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.


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» Tuesday, April 30, 2013
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, APRIL 30, 2013

Outside my window...
...still quite dark and cloudy, although it's supposed to clear up and get warm. I finally refilled the bird feeders last night and I see Mr. Cardinal perched awkwardly on one, chipping distractedly.

I am thinking...
...not much of anything as I get dressed. I am feeling a bit poorly this morning and have to get myself in gear to start working in a few minutes. I have an advertisement to compose and need to check the wording. It's quite important, as it is for something that helps with vaccine shipments.

I am thankful...
...that it's been not a bad April. The pine pollen lasted only a very short time and most of the month has been cool. The one drawback has been the rain, which seems to occur mainly during rush hour. Traffic has been berserk since it got a little warmed, and having "the Final Four" in town earlier in the year didn't help. Would that they really were final.

In the kitchen...
...nothing going on at all. James has to wait on a prescription at Kaiser tonight, so we are having quick and dirty Hormel beef tips over spaetzle, and a cucumber salad.

I am wearing...
...it's warm enough to be back to shorts: black tank top and shorts, and my purple and white scuffs. By the end of the day I will probably have to switch the A/C back on, since it will be in the 60s tonight and we won't be able to sleep.

I am creating...
...potential purchase orders. Lots more paperwork since the reorganization.

I am going...
...to give Schuyler's cage a scrub sometime this week. She and Willow are going for their checkups on Friday. Just going to make their day. Willow has a lump on her right hind leg, on her knee, and we need to have that looked at, too.

I am wondering...
...when our new bed is going to show up! We got a call to tell us it was shipping, and now I haven't heard anything further. [Later: I called. They are arranging things with their delivery company and he is hoping to have someone here on Thursday.]

I am reading...
...Susannah Charleson's new book about training therapy dogs (which is just as engrossing as her Scent of the Missing, about the training of her search-and-rescue dog Puzzle), and the Daisy Dalrymple mystery Murder and Mistletoe.

I am hoping...
...the bed will improve my sleep. I'm starting to have pain in my hips because the bed is so firm, but still need the back support, so a soft bed will not do.

I am looking forward to...
...as it's spring, not much coming up until fall! I'm always looking forward to fall! (Okay, Timegate. I've seen Tom Baker and Jon Pertwee and Patrick Troughton (the day before he passed away!) and Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy, but have never seen Colin Baker. And of course DragonCon, but that's September and there's other problems with September.)

I am learning...
...no time for that while I'm working. When I get home/finish I am tired and my eyes always hurt. After I retire I would love to take a class on how to put together a proper gift bag. Would love to take a photography class.

Around the house...
...cool and quiet right now. I have had to turn down the ceiling fan for now, even though it is 69°F in the house. I always worry about Schuyler getting a draft. I'll probably put it on in a hour or so.

I am pondering...
...sleep. But must ponder work instead.

A favorite quote for today...
"Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet." . . . . . Roger Miller
When you commute, you just get wet. And fear for your life on the freeway.

One of my favorite things...
...on last night: Castle, which was a "clip show" (or as I've heard them called, "bread and butter shows," because they help a series' budget). We found out Captain Gates has indeed been paying attention. LOL. The very best "bread and butter" episode I ever saw was "The Trial of Phineas Bogg" on Voyagers!, which told a good story, introduced a new villain, showed a multitude of clips, and otherwise only had two sets.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Trucking the critters to the vet. [And maybe a mattress.]

A peek into my day...
The one picture I'd love to show I didn't have a camera to get: there was a mockingbird eating out of the feeder last night. You almost never see a mockingbird on a bird feeder. Instead, here's Mr. Wren sitting on James' anemometer singing his little heart out.




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

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Flourish

» Sunday, April 28, 2013
Spring Has Two Faces

You couldn't have found a nicer Saturday morning. Of course it was cloudy, but cool, the clouds meant no sun getting in your eyes, and, despite the threat of rain, not a drop fell. Of course. James had to work. :-)

Yeah, I took the opportunity to sleep some, then swallowed my oatmeal and yogurt, left the television on for Schuyler, and headed out on my errands. But first I made a really quick stop at the Jonquil Festival to see if it was worth coming back on Sunday when it surely would rain. I got there so early the library didn't even have their books out yet. It looked like the usual vendors. The Button Girl was back, but I didn't see that she had any Doctor Who or Sherlock items this year. I wonder if the BBC got after her. I didn't see the "shrug lady" this time I should have bought one when I had the chance. (I don't know how to describe this item. The Vermont Country Store used to sell them and called them "shrugs." It's basically two sleeves joined at the shoulders with a strip, something for you to toss on quickly and use when you just need a quick wrap.)

My main errand was to pick up all our dress clothing at the cleaner. Admiral Cleaners is on one end of the shopping center, with a Dollar General at the other end, so I stopped at the Dollar first. This is a nice one that usually has an excellent selection. I picked up several things, including a new pair of scrub pants (these are great for lounging around in between sweatshirt season and shorts season) and a dollar book about obscure words.

Breathed a sigh of relief after the cleaner as it didn't cost as much as I feared. Then I treated myself and went to Book Nook. Yes, I found more books: one about idioms and another about book collecting. And a gift for James.

I'd intended to stop at Sam's, but the parking lot itself was so crowded I didn't want to stop. Instead I headed down Cobb Parkway to Office Depot. I just wanted a couple of sets of bookends, but I'm afraid I've never lost my affection for wandering about stationery stores. As a kid I wandered the stationery aisles of Thalls and Douglas Drugs, Newberrys and Woolworths, and E.L. Freeman stationers in happy reverie. I did get the bookends, plus some nifty gadgets that I plan to use for gifts.

I also popped into Michaels for some Command hooks and Aldi for milk, and then was finally home, where I spent the afternoon and later in the evening finally doing something I've been intending to for ages: cross stitching. I'm still working on my autumn leaf pattern.

We had a Fresh2Order coupon, so had supper there and then walked the mall for some post-prandial exercise. No books, no media, no drugstore, no games, and now no Radio Shack. Yet another reason not to go to the mall.

Had a nice Sunday sleep, but woke to a relentlessly grey day, rain already steadily falling. After breakfast we went to Kroger. I'm getting really tired of only seeing green bananas! We found some nice boneless skinless chicken thighs for supper [James made them with teriyaki sauce and they were delicious] and have a quick dinner lined up for tomorrow night as well. Then just to cheer ourselves up we went to Barnes & Noble. We both found a history book and James got the newest "Good Food."

We've had The Sarah Jane Adventures, season three, sitting around from Netflix for ages—since February, it says in our queue list!—so we spent the late afternoon watching the three stories on the first disk. The Judoon serial was okay, but I quite liked "The Mad Woman in the Attic" and "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith," the latter which featured David Tennant as the Doctor. Oddly, or perhaps not so oddly, all three stories had a theme about loneliness. Was this a running theme of the third season? I guess we'll find out when the second disk arrives.

Later we watched a lovely GPB special about raptors, Call the Midwife, and finally Mr. Selfridge.

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Flourish

» Friday, April 26, 2013
Food and Frustration

If I hadn't gotten things done today, I'd be utterly pissed. The woman at TruGreen assured me on Tuesday that someone would be here on Friday, and they called yesterday to say they'd be coming. Northwest Exterminating also called to say that they'd be coming today.

Neither of them showed, which is normal for TruGreen but downright weird for Northwest. James says that's TruGreen's last chance. Bother. Now we have to find someone else.

I wonder what happened to Northwest, though?

Meantime I was tied to the house all day, which left me fit to be tied. I did finish shelving the books piled up downstairs, although some shelves will need some major reshifting later on. I tidied a few things in my craft room, sorted out some magazines, put up some things in the kitchen and dining room, made the bed, indexed some cross-stitch magazines and cleared off some old floppy disks, and finished Nicola Upson's Two for Sorrow. But I couldn't finish vacuuming because I was afraid I would miss the doorbell. When the doorbell did ring, it turned out to be UPS, delivering James' order of vegetable flakes from Amazon.

And I never did get to go to the cleaners; now I'll have to go tomorrow. Bother.

For supper James and I went to Stevie B's for the first time. This is a pizza buffet like Cici's, but, based on our experience, much better! We could get a senior rate, and had a coupon, which made dinner about $10. They make you custom pizzas, so I ordered bacon and black olive with no cheese without a twitch of the eye from anyone. Their crust is delicious. Although it was a thick crust it was also crispy, not exceedingly doughy, light, and tender rather than tough. I've always been the one who liked the crust better than the pizza, and I was impressed. Must come back. Also had a slice of their "loaded baked potato," which was yummy.

We had coupons, so went by Barnes & Noble at Town Center. I found a likely-looking anthology called Queen Victoria's Spell Book, a collection of "gaslamp fantasies." We emerged from the store just as the sun was setting, and drove home through Kennesaw National Battlefield Park and Kennesaw Avenue, just as the lights were going on along the streets and in the homes, with the crickets singing a nighttime accompaniment. It's so funny: all of the Kennesaw Avenue homes have lovely verandahs with plush chairs and lamps lit on them, and on a sweetly-scented, cool night like tonight, no one was sitting outside. I would  have been out there with a little throw for my shoulders and a book! We drove through downtown Marietta unimpeded, despite the first "Concert on the Square" of the year, the country tunes drowning out the nightbirds calling from every corner, and took a small detour through an older, working class neighborhood to get to Baskin-Robbins for some dessert. Again, several smaller porches with lamps and comfy chairs, but no one out, not even any kids. Gosh, what a difference from when we were younger; we'd be outside playing with our friends even when the streetlights came up, until our mothers shouted at us to come in.

Came home and watched the first two installments of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. So far it's not bad, although Essie Davis seems a bit old for Phryne, and they've added a continuing backstory: Phryne has returned to Australia to keep her eye on and talk to an incarcerated pedophile whom she believes was responsible for the disappearance of her sister Jane. The first two tales are based on  the first and third book, and, because it's only an hour timeslot, the stories have been rather simplified. I think I would like the series better if I hadn't read the books first and gotten involved in the complex plots and characters as portrayed in the pages. I do love the actress playing "Dot," Phryne's personal maid, though; she's sweet and adorable.

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Flourish

» Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, APRIL 23, 2013

Outside my window...
...as Corporal Klinger once said, "It's spring, sir!" I can see lots of leaves, but no birdies today because I haven't filled the feeders. Every time I think of it, it's about to rain.

I am thinking...
...I would have liked winter to last a little longer. I guess I should move to Minneapolis or Denver, right? LOL.

I am thankful...
...for things starting to settle down at work. I was really getting dismayed at the delay in getting work done.

In the kitchen...
...the leftover barbecue pork is gone. We had it for supper with our "Smack Yo' Mama" barbecue sauces. If you mix "Sweet Georgia Brown" with "Big Kahuna," you get a pretty nice flavor.

I am wearing...
...blue "Mutts" pajamas and tan socks. The usual until it gets really warm.

I am creating...
...relaxation. Had some things going today at work, was frustrated by having to make a call to the Georgia Department of Revenue (the Post Awful returned our $15 check) and no one answered the phone, and made yet another attempt with TruGreen (she swears this time the tech will always be warned to ring the doorbell).

I am going...
...to be stuck at home on Saturday, I see! It looks like it's going to pour. Hopefully it will stay dry for TruGreen to come on Friday. The back yard is full of weeds because the yutzes either don't call before they come, or don't ring the doorbell when they do come.

I am wondering...
...already thinking about vacation this year, but it's so far, far away right now. And there's something else I'd like to accomplish before that.

I am reading...
...just finished Tasha Alexander's A Crimson Warning, while still working on Bird Sense, the Louis Agassiz biography and The Great War, not to mention The Victorians and the dog book...trouble is, there are so many other books calling me right now.

I am hoping...
...our new bed is delivered soon! They're supposed to call this week.

I am looking forward to...
...well, the new bed. And a bit afraid, too. This bed is very firm and I love it, but it's almost too firm. The memory foam we picked is firm, but not as hard as we have now. So I'm hoping we get good support from it. 

Around the house...
...we're watching Storage Wars. Schuyler is tossing one of her bells around. It's her birthday today. She's had a grape and a chance to sing to the radio.

I am pondering...
...Schuyler. In six years I haven't been able to figure her out. She wants attention, but won't sit on my finger. She did while she had the conjunctivitis, but only because the vet had clipped her wings and she couldn't go far. Yet she'll beg for oatmeal, wants to nibble on my shirts, isn't afraid to travel...she's such a curiosity!

A favorite quote for today...
"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." . . . Henry Ford
 
One of my favorite things...
...sleep. I'll be doing that in an hour.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Well, TruGreen is supposed to be here on Friday. Supposed being the operative word. Maybe the bed. James has to work Saturday. And this weekend is the Jonquil Festival.

A peek into my day...
The birthday girl, of course! Age six...





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

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Flourish

» Sunday, April 21, 2013
$10 Lunches, Outsmarting Windows, and Other Sunday Stories

It went down to the 40s last night and was heavenly for sleeping. We stayed snuggled up in bed until ten, when Willow's whimpers became audible and James got up to walk her. I followed a few minutes later.

We had a leisurely breakfast and, about noon, headed down to Ikea, another place we hadn't been in ages. It was another sunny day, but with wispy clouds pillowing half the sky. Before we actually got down to the freeway, we stopped at Kroger to pick up James' prescriptions, some boullion, and a newspaper, and to get some gasoline.

Ikea was pretty crowded when we arrived—we had to park on the second level—but there was no line at the Ikea cafeteria when we arrived. Since I'd just eaten, I wasn't all that hungry, and I noticed the combo meatball deal, which was $6. You got fifteen meatballs, some mashed potatoes, and lingionberry sauce, soup or a salad, and a drink. So James ate the meatballs and had the drink (I only have water at restaurants), and I had the soup, and we split a piece of their chocolate cake.

We had a nice walk at Ikea; they set up a meandering path so that  you see everything they have on display (and get good exercise to boot). A lot of our favorite things aren't made by Ikea anymore: I think they've gotten rid of the entire Leksvik line (our bed, our china cabinet, among others), and they don't make those lovely wooden shelves like we have in our bedroom and in the laundry room. A keen pair of corner desks were also on clearance. We drooled over the kitchens as always, especially the deep "farmhouse sinks."

In the end we only bought a crepe pan (James wants it for making grilled cheese sandwiches) and two of their 99¢ clocks. I just want one for the laundry room, and there's a spare, too.

On the way home we stopped at Publix for some "plastic cheese," as James calls it, and a few more granola bars (they'd been out when I checked on Friday), and then we were finally home. After putting things up and changing, I decided to mess with the computer again. First, just in case it was suddenly the wireless mouse that was messing things up, I disconnected it and used a regular wired mouse. This was not the problem. So I connected the HDMI again, and got into Windows. This time I was allowed to load the newest version of VLC, 2.0.6, but that didn't help with the full-screen problem. However, I noticed when I right-clicked on the VLC icon, Windows had a troubleshooting icon. It couldn't hurt. It asked me a series of questions, including "what was the last version of Windows where it properly worked"? Well, it worked with Windows 7 a week or two ago, but that wasn't one of the choices. However, it works perfectly well on Windows XP on my desktop, so I said "Windows XP, Service Pack 3," I guess it did its emulator thing.

And now it works properly!

Too bizarre.

Spent what was left of the afternoon, as it was after 3:30 when we got home, watching various things I'd found on YouTube: the "Medicine Ball" episode of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, "The War Between Men and Women" from My World and Welcome to It, and the episode "High Tension" from Lassie. Supper was roast lamb and saffron rice, and then it was on to Call the Midwife and a very melancholy episode about a woman's inability to accept her baby's spina bifida, followed by the fourth episode of Mr. Selfridge.

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Flourish

» Saturday, April 20, 2013
From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

We woke to a different world this morning.

After it being in the 70s and 80s all week, a cold front swept through yesterday. Six in the morning was much warmer than noon, and that was much warmer than 3:30. By the time I headed for home the rain that had proceeded the front had stopped and it was a bit chilly in short sleeves. I took advantage of it being cool again to toss some old boxes out of the garage and into the trash.

It had been an annoying week. When I was dancing Saturday and fell off my shoe, I never hit the ground, but managed to somehow wrench my right hip. I've pretty much limped around all week, and during the night Wednesday (early morning Thursday) I was sick during the night. This was horrible because I had to drive in for a meeting on Thursday about certain funds we have to be careful using. I was tired and a bit light-headed, especially after I went outside to open the gate for Alex to cut the lawn and he showed me the snake he'd beheaded with the weed-eater. I almost lost my breakfast. Ugh!

So the cool upon waking on Saturday—along with the sunny sky—was quite welcome. We got up at eight and went to the Farmers Market, and had to wear jackets. We bought chicken salad, goat cheese, scallions, and dog biscuits, and watched the tumult going on in the square: a big rally for Multiple Sclerosis. Wonder if they mentioned Annette. Saw a Weimaraner puppy being greeted by the big greyhounds that represent greyhound rescue. He immediately rolled over on his back to be properly submissive in the presence of these older dogs, as canine etiquette decrees. Too cute.

This morning after putting away the few things we bought, I nursed the headache I woke up with (and boy, could I have lain down longer than fifteen minutes), and then we did some cleaning up in our bedroom, getting rid of some stuffed animals, and rearranging the top of the chiffarobe. All the stuffed animals had to be dusted first, which took a while; I used the vacuum cleaner to get them really clean. We put the shoe cubby that was atop the chiffarobe into the closet and put shoes in it! (I know! Novelty, what?) Only kept a few of the Webkinz; we have a bunch to donate, but don't know where. James said he heard of a place where they give stuffed animals to kids who have been burned out of their homes, but we don't know what that charity is or how to contact it. If anyone knows, please contact us!

Once the dusting and the vacuuming was done, we took some things (mostly junk that had collected at my old desk at work) to Goodwill, had lunch at Williamson Brothers barbecue (I ordered the all-meat pork platter because I'd had an apple turnover for breakfast; the plate was huge—we brought ¾ of it home to use for a dinner), and then dropped all our wedding clothing off at the cleaners. (I don't want to think about the bill with two suit jackets and the kilt in there. Bonus: lady at cleaners was Scottish and recognized its importance!) We stopped at Bruster's for a treat and I had chocolate-chip coffee yogurt. It was quite yummy.

Our physical treat for the afternoon was going to Fry's. We hadn't been there in ages. Traffic was a bit annoying from Roswell through Alpharetta, but otherwise it was a nice ride, very sunny but cool. We drove there while listening to the latest episode of "The Splendid Table," which included Lidia Bastianich talking about cooking dishes from Apulia. Plus there was a funny bit in the parking lot: a car marked "Just Married." I guess real geeks go to Fry's on their honeymoon!

We were there a couple of hours. We'd planned to just buy a power strip, and came home with a bunch of other items, including lots of DVDs! We found the Blu-Ray anniversary edition of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a $7 Battle of the Bulge, The Artist on sale for $10, and a $5 copy of two Nature bird episodes, one about hummingbirds, and "Parrots in the Land of Oz," which will probably drive Schuyler crazy. James also got a film called The War Lover, which he says has real B17s in it, and I found two complete series, last year's Pan Am, which we enjoyed, and an animated series called Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century, Jason Gray-Stanford is the voice of Holmes, which boggles the mind: it's Randy Disher from Monk!

We had a nice drive home (traffic had lessened a bit), and were enthusiastically greeted by Willow (but that followed because we were carrying those pork leftovers—we even brought half the $4 riblet "appetizer" [full meal size] home!). I spent the evening fussing over the little computer that is attached to the television. I'd bought an HDMI cable for it and hitched it up. All of a sudden the .mkv (?) files that I had of the recent Doctor Who stories would not play properly in VLC, although "The Snowmen" played fine last time we used it. Nothing will play full screen on VLC any longer; it just locks up and you have to CTL-ALT-DEL to get out of it. Stuff plays on Windows Media Player in .mp4 format, but if you put the mouse pointer anywhere near the video itself as it plays, it sputters and stammers. I thought it was the HDMI cable and immediately retrofit it with the PC connection as before, but there is no change. It is so disappointing! I can't imagine what's happened. I even uninstalled the old version of VLC and downloaded the new, only to have the installation abort. I finally had to quit and reinstall the old version. That didn't help at all.

At least we are all caught up with Doctor Who, but the evening was very, very aggravating for me. James had a better time of it; he bought a $13 rice cooker/steamer at Fry's as well. He was so itching to try it out he did, and made some rice, and then steamed some carrots. The rice was beautifully done with some tooth still left in it and the carrots were soft and sweet. We really do need to get that additional shelf up in the kitchen now; we definitely have too many appliances for our small counter space!

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Flourish

» Sunday, April 14, 2013
Rainy Day Comin' Home Blues

Boy, I hate "second verse, same as the first." I thought I would sleep like I was poleaxed I was so tired last night, but after sleeping well for a while, it was a repeat of Friday night: turn over and wake up, turn over and wake up...gah.

We'd talked about having breakfast, finishing packing, then running to the Macon Barnes & Noble since we had coupons, and checking out at noon. Seeing that a rainstorm was about to chase us up the interstate, we cut out the B&N trip. We loaded the crate and the tray first, and left Willow leashed to the bathroom door handle while we brought out the suitcase, animal bag, James' C-PAP, and the leftover goodies from the wedding to the car. She was very good and did not whine or bark (or leave a puddle on the vinyl floor). Schuyler was swathed in both her sunshade and her regular flannel cage cover since it was in the 50s and damp out, and complained mightily about it.

On the way home we listened to the second and then last episode of the 1936-set Scarifyers radio serial "The Nazad Conspiracy." Friday we had left Detective Inspector Lionheart (played straight but with some humor by Nicholas Courtney, so long Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart on Doctor Who) taking the place of bookish Professor Edward Dunning (Terry Molloy) in a highly illegal duel with a pompous British colonel. This eventually got to the real plot—with some very tongue-in-cheek scenes, including their portrayal of Alisteir Crowley, the avowed Satanist, as a humorous flake—a plot to resurrect Grigori Rasputin. We both nearly died laughing when Lionheart barked to a police associate, "Chap with fangs, five rounds rapid!", parodying his classic Doctor Who line. Courtney says the line with great relish, too! We also listened to a Radio 4 documentary called The Communist Cosmos about the Russian end of the space race. They chatted with several Soviet cosmonauts, including the woman who was supposed to be third into space.

We briefly stopped at the flea market at exit 221, but I did not find the vendor nor the item I was looking for. It was quite crowded, too, with vendors out in the parking lot, too. What I did find is that the fall I took off those dratted "girly shoes' last night has left me with a major pain in the right hip. It's hard to move when I get up, and I've been limping pretty badly all day. My foot, where I scraped it on the straps, also hurts on the right side. James is having trouble with his knees. We are just out of practice for dancing! Had to stop at University Avenue for a couple of gallons of gasoline, too, since we completely forgot about filling up in the process of packing the car!

We were whacked when we got home and we still couldn't rest after getting the critters back in place and the car unpacked: we had to go to Kroger and finish the shopping, which was mercifully short, and fill up the car. We tried to combine business with pleasure by also finally going to Barnes & Noble, but we were both so tired it wasn't much fun. I did pick up a cozy mystery and a remainder book.

Washed some clothes when we were "in for good," and both had something hot and quick for supper: me chicken soup from Kroger and James some chili over the little potatoes we brought home from the wedding. We have a huge container of fruit and a few of the yummy egg rolls and crab rangoon (the crab rangoon actually tastes like crab, rather than the sweet cream you get at Chinese restaurants).

Oh, and something funny: I was eating the soup and Schuyler was begging for it! Now Sylvester loved turkey, and Merlin was crazy about pork chops, and Bandit and Pigwidgeon took occasional people-food samples, but Skye has never asked for anything except for oatmeal. Well, she was going nuts bouncing up and down when she saw my soup bowl. So I offered her a spoonful and she quite guzzled it down and asked for more. Hope it won't upset her tummy, but she was so funny!

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Flourish

» Saturday, April 13, 2013
Make Do and Party On

I know I've been eating lower sugar oatmeal a while now. They had packet oatmeal at the hotel breakfast this morning and I picked the maple and brown sugar. It was much too sweet. Nice variety of breakfast things, and juices and milk.

All the dog show people were gone by the time we left the hotel. James was disgusted at them. He managed to get Willow, at fifteen starting to have bladder problems, outside with no accident, yet their were puddles all over the hotel foyer, and it didn't look like one owner had cleaned up after their pet! No wonder pet-friendly hotels have such bad reputations! Clean up after your dogs, folks! Bad humans; no cookie.

We sorta had a mission this morning. We'd remembered all our dress clothing, but not the accessories: James didn't have his kilt pin or a tie tack, and I'd forgotten a necklace. We stopped by Walmart. Walmart does not sell tie tacks. That figures. We stopped at a flea market thinking they might have some old jewelry. Nope, just that awful new stuff with the gold like brass and the silver like chrome. Trifari and Coro would have been ashamed to make such crap. Even though they only made costume jewelry, it was good costume jewelry, for ladies and gentlemen, not for pimps and whores. One huge necklace had a rhinestone-decorated hitman on it. Seriously.

So first we drove downtown to check out the venue for tonight, then headed from Macon to Warner Robins. I knew the Air Museum had pins. Not quite a tie tack, but James got a pewter bomber that will do. Then we went to visit his dad at the cemetery. Yesterday at Michaels I had bought a little pot of artificial daisies and some small American flags. I stuck one in the pot of daisies and we put another in the bouquet urn. It was nice there. The sky was still a nice blue and covered in mares tails. Everything was green and pretty, and the wind chimes hung in the tree near Dad's grave sang sweetly. The only problem was the gnats. They covered my arms and hat by the time we left.

So I had this scathingly brilliant idea: we went to Michaels. James bought some pin backs and a largish anchor pendant. I bought a crystal heart, some silver chain, and some spring rings and links. And as we waited for lunch at IHOP, with the help of James' multitool, I constructed a nice necklace, and James fastened his anchor on a pin back, and he had a kilt pin.

On the way back to the hotel I asked James to stop at CVS so I could buy some makeup. I hit the jackpot: they had three sets of my favorite barrettes, which I can't find at home anymore. I bought all three.

We spent the rest of the afternoon cleaning up and getting into our fancy togs. Immediately one of my new "girly shoes" started rubbing against my big toe. I didn't end up with a blister, but it was really close.

At five, with James in his kilt and his new tweed jacket, and me in my new cerise ombre top and swirly black skirt (and the girly shoes), were off to downtown Macon. The wedding was at a place called the Blacksmith Shop (it was, once; they had photos in the back) with a lovely front courtyard full of twinkly-lighted trees, some bushes, and a little fountain. The wedding was held in the courtyard, with the wedding party marching in from the gates, and then the party moved inside. There was talk, and lovely hors d'ouvres followed by a killer buffet, really delicious mango lemonade, and then the deejay started up and our niece Nicki, who's a dancin' fool (well, she used to teach Zumba) and Sabra (James' youngest sister, the bride) started up the dancing. Sa got James out on the dance floor, and then I did, and by the end of the night we were dancing away with the rest of them. My knees are already telling me I've been a bad, bad girl.

We were there until ten, when we figured poor Willow would be tying her back legs in knots, and, taking a bunch of leftover fruit and cupcakes, we both limped back to the car and drove back to our hotel. And here we are, undressed and comfy again, online, on chat, with Schuyler singing us a happy song.

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» Friday, April 12, 2013
"There's Gonna Be a Wedding"

Well, it was a long morning and a short one all at once. We slept late, then had to spend the rest of the morning finishing packing and getting all those myriad trip prep stuff.

I'd taken yesterday afternoon off hoping to do some of it then, but the most we got done was to start the packing and I washed some clothes.  I did go out to return my library books, get milk and fill the car with gasoline, and stop at Publix to get a few things. Had goat cheese for lunch with some great garlic and chive crackers from Aldi. When James came home, we ate supper and then went to get me some cash, which I forgot to do at Publix, but I was racing the rain home.

We had a real gullywasher of a rain  last night, which I hope will get the pine pollen out of the air. The car looks like it has a  horrible disease, since it got rained on enough to turn pine pollen powder into pine powder blotches. Twi needs a good vetting anyway, a tune-up and a vist to the car wash, and his A/C inspected; it runs fine when the car is moving, but tends to warm up at idle.

So back to today: finally it was time to leave and we stuffed first the dog crate and the bird's tray in the car, then the suitcase and the C-PAP machine and the animals' bag, and then the wedding gift and Mom's belated birthday gift, then got Schuyler's cage belted in, and finally put Willow in the car. We dropped off the check for the $15 we owe the state into the mail--holy cow, where did that rotary on West Street come from--and got on the road. Wil whined a bit, but Schuyler sang for a while, especially after I put the phone on. I played "The Reunion--Doctor Who," which aired on BBC Radio 4 last weekend. William Russell (Ian), Carol Ann Ford (Susan), and Peter Purves (Steven) were interviewed along with the actor who played the first Who villain and one of the directors. It was a lovely piece; my favorite bit of dialog was them talking about how old and small the studio was in those days: "The cameras were bigger than the Daleks!" Too funny. Also part one of "The Nazad Conspiracy," the first episode in the Scarifyers radio series with Nicholas Courtney, who played the Brigadier onWho.

We arrived at the La Quinta in Macon a little after three. There is a dog show in the area and lots of dogs at the hotel. We are upstairs, but, alas, unlike the Staybridge, the windows don't open. We got the animals set up, then brought in the luggage, and then went in search of "tea" to tied us over to dinner. We drove down to Warner Robins and had a bowl of soup at Panera, then went to his mom's house, but no one was home, so we hung around at Books-a-Million for a while--I found the new Doctor Who FAQ book there! We also stopped next door at Michaels to get a little potted plant for James' dad's grave.

We had supper with Anne and Clay at Longhorn, sharing a Chocolate Stampede among the four of us for dessert, talking of work, conventions, books, etc. It was a blast. Then we stopped briefly back at Mom's house to say hi to everyone before heading back to the La Quinta to take Wil out for her walk and talk to Schuyler. She was singing so when James was sitting next to her! Willow knows the crate covered in the big soft towel is hers and she is lying in there half asleep, with her head pillowed on one of James' old shirts, on top of a fleece and another towel.

Tomorrow we will bum around Macon some and then come back to the hotel to iron our clothes and get dressed for the wedding. James' youngest sister is getting married tomorrow!

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» Friday, April 05, 2013
Wow, How Did That Happen?
So after we both finished work tonight, we decided to try out Zoë's Kitchen, the new Mediterranean restaurant near Bed, Bath & Beyond. We both had steak wraps (only James had cheese with his), which were good if a trifle peppery for my taste, but then one grain of pepper is one too much for me! It came with a yogurt-like dipping sauce that cut the pepper, which I appreciated. The side dish, rice pilaf, was quite good as well. We'll be back.

James had a $75 gift certificate to Men's Wearhouse that expires on Sunday, so we went across the street to see if we could find something. He bought a nice green shirt, a shade between sage green and mint green, to wear to his sister's wedding. The computers died when he went to check out and it seems like it took us forever to get out of there. Sometimes I miss manual cash registers!

I also have a coupon, to Lane Bryant/Catherine's, and wanted to check out if they had anything nice in my size for the wedding, so we nipped over to Cumberland Mall, only to find the Lane Bryant there is closed, replaced by some big clothing store called XXI. Again, mostly stuff for younger folks.

There's a Payless shoe store on that level, and, just on a whim, I wandered in. Shoe shopping is always such an ordeal for me, and I didn't have the correct socks on, but this was a strong whim. First I had to search for shoes my size, which were hidden next to the kids' sizes! I looked at slipper-type shoes, but I didn't like at all how they fit, and oh, how they hurt! Don't they make shoes with arch supports anymore? Plus they had awful, hard shoes with that dreadful thong that goes between your big toe and the next one. Ugh. I've hated those since I was a kid; they'd always make big blisters between my toes. They also had one pair of traditional pumps that looked like they were right out of an episode of Mad Men. Didn't want those, either.

But in with the 6 1/2s I found a wedge-heel type shoe with a criss-cross type front that was a stretch elastic under a patent leather (well, plastic these days) strap. I tried them on, and...well, they weren't half bad, but were too big, even with my bulky white socks. So I found some in a 6, and those fit even better. I think when I have the proper socks on, they will be fine. I wouldn't want to wear them all day, and I'm going to have to walk carefully because they are strapless in the back, but I think I can manage through the few hours of a wedding party.

And then, because they were having a buy-one, get-another-item-half-off sale, I looked around and found a cute little silver purse on a long chain. It will be fine for me to put my phone and my wallet in for the wedding.

And this took less than twenty minutes. I was not only aghast, I was agog.

So if last night you saw the ghost of an older woman walking around looking astonished, don't worry, because it was only my mom wandering around in shock from my voluntarily buying shoes without whining.

We walked the length of the mall, too, and bought a pretty wedding card (and I had a Hallmark coupon to do it with!).

But...wow. Shoes. Wonders will never cease.

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» Thursday, April 04, 2013
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, APRIL 4, 2013

Outside my window...
...still cloudy at the moment; it rained most of the day, and for April in Georgia, bitterly cold (in the 40s otherwise...LOL). The birds are quarreling over the feeder, and I notice that Mr. Goldfinch is about halfway through his spring molt. Where his feathers have changed he is quite startlingly yellow!

I am thinking...
...I wish I could go back to sleep. On a cloudy, damp, rainy day, the dimness of the spare room is soooo tempting. Soft futon, soft pillows, soft fleece blanket. Oh, my.

I am thankful...
...for evening, and the day's work being done. I despair of getting anything finished. Everyone wants everything now. And a bunch of things are so far behind already.

In the kitchen...
...it's quiet. I cooked Tuesday. Once a week is enough!

I am wearing...
...my "soft kitty" grey t-shirt and "Mutts" green flannel pants with white socks and blue scuffs.

I am creating...
...purchase orders, I hope! Most of the day I spent resolving things via e-mail. My only phone call was spam.

I am going...
...to go looking for a blouse or something on Saturday. It's a dirty job, but I suppose I should, just to wear something brighter to Sabra's wedding. I don't count on finding anything, though, although I'd almost like to find something in a mint green.

I am wondering...
...if things will ever calm down at work. Oh, it's calm on the surface, but below that it's about to bubble up. I wish, I wish I had time to actually devote to things rather than having to rush from one thing to another. I have some things that have been hanging for a couple of weeks because all I've had thrown at me since then are things that are "just about to expire."

I am reading...
...Two for Sorrow, a Josephine Tey mystery by Nicola Upson; still in the middle of Walter Cronkite's war letters, a biography of Louis Agassiz, The Great War and Modern Memory, A World of Curiosities, and Baring-Gould's Sherlock Holmes bio.

I am hoping...
...to sleep late Saturday. That's all I want to do anymore. I wonder when our new mattress is coming!

I am looking forward to...
...Sabra's wedding, but not the weather for Sabra's wedding. It will probably be in the 70s that Saturday. Yuck! 

Around the house...
...James is lounging in his recliner, with Willow at his feet. I think she's finally figured out we are not going to feed her anything else. Schuyler is set on the sofa table in front of me. We're all watching North Woods Law, a reality show about Maine game wardens. There's a pile of books I want to review next to me, but I'm getting a headache from my glasses and am pretty miserable now.

I am pondering...
...retirement. But I don't have enough time or years yet.

A favorite quote for today...
"I had a wonderful dream...that I was asleep." . . . . . Hilary Booth

One of my favorite things...
...potstickers! We had them for supper tonight (boiled, not fried), with sweet corn, and a Cadbury chocolate-filled egg for dessert.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
More purchase orders. Making it home safely tomorrow. Shopping for clothes (yuck).

A peek into my day...
It's 9:30 p.m. and I'm too sleepy to mess with a photo and Paint Shop Pro. Just imagine the little birds fluttering around three long green bird feeders. There's the grey titmouse with his big black eyes, like a tiny owl with a cowlick. The impatient little sparrows in their natty stripes jockeying for one of the perches. The cute little brown-headed nuthatches creeping head first down the feeder to grab a safflower seed. The dapper chickadees flicking their heads and tails as they perch on the curved feeder supports. The dour cardinals who barely fit on the perches sit and chip disconsolately in the rain. On one feeder, the cowbirds, he in dull black with a chocolate brown head and her in nondescript brown, eat by themselves. Too bad the other birds don't know what they will pull during nesting season and chase them out of the neighborhood. Freeloaders!


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

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