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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» Sunday, April 28, 2024
Just an Ordinary Week (But...Dogs!)
It was a red-letter week: I finally delivered an overdue Hanukkah gift. It's been a comedy of errors for the last four months trying to get Mel and Phyllis their gift. Either they were where we were and the gift wasn't, or it was the other way around. ::sigh:: It's not even valid as a Passover gift now.

The bad news is that James' toe is still not well; we had it checked out at podiatry this week. The doctor said if we were still patient about this we could "stay the course." So we are, but she sent him down for an x-ray to make sure.

The good news of the week was Saturday in (1) going to Hair Day (where the Hanukkah gift finally was reunited with its owners) and talking to everyone, except for Charles, who is in Greece! and (2) going to the Jonquil Festival. We got there just in time for the Ready Go Dog Show. All the dogs are rescues, some from shelters, some from specific breed rescue. Five dogs performed: an Australian shepherd, a Pomeranian, and a chihuahua named Tito all chased frisbees. Then Phobia, a smooth Border Collie, jumped from a box over a hurdle six feet high. The final performer was a Belgian Malinois named "Beano," also a frisbee freak. The handler said the hardest thing to teach Beano was "stay"!

James got himself two sugar-free desserts (I tasted the lemon cake; it reminded me of the lemon squares from Solitro's Bakery!) and also picked up some jambalaya and red-beans-and-rice for lunches. They had a bumper crop of vendors, but didn't see much that we wanted. The honey guy was there, but he had no small bottles of blackberry honey.

On the way out we stopped at the library because they didn't have an outside book sale this year. Their "perpetual book sale" has shrunk from three large bookcases to two smaller ones. I still found three books: Reviving Ophelia, which I've wanted to read; Sisters in Crime, a collection of short mystery stories about women; and Strongheart, an award-winning children's book about the famous dog star. (We did go to Barnes & Noble, and I didn't buy anything. The library books only cost $2.75.)

In other news, dropped more stuff off at Goodwill, posted the first part of a seven-part fanfic and redesigned the graphic for the series, tried out a new grammar-checker called Quillbot, and listened to more Colonial Williamsburg podcasts.

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» Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Doctors Multiply (and We Don't Mean Who)
Yay! The grass is cut for the next two weeks and the pine pollen seems to be gone, so it's time for me—something I didn't do last year—to get the hose and rinse down the front porch, which is no longer brick colored, but yellowish. Alas, every single gasket on the hose and nozzle is shot, which means I got as wet as the porch in front (my capris were still damp around the waistband two days later).

We started out the week with one doctor's appointment and ended up with three: Wednesday it was James' physiotherapy followed by the rheumatologist. Dr. Salazar upped James' steroids to 7 1/2 milligrams since he's still in a lot of pain. Later we had supper from Tin Drum, which, to my sorrow, was less than sterling for me.

For years now Tin Drum's teriyaki bowl (under different names) has been my go-to treat. I would go there once a month, especially after I retired, and treat myself to lunch and racked up so many points I had lots of free meals. Over those years they made tiny tweaks to the dish (like adding a lime), but it was always okay.

This time it was disappointing. Instead of just adding a meat now, you have several choices. I got the thin-sliced beef. It was greasy, and at the same time there wasn't enough sauce to cover the rice, and they seemed to have put a little bit of pepper in the sauce (either that or it was grilled after something spicy without the grill having been wiped). It was blah instead of rah. Sigh.

Thursday was James' Procrit shot. Bruce, the nurse who practically bounces off walls, was telling us they are remodeling the Cumberland office, and they want to send nephrology, rheumatology, and a few other things, to Glenlake (and move cardiology and optometry to Cumberland), which means we would have to drive to Glenlake every two weeks for Procrit shots! Bruce is going to see if he can get permission for James to give himself the shots; we would just need to stop by Cumberland to pick up the dosage every two weeks (since the dosage is variable depending on his blood test that week). You give the shot the same way you give yourself an insulin shot, so it's something James can do.

Finally Friday James had a urology checkup. We talked with the PA instead of Dr. Jefferson, which was nice.

Saturday I exposed myself to temptation. James wanted to look for an SSD for his laptop. I have been suffering with envy watching people creating art on iPads because their stylus and art programs are so good. MicroCenter had some discount iPads, and I was very tempted. I'm also looking at new phones because I know the batteries give out after a couple of years.

But...we'll see.

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» Sunday, April 14, 2024
Partial Sun and Full Runs
After we saw the total eclipse in 2017, both our minds turned toward this year's event. Since Evansville, Indiana, would be in the path of totality, and was just a short drive over the Ohio River from Owensboro, Kentucky, where we stayed in 2008 to see the Remember WENN play (and met Jen Payne!), we had toyed with the idea of staying in Owensboro—and hopefully being able to eat at that terrific barbecue buffet again if it was still in business!—then driving over the border early in the morning to see totality.

Unfortunately, the last seven years have been...well, a fat bitch. A TURP, four hospital stays in 2022, UTIs and falls...James was in poor shape physically and mentally I wasn't a barrel of laughs. So we made no plans. And watching ABC's "Eclipse Across America" segment later in the week was depressing as well as thrilling. But, can't be helped. Instead on Monday we watched what Atlanta had of a partial eclipse (about 85 percent) from our driveway. It never got dark, or dusky, but the light, to me, had this silvery cast, and the temperature did noticeably drop and the wind picked up.

My favorite part of the eclipse was past peak: about ten minutes after what we got of totality, the mail lady came by. She said "Can I see? Can I see?" and I said yes and she stopped the mail truck in the middle of the street, jumped out, and I let her use my glasses!

Kept busy this week: Tuesday I shelved books in the library, returned all the fannish things I dragged out of the closet looking for the eclipse glasses to the closet and concatenated all our vacation souvenirs in one drawer in the spare room (where I found the eclipse glasses).

Wednesday James had a stellar workout at PT, and then we went to Barnes & Noble, which I suppose was a bad idea because I bought two books (but...they were history books and one was half off...) and the SVU magazine.

A victory on Thursdays: no more followup trips to the dermatologist! James' nose is now well enough to take the daily Band-Aid off. We also had an appointment with the sleep doctor—he's gonna see if he can get James a new C-PAP unit, but James will probably still need the sleep study first—which I had to leave early because I had my checkup scheduled for late this afternoon. As usual Dr. Mobley was over an hour late; thank goodness I had someone to chat with (thanks, Vanessa!) since James was stuck out in the waiting room.

Friday we went out to the Costco David (therapist) recommended to us, out where Macland Road intersects with Charles Hardy Parkway (which turns out to be the other end of Dallas Highway; it changes name when you hit the Paulding County line). In fact, we went through Dallas Highway and stopped at their Walmart first—nicely kept, but their sugar-free candy assortment isn't much; we did find more mushroom-flavored rice sides (but, horrors, they're on clearance! mushroom rice goes with everything). The Costco was not quite so empty as David described, but we walked around and picked up a couple of things.

Even though I do not "redd up" the house in summer, I did get some lawn decorations this week. There's nothing like neighbors having cookie-cutter bland front yards to inspire you to put up more decorations. I got a butterfly, bird, and blue flower, a rainbow pinwheel, and a tiny bunny to go between two mushrooms (do those garden decorators actually know what those fly agaric mushrooms are? LOL). I put them up on Sunday and trimmed the nandina, which was starting to look like it stuck a root in an electrical socket.

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» Sunday, April 07, 2024
After the Fall
The week did not open auspiciously, but instead with pain (James') and tears (mine).

I took Tucker out Monday morning and did our "regular" walk (across the street, down to the stop sign, reverse direction to the day care, and back across the street again). When I got home I called up to James, but he didn't answer. So I figured he was in the bathroom, which I hadn't begun to clean yet, and let the dog upstairs. Then I headed for the hall bathroom to "walk" me.

I looked down in the doorway to see James' shoes. They were attached to James, stretched out on the floor, his right arm bleeding in several places including on the hand, and some cuts on his right leg. He had somehow caught his right foot—we think, he says he doesn't know how he fell—on the doorframe and fallen face down. He did not hit his head, nor hurt his face; he was conscious, annoyed at himself, and uncomfortable.

So first I mopped up the blood and then came the problem of getting him off the floor. He can't roll over onto his knees. So I got him into a sitting position, and he basically crab walked—or actually pulled himself forward on a kitchen chair while I moved it forward incrementally and then held down—to the stairway, where he could stand up. Next I patched up all the bleeding parts and checked him for bruises.

We ended up not going to Urgent Care. He said he was bruised and did hurt, but that he didn't think he'd broken anything, like a friend did last week and who had to go to the emergency room. Instead James took Tylenol and I gave him an extra steroid. Needless to say he was very sore for most of the week, and David had to ease up on him when he finally got to go to PT this week (we hadn't gone the past two weeks due to the allergies making us feel horrible).

Lawn care, alas, is back in season. Alex is going to come on Tuesday this year, he says, so I had to stagger awake on Tuesday and go through a flurry of writing checks.

James was up to Walmart on Wednesday (sugar free candy and other stuff we can only get at WallyWorld) and then grocery shopping on Thursday. On Friday we took it as easy as possible, but did go to Canton for our monthly trip. Came out of Books-a-Million with many books, then we had pizza at Uncle Maddio's, and finally we stopped at BJs for fruit cups, maple syrup, and a few other items.

Saturday afternoon we had great fun at Ken Spivey's birthday party, which was held at Volcano Steak and Sushi, a new place out in Hiram (they also have a Korean BBQ and Hot Pot). This is one of those hibachi places where the guy cooks in front of you, and it was great fun to see little Kassidy (who's elementary-school aged) watch the chef do his tricks for the first time and be startled when he sets the fire on the grill!

James' club meeting was on a Sunday this month because it was the only day available, so he went off while I did some chores and washed some towels and did some writing and listened to the Colonial Williamsburg podcasts.

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» Sunday, March 31, 2024
Almost Easter
Sort of an interesting Holy Week in making some old progress. Back in 2022, I stopped listening to the Colonial Williamsburg podcasts (I was busy writing, and I can't write and pay attention at the same time). I had caught up on all the Gretchen Rubin podcasts, and need to catch up on "A Way With Words," but wanted to get to the Williamsburg ones, too. This week I started listening to them again and hope to keep up with Rubin and catch up with both the others.

Most of the opening of the week was chores. James did have an MRI on his toe on Wednesday. His right baby toe, the one that showed up with a sore in January, is still not healed. It doesn't look infected, but skin isn't growing on top of it and healing it up, so the doctor wants to make sure the bone isn't infected. (Got the report later in the week; it's not.)

Thursday James' Procrit shot was scheduled early, although we tried to change it. So we went by Lidl on the way home, and I got both chicken drumsticks on sale and some boneless pork ribs, so I made cacciatore for supper and also made gravy for later. And we had a nap, too!

It was a quiet Good Friday: we had to run out to pick up meds, but I did listen to the BBC Lent Talks.

On Saturday while our low-sodium ham was marinating in pineapple, we went to Barnes & Noble and to Hobby Lobby. In the evening I watched the spooky movie Stir of Echoes. Kathryn Erbe is in it, just before she did Criminal Intent. It was pretty creepy, but turned out to be a little of a murder mystery, too.

And Easter was quiet. Unfortunately I had to wash towels since we were out of facecloths. I watched my two Easter favorites, Here Comes Peter Cottontail and The Easter Promise, and we had ham and potatoes for dinner, and then...dark chocolate Lindt bunnies! Yay!

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» Sunday, March 24, 2024
Woohoo! Got up on Tuesday and our water pressure was back to normal. It has been a horrible two weeks dealing with dribbling faucets; hell, if somebody's house caught fire last week, I doubt if there would have been enough water pressure to put it out!

James had his nose checked again; Dr. Warner says it is healing okay. I wish the dang scab would just fall off.

Saturday we had Hair Day. Washed towels because we needed facecloths. Had a nap.

I am reading Braiding Sweetgrass, which is lovely and lyrical.

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» Monday, March 18, 2024
Atomicon 2024
We had a fairly good Atomicon, despite being utterly exhausted from allergies and coughing. We arrived in Helen Thursday afternoon just about four, when several of our friends were checking in, offloaded our junk, and then lay down until I started texting to find out where we were going to dinner. Spice55, the Thai place, was the choice, and we had the usual yummy dinner. I wait for this every year, as they make the best pad thai.

Something sweet happened after dinner: Jessie and some of the others were enchanted by the black-and-white stray cats hanging outside the shopping center where the restaurant was. A lady was also interested in the cats and she and James started talking; she was ex-Navy and also had been a Marine. Now, we had had an appetizer, so I still a lunch-sized portion of leftovers, and it was supposed to rain on Friday. I suggested we stop at the Dollar General, which has frozen foods, to see if we could find him something for lunch there. We did find some taquitos. The same lady also was in the store, and she was quite disturbed by how cluttered the aisles were and that James could not get around in his power chair. She told us she was going to report the store for ADA violations. And on the way out she paid for his taquitos!

Thursday night I was feeling well enough to play some games, and we played Uno No Mercy, which is fiendish. I got kicked out of the first game almost immediately, and ended up winning the last one.

It did indeed rain almost all day Friday. It was probably good because James and I were both stuffy and miserable, and we stayed in with anyone else who didn't want to go out in the rain, talking, farkling around on the computer. I found Law & Order Toronto: Criminal Intent available and watched that, and last night's Law & Order as well.

For supper the weather cleared well enough to go to the Nachoochee Tavern and have some pretty good pizza. I had to share with James, so I had to eat cheese [bleah], but it was still okay.

One of the things James and I have begun doing since Atomicon has been held at the Country Inn and Suites is to have a daily walk downtown after breakfast. It's about a half a mile, and then we stroll around the little downtown area, maybe walk down to Hofer's Bakery, and then return to the crossroads of downtown and head toward the parking lots, strolling a road in the back down to the hotel. Total it's about a mile and a half, maybe more.

I was feeling so short of air from the congestion that on Saturday morning we took the truck instead; we haven't done that in years and I felt like I was regressing. But I did manage to totter around downtown. We visited the glassblower's shop, bought our annual candy from Hansel & Gretel, and visited the history museum that we missed last year due to food poisoning. This is in a building that used to be the City Hall. Helen was a tiny little logging town at one time, outside of what became Unicoi Park, and when the logging left, so did a lot of the population. Helen became basically a gas and food stop, so they turned the town into a "Little Bavaria" to attract tourists. We've been going to Helen with our friends for...well, Jessie and Aubrey both turned thirty last year, so...longer than that!

We also bought more white peach balsamic vinegar (love this stuff) and some blackberry ginger as well from the Alpine Olive Tree. I got James a neat gift: someone gave us a little turntable/light gadget: you plug it in and put a statue or something on it and it lights it up and revolves. They had laser-etched lucite items, and I got James a U.S. Navy one, with an aircraft carrier and destroyer and planes flying overhead. (I was going to get him a smaller one, but he said the planes weren't correct!) It looks really pretty on the turntable.

We then drove down to the Mount Yonah Bookstore—the owner always puts out a "Welcome, Atomicon!" poster and gives us a discount—and I found a brand-new copy of the annotated version of The Phantom Tollbooth, one of my favorite books in the whole world (seriously, what my life would have been without the Stadium School and Hugh B. Bain libraries I will never know). I also found a book about a woman FBI agent, a book by Robert Ressler (one of the first FBI profilers), and the book that inspired the series Homicide: Life on the Streets, which introduced Richard Beltzer's John Munch character.

And it was back to Spice55 for supper with Alice and Juanita. I had pad cashew this time, which was exquisite.

Sunday I was feeling strong enough to do the walk downtown, if a bit slowly, and we made it to the Christmas store before I started to be nagged by lower GI problems. It was a good walk, anyway. We spent the afternoon reminiscing about old television series, and had supper at Rib Country in Cleveland, GA. The ribs are so good and half the price of any ribs in the Atlanta metro area.

Alas, neither of us slept well, so we staggered up, ate the hotel breakfast, and packed up and left. Stopped at the outlet mall because I so much needed new socks. We also stopped at a knife shop where James went in; I sat and read. And finally, by the vet—$1300 for exams and boarding! Oliver apparently seems to be okay to them; it looks like they don't have an avian vet again. ::sigh:: Yes, they noticed he's shy.

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» Thursday, March 14, 2024
Oh, God, Not Now...
It's been a week, even though Atomicon was at the end of it.

Sunday night I took the dog out as usual, and the pollen attacked. I've had reactions to pollen in the previous years, especially when the pollen counts were 6000-8000 plus. After ten minutes, I couldn't stop coughing. I coughed for two nights and two days, and even when that abated and I could get some sleep, even though I wasn't very stuffy, the post-nasal drip was horrendous and the mucus smelled terrible. Worse, after going out on Wednesday, James started the same routine. So we were exhausted doing our chores in the early week and exhausted packing for our weekend in Helen.

The one tiny interesting spot for three days, in fact, were the air-for-your-tires units at Costco! They are great, much better than the air at QuikTrip. You know it's a bad week when getting air for your tires is the best thing that happened.

Thursday morning I woke up at six a.m. feeling so horrible I had to take one of the at-home Covid tests, because damned if I was going to give 20 people and the hotel staff in Helen a virus. Happily, it came out negative. Unhappily I didn't get much more sleep because we had to run to Kaiser at ten to get James' Procrit shot.

So this means it was exhausting loading the truck—and we have to take so much f*cking stuff with us now because of the cathing and being prepared in case an ulcer pops up on James leg and taking our pillows because the hotel pillows absolutely suck.

I can report that Oliver rode well in the car, despite the fact that (1) he was right next to Tucker, who, ordinarily he's afraid of; every time Tucker is playing at night, he gets upset and calls out in alarm, and (2) I didn't cover him; he didn't seem scared of the landscape flying by. They let me set him up in his cage in one of the exam rooms, and Elliot just took him back like that. (Tucker, unlike Willow, lets Elliot put a leash on him and just accompanies him in the back with a jaunty trot.)

And then, we were off to Helen...

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» Sunday, March 10, 2024
A Matter of Power
I am so pissed!

In our 18 years in this house, we've had normal water pressure, some really good water pressure (like mostly on during the last two years), and some abysmal water pressure, like it was in the fall of 2022. But it's been so nice for the longest time.

On Monday when I was cleaning the bathroom, the water in the toilet turned brown.  I called up the water department and they said the firemen were probably cleaning out the hydrants, and that I should turn on the outside faucets for ten minutes to clean out the line. This seemed to work cleaning out the water.

Then the freaking water pressure dropped. I'm not talking "just a little bit." I'm talking you can't wash your hands after you flush the toilet because the water coming out of the faucet is a stream the diameter of a drinking straw. Even on full stream the shower massage won't work, and you can't run the faucet or flush the toilet if you're in the shower. The water coming out of the kitchen faucet droops down instead of coming out straight.

It makes cleaning out James' catheter a fat pain in the ass, too. And I have to clean it out three times a day, and the catch containers, too.

If you call up the water department, they will tell you this is your fault and you must have a leak.

Miserable, miserable.

At least Will Trent was on again, although it won't be back until April now, due to stupid basketball. The same goes for Elsbeth, which I'm still on the fence about. She's almost too flaky.

In better news, this weekend was the semiannual book sale sponsored by the Cobb County library. It was cold when I got there Friday when they opened; I went back Saturday when James was at his club meeting. Day 1 and then Day 2 hauls.

Once Upon a Crime are crime stories based on fairy tales. America's Jubilee is about the 50th anniversary of American independence (1826). Raising Cubby is partially research for a child character I'm writing. Joy Adamson's Africa is a collection of her art—people who've read her wildlife books forget she was a trained artist—including four absolutely gorgeous portraits of native African people in traditional dress.

We had been noticing since it got cold that the batteries on James' power chair were discharging rather quickly. It seemed to go away during warm weather, so we didn't worry about it much, but in the last couple of weeks it seemed that his usual speed, "3," appeared to be slower than he was used to. Thursday during shopping the batteries were half drained just from a trip through Lidl and Publix.

So James looked up to see if any of the Batteries+ stores had those batteries in stock. Turned out the one on the corner of Roswell and Wieuca did, so we went out there Sunday to get them replaced.

We did not get the names of the two guys that helped us, but, wow, you had to see the work they had to do to get those batteries out! James looked up a video on YouTube and the process seemed very simple: remove the front cowling and footplate by depressing the silver buttons on each side of the latch, unplug the batteries from the chair, then pull them out, take off the leads, attach the leads to the new batteries, slide the batteries back in, reattach wiring to the chair, and replace the front cowling. The videographer did note that putting the front cowling back on was "kinda fiddly."

Well, the front cowling was "fiddly" and it took a good ten minutes before they figured it out, but it wasn't the only thing they had trouble with. Both batteries are rectangular blocks, no curves. The batteries they pulled out were swollen and distended on the top and the sides! (These were the original factory batteries.) The guys had to get on the floor and pull on the strap around the batteries and brace with their feet to get them out! It was a tight fit going back in, too, but not like that! They were a great couple of guys and James has already left excellent reviews for them on the survey and also did a Google review of the specific store.

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» Sunday, March 03, 2024
The Gathering and The Innocent
The highlight of this week was the second annual occurrence of Marietta: The Gathering. This is a fannish event held on the Square in Marietta. No celebrities or anything, but there was a "dealer's room" in booths out on the street—I found a new kitsune pin! and James bought me the cutest fox pin—and a Star Wars presence and lots of attendees (and their dogs) in costumes or t-shirts. We stayed an hour or two, also went to the candy store to get James some sugar-free candy and to the British store. Discovered a new Italian market/café is going to open downtown!

The preceding day was cold and rainy, so we stayed in all day and James made biscuits in the air fryer. They were so good! I spent the day reading Barbara Feldon's book Getting Smarter, some about her time on Get Smart, but mostly about her relationship with Lucien Feldon, who turned out not at all what he portrayed himself to Barbara. I was surprised that she believed some of his wilder stories.

In other news, I posted the conclusion of a fanfiction, finally put up the knife holder I bought for James (we mounted it on a cupboard door, having no other space for it), and went to Sam's Club and bought some nice sirloin steaks.

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» Sunday, February 25, 2024
Saying Farewell
On Saturday, exactly a month since she passed away, Lin Butler's memorial service was held. There were memories, of course, from her husband and sons, and from family members, several more from friends. We cried a little, smiled and chuckled at some memories, hugged each other, and greeted some friends we hadn't seen in awhile, including Carrie, Bill Gould, and Trudy and Al.

Juanita did a lovely thing: she collected hundreds of beautiful shells from the beach, cleaned and dried them, and left them out for people to take as souvenirs; not only that, she made up special bags of shells for individual friends. It was the sweetest thing. After the service a big group of us went to eat and chat more at O'Charley's.

A odd thing happened at the funeral home. I was surprised when we were seated in the rear to be next to a big highboy dresser that was the spitting image of the one my mother and dad had, complete with the fan pattern and slim legs with rounded "feet," same color. It was part of the set we had to sell (well, Queen Anne really wasn't either of our styles) after my mom died to get money to live on. My godmother's brother gave us cash for it. We had no safe place to keep it, so we stored it under the dog's crate. When we'd take money out for groceries we'd call it "the first national bank of Willow."

Oddly enough when I walked to the opposite side of the reception hall, they also had a glass-fronted secretary that was identical to the one my godmother had. It was as if Mom and Padina were there to comfort me.

Otherwise it was a quiet week. Now that I had a new battery for my hedge clipper, I finished trimming down that bush at the front of the street that was obstructing James' (and, I'm certain, everyone else on the street!) view when making a left turn.

We found the Indian grocery store that Jerry recommended, Patel's, which is near the old Sears at Town Center. A whole aisle of spices! And of course lots and lots of I would have enjoyed it more if I hadn't had a screaming headache. Ever since the trees started blooming my headaches have bloomed right along with them.

The podiatrist looked at James' toe again. I have been unsatisfied by its healing progress. She agreed with me that it wasn't healing as well as she wanted it to, either; all it seems to be doing is developing a callus around the soft spot. She didn't think it was infected, though; she told me to stop using the betadyne (some day I will discover what podiatry's "thing" with betadyne is) and replace it with metahoney.

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» Sunday, February 18, 2024
Hearts and...More Books, Of Course
This was a week of getting tiny things done (like mending), Valentine's Day, and of a short trip that ended in a rather blah manner.

The best news was that I finished the taxes, sent the state their $28, and anticipated the refund. James had them charge him the full tax rate when he cashed out his 401K, but we made so little this year he's getting it all back. We'll do what he did with the 401K money, put it toward his credit card, because those individual physiotherapy/Kaiser bills add up fast.

We don't do much for Valentine's Day anymore. It was a nice day, so after physical therapy we stopped at Walmart. We bought yogurt and sugar-free candy, but most of what I wanted I just had to order. Walmart is nowhere near stocked the way it used to be. We also stopped at an Indian grocery store in the same shopping center (we thought it was the one Jerry recommended, but it wasn't). To my surprise, they had jars of lupini beans. Of course I grabbed some; nice to have them on this side of town. For supper we had the shrimp we got at Publix in a scampi sauce with spaghetti, with caramel-center dark chocolate hearts for dessert. His Valentine gift arrived in the mail that evening just in time: I got him a set of accessories for his air fryer. He bought me Ali Hazelwood's Bride.

On Friday we did something we hadn't done for a while: went to the Barnes & Noble in Buckhead. It was a good bookstore trip, but we ended up eating at IHOP on the way home. I don't want to eat here anymore; any meal I'm interested in gives me heartburn, and I won't eat eggs, and I don't want total carbs (like pancakes or French toast) for dinner.

Did more books on Sunday: 2nd and Charles trip, but didn't buy anything. James also went in Hobbytown while I stayed outside and read--I was in the midst of a rather absorbing story. Sunday was also the day we watched Oppenheimer. Interesting filming technique--but "Oppy" seemed like a weird duck. Glad I saw it, but don't ever see myself watching it again.

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» Sunday, February 11, 2024
Anniversaries and Headaches
A quiet week. Our big event for the week was on Friday driving up to Canton for our monthly "trip" (It's about the longest trip we take these days, thirty miles). We browsed around Books-a-Million—I bought four books: a mystery anthology, a time-travel mystery, an Arthurian retelling narrated by Elaine of Astolat, and a rom-com, and James bought me Ali Hazelwood's Bride for Valentine's Day—then had lunch at Uncle Maddio's.

We got rick-rolled during lunch. 😊 At least we didn't get Whammed at Christmas.

James had his stitches out on Thursday. The ones under the skin graft were so buried we went through four doctors before one could be found who could see the stitches! Now I only have to tend the nose; the graft donation site near his ear has surgical glue on it which will wear off.

Saturday was our first Hair Day without Lin. Ron and Sheri (the hairdresser) decided to keep up the tradition. I wasn't feeling good most of the day due to the impending rain and a constant headache which even three ibuprofin didn't relieve, and Lin's absence made it worse. We stopped at Kroger on the way home, relaxed a bit, and then went to the Lawsons for a very delayed Christmas gift exchange. I usually play games with the others, but the headache was so draining I just stayed in the living room with the guys, mostly leaning on James' shoulder.

February 9 would have been my mom's birthday, and it was also the 60th anniversary of the great Disney live-action story The Scarecrow of Romney Marsh, about smuggling on the Kent coast of England in the 18th century (about the time of the American Revolution). Patrick McGoohan plays both the daring Scarecrow (in a terrifying mask) and the mild-mannered vicar Dr. Christopher Syn. According to Patrick McGoohan, this was one of his favorite acting roles, and the original DVD release, as a "Disney Treasure," sold out in one week. One of the fond memories of my childhood.

Sunday was the Stupid Bowl, or rather the Puppy Bowl. All the puppies were cute, but there was a Yorkshire Terrier mix named Vanessa who was the most darling puppy you've ever seen. (There was also a tiny, 2-pound miniature poodle puppy named Sweetpea, but they let you know during the show that Sweetpea had medical problems and had passed away after the Puppy Bowl was filmed.) So adorbs!

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» Sunday, February 04, 2024
Mostly Medical
So, we cancelled the sleep study on Monday the 29th. The logistics were all wrong; I couldn't have Tucker waiting around the house 13-14 hours to pee. At the best we would have come home to a wet carpet, but the poor dog would have been miserable. We had arranged with Aubrey to come over to take him out and cover Oliver before bed, but then Alice came down with COVID and Aubrey was nursing her/quarantined. Not to mention we would have coats and hats to carry along with our pillows and other sleep stuff. Better we retry this when it's warm.

I was also worried about the sore on his toe. It looked worse to me, with peeling skin all around it, and the idea of him having to pad around a strange room to use the bathroom made me uneasy. However, when we went to the podiatrist on Tuesday she said it was getting better and it was time to lay off the Mupirocin and start putting on (all together now!) Betadyne! I am now the Betadyne queen! And she gave me another sheet of Mepilex. Yay!

It was probably best we cancelled the sleep study because James had a marathon session having the skin cancer removed from the tip of his nose on Thursday. Last fall it was biopsied and stated not to be cancerous. By December he had a dark black growth on the nose. When they biopsied it again in January it was basal cell carcinoma.

The last two times James had skin cancers removed, they only had to go one or two layers down. This time they had to go four, and because it went so deep, they had to do a skin graft from the skin next to his left ear to go over what they carved out. Where the graft was taken is just straight stitches, about three inches long right in front of his ear, typically ugly looking but not particularly bloody, which I was afraid of because during the surgery I hear he bled like a stuck pig due to the Plavix. We had to put ice on it the first night and leave the bandage alone, but for the rest of the week I had to clean it with sterile saline and gauze and then put on polysporin or Mupiricin (I did the latter) and re-bandage.

Thursday night the bandage on his nose was so big the C-PAP mask could not go over his nose, so he tried to sleep without it. He didn't get much sleep. Friday night even the smaller bandage I placed on his nose was too big for the mask, which just fits over his nose. So he slept some, but he snored when he did. Finally about seven o'clock I couldn't take him turning and twisting anymore, told him to put the light on, and I took off my original nose bandage and put on a smaller one that just covered the wound to keep germs out. So at least he got about three hours GOOD sleep.

This week I also did some decluttering, but it was mostly about the medical.

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