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 29, 2012
Shopping on Sunday
I knew eight hours sleep was impossible, but seven-and-a-half seemed do-able. Except when the dog starts barking before seven hours are up.

Grocery shopping was fairly painless: we did both twofers at Publix and regular shopping at Kroger in one hour. We were going to have to go back to Kroger, though, because it would take 30 minutes to fill my prescription. That's one minute per pill. Gah.

So we brought everything home, then went out again, specifically back to the Jonquil Festival to see if the lady with the buttons had any more of the Doctor Who themed ones. She did, actually, and we ended up buying a bunch more, mostly for friends. I did get a Hogwarts button and a Ravenclaw button (don't want to be in Gryffindor—I don't think I could live up to it), a House button and a Castle button, and had they a Sherlock button, I would have bought that, too. :-)

From there we went on to Petsmart. I needed to get Schuyler more "fruit seed," as I refer to the ZuPreem pellets. It is never good to go into Petsmart during pet adoptions, because it is a saddening experience sometimes. Today we looked at the dogs outside, including a huge, mellow bullmastiff/Labrador cross, and then went inside. They had some darling kittens, but there was the loveliest longhair female cat, a pale tortie—she miaowed at James, then reached out first one paw and then both paws to him, and finally began rubbing herself against the bars of her cage. Ohmygosh, this is not the first time I have wanted to spit vitriol and fire at my wretched, nasty, horrible, soul-searing allergy. Of course there would have been Schuyler's heritage to contend with, and Wil's enjoyment of chasing cats, so those might have been deal-breakers right there anyway, but never being able to do something like this just because of this wretched allergy is !@#$%!@#$ annoying. But if I can't spend three hours at the Butlers and then three hours at Shari's house in one day without being reduced to a sodden, sneezing, wheezing, tearing bundle of misery, I certainly can't bring a cat into the house. ::grump!::

We also stopped at Barnes & Noble, where I got the new "BBC History Magazine," and Bed, Bath & Beyond to use some 20 off coupons. James got some mix for his soda maker and I bought more "garters" to hold the sheets on the bed, as one of the originals just will not stay closed. Hopefully one of the new ones will.

Came home by Kroger to pick up my prescription and for James to get gasoline, and then we were both very happy to get ourselves out of the heat. I ironed my clothes for work and listened to the last part of Anne of Green Gables on BBC Radio 4X and read my new "Yankee." Loved the story about inn hikes. In the fall even I might be able to handle 10 miles a day. especially if one day ended me up at the Vermont Country Store. :-) ::sigh:: Already homesick for autumn and it's only the end of April.

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» Saturday, April 28, 2012
The Social Whirl
Wow. I slept through the night. Yeah, this is unique enough to mention. :-)

We were off to the Farmer's Market, which was easier said than done. The artists' market was held this weekend, too, and every parking space was filled, except for the one we found. We couldn't take our time going through the artists' market, though, because we were headed to the Jonquil Festival afterward, and it was already warm. We bought a cucumber, tomatoes, some Vidalia onions, fresh strawberries, three ears of sweet corn (they were three for a dollar), a pot pie for Sunday dinner, two cupcakes for Sunday dessert, chicken salad, goat cheese, a turnover and a ham and cheese pretzel for our respective breakfasts, and dog biscuits. Since it was so warm, we brought everything home, picked up James' shirts for the cleaner, and went to the Jonquil Festival. There were still parking spaces at the Smyrna Library, so we didn't have a long walk.

The pretzel had not "sat well" for James, so we ended up having a Williamson barbecue sandwich each before strolling the booths. So many people had their dogs with them and we saw lots of breeds as we went from booth-to-booth—a Lakeland terrier (like a small Airedale), a bullmastiff puppy and two grown bullmastiffs (BIIIIIIG doggies), a Pomeranian, a Shiba Inu, dachshunds, several Bernese Mountain Dogs, and some that were "just dogs." I had to stop to peruse all the books—I mean, who knows if Cherry Cake and Ginger Beer isn't hiding someplace between all the other volumes? :-) —while James stood in the shade, as the sun was already getting to us both. We did buy more dog biscuits from a place called "Lose a Finger"—Willow officially has enough cookies!—and found a woman selling little buttons with all sorts of sayings and even fannish stuff. James bought two Doctor Who buttons, "Keep Calm and Fight Zombies," and [mumble].

The one vendor who wasn't here and whom we were looking for was One Screw Loose. They are the ones who make the balsamic jellies that are so good for cooking. They also make a cherry jelly that James loves. :-(

We spent an hour walking around and after that short time we were both feeling parboiled. I can't spend any time in the sun anymore without my fingers swelling up. Later on it felt as if there were hundreds of tiny needle prickles all over the skin of my arms. So it was nice to sit at the hobby shop for an hour and read, before it was time to make our way across town to the Marlay House for the April Brittrack Meet'n'Greet. We tried going a different way this time, around through I-285 rather than going through uptown. Bad idea as there was road construction at the Chamblee-Tucker exit; happily it wasn't too much of a delay.

We were shocked when we got to the Marlay House—the parking lot was chock full! James managed to tuck the truck between a car and a retaining wall. It turned out a wedding party had just dropped in en masse on the place; they were hardly prepared for the entire outside area to be filled, not to mention the parking lot. Ironically, there were few people inside.

It was a small Meet'n'Greet, eight people in total, but we had a lot of fun talking about all sorts of things Doctor Who and otherwise. We ended up trying to recall guests and locations of old Atlanta-area and other nearby conventions, with nostalgia about Dixie Trek and Fantasy Fair, the Castlegate Hotel and the Omni, and other stories from the Stone Age. :-) We broke up very reluctantly at 5:30, where we returned home, having circumvented the return-trip traffic clog on I-285 West by traversing a couple of surface streets to get back to I-85 south and I-75 north. We had leftovers and cereals for supper while watching the last four episodes of the Barrington Project on This Old House.

(Oh, I looked up One Screw Loose online; they had two other events they were at this weekend, and don't appear to be at any event we will be going to. However, they appear to have a regular booth at the Brookhaven Farmers Market starting next weekend. That's my "old neighborhood," where I lived when I first moved to Atlanta. Maybe we'll check out the Brookhaven Farmers Market in the future.)

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» Friday, April 27, 2012
Customer Disservice
The first thing I did this morning was sleep late. It's a waste of a good day off, but I haven't had more than seven hours sleep in weeks and I was just plain tired. Ironically, except for waking up every time I turned over in the bed at Unicoi (because the beds are so small), I slept better there than I had in years. Typical of life, as February Callendar always said.

My plan today was to go to Bed, Bath and Beyond for more sheet garters, then stop on the way back to get some Zupreem fruit pellets for Schuyler. Then I remembered I needed to have the car vacuumed and washed. It either hadn't been done since vacation (October) or my birthday (December); I can't remember which. So I went downstairs and pulled everything out of the car, including out of the hatchback, except for the Bracketron unit I use for my phone. It clips very stiffly on the vent cover, and I've left it there before when I've had the car "vetted."

So I get the car to "Mr. Clean" Car Care and get out, because back in 2005 I had a panic attack while riding the car through the car wash. I haven't wanted to risk that again. I chose the $20 cleaning package (wash car, vacuum, Febreeze spray, cleaning the dash-panels-etc.). Last time I chose the $20 package, I said to the gentleman taking the order, "If I get this one, you'll vacuum out the hatchback?" He assured me that the $20 package included vacuuming out the hatchback.

So I watch the car go through the car wash. I remember doing this as a little girl; you had to get your car washed during the winter to get the salt off to stave off accelerated body rot. Dad used to take it to the car wash at the corner of Gansett Avenue and Park Avenue, and I would always go along to watch the car get washed by the automatic arms. Then, since it was only about 75 degrees and mostly cloudy, I went to sit outside. I pulled out something for a tip and then started to check Facebook.

A peppy looking young lady was suddenly at my side, asking how I was. I still had a rotten sinus headache, but I said fine, and she sat down next to me and then started chatting me up about my car. "Is that your PT Cruiser?" Yes, I said. And then she went in this long speal about how I had some rock damage on my windshield and how my insurance probably covered it—unless I had State Farm!—and I could just call my insurance company and they would be happy to fix the rock damage before it got any worse. I was very polite to her, but I really, really hate this type of pressure sale. I took note of the company name on her shirt—sorry I missed that before saying hello to her!—and if I do have damage I will go anywhere but there.

So the person who does the detail work held up the "Ready" sign and I went out to the car, and it looked pretty good. I handed over the tip, got into the car, and noticed the Bracketron was crooked. They had probably pushed the prop leg out of alignment. So I went to straighten it and discovered one of the two mounts was snapped right off at the root. (I found the rest of it later, in the space in the console where you're supposed to put your eyeglasses, although the spring for the lock was completely gone.) (I also had a spider crawling on me, so I popped right out of the car to take care of that!) Well, I came out of the car with the Bracketron in my hand, got the attendant's attention, and said "You broke it." Okay, that was accusative and I shouldn't have stated it that way. The attendant completely went on the defensive: "Oh, I didn't do it. I wasn't even working in that area."

Without going into detail, they flat denied they had anything to do with it. First they told me it must have been broken when I got there. I said, "It was fine when I got out of the car before it went into the car wash." Then one of the attendants offered, "Oh, I found it on the floor when I got into the car, and I put it back up there for you." Odd. Why do that? Why not just hand it to me and said, "I found this on the floor." was because they were hoping I'd drive off without noticing it?" They finally told me they'd "have someone look at the tape" they film of everyone's car (I guess to keep them from being accused of damage) and "get back to me."

Would it surprise you to know that no one called me back? (Yeah, figures.)

Feeling just a tad grumpy, I stopped with my 20 percent off coupon at Office Max and bought another network cable. I'll need it for work soon.

By then it was way after one o'clock; however, I didn't want to put a clean car in a dusty garage, so I parked outside and swept out the garage. Once I had the car back in the garage, I started putting everything back into it. I opened the hatchback to put the shopping bags and the cold bags back inside, and...guess what! They didn't vacuum back there! And when I went to put my rear window sunshades back up, I could still see the marks from the suction cups still on the windows, which means they didn't wash them very well.

Oh, yeah, and in the driver's side door pocket I found whole Munchos left over from vacation.

Really, really disappointed. Epic FAIL, Mr. Clean!

(Incidentally, when I came back inside I went to Bracketron's website. I found my unit and followed a link that said "to request free replacement mounts, go here." So that's what I did: filled out their form and hoping they will not take too long to come.)

My sinus headache was still being a wretched bear, so I took four ibuprofin and lay down for a half hour. Spent the rest of the afternoon surfing the web and waiting for the phone to ring.

[Later: James had a long call and didn't get home until after six. I watched Lassie on Angel2, followed by Skippy the Bush Kangaroo. We had supper at Hibachi Grill, which was the quickest food we could think of, then came home via a long drive through neighborhood streets. Now that the sun was low in the sky, the air was cool as sweet juice and heady with the scent of the privet blossoms, huge bushes growing wild in yards and at roadside, in fields and by corners, scattering their heavenly sweet scent everywhere. There are other flowers blossoming everywhere, scarlet roses studded over big puffy bushes, honeysuckle creeping up fences and poles, pale pink flowers, white waxy magnolia blossoms perched on branch ends, but none smell as exquisite as these tiny white blossoms in the cool evening breeze.]

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» Tuesday, April 24, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
...watery sunlight filtering through. I can see birds fluttering at the feeders; the flick of a red tail signifies Mr. Cardinal has arrived.

I am thinking...
...of the great time we had this weekend, and if we will ever get to go back to Unicoi again. End of an era with the group if we cannot.

I am thankful...
...for my friends...for Juanita having found such a wonderful fella to start a new life with...for the new Baskin baby...for my little helper, Ziva :-) ...for Schuyler and Willow coming back with good checkup results (especially at Wil's age)...for the cool respite of the last few days (alas, to dissipate by Thursday)...

In the kitchen...
...James prepared the doings and some goat meat is cooking in the crock pot. We figured this would be a way to better tenderize it. We found a great batch of "leavings," with a good deal of meat on the bones. My mission will be keeping it from melting away.

I am wearing... "Mutts" pajamas, blue socks and scuffs. It's a bit chilly this morning, but I'm enjoying it. Back to A/C on Thursday. Barf.

I am creating... weekend shoes. Need to string the colored laces on my old work shoes to use for weekends. One bad thing about new shoes: I was looking at mine yesterday, knowing I'm going to get them all wrinkly by walking in them.

I am going... have to get the car cleaned out on Friday! It's not only full of crumbs from vacation (yes, I haven't had it vacuumed all winter), but now it's full of dog hair from Willow stress-shedding on Friday and again on Monday. :-)

I am wondering...
...should I go to MicroCenter on Friday, or wait for James? (Need a network cable a little longer than six feet.)

I am reading...
...Inside Narnia, which I bought over the weekend—an examination of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe chapter-by-chapter (also references the other books), plus I just finished Paper Bag Christmas for a Rudolph Day review. Still reading the other books listed last week (except for Maphead, which I finished and is fab!).

I am hoping...
...and wishing some miracle will cancel the reorganization they have planned at work...but I know it won't happen. ::grump:: I don't want to be reorganized. I'm happy where I am.

I am looking forward to...
...Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival is this weekend; we'll go straight from the Farmer's Market, so it's still cool. Nothing worse than wandering around in the blasted sun in 80°F weather. And the Brittrack Meet'n'Greet.

I am learning
...unfortunately I'm never going to learn what I need to in one department. It's very lonesome.

Around the house...
...quiet. The Hot Shot boiling water for my oatmeal and the hum of the computer is the only noise there is.

I am pondering...
...having my sound, video, and network card put in my computer. James is a whiz at this, but it's always worrying. Computers are such fragile creatures!

A favorite quote for today...
“A cool breeze stirred my hair at that moment, as the night wind began to come down from the hills, but it felt like a breath from another world.” ― Francis Marion Crawford

One of my favorite things...
...Leo Laporte, "the Tech Guy." I'll be listening to him in just a bit. I'm almost caught up with back shows.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
...a network cable, a clean car, craft displays, and a gathering with friends.

A peek into my day...
How about a peek into two days ago? And a perfect "winter sky." (It never looks like this in summer, but is pale and yellowish at the horizon.)

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



» Sunday, April 22, 2012
Atomicon, Day 3
We were up at nine to go to breakfast, having missed several groups of others who were just finishing up. However, as we were eating, the Lucyshyns arrived and we had a lively discussion about "cutting the cord" (cable) and Titanic.

Then I had to trot to the room while James paid the bill to finish getting us packed and out of the room by checkout time, which is eleven. I think the Rick Steves' "Civita" bags we used this weekend would certainly work again as long as we carried the toiletries case separately. I love the toiletries case, which keeps all our things sorted and together; I wish I'd bought one sooner. But it was still a bit bulky and heavy for the little backpack.

We passed the common area, which friendly elves had almost finished breaking down, so we just checked out and went on to Picnic Shelter 6. Alice and Ken, with Aubrey and her friend Isabel (who is a hot sketch), and Juanita and David, had been out there for an hour or more, getting the grill going. It was very, very breezy today—we had a wind advisory—as well as delightfully cool for April (low 60s) and they could barely keep the fire going, so they built a windbreak with a plastic tablecloth. By the time most of us arrived, they had a batch of hamburgers already done.

It was a swell picnic, from our point of view, although some found it a bit chilly! It was cool and you didn't suffer sitting in the sun, and the talk was jolly as always, from new cameras to Sophie's antics on the jungle gym next to the picnic shelter to absent friends. Alice had arranged to take a picture of all of the "Bori," as we call the family, and then I said, "Wow, if you had a tripod you could take a picture of all of us using the timer." Alice keeps a tripod in her car, so after we did the family picture, we had a group picture.

I figured we needed it. Next year they are closing Unicoi down for some time and we are going to have to find another place to have Atomicon. But even then we are not sure we can ever come back. The story is that they are not just remodeling the lodge buildings, which desperately needs doing, but they are going to create suites or larger rooms. Daniel suspects they might even wall off the common area and have you spend extra to access it. We don't even know if we will be able to afford the place once they refurb; it might be for "higher-end clientele" only.

It's very disheartening. As much as we've complained about the tatty condition of the place, and its abysmal wifi, it's very much home and will be very much missed if we lose it.

We left sometime after one, listening to a Rick Steves' program about visiting D-Day sites. On Friday James had bought a couple of polo shirts at the Hanes Outlet, but he had liked a third one. So we went back to get that one. He had also looked at one of those Soda Stream things, where you carbonate and mix your own sodas; Williams-Sonoma had the kits on sale. But he hadn't quite decided to buy one until, during the picnic, we walked down to the edge of Smith Creek and sat chatting with Daniel and Clair, who were perched on a rock at water's edge. They have one and love it. So we went to Williams-Sonoma to get the kit, but they didn't carry the syrups. We compared the prices at Kitchen Collection and Le Gourmet and got a bottle of cola syrup at the latter. As we walked around we kept bumping into Ron and Lin; we always manage to run into a few people who are stopping by the outlet mall on the way home.

We picked up Willow and Schuyler at the vet. Schuyler was fluffed and happy and Willow came dashing out, dragging the attendant behind her. And then we drove home, plunked everything inside, went to Kroger for milk and things, plus some soup for supper as it is so chilly, then unpacked. I have settled the ties on my new shoes so I can wear them tomorrow. Frozen Planet is reaching its conclusion. Schuyler is preening and grinding her beak in contentment. Willow has settled happily.

Back to the real world tomorrow.

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» Saturday, April 21, 2012
Atomicon, Day 2
It wasn't an auspicious morning: grey, foggy and misty. By the time we were dressed and ready for breakfast, it was time for the rain—Georgia Monsoon Season strikes.

Luckily there are covered walkways. We had a leisurely breakfast—the buffet is quite good— made more leisurely by the fact that there was a cycling club and another group having breakfast. At one point the checkout line was about 20 people long.

The rain slowed enough, and we cut through the lodge to get to the car, where, of course, we'd left our hats. :-)

We didn't have any plans for today, and had a nice time. First we stopped at the Mt. Yonah Book Exchange, which is run by a nice lady and a cat named Daisy. There was a car with a little dog in it near the entrance; it looked so much like Willow except for being mostly white and grey rather than brown that it could have been her sister. I got two books, commentary on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and a book about word origins.

We also stopped at the Country Bake Shop, which is a Mennonite bakery. James got a couple of small sandwich cookies for a snack and homemade dog biscuits for Willow.

Then we went on into Cleveland, where James wanted to go into the Stony River Trading Company. I figured I would wander around. Well, in the middle of Cleveland there is what used to be the county courthouse. I noticed a sign on it saying "Open." Okay, let's see what's open.

Turned out it's a little museum of White County/Cleveland now, and a sweet elderly lady offered to give me a tour. I waited for James and we had a nice time wandering around looking at all the memorabilia. Each of the old offices, like the Tax Assessors office and the Sheriff's office were filled with artifacts: farm implements, clothing implements, sadirons, a mule collar made out of corn shucks, a loom, spinning wheels, an old doctor's cabinet, soaps, food, an old hand printing press as well as the type tray, etc. Oh, yeah, and a Duncan Phyfe sofa that had been nibbled by rats but which had been reupholstered with pretty, Monet's Garden type colors. The woman remembered using a lot of the items, like the school desks. They even had a treadle sewing machine like the one that used to be in the basement of my Papa's house.

The ladies recommended the drugstore and soda fountain across the street, so we went there. It had not only stopped raining, but the sky had cleared and it was humid. They still use the old soda fountain and grill for lunches, but the rest of the drugstore is mainly a gift shop. We sat at the lunch counter and James had a burger for lunch, and I had a hot dog, and we had ice cream for a chaser. We looked around the gift shop and were convulsed by two signs: "I'd love to help you out. Which way did you come in?" and "Ahhhh, I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again."

On the way back we stopped at the Hansel & Gretel candy store. Trader Joe's cheated me out of almond bark at Christmas and I wanted some. I also bought some peanut brittle. Yes, it's real Gertie peanut brittle. :-)

We also stopped at a place we'd gone by briefly yesterday, Goats on the Roof. It's a little gift shop/snack shop/goodies shop, and yes, there is grass on the roof, and little bridges connecting each of the store buildings, and there are goats on the roof, at least half a dozen, including one that is spotted. At one point someone came out with some goat feed and cranked it up to the roof via a Rube-Goldbergish device, and two goats ran up to get a treat!

As we were leaving a 1930s-early 40s black sedan drove past the place. We have seen about four Corvairs this weekend already, including a Corvair station wagon, which James says is very rare. There must be an old car rally around somewhere.

Folks clustered in the common area when we return. Off to chat—ta-ta.

Later: We decided to go to a new German restaurant with the Boros clan, Juanita and David, and the Spiveys. Surprise! The Lawsons were there. Jerry and Sue and Aaron were sharing a sampler platter so yummy-looking that both James and I and Juanita and David did the same. Oh, boy, talk about full to exploding. It had several different beef items, but the pork ones were the best: a smoked "chop" (ham), baked pork with a mushroom sauce, and pork schnitzel, which was so lightly breaded even I didn't mind it.

The lodge was quiet tonight. We usually play some type of game on Saturday night, but everyone was more into just relaxing and reading and talking, while the Baskin girls had one of those flying gadgets you can control with a remote; this one looked like a clown fish. Despite that, we were up until 2 a.m.!

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» Friday, April 20, 2012
Atomicon, Day 1

The wifi is so abysmal at Unicoi that we decided to take no computing equipment this year. So I am typing on my phone via my Bluetooth keyboard. (Hey, didn't say I was leaving everything behind...)

We left the critters in "durance vile" (poor Willow, not only a checkup and shots, but a bath) and drove up GA400 to the North Georgia Premium Outlets. I got new shoes after an almost fruitless hour. The clerks were very kind. I don't get the women and shoes thing. To me shoe shopping is part of the Nine Rings of Hell.

Also got underwear before I embarrassed my mother. (Yes, I know she's been we gone for almost seven years. She would be embarrassed from Heaven.) :-)

Onward in really nice weather for April, cloudy and 60s. We grabbed a burger at Wendys and went on to Helen, where we checked into the Lodge and met the Spiveys and assorted members of the Boros clan in the A building. Mel and Phyllis' little granddaugher Ziva, a tiny toddler, helped me empty the bag of cookies that was our food contribution. You should have seen how cute and earnest she was, picking up each package of Chips Ahoy so determinedly.

Talked till suppertime when a bunch of us went to Sunflower, a Chinese buffet. Not bad food and you get a hibachi steak with the price if you ask for it. We had a great time gabbing, and are now back at the lodge--talking some more. :-)

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» Thursday, April 19, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
...grey and gloomy: we had rain yesterday, which we badly needed. Thankfully it didn't start raining harder until I got home from work. All that liquid stupidity falling from the sky makes traffic dreadful.

I am thinking... easy as it can be to save money, it's equally easy to spend a lot of it. Yesterday was a good example: I had two broken engine mounts and had to have them fixed. Since timing belt change was coming up soon, I had that done, too, to save money later on.  

I am thankful...
...that the repair was done, because they found out my water pump was starting to leak. The repair on that was tossed in, no charge.  

In the kitchen...
...all quiet on the eastern front (the kitchen faces east). I've just warmed up my oatmeal, I have my yogurt and my milk—there's breakfast!  

I am wearing... tank top and shorts and my flowered scuffs. It's almost too chilly for it, but it will be warm again soon enough.

I am creating...
...stalled on another cross-stitch. The one I finished I mailed out to its recipient and she received it yesterday. She sent a pic to me of it pinned on her fridge. Ever since I have known her, Pat has liked koalas. When I saw the koala kit on one of the British cross-stitch magazines, I knew it was perfect for her. :-)  

I am going... clean out Schuyler's cage today, maybe during lunch. It really needs it. All the fruit I give her makes the bottom of the cage so sticky. Plus I need to clean up all the feathers she has moulted. It certainly is spring!

I am wondering...
...what James will bring home for supper! He said he didn't feel like cooking tonight!

I am reading...
...Maphead by Ken Jennings, which is tremendously fun and funny. I'm not quite the geography geek he was, but I have always loved maps. One of the things I thought about doing "when I grew up" was to be a cartographer. That would have been cool. Still working through The Traitor's Gate, How the States Got Their Shapes Too, and December 1941. They were just not what I wanted to read right now.  

I am hoping... stays cool a while longer.

I am looking forward to...
...the Smyrna Jonquil Festival. Hope One Screw Loose is there so we can get more of that balsamic jelly!  

Around the house...
...quiet right now. The computer hums. The bird sulks because the television isn't on. The dog is asleep again.  
I am pondering...
...the passing time. April is two-thirds gone already, and "out, damn summer!" will soon be here.

One of my favorite things...
...all things long as it is good fanfic. (Did you know that that Fifty Shades of Grey that everyone is talking about is a Twilight fanfic with the names filed off?) I found a dandy Sherlock story and Lord Peter Wimsey/Captain Jack Harkness tale here. Must read the others soon—they are already downloaded to my Nook.  

A few plans for the rest of the week:
It's checkup time for the critters. Neither will be happy. Schuyler: "I don't want to be shot!" Willow: "And there are wolves there!" (Willow, trust me, those are dogs.)  

A peek into my day...
I always wait to do this until later...but it all came back to me on Facebook when someone posted a picture of two lonesome drive-in movie speakers. You'd hang them in your window so you could hear the movie (no wireless or FM transmitters back then). It brought back warm Saturday nights at the Cranston Drive-In, the heavenly smell of popcorn coming from the concession stand, playing in the playground under the screen in the gathering dusk, watching the first movie, which was generally lighter or more geared to kids, then Mom and Dad would bed you down on the back seat and the second movie would lull you to sleep...I remember falling asleep to Cheyenne Autumn...unfortunately I didn't fall asleep during Lonely Are the Brave and then cried for a week because the horse died.

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



» Sunday, April 15, 2012

Hark, hark, the dog does bark!

This means she needs to go out and it's only 9 a.m. Gratefully, I stayed under my blankets for another half hour. When I came out the counters were cleared, the dishwasher was chugging away, and Schuyler was blinking contentedly at her teevee.

We did little today: a trip to Costco to use some coupons and to get some Swiffer wet cloths so I can mop the floors (turned out there was none downstairs when I wanted to do it Thursday at lunch), where we found the Tintin series on DVD for a Very Good Price. On the way home we stopped at Kroger for Those Damn Bananas, yogurt, and other necessities of the week.

Spent the afternoon at home doing some tidying up and doing more Titanic viewing and listening. The BBC has several different programs on their iPlayer about the event, including a story about the hymn "Nearer, My God to Thee" (supposedly what the band was playing when the ship went down, although other sources say it was "light dance music" or a song called "Autumn") and people reading letters sent by passengers and crew. They also have a broadcast that I didn't have time to listen to: Titanic: Moment by Moment, which intersperses music and commentary with events of the sinking as they happened.

We had a very easy supper tonight. James takes ground beef (we bought the leanest they had this morning) and cooks it up together the Knorr "Tomato Parmesan" noodle mix and chopped onions. It's delicious, even though I call it "beef glop" <g>. We had an ear of sweet corn—and I do mean sweet!—each and the rest of the strawberry shortcake for dessert.

Now it's time for Frozen Planet followed by Mythbusters.

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Busy Early, With Time-Travel Late

It was hustle-hustle-hustle this morning once we were aroused from slumbers: we had to get to Hair Day. Charles was bringing sandwich meats and Ron and Lin contributing the bread, so we had to stop at Kroger to pick up some potato salad and cole slaw as our contribution. We weren't planning on going to the Farmers Market because of the celebration in downtown Marietta surrounding the anniversary of "the Great Locomotive Chase," so we could go directly to the Butlers, stopping at the Macland Kroger to get the supplies. James walked Willow and then we were off.

It was a nice morning of chat. Oreta Taylor had come this month and was telling us all about her new school (she's the librarian). Jessie Elder had highlights put into her hair and at one point she had "big hair" filled with foil wraps to set the lightener; it was too funny.

Unfortunately, we literally had to eat and run since the entree was delayed; there was a big traffic jam on Charles' route due to road construction. James' club meeting was at 2 p.m. and it was 1:10. I quickly made myself a sandwich and made two more for James, and we said our hurried farewells, drove home for James to pick up the models he was bringing to the meeting, and he left without coming upstairs.

I took some ibuprofin for a nagging headache, tidied up a few things, and listened to a few of the things on the BBC celebrating the anniversary of the sinking of Titanic. When James got home, we went for supper at Panera (they do have the best tasting chicken soup!) and stopped at Bed, Bath & Beyond to use a coupon for some filtered water bottles to put in our emergency backpacks. From there we came home.

There are a bunch of great Titanic specials on tonight. Most fascinating was Titanic: The Final Word where scientists used computer models to give some additional insight about how the ship sank and not only explained why the ship broke in half, but pretty much why it had to. At 11:30 I put on TCM and we watched A Night to Remember with Kenneth More. I had seen the end of this many years ago, but never the whole movie. I can say this is heads and shoulders above the fake romance James Cameron shoved into Titanic! (A friend of mine referred to the 1997 movie as "mall rats on the Titanic"...LOL). Oh, the Cameron film looked lovely and pretty much more accurately portrayed the sinking, but Jack and Rose...snore. (I started to watch it one night and got bored within the first hour. Came back to watch the last hour, which was technically excellent.) A Night to Remember has no histrionics, but portrays the individual desperation of the entire crew and the passengers instead of concentrating on a fake romance. It sure made the captain of the Californian look like an ass, though. :-)

Great film; glad I thought to change channels.

Had a lovely chat as well, with Jen, Mike and Emma, the latter whose birthday had just ended, talking about Titanic and the bad weather that was headed in Mike's direction (he's in Oklahoma).

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» Saturday, April 14, 2012
Oh, BTW, Blogger...
...your new dashboard sucks.



» Friday, April 13, 2012
Free Fridays

Another payday, another compressed day off.

The night was cool, so I had a good sleep. James even shut my alarm off for me; I woke up at 7:45, confused at why I hadn't heard the radio when I noticed the alarm was still on. I called him soon afterward to find out if he still wanted to go to Hobbytown. If he did, I'd put off where I was going until tonight. But he wasn't, so I got dressed and headed up to Town Center to go to Michaels. They had a 20 percent-off-everything-even-sale-items coupon. Sadly, it wasn't applicable for clearance, too, but the Easter stickers I bought were cheap enough.

I also finally found something to put on the front porch for the summer. All their hanging baskets were 40 percent off. I found a very pretty basket of some type of bluish-purple flowers. Then I went through the smaller "picks," which were also at the same discount, picking up some blue many-petaled flowers, some red fluffy flowers, and some long thin pinkish flowers. I also got a few charms and a few more of the cosmetics cases they had for $2.00 which I am using to store other things

I then quickly ran into Office Max to get a holder for my paintbrushes and craft pens, and then, because I needed to use the facilities, went to JoAnn. I had a coupon and bought a nine-square-foot piece of felt which shall be used for padding.

This all took me a lot longer than I wanted to be out, so I just came home via Publix, where I picked up some needed twofers, including dishwashing gelpacks. When I got home I took the "hanging" apparatus (three long twister seals!) off the basket, then used my cutting pliers to cut the multiple branches of each of the flower picks apart. These stems were distributed evenly in the larger basket, the blue and red flowers going around the edge and the pink, long flowers in two bunches near the center. One of the red flowers has a "purple butterfly" on it, and I put that branch to the fore. It looks pretty good.

I spent the rest of the afternoon taking down the Easter decorations, reading a little, and watching the last "Lent & Eastertide" program from Joanna Bogle. Amazingly, they showed two "new" episodes of Lassie on Angel Two today; Wednesday and Thursday they had repeated episodes that they had showed several weeks ago. I should have watched them, but was convinced James was due home any minute. However, he was 45 minutes late getting done with a call and then had to pack up his phone and his headset and the rest of the stuff he'd been using since they are moving buildings over the weekend. I'll no longer be passing his building on the way home from work.

So we were very late going to supper and headed for the place we could get served the quickest: Hibachi Grill, which is a buffet. :-) After that there wasn't much to do, so we timed the drive to the new office, driving one route and then coming home a different way.

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» Tuesday, April 10, 2012
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...
...first light. There is a wall of green leaves which fills almost all the background, with only tiny peeps through to the trailer park behind us. And birdsong from that wall.

I am thinking... very fast the leaves have come in. Usually it is such a slow process, the buds turning to a frost of pale green, then watching the young leaves tremble in the morning chill...but these have almost turned from bud to leaf overnight.

I am thankful...
...for having had good parents.I was reading a couple of blogs last night where the authors were very unhappy about their pasts, although the reason for their anger about a few specific things eluded me. But I did not face their challenges, either.

In the kitchen...'s fairly tidy, except for the sink and a floor that needs sweeping.

I am wearing...'s a bit chilly this morning so I am wearing the green T-shirt over the green "Mutts" pajama bottoms. However, it's not cold enough for socks, so I just have my scuffs on.

I am creating...
...I bought several small things at Michaels over the weekend; the checkout clerk saw my intent immediately and commented on it. However, if I say what I bought it ruins the surprise for whomever later receives the gift.

I am going... have to make time for another trip to Michaels, as there is a 50 percent off coupon and a 20 percent off total purchase which does include sale items.

I am wondering...
...if it is worth doing an inter-library loan for a book it doesn't have, when the book contains information I'll never need. It just looks interesting.

I am reading...
...Dorchester Terrace, the newest Charlotte and Thomas Pitt novel from Anne Perry, which I just picked up at the library yesterday. I'm also still in the midst of the Monks of New Skete book In the Spirit of Happiness; one of the vintage books I bought on Cape Cod in 2010, The New England Year (a bit of a cross between Gladys Taber and Eric Sloane), Stein's How the States Got Their Shapes 2, and, because I was reading a free e-book about the Christian themes in To Kill a Mockingbird, I'm re-reading the novel on my Nook.

I am hoping... get some sleep over the weekend. Easter Saturday chat was smashing, but I really, really shouldn't stay up after 1 a.m. any longer.

I am looking forward to...
...Atomicon! The spring Jonquil Festival in downtown Smyrna! And the next BritTrack meet'n'greet at the Marlay House!

I am learning...
...or I will tonight, what goat tastes like. We found some odd-size pieces of goat meat at Kroger on Sunday. I am thinking they were leavings from goat haunches or roasts that some people might eat traditionally for Easter. We'll see!

Around the house...
...quiet right now. Even Schuyler isn't peeping. Outside, shrill birdcalls. Ah, yes, nesting season.

I am pondering...
...memories. Dug up a WENN chat log last night in response to a question. Wonder what happened to all these folks--Rebecca, Emerie, Lee, Doug...

A favorite quote for today...
“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”...James M. Barrie

Or autumn leaves in April. :-)

One of my favorite things... heading to its close: the last few episodes of House are to be broadcast in the next few weeks. I'm glad the series isn't going to drag out until it gets boring; certain aspects of the show are already getting a bit tedious. Hugh Laurie's done a tremendous job with this role. Now he can go back to not limping and talking in his real voice.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Hair Day is this weekend. Still not sure what we'll bring.

A peek into my day... a nod to spring, here's a shot of Smith Creek at last year's Atomicon, up in the North Georgia Mountains at Unicoi State Park.

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



» Sunday, April 08, 2012
An Egg-Citing Weekend

Last year I did something I found very pleasing: I spent Good Friday afternoon in quiet meditation—no doing chores, or dubbing off something, just inspirational reading. After the mess I ran into on Thursday, I didn't know if I could do it this year. However, I made enough progress on Friday morning to feel vaguely confident that I could do so again. Traffic was so fidgety that I just barely made it home, changed clothes, and had gathered my reading and listening supplies before it was noon. However, the ride home was super-pleasant because it had been cloudy all day and low 70s all day. When I got home I was able to open the door out to the deck and enjoy a nice breeze and hear birdsong.

And it was so pleasant. I put on some low instrumental music (Aureole and then carols from St. Thomas in New York) and did the Mass readings from Thursday and for Good Friday, and also read the Lent and Good Friday chapters in Madeleine L'Engle's The Irrational Season, which follows the liturgical year. The rest of the time when I was reading, it was a continuation of the Monks of New Skete book I had begun earlier. I also listened to five of the six Lent talks that BBC radio broadcast this year (sadly, I missed one), my favorite being the mathematician who spoke about there being no conflict between science and religion. Online I also found a Stations of the Cross as narrated by Mary. An excellent afternoon.

We had supper at Panera, then stopped at Barnes & Noble where I purchased Madelyn Alt's latest in paperback and the new "BBC History Magazine" (there's an article called "How Did the Tudors Smell?" by the author of The Time-Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England, which has just come out in paperback) and the April issue of the British "Country Living." Later we stayed up to see Julie Scardina on The Tonight Show. She brought on two tamarinds (small primates), a hyacinth macaw, and three sun conures who fell in love with Kristin Chenowith's head. :-)

Saturday we were up early to go to the Farmer's Market. This was the first day of the regular market, which means the vegetable vendors were back in the mix and the whole setup moved from Mill Street near the railroad tracks to the north side of Marietta Square. It was sunny, but there was a nice breeze, very comfortable for strolling! We bought fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet corn, and strawberries for dessert on Sunday, more goat cheese, homemade chicken salad, some double chocolate chip cookies, two bunny-shaped dog cookies for Willow for Easter (I she'll know), and James got a tiny sweet potato pie and some boiled peanuts. We tasted some pot pie and bacon. Goat Cheese Guy had two little kids with him this time, a brown one about a week old, and a little white one someone said was born yesterday. Even the tiniest children could tell it was new and petted it oh-so-gently. After about ten minutes, it fell asleep.

We passed on having breakfast downtown, as it does get expensive, and brought the produce home. Then we headed out for the day, first to the hobby shop for a while, not forgetting to pick up James' dress shirts next door at the dry cleaner, then to MicroCenter to return the stylus I didn't like, and finally to Michaels, where they were having a 30 percent off everything coupon day. You can't use the the coupon on sale things like you can at JoAnn, but this is the time to get those inexpensive bits of things that combine to make something bigger. In this way I have two nice gifts and some other stocking-stuffer type things.

We also had a 10 percent off everything coupon for Cost Plus World Market, so we went over to see if there was anything interesting. Now, we have been talking about what type of a sauce to use on our lobster tortellini that we have for Easter dinner, and looking into some recipes for light sauces online. A straight tomato sauce would overwhelm the lobster taste, as well as anything garlic and butter. Cost Plus had different Italian sauces on sale, including brandy sauce and vodka sauce. These both had cream in them (the vodka one also has cheese) and we thought these might be more suitable. Also got some Japanese buckwheat noodles, summer sausage and salami at two-for-one, and some chocolate spread.

We were home by three and could watch episodes five and six of the Barrington, RI, house on This Old House before supper; we had Papa John pizza, which was on sale if you ordered online. Excellent, and leftovers for lunch to boot. Later, James went downstairs to the Man Cave and I dubbed off last week's Castle and watched Easter Unwrapped as well as the version of Little Men with Mariel Hemingway. It was okay. I didn't like the kid they got to play Dan, and they worked in a silly "horse taming" metaphor into the subplot, and apparently John Brooke died from smoking (Laurie and Amy were not in the story, although in the book it is Laurie who sponsors Nat, not John). And what's with Nan hanging around Nat? Nat always liked Daisy best!

I spent about an hour online waxing nostalgic. One of the people on This Old House was a woman who owns a home goods store in downtown Providence. She said she was located in "an old department store." So I plugged her address into Google Maps. I'm not sure, but she's either in or next door to what used to be Woolworths. I can tell because she's right across from the Alice Building, where I got my very first pair of glasses. I walked out of the building and the first thing I saw was the big bold, red Woolworth sign. If it's another store I don't recall which. I can look at that big green space where the Outlet Company was, see that the building that Read-All Books and later Strawberries was in has been knocked down for a parking lot, find the old Shepard's building and the iconic clock as well as the Arcade and the old Providence Gas Company building and the building where Newberrys was, but I am less clear on the stores I disliked: Gladdings, Peerless, Kennedys, Cherry and Webb, because they all carried only clothing. :-) I can still point out where Paperback Books was, even though the building front is radically changed, and I think they knocked down the building where my godfather's shoe store was.

Later had a fun conversation with Jen, Mike, and Emma on chat. I've been being good and signing off at one, but it was Easter, after all, and I didn't want to go early as we were discussing movies and the lack of imagination in American television. James and I didn't get to bed until three and my silly alarm woke us up around nine or something. Ugh. James got up but I stayed in bed dozing until 9:45, waking to the lovely smell of peppermint chocolate-chip scones. I found these at Cost Plus after Christmas, along with pumpkin spice scones. James said he wanted to try the peppermint ones and they were delicious, especially with chocolate artisan butter.

After breakfast we headed to Kroger to do the weekly shopping, running into Juanita's intended, David, in one of the aisles, brought the spoils home, then went on a more pleasant trip out to Books-a-Million in Acworth with yet another coupon. Now that "the ditch" is finished, it's a nice straight shot up Windy Hill to Macland, then right on Old Lost Mountain Road which becomes Mars Hill. This isn't exactly country any longer, but there are large properties interspersed with developments and it was a mostly nice ride until we got close to the store, as the intersection is very busy. We saw more rose bushes on OLM/Mars Hill, huge masses of them covered in bright scarlet roses. Lovely! Plus it was cool enough to drive with the windows down. We listened to a March segment of "The Splendid Table" on our drive. This is the only show I know that can make asparagus and wines sound tasty.

A nice stroll around the bookstore netted us some magazines and John Stossel's new book for James and two gifts to put away and a fantasy book in my purchase. We tried to stop at Hobbytown on the way home, but they were closed, as was Michaels. Oh, well. We were home about 3:30 and I settled in to watch Here Comes Peter Cottontail and then the Addie Mills story The Easter Promise before supper.

We used the brandy sauce and it was a bit more tomato-y than we expected, but did not overwhelm the lobster filling of the tortellini all that much. We had a cucumber and tomato salad on the side, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Willow had wet dog food we had picked up at Kroger this morning, one of the two rabbit cookies, and got to lick out the strawberry bowls. Schuyler got some millet. A very nice day, ending with Frozen Planet and Mythbusters.

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» Saturday, April 07, 2012
The 95th Anniversary of the U.S.A.'s Entry Into The World to End All Wars
A Fading Past: How America Remembers World War I

Well, *I* remember it, and not just for the spate of WWI-themed mystery series out, either.



Here Are Some Articles About Our Farmers Market!
Farm Fresh: Farmers Market Opens 10th Season on Saturday

2011 Opening Day

And an article about the Winter Market, which was in a smaller venue on Mill Street, and which ended last weekend.

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Some of My Favorite TV Movies
The Questor Tapes (part 1 of 10)

(just follow the "part 2 of, part 3 of..." to continue)

A creepy favorite:

A Cold Night's Death (1973 TV) ~ pt. 1

(just follow ~ pt. 2, ~ pt. 3, etc.)

One of my especially favorites, with a great theme song, and directed by John Badham:

Isn't It Shocking? 1

(followed by 2, 3, etc.)

Someone made a nice suite of David Shire's score for the film.

The pilot film for the limited series The Snoop Sisters:

The Female Instinct Part 1

(followed by Part 2, Part 3, etc.—great theme song here, too)

Four great actresses (Helen Hayes, Mildred Natwick, Myrna Loy and Sylvia Sidney) in a thriller about a computer dating prank that goes radially wrong:

Do Not Fold, Spindle or Mutilate, Part 1

(followed by Part 2, etc.)

Daughter of the Mind (1969) P1
(with the late, great Ray Milland, based on The Hand of Mary Constable by Paul Gallico, continue with "P2," "P3," etc.)

These films need to be out on DVD! The only one released that  I know of is the Snoop sisters story, which is included with the four episodes of the series on The Snoop Sisters DVD.

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What Not to Do
Weird Things Written on Resumes

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» Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Finding Family and Friends
I was actually looking for something else when I found a link to the 1940s census page. You've probably heard on the news that the 1940 census report has been released to the public and put on line. Sadly, you can't search by name, but if you know on which street a person lived in 1940, you can find them with patience.

I knew my mother lived on either Belknap Street or Carpenter Street back at that time, and I believed Belknap was the proper one, so I searched on that. Luckily there was only one set of records to look through, and on page 24, there they were, Grandpa, Grandma, Mom, and Uncle Sammy, Uncles Tommy, Nicky, and Ernest and Auntie Terry already being married and out of the house. There's mom's profession, a gluer—not sure if she was at Coro or Trifari at this point.

Dad was harder to find because all the records of the streets in Silver Lake were higglety-pigglety mixed in with each other. But I'm not "Quarchinese" for nothing. :-) Here everyone was still living at home, except for my Uncle Brandy. Dad is highlighted; he was already polishing jewelry by then. Two years later he would be polishing off Nazis.

If I'm reading this correctly, Mom was making about $240 a year (yes, that's a year), and Dad was making about $800. Note Grandpa Lanzi's employer is "public utilities"—he dug ditches for the Providence Gas Company.

I have been unsuccessful in finding my godmother, which puzzles me. She told me they lived in that house from the 20s, and she was a member of one of the first classes at Hugh B. Bain Junior High. However, I did find a couple of other familiar names.

Here are the DiLorenzos, who ran our local drugstore. You can see Albert's profession is already listed as drugstore owner. Anthony and Peter later worked in the store. I'm not sure Albert was actually a pharmacist, but Anthony was.

And on another street altogether, Princess Avenue, I found four familiar names: the DePretes. Mary and Joe later moved the family to the big house on Fiat Avenue, almost on the corner of Gansett. Mary and my mom were best friends from when my parents moved in the neighborhood in the 50s to 1974 when Mary died.

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» Tuesday, April 03, 2012
Hot Enough to Boil an Easter Egg
I've been putting off putting up the Easter decorations because the porch was covered with caked-on, ugly yellow pine pollen, but after work I decided it was now or never; it would be ridiculous to be putting up decorations as late as Holy Thursday. James was late anyway, so I took Willow out, then pulled out the hose and rinsed everything down. Even with the spray from the hose it was like a bake oven out there; the brick porch just concentrates all the heat. You couldn't cook a pizza out there, but it would sure warm it up! By the time I'd finished hosing off the porch steps and rails, the walls were already dry and the front door and window only held a few spots.

I waited until after dark to put things out on the porch, figuring it would be cool. Fat chance. The air is thick and moist like the hot towel in an Old West town barber shop. But I put the things out, then decorated the Easter tree on the table in the foyer, flanking it on each side with Sunny and Pastille, the two Webkinz bunnies (I put the curly sheep that sheds and the basket of birds' eggs under the table on the shelf), and put Hazel the rabbit in the Easter basket on the divider and the standing rabbit before it. The resin statue of the little rabbit on the swing under the spring tree and the bunny resting on his back over a bowl that were Mother's I put on the tier table along with an egg topiary and the two crocheted ducks in crocheted eggs.

I didn't really take any of the spring things down upstairs, just moved them about for cute chicks, foil-covered "chocolate" bunnies, funny chicks dressed up in feathers, resin eggs in figural egg cups, two rabbits that look like vintage statues and a bunny riding a sheep, two little white rabbits that look like they're out of a Rankin-Bass cartoon, and a wooden rabbit whose feet dangle over the side of the cart in the dining room, and a tiny stuffed lamb and stuffed bunny. In the end, instead of taking the spring garlands down to put the Easter ones up, I put one on the fireplace mantel and the other around the mirror in the foyer. As a last step I put the two small stuffed lambs, Baaasly and Baabsey (don't look at me; those are the names they came with) in a silver wire basket, flanked by the two stuffed rabbits, Rupert and Leonard, on the hearth. It all looks a little higglety-pigglety because the regular fall things are still up.

Just call it mixed media. :-)

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The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window...
...the sky is a yellowish-white in the east, with the trees behind our house silhouetted before it. The leaves tremble in a slight breeze. Birds are already awake and about; there is a fluttering around the feeders.

I am thinking...
...that I wasn't very happy with Castle last night. I've always hated the romance-book convention where one person in the relationship finds out something negative about the other, and, instead of confronting them, just pulls away bitterly. It's the reason that, although I love Danny Kaye, I don't watch White Christmas that often: I hate the stupid misunderstanding between Betty and Bob. If I wanted to watch this dance, this would not be my choice of program to do it on.

I am thankful...
...for a telework day today! Goodness, it was hot at work yesterday, 80°F when I walked in at 7 a.m.! This is much better—I can wear less clothing and be comfortable, even if I have to spend lunch doing laundry.

In the kitchen...
...I decanted some quick-cooking basmati rice into a container to get it out of the way. It almost fit. :-) Maybe we need to have basmati rice with our steak tonight.

I am wearing... tank top, aqua shorts, and purple-flower scuffs.

I am creating...
...a couple of small cross stitch projects that I'm right in the middle of. Had to clean off my craft room desk; like every other horizontal surface in this house, it attracts junk!

I am going... buy another tool holder for this craft desk. Presently pens and other things are horizontal and taking up too much space. I like the "crystal" plastic one I bought for my work desk last week and want to get another.

I am wondering...
...if I should get rid of some of the computer books over my desk. I'm staring at them now, and they're piled one on top of the other. I do need to get rid of the Pocket PC book. I still have my Jornada, but don't use it.

I am reading...
...the sixth (I think) Daisy Dalrymple mystery, Dead in the Water, about a murder at the Henley regatta (there are so many characters I'm having trouble keeping them straight), still in the middle of the Mark Stein book and a few others, and also reading a Monks of New Skete book about spirituality for Holy Week.

I am hoping...
...that we can find another nice place to have Atomicon next year. Unicoi Lodge will be closed all 2013 for remodeling. (I'm really not surprised, as the rooms have been in horrible shape for the past couple of years; things broken in the rooms, and the doors peeling.) I hope they don't get rid of the neat artwork in the rooms! (Vintage framed covers of "Field & Stream" and other magazines of that ilk.)

I am looking forward to...
...Atomicon. I know the fids are not...Willow hates "camp" and they are both getting checkups and shots.

Around the house...
...everyone just waking up, including me. Schuyler blinks sleepily. Willow's still in the chair. It's cooler out, so the A/C hasn't kicked in. Yet. It's going to be 80-something today. Double ugh.

I am pondering...

A favorite quote for today...
"Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns." . . . George Eliot
(How true! If I was a millionaire I would go due south every April, past the equator and as close to Antarctica as one can, and not come back until October.)

One of my favorite things...
...will start listening to it in a little while: Leo LaPorte's "The Tech Guy." Great computer tips. Yeah, sometimes too much babble about iEverything, but some good tips as well. I really used to like the show The Screen Savers, which he was on with Patrick Norton.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Must go to Michaels on Saturday; there's a 30 percent off entire purchase coupon. It's not on sale and clearance items like JoAnn does; however, I use these to go through the low-price bins and pick up little stocking stuffers and small useful things, like cosmetics cases that can be used for other things.

A peek into my day...
Here's an Atomicon memory from 1999—on the bridge overlooking the Chattahoochee River (click picture for larger version):

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



» Sunday, April 01, 2012
Solitary Sunday
I was granted a privilege this morning that James was denied: I slept late, he went in to work. However, I got my April Fools comeuppance when I turned on AntennaTV: The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin was pre-empted for the Three Stooges. Sorry, WSBK viewers nonwithstanding, I still don't like the Stooges. Even worse, I checked AntennaTV's schedule next week; Rinty appears to be gone. Phooey.

What to do but do the grocery shopping. However, I digressed. Yesterday I bought a capacative stylus at MicroCenter, wondering if it would work well on my Nook and possibly my phone. I first chose a Targus with a soft tip, but was lured by a Pogo with a slightly smaller, firmer tip that said it was good for drawing. I thought that would mean it might be more sensitive. But I wasn't really happy with its performance yesterday, especially in scrolling.

So this morning I left the old one behind, but went to MicroCenter and bought the Targus as well. It works much better. I have re-boxed and matched the Pogo with its receipt and will take it back. Anyway, I joined a surprisingly large crowd waiting at the door when the store opened at eleven; there must have been at least a dozen people there.

I also decided to take the plunge and buy a small portable drive as a backup. It's all those weeks of the "Tech Guy" podcast, and Leo LaPorte's "3-2-1" rule. This one was a Buffalo and was on sale.

From there I went to Costco with a small stack of coupons. I had to get milk anyway, and it was cheaper there. I also picked up, with coupons, scrubby sponges, white grape cherry juice, and a bottle of loratadine, and bought some toilet paper, while sampling some of the wares: a protein bar, lobster and crab spread, and a piece of Oscar Meyer bacon that must have three times the recommended daily supply of sodium chloride in it. Ugh.

I put the milk in the insulated bag, then went to Kroger. Nearly had a nasty fall, too: I stopped for gas, too, and while I was filling up went to empty my trash container. I had to step over the gasoline hose to do so—going out I did it perfectly, but coming back I nearly tripped over it. Got a sock burn on my right ankle and my left knee and hip were very sore for a while.

Went inside for a few other things, including bread for lunches and Those Damn Bananas, then finally was able to come home and put everything up.

Of course this doesn't mean I was able to loll about. I still had the master bath to clean up, including washing the floor, and the hall bath, all this while dubbing off a few things off the DVR. I still had things from Christmas.

For supper I cooked the turkey thighs I picked up at Kroger, and we watched the news and two episodes of Murdoch Mysteries, and had a treat for dessert, equal halves of the slice of chocolate ganache cake from Publix. Major yummy. Later it was the "Winter" installment of Frozen Planet (with the cutest ermine, pure white with black shoebutton eyes and nose; however, he wasn't at all attractive to the vole he pursued) and then Mythbusters.

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