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, October 17, 2020
Bloody Hell, Books, and a Note of Triumph
Well, medically it's been a strange week.

So Monday I'm sitting at my computer hydrating myself nicely with water, took a rather big gulp, and it ran smack into the wonderful, perpetual post-nasal congestion at the back of my throat and stuck right there. I started gasping for air, and, unable to draw a breath, had to spit up the water. Right on my nice clicky keyboard. After I got my breath back I spent an hour mopping up the mess and drying the keyboard with my hair dryer. It still typed 66666666666666666 and ttttttttttttttttttt with a "ghost" hitting the keys for hours until it completely dried.
Thursday's problem was slightly scarier. James has a rough patch of skin on his left cheek. Since he's already had two small skin cancers removed from his face, he wanted this checked out. So Thursday our first stop was Kaiser, and then we would proceed to Publix. So the dermatologist took a biopsy and covered up the spot with a small Band-Aid. Of course the spot is on the side of his face where the beard is, so the bandage was basically stuck to beard hair. Then he had to go to the lab to get his test for Dr. Kongara in two weeks. Then we needed to go to the pharmacy for cranberry supplements. Finally we were heading for the truck to go to Publix—until James took off his mask near the chair lift.

His lips were covered with dried blood like black lipstick! Plus the biopsy spot was bleeding like a stuck pig down his chin all into the hair of his beard.

So we went back inside and they sent us back upstairs, and the dermatologist's nurse treated the biopsy spot, got it to stop bleeding, cleaned up the blood in his beard, and stuck a bigger, thicker bandage on the spot. But what was wrong with his lips? He'd bitten his lip, hard, this morning at breakfast this morning. Ah, the joys of living with blood thinners. Not.

So we didn't get to Publix until way after noon and were ravenous when we finally got home for lunch. James chilled while I spent the afternoon watching a few things backed up on the DVR, like Norman Lloyd's birthday salute which I recorded two years ago, and cleaning some other things off it, like Hidden Figures (don't need to save it as it is available on Disney+). We also finally tamed the plastic leftover containers by dumping a bunch of them in the trash for tomorrow's pickup. Anything that was bubbling up, delaminating, didn't have a lid, etc. went in the bag, and now we have room for the new set of containers we got from Amazon Vine.

Friday we did a nice hop/skip/jump from Costco (renew memberships and buy cheese and mandarin orange cups), plus fill up the truck, Nam Dae Mun (thin steaks, chops, and some nice lamb steaks!), and also Lidl (for milk, bread, chocolate, and other necessities like mandarin oranges). In between jumps we had lunch at O'Charley's with Alice and Ken. A nice 6-ounce steak, applesauce, and a green salad was just what I needed.

Saturday was our banner day. First, like Friday, it was cool and beautiful! Even better, Saturday there was a nice breeze. I needed a new pair of knock-around-the-house pajama pants and James needed underwear as he was having "religious artifacting." We decided to try a different Wally World as the one closest to us is very shopworn and the second closest is always jam-packed. So we chose the one up at Kennesaw, between the mall and Barnes & Noble. Have only been past this one once, and never been inside. It's really nice, neat and clean, and huge! We got what we needed, including more sugarless candy, and, as I am wont to do these days, we took a stroll down the cleaning aisle not expecting to find anything.

There were two cans of Lysol spray left!
You have to understand I have not seen a can of Lysol since March! Over the summer months, I have managed to amass a small cache of necessary cleaning products. A kind friend brought me a bottle of alcohol, and in August I found two bottles at Publix. I have carefully collected alcohol wipes from Staples and then found some in another store. By hitting the grocerie stores at odd days and hours, I've found different disinfecting wipes (two of one brand, two of another, two actually of Lysol wipes). I know where a certain Kroger hides its disinfecting hand wipes. But I have not been able to find Lysol spray, which bugged me because with none of those other cleaning things I'd collected could I do what I needed to do with the Lysol: spray the laundry baskets after I put the laundry in the washer. Spray the mattress and the pillows when I change the bed. The little spritz of spray I rub onto the scale and then wipe off when I clean the master bathroom. So finding two cans of Lysol was a real win!

Plus we finished off the afternoon with a trip to Barnes & Noble. I picked up an Agatha Christie collection of spooky stories to read for Hallowe'en, and paired it with another book one half off, a history of the river Seine. Found a book for gift on the discount table, and another, ostensibly for me, a fantasy novel about people who can touch historical items and are "time sensitives" with them. It's the most books I've bought in a long while.

Will you please tell me how autumn whizzes by so quickly? October is half over. Summer sticks around like a constipated sloth and here it is almost Hallowe'en...

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» Saturday, October 10, 2020
It's Official...I'm Old; Plus Annoying News and a Birthday Party
It's official: I'm old. I got my Medicare card on the fifth.
Plus the first of the roof estimates is in. The guy came over on Wednesday. Yes, the flashing around the two attic vents is bowed up and water is getting under them. Also—he asked me: did you have a tarp on the roof at any time? I said no; no one's been up there since the house was built. Well he asked because right there over the spare room there are nail holes in pairs in several of the shingles. (Saw the photos later on—yikes!) He has no idea why, but this explains the two small leaks that I ignored because I thought it was from the HVAC leak and they never got any worse. Anyway, the estimate he offered us, even if they had to put in new decking, was so far under what we guessed a repair might cost that we decided to just let them do it rather than getting other quotes. Our friends had a good experience with them, the job is warrantied, and the next company can't come out to do even a quote until the 20th and we had rain coming on Saturday. (And sure enough, one of the water stains on the ceiling expanded about a couple of inches on Saturday night. It needs to be repaired before it rains again. When I called to cancel the other two appointments, one of the reps sussed it right out: "Oh, you've got someone who can come out before we can? I understand!")

Except for the rain, it ended up being a nice weekend. Now that I had my Medicare number, I could finish signing up for Medicare Advantage with Kaiser and mailed that out before we went shopping on Thursday. Friday we went to pay the taxes, but they only took cash or check. I paid it on my credit card to get the Amazon points when we got home instead. We also checked out Lowes and Home Depot for some small LED light bulbs that would fit in the ceiling fan fixture; I found them at Home Depot. We got home early enough to stay out of the heat that had returned, watching RV shows on the Travel Channel (and then Get Smart episodes all evening).

Saturday was Jessie Elder's 27th birthday party. We sat outside at Mellow Mushroom and added another table so we could social distance a bit more. It rained like crazy periodically as we celebrated; Jessie is a Disney fan, so it was a Disney-themed cake, and, as always when this bunch gets together, "a good time was had by all." We stopped at Kroger on the way home for milk and mushrooms, and then drove home through the edge of the Kennesaw National Battlefield Park, where the leaves are starting to turn to gold, and it's "lovely, dark, and deep" under the tunnels of tree branches.

Even with a three-day weekend, the days go by so fast. October is just spinning by and it's only the first third of the month.

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» Saturday, October 03, 2020
The Weakest Link...Uh, Leak
It all started when I went to iron the apple apron I got from Amazon Vine. I guess ironing should have been portent enough.

Anyone who's read this blog frequently know I am not a big fan of very bright lights. I find sunshine painful and I won't use the language I refer to fluorescent lights with. But for fine detail work, like making jewelry gifts, the stygian dimness given off by the 60-watt ceiling fan bulb in my craft room just wasn't doing it. One day I found a small-sized 100-watt light bulb at Publix. I would have preferred a 75, but beggars can't be choosers. I installed it.

Damn, it's bright. But over the last few months I've gotten used to it and I think in the last month or so I've quit flinching every time I turn it on. Except I turned it on Sunday, looked up as I was unfolding the ironing board, and yelped.

Let me note that more than several years ago, two water stains, like six-inch long dashes, appeared in the fold of the ceiling and wall of the craft room, on the north side of the house, after a really bad storm. I've kept an eye on them since then and they've remained the same, never expanded. Then when the guys replaced the HVAC system in 2016, they told me that I'd had a leak in the piping up there——there's a definite disadvantage to having the HVAC system in the attic——that leads to the condensate drain that goes outside the house. Mystery solved.

That Sunday morning there were two more water spots on the ceiling, near the dashes. These were round spots. And one was the size of a dinner plate.

So I did the cheapest thing first: called the HVAC people. If it was their leak, it was covered by the service contract. I was having other trouble with the system anyway.

So he came out on Tuesday. Um, no, it's not their leak. Damn. And also, the other problem with the system is the damper, which is not covered by the maintenance contract, which I find absurd. The damper is what directs the air upstairs or downstairs and makes the system function properly. (Actually, I found out the service contract I have only covers the semiannual check of the system. The actual maintenance contract for the system costs twice as much. Oh, and they should have told me to register the system with Lennox when I got it so I'd be under the warranty. I don't remember any of this at all, but then the new HVAC system was installed the same day James had his first heart attack. So...something had to take a backseat, and it sure wasn't going to be James.) Anyway, the service tech told me he suspects the leak is around the roof vents. I looked at them and it does seem the flashing is curving up a little. And he came back on Thursday to replace the damper (the gears on it were stripped). So we're going to spend the month of October getting quotes to have the roof repaired. What fun.

Which is why I made some financial decisions this week that will be effective in January. (I've also signed up for Medicare, which was a requirement given the birthday that was coming up. Damn. Where did the years go?)

This weekend was, as usual, too short. And we have three day weekends! Of course one day a week always seems to be taken up with James having a doctor's appointment. Thursday we went to Lidl and to Publix before arriving home to wait for HVAC guy. Friday we had lunch at Jim'n'Nick's barbecue with Alice and Ken, and then went back to Publix (a different Publix) for the things the Mableton Publix didn't have (like my yogurt and low-salt chips; I wish they'd all carry the same stock!). Once we got done with the chores, it was still cool enough outside so that we didn't want to go running for cover inside the house. So we went to Barnes & Noble instead. Picked up two autumn magazines and an early Christmas one to save for after Thanksgiving.

Saturday we did something we hadn't done in...well, I'm thinking about a year! We gave up on going to the Marietta Farmer's Market last summer because even when we got there early it was outrageously hot, we went a couple of times in the fall, and didn't even hit the winter market once, and then of course when we might have started thinking about going in the spring COVID-19 reared its nasty little head and for a while the Market was cancelled. Now it's being held in the parking lot where we used to park when going to the market, with the booths widely spaced and entrances offering hand sanitizer and people making sure you are masked. We finally got Tucker more Big Daddy dog biscuits, and also bought a Hawaiian glaze originally made by the vendor's great grandmother in Hawaii, plus a homemade croissant. I was too late to get my favorite flavor of goat cheese, though.

We also stopped at The Corner Shop (the British place) and James got a couple of treats (a steak pie and a beef and onion pasty, and we bought a Fry's peppermint cream bar. We dropped all this off at home, then went to the Hallmark Ornament October premiere. Didn't buy any ornaments, but had two coupons, so ended up with two nice Christmas gifts.

Saturday ended nicely with my Hamilton Books order having shown up. Along with the two Hallmark gifts, this whittles my outstanding Christmas gift list down substantially.

But, O Lord, why the roof already? I was hoping that would hold up a few more years until the house got to its 20th birthday, not here on what will be its 15th soon.

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