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» Saturday, December 10, 2016Surprises: Good, Bad and Terrific
We decided to go back to Costco this morning to see if we could get two more of the terrific chair pads we bought last week, so we were up at eight, out in the cold air, and at Costco by the time they opened. Alas, we could not find the seat cushions. Or Eggland eggs, either. We stocked up on milk and "plastic cheese," as James calls it, and a couple of other things, then did find a real bargain: we have our computer chairs on clear plastic chair mats. At that moment very old plastic chair mats. Mine had fine cracks in it, since I sit there all day at least two days a week. I had looked at new ones at Office Depot and they were $45. These were larger and they were only $19! Yeah, with those stupid little spikes in them to keep them from sliding on the carpet they are a pain to handle, but after I had vacuumed around the desks and we heaved them upstairs, they went in place fine. I'd almost rather wrestle with the Christmas tree, though!
James left for his IPMS meeting and I put up the milk and cheese. Now, for years I have heard about something called Christmas at the Mable House, which is a craft show at an historic home on Floyd Road. I've always put it on my calendar and never have gone. This year I was determined to go. First I had to stop at the Publix on Floyd Road to get some cash in case they didn't take cards. Well, this Publix doesn't have a SunTrust anymore, either—are they pulling out of all of them?—but I could get money out of the Presto machine for nothing. (I picked up a baguette and the eggs for James, too.)
The Mable House is just a block down from the Publix. The craft show wasn't at the house, though; it at the meeting building across the driveway. It was arranged more like the flea markets we go to rather than having the vendors at individual booths as at Apple Annie (some of the vendors were there, they just weren't taking money). Each item had a number signifying whose craft it was and a price. You paid for all at the end at a check out cash register and I guess at the end of the day or the show each crafter gets his money. I bought some little items like a tea bag holder for James and something cool for David Gibson.
From there, since I was so close, I stopped at KMart. I usually put a little 5x5" calendar next to my desk, marking when I will be paid and which paycheck goes for what. I usually get one at Michaels, but I haven't seen any this year. KMart is the only place I've seen these tiny calendars. But there were none. I did find more tinsel (I try to replace what I use every year and a little more), real 50-strings of "fairy lights" (I bought three, and they weren't $15 bloody dollars each, either), and C7 bulbs in multicolors as I'm toying with making the candles multicolor one day.
I also stopped at the used bookstore to see what they had in Christmas books, but only bought a couple "Sisters at Heart" I don't have (these are like "Dear America" books, but with a Christian slant). The Christmas books were piled out front but I either had them, they were romances, or they were cookbooks/decorating books.
By then I was starving because it was almost 1:30. I had a $9 birthday credit at Tin Drum, so went there for lunch, which ended up costing 54¢. (In the end, it was a good thing I filled up!) I stopped in at Barnes & Noble before going home. Children were singing the score from Annie. I picked up a "Period Living" and "English Period Homes."
I had just gotten home and was tidying up a little when James arrived home. He wanted to take me out for my birthday dinner tonight. Usually we go to the Colonnade, but it's way in Buckhead, and I wanted something different for a change. Let's go to Red Lobster, I suggested.
Well, our waitress was nice and the food was good, but oh, goodness...I ordered a pick-two combination so I could have grilled scallops and grilled shrimp, and as my side I had "roast gold potatoes." The sorriest plate I've ever seen emerged along with James' seafood trio (which has fried shrimp and alfredo shrimp, both which I dislike): six puny shrimp on a stick and three good sized scallops and a tiny one on another, with six (count 'em, six) tiny round potatoes, two about the diameter of a dime. James was aghast. He gave me some of the alfredo and the sauce was thick and unappetizing. I ate the shrimp and the scallops up, but could only eat one of the potatoes because they were so heavily peppered. James was annoyed enough to complain to the manager, who comped us the scallops. Honestly, they were $2.50 extra. They could have at least given me six, and all full size!
Dessert was better; we went to Bruster's and had ice cream. Yes, ice cream when the mercury stands at 40°F. One of my favorite stories from my mom was the one about the snowstorm in which she and her best friend walked all the way downtown and then walked home eating ice cream in the snow. We have no snow, but we've had the cold! It was 27 this morning and I even put Tucker's jacket on him. He hated it, but he wore it. :-)
We took him out again when we got home, and then settled in to "watch some Christmas." I played Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman, and then put on Rick Steves' European Christmas for some real hygge. Following we listened to the additional songs on the disc, and then we got caught up watching an old NYPD Blue episode on Heroes & Icons. That was such a good series.
Anyway, the biggest news of the day came when James arrived home from the IPMS meeting. I got an excited phone call right after he pulled into the driveway: "I found it!" His wedding ring was sitting in the groove where the garage door comes down! How we missed it when we searched I don't know, but he's happy and I'm happy that it's back.