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cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.
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» Sunday, January 27, 2019Yet Another Foodie Sunday
We had a nice day: a leisurely breakfast, the usual dog walk, and then off grocery shopping. We went to Nam Dae Mun because James needed ginger tea and he likes theirs best. We also got some thin steaks and more chicken drummettes. Then on to Publix for the twofers: he needed juice especially. We did get milk there. One more stop at CVS for BreatheRights, and then it was home for a nice cozy day. I washed and dried the towels and sorted pills for both of us, and spent a couple of happy hours watching Caught in Providence.
James made the drummettes in the air fryer with a last coating of teriyaki sauce, and we had Sam's packaged Asian salad as a side. The chicken was great, but it was too cold for a salad. I start craving those when the weather gets warm.
It was the season finale...already!...of Alaska: the Last Frontier, so we watched that and I can get to Victoria tomorrow. Victoria is really grabbing my interest this year, and the episodes go by so quickly.
» Saturday, January 26, 2019Suddenly Sunny
Something absolutely extraordinary happened today. It was a weekend we didn't have anything planned and it wasn't raining. Do you know how unbelievably rare that has been for the past few months?
So we shoved four of the most useful of storage conveyances—otherwise known as a Xerox paper box—stuffed with books we no longer want into the back of the truck, carefully covered with a tarp, since retired me no longer has access to the things and must take care of the ones we have, mounted the power chair, and made our way up to Chattanooga. We had a couple more pit stops than usual, and by the time we arrived, it was lunchtime, so we went to City Café first.
Last time we came here, I don't know what was going on, but the place was packed and we had to wait nearly a half hour to be seated. Today: plenty of seats, and we had a super waiter. Of course we ordered the chicken soup with our open-faced sandwiches (turkey for me and roast beef for James). It is the best tasting soup, with carrots and celery in it, and it's made the way my relatives did so long ago, with broken up spaghetti in it instead of noodles or rice. Its only fault is that it's really salty; otherwise it could be a food group all of itself.
We should have brought some home like we usually do; I practically inhaled the cup in one breath it was so good, but now I feel like I hardly tasted it. The turkey, while being only breast slices, was still delicious laid on the toasted bread with gravy all over it; I did manage to bring some home. I can get some French bread at Publix tomorrow and have at least one sandwich, maybe two. We also bought a slice of their chocolate suicide cake to take home. They carry these huge cakes for dessert, the size of small drums, as does the Marietta Diner and Pasta Bella and a couple of other places here.
Then it was off to McKays, where we sorted the contents of the four Xerox paper boxes into bins and sent them off to be considered while we wander amongst the books. James found a real prize, a coffee table book about the Spitfire aircraft with color photographs for $2. He got some other aircraft-related publications, and also a copy of The Bluejackets Manual (basically the instruction book for U.S. Navy recruits) from 1944.
I found some goodies myself: the latest Bess Crawford mystery which I was planning to get off Amazon with points and instead got with credit, two different linguistics books (Words in Time and Mighty Fine Words and Smashing Expressions), Roger Angell's book of essays This Old Man, The Man Who Invented the Daleks about Terry Nation, a book I won't mention because I may or may not give as a gift, and two nearly free amusements: a book of etiquette "by" Hyacinth Bucket (that's pronounced "bouquet," dear) for only 75 cents, and, for a mere dime, a fannish collector's item, a nearly-new copy of Jean Lorrah's early Star Trek novel, The Vulcan Academy Murders. We received a combination of cash money and credit, and both had cash left over.
We usually take the books they reject and I donate them to the library book sale, but I didn't feel like loading them back into the truck and toting them up to Roswell Street, so I let them have the rest.
We had a nice drive home despite a traffic problem: they were fixing the Lake Allatoona Dam road and creating a nasty little backup on I-75 south. We'd observed it on the way up and knew we had to get off the freeway no later than exit 293. So we got off there, at Cartersville and the Tellus Science Museum, and followed a route that took us to the old state highway 41. We had to go through the main drag in Cartersville where all the shopping centers were, but, aside from that, traffic was not bad. By then we were so close to home we just stayed on US41 and were rewarded, just south of Cartersville, with a beautiful sweep of highway that brought us through a lovely valley view. James noted that we must keep this in mind next year when the leaves reach peak.
In a few minutes more, we were driving by the Books-a-Million in Acworth, and thus went through our usual route home via Due West Road and Dallas Highway just as sun was setting. James took the road through the battlefield park and, in a little copse of trees just at the right side of Chatham Hill Road, a place I've always been convinced is a deer yard, were two deer grazing undisturbed by the traffic scant yards away.
Home in time to take a look at the books, eat a bit, compute a bit more, talk to Snowy and walk Tucker.
» Sunday, January 20, 2019Foodie Sunday
We were up late last night, so got a late start this morning. It was tremendously cold for Georgia; I thought to get by with my heavy jacket with my thick scarf underneath, but after taking Tucker for a walk in a whistling, whipping wind, I dug out our winter coats...our "Rhode Island winter coats," as I call them, as they were marketed up north and made for the type of cold weather that was about to hit.
Suitably bundled, we went to Sam's Club. We needed popcorn, mandarin oranges (packaged and fresh), and milk. The only thing we didn't find was the fresh oranges. We found a couple of good deals: chicken drumsticks on sale, and thick pork chops on sale. I also noticed they were still selling "Breathe" journals with their magazines. I particularly like the way it was set up this year, so I bought another. A new one next year will cost $18 at Barnes & Noble, but these were only $14 because of Sam's magazine discount. I will put it away until New Year's Eve.
They also had samples today, and we liked the potstickers so much we brought a package of them home and had them for dinner: James browned them in a saute pan, then added some chicken broth and steamed them hot. He made a dipping sauce of a jam I didn't like combined with soy sauce. It was quite good.
During the afternoon we got the drumsticks and pork put away, and I washed and dried towels and sorted our pills as I usually do on Sundays.
Later we watched America's Funniest Home Videos and the second episode of the third series of Victoria.
Sadly, because it was Sunday night and not Saturday, we did not stay up to see the super blood wolf moon eclipse that happened later this evening. I did snap a couple of photos of the moon coming up over the back of our house, but I just used the little camera and none of the pictures came out that good. The moon was stunningly bright, so bright that you could not see the usual shadows of the maria as you can during a a normal full moon. Goodness, it was cold out there. I don't think I was taking photos for four minutes before my fingers lost flexibility and started to hurt. It is supposed to be in the 20s tonight, and that isn't counting the wind chill. Positively polar for Georgia!
» Saturday, January 19, 2019Getting Things in Order
To my relief, I have managed to get many things done this week. I reported earlier than I was cleaning out the china cabinet and the top shelf of the hall closet and getting rid of some things that we do not use, or that I do not like. I did get to go to the Lidl grand opening on Wednesday, but there were already more than one hundred people in line, and the parking lot was standing room only, so I didn't stop and went to Walmart instead. (Apparently Yoplait has come up with some "Dunkin" yogurt flavors. I cringed at the thought of cinnamon roll and bought the French vanilla latte in the forlorn hope that it might have some coffee flavor. Well, it does, but so minute that it might as well be a molecule. Mostly what it tastes of is sugar. Ugh. I miss their café au lait flavor so much.) When I came by Lidl after finishing at Wally World, when there were parking spaces, it was still crowded and some radio station was blasting unpleasant and obnoxious rock music out front. I wasn't much impressed at what I saw, but my opinion was surely colored by the jostling, impossible crowd.
So many people have been talking about Marie Kondo [the organizing consultant] that on Thursday I watched three of her shows on Netflix. I hadn't read her book, and by the way people were talking I thought she was one of those dreadful minimalist people who favored icky modern metal and plastic furniture, white walls and sofas, and no memorabilia in the house. Well, except for the no-more-than-30-books philosophy she supposedly has, she seems very sensible. It's like watching Hoarders except these people aren't drowning in possessions, they just have too many. She helps them sort them out and see what they need, and what they don't, and organize what they keep in a better fashion. (One lady had her entire downstairs den filled with Christmas decorations she hadn't put away!) This is what I've been trying to do for the last year. In fact, spurred by Marie, I went and did what I originally intended to do on Thursday: reorganize the top shelf of the spare room closet. The party supplies are kept up there, and I tidied those up, put the wedgies that we used to have on our bed in the corner in case company wants to use them, and stored the slim-line CD cases on the CD carousel stored up there, instead of having a box of cases and the carousel. Then there was enough room for the hot- and cold-vaporizers, and even some space to spare.
Friday I started gravy [spaghetti sauce] and pork in the slow cooker, then indexed the gifts in the Christmas boxes in the spare room closet. Now I know everything I have and can apportion the items to the appropriate person, and then know who I need to buy for.
Finally I washed Tucker. I usually take him to the dog wash at Petco, but the price went up to $12 last time I went, and the weather was cold and damp. But he had to have a bath; he smelled like a boys' locker room that the janitor hadn't visited in three forevers. So I got out the knee pads I got from Amazon, cleared away things from the tub, got the shower head down, dumped a bewildered Tucker in the tub, and gave him the bath. He behaved very well; in fact he was a little more coöperative than usual, even though he acted as if he were suffering terrible torture to be under water. Our water was warmer than they usually have at the dog wash, so that may be part of it.
I discovered a couple of problems, however. The main one was that the drain needs to be cleared. To keep hair out of the drain, I have a screened dome, and the hair collects and blocks the drain, and since it already needs flushing, so Tucker was standing in at least an inch of water. Plus, when I used to wash Willow in the tub, I would always then hand her over to James to dry. I had to dry Tucker myself, with no raised platform to do it on as at the dog wash. I ended up sitting on the toilet lid and holding the little wiggle worm on my lap. I needed as many arms as an octopus.
But it worked out. I got him dry enough, I washed and dried all his bedding, and James came home to a clean dog. And an exhausted Linda, but, stuff got done. And the knee pads worked fine. Much better than the towel I used to kneel on.
Today the weather reports were dire: it was going to rain. We had Hair Day, and James' club meeting had been postponed to today because of a model show in Chattanooga last week. So we went to Ron and Lin's for about ninety minutes and James got his hair cut and beard trimmed, and we chatted with everyone, and then got back on the road. I discovered I'd only had six and a half hours of sleep and I was a bit drowsy, but when I'd downloaded e-mail this morning, I'd found a 60 percent off coupon from Michael's.
So James gathered up the model he was taking to the meeting, and I got in the car, heading...well, I headed north. I was down to a quarter tank of gas, so I decided to go to Costco for it, as it was cheapest there. And there is also a Michael's at Town Center down the hill from a Costco.
I stopped at Michael's first, checking out all the departments, including the spring decorations. Ugh. Only January, don't want to think of spring, temps in the 70s, flowers blooming and making me sneeze, aching joints from my allergies, and pine pollen. (Not to mention having to turn on the air conditioner again!) But I found something great to use my coupon on. I have only seen sets of Speedball calligraphy markers in the same everlasting strict colors: black, brown, red, green, and brown. Today I found a dozen in other colors: purple! teal! even yellow and orange! The coupon was just the trick to be able to afford the set. I also found some planning stickers on clearance for my journal.
When I finished at Michael's, I went to fill up the car, and had then thought to go on to And That! to see if they still had inexpensive pistachios, and then go to Hobby Lobby. As usual, my mind strayed to books, which is how I ended up at 2nd and Charles and disappeared into the rabbit hole of used books. I don't usually find much there, but today I did pick up a book about a couple who open a bookstore in a small West Virginia town and the third and final book in a young adult trilogy about a girl living in an alternate universe Boston. I considered and then skipped The Willows in Winter because it seems to be too much about Toad. Toad is my least favorite character in Wind in the Willows; I prefer the sweet stories about Ratty and Mole palling about. The chapter "Dulce Domum" is one of my favorite Christmas tales.
I just returned home after that and messed about on the computer until James got home. We had supper at Uncle Maddio's, not having had pizza in a good long time. I'd had only a small sandwich for lunch and ate every bit of my personal pizza with bacon and black olive upon it (and no awful mozzarella cheese—hate the stuff, tastes like mucus to me). Maddio's makes the best crust, all lovely and crisp.
Watched a couple of This Old House segments when we got home, then James disappeared downstairs to the depths of his man-cave to fiddle with plastic and glue and paint, and I've been here listening to the podcast "Happier With Gretchen Rubin."
» Tuesday, January 15, 2019
FOR TODAY, JANUARY 15, 2019
Outside my window...
...it is, amazingly, sunny. We have had so much rain over the last eight weeks. Before Thanksgiving, James got cut down to 24 hours per week until the end of 2018, and we planned to have little "mini-vacations" on the Thursdays and Fridays he was off. The only mini-vacation we got was the Friday we went to Apple Annie together; otherwise all it has done on Thursday and Friday is rain, which meant we couldn't go anywhere but the supermarkets or Costco and Sam's Club because they have little shopping carts, since he's not supposed to take the power chair out in the rain. It was quite annoying! Of course now that he is working full weeks again, it is raining on the weekends. Last year was such a bad year for us that I hoped we could do some happy things in December, but it was not to be.
I am thinking...
...how quickly Advent and Christmastide went by this year. I started putting up decorations on December 2 and only took them down last week, but it seems as if time just zipped by and I had no time to enjoy them, even though I didn't have to go into work two days a week. I skipped several Christmas favorites I usually watch as well. I thought now that I was not working that I would have hours to savor the lights and the music and the stories, but somehow that didn't happen. It went by in the flash of an eye, now that I look back on it, as if I were watching it and not participating. But at the same time we had a great time: I've talked about some of it in "Holiday Harbour," and after Christmas we enjoyed the turkey leftovers, went to Bill and Caran's New Year's Eve party (it was raining...go figure!), and had our usual Twelfth Night party only ten days ago.
I am thankful...
...well, James was thankful he had no doctor's appointments in December, so I was, too. Crossing fingers he will not need a doctor except for his regular appointments. We indulged at Christmas, but as mindfully as we could, and I am actually very glad to get back to nice, plain food again rather than the Christmas treats we were sampling. On the other hand, I miss the wine biscuits. I finished them on Monday. 😊
In the kitchen...
...quiet now. Later I will cook some spaghetti to go with the leftover chicken cacciatore we are having for supper tonight.
I am wearing...
...a forest-green sweatshirt and dark grey sweatpants. I also put my boot socks on today, as it was in the thirties this morning. I will need them next week as the morning temp is supposed to be 18℉ on Monday. That is positively polar for Georgia.
I am creating...
...I'm still creating order. I doubt I will go "all Marie Kondo," especially on her attitude to books (I understand she says you should have no more than 30 books in the house? quelle horreur!), but I do want to continue decluttering. I do indeed have things I do not love in the house and I am going to donate them to someone who will. I've already decided to cut down on some of our party supplies. We received something as a wedding gift, for instance, that's been sitting in a closet for 28 years. We also have some very heavy glass bowls. They both are going. I have no anticipation of ever using the aforementioned wedding gift and the glass bowls are so heavy it makes it difficult for James to get them back in the closet. I have other bowls we can use instead that are not hard for him to manage. I will keep the chip and dip/salad bowl, and we need to use that.
I am going...
...to be looking into smaller decluttering jobs this year. Last year I moved great swaths of things out of closets (and the kitchen pantry) and now I'm going to concentrate on smaller items that need sorting or fixing. Today, for instance, I cleared out under the china cabinet. There were three mugs there I really didn't like due to the color, and something I bought on clearance for a couple of bucks that was silly and I never used. I also tossed out a tin of Christmas candy. James can't eat it, I never had more than three or four pieces a season, and I just bought it for the nostalgia factor: there were always bowls of multicolor, multishaped Christmas candy out at my relatives' homes at Christmastime. But having the candy doesn't recreate the feeling, so it needs to go.
I am wondering...
...(still wondering!) where December went! I keep wanting to turn and look at the tree in the corner.
I am reading...
...the latest Bryant and May mystery, Hall of Mirrors, which is a flashback to the late 1960s. I can't say I'm enjoying the 1960s any more reading about it than I did living through it. I didn't like the fashions (especially those awful miniskirts I had to wear) or the music or the drug culture.
I am hoping...
...to go to the grand opening of Lidl tomorrow. We have our first Lidl (which has been described by our infamous consumer advisor Clark Howard as "an upscale Aldi") opening on January 16. We get another, on Floyd Road, in February.
I am looking forward to...
...oh, I dunno. Maybe a weekend without rain so we can go to McKay's in Chattanooga? Maybe? Please?
I am learning...
...patience from this meshuggeneh weather! But damn, I had hoped to go up there before Christmas.
Around the house...
...Snowy is relaxing, and Tucker has gone back into his "cave" under the dining room table after having gone on a fifteen minute walk. I scrubbed the bathrooms and washed the kitchen floor and vacuumed yesterday, so today I have just done little things (also having discovered that our USB floppy drive reader no longer works). I'm listening to an episode of "A Way With Words."
I am pondering...
...what to work on next.
A favorite quote for today...
I love autumn and winter, so this is particularly apt, as the wind is high today and even though it is sunny, it is nice and chilly.
"In winter, the stars seem to have rekindled their fires, the moon achieves a fuller triumph, and the heavens wear a look of a more exalted simplicity." . . . John Burroughs
One of my favorite things...
...finding open space now that I've donated some things, or thrown some things away!
A few plans for the rest of the week:
Going to Lidl, maybe a trip to Walmart or to Staples.
A peek into my day...
Since Christmas is over ::sob!::, the mantel is back to normal.
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