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» Saturday, November 02, 2013Ticking Off the To-Do List
Today was made possible by yesterday, which was my work Friday as opposed to my compressed Friday off. I would have gladly swapped places with a day off Friday morning, as we had a cold front coming in. At 6:20 when I left the house it was dark, raining, and murky. The dividing lines on the freeway easily disappeared in the murk, the pelting rain, and the glare of the headlights, not to mention the abysmal drivers merging on I-85 northbound. Really, it rains in Atlanta and half the population's brains turn to mud. Yo! Be glad you aren't in Oregon!
The miserable rain combined with the front moving in gave me a killer sinus headache. At nine I gave up, took three ibuprofin, and went to the very back of the darkened break room for ten minutes to get some relief from the fluorescents. The ibuprofin didn't kick in until about ten, and by noon the headache was back; at lunch time I took two extra strength Tylenol and went in the car to nap, which killed the monster for good. It was a 180 from the morning, all blue and white and glowing sun, with a nice breeze, and normally I would have taken a walk, but between the fluorescent lights making me woozy and the headache, I wasn't feeling all too steady on my feet.
Drove home listening to "A Way With Words," and arrived home to discover (a) my book of Eric Knight's letters had come and (b) Willow had made a bit of a mess in the bathroom again. This time I got all my ducks in a row first, and managed to clean it all up, including rinsing the grass pad, in less than twenty minutes, by which time James was home. We ate at the West Cobb Diner (their turkey and dressing is almost as good as the Colonnade's), and, essential to getting things done this weekend, finished the shopping at both Publix and Kroger. Except for the leftover Hallowe'en bags, all the ghosts and goblins have been completely stripped from Publix and when you walk in there are rows of good things to eat for Thanksgiving and Christmas: baking supplies, canned side dishes, candies, fruitcake, gravies, orderly blocks of color that prelude the holidays.
Today we had to take Willow to the vet for another cortisol blood test. In order for them to draw blood for her around ten o'clock, I had to set my alarm for six so she could have her pill four hours before the test.
You should have seen it. We had prepped the pill in the Pill Pocket last night and had it in a snack bag, so all I had to do was shut the alarm, pad into the hall and get the pill, and give it to Willow. Of course she was asleep. "Willow! Cookie!" Blink. "Come have a cookie, Willow." Snuffle. "Cookie, Willow!" She stretched and came out of her crate, looking drowsy, sniffing. Then she gravely took the Pill Pocket and devoured it. I said "Go back to sleep, Willow. Good night," and disappeared back into the bedroom, leaving her blinking at me. I expect if she could talk she would have said, when the real alarm went off, "Mommy, I had the weirdest dream. You woke me up and gave me a cookie. It was so real I could taste the cookie."
I just wish I'd gone back to sleep like Willow. Alas, it was only a half-asleep snuggle under warm blanket, as the cold front had finally arrived—hurrah!
Anyway, we took her to the Farmer's Market with us and she attracted several small children, not to mention several adults. :-) We bought chicken salad, cucumbers, two baking potates, grape tomatoes, dog biscuits, a pot roast pot pie for Sunday supper, and, as a very extravagant treat, some locally made chocolate, a bar of 62 percent cacao. The guy apparently goes to South American and buys the cocoa beans directly from the cocoa farm.
I also fell in love with a young maple tree that one of the nursery vendors was selling. The leaves were such a brilliant red; I should have taken a photo of it. Unfortunately this was not a sapling tree; it was already taller than James. We would have needed a professional to plant it. Lord, that was a pretty tree. I hated to leave it.
Next we took Willow out to Dunwoody. After abandoning her to her fate, we went to Panera for breakfast. Outstanding steel cut oats! Also had a plain bagel with cream cheese and some super hot chocolate which tasted more of chocolate than of sugar, which is a great rarity. James tried the pumpkin bagel with cheesecake cream cheese and enjoyed that.
We had a little over an hour to kill, so we went to Five Below. Stocked up on some dark chocolate, and found some Hanukkah paper, and I bought a blue pashmina, as I heard on a Rick Steves program that a pashmina was the most useful clothing item a woman can carry when traveling; it can be used as a head covering for churches/mosques, a scarf, a shoulder-shrug in overly air-conditioned buildings, a sash, etc. [We've had all the windows open and as the temperature dropped tonight, I tried it on. Works pretty well.]
We also went to Barnes & Noble and I quite happily picked up some magazines, including the Christmas "Just Cross Stitch," the November "Period Living" which had an article about decorating Sherlock Holmes-inspired rooms, an October "Best of British," the new "Blue Ridge Country" with autumn photographs, and "Christmas Cottage." Did get a look at Doctor Who: The Vault, another big, lovely 50th anniversary book. This one's sweet, full of memorabilia like "Radio Times" articles, official photographs, and some dandy color portraits of the Doctors. Yum! Noticed that, as a takeoff of the British Museum's History of the World in 100 Objects, there is now the Smithsonian's History of the United States in 101 Objects, and there's also a book based on Neil MacGregor's other Radio 4 series, Shakespeare's Restless World.
The vet called just as we were about to check out, and we ran next door to the Container Store to get James two more lunch containers before picking up the dog. Another $115.00 for another blood test, and that didn't count the medication and the Pill Pockets. Sigh. But it was a nice ride home; we kept spotting lovely autumn color. That hard freeze last week did all the trees a treat, as what was turning previously were dull colors. The frost brought out the brilliance and the results have been stunning: saffrons, golds, rich oranges, scarlet like the beautiful maple tree at the Farmer's Market, and even maroon shading to purple. It's not all the trees, and the oaks are particularly disappointing, but the rest are delightful.
When we got home, we took a bit of lunch and watched British football, which was on NBC (I had to go look up why Arsenal is called Arsenal; I was right and the team was originally founded in Woolwich, where the famous Woolwich Arsenal was), and then I helped James with a project. Last year after Christmas Publix did clear storage containers buy-one-get-one. We bought ten, and James started loading them with the models forming towers in the middle of his hobby room. He wanted to sort them by type of model, so it was taking him time, and he only got four filled. They've been sitting in the library all summer with the six other empty boxes, and a larger clear storage box we had removed from our bedroom closet. Now, it's about a month until I start decorating for Christmas, and I haven't been able to shelve any completed mystery novels because the boxes were in front of the bookshelves devoted to mysteries. So today we both went downstairs and James picked out models and I sorted them into boxes: prop planes in one (ended up as two), jets in one (ended up being three), ships in one, etc. Also sorted models in cardboard boxes into the clear boxes, and was able to make a box full of spaceships, real and fantasy, from a Saturn V to Serenity. As we got models off the floor, I vacuumed, and once each spot was done, we stacked boxes. We got rid of some empty product boxes and cleared out sprues and clips of decal paper off the floor, and now you can walk around and see the completed models on the shelves again. It worked out pretty well, too; we were done in two hours, just at suppertime. I had wings and James had Chinese, delivered to the door, and we ate and watched This Old House. We had the expensive chocolate bar for dessert. It was lovely, so smooth when it melted on your tongue like the finest dark chocolate pudding, but it's a treat we won't be indulging in again; the price is just too high.
Also watched the last two episodes of Elementary and this week's Father Brown with Mark Williams, and James went trucking downstairs to the "man cave." I tried watching both Spies of Warsaw and The Odd Couple II, but I found the former dull and the latter simply stupid, and finally gave up and put the BBC on. I'm listening to the Book of the Week, about a Canadian man who became an astronaut.