Tower Bridge, which they opened to let the Queen's barge through. It was nice starting out, but the usual English summer betrayed them and by the time the Queen disembarked from the barge the clouds were lowering and it was raining. It was also only 52 degrees (although that sounds like heaven here in 80s land) with a wind coming off the North Sea; a bit nippy for parade watching, even for me!

At noon I packed Willow into the car and took her to the vet for her bloodwork pre-surgery. She was good as gold, didn't even whine. It was quite cloudy and only 75 when I got there, so I left the windows cracked just enough and ran into the Kroger behind the vet's office to get a Sunday paper. I found it right upon entering and there was a free cashier, so I don't think she was even alone in the car for five minutes.

She was in and out of the vet and I got the estimate and only gulped once or twice (she's having her teeth cleaned while she's under anesthesia, so it's not just getting the cyst removed). :-) We drove home via Mount Vernon Highway and Abernathy Road and did just fine until I crossed South Cobb Drive. I had heard an ambulance coming and didn't see it until I crossed the road. Sure enough, it followed me through all the streets on my way home, and when it started to catch up to me I stopped and let it pass.

I was the next car through the stop sign and as I passed through, a man who had been jogging ran out on the road. He said he believed that the ambulance was heading to his house and could I give him a ride to it? He seemed really upset, and the window was wide open; he could have yanked open the door if he was really after me...but I still said no and drove on. I felt like a heel...maybe it was his mother...but how do you know??? You hear such terrible stories... Felt blue most of the afternoon.

 I did finish the cross stitch just after James got home, and now I'm soaking it in the sink. We had the pork chops we found at Kroger with a side of some flavored rice and an ear of corn. Yummy. Later James peeled and pitted a couple of the peaches in the Magic Bullet and mixed it with the carbonated water. It was good, but it's still never going to make me a soda fan.

Hey, did you know BBC Radio did a Dixon of Dock Green radio series just recently that co-starred David Tennant? This was a long-running series about a "beat cop" in a a small community. The new radio version is  still going right now on BBC4X.

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