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» Sunday, January 29, 2017On and Off the Road
So we were up at 8:20 this morning to have breakfast and walk Tucker before leaving for the RV Show. I wanted to get there as close to opening as possible, and we would have arrived there about 10:15 at the time we left. I put on "A Way With Words" and we headed down there via I-75.
Except I only remembered as we were approaching downtown that I left the free passes on the secretary. Right next to the stairs. Passed them leaving the house. Grrr. Given that getting in without them would cost $18, we turned around via Williams Street and dashed home as quickly as safety and law would allow so I could snatch up the passes and we could go back.
We got there at 11:15 instead, but it worked out okay after all: someone was just backing out of a handicapped parking space out front. We were there almost three hours and explored everything from those claustrophobic pods that are pretty much just a bed with a camping kitchen in the rear to a bus with three awnings that looked like it could be the party bus for the Rolling Stones (albeit cleaner). We actually found some kind of a little camper that was not claustrophobic and still could be pulled by our truck; we'd have to put a gardener's cart (like the ones they carry their lawn mowers on) on the back of it for the chair, though, or we'd have to stay stuck at the campsite. (I bet Tucker would love camping, though. I can see him trying to trail rabbits.) We saw a couple of pretty neat van conversions where the vans were more square, like a Transit. Some absolutely huge trailers, too, to be pulled by a large pickup truck, that had full-size refrigerators and electric fireplaces! And then there were the big buslike campers with ridiculous stuff, like lighted countertops and patterned ceilings and leather (ick) furniture. They did have washers and dryers, too, though, and nice queen-sized beds.
These shows always have gadgets (like knives and cookware) and services (like different campsites advertising) being sold, and I bought myself a little desk lamp to use at the sofa when I want to cross stitch and also three lights that look like light switches, but they hang on the wall and are battery powered. You switch them on and LEDs come on to light up small dark places. I want them for stacks in the library.
We got done a little after two and were ravenous, so we drove home—back through downtown and surprisingly encountered traffic (not so surprising after all; there was some do for the Atlanta Falcons heading off to Houston for the Stupid Bowl)—and had lunch/dinner at Ken's before going home.
Later on we watched last week's and this week's (the season finale) Alaska: the Last Frontier. As I was in the middle of this blog entry, the laptop dropped its wireless connection. I thought the router had died again, but it was fine. Either the Tenda wireless USB adapter has just quit or the laptop has quit responding to it. My "Q" key also doesn't work well anymore. It sounds like it is well and truly dying. :-( It's nearly nine years old, which I guess is geriatric for a laptop.
And, most aggravatingly, James tried connecting to the VPN at work one more time—and it worked flawlessly. That means something was wrong with the VPN yesterday, not either of the cell phones. Snellfrocky. Dirty socks.
» Saturday, January 28, 2017Life Goes Better With Sleep, But Not With Technology
I was looking forward to this Friday off. No party prep, no Christmas decorating or divesting, no errands to run. I could do what I liked.
Unfortunately what I would have liked to do was sleep, because I hadn't slept properly for two nights. I understood it Wednesday night: the cold front hadn't come through properly yet and it was too warm even with three fans going. But Thursday night it got nice and chilly and I had fans blowing cold air into the room all evening. It should have been a grand night for snuggling up and instead I was awakened every half hour because with the comforter it was too warm and without the comforter it was too cold, or I had to go to the bathroom, or that my knees were hurting, ad infinitum, and only slept well after James left for work at seven. Since I was short of sleep from during the week, this wasn't a lot of help. I've been having a lot of trouble with my neck where I had the thyroid cancer was removed; because of the surgery I have nerve damage in the right side of my neck. It pretty much is stiff all the time, but this week it's been cramping as well and feels like I'm being strangled on one spot on my right shoulder.
In the end I did get some stuff done Friday, but was abominably groggy doing it: went to Publix and scored twofers and other things we needed, stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond and bought James' Valentine's Day gift and ordered an Angry Mama, and ordered and picked up my lunch at Tin Drum. When I walked up to the cashier she grinned at me and said "Teriyaki, steak, no fried chicken." They have me pegged. Yes, indeedy.
On the way home, swung by Costco and bought gasoline and stopped at Aldi for milk.
Came home to make Snowy happy by playing Leo Laporte and dozed off on the sofa with my head bobbing over my lap. When James got in from having his second iron infusion, I still wasn't hungry after that big lunch. So we stayed in for the rest of the night. I had cereal for supper and he did something with eggs, and I finally got to watch part two of Victoria which I missed on Sunday night.
Friday night I finally got some sleep, so felt reasonably human this morning. Unfortunately James was inadvertently fighting a demon we didn't know about. He volunteered to work today to make up for the last two Friday afternoons at the doctor, and he was given permission to telework. When I got up he hadn't had any calls. By the time I left to go to Publix—he needed to make breakfast burritos and sandwiches and had no wraps or Rotel—he suddenly noticed that his board showed that he was on a call when he wasn't. He was troubleshooting as I left.
Picked him up the stuff he needed, plus fresh ground beef and some dog biscuits I didn't notice were on BOGO yesterday, and also ran to Michael's since there was a one-day 60 percent off coupon. I got some Sharpie markers and then dashed back home.
James was really upset. He finally realized that, although the system logged him on this morning, he wasn't actually ever on. He let his supervisor know, and was just told to knock off for the rest of the day. So he made his breakfasts and then we had supper at Longhorn and spent a nice hour at Barnes & Noble before heading home and fiddling around with the connection a little more. It appears it might be a problem with our cell phones (yet another thing the stupid perfect Pixel doesn't do). James' cell worked perfectly with the system the last time he teleworked, which was about a week ago. A couple of days ago, Verizon pushed Android 7.1.1 to his phone. I already had 7.1.1, so I had James try transferring the calls to my phone. They won't transfer to mine, either, but they will transfer to the landline. Makes me very suspicious of the upgrade in general.
» Sunday, January 22, 2017Peace and Quiet and Weeping Skies
After all the action last weekend we decided to take it easy this weekend. We finished up the shopping Friday night after having supper at the West Cobb Diner and James having to go through the first of another trio of iron infusions.
Saturday morning it poured. We aren't supposed to take the power chair out deliberately in the rain, so instead it was a leisurely breakfast and we did a fun thing: had "Saturday morning cartoons." Watched an episode of the 1960's Filmation Fantastic Voyage, another episode of Dreamworks' The New Adventures of Lassie (which isn't bad if they would just get rid of those stupid little animals in the barn, including the pug who has a crush on Lassie), and "Rin Tin Tin in the Flaming Forest," in which a trapper's Boston-raised son (played with a sneer by a very young Tim Considine) turns up his nose at Rusty and Rinty and gets them lost in the woods, then starts a forest fire. Rinty, of course, rescues everyone.
There was a rain respite in the afternoon, so we took a ride out to Acworth to go to Books-a-Million. James treated himself to a frozen hot chocolate (they make the best) and me to a peppermint hot chocolate. I picked up two remainder books and then was told I could pick a third for free; it was a sale. Couldn't find anything for myself or James, so picked one up for a gift instead.
Got home in time to walk Tucker before the rain began again. We ate in because we are going out to lunch tomorrow, and then James went down to the Man Cave and I watched the first three parts of The Crown, which is a British drama about Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne and her first years as a monarch. Matt Smith (the Eleventh Doctor) plays Prince Philip. I started crying in the second episode when Princess Margaret goes to see her father while he is being embalmed and sobs over him. John Lithgow plays Winston Churchill.
We were between rainstorms this morning when we walked the dog and then dropped off my prescription at Kroger while we went to Sprouts for some beef and pork bits, giant chicken legs, Yukon gold potatoes, more Litehouse salad sprinkles, and a couple of other things. We weren't home long to put it away, as we had to turn around and go back to Keegan's for the retirement dinner Jessie was throwing for her mother. This was fun, but we didn't stay long, as everyone was in a hurry to get home for the Falcons game; if they win they are going the Stupid Bowl. [And they did win, 44-21. It's gonna be North vs. South.]
Again, after swinging by to pick up my prescription and a Sunday paper, we got home in time for me to walk Tucker before it started to rain, and it poured, just like it did last night, with the raindrops drumming ceaselessly on the chimney cap, thunder, the whole nine yards. I put instrumental Christmas music on and read Bryant & May and the Burning Man all afternoon (I literally couldn't stop, the plot raced that quickly).
Arrrrgh! Tonight I couldn't watch Victoria because GPB was blank again! Apparently a piece of construction equipment is blocking their signal to Dish. Say what?
» Tuesday, January 17, 2017
FOR TODAY, JANUARY 17, 2017
Outside my window...
...mostly cloudy. I hope it stays that way. It's bad enough it's going to be in the 70s today. It's like it's April.
I am thinking...
...at this point I am just coasting. I'll save the thought for when I'm working.
I am thankful...
...that I am not sick today and can take down the Christmas tree at lunchtime and after work.
In the kitchen...
...there's a chicken thawing in the sink. I will cook some very plain chicken tonight. I've only had oatmeal, yogurt, and dry toast today.
I am wearing...
...Mutts blue pajamas and white socks.
I am creating...
...order. By this evening the "Christmas closet" will be all neat and tidy.
I am going...
...to get rid of some of the long Christmas hooks I had to buy to get short Christmas hooks. I don't need them.
I am wondering...
...when I should take another retirement class. They're really all the same, but Juanita said you should take a couple.
I am reading...
...Dickens' Fur Coat and Charlotte's Unanswered Letters, about prima donna Victorian writers.
I am hoping...
...for cooler weather soon. Having 70s in January is a drag. I don't want anymore eighteens, like we had a week or so ago, but 50s would be nice and 30s at night. I'm sleeping terribly because I always wake up being too warm.
I am looking forward to...
...Juanita's retirement dinner (given by her daughter) on Sunday and the RV show next weekend. We have free tickets. Next month is Anachrocon. At least I won't be having an allergic reaction to the shingles vaccine this year.
I am learning...
...I bought another book about watercolor painting. It was watercolors I used on my Advent wreath.
Around the house...
...the dog stands on the non-burning deck, Snowy's kind of quiet. I'm not playing "The Tech Guy" for him because the day goes by too quickly when I play Leo's shows. Don't want my telework days to go by quickly!
I am pondering...
...still buying a new stove. The old one is getting on my last nerve. At least it still cooks meat properly, but it nearly ruined my wine biscuits this year.
A favorite quote for today...
"Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home."
One of my favorite things...
...being all spic and span after taking up the holiday things. Sadly, it doesn't stay that way for long!
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Work! Juanita's dinner.
A peek into my day...
How about a peek into something inspiring? So true!
If you'd like to participate, check out The Simple Woman's Daybook.
Labels: Simple Woman's Daybook
» Monday, January 16, 2017Roller Coaster Weekend
Well, it was a long weekend to remember, but, unfortunately, mostly for the wrong reasons.
Friday I continued a combination "de-Christmasing" of the house, putting up the winter decorations, and cleaning up for the party. I got everything packed up but the Christmas tree—it just wasn't going to happen and it was a postponed Twelfth Night party anyway, so we needed some appropriate decoration. Otherwise I had put up the winter decorations everywhere except on the room divider, because the Christmas tree was blocking the way.
Since we had to go to Sam's Club to get supplies, we tried to find somewhere to eat Friday supper nearby. The Marietta Diner was slammed. The Chinese buffet is too salty. Didn't want the halfhearted food at IHOP and fast food was out. We ended up at Williamson Brothers for barbecue (yeah, salty too), and then went to Sam's. Got honey barbecue wings and "Lil Smokies," but their mini-egg rolls were spicy, so we skipped them, but picked up chips and popcorn as well. Then we went by Publix to do the shopping and pick up another BOGO set of pot roasts. We were going to serve one of them at the party.
Saturday was Hair Day, so James zipped off to get his hair cut while I continued cleaning and clearing. There are so many books everywhere! :-) He came home when he got done to get the bowls down, the utensils, etc., help me move the table, and all that. We got done early enough that I could relax down for a little while and that James could be done with most of the warming up before the first guests arrived at five. Since Willow isn't around anymore, there is no Ritual Barking of the Dog, but all our dogs have known John and Betty are soft touches anyway. :-) We had a nice crowd—Bill and Caran even drove all the way here from Stone Mountain—and a good chat/feast/gift opening was had by all. We watched the Falcons beat some other team, which means they are one step closer to the Stupid Bowl, talked about commuting and Juanita's retirement, watched Aubrey find the pickle on the tree for the umpteenth time in a row (I didn't even remember where I'd put it this year), and generally enjoyed ourselves. Unfortunately my tummy was being a little touchy and I had to retire for a bit, ostensibly to walk the dog, but also to get me a little air.
Once the last guest had left around ten, we put up the perishables, stretched out for about an hour, then went to bed.
Took our time getting up Sunday and spent the rest of the end of the day mostly cleaning up, but we had a nice break in the early afternoon: we had to go up to the Town Center Kaiser for James to pick up more insulin, so we took the opportunity to stop at Barnes & Noble with our coupons. James got lucky and found a new "1632" book, and I picked up a book about a man who walks the old roads of Great Britain, plus two cross-stitch magazines. I also asked James to drop me at JoAnn to spend some coupons: needed more superglue since mine had gone stringy, bought a Command shelf for the bathroom, and a red bandanna for the truck since the old emergency one has appeared to have done a bunk (plus the new "Just Cross Stitch").
We had eaten lunch at Panera after going to Kaiser, and were still pretty full at suppertime, so we just potlucked it for dinner. I wasn't feeling hungry much and just had a PopTart and some cereal. I was okay up until after I walked Tucker at eight thirty, so I could be ready to watch the first part of Victoria at nine. Alas, about five minutes to nine, I started getting terrible stomach cramps.
I'll spare you the details, save that I saw very little of Victoria, not to mention my bed. Nothing stopped until nine in the morning, and by then I was exhausted. I had my usual breakfast yesterday and neither the PopTart nor the cereal should have bothered me; it had to be something I'd eaten at Panera. I suspect the cream cheese I had on my bagel. It didn't taste bad, but it's a likelier trigger than the soup. Anyway, I finally slept from nine to noon, then watched Victoria and, thanks to PBS and no thanks to Dish Network and its amazing disappearing channels, last week's Sherlock, which was literally mesmerizing—I couldn't take my eyes off the odious Culverton Smith, who had definite Jimmy Savile vibes. Just plain creepy. And then I went back to bed until James got home. I didn't eat much today, just dry toast and milk, and had plain chicken broth and rice for supper. I hope I feel better tomorrow; I never even got to the tree and feel like a bowl of boiled spaghetti.
» Sunday, January 08, 2017No Funday
We slept in this morning and had a leisurely breakfast instead of finishing cleaning up after a party. It seemed very strange not having had the party last night and I felt rather disconnected. Plus James was not feeling quite well (not heartwise, but as if he might be coming down with a stomach bug).
We finally went out around 11:30 as he wanted to go to Nam Dae Mun for more Jamaican ginger tea. We also picked up more low sodium teriyaki sauce. The plan from there was for me to run into Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up something with an expiring coupon, then we would stop at Barnes & Noble for a short time, and finally go to Publix for twofers.
It wasn't to be; as we approached Akers Mill he started stomach cramping and feeling sick, so we turned for home where he could dose himself with Pepto Bismol. But I still needed to use the coupon and get the twofers, so I went out by myself and did both. I went to Publix first because it was so cold I didn't have to worry about anything perishable spoiling. Then I stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Texted James to see if he might be up to Tin Drum. He said the curry would be okay, so I brought stuff home and he ate and felt a little better. We watched Aerial America all afternoon.
James said he was sorry for spoiling my day, but what really spoiled my day was turning on GPB for Sherlock and finding out Dish Network was not getting the channel. GPB is too far away for our antenna to reach, so we got skunked. Grrr.
» Saturday, January 07, 2017Party Overthrown
After you've lived in Atlanta for years, you tend to view weather reports with cynicism. "Monster storms" turn into drizzle, snow becomes frost, "just some rain" coats the road with ice, and "a nice day" turns out to be a blistering 89.
So it was with a sense of exasperation we greeted the snowstorm reports that started on Sunday. We had our annual Twelfth Night party planned for tonight.
Instead of petering out like they usually do, though, the snowstorm reports got worse. James said we should just call it off, but I grimly hung on, knowing that the expected storm would just turn out to be a bust if I did. Yesterday I realized that if we did have the storm they predicted, we wouldn't be able to go shopping on Sunday, so I ran out to the grocery store early for milk, bread, and other things needed for the workweek.
Last night it started raining, and it was so cold the rain almost immediately began to freeze. I'd brought in the two little Christmas log deer so they wouldn't get wet (after cutting some new "antlers" for them out of tree branches) and also the St. Nicholas banner, because I've never seen another like it and I need to care for it, and now my new snowflake flag was flapping outside. As the half hours went on, it flapped a little less because it was slowly being encased in ice, as was the American flag and the railings leading up the steps.
The news kept promising the rain would stop and it would turn to snow, and up to four inches were predicted. By 10 p.m., when I took Tucker out through the garage and disappointed him by not going much further than our own grass, which was already crunchy while the driveway and the sidewalk were slick with rain/ice, no snow seemed forthcoming, and we went disappointedly off to bed.
It actually did snow, but just enough to edge the lawns and the road, and the tips of the branches and the tops of the bushes were covered with a glaze of ice that made all the trees and plants look set with diamonds and silver. Tucker had another short walk, which he also hated, especially as he was bundled in the tweed coat because it was only 20°F and the wind cut like a knife.
So I finally went online and canceled till next week. Sadly, the house will be less festive by then because I will need to start taking down the decorations. The supreme irony in all this is that by next weekend it will be nearly 70!
James and I did go to Kroger for a little bit this afternoon as he was out of mushrooms. We also got Bisquik and he made biscuits late in the afternoon. I don't think James has made biscuits since before Willow got sick. We had them with Kerrygold butter and blackberry honey and they were better than all the gourmet meals in any food magazines. And the biscuits came in handy later on: we were going to have homemade pizzas, but the crusts were stale. So we had pizza fixings on biscuits. Not the best alternative, but it worked out.
Looking about for something to do tonight and put Frozen on; it's been sitting on the DVR for awhile. I enjoyed watching it and I did like the reindeer, but I guess maybe I came on this one late. Not seeing what all the fuss was about. Then I put on the Vicious special. Sorry this series is over; for all the bile I love Stuart and Freddie (or maybe what I want is their apartment ☺ ).
Now we're seeing out Christmas watching The Good Life and All Creatures Great and Small.
» Monday, January 02, 2017The Party's Over
Well, this was it. The last of eighteen days of freedom. Most were wonderful to okay. One was scary. Two were depressing.
Today was...rainy. But we needed the rain. I was inside warm and dry (except during dog walks) where James was teleworking. Slept until almost nine, had the usual breakfast and dog walk, and settled in to do my annual chore: updating the copyrights on my web pages. Between my web software and Firefox's FTP software, this didn't take too long. Keep looking at my web page, which is now so dated, and I've never done web pages for Snowy and Tucker. I keep promising myself to do something, and then when I have time, I have no inspiration. So...just waiting.
Cleaned up a few things in my craft room, tossed some stuff away, but most of the day I was recording off the BBC and reading Facebook and Christmas magazines and listening to Christmas music. We had the Christmas tree on, and James' work was very slow. In the morning we watched the Tournament of Roses Parade on HGTV with no commercials. The usual colorful show: beautiful floats, bands, horses. Several cavalry troops. Farmer's Insurance did a float based on one of their commercials (the swimming dogs). Netflix's float featured the Little Prince. The National Hockey League had a float to celebrate their 100th anniversary. There was a neat Monkey King float that made me want to watch Alakazam the Great again. The Trader Joe's float had a steampunk "driver."
Was going to watch this year's outdoor hockey game, but it wasn't snowing, so, no fun.
We got mail today; my winter flag arrived, covered with snowflakes and nice and blue.
Beef bits and Yukon Gold potatoes for supper, and I'm now watching The American St. Nick, about an American soldier who played St. Nicholas in a Luxembourg town in December 1944.
» Sunday, January 01, 2017Drippy New Year
Well, it hasn't been the most sterling New Year's Day.
As always, we drove out to Bill and Caran's New Year's Eve party last night. Rain is predicted for the next two days, and it was already drizzling, cars were darting in and out of traffic, and on the freeway we got in back of a car from Florida being driven by someone who had evidently already been celebrating, as he/she was weaving in and out of lanes (but still using a turn signal; go figure). We called 911, but since we didn't have the plate number, it wasn't really useful. Anyway, I hope he got where he was going safely.
We had a great time. It was a smaller crowd than usual, probably because of the weather, but it didn't matter. All the company was good, and both Chris Cook and Marilyn Teague were there—we hadn't seen Marilyn since her husband died, and Chris for several years. There were lots of nice goodies besides our chicken sausage: quinoa and rice, two big cheese balls, cold cut slices and various breads, little smokies, pigs in blankets, and a tray of cocktail shrimp. By the time the ball dropped in Times Square, I was crying with relief (although 2016 extracted one final piece of flesh, as we found out William Christopher had passed away).
I'm not sure I'm allergic to shrimp, but it does have detrimental effects on my digestion. If I'd had the brains God gave a goat, I would have had one and left it, but no, I had a few.
James was sort of quiet as we started out home. Right before he got onto the freeway, he admitted that he was having some type of a pulling feeling in both armpits. I wasn't doing so well myself. I'd left the house feeling fine, but by the time we were well on our way, I suddenly was feeling two different urgent calls of nature. Even worse, everything I'd eaten, which wasn't a lot, was starting to give me heartburn, and when my heartburn is at its worst, my heartbeat feels like it's irregular. It was raining in earnest now and the freeway was all spooky, shiny slick with rain and reflections from headlights and rear lights and buildings. Spring Road was terrible for this, as it's lined with orange construction barrels. Everything looked Dutch tilted. James told me testily that the pain was not in his chest or jaw or down his arms, just a pull under his armpits. We made it home and he said the moment we got in, the pain vanished. Perhaps it was just tension from having to drive home in such weather? I took my heart pill when we got home, too, and that straightened out part of my problem.
I ran to the bathroom, but was sick for the rest of the night. James got ready for bed with a tiny recurrence of the tugging (but not when he came up the stairs) and a headache. I was sick to my stomach by then and we didn't crawl into bed until 3 a.m. Not sure when I fell asleep, but I know when I woke up: it was seven o'clock and I had a terrible stomachache and my right ear was ringing like a churchbell. Sat freezing in the bathroom until I gave up after I had to get up a third time and put on socks and the fleece bathrobe we keep hanging up in there. I didn't get back to sleep, and finally about 8:30 just got into clothes to go lay down on the futon. Out of sheer frustration and fear I started to cry, waking James the rest of the way up. He told me the tugging had gone away the moment he got some sleep. (It came back briefly today, not when he climbed the stairs twice and took the dog out, but just walking from his computer to his chair; he fell asleep and it went away again. He'll have to tell all of this to Dr. Mobley on Thursday.)
I spent the day on the sofa, reading, and asleep for at least two hours. Watched a bunch of Aerial America episodes: California, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and New England. Had some bread and milk only for lunch. Outside it gloomed and drizzled and finally poured.
For supper we had the homemade turkey soup with the square "pot pie" noodles. It was epic! Gingerbread men for dessert. Watched AFV and then this year's HGTV Dream Home. It is another remodel this year; have they taken flak for building new homes? This year's is a beach house on St. Simon's Island. The host is gushing over the views out the back door, which include this fetid looking creek. He's thinking view and I'm thinking mosquitoes! Beach people are weird. ツ Looks good in some rooms, though.
And now it's time for Sherlock...