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cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
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» Sunday, March 30, 2014Just One More Store
Of course, since we did all the shopping Friday so as to have a free day, what did we do? Yeah, go shopping.
But first we slept late, and then took our time over breakfast. James was so tired yesterday evening I wanted to blow off the BJs trip, but I needed Chex mix for my lunches, and it was some place to walk around. We listened to "The Splendid Table" up and back, and I got lucky and found some SmartPop popcorn there as well.
We also checked out the new outlet mall two exits up from BJs; it opened in the fall and we've been avoiding it ever since. At this point it looks like we can avoid it permanently, since it appears to be, except for a Ghiradelli store, all clothing and shoes. We didn't walk through because the place was mobbed.
Made certain all my Sunday preparations were completed, and then we had supper: grilled lamb shanks, the potato and onion pirogis we purchased at BJs, and a cucumber salad. As we ate, we watched Father Brown (a mystery involving a murder at an asylum), and later the opening episode of the third series of Call the Midwife, and finally the new series of Mr. Selfridge.
» Friday, March 28, 2014Backing It All Up
Not only didn't want to get up this morning, but proved it by sleeping through my alarm saying "Time to get up, sir!" for forty-five minutes. And then I took three ibuprofin and went back under the covers for fifteen minutes.
My morning after breakfast was taken up shopping for twofers at Publix, and then I put only the perishables away before leaving to go up to Town Center before traffic got bad. Nothing in CD Warehouse (I should know better to expect a miracle and find a copy of Frozen, although I found Saving Mr. Banks last week), and then went to Barnes & Noble next door. Argh! March "Best of British" still not out. Bought two cross-stitch magazines instead, and then found a mystery set in gilded-age Newport. (The writer actually knows Rhode Island, too, unlike other writers I could name.) I also stopped at the Publix behind the B&N to snag some more oatmeal (the one near our house only had two left). I have to stock up because they don't do buy-one get-one on oatmeal during the summer (don't they think people eat oatmeal in summer?) and I have to make sure I have enough before then.
Finally I stopped at Office Max with a coupon to get some Post It tags for work, more bookends to sort out the library, and another little passport drive for a backup for my computer files. I keep forgetting to back up the videos I've been sent.
Tried to get through a few more surveys when I got home. These are so absurd sometimes, asking you if the brand made you feel "more important" or if you use a certain brand so that other people think well of you. What sort of sad person makes a "brand" represent them?
When James got home from work, we had supper at Panera, then went shopping for "exotic" groceries at the Cobb International Farmer's Market on Spring Road, which, back when we were in the apartment, was our old Winn Dixie. They have many Hispanic and Asian foods there, and we needed some black sauce, sweet soy, and sesame oil. The black sauce had done a bunk, but we found the rest.
And then that's what we went home to do: rest and whittle down a few things off the DVR.
» Monday, March 24, 2014Not Myself
I've been feeling pretty dispirited since Willow died, but it's a hard slog to fight it off. Friday was perhaps a nadir in the whole post-euthanasia depression: I had an order that had to get out on Friday and ended up getting out at 5:15 rather than 3:30 because I hadn't done a follow-up e-mail yesterday. I didn't mind for my own part—you make a mistake, you have to correct it—but someone else had to stay late on my account and that wasn't fair. Not to mention the poor car had to chug its way through 80 minutes of traffic rather than 40. James brought home chicken wings from Zaxby's for supper, which helped a lot.
Saturday we drank up sleep the way a thirsty man tosses back a beer. In the afternoon we went to JoAnn with a coupon, stopping to have brunch at Golden Corral. Interesting: this former "steak house" doesn't serve steak at lunch any longer, just hamburgers. I had bourbon chicken, pork ribs, and pot roast instead, with a nice side of peaches and mandarin oranges and some popcorn shrimp, and an amazingly delicious low-sugar blueberry pie. We picked up a few things in JoAnn, and also used some coupons at Michael's, and then I sat in the car reading while James ran into Hobbytown looking for "Sport Rocketry." Alas, no March "Best of British" yet at Barnes & Noble, and I used a coupon on Mary Roach's new book Gulp in paperback.
We came home for a light supper before driving up to Roswell to UUMAN, the Unitarian Universalist Metro Atlanta North church. Louis Robinson and some other musicians were appearing at their coffee house. I did have to laugh when Louis looked out over the audience and commented on how many people he saw from concerts in other places; he looked straight at us and said "My time travelers are even here!" (Because we always see him at panels at Timegate. He then proceeded to promote 221B Con...twice!) It was a lovely night. The sanctuary had great acoustics and the musicians did a nice variety of different styles: 30s-40s standards, blues, and at the end, rock, which James liked the best. I liked the old-fashioned things, of course, including "Pennies from Heaven," "Ain't Misbehavin'," and "I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face," which, perhaps oddly, perhaps not, brought Willow to mind and I had to fight down the tears.
Sunday was another sleep-in day, the usual Sunday chores of getting ready for Monday, and the usual trips to Publix and Kroger. We'd talked about going to the Home Show at the Galleria, but I woke up thinking I didn't want to go, and James voiced the same though a bit later. We didn't really need anything and he was afraid he'd be tempted into buying the pressure cooker we've seen previously. We don't have room for it and a big one such as he wants would be expensive. Instead we drove out to Hiram and strolled around their larger Michaels and also around Five Below. Petsmart, next door to Michaels, was doing adoptions, but it was cats only. On the way homeward we hopped from Walmart to Walmart until we found one with James' favorite deodorant, which we can find only at Wallyworld, and got BreatheRights at CVS before arriving home. We had chicken and sesame teriyaki noodles, and there was Cosmos to end the night.
As always Sunday night was a pain. I had four hours sleep and paid accordingly at work, sleeplessness usually engendering other problems. Nevertheless, I got a satisfactory amount of work done. I'm guessing my allergy kicked in after lunch, with a perfect storm of sneezes and coughing. Really, tell me why I'm supposed to look forward to spring!
» Sunday, March 16, 2014Rain on Sunday
Apparently all the rain fell while we were asleep. I wouldn't know, because by bedtime I had a sinus headache that felt like someone was drilling through the right side of my nose. It's amazing how lonnnnng little actions like covering the birdie, shutting the lights and computer, using the toilet, and taking a shower last when you're in pain. At least when I lay down the ibuprofin kicked in and I don't remember anything until it got light and was damp and warm enough for me to stick my arms out of the bedclothes to get them cool.
We'd listened to weather reports and it was supposed to pour rain all day, but while it was cloudy and gloomy I don't think we encountered any actual rain at all, but then we didn't go out until after three. First we had chores to get through. James got the ladder out and replaced both air intake filters. We covered up Snowy before doing the vent upstairs, but uncovered him before bringing the ladder downstairs so we could show him the ladder and he could see me climb on it. I want to show him that strange things will not always hurt him. James also replaced the blown-out bulb in the kitchen overhead light before taking the ladder downstairs, and got the dishwasher loaded.
I finished taking down the winter decorations (the porch and china cabinet were already cleared), packed them away, and put up the spring decorations. Then I sat down, pulled out all the receipts, and did the taxes, which took about an hour. I don't even bother itemizing things anymore, since our itemized deductions haven't been larger than the standard deduction for years.
Once I was done with that, we went out to Michaels, since there was a special coupon this afternoon: 20 percent off your entire purchase including sale items. I filled up with gasoline first, then we stopped at the QT for a newspaper, and then we finally ended up at our intended location. I picked up some items on sale and on clearance, and found a really great clearance item: a metal rack that has dividers in it to hold pens, paint brushes, glitter containers, etc. with two levels, about the size of a toaster. They had two and I bought two, not sure what I would do with the second. [When I got home, I noticed that you can remove the dividers. With them out, one of these makes a cool book rack for the hall bath.]
On the way home we stopped at a place we've noted a couple of times, Going Gear on Concord Road. This is a camping store that also has emergency gear. Small but impressively stocked store. Need to stop by at some point and get emergency blankets for the car.
Had steak and home-made fried rice for supper with a cucumber salad. We'd been talking about old bloopers we enjoyed, so I put on two blooper specials I recorded in the early 1980s, More TV's Censored Bloopers and TV's Censored Bloopers #3. Most of these still leave me roaring with laughter, especially the old news bloopers. There's Ron Howard's "never leave a car in drive!" and Tim Conway telling the elephant story (this is on YouTube) and Chad Everett muffing his lines with "luffingsnarf" every five minutes. Now watching the second part of the new Cosmos.
» Saturday, March 15, 2014Friends on Saturday
Hard to get up this morning!
We stopped at the Farmer's Market briefly this morning to get James some chicken salad and buy a dessert. The Capra Gia folks had two little white kids with them. They sniffed at hands and even tried to suck on fingers; they must be just weaned. Finally little Blue Collar was bored and lay down to sleep. Little Orange Collar didn't like this and kept pawing him to get up. Blue Collar held out for a good five minutes before just giving in and getting back to his feet. We had ample time to watch them because a train came ambling through town, separating us from the truck. It did speed up after a while, but it definitely was not highballing its way anywhere.
Then a pleasant ride through Villa Rica Road to the Butlers for a pleasant morning of conversation. Juanita was there, looking pale but on her feet (her C-Diff had recurred). We got an update on Lin's eye problem. John and Oreta brought shepherd's pie for lunch. And I had my spring hair trim.
We had to stop at Kroger on the way home (for the stuff we forgot last night) and then bring the stuff home to put away, and then we had a couple of hours to do something fun.
Well, we went to the bookstore, of course. No chance of finding a March "Best of British" yet, but James did get a "Good Food." I was actually looking for a magazine that the BBC was putting out called "Britain 1914," hoping Barnes & Noble might have it, but no luck on that. However, just perusing the "literature and essays" shelves, I found a book I had to have, coupon or no coupon: Fic: Why Fanfiction is Taking Over the World. Then I went to sit with James in the cafe for a while and enjoyed the jazz they were playing.
We had potlucks for supper and watched two specials on GPB, one about Britcoms and one about British costume drama. Not even one flash of a scene from Flambards. Booooo! Then we watched programs stacked up on the DVR: Too Cute with miniature poodle, Samoyed, and Chessy puppies; Flipping Boston, and This Old House with someone from Deadliest Catch on. Now watching The Incredible Dr. Pol.
» Friday, March 14, 2014Errands on Friday
Remember all those naps you didn't want to take as a kid? Me, too. I want to recall them. I liked the eight hours of sleep this morning.
After breakfast I mailed a package at the post office and then went through the covered bridge neighborhood. All the trees and bushes are in wild bloom: white Bradford pears like giant snowballs, pink cherries and plums, pink and white waxy magnolia blossoms, bright yellow forsythia spikes, waving daffodils in both yellow and white, and even touches of purple phlox at the edge of concrete walls. This trip there weren't any 7 1/2 foot tall trucks going through seven foot clearance.
There was no putting off the Walmart trip today. I needed shorts for hanging around the house in the summer, since my old ones were literally fraying, on my right leg where I pull them down to use the mouse. Lucked out and they already had shorts out. Also had to get the rug for the foyer: check! And more wild bird food—yay, they had finch food! The birds hate the Pennington "classic" mixture with the big coarse seeds. A couple of small things and I was outta there. While I was out I also detoured to Office Max and bought two sets of bookends.
Came home and took the winter decorations off the porch (::sigh::) and replaced them with the spring/summer things: grapevine wreath with purple flowers and a goldfinch and nest and bees, the basket with purple and blue flowers, and all the farm critters (cows and sheep). Put up the spring flag and that was done. Had started taking down the winter decorations in the dining room earlier and at least got everything down and put the year-round fall things back, and the St. Joseph's altar on the china cabinet. Replaced all the apple/cow decor in the kitchen as well.
Watched The New Lassie during lunch and did things here and there until James got home. We had supper at Ken's, picked up a new cylinder for the Soda Stream, stopped for James to use a coupon at World Market, and picked up a couple of things at Michaels before heading home, so I was able to add a "lime" to my St. Joseph's altar, and put a couple of artificial butterflies on the porch wreath and bouquet. Finally, since we were making a fruit salad for Hair Day, we went to Kroger and finished the shopping for the weekend. It's supposed to pour all day Sunday; sure don't want to do the grocery shopping in that.
» Sunday, March 09, 2014Spring is Icumen In
Always feel disoriented that first morning of Daylight Saving Time. It didn't help this morning that the sun was quite bright. I thought of the line from Auntie Mame: "Darling, how do you see with all that light?"
We both grabbed a quick bite and then went about mixing pleasure with business: we decided to check out that Barnes & Noble at the Mall of Georgia. It was a bright blue day with the temperature rising rapidly; we wore windbreakers on the outbound leg and discarded them by the time we found the mall (turned out the GPS was directing us to "Mall of Georgia Chrysler-Jeep," which was in the opposite direction). Listened to an edition of "The Splendid Table" on the way there.
The first thing we did was have lunch at the food court at something called "Fresh Market," which was really a glorified Chinese restaurant. I had charbroiled chicken strips with potatoes and cucumber/tomato salad; the chicken was rather greasy and a tad peppery. I ate it anyway. Then we went upstairs to check out a store that the app PointInside was here (a bakery) but it was gone and yet another clothing store was in its place. We strolled through Godiva Chocolate, but, as always, the prices made us flinch.
The Barnes & Noble is across from the food court in an area of stores and restaurants gathered about a brick courtyard that has a fountain and a concert venue. There was a nice strong breeze still blowing outside, and I think I could stand summer if it never got warmer than 70°F and that breeze was always going! (Of course in a few weeks it will be 70, but we won't be able to keep the windows open because the pine pollen will be so thick!) The bookstore actually shares a building with a Mexican place and P.F. Chang's, so it isn't as big as it looks, and their magazine maintenance is abysmal; there's still a November "Best of British" there. In fact, I prefer the B&N in Chattanooga for anything "close" by; if nothing else, their travel section blows any travel section in the metro area away. I did get a book about deals for the retired and If These Walls Could Talk, a history of the home.
And then we headed home to continue the business portion of the day: picking up Willow's ashes at the vet. She was sent to the crematorium near my old apartment; we used to pass it all the time. Her ashes are in a pretty little square tin, like a candle tin, with flowers on it, and that came in a box with a card with a prayer for animals by Dr. Albert Schweitzer. Not sure what to do with it, but it's on the dining room windowsill right now, just over where her crate used to be.
And of course we had to make the inevitable stop at Kroger for bread, bananas, and other weekly fol-de-rol.
Watched HGTV or DIY network until it was time for the new Cosmos with Neil de Grasse Tyson. Think I like the original series' re-enactors more than the new series' cartoons, but the graphics are spectacular. I had tears in my eyes when Tyson talked about Carl Sagan inviting him to visit when Tyson was seventeen years old.
» Saturday, March 08, 2014A Warm Saturday
We eschewed the Farmer's Market this morning for sleep, but finally did have to get up at ten. James' club meeting was today, and he was also going to lunch with the guys and picking up a friend who is disabled, so he had to leave early. I had breakfast and then swept and washed the kitchen floor. Before I left, I treated the last three spots on the carpet and left them to "simmer."
I went back to the book sale for a little while, but the pickings were pretty slim this year and only got a few more things. One was a birthday gift and one was for James, so I didn't feel too guilty.
Took a slight detour to get some cash, then I went off to Aldi to pick up some milk and the low-calorie chocolate they sell. I found some nice side dishes: three kinds of flavored spaetzle, and three Asian noodle mixes that can be used as side or you can add meat and make it a main course. Plus I got a loaf of bread because I was jonesing for toast again. I had two slices for lunch plus a cold chicken leg, and watched Elementary, and scrubbed the spots on the carpet and finished reading Sherlock Holmes FAQ.
We went out again just to pick up supper at Dragon, and came home to eat and watch Flipping Boston and then Hawaii Five-O, finally finishing with Too Cute with kittens.
» Friday, March 07, 2014Completely Booked Again
I took leave today to go to the Cobb County Library book sale. Didn't exactly want to go out in the rain with books, so instead of the usual reusable grocery bags, I brought along the nice Life of Pi bags Cost Plus World Market gave away on Black Friday of 2012. We used these to carry gifts at Christmastime and I was delighted to find the pretty beaded bracelet I got from the Boulers for Christmas inside one of them. It went missing after the gift exchange and I thought I had lost it.
The rain, thankfully, was very light as I got there on the dot of nine; they were just going inside as I parked the car. I started at the children's books, then crossed to the other building to check out the Christmas books, the history books, the biographies, the nature books, the travel books, and finally some of the fiction, which I usually don't check out. The tally is here.
From the sale I turned onto the side street from Calloway Road and stopped at the pound to drop off the dog food and treats we had unopened. Of course I walked through to look at the dogs. There weren't any real "puppies" in the puppy room, and the only small dogs were seniors, a Yorkie literally with "tusks" sticking out on either side of his mouth, and the oddest looking poodle ever. The rest of the dogs were mostly pit bull mixes; some of them practically would have climbed in my lap if I let them, others were shy or wary. But they were all huge. I think the smallest dog there was 49 pounds.
I made the mistake of driving through downtown Marietta on my way to Barnes & Noble at Town Center: it didn't take forever, but traffic was a mess because there was a children's consignment sale at the church across the street from the parking lot where we usually park on Farmer's Market Saturdays; they even had police directing traffic. I made it to the store and picked up the newest "Best of British" as well as Jennifer Roberson's first Tiger and Del novel in years, Sword-Bound.
Got home about two and finally finished cleaning up the garage! We had put all the trash bags we filled last weekend out with the trash last night and they were blessedly gone this morning. I popped an old plant table and a foam cooler without a lid in the trash barrel, moved a box and a bag of water bottles, and moved the old convection microwave to near the door because James wanted a "table" to put things down on when needed. It's in front of the ladder, but that can still be gotten out easily from the side, and it's at least useful until we can get rid of it.
Ate a sketchy lunch, watched the episode of The New Lassie that recorded yesterday, and the "Stamp Album" episode of the original series, and soon James was home. We had supper at Shane's Barbecue—we hadn't been there in a dog's age—and went to the Barnes & Noble at West Cobb. James got a couple of magazines, but I didn't have my other coupon and didn't buy anything. When we got home I finally copied off the files Jack had sent to me and watched the original broadcast of An Adventure in Space and Time with the William Hartnell tribute at the end. This is really an extraordinary movie. We all know Doctor Who "made it" as a series, but there really is a sense of suspense: will Verity Lambert and Waris Hussein ever get this show off the ground? And David Bradley is heartbreaking as Bill Hartnell, who knows there is something wrong with himself, but will not give in to it.
» Sunday, March 02, 2014Grumpy Cat Morning
Since I couldn't fall back to sleep after James left for work, I got up. I could go to Kroger early before it got hot (supposed to get into the 70s today—not my type of weather). I had the bagel I bought yesterday for breakfast, and found myself at the supermarket at the dot of ten, and then remembered the pharmacy doesn't open until eleven. @!#$!#$!!%#$@!
I did the shopping anyway, but Kroger didn't have slow cooker bags so I had to go to Publix anyway. Piffle.
Put the groceries up and waited until I was sure the pharmacy was open (since they usually show up late) by fixing some file names so I could back up my hard disk later. Had a 30 minute wait for the prescriptions, so I bought gasoline, then went across the street to Goodwill to hang out for the other twenty minutes. Found a book about World War II and looked at a 1992 set of World Book that was celebrating the 75th anniversary with reproductions of a few of the original articles from 1917. How cool! I guess I should buy a new set in 2017.
At the price of a modern World Book, I'd better start saving now.
Spent a better afternoon backing up the hard drive, getting ready for work tomorrow, reading the newspaper, and cutting out those wretched coupons (considering we had four weeks of coupons backed up with today's issue, I got precious few coupons out of the packets; so many coupons are for expensive items, or fattening junk like cake mixes, candy, and junk food, or for makeup and fancy hair care products). Also treated some spots on the carpet, plus watched last week's Elementary and the episode of The New Lassie that Angel2 broadcast last week.
James got sprung an hour and a half early, so we could have supper (the aforementioned Asian chicken salad), and we watched Too Cute, the season premiere of Flipping Boston, and last week's Mythbusters. Predictably, they were not successful at herding cats, but Cari did catch a greased pig. I also wrote out two greeting cards I was planning to write this morning before the mixup with the Kroger times.
» Saturday, March 01, 2014For Fun and Function
Okay, explain to me why, when we had to be up at eight, we watched Jimmy Fallon last night. Yeah, I have no sensible explanation, either. I hate that alarm clock.
It was cloudy and chilly when we left the house, and as we walked from the parking lot to Mill Street I enjoyed the nice breathable air. Soon it won't be so clear and cool. We strolled around the booths, bought cucumbers and tomatoes, chicken salad, goat cheese, some cupcakes for a dessert, and I got a bagel for tomorrow's breakfast. Then it was cool enough to store the produce in the truck and have breakfast at Sugar Cakes, the patisserie on the Square (I thought we had a coupon, but it turned out to be for the ice cream place). James had eggs and grits and I had creme brulee French toast (which is really too sweet once you put maple syrup on it).
We took the groceries home and then went to Costco. Even at eleven a.m. it was wildly busy. We waited in line for gasoline, then wandered the store trying to remember where they've moved everything. The milk is now in the back where the vegetables used to be and the vegetables are over to the right where the bread used to be. We had a few samples, picked up the milk, found a DVD copy of Edwardian Farm in the media section, and bought two bags of Skinny Pop. (If you're ever at Costco and have a choice between Skinny Pop and "Boom-Chicka-Pop," do pick the former. The latter is dry and tough, one step up from movie theatre popcorn, but nowhere near as tender and light as the Skinny Pop; we threw away the bag of Boom-Chicka-Pop we purchased.) It was still cool enough for us to briefly detour to Bed, Bath & Beyond to get a refill for James' Soda Stream before going home.
We'd gone out so early it was still only 12:45 p.m., so we spent the next two hours rearranging things in the garage. I believe I've mentioned before that we have a bookcase in the garage that holds our outdoor Christmas items. Since we only access it six weeks out of the year, I thought the garage space would be better served by having it stored in the closet, and have the yardwork tools out where we could get at them. I couldn't get at the rake the other day when I needed it because the closet bifold doors were blocked. Anyway, in two hours we had cleared the bookcase and the closet, I'd tested all the Christmas lights and bagged all the bad sets so we could consolidate the lights, James had put the bookcase in the closet and we'd restocked it, plus we were able to store the extra computer peripherals, the Alpine trees we've never used outside at Christmas, the old bed rails, and our camp chairs in the closet as well. The tools are now all out, some boxes have been moved over, the ladder is where we can get to it freely again, and I can reach the hook that the hedge clippers hang on.
Unfortunately the garage is not 100 percent clean because it's going to rain buckets before trash collection day, so we left the plastic garbage bag with the bottom of the old Christmas tree, and a box full of broken down cardboard boxes that were stored in the garage inside the garage until Thursday night. Sadly, we can't do anything with the bulky old convection microwave until November and free electronics recycling day. And the garage is completely swept. Win-win all around and we were done before three.
We had a bit of a rest after that, then went to SteviB's for supper, but came directly home since James has to work tomorrow. He went downstairs to model for a while and I've been watching Get Smart reruns from first season all evening. On my way to bed because, frankly, Captain, I'm tired!