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.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Saturday, November 16, 2019
72 Hours of Time Flying

Seriously, will you tell me how a three-day weekend zips by with all the speed of an SST when a three-day workweek lasts about a month? (I know. Madeleine L'Engle explained it. It's the difference between Chronos and Kairos. But really...)

The temps had taken a decided dip on Wednesday night and while Thursday was free of rain, it was a whole lot of cold. We bundled up in sweatshirts and jackets and hats and went off on the weekly "hunting" at Publix. Every week we say we are going to try to spend less, and every week the BOGOs are too useful to pass up. This week it was Tucker's favorite dog biscuits, and we got $18 worth of "cookies" for $9, so it is a good thing. But it adds up so fast!

We made a brief detour by Kroger on the way home because we were completely out of mushrooms. James just sent me in with ten dollars and I got a dozen small cans of "no salt added" and some ramen noodles to make up the difference. Then we had to hustle home to put up the perishable groceries, because it was 12:30 by then and James had to be at the doctor by 1:30.

We hope this will be the last appointment until January, although we will need to go back to Kaiser itself for prescription refills. Today we saw the nephrologist and he was very pleased that all of James' kidney functions were holding steady, with his creatitine at 2.4. However, he seemed a little bit more worried that James' BP had been high the last couple of months (we think it's stress from his work schedule and, frankly, money shortages). So the doctor put him on a low dose of BP meds, and said it should also clear up the protein he is seeing in the urine. James will need to come back at the beginning of December for followup bloodwork to check up on that. [November 17: looks like the BP med is already working.]

By the time he did prescriptions it was time to head home. For evening enjoyment we had Young Sheldon and some Perry Mason.

The rain came whirling in on Friday. I like chilly days, I like cloudy days, but chilly and cloudy with cold rain is just misery. James decided not to come with me to go to the small Smyrna Library Sale. This is usually held at the Fall Jonquil Festival at the end of October, but they decided not to risk it in the rain that weekend. I went there just for the heck of it, found one nice book that I thought I might have, but it was only a dollar, and then two other books for fifty cents: Simon Garfield's On the Map (go ahead! twist my arm! make me read about cartography! 😀 ) and a nice basic book of cross-stitch stitches in color with instructions. Turns out I did have the bigger book, and that went into the McKay's box.

We left the house early for our lunch date and so we stopped briefly at Lidl for a bread/milk/ground turkey run. It was so cold outside (low 40s) and clammy that neither of us worried about leaving the turkey in the insulated bag when we went to O'Charley's for lunch. Most of the rest of the crowd was at Conjuration (Harry Potter/magic convention), so it was just Mel and Phyllis at the table with us. The conversation and lunch were nice—I had the same six-ounce steak, baked potato with butter, and salad with balsamic dressing as last time—but after we headed home I started feeling decidedly sick. Not sure if it was the salad dressing or the seasoning on the steak, but I was queasy and miserable all afternoon and finally fell asleep under a blanket on the sofa for a couple of hours. By Hawaii Five-0 time I was a bit better, but it wasn't the greatest of evenings. Later we watched an episode of Perry Mason with Bill Mumy as a young orphan who found a murder weapon. They edit these things so much: we found out the murderer but never told us what happened to him!

Saturday dawned sunny and nice—we left the house in jackets and ditched them midafternoon, so we decided to drive up to Acworth for a hot chocolate at Books-a-Million. We wound through our favorite back route, which is mostly residential, checking out the mellowing trees with their darkening leaves, and saw our first Christmas decoration, a Santa Claus on a front door, and a Christmas tree heading home, and finally pulled into the handicapped parking space in front of the store. As I was prepping the power chair to come down, I looked up. The bookstore was empty. The sign was gone. Wow. In fact the store wasn't just empty, it had been completely cleared out inside down to the concrete flooring and walls.

Well, dang, when did that happen? That Books-a-Million has been here over ten years, and I've been going there every couple of months for that long. We were just here in the summer for frozen hot chocolates, and it didn't look like it was going to close. 😞 Anyway, since both other BAM stores were an hour's drive away on this traffic-clogged Saturday afternoon, we just went to Petco to use the restrooms and buy Tucker some cookies and then came away. Instead we turned back toward home and stopped at Dallas Highway and checked out the Barnes & Noble, and then drove out to Austell to get something at Ollie's Discount Outlet—except, of course, that they didn't have it. I did find a couple of nice books for gifts, and James discovered some brown-sugar cinnamon PopTarts (without the dreadful frosting!) for me.

That was quite a bit of driving for James, so we headed home. He made beef stir fry for supper, which was delicious, and we watched a couple of Father Brown episodes we hadn't seen as well as the Britcoms.

Then, poof! Weekend over for us.

Really bummed about Books-a-Million. The closest one is now at Arbor Place Mall, which is nowhere I want to be at this time of year. Maybe after Christmas.

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» Wednesday, November 13, 2019
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
...I am looking directly at the bird feeders and a big mockingbird is landing on the hanging suet cake and chasing off all the little birds. What a big bruiser he is compared to the usual crowd of titmice, chickadees, brown-headed and white-breasted nuthatches, house finches, sparrows, and downy woodpeckers. He's just a little smaller than the red-breasted woodpecker that comes by sometimes.

I am thinking... nice it is for it to have gotten cold, but it's almost too cold for my poor toes. Even in boot socks they are icy. It's such good walking weather, though; you don't perspire, or feel like you want to pass out from the heat. I would have walked longer this morning but was aware how cold the pavement must have been for Tucker's little paws. His feet were cold when we arrived home and I rubbed them all before letting him upstairs.

I am thankful...
...for our Thanks Jar! It is sitting on the dining room table collecting squares of paper with things we're thankful for on them. No thanks is too small...I know I popped one that says "milk" in there.

In the kitchen...
...we did an easy dinner today: we had leftovers from the Thai place last Thursday. Mine was yummy pad thai with (non-spicy) peanut sauce and James had leftover beef-flavored noodles with ground turkey and green beans. For dessert: three dark chocolate Oreos apiece. Now we need more.

I am wearing...
...a burgundy sweatshirt, dark blue sweatpants, and red and navy blue striped grey boot socks. It was in the 20s this morning, so the socks were needed for Tucker's and my long walk.

I am creating... least one Thanksgiving card; I thought I had a bunch and I only have three. I need to make at least one other or flush one up from somewhere.

I am going...
...a bit annoyed with this month. First the starter on James' truck gave up the ghost, and now one of the nose pieces on my glasses has broken off! It can't be soldered even if you could find one to do it, and I simply do not have the money for new glasses right now and don't need new lenses anyway. Is it possible they still have this frame at America's Best and I could just buy a frame?

I am wondering...
...if I should go to the Mistletoe Market at the Civic Center this weekend. I used to enjoy going in the past, and they haven't had one in a while. On the other hand I blew off the last one they did have because it's run by the Junior League and all the items for the past few years have been decidedly upscale and very expensive as compared to the simpler crafts and products they had when I first began going. I do want to stop at the Smyrna Library book sale if I can.

I am reading...
...depends on which medium! Physical book: E.B. White: Writings from the "New Yorker", 1920s-70s, which I'm glad I got from a book sale for $1 because while I'm still adoring White's "turn of phrase," these are just excerpts from his columns, not complete essays as in One Man's Meat and Essays of E.B. White, so it's intensely disappointing. E-book: Merry Midwinter, which I'm loving; a look at all midwinter celebrations by a woman who describes herself as "a Quaker, a Theophist, and a practicing Druid." (I would have thought Quakers and Druids would be diametrically opposed, but I guess not in her case!) Magazine: Just finished "Country Sampler"'s Autumn Decorating edition. E-magazine: the October issue of "Country Living UK." I love the UK edition much more than the American magazine, as there are actually stories about living and making a living in the country in it. Imagine that.

I am hoping...
...James stays well. That's all I ever hope anymore. I don't even dream about going on vacation any longer.

I am looking forward to... sale maybe, this week's lunch (at O'Charley's), Thanksgiving coming up. Must enjoy this time with friends as James has (so far) neither Christmas nor New Year's off. This means no Christmas dinner at the Butlers and no going to Bill and Caran's party, and if he doesn't work, he doesn't get paid.

I am learning...
...or I need to learn not to look back at bad things so much. I still cry to myself about last year's car accident.

Around the house...
...James is clicking away, teleworking since the truck was broken (we could only pick it up at lunchtime today, since the mechanic closes before James gets off). Tucker is asleep on one of the dining room chairs. Snowy is chirbling to the Christmas music I have on.

I am pondering...
...these days I'm always pondering taking a nap!

A favorite quote for today...
"The maples perhaps undergo the most complete transformation of all the forest trees [in the autumn]. Their leaves fairly become luminous, as if they glowed with inward light. In October a maple-tree before your window lights up your room like a great lamp. Even on cloudy days its presence helps to dispel the gloom."             . . . John Burroughs

One of my favorite things...
...Christmas music done in brass! Listening to the Canadian Brass right now.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
James goes to the nephrologist tomorrow. Hoping no surprises as creatitine is holding steady at 2.4. Maybe book sale. Lunch on Friday. Winging the rest.

A peek into my day...
How about last Saturday instead? This wonderful orange tree in the JoAnn Fabrics & Craft parking lot at Kennesaw.

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



» Saturday, November 09, 2019
It's Always Something

Well, it was an interesting weekend, and, yeah, part of that was in the Chinese sense.

I went into the weekend feeling chuffed because I'd finally updated my Christmas web page completely (I'd done the donkey work already and was just tweaking) and did some minor corrections to the Thanksgiving page. I'd done the Autumn page earlier, so now the only other seasonal page to update is the Winter one.

Thursday we made the usual supermarket run, and then had this week's lunch a day early at Curry Curry, a Thai restaurant near where James works. I had pad thai and got a huge bowl of noodles and meat; looking forward to the leftovers! Alice, Ken, and Mel also showed up and we had a nice chat before we headed off to Walmart. We needed more non-stick bandages and also picked up more melatonin. In the evening we had a small snack and watched Babylon 5.

On Friday morning we drove out to Kaiser Glenlake for James' appointment with his cardiologist. This was easier said than done. The truck has been giving him a problem since early summer; sometimes when he tried to start it it would click. And after a few clicks it would start. Friday morning it didn't start at all. So I drove him out instead and had to shove James around in a manual wheelchair. I'd say the visit went fairly well: Dr. Shash said his readings and labs looked okay, and he thought James' slightly elevated blood pressure was caused by the pain from his arthritis. He said just to keep an eye on things and if it continued he'd raise the dosage of his meds a little. He doesn't want to do it now because it would make James more tired. (I didn't realize BP meds made you tired.)

Then we had to go downstairs for his blood tests for Dr. Kongara next week, and then back upstairs to the pharmacy, and then only could we head home. Luckily we got out of there before they blocked off the roads near our house because both the President and the Vice President were in Atlanta today.

Once we got home, James tried to start the truck again, but it was a no go. So I went upstairs to call AAA, only to realize we had never received our renewal notice in the mail. Instead I went online to pay the bill, then called them about the truck. First they sent over someone to try to jump it off just in case it was the battery, but that was a lost cause. Only then could the tow truck show up and the guy pulled the pickup out of the driveway as easily as the yolk comes out of a broken egg, and we followed him to the mechanic. They won't get to look at it until Monday.

(James' blood tests came in later in the evening. Everything seems to be holding steady, creatitine at 2.4.)

Since James couldn't drive himself to his meeting on Saturday, I took him up to Town Center and left him at Hobbytown while I bopped around a little. I had four good JoAnn coupons but not much money, so bought four more colors of DMC Etoile floss and enjoyed the browsing. Then I took the back way—because Barrett Parkway today looked like it was the week before Christmas—to get to the Hallmark store since I had a good coupon. I did end up with a gift for someone and two Thanksgiving cards. I also took a turn around Tuesday Morning, and dropped in at Publix to see if they had chicken and wild rice soup. I was strolling around Barnes & Noble when James called and said the meeting was over. I was an idiot and went through Barrett, and it took me twenty minutes to get about two miles. Did someone move up Black Friday when I wasn't looking? Incredible!

So we headed home and spent a quiet evening watching Babylon 5 and the end of the Shadow War. Alas, if only they knew the hardest part was ahead of them.

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» Saturday, November 02, 2019
Through Fair Day and Foggy....

Another cold front came marching upon us, but we had to endure the warmth before it. Thankfully it was just 70s instead of the dreadful 90s we had until October 2. The rain that came with it, having crept northward from the Gulf of Mexico (again!), started late Tuesday afternoon, proceeded through Wednesday, when it drizzled, poured, rained, misted, poured, dribbled, poured, and dribbled again—but stayed warm. On Thursday morning we lucked out and got a break in the rain, so we dashed to Sam's Club for a couple of things. We frankly had to dash inside the store, too, because there was only one electric cart free up front and it was rapidly running out of battery. So we picked up what we needed—including, ironically, batteries—and left posthaste, only to have the cart run out of juice inside the front door. Thankfully we only had a few things and we could just carry them to the car.

On the way home we stopped for the twofers at Publix. Like Sam's, they were doing a booming business in giant bags of candy for trick or treating tonight, and many of the employees as well as the shoppers were in costume. (At Sam's we had seen someone in a keen 1950s outfit, complete with full poodle skirt!) Now, when we went into the store, the clouds were lowering and it was still quite warm, about 74℉. In fact, it seemed warmer than when we left Sam's minutes before. We emerged from Publix about 45 minutes later with the rain just starting, and as we turned to drive through downtown Smyrna, it started to pour. By the time we got to the house, it was down to 62. The temperature continued to fall throughout the day, so that it was in the 50s during the news, 40s as we were watching TV, and it went down to the 30s during the night.

After the groceries were put up and lunch eaten, we went to tackle the last big thing before free electronics recycling day on Saturday: the clear plastic computer box in the garage. Back in "the old days," when it was cheaper, James used to build our computers instead of us buying them. We'd pick out a case, a motherboard, RAM, and the parts, and he'd put them together and we'd have a frankenmachine. Well, when these computers broke down we'd toss the broken parts and keep the working parts. These parts were all in the big plastic box in the closet in our garage. Some of the stuff was over ten years old. I pulled it out, James regarded it, and the junk went in a garbage bag. We pretty much threw out almost everything, especially all those phone cables (we had more phone cables than any two human beings should have). We kept a spare keyboard, a spare wired mouse, two power supplies (one never opened), one of each kind of cable, about three network cables of different lengths, and that was about it. James also cleaned out next to his computer and got rid of floppy disks (which I thought we had sacked long ago), games he bought and played briefly, games he bought and discovered he needed something expensive to play them, etc. We had two garbage bags full of junk just from that and a small cardboard box besides the dead fans, lamps, etc. in the garage boxes, and the two little netbooks that we had reformatted. (I did a Marie Kondo with the latter, and gave them a hug and told them how much joy they'd given us before I dumped them in the box.)

I was wandering around YouTube later on, and found some shows I had marked to watch later. These were produced by the Rhode Island PBS station profiling various towns in the state. I watched one about Johnston and was happy to see that, besides the town landfill, which has always been kind of a joke, they had a lot of stories about historic areas (including a history museum that opened after I left the state) and organic farms. The final story was about something I saw flitting around Facebook for months: three wild turkeys who were wandering around Atwood Avenue (practically Johnston's Main Street) without a care in the world, stopping traffic. They caught two, but the third one was at large for months after this was filmed. Not sure if they caught it or not!

We didn't do Hallowe'en, and as far as I can tell, maybe two houses on our street did. Usually you can hear kids outside, but I didn't see any when I looked out the window.

We awoke to a cold but beautiful Friday, with bright blue skies overhead. From shirtsleeves on Thursday, we were in jackets with flannel shirts underneath and hats.

Today we had an early lunch because of James' (and I think Ken's) doctors' appointments at Kaiser Glenlake. We went to Shane's barbecue with just Alice and Ken and missed a larger crowd, but had a good time chatting.

It's a good thing we mellowed out because once we arrived at Kaiser, it seemed to take forever. We got there so early James took his time using the rest room and I refilled all our water bottles while he did, so we were hoping we might get in early and out before rush-hour traffic began. We didn't get to his appointment until a hour after our scheduled time, but there was good news: the bandages were taken off and everything was dry, so she didn't put more back on. But we were so late getting out that we just went directly home. That suited me, because I put away the autumn decorations and put up the Thanksgiving decorations on the porch (and also the mailbox cover).

After last week's Hallowe'en Hawaii Five-0, this week's seemed kind of a letdown with those two idiot bloggers or whatever they were covering the team.

Saturday we were up with the sun (literally, because it was the final day of daylight saving time—and good riddance!—and the sun isn't up until after seven) for breakfast and dog walking before we had to load up the truck and head for Jim Miller Park for recycling day. It was chilly but sunny when we loaded up the power chair, but we weren't even a couple of miles from home when we ran into a bank of fog that we wove in and out of all the way to the park. At times it formed a wall of grey in front of us, then shredded apart once we got in line to leave our junk behind. From there we were planning to go to Harbor Freight and, accordingly, went the shortest way, past downtown Marietta, but they were having, in addition to the usual Farmer's Market, a Heart Run, and some local performers. We could hear one of them singing as we came around Glover Park. James had to thread his way around that, leaving us to head to Kennesaw by way of US-41, where we continued in and out of the fog banks, slipping in and out of the grey curtains ahead of us.

By the time we reached Harbor Freight, it was sunny again. We had a nice browse inside; I love hardware stores! I found some new gardening gloves at a very reasonable price, a few other things, and bought James an anniversary gift: he needed a new mototool. The store was in the same shopping center with a Publix, and we nipped inside to see if they had what we couldn't find in the Smyrna store on Thursday, paper towels (yes) and yogurt (no). By the time this was done, the fog was gone for good and the sky was a brilliant blue.

Then it was time for a little fun, so we stopped at Barnes&Noble. I picked up the new "Just Cross Stitch," and also two Christmas magazines. James also picked up a couple of magazines, and we were in a mellow mood when we stopped for lunch at Panera. Our last chore for the day was stopping at Sam's Club to fill up the truck.

And with this nice day our weekend ended.

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