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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» Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY, JULY 10, 2018

Outside my window...
...still sunny at quarter to seven, and hot, 89℉. I do hate daylight saving time. I want it to be all cozy and at least getting close to sunset by the time we finish dinner, not bright and sweltering.

I am thinking...
...that I'm sad that Ikea is cheaping out lately. Part of our home is furnished with Ikea, and they've quit making what we thought was the nice stuff and they're going back to all that ugly 60s stuff. Plus the "lock screws" on the Billy bookcases are now made with plastic rather than metal.

I am thankful...
...I have finished assembling the bookcases I bought!

In the kitchen...
...James made Trader Joe's chicken and apple sausage for supper tonight, with a side of three-cheese potatoes. It's about time to start up the dishwasher again.

I am wearing...
...a blue-flowered white ribbed tank top, aqua colored shorts, and white socks.

I am creating...
...more space for books down in the library. On Sunday at Ikea I bought a short wide Billy (30" wide), a short narrow Billy (15" wide), and a Gnedby (technically a CD shelf). I assembled them all today and stocked the wide Billy with my linguistics books. The place where they were can take my overflowing history books. I had several ideas for the Gnedby, but am probably going to move my paperback young adult books (like L.M. Montgomery) there. Then my mystery books, which are also overflowing, can overflow around the corner to that spot. Not sure what's going in the narrow Billy, perhaps my books about books (Murder Ink, the Dorling-Kindersley book about Sherlock Holmes, Heidi's Alp, etc.). There's also another bookcase that most of the books in it will be recycled. James' "Backwoods Home" magazines are in it, but it can fit other stuff.

I am going... continue on the library project tomorrow morning, at least that's the plan. In the afternoon, I have to go with James to the nephrologist.

I am wondering... I got all this stuff done before I retired! Well, because it didn't get done. That's why everything's in a mess.

I am reading...
...Edward and Alexandra, about the lives of Edward VII of England and his wife, the Princess Alexandra of Denmark. I've always thought "Bertie" got a bad rap from his mother Queen Victoria; he was too much like her before she became besotted with Prince Albert. Maybe if she had given him some responsibility, he wouldn't have gotten involved in all the scandals he ended up in the middle of.

I am hoping...
...things will continue to go well for James. I worry so much about him, and about the upcoming surgery, but he needs to have that Foley catheter gone. It is so much trouble and we can't seem to keep him in Statlock holders.

I am looking forward to...
...working more on the library project. I still have to get rid of all my flowers from work. I don't actually want them, but they do hold nice memories, so it's hard.

I am learning...
...that there still aren't enough hours in the day to do all the things I want to do!

Around the house...
...James is in the recliner, Tucker has dragged his blanket at James' feet to sleep, and Snowy is budgie-burbling quietly in the background. I'm about to change the channel to watch something on PBS.

I am pondering...
...the wonder that is the rescue of the Thai boys and their coach. We have been following that closely. So glad they were able to be rescued!

A favorite quote for today...
“The best moments in reading are when you come across something – a thought, a feeling, a way of looking at things – which you had thought special and particular to you. Now here it is, set down by someone else, a person you have never met, someone even who is long dead. And it is as if a hand has come out and taken yours.”  ― Alan Bennett

One of my favorite things...
...coming up this weekend, the Hallmark Ornament Premiere!

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Going with James to the doctor tomorrow, I hope more work on the library, Ornament Premiere on Saturday.

A peek into my day...
LOL. Just click on the links to the bookcases! That was my day!

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



» Sunday, July 08, 2018
Post Independence

Friday I'd headed up to Town Center in the hopes of hitting JoAnn, only to have forgotten the coupons. 🤔 Oh, well. Instead I went to Barnes & Noble (since I didn't forget that coupon) and then did most of the shopping at Publix. I got us some generic beef and gravy for supper, and some nice pork chops for the cookout on Saturday, plus hummus and crackers to share.

Also watched the last of the Charleston house segments on This Old House. This was what was called a "Charleston single," built in the 1800s. The house is actually turned sideways to the driveway and the "front door" leads onto a full-length porch before you get to the house doors. I understand putting modern appliances and plumbing fixtures in, but it pains me to see these beautiful old period homes with modern furniture in them and these stark white decorating schemes. I wouldn't want to dust Victorian tchotckes, either, but I wish there was more of a balance. All that chrome and white seems so cold (and I still hate stainless steel appliances). They also worked on a second house, in a historically black neighborhood. It was so badly damaged they couldn't finish it before the show ended, so they posted the "reveal" on Facebook. Why not just make an extra episode?

(Oh, and Friday afternoon I finally got the Audacity recording program to work on my computer after several years of not being able to use it. On this computer as well as the previous one, the newest version of the software (the older one would no longer work) would always say it could not find a source to record from. I finally bought the cheap version of Total Recorder to record and then would edit on Audacity. Well, last week TR quit working; stuff I recorded came out garbled. It's done this before, but the only thing I could do to fix it this time was make TR my default recorder. This disabled Audacity for editing. I'd looked for answers to the recording-on-Audacity before, even asked Audacity (they responded in technical gobbledegook I didn't comprehend), but I tried searching again—and this time found something that was understandable and worked. It was as simple as going into sound in Windows Control Panel and un-disabling the recording setting! Apparently this is something Windows does automatically. Stupid thing.)

Saturday morning and early afternoon we were planning to do some chores. This got postponed when James' replacement tablet showed up. He has an Ellipsis from Verizon, but it fell and the screen cracked. We have replacement insurance, and we had ordered a new one. To our surprise it was delivered before noon by the "brown truck of happiness," and we spent most of the time deleting all the rubbish they put on it, and putting useful things on instead (like James' e-books).

We had a great time at Alice and Ken's on Saturday night. Ostensibly it was a party to celebrate their new backyard, but it was spitting rain, so Ken grilled out under the carport again. I like the backyard. There's a concrete patio and the rest is in ivy and pine straw. No grass to cut in back! It was the usual crowd of friends, plus Clay and Maggi drove up from Warner Robins, and some of Alice's church friends came. James' marinade of the pork chops was prime, and we also enjoyed yellow rice, baked beans, the hummus, chips, fruit salad, watermelon, and Clay's bourbon fudge. (Yes, you could taste it.) Juanita surprised everyone by showing up without her cast (she had to have a broken bone fixed in her foot).

This morning we slept in, I walked the dog—on a rare summer morning that was sunny but only warm, not burning, and breezy, simply lovely; if it was in the 70s all summer I would not complain!—and we ate breakfast, then went off to Ikea. I can't proceed down in the library without buying a few small bookcases to fit in the spot where the desk once was. We got there at 11:30 and the place was already crowded; we didn't realize till we checked out that there is a Back to College sale this weekend.

Sadly, the restaurant doesn't offer any of the variety it used to. There was a nice looking salad that was ruined by feta cheese, a salmon plate with baby greens that would have been okay had I not wanted to burp up fish all afternoon, the usual meatballs, chicken tenders (ugh), and vegetable balls. I didn't want to eat fifteen meatballs, so just got cucumbers, tomatoes and carrots from the salad bar (other choice was lettuce) and ate one of James' meatballs and a couple of forkfuls of his mashed potatoes. We shared a slice of chocolate cake for dessert, and then marched on into the showroom. Saw a desk chair that looks promising. I don't want one with armrests—armrests are for supervisors who don't do any work—and this one had nice back support. Trouble is I'm in love with a drafting chair at Sam Flax, but it costs over twice as much.

Anyway, we picked up some S-hooks, an aluminum holder for wooden spoons, ginger cookies for me and chocolate ones for James, and three bookcases: a short full-width "Billy" and the same height but narrower one, and a full-size "Gnedby." I need to transfer some books (not sure which yet) so that my overflowing history book collection has somewhere to go. I've accumulated a bunch of World War I and more Victorian books since we got the original bookcases.

I also bought a cotton bedspread to correct a dumb mistake I made during the winter. I replaced our fall quilt (which had always been a bit too garish but was all I could find in my price range) with a comforter, which was stupid, as I'd already relegated our nice denim comforter to the closet because it was too heavy most of the year. This bedspread, in a cadet blue, has a nice waffle texture and is light enough to be used as an extra blanket if needed but not smothering.

Stopped at Publix for forgotten things and milk, had teriyaki chicken and ramen noodles for supper, I washed and dried the bedspread and put it on the bed, as well as sorting pills for the week, and then we finally watched A Capitol Fourth. I loved the Boston Pops and the super fireworks on Wednesday (Bloomberg is doing a great broadcasting job; go screw yourself, CBS), and Rita Moreno's performance was a blast, but Capitol Fourth, for once, had better musical guests: Jimmy Buffett, the Beach Boys, Pentatonix, and more. When Renee Fleming sang "You'll Never Walk Alone" I got goosebumps. And you should have seen Tucker and Snowy staring at us when we got up and danced to the Beach Boys! I think Tucker thought we were having a fit.

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» Monday, July 02, 2018
A Bit of Luck
It didn't look like a very auspicious day at first. I got up, walked Tucker, ate my breakfast, washed the kitchen floor, and then went to give Tucker his breakfast. He had two bits of dog food left from last night, and I picked up one and then...what was that black spot moving on the other?

Ants! Son of a bitch!

I shrieked and began killing ants under the dog's dishes and on the baseboard headed for the door (there couldn't have been more than a dozen; I think I caught the scouting party). Once that was done I raced for the closet panting "Don't panic! Don't panic!" and refilled my vinegar bottle, and then proceeded to drench the baseboards near the deck door and the deck door and the deck doorstep and then outside against the house and around the door. I dumped out Tucker's water, took his food outside (because it had been sprayed with vinegar) in a bag, and washed both the water dispenser and the food bowls and then wiped them off at the bottom with vinegar and wiped the clear plastic tray under the dishes off with the vinegar as well.

Once I finished up I called Northwest Exterminators and got them to send someone out on Tuesday. [Later 7/3: He came. The ants had a nest under the plastic storage container on the deck! Opportunists!]

And then because I didn't trust the vinegar to do the whole job, I went out to the garage and got the Ortho and sprayed outside, and then did another pass inside with the vinegar.

::glare:: Ants! I hate ants.

On top of this we had to go to Kaiser this afternoon to see the gastroenterologist. James was wary about this appointment because he was afraid they were going to ask him to have another colonoscopy. He had one two years ago—which came out clear—that drove his creatitine levels to hell. But the consultation was not what he feared. They are still trying to track down the cause of his anemia, and problems in the GI tract are a primary cause of that. But in this case the doctor is still pretty sure it is his kidneys, and does not want him to have another colonoscopy. So we left there pretty well relieved.

We drove home through Kennesaw Battlefield Park and downtown Marietta. I said, "You know, if we could find a parking space, we could stop at The Corner Shop [the British store]." Lo, a car pulled out of a parking space! So we had a nice visit there and we bought James some lemon cookies.

It was about 3:20 and James said idly, "But what are we going to have for supper?" Then "Hey, we can go to Golden Corral!' It took us a bit to get there, but we were able to indulge in the Senior Early Bird special, which we got skunked out of on Saturday, which is a meal and a drink for $8. The trick is that they don't put steak on the buffet until four. Oh, they have popcorn shrimp, fish, roast and fried chicken, meat loaf, pot roast, bourbon chicken, sliders, barbecue pork, burgers, fixings for tortillas, lots of salad fixings, fruit, and other things, plus dessert, but no steak before four. So we just had appetizers at first—the chicken soup was surprisingly low in salt and the roast chicken is almost as good as the old Old Country Buffet that used to be on Buford Highway—and then at four lined up for our steaks. Their blueberry pie was good, too. I had that with one chocolate chip cookie and a marshmallow dipped in the ubiquitous Chocolate Fountain.

We got home to hear a helicopter hovering somewhere west of our house. We turned on the news to see that indeed it was just up the road. A man had come home from work and found armed robbers inside his apartment! There was a standoff, but the guy is okay, thank God! They had two of the robbers and were looking for a third.

Had to take Tucker out before dark tonight; someone was shooting off Roman candles last night and gave the poor dog the shakes. We are giving him a Petco-recommended valerian/melatonin "cookie," but it's really no help when the boomers start going off. Just one scared him tonight, even though there were nothing but poppers going off and fireflies flashing when we walked.

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» Sunday, July 01, 2018
Minimalist Weekend

Because James has been in and out of work, we've been kind of in and out of money. All those thirty dollar visits to the doctor and to Urgent Care add up quickly. So we didn't eat out as usual on Friday night, but had some chicken legs that were already cooked in the freezer.

Saturday morning we did our shopping at Publix, making sure to get supplies for James to make breakfast burritos this weekend. They only had three packages of the low-sodium low-carb wraps that he uses instead of tortillas, which are usually too fragile for the roll of the burrito. So after we went home and put all the stuff up and had a little snack, we headed back out for a treat: a frozen hot chocolate at Books-a-Million. On the way we stopped at another Publix and managed to procure another three packages of wraps.

We had a nice time out. Petco was adopting dogs, so we went to check them out. There was a group of larger dogs playing together in an enclosure; one bull terrier (who ended up going home with someone) was playing dominance games with the others. Other dogs were lined along an aisle. There were some puppies, and also a couple of dignified adult dogs.

Of course I visited the budgies, too!

We spent about an hour in the bookstore looking around. I picked up a remaindered book, and then we enjoyed the frozen hot chocolate. No one quite makes it like the Joe Muggs coffee shop they have.

Now we were hungry and we headed for a treat. We had read several places on the web that Golden Corral has a senior Early Bird until four o'clock, under eight dollars with a drink, every day but Sunday. We can't afford to eat at Golden Corral any longer and we were really looking forward to it. But after fighting through construction traffic on Cobb Parkway, we arrived to see that it did not include Saturday. James was tired, so we did not drive all the way back up to Town Center to Fried Tomato Buffet, which is the next cheapest buffet to eat; we just had dinner at Hibachi Grill.

The sun blazed on us everywhere we drove. By the time we got home we were hot and tired, even through we'd been in an air-conditioned car. I know we shouldn't have laid down after a meal and I regret doing it, but the bedroom was dark and seductively cool, and we were both asleep for about an hour. In fact, James got up before the alarm I'd set and I slept on another half hour. Summer just sucks all the energy out of me.

Spent the evening watching two movies on TCM. The Mask of Dimitrios was a 1944 movie which starred Peter Lorre as a Dutch mystery story writer. While he is in Istanbul, a man named Dimitrios, a famous criminal, is pulled out of the Bosphorus, and he becomes fascinated with his story, following a trail of the amoral man's different capers across Europe. Along the way a man named Peters (played by Sydney Greenstreet) befriends him and he learns much about the treacherous Dimitrios, including one very big surprise—maybe more than he really wanted to know. This is a classic movie which I'd never seen. Lorre and Greenstreet play well together and Zachary Scott, in his first starring role, is a great treacherous villain.

Following was Errol Flynn in Footsteps in the Dark, which was a comedy mystery. Frances Warren is a wealthy insurance broker with an equally wealthy mother-in-law who lives with him and his wife. He's bored with his job, so in his spare time he writes mysteries under a pseudonym with his chauffeur as his typist, and, like Rick Castle decades later, hangs around the police department to get ideas for his books (the cops in this one played by Alan Hale Sr. and William Frawley). His wife and MIL know nothing about this; in fact his MIL is in a snit because his latest book, Footsteps in the Dark, lampoons her hoity-toity women's club meeting. But all his late nights "at board meetings" (really following the police around) arouse their suspicions, just about the time he's checking out a burlesque performer named Blondie White (Lee Patrick, who played Topper's goofy wife in the television series, has a fairly dramatic role here). I enjoyed it, but it's not a belly-buster of a comedy by any means. Supposedly Flynn loved doing it, too, but it did not do well, so they never made a sequel. I would have liked to have seen it, since it is intimated at the end that his wife is equally bored and would be joining him in his sleuthing.

Today I did chores (washed towels, did hard drive backup, finished my June book reviews, sorted pills) and went to Kroger, where I ended up playing "Where's Waldo?" All I needed was milk, no-salt mushrooms, and a Smart Balance low-sodium. I stopped at produce to buy peaches, plums, two ears of corn for Independence Day dinner, and some mandarin oranges, then descended into a maze—they'd rearranged the entire right side of the store! A lady and I wandered around bewilderedly for five minutes figuring where they might be, then I shagged down a friendly Kroger employee. She was working from a list because she'd come back after being off for a few days and didn't know they'd rearranged either. It took us another five-ten minutes to find the mushrooms, which are currently under a sign that says "cookies." And after all that I didn't get the Smart Balance because the Smyrna Kroger, at least, doesn't carry the low sodium version. Arrrgh.

Listened to "The Tech Guy" this afternoon, and then two episodes of "A Way With Words," then finally chilled out to music.

Publix had shrimp rings on twofer this week, so James took them and made shrimp scampi of them for supper; a nice butter-garlic sauce and shrimp over linguini. Happy tummy time.

Now watching The Incredible Dr. Pol.

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