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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» Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Simple Woman's Daybook
FOR TODAY, MAY 18, 2022

Outside my window...
...sunny and hot, which means I'm staying inside under the fans with the A/C. I do not do sun.

I am thinking...
...or rather wondering what makes everyone so angry today that they are willing to go out and shoot, stab, bomb, etc. the people they dislike. There were bigots everywhere when I was a kid. They emoted their hate for certain groups in horrible language. They didn't deliberately drive to neighborhoods with that certain group and shoot members of the group. Or cheer on people who did these things.

I am thankful...
...that it's only one month till the solstice. Then the days will start getting shorter again. Here at the solstice the sun doesn't set until 9:45 p.m. How absurd. By 9:45 you're getting ready for work the next day, not lolling around outside. There's never anyone out where we live anyway; they're in taking refuge from the 80 degree temps even after dark. We pass by houses with beautifully furnished porches all summer and no one ever uses them.

In the kitchen...
...not much. We had potlucks for lunch; James had leftover pork stir fry and I had vegetarian vegetable soup, and we watched an episode of CSI.

I am wearing... and green flowered ribbed tank top and grey shorts and white ankle socks.

I am creating...
...mostly this week I have been working on a post-series Law & Order: Criminal Intent piece.

I am going...
...well, since it's Wednesday I'm going to finish the laundry, and prep for complaining tomorrow because it's Thursday and I hate Thursdays since it's grocery shopping day as well as trash night.

I am wondering...
...when this damn cold is going to disappear. I can sleep through the night, but my sinus still hurts, there's still pressure on my right ear, and I'm still producing mucus.

I am reading...
...Tony Horwitz's Confederates in the Attic, which I'm really enjoying. Much better than the sequel, Spying on the South; much more subtle.

I am hoping...
...the weather decides to cool off eventually! 90 degree temps anytime sucks, but 90s in May is ultimate suckage.

I am looking forward to...
...James' retirement, but that's not until October. Nothing really to look forward to until the Hallmark Ornament Premiere in July, when I'll finally complete the "12 Days of Christmas" ornament collection.

I am learning...
...lots of gross stuff about bugs and dead bodies on CSI. LOL.

Around the house...
...James is at his desk working, although there's no call right now. Tucker is, as always, under the dining room table on one of the chairs, asleep in his "den." Snowy is singing because I'm playing "The Tech Guy."

I am pondering...
...all those violent people. I don't get it. Why dislike people because their skin is differently colored, or if their features are different, or if they worship God differently? Strange.

A favorite quote for today...
..."If you're afraid that reading a book might change someone's thinking, then you're not afraid of books, you're afraid of thinking."

One of my favorite things...
...I think we'll be finishing up one tonight: we're on the final two episodes of Longmire. It's been a good series. I still like the books better, though.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Tomorrow: tedious grocery shopping and putting out the trash. Friday: James sees new urologist. Saturday: don't care, so long as it's not in the sun...oh, I think we are taking the truck to the Firestone place to get the A/C fixed. I need to arrange to get Butch fixed because the engine stopping in the middle of a road isn't the way I want to drive. The problem is I don't give a damn about that car. I wish I didn't have to worry about the stupid thing, but I have no money to buy a new one.

A peek into my day...
Well, we watched CSI, so here are Sidle and Grissom (Jorja Fox and William Petersen).

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



» Saturday, May 07, 2022
Repeat After Me: Cough...Cough...Cough
Well, it's been a week.

Sunday I went through all the chores except for cleaning the hall bath, roasted some chicken drumsticks for dinner, paid some bills, and then as always before bedtime, walked the dog.

By the time I got back from the walk, I was coughing, one of those hacking coughs caused by a raw spot on the throat, one I hadn't had when I went out for the walk. In those ten minutes, it had just shown up. And I kept coughing, except when I was drinking, which made it hard to sleep. So let's say I didn't get much sleep and spent Monday miserable and much of Tuesday miserable as well. James was also suffering the aftereffects of the two weeks of antibiotic (cephelaxin); he seems to be sensitive to this one, since he was feeling as if he could not breathe well the last couple of days, but that eased up the moment he was off the antibiotic.

Now, James had a cardiologist's appointment on Wednesday, and there was no way either of us were going to show up if we had COVID. So we took the at-home test on Tuesday, and both of us came up clear, which was a relief. Really, I can still smell and taste fine (the mucus most of all—it's revolting), and I've had dozens of colds that started just like this: cough first, and then my sinuses going into overtime and producing wildly, and then cough from the endless post-nasal drip-drip-drip. I sound like a frog and I'm exhausted.

So James did get checked out by Dr. Shash, who assuaged our fears by saying his EKG was fine, and he listened to his lungs, and said they sounded fine as well (we were worried because since his fall, the CT scan noted small plural effusions on his lungs). We told him we would definitely keep the appointment with the urologist on the 20th to see if his prostate was enlarging so much that it was blocking his flow again.

And then, guess what.

Yes, his damn UTI is back, even after two weeks of antibiotic! He sent another note to the urologist. So Thursday, along with going to Lidl, Publix, and Kroger, we had to go back to Kaiser yet again for a fourth lab test. But, I got through the shopping okay, although I was cross and tired, and thought the cough medicine I got at Kaiser was doing me good, especially when we stayed in Friday because we were supposed to have a storm (it never came) and I felt pretty good, if still slightly stuffy, with no bouts of coughing so hard my eyes watered and I couldn't catch my breath!

We spiced up the evening by watching the second season finale of Picard (all threads neatly wrapped up), the "Ready Room" short that went with both Picard and the new series, and, finally, Strange New Worlds, the new Star Trek series featuring Captain Kirk's Enterprise predecessor, Captain Christopher Pike, with Spock as his science officer, and Number One as his First Officer. Uhura is seen as a fresh-from-the-Academy role here, and we also meet Dr. M'Benga and Nurse Chapel. It is very good. They are going for individual stories here, not serialized adventures like Discovery and Picard have been. It also sounds as if the "big bad" in the series are going to be the Gorn (the "lizard man" Captain Kirk fought in "Arena").

Alas, Friday night was a cough-fest again and I woke up Saturday feeling like my head was stuffed with cotton. James went off to his club meeting Saturday afternoon and I settled in front of the television for a minor Vincent D'Onofrio film fest: the Homicide: Life on the Street episode "The Subway" which won a bunch of awards and was so innovative that PBS made a documentary about it (the documentary is also on the DVD set, but I didn't get to it), and also another episode called "All is Bright" that guest-starred Kathryn Erbe as a young woman who caught AIDS from having unprotected sex with an HIV-positive guy (who, of course, didn't tell her). (This also featured a sweet performance from Carol Kane as one of John Munch's [Richard Beltzer] ex-wives.) The final thing I played that afternoon was an interview of Vincent from a 2017 Chicago Comic Con. I did this great screencap of him talking with his hands—it reminded me of all the family gatherings when I was a kid, everyone gesturing!

 (Later on, I told James to watch a couple of episodes of The Expanse, which I really don't care about—did notice Burn Gorman from Torchwood is in it—and I watched a very early television appearance of VDO's on the original The Equalizer series with Edward Woodward; he plays Davy, a mentally challenged young man who nevertheless is overjoyed to finally be on his own and working in a department store, until one night he stumbles upon a murder and is accused of the crime, so he goes to Robert McCall for help. It's called "Suspicion of Innocence" and is on NBC's website.)

Alas, Saturday night seemed to end well: I fell asleep with no coughing fit!

Only to wake up at two in the morning with one instead. Bleah.

This is getting very, very old...

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» Saturday, April 30, 2022
Return of the Native Fitbit
Well, the big news this week was that Fitbit finally contacted me because FedEx Ground finally delivered my broken one to their California headquarters. I figured it would take another month to get a new one back, but it arrived within three days! Then, of course, came the charging and the pairing and trying to find my favorite watch faces again. I need to, someplace, save which ones they are, because there's only one that still tracks active minutes, and I had to go into the Fitbit forum to search for what it was.

A bonus was that it came with two pair (large and small size) of bands, one a blue "camo" sort of design, which James snapped up.

Otherwise it's been sort of an off week. Last year when James went to the urologist, we found out his prostate is starting to grow back, but he was still "flowing" okay. We're not so sure that's true this year. Going to the the urologist at the end of the month hopefully will shed some light on this. Also, the knob that turns the different settings on our nice magnetic Moen shower head broke off. This was annoying because that shower head ran about $60 last time we bought one at Bed, Bath & Beyond. But I found another on Amazon for only $38 and ordered it that way. (We also did go to BB&B...which looks really bare. Is the chain in trouble? I couldn't even find poop bags for the dog.)

Oh, and I gave Tucker a bath.

This week we also had a nice Friday lunch at Okinawa with all three of the Spiveys, ate a final dinner at Ken's Corner Grill, which is closing on May 7, and...oh, yeah, I bought some more books. (But this is hardly news.)

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» Saturday, April 23, 2022
Books, Books, Books and Other Spring Festivals
Well, it's been an enlightening week. I found out Fitbit is completely innocent of the problems I've been having returning my broken (and still under warranty) unit to them; well, except for the fact that they used FedEx Ground to return the unit. My Fitbit has been held hostage by FedEx for the past four weeks, and has apparently had a nice tour of California while that was happening: it's been to Bloomington, L.A., San Francisco, Sacramento, and now is currently supposed to be enroute to Fitbit in Calexico, CA (which is south of Los Angeles, on the Mexican border, so not sure why it went north). I finally contacted FedEx via Twitter, and of course, they were "looking into it." 🥺

Thursday we did the usual shopping thing, and then we went out to Michaels at East Cobb. Even they look denuded of stock. But we stopped at Trader Joe's only to discover their wonderful "fruit bars" are "on hold." James loves these and they are the lowest sugar snack we can find.

Meanwhile, the delayed-by-a-month Friends of the Library Booksale happened this weekend, and I was there in line Friday morning with the rest of the zealots I always go there with intentions to buy "only in my series, or what I have on my Amazon wishlist." Well, I did find one book on my Amazon wishlist (The Alps).
  • The Alps, Stephen O'Shea
  • Friends for the Journey, Madeleine L'Engle & Luci Shaw
  • Merry Hall, Beverley Nichols
  • Flight Path, Hannah Palmer
  • London the Biography, Peter Ackroyd
  • Confederates in the Attic, Tony Horwitz
  • Beaks, Bones & Bird Songs, Roger J. Lederer
  • Pacific, Simon Winchester
  • Awake in the Dark, Roger Ebert
  • The Fifty-Year Mission; The First 25 Years, Edward Gross & Mark A. Altman
  • The First Human, Ann Gibbons
  • The Secret Language of Color, Joann Eckstut & Arielle Eckstut
  • When Wanderers Cease to Roam, Vivian Swift
  • Manhattan Mayhem, ed. Mary Higgins Clark
  • The Seasons of America Past and Diary of an Early American Boy (Noah Blake 1805), Eric Sloane

Also got a couple of brand new books for gifts and picked up something for James, and, also on that Friday, had a nice lunch with Ken and Aubrey (Alice was off on a trip to North Carolina with Juanita) at Hibachi Grill.

On Saturday we went to the Jonquil Festival as early as possible. Since the City of Smyrna has seen fit to completely demolish their beautiful brick traffic circle and the fountain within it in favor of putting a brewery between the public library and the community center, they had to hold the Jonquil Festival in the parking lot. This made it very hard for James to get around with his chair, and the heat came up a lot quicker than I expected. I was getting lightheaded.

Later we had to drive up to Town Center so James could have a followup CT scan on his back. They want to see if the bones are healing properly (and we did get a report that they are). We'd planned to eat out, but after having so much salty food at Hibachi, we figured it would be better to just go home and eat our own.

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» Wednesday, April 20, 2022
Where, O Where Has My Fitbit Gone?

I have failed to mention my ongoing Fitbit saga.

Late last March James bought a new Fitbit, a Versa2, one with a "real" watch face rather than the digital Alta, at Sam's Club. This came with an extra band, a bit of lagniappe that you usually get at warehouse clubs. I was immediately envious, but I wanted the "rose gold" one (read: light copper) and Sam's didn't have any that day. So I ordered one online from Sam's instead in April, and I have been very pleased with it since.

On March 22, my Fitbit worked fine all day, down to when I took the dog for a walk at 9:45 p.m. But when I went to plug it on the charger an hour later, it had no display, nor did the "battery at ___%" notation that comes up when you plug it in. So I left it plugged in while I did evening ablutions, and then when I put it back on, still no display, although the Fitbit synced with the app on my phone and was indeed recording my heart rate. I wore it to bed, and it documented my sleep, still was recording my heart rate, even my steps when I walked the dog. So basically it was still working, it just had no display, which meant I couldn't see the time, or use the timer, or use Tap-to-Pay, and, seriously, what's the use of that? So I got on Fitbit Chat online and Fitbit almost immediately sent me a return label because the unit was still within the one-year warranty period. I wrapped up the Fitbit, the charger, and the band it came with as they instructed in bubble wrap, put it in a padded envelope, slapped the return label on it, and providentially as I was thinking of taking it to the post office the mail carrier was just coming by, and I handed it to him and watched him log it in.

And that was the last time I saw it. Here it is April 20 and I still have no word about it. I e-mail Fitbit once a week about it; the last time they actually gave me a positive message was on March 30, when they said it still hadn't reached their warehouse, but the tracking number said it was supposed to be delivered the 31st. However, when I e-mailed on April 6, they said it still hadn't reached the warehouse! WTF, people???

So here it is April 20, exactly four weeks after I mailed it, and I still don't have any word of it.

I did kind of luck out on Saturday when I was sweeping the garage. When I first mailed the Versa2 off, I thought, I still have my old Alta, I can use that. Then I remembered that I had decided to recycle it. But when did I decide to recycle it? Was it before or after Electronics Recycling Day in November? So I went down to the garage, turned on the overhead lights, and looked into the recycling boxes, but didn't see anything. So I figured it was before ERD and I was stuck. Well, last Saturday when I was sweeping out the garage and, of course, had the doors open, I had a lot more light in there, and, lo and behold, there was the old Alta in the biggest recycling box! But would it still charge up after not being charged for a year? So while I was watching The Whole Wide World I was charging it on the Turbo-Charge plug (3.0 USB) from James' phone—he was at his meeting—and it charged up fine and works perfectly, so now I can at least know what time it is, get silent alarms, and record my steps and active minutes.

But where, O where, has my Versa2 gone? O where, O where can it be?

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» Sunday, April 17, 2022
Books, Bunnies, and More D'Onofrio
This was about an average week. Earlier I got the dog brushed out and trimmed the nandina bushes out front (the firecracker bushes are still partially dormant, which is odd). And the grass was cut this week, but at least I wasn't woken up by the mower!

Alas, it was another Thursday we had to go by Kaiser. James is on his third UTI in a row. He'll stop taking the antibiotics on Monday and by Wednesday things get cloudy again. Happily, James sent a note to his new urologist and they ordered him up a test right away on Monday; Thursday being the first day we could go. And then we had to go shopping, the usual nonsense. I was incensed when I picked up some cans of no-salt mushrooms for James: the price on these little suckers has doubled since the pandemic.

This year I didn't do my usual Good Friday quiet time. I think it's more important I spend the time with James when he's off; work is so aggravating he needs to go out and enjoy the world. So we slept late, then, since it was Good Friday, we went to have a fish dinner at the Bay Breeze in Mableton. I had some great baked stuffed shrimp with real crabmeat stuffing, the Bay Breeze's doughnut-shaped hush puppies, a salad and a baked potato. It was quite yummy. We also went by Hallmark to pick up the new ornament Dream Book (yes, it's that time of year) and I went into Barnes & Noble for a few minutes to see if the May-June "Yankee" was out yet. (Nope.)

Alas, we'd forgotten to pick up toothpaste on Thursday, so James sat in the truck while I went into Kroger for it.

On Saturday James had his club meeting, so we slept fairly late, and then about noon he left. I swept out the garage after he left and then washed off the pine pollen on the front porch and the driveway and the trash can. Then I came inside and watched two Vincent D'Onofrio films, The Whole Wide World, about pulp writer Robert Howard, which I quite enjoyed (based on the journals of Novalyne Price, who had a romance with Howard in the 1930s), and Chlorine, about a middle-class couple (VDO and Kyra Sedgewick) who are just getting by and she wants to live more like their country-club friends, who are dissipated and dishonest rich people pouring drinks and snorting drugs all the time. It was really quite repulsive. I've been drunk once and high once (and the latter was after surgery), and have no desire to do either again, and have no idea why anyone has to do this to "have fun."

Plus I got a nice Easter gift in the Saturday mail: my copy of the new "Rivers of London" book, Amongst Our Weapons, arrived!

James had to work Easter Sunday, of course, but it was quite quiet. We had the little Hormel ham I had bought at Kroger two weeks ago, suitably marinated in pineapple and maple syrup, along with a baked potato, and chocolate buns from Lidl for dessert. I finished my essential Sunday chores (charging the water flosser/motion sensor light, sorting medication for the week, washing towels, cleaning the master bath) and watched The Easter Promise and Here Comes Peter Cottontail. I also had a short trip today because the doctor's office called (yes, on a Sunday!) to get James a prescription for the UTI! TownPark's pharmacy is open on weekends because Urgent Care is there, so he could start on his antibiotic today. This time they have given him a two-week's dose, three times a day!

After Call the Midwife, I put on Rick Steves' European Easter. The Eastern Orthodox customs are beautiful, and you so rarely see them!

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» Saturday, April 09, 2022
A Split Weekend
It was a good week for television: "Benjamin Franklin," a two-part documentary by Ken Burns, aired on PBS. I also watched once again an old favorite, The Andromeda Strain, which I hadn't run in a few years. The best thing they ever did was recast Dr. Peter Leavitt as Dr. Ruth Leavitt—and not a busty youthful babe with long dark hair and come-hither eyes, but a middle-aged crusty woman scientist. Kate Reid is magnificent in this film.

We also had a temporary change in schedule for this week. James got a call from his supervisor on Monday: there was a coverage problem on Thursday, could he work Thursday? In return he could have Tuesday or Wednesday off.

So Wednesday was when we did our grocery shopping. Did the Publix shopping in Smyrna, because we can never find the Jennie-0 pre-made turkey burgers (quickie lunches) at Mableton, then went to Mableton to hit Lidl and Kroger (because the milk at Mableton is cheaper at their Kroger than at the Smyrna Kroger). (I don't understand it, I just shop it.) I also drove by Sprouts on the way home because we were out of Lighthouse "salad dressings" (these are finely chopped up herbs, onion, chives, etc. in a little jar; we like to put them on chicken and turkey as a garnish).

This swapped laundry day to Thursday, but it worked out.

On Friday the first thing we did was mail our check to the IRS. We owe them money, but it's better than getting a refund and having given them a loan interest free. I've been saving money each month for this payment, so it wasn't a hardship. Then we went on to Otter's Chicken in Kennesaw and had lunch with Alice and Ken. The pollen has been so bad even Alice is complaining. Afterwards we took a turn around Hobby Lobby (more stickers for my journal!), and then went to Kaiser for our second COVID booster shot.

Afterward James made a short stop at Hobbytown—I amused myself meantime by reading fanfic on my phone—and we stopped at Baskin-Robbins on the way home for ice cream. Later we watched the next part of Picard and the corresponding Ready Room with Jonathan Frakes and Brent Spiner.

Saturday we had to make a quick stop at Nam Dae Mun because when I had breakfast I noticed that I was nearly out of almonds for my oatmeal, and these are sold in bulk packages there. Then we headed out to check out The Crazy Book Lady, a little bookstore off the main street in Acworth, GA. The were just expanding into the little store next door, and the place was a mess, but the couple running the store were so nice! We had big conversations about other used book stores and how there were fewer of them, and ditto needlework stores! It was a pretty successful trip: f
ound a CSI book I didn't have, a book about the history of the alphabet, and Mario Pei's What's in a Word?, which I first read at Hugh B. Bain. James got a book about Flying Fortresses and another about Old Ironsides. He ran into a young dad with two little boys who are into air shows and modeling and was in hog heaven talking to them.

We had lunch at a place called the 1885 House, which served Southern food and some seafood. I had shrimp (it was good, but not enough!). On the way home we had ice cream again. (I know!) Once we got home, it was time to vacuum so we could prep for the work week again.

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» Wednesday, April 06, 2022

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...'s about to storm again. We had a day of rain yesterday and are supposed to have a repeat today.

I am thinking...
...seriously, not much, or would go crazy listening to the news. Thinking idly that wish some actors didn't have such juicy roles where they have to shave their heads, because they look much more attractive with hair. (Told you it was an idle thought. Fill in your own actor. The one I'm thinking of is six foot four.)

I am thankful... is over with. This is actually an unusual day for our shopping. James generally works Sunday through Wednesday, but someone called out for Thursday, so his supervisor asked him on Monday if he would work Thursday and take another day off. He chose today, so that's when we went shopping. I will do laundry tomorrow.

In the kitchen...
...the refrigerator is full of meat, so I hope it doesn't die! We have some stew beef that James will make into stir fry tonight, and got some cheap pork chops to cook tomorrow for dinner.

I am wearing...
...a "Soft Kitty" t-shirt and blue/white/silver pajama pants and white socks, all of which is much too warm right now. I should put on the ceiling fan. I'm boiling.

I am creating...
...well, I finally finished and posted my fourth post-series Goren and Eames story, which clocked in at almost 23K words. Talk about an "Energizer Bunny" story...

I am going... enjoy supper tonight as I am not the one cooking it. James makes a super stir-fry with stew beef cut up smaller, mushrooms, onions, and cashews. Who needs to eat out?

I am wondering...
...what we're going to do for conventions this year, as we seem to have given up on going to DragonCon (I'd go; I'm just too worried about James getting around in the crowds in his power chair). There is no Spycon/Monsterama this year, just a Monsterama mini-con; 221B is this weekend, but I'd have to truck down to the airport by myself (this was considered when I had Twilight, but I don't trust Butch); and the loss of WHOlanta still cuts to the heart. This leaves ConJuration, which we did have fun at last year. We have tickets to Libertycon, but nowhere to stay that allows pets plus allows us transport back and forth to the Libertycon hotel; we were going to stay at the Staybridge Suites down the road but they have no rooms for Libertycon weekend.

I am reading...
...well, which three books do you care about? Fictionwise I'm reading Murder in Chianti, the first in a series where Irish/Italian ex-NYPD detective Nico Doyle has moved to Italy after his wife's death. Also Movie-Made America, a sociological history of movies, which I bought as a gift for a friend and then wished I'd kept and luckily I'd found a used copy at McKays, and Faith Baldwin's nonfiction inspirational book, Many Windows. Just finished the CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Companion.

I am hoping...
...for no adverse effects from our COVID-19 boosters, scheduled for Friday.

I am looking forward to...
...that's already been viewed: Ken Burns' film "Benjamin Franklin." Quite good!

I am learning...
...well, I'm definitely not learning how to love cooking and am frankly counting down the days until James' retirement date.

Around the house...
...James is cooking dinner and probably Tucker is staring at him (nope, he's still under the dining room table, but I can see his little black nose sniffing away as the skillet sizzles), Snowy is burbling, the television is playing a rerun of Forged in Fire.

I am pondering... always, hatred. Such vitrol toward people because of their race/color, sexual preference, religious preference, etc. Is this 2022 or 1922 or 1822? The mind boggles.

A favorite quote for today...
"If we aren't upon Earth to learn, there would seem to be no real purpose in this existence." Faith Baldwin, Many Windows

One of my favorite things...
...this week! New episodes of The American Experience. That was "Benjamin Franklin."

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Another "jab," maybe lunch with friends, maybe another bookstore visit (is it time for another trip to Canton?).

A peek into my day...
Sorry, grocery shopping much too dull. How about eighth-season screencaps of Eames (Kathryn Erbe) and Goren (Vincent D'Onofrio)? Yup, that's the ticket.

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


» Saturday, April 02, 2022
On the Trail of the Elusive Yogurt
It's spring, dammit. Yellow pine pollen everywhere. Did housework all day Sunday and then had the rest of the work week to do some editing and, as always, unloading and loading the dishwasher and doing the laundry. But...James is not in the hospital. Happiness is relative.

Thursday was our usual shopping day. It was sunny and warm after the storm we had during the "wee smalls," but unfortunately it didn't get all the pine pollen out of the air. It makes you feel like spitting the "dirt" from out of your mouth. We found chicken drumsticks on sale and ground beef at 30 percent off at Lidl, had very few BOGO items at Publix, and then had to go to Kroger anyway (even though I had bought milk at Lidl not to have to do that, since I knew they would no longer have my yogurt) because Publix didn't have any lightly-salted Pringles. Annoying. I was able to get James more Tina burritos anyway.

We came home, put everything away, ate a sandwich, and then went to Town Center where they have a better class of Walmart. Needed a certain toiletry, pants hangers since I found two new pairs of pants at BJs, sugarless candy and canned corn beef for James, a few other items, and yes, they did have my brand and flavor of yogurt, but this means if I want it, I have to go to Walmart. And they only had fourteen, so I'll have to go in two weeks. Barf.

James wanted to go to Hobbytown, but they were redoing the aisles and he couldn't get to the models. So instead we had ice cream for dessert.

Hey, we're adults, we can eat dessert before dinner!

In the evening we watched CSI, and then Young Sheldon, United States of Al, and Masterchef Junior, which had all recorded while CSI was on. Anything not to have to watch those meshuggenah network commercials (there are commercials on Hulu, but nowhere near as many).

On Friday James had an appointment at Emory St. Joseph's doctors' center at the neurology department as a followup for his fall. We saw a very nice nurse-practitioner who (1) liked our mask "leashes" and (2) was impressed that James makes his own burritos to keep his sodium down. We talked a lot, and basically she said James should have more physio therapy and also consider spinal injections to keep the pain down in his spine. (No one has ever suggested this before, even his rheumatologist.)

For lunch we went to a place called The Lazy Dog, which Alice and Ken recommended. We had a chicken and rice and veg dish that was very nice (I had teriyaki and James had sweet and spicy), and for dessert had "triple chocolate mousse" that was to die for (not as good as the Black Tie Mousse cake at Olive Garden, but you can't have everything). When we finished we went to Barnes & Noble. Didn't find much, and my card has expired anyway.

On the way home we stopped at Best Buy to look at phones since I cracked the screen on mine about a month ago. It still works fine, but the phone is getting to the point where it's discharging quicker. Leo LaPorte says the batteries start to fail on phones after two years and this one is almost two. (Liked it better when you could swap out batteries, thank you.) We were looking at the Moto G Stylus. Wondering if the green one with the better camera is worth the extra $50.

During the evening we watched the newest episode of Picard season 2 (with a reference to Gary Seven on the original series!), and then some CSI. I think we just hit the episode where the "GSR" ("Grissom-Sara Romance") kicked in.

On Saturday we stayed in to do chores, including scheduling our COVID booster shots for next Friday. For supper we ate at O'Charley's at a birthday dinner for Ken Spivey, and that was nice.

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» Saturday, March 26, 2022
Yogurt Trek 3: The Search for Chocolate
We had to be up early this morning to go to Hair Day, as Sherii had to help her daughter move and her grandmother had died. So we were at the Butlers' house early and got to talk with the Lucyshyns, and the Campbells showed up briefly as well. To our surprise, Mel and Phyllis actually showed up as we were leaving; they haven't been to a social function in some time due to coronavirus and also malfunctioning transportation.

We made a last valiant attempt to find my chocolate yogurt in some supermarket other than Publix or Kroger by going up to the Ingles in Dallas, just north of Hiram. I have to tell you, as supermarkets go, Ingles is gorgeous. They have a big long salad bar that's almost as good as the one in Whole Foods, and we availed ourselves of it (me some cucumber, tomatoes, and olives and James a container of chili). They also have a great international section that includes Thai and Cajun food, and we even managed to find some juice boxes (to keep in the closet for James when he has low blood sugar), a scarce commodity in any of the supermarkets close to us. But, alas, no yogurt, and damn, this place is expensive. For instance, Pringles low sodium crisps are $1.79 at Kroger/Publix. $2.23 at Ingles.

For the yogurt I will probably have to go rooting at Walmart or see if Publix will special order them for me.

Then it was home for a few hours so James could load the dishwasher and I could vacuum, and later in the afternoon we headed up to the Kaiser Townpark location so James could have an ultrasound on his left kidney; his MRI revealed a lesion on it. We picked up a prescription for his UTI as well, and then had supper at Fried Tomato Buffet; me, I was only there for the "pork ribs," which are yummy. (Yes, I had a vegetable; I had some olives!)

James wanted to go to Hobbytown, but they closed at six! Instead we went to 2nd and Charles. James found a book, but I was just looking for the rest of the CSI novels and they had none. Didn't see anything else used I wanted. Interesting that they keep stocking more and more new books.

Bother. I don't want to go to freakin' Walmart...

And so our weekend is over again.

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» Friday, March 25, 2022
Days of BJs and No Roses
We needed Kleenex and what James calls "plastic cheese" and fruit cups, so we decided to go up to Woodstock for a shopping trip to BJs. (We really shouldn't quibble at the's shorter than my commute used to be!) It was a pretty day, and we stopped to get gasoline first because it was 3.65(9) at BJs.

As always, we bought lots more than we went there for. We got the Kleenex, the cheese, and the fruit, and, oh, yeah, toilet paper, I found a set of Bic pens, some laminating pouches, and even two pair of my favorite pants (Gloria Vanderbilt "Amanda") in the correct size and the correct length!). It would have been three pair, but the third was in orange, and I will not wear orange pants. 😁 Plus we got Skinny Pop and I treated myself to a bag of PopCorners, which we had for minor snacks until we could actually pick up real food. I'm still shuddering at that fast food pickup we had last week on the way to Atomicon, which sat in my stomach like a rock for an hour, and then two hours later I was hungry all over again. What a waste of money.

We came home by Dragon 168 and picked up a very late lunch and enjoyed it in front of the television.

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» Thursday, March 24, 2022
From Store to Store to Store in Spring
Damn. It really is spring. We awoke this morning to lawn mowers going under our window. Alex and the bi-weekly lawn mowing has arrived. Of course this meant I had to hot-foot it out of bed instead of getting to eat breakfast to write out two checks, one for our lawn and one for the damnable HOA account we got stuck with, and then I had to remind James to order checks on the HOA account, and we haven't gone in the HOA account since last year, and of course it locked us out, and we had to call the bank...grrrrrr.

Only then could we go out: we had to stop by Kaiser first to get James a test (we think he has another UTI), then it was on to grocery shopping. I could stand grocery shopping more if we didn't have to go to three stores to get everything we need. Lidl is for decent baked goods, reasonably priced veg and wheat bread, relatively cheap meat (even though their meat has skyrocketed), and relatively cheap juice (although they quit selling cranberry juice). Publix is for the twofers, Pepperidge Farm Hawaiian bread (my one vice), vegetable broth, and low-sodium Smart Balance. Kroger is for cheap milk, the manager's special meat deals, low-sodium Pringles when Publix doesn't have them (which is often lately), no-salt mushrooms—and was the only place left (besides Walmart) that I could get Yoplait's chocolate Whips yogurt, well, until two weeks ago. Now they don't even have a shelf for it anymore, so if I want it, I'm going to have to go to stupid Walmart (and half the time they don't have it anyway).

Plus then drag all the stuff up the stairs because it's all James can do to get himself up the stairs these days with the back pain and put it away.

We didn't get home until 2:30, barely enough time to eat lunch before James had a video appointment with Dr. Kongara, his nephrologist. We spent the afternoon watching Law & Order reruns on WEtv, all the way through what I thought would be a new episode on NBC tonight. Instead it was a rerun because of stinky basketball playoffs on CBS. Fox wasn't afraid to play a new episode of a show, so we watched Masterchef Junior instead.

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» Sunday, March 20, 2022
On the Way Home...Again
Always sad waking up on the last day. One must get dressed, share a final breakfast, pack All That Stuff, and talk until it's time to leave, and today was no exception. We were awakened just after eight, and we did some packing then, then had our meal from the breakfast buffet and ate it in the common room. When I was done eating, I started packing again, then James came to help me, and we had it all put together in a trice after brushing our teeth, and put the bags and things in the common room.

Then we could sit and chat for a while. Clair and Daniel wanted to go to the zoo and Alex and Pat were going to join them. Others were going for a walk. The Kiernans and the Spiveys, at least, are staying through tomorrow. I made our reservations for next year to stay over Sunday, too. Since it looks like this is the only vacation we are ever going to have again...

We left sometime after noon, stopping at the Ingles in Cleveland to see if I could find a plastic garbage bag to cover the birdcage. The one we had on the way to the vet flew out of the car yesterday. I did find some 55-gallon bags with a very thick mil, so I bought them, and also two more dark chocolate Lindt bunnies. The Ingles didn't look like our stores in the metro area, with large swaths of empty shelves. I should have looked for juice boxes when I was there!

We had a pleasant ride home, including behind a car whose bumper sticker said "Walt Longmire for President." (There would be a candidate I could get behind!) It was a nice sunny day, which means when we finally got to the vet's office and picked up the rest of the family—Tucker gave a happy little whimper when he saw James!—the fids were sitting in different positions than they usually do. Tucker was sitting on my right thigh with his head out the truck window, and Snowy was sitting between James and I, out of the sun, making mad, passionate love to the bell toy in the carry box.

To make a long story short, we made it home okay, the house was okay, and we ate the ribs we picked up at Rib Country before we left Cleveland, GA, and then watched the season finale of Star Trek: Discovery and the accompanying Ready Room, last Thursday's Law & Order (which was based on Britney Spears this week), the first episode of Call the Midwife's new season (which is a lot more promising than last year), and Young Sheldon from two weeks ago.

Then it was time to walk the dog, and now the weather's just over and it's time for bed.

Yes, we're back, "back from the Moon."

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» Saturday, March 19, 2022
Saturday With Books, Flour, and "Cheap" Gasoline

Another good night of sleep, except when James went off to the bathroom at 8 a.m. and didn't come back. I called to him, he didn't call back, and I found him on the toilet, asleep. But the hotel toilet had a grab bar next to it, so he had something to lean on and wasn't in danger of falling.

This morning we decided to go to Dottie's for breakfast; this is a breakfast/lunch place right across the street from the hotel. It's a buffet deal; you pick out what you want. I had bacon, ham, a cat's head biscuit, home fried potatoes (that were not oversalted!), and two slices of French toast. The ham was country ham and too salty, so I only ate about half of it. It was good, just really salty. Nothing really I could drink; I had Fanta orange and suffered carbonation bubbles up my nose.

We were going to Nora Mill next, but all the parking spaces were filled, so we went on to the Mt. Yonah bookstore, run by Ellen and her tortoiseshell cat Daisy. James found a book about fighting ships and also a book about U.S. food history. I found a CSI novel and a "Richard Castle" novel, and I bought a gift for someone. Ellen had written "Welcome Atomicon!" on the whiteboard outside, and we always get a discount.

Then we gassed up the truck in Cleveland, just down the street a few miles, because it was only 3.65(9) and everywhere else it's 3.94(9). James said it would be $50, and it was.

It was only around one o'clock, but Nora Mill was almost completely empty now. Just as we got there, a little lizard (what they call a "skink") came running along the fence that keeps you from tumbling down the hill that goes into the millrace. I took a photo of him, but it's blurry because I couldn't get close. At one point he puffed out his throat at me and it was like pink bubble gum.

They were also taking a delivery of freshly harvested corn when we got there. The truck had a funnel at the end of the bed that led into a pipe that crossed to the front of the Nora Mill building and dumped into another hopper that took the corn directly into the mill to be ground. They still use a real mill wheel run by the falls outside on the river.

James found several different kinds of cherry jams inside and bought one of each, so he was happy. He also bought country gravy mix (he loves it, I loathe it) and we got buckwheat pancake mix, and a pickle grabber, too.

Back to the hotel, a whole bunch of people in the common room, so we just sat, noshing on veg and cookies for the rest of the afternoon and chatting. Some folks were out doing things: Alex and Pat had gone to Ellijay for wine tours. Charles usually hikes, but I don't think he did so today as he's had a cold.

We did this all afternoon, until everyone separated for supper. Some went to Bigg Daddy's, the bar/restaurant; some to Bodensee, the German restaurant; others to Spice55 because they weren't here on Thursday. We wanted to go to Rib Country, where we went last year, and finally went on our own. But every parking space was filled, so we decided to get it as take-out. We got the combo platter and forgot we had ordered extra last year, so we really didn't overeat: I had a rack of ribs (except for one which I gave to James) and applesauce, and he had beef brisket, beans, and the Texas toast. For the rest of the night it was the same thing, chat, rinse, repeat, until midnight. Some folks played games, but I was editing a story while talking.

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