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

. . . . .
. . . . .  

» Sunday, March 31, 2019
Only-One-Expression Sunday

Needless to say, with James' knee problem, we didn't go anywhere today. I washed towels and, very late, sorted pills, and I made cacciatore for dinner with the chicken legs I got on sale at Lidl. It came really well.

Oh, and we watched the film First Man, which James got as a gift. This was the movie that received such flak because it didn't show them plant the U.S. flag on the moon. Frankly, it was much ado about nothing, because the worst thing this movie did was make the space program boring. I already knew Neil Armstrong was a very private and very serious person. I had heard he had marital problems and divorced. And I knew he had a young daughter that died. But frankly, the film should have been called Neil Armstrong's Greatest Failures. In the film he's always losing, not just little Karen, but he messes up on an X-15 flight, the Agena docking goes wrong, he has to take a lot of inane questions about the Apollo 1 fire, the "flying bedstead" crashes under him...and Ryan Gosling goes through the whole movie with one expression on his face, a permanent brood. Not to mention that they had no time to show the flag on the moon because the entire sequence consisted of broody Gosling panning the moon, watching Buzz Aldrin hop a couple of times, and then leaving Karen's bracelet on the moon. The film ends with Jan Armstrong visiting Neil in quarantine, them trying to touch through a pane of glass. "Walls between us." Could we have found a more trite metaphor? Apparently Armstrong's sons admit this film was the best portrayal of their parents' relationship, and that is sad, but it doesn't mean I want to watch the train wreck for two and a half hours. This is the type of thing best addressed in a book, not in a movie. I hope the book is as good as the film is bad.

The worst part about this film is it looks like it was filmed by a wannabe avant-garde first year film student with a Bell and Howell super-8 camera. The cameraman's hand was so shaky I would check the poor guy for Parkinson's. While he was at it he could have opened up that camera aperture a little so the whole movie didn't look like it was filmed at twilight.

Luckily there was the season premiere of Call the Midwife to take the bad taste out of our mouths. I love the new sisters!

Labels: , , ,


» Saturday, March 30, 2019
Those Dusty, Musty, Fusty Days of Spring

Predictably, it was a quiet day today. I helped James get his breakfast and do a few other things, then after breakfast and dog walking I went out to get some shopping done. Went to Lidl for bread, dessert cookies, and the ground turkey that I saw on sale the other day. They had cucumbers and carrots on sale, so I got them there, and also bought milk. Then I crossed the road and hit Publix for the BOGOs and a few other things (low-sodium ham for James, mini Milk Bones for Tucker, etc.).

Incidentally, the "Atlanta Pollen Festival" has arrived with a vengeance. When I took Tucker outside it looked like someone had turned the contrast button on the TV wayyyyy down. It was just all the pine pollen in the way. I'd barely begun the walk before I started coughing. Butch was covered with a thin yellow coating after the Lidl trip. By the time I got home he was white with a yellow glow.

I'd checked the library website yesterday and noticed the Ray library down the road from us had the new Marilla of Green Gables book, so on the way home I stopped there and picked it up. Since I'm incapable of stopping at a library and only withdrawing one book, I also picked up something called The Truth About Animals. Then I came home, put up the groceries, and used one of the buns from Lidl for lunch. James put some leftovers together for a beef soup, and we watched the rest of Galaxy Quest, which James had found running on Sundance. We finished watching that and then I put The Andromeda Strain on, in honor of the authorized-by-the-Crichton-estate sequel novel that's coming out in November.

Alice sent us home with macaroni and cheese and pork roast from last night's party. Neither of us had touched the pork roast. I had mine with barbecue sauce and James did his as teriyaki. It was exquisite, fork tender and moist and delicious.

Finished up the night with "the crazy lady" (Hyacinth Bucket) and the pilot to Are You Being Served, and the local news.

Labels: , , , ,


» Friday, March 29, 2019
A Step in the Wrong Direction
When James was at the urologist a couple of weeks back, Dr. Starr was still concerned that he was not voiding properly. So he made a followup appointment for him today for a nurse visit and a bladder scan.

(Do not fear, he did well on the test. James has fooled the scanner before, so the nurse used two different scanners, just in case, and he had voided well after visiting the rest room.)

The problem happened before we even got inside. James had worked until 1 p.m. and then we left for the Kaiser Glenlake office, which meant heading east which is a dicey proposition any time of day. Despite the traffic, we arrived with no incident. We lowered the chair lift, and James turned to get into it to drive off the ramp. He said he heard a sharp "pop" and felt it, too, and sat down very hard in the chair. He said something was wrong behind his right knee and that it was suddenly hurting badly.

So we did the appointment, and the urology nurse was very sympathetic to the problem. It did not ease while James was having the test, and he had to stumble into the rest room in pain. So the nurse went over to the orthopedic department (the other side of the fourth floor where we already were) and asked if by any chance they had an opening for a patient who had just hurt himself. They told him that orthopedics was booked for the afternoon, and if James was in enough pain he needed to go to...guess where...Urgent Care.

So he pulled himself into the cab of the truck painfully, and I pulled out my driving pillow and we headed off toward Kennesaw. It was three o'clock and traffic was already a mess. It took us 45 minutes to get there, with James in pain the entire time. Thankfully there was no one waiting in Urgent Care when we got there and James was taken almost immediately to the back. He told them all the particulars of what had happened, and they eventually took an X-ray of his knee. I went back there with him and a good thing, too, as he could barely move, so I helped the nurse position him on the X-ray table properly. By the time he finished his face was red as a beet.

The result was expected. He had broken nothing, and they saw no sign of torn ligaments or tendons. There was a tight knot at the back of his knee joint that you could feel, that's all. They sent us home with some pain medication, an Ace bandage firming up the knee, and instructions to put ice on it if he felt it helped. The line at the pharmacy looked like I-285 at rush hour.

Of course by now it was after six and we had to drive home through rush-hour traffic. James at least had a more comfortable ride as the pain meds kicked in gradually during the 35-minute ride. He was not without pain, but comfortable enough when we got home that I just parked in the driveway, ran in the house for Ken's retirement gift and James' glasses, which he'd forgotten on the outbound trip and had to wear his sunglasses instead, and we went to the Spiveys' house for the party. Luckily in the past couple of years they had installed a sidewalk to the back door (the only other way in the house is through the steep front steps) for the benefit of Ken's mom before she passed away, so James was able to get the power chair to the back door, and over the shallow doorstep and inside.

I was frankly exhausted, aching all over, and headachy by the time we got there and had a good time, but in a bit of a haze. A family friend, Jordan, had made a big feast: baked beans, baked brisket, pork barbecue, pork roast, Brunswick stew, cornbread, and two huge bowls of macaroni and cheese. I got a meal for James and one for me, and chatted to everyone. After a suitable time, we had cake (it is also Ken's birthday on the first).

I ran out of gas about nine. Predictably, James had to take the stairs up to the main floor of the house slowly and it hurt him a lot; we decided Hair Day tomorrow was out. So we went to bed early for a Friday. I helped him take a shower and re-wrapped his knee, and I was never so happy to see a bed.

Labels: , ,


» Tuesday, March 26, 2019
It's the Moon!
Here are my pics of the Full Worm Equinox Supermoon on March 20:

Moon "caught" in the tangled limbs of a tree.

My "artsy" shot:  blooming tree branch against the moon.

This close-up of the moon came even better than I could have hoped!

In only four months from the 20th, it will be the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moonwalk!

Labels: ,


Atomicon Photos
Atomicon photos:

Heading up to Helen, Ga

The foothills of the Blue Ridge.

Dinner at Bigg Daddy's Thursday night: Jessie, Terry, Shari, Juanita

Alice, Ken, and James at Bigg Daddy's

Christmas decoration among the spring flowers.

It was chilly Friday morning! James at downtown Helen.

More flowers sharing the stage with Christmas decorations.

Closeup of a lovely tulip!

This is Dog, who belongs to a hotel maintenance person. He stays where he's told!

The coloring contingent: Kristine, Alice and Ken with backs to camera.

The computer contingent: Damian and Charles

The chat contingent: John, Lin, Jerry, and Melinda

Lunch at Spice 55 on Friday: Alice, Ken, Aubrey, and Jessie

Spice 55: Alex, Pat, Damian, and Kristine

Spice 55: Damian, Kristine, Shari, Terry behind Charles, Juanita

Mt. Yonah Book Exchange was waiting for us!

Daisy, the bookstore cat

Not quite ready to leave Sunday morning: Oreta, Alex, Dorothy, Emily, Ron, Terry and Charles standing

Jerry and Juanita having a final Sunday chat

John, Melinda, and Pat shoot the breeze on Sunday morning.

Labels: , ,


» Sunday, March 24, 2019
Atomicon, Day 4

Seems I can't go anywhere anymore without a case of "traveler's complaint." Was awakened early with a rotten occurence and couldn't get back to sleep, so just continued reading On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service as I hung out in the bathroom. So I spent most of the day in a sleep-deprived haze on top of a late night and it being the final day of Atomicon. Luckily I'd started corralling items last night, so I did manage to be dressed before I woke James up and we had pretty much everything together by the time we left for breakfast. Unlike the first two nights we were here when the morning temps were in the 30s, this morning it was in the high forties, presaging the summery weather later on.

The conference room was quite alive when we arrived, although people were in various states of wakefulness. Some folks had gone to Hofer's Bakery for breakfast; the rest of us dug into the hotel buffet with gusto. I just had cereal, oatmeal, and toast with a glass of milk; even if I liked eggs and sausage it was beyond my digestion at that point. Then people began to trickle away home: Alice and Ken, Debbie Medina and her best friend Debbie, Juanita and David, Jerry. We did a slow Southern goodbye that turned unintentionally hilarious when I was trying to wheel out both suitcases at a time and one kept tipping over, and then I nearly tipped over a chair myself. At that point Terry, Aubrey, Kristine, and Damian helped us out with the stuff, with James trailing behind in his power chair. They were sweet and helped us load the back of the pickup, and then went off to Wendell's restaurant in search of lunch.

We took some more time getting everything settled, James used the bathroom one last time, and finally we loaded the power chair, then, due to a big truck attempting to turn into the driveway of the hotel, had to turn right instead of left and went around the back instead of via the main street. As we approached Wendell's, I suggested we stop and join them for lunch and then go on. So we did, only to find the place packed. This is a very popular local place and it looked like everyone was already lined up outside the door. We went inside and could not see them, so I walked up and down the strip shopping center and found Shannon extracting some items from her trunk. She said the wait was very long, so she was getting some games to hold them over. I found everyone in the back room and apparently they'd already been waiting 45 minutes and someone at the table next to them had been waiting an hour! So we just went on, enjoying the blossoming trees and the farms—one place had two tiny brown ponies!—and the antique stores, until we were finally out of the country and back on the highway

When we reached Dawsonville, we stopped at the North Georgia Premium Outlets. I simply had to have new underwear and socks. We were supposed to stop last year, but were too exhausted after the dialysis excursion and the emergency room visit, and then we were supposed to stop when we went up the August before that for the eclipse. James was already tired, and I was still hurting and didn't really want to stop, plus the temps were now up into the 70s and I was really, really regretting not bringing my broad-brimmed hat, so I just trudged to the Hanes place and bought three 6-packs of underwear and of socks, and two pairs of lounging pants for James. Then we went on.

Waze gave us what was supposed to be a shorter route to the vet's office. Not sure if it was shorter, but it was different than the ravening hordes of GA400 racing southward at breakneck speeds. We stopped at a Bojangles to get James a sandwich, but I just had a doughnut next door from Dunkin; tummy was still too upset. We discovered downtown Cumming (which looks a lot like downtown Roswell), and also went through Johns Creek, which appears to be one big shopping center! Eventually, we ended up driving past Jones Bridge Park, where PGO used to have our work picnics before they decided to change them to (ugh!) May and a different place.

Tucker was brought out first, all freshly bathed with nicely trimmed claws, and jumped on me, then tried to make for the doors. I'd asked Snowy be brought out in his carry box, and when he emerged I saw with some bemusement that his tail was gone. Looked like he gave the vet or the tech the slip and they tried to catch him, only to pull off his tail feathers. I did that once with Bandit.

So we arrived home sometime after four, only to discover a big box on the front porch. Damn. Wonder how long that sat there. It was from Vine (it's a new chair; hope it works!) and was sent FedEx instead of through the mail, which I stopped until tomorrow. James scraped up some chili and I had the rest of the rice in some soup, and we spent most of the night drowsily staring at the idiot box. Found two episodes of M*A*S*H I hadn't seen in ages ("The Price of Tomato Juice" and "Dear Ma"), and, of course these days, Perry Mason. We are back to the 50's ones again and much different from the later ones. Lots of smoking and much antagonism between Lieutenant Tragg and Mason.

And so endeth another Atomicon. 

Labels: , , , , , , ,


Atomicon, Day 3

Today was very laid back. We slept until 8:30 and then had breakfast in the common room. Actually, we spent most of the day in the common room. After breakfast we sat and chatted. At one point we were all riding Juanita's scooter—she has bought the coolest scooter that folds up into a suitcase shape, and you can then wheel it from place to place, or put it in the trunk of a car, and she wants to take it to Disney World and run the battery to capacity. Since it's brand-new, you have to empty and then recharge the battery several times, so as to "train" it. Juanita's been tooling around for two days and still never got out of the green zone. So we were taking turns driving the scooter around the conference room to run the battery down. Sarah got it to corner on two wheels! It goes surprisingly fast.

At one point Neil and his new girlfriend Emily walked in. She didn't even blink, so I think she's one of us. It was like an episode of The Cool Kids.

Around one we went to Wendy's for lunch along with Juanita and David. She is still not feeling well due to overdoing some lifting, and just ate a little bit. I was going to have a baked potato, but got stuck with fries. They ran out of potatoes just as we got to the counter!

During dinner James saw a tiny little spider on the cup holder of his power chair; it had just finished neatly stringing the start of a web across the cup portion. I teased it off with a napkin and it ran for cover under the paper placemat, so I scooped it up with the fries cup and took it outside. It was really teeny, about the size of this numeral 8, with a white body.

Then we walked back to the hotel and went back into the conference room. Half the group was coloring, and I continued working on a mandala pattern that vaguely reminded me of a snowflake, so I did it in blues and violet. I'm still not resigned to winter being over! I finished it up with a bright yellow border.

We had talked at the Wendy's about going to the small North Georgia Zoo in Cleveland ("down the road apiece"), but I looked it up online and it was $23 a person, and, at that point, would be only open two and a half hours longer. Too rich for our blood. Nobody brought it up again anyway.

We had considered going to the German place, Bodensee, tonight, but were distracted by Alice and Ken talking about a barbecue place. If nothing else, it would be cheaper. They drove us down there. My feelings were mixed. The cole slaw was dreadful and tasted of nothing but mayonnaise. The baked beans were okay, but I can't eat too many of them. I ordered ribs and got four meaty, lovely-looking ones. And they were beautifully cooked! The meat was so tender, practically fell apart as I bit into it. Unfortunately it was done with a pepper rub, so I couldn't enjoy the flavor. I think I like the other barbecue place, the one on the river, better for taste. But it was nice to try something new.

And...yes, back to the common room. More people coloring, talking about old movies, history, "and all that." People wandered in from activities: Pat and a bunch of folks had gone out chasing Pokemon. Others trailed in from dinner. A contingent went over to Bodensee for supper at eight, and when they finally returned, we had three rousing rounds of Chronology, and between bouts of history, laughed our heads off. Jake kept getting ancient events and big spreads between years so it was very easy to place his cards. Some were a bit fuzzy on history until the mains came back online, and most of us missed things by that much. It was quarter till one when we broke up.

And, damn, tomorrow is Sunday...

Labels: , , ,


» Friday, March 22, 2019
Atomicon, Day 2

So, of course we are away from home and can't sleep. This is normal, but I hate it. I think we've gone on vacation once where we found the bed so comfortable that we could sleep properly. Either the mattress is too soft, or hard, or the pillows the same, or the room is too's frustrating that our bodies are so contrary. And, ironically, the one time the bed, pillows, and ventilation were perfect, we were so dog sick we couldn't enjoy them. I pretty much couldn't sleep because I had to keep rolling over due to my hips hurting. Annoying and not the hotel's fault, because they put in a new mattress last year.

We had breakfast in the common room (they have a nice buffet that includes eggs and sausage; I hope they do some bacon this weekend), then decided to walk into Helen. It was chilly this morning, with a strong breeze, so we had to don flannel shirts over our short sleeves, and jackets over that with hats. It didn't seem so bad until we came out of the lee of the hotel; goodness, what a gust! Otherwise it was sunny and lovely, the just-budding trees waving back and forth in the erratic wind, the occasional blossom or two coming loose and swirling around. We loved it! It's the kind of wind that puts heart in you. Also saw something neat as we left: there was a pickup truck parked behind the hotel, with a big German Shepherd lying down on top of the toolbox. He belongs to one of the maintenance men, who brings him to work every day, and he stays there until his person is done. He was there when we left, and then when we came back over an hour later.

We stopped at the olive oil shop to get a new supply of white peach balsamic vinegar; sadly, we forgot our bottle to refill. We also got some honey sesame ginger vinegar as well. This will not only be good on Asian salad, but should be a good finishing sauce for chicken, too. Then we hiked up the hill to Hoher's Bakery and bought a treat for each of us: I got a cinnamon twist, which is the closest I can get to a cruller these days, and James got a German chocolate brownie. We also stopped at the candy store to get my annual dark-chocolate almond bark fix and James got a small assorted box of sugar-free candy. We enjoyed the stroll, admired the spring flowers (especially the ones against the Christmas decorations still remaining—it was funny seeing garlands of pine and fir with tulips and daffodils swaying in the background), and stopped at Wendy's for James to get lunch (I had leftover wings and waffle fries from Bigg Daddy's).

When we got back to the conference room, we started talking and our plans changed. We had decided we were going to the new Thai place for supper, but everyone was going there for lunch. Well, lunch would be cheaper, and it's no fun going alone... So we put James' Wendybag in the room refrigerator and went off to Spice 55 for lunch: us, Alice, Ken, Aubrey, Jessie, Dorothy (Kristine's sister), Alex, Pat, Shari, Charles, Terry, and Juanita. I think this is a new place; I don't recall it being here last year (but then last year is rather a blur). Anyway, the food is outstanding. Alex and Pat raved over the sushi. I had Pad Thai and probably the best I've ever had. It had ground peanuts in it and tasted wonderful. James had Pad Cashew. Everyone else was pleased as well.

I'm not sure what other groups of people do after they have lunch together, but we went to a bookstore together. We always stop at Mount Yonah Bookstore, and the lady knows us since we've been there so often. In fact Terry is on their Facebook page and told her we were coming. She had a big sign outside that said "Welcome, Atomicon! Check in at the front." I found two anthologies of juvenile mysteries and James found an old flying manual plus a real prize: a copy of Igor Sikorsky's autobiography signed by Sikorsky! I had a blast from the past in the kids' section: they had an assortment of the Thornton W. Burgess Mother West Wind books, which I remember from the old Arlington Library on Cranston Street. Back in those days I wanted to read Marguerite Henry and the the Trixie Belden books, and Arlington had what could charitably be described as "vintage books." I once complained bitterly to my mother that the newest book Arlington had involved a girl with a car with a running board. Now I would give a lot for those old books. I did find one of them once, Flax, the story of a police dog in Germany.

Some of the group then went to "the mead place," but James hadn't brought the power chair and had been walking around for a while and his back was killing him. So we just came back to the hotel via Nora Mill and bought some new whisks and a new bag of Pioneer Porridge.

We ended up playing a game of "Roll for It" when we got back with Terry and Jessie (and later Shari). This was fun. You get three cards with different die faces (six sixes, for example, or a one, three, and five, or four twos, etc.) and you throw your six dice trying to match them. Then a group went off to Catch 22, which we went to last year, and a small group to Spice 55, but I got out my leftovers and James had his chili and cheeseburger, and we snacked on the veggie tray that Shari brought. People eventually trickled back in to chat, and then to play games. I spent most of the evening watching Dorothy, Shari, Shannon, and Terry play Rummikub (I was helping Terry, which helped me learn the game). Alex brought a blender with him and was making drinks. There was watermelon with vodka, Bailey's, and some type of margarita. I had a couple of sips of the Bailey's but couldn't really drink what I wanted because it was time for my heart medication. The Bailey's was good, and the watermelon one looked fab.

Labels: , , , , , ,


» Thursday, March 21, 2019
Atomicon, Day 1

Actually, the first thing we did today was go to the doctor. James had his stitches out this morning. They put butterfly bandages on it and told him to keep it from getting soaked, and the bandages would start to fall off after three days. Okay. The surgical site has looked very good the whole time, and we needn't have waited to pack the polysporin, because we don't need it right now.

Then we came home and began the arduous process of loading up the truck. We were mostly packed, but had to add little things to each container. Tucker, despite being distracted by a cookie, raced up and down the stairs, knowing something was up. Snowy was still concentrating on his "girlfriend" toy. (Yesterday he decided it was mating season and he needed to do something about it as I started to clean out his cage. The moment I put my hand in, he went after it, but I realized he wasn't attacking it, he was attempting to molest it. I've had budgies do this before, but instead of preening me gently with his beak, Snowy bites. Little bites, but he bites. If I was a girl budgie, he would have been beat up by now. As it was, I watched him spread his wings over my hand and just saying calmly, "Snowy, that hurts. You know that hurts, right?") I grabbed him out of the cage and he fastened down on my thumb, so it was no trouble getting him into his carry box while I encased his cage in a plastic bag (it has to ride that way in the truck). Finally we got the traveling circus all packed up and it was an easy ride to the vet.

However, traffic was horrendous in Dunwoody and we took the back way out of there, thereby depriving me of my doughnut, which I'd been looking forward to. I don't think I've had a doughnut since last fall. Instead we got on GA-400 and stopped at the next exit for a burger at Wendy's. James' twitchy leg cut in about Cumming, but he kept driving, and we arrived at the hotel a little before three. We were checked in in a trice and we were fixing up the room when Alice and Ken arrived. James and I lay down for a while (I didn't sleep good, he was reading), but then I started getting fidgety. Then James went out for ice and didn't come back. I found him in the conference room watching Jessie, Aubrey, and Terry play some sort of a strategy board game with dragons. So I brought my games out, and they played a game of Scrabble Scramble with me, and by then it was time to go to supper.

Ten of us ate at Bigg Daddy's. I had wings and had enough left over for lunch. If I'd known they were that big I would have had five with a baked potato. But they were good. James got a side order of onion rings and those were less good. Not crispy enough, and the onions should have been either sweeter or sharper. But we had a fun time and the live band was great, except Juanita wasn't feeling very well. She strained something after lifting some heavy stuff and then moving the wrong way and now has a painful injury. She looked very unhappy during supper because it was bothering her a great deal. She does have a nifty new gadget: a scooter that folds up at the press of a button. But she's not enjoying it as much as she could.

After supper we gathered in the conference room for games. Juanita taught Shari and I how to play Qwix (Betty played as well, but already knew how), which involved rolling dice and then figuring out what numbers to play to make a row of five or more in four different colors. Once you reached the end of a row, you locked that color, and that color die was thrown out of the game. I ended up winning (I think; after not sleeping well last night I'm not sure I added up my numbers correctly) but it's not the favorite game we have learned.

I can tell we are getting old; one by one people started wandering off to bed before ten o'clock! Back in the day, we'd be up until one or two o'clock. But there are still about ten of us hanging in right now.

[Later: We missed The Orville earlier, so tried watching it on Fox's site. Five minutes from the climax of the story the video stopped and insisted we log on to Fox's website using our Dish password so we could finish the story. What stupid rubbish! Before they would let you watch the most recent episode for free until the next episode aired. Money grubbing assholes. Luckily I had the password list on my laptop, so we could jump through the hoops and finish the story. Hello, advertisers! I paid attention to the commercials this time and be assured I won't be buying any of your products if Fox keeps doing crap like this.]

Labels: , , , , , ,


» Sunday, March 17, 2019
Booked for a Long Weekend

So Saturday wasn't the first day of the spring edition of the Friends of the Library book sale, so naturally it wasn't raining. Sigh. Friday it certainly was raining, perhaps not much when I got there at nine, but at one point I stared out the big cargo doors they have at the back of the civic center and it was pouring pitchforks and little fishes. I went into the bathroom and a young woman solemnly informed me "It's raining real hard out." It was indeed, as evidenced by the mom and three little kids also there: Mom was trying to mop up the smallest kid, in a stroller, with scant handfuls of paper towels. He looked like he'd just rinsed off in the bath. Thankfully when I left it was just raining lightly and I could tuck the two cloth grocery bags stacked under my chin and only one side the bags got wet and that did not affect the books. I came home via Tin Drum and got lunch for both James and I (he had thought he could telework on Friday, but the MOHS surgery did knock him out as the doctor predicted; he had to take pain meds Thursday night, and was chilling out at home as I rooted among the books).

I had planned to take James to his meeting on Saturday, but he said he was feeling better and thought he could do it himself. Okay. He knows his own strength, I figured. I had thought about going to JoAnn when I left the house, but on the way I made a wrong turn. So I ended up at the book sale again. I was wandering around on the lower level when I heard a voice call up from the balcony that I shouldn't buy up all the books before she get down there. It was Clair Kiernan and her husband Daniel. They came down and we chatted for a while as I picked up more books.

Today's Book Tally

And Yesterday's Book Tally

From the civic center I went to Lidl (yes, more bread; since it's real bread, not full of preservatives, it gets hard fast) and then came home. I continued reading Victoria's Daughters, which I bought Friday and started immediately. When James got home we went to dinner at Hibachi Grill and then (yes, I know it's ironic) to Barnes & Noble, and later he spent the evening in the man cave.

It's been obvious today that James overdid himself yesterday; he's been really draggy during our errands, but he only admitted it on the return trip, so we came home after going to Publix and to Sam's Club. (I went out to CVS on my own; we needed ointment for his surgical area and what we had in the house—Neosporin—was not recommended.) He rested for the remainder of the afternoon, kept me company while I sorted the medications for the week, and I washed the towels and watched Caught in Providence. Supper was pork chops cooked in applesauce and buttered potatoes with Litehouse salad sprinkles, and we vegged out watching America's Funniest Home Videos, Perry Mason (we've started to look forward to these), and Dr. K's Exotic Animal Clinic.

Labels: , , , ,


» Thursday, March 14, 2019
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window... has been mostly cloudy all day, so right now it is that dim light before sunset—since, tiresomely, we have gone on Daylight Wasting Time again, and the sun will not set until almost eight o'clock, and it won't be really dark until after nine. Luckily I have accustomed Tucker to going out between nine and ten, so we shouldn't be bothered by distractions (kids, other dogs going on walks, at least two neighbors who get home from work after nine, etc.) when I take him out for a walk. It will get harder as the days get longer, because by June 21 it won't be dark until way after ten. A fat pain in the neck it is.

I am thinking...
...actually, I'm thinking what to have for dessert. It's "Pi Day," but we have no pie. 😀 We had dark chocolate Oreos last night. Maybe dark chocolate peanut butter cups tonight. Trader Joe's makes the ones we have, and they are so good.

I am thankful...
...James' MOHS procedure is over. He had it this morning. Since June of 2016, he had had a mole growing near his right eye. It just got bigger, didn't change color or anything, and he intended going to dermatology about it, but there was his heart, and his kidneys, and the heart again, and the kidneys, and the blockage, and finally the TURP—there never was any time...anyway, when we finally got to the dermatologist a couple of months ago, it had gotten really bad (especially after the TURP). It wouldn't really heal, and would bleed, scab over, the scab would fall off, then it would start to bleed again. Expectedly, when they removed it, they biopsied it, and it was a basal cell cancer. So they sent us to a dermatological surgeon to have this MOHS procedure. The doctor at Kaiser had taken the mole right off until the skin was flat again, and it had even healed very nicely. Now this doctor basically took a millimeter of skin (deep) from the area and biopsied it. If it had come back bad, she would have take another millimeter until the basal cells were all gone. He got lucky. She took off the millimeter and there were no basals in it; the doctor at Kaiser had gotten it all. So after the first millimeter she stitched it up and we are to go back and have the stitches out next Thursday. He will have an interesting scar. We teased each other that he could say it was a dueling scar.

In the kitchen...
...we had bagged ravioli tonight, and the sauce is still waiting to be put into a container. Everything else but the small Dutch oven James boiled the ravioli in is in the dishwasher and washing. After making it through the entire afternoon, the lidocaine they put on the surgical area has worn off and now he feels like he has a bad headache. At the moment I'm writing this, he's fallen asleep in the recliner. I tried to get him to lay down this afternoon, but he wouldn't. I hope he hasn't overdone it.

I am wearing...
..."Soft kitty" T-shirt and gray-and-blue plaid pajama pants. And the usual white socks.

I am creating...
...right now, quiet so James can sleep.

I am going... read or watch Perry Mason later on. We should really watch what's on the DVR, but we have gotten rather hooked on watching the reruns when there's nothing else on. They don't make shows like this today; even all the lawyer shows are flashy and quick cuts. I just wish they didn't edit so much from the episodes to fit more commercials in. We are losing about ten minutes each episode, so sometimes the events they mention don't make any sense because we didn't see them!

I am wondering...
...if James will have trouble wearing his C-PAP mask tonight. He is worried about this, too. It's funny, but when he sits up and sleeps he does not snore!

I am reading...
...Why We Eat What We Eat by Raymond Sokolov, about how the European arrival in the "New" World changed both the cuisine of the Americas and of other countries. For instance, what we think of as "French cooking" or "Italian cooking" only exists because of foodstuffs brought over to Europe from America after 1492.

I am hoping...
...James feels a little better tomorrow. He will be taking pain medication tonight instead of an Ambien and Tylenol.

I am looking forward to...
...Cobb County Friends of the Library spring book sale, at the Civic Center tomorrow through Sunday.

I am learning...
...well, I'm trying to read my camera manual (again) and learn how to really use it. I have rarely used it off Auto; I did kind of by guess and by golly when I took photos of William Shatner at DragonCon, because he moves around so much, and that worked out okay, so I need to know how to do it properly.
Around the house...
...we're watching Jeopardy.

I am pondering...
...lunch at Tin Drum tomorrow. I have points for an extra protein. Usually that means I have enough food in the portion for two lunches.

A favorite quote for today...
"You are somebody's sunshine." I hope I am sunshine for least sometimes. I know lots of times I can be a thunderstorm, or a weepy cloud.

One of my favorite things...
...these days? Peace and quiet and weeks with no doctors' appointments. I have one of my own soon.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Book sale, cross fingers. Also, might have to take James to his club meeting. We'll see.

A peek into my day...
How about a different day? Here's a picture I took one morning when I couldn't sleep and went out to help James with the power chair. That's Venus just over the roof of the neighbor's house at lower left and Jupiter up there on the right.

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



» Sunday, March 10, 2019
An Anniversary to Remember (Wishing I Could Forget DST)

It was one year ago yesterday that James had fluid accumulated in his pericardium and spent several days in ICU. He started kidney dialysis the next day, a year ago today. He came home from the hospital to three-time-a-week dialysis appointments. Despite this treatment, fluid built up again, this time in his left lung, and he was rehospitalized in April, but diagnosed as not needing dialysis so long as his bladder emptied properly (his enlarged prostate was partially blocking his urethra, backing urine into his kidneys), necessitating use of a Foley catheter for six months. The TURP procedure he underwent in October was successful in unblocking the passage and getting rid of the Foley catheter.

On Wednesday we saw his urologist. He is still worried that James' bladder retains too much fluid, but his blood tests from March 1 were reasonably good, excellent compared to last year at this time. James will have another urology check at the end of the month. It also seems he has another UTI, so we are waiting on a prescription. On Friday we saw the nephrologist. He was very pleased with James' scores, and said the only change he wanted him to make was to take some Vitamin D. After the appointment, we picked that up at the pharmacy, along with some cranberry supplement, which the urologist said would help with the UTI. On the way home we stopped at Lidl (for bread and found some really pretty lamb steak) and Publix.

One year to the day that he was in the hospital with fluid on his heart, James got up, ate breakfast, and spent Saturday at "Atlantacon," the 2019 IPMS modeling show at the union hall. He was there all day, enjoyed being with the guys, took photos of the entries, and generally enjoyed himself. I thought about going out, but puttered about the house instead listening to "Happier" [Gretchen Rubin's podcast], intending to tidy up my craft room enough to work in it. Alas, I was driven to the bathroom instead—thankfully this only happens infrequently now instead of every week, but it sure was a pain—when James called, saying he'd locked himself out of the truck. So I went to the rescue, and was feeling well enough that we went to Fried Tomato Buffet for supper and had Baskin-Robbins for dessert.

Before James left the house I'd turned all the clocks in the bedrooms and bathrooms ahead; after he left I hit the clocks downstairs and in the foyer, and the kitchen and dining room. (I had a casualty; my cute little apple clock in the dining room had stopped running because the piece of metal that makes the battery contact had corroded, and when I tried to fix it, the metal broke. It's just standard clock innards like all the cheap clocks today, a square plastic wafer powered by a double-A battery, so I'm going to see if I can get a new clockwork. The clock has screws in the back where you can take out a clockwork and put a new one in. Michael's carries them.) There were only the two clocks in the living room left on standard time. When we got home I put those two clocks ahead; it was 8:30, but we pretended like it was 9:30. Since I wasn't intending to watch television, it didn't really matter; Snowy and I listened to more "Happier" instead. James came upstairs at the usual time, 1 a.m., and we went to bed. We slept in, so we didn't really notice the fact that the sun now doesn't come up until five minutes to eight, which sucks. Monday morning James will have to start using the floodlights on the driveway again to mount the power chair. 😡

We ate a leisurely breakfast this morning, waiting for the rain to pass so we could go out and run a few errands:
  • James needed insulin and could not get it yesterday when we were right near the place (eating at Fried Tomato) because Kaiser won't let you order until a certain date, so we had to go back up to Town Center, which is open weekends due to being Urgent Care
  • Snowy needed birdseed
  • I needed milk
  • We had a 40 percent off CVS coupon and James needed BreathRights or the CVS equivalent
So off we went to Kaiser TownPark. Urgent Care seemed fairly busy, but the pharmacy was practically empty, so we got his meds immediately. As we headed to the truck, James unexpectedly said "Do you want to go to Books-a-Million?" I asked "Is someone craving a frozen hot chocolate?" Why, yes, he was. And sure, twist my arm. Make me go to a bookstore.

First we went two stores down to Petco, watched the budgies play, and got Snowy a new bag of Kaytee Forti-Diet and a new sand perch (James got Tucker some cookies off the dog biscuit bar as well), then we went to the bookstore. I found a young adult fantasy about a girl evacuated from London during the Blitz and sent to a spooky Scottish castle. James got a "Cook's Country" magazine. We shared the frozen hot chocolate (theirs being superior to everyone else's).

There was a Kroger practically next door, so I went there for milk while James waited in the truck. And I found two dark chocolate Easter bunnies. And some goat cheese on sale. And a thistle sock and a suet cake for the birds. And I picked up distilled water so we didn't have to worry about it next weekend.

Lastly we stopped at CVS for the BreatheRights and I also returned some cane tips James bought which did not fit his cane.

By the time we got home it was nearly five o'clock and I was starving. I thought we were just going to jump from store to store and be home by three, so I had not eaten lunch. I took the rest of my leftover turkey from last week and made a sandwich with my Lidl bun, eaten with a nice big glass of milk. I also sorted this week's medication and got the towels out of the dryer after them having been washed this morning. I also moved all the timers up one hour.

No more Victoria so we watched the season finale of 24 Hours to Hell and Back. Masterchef Junior starts next week!

Labels: , , , , , , ,


» Tuesday, March 05, 2019
To Sum It Up...

I haven't done one of these entries since May. Life certainly did take abrupt turns last year.

We're still skirting the medical stuff. James has a doctor's appointment tomorrow with the urologist and then on Friday with the nephrologist. His lab numbers are good, but he is still having some problems. Next week he has to have a skin cancer removed from near his right eye.

The cleaning has continued. I now have a routine: Mondays are for bathrooms and the kitchen floor, Wednesday for laundry. Additional extras may get washed Tuesdays or Thursdays. There are places in the house which have been finally decluttered after so many years: the spare room closet, most of the master bedroom closet, most of the library, the spaces under the bathroom sinks, the hall closet. It's not Marie Kondo, but it's something. :-) Lightbulbs don't attack from closet shelves, stuff in the master closet is labeled, you can see the top of the coffee table (well, most of it), sundry useless items have been shipped to Goodwill if they are still in good shape and have gone away in trash bags if they aren't. I've cut down on some of my decorations and party supplies, gotten rid of old papers, filed the necessary ones properly, added shelves in the library, and disposed of old furniture (sigh...except for the sleeper loveseat, which I can't seem to get rid of). Clothes have been mended, rooms adjusted to make them more useful, boxes disassembled and trashed, and pantries cleaned out.

Work still needs to be done. The shelves of tools in the garage are in disarray. Once it gets warmer I can open up a table and try to make it less of a mess. I need to go out in the yard; I keep wanting to fix it up. Despite TruGreen, it looks awful back there. The leaves need raking if the grass is to grow properly, but it keeps raining so much I don't want to go out in the mud. I'd like to put the little tiles and resin animals I bought back there, too, to make it look a bit more cheerful. It's more like a wasteland now. I just hate yardwork. It's bad enough keeping the bushes out front in order.

And I keep intending to craft and I don't. I wanted to do it before, because it was a lot more interesting than my job. Now I can find so much to accomplish that's more interesting than work it's hard to find time to craft.

But one thing at a time. Doctor tomorrow. Doctor on Friday. Doctor next week. My own appointment at the end of the month.

Labels: ,


» Sunday, March 03, 2019
Another Worker Bites the Dust, Book Frenzy, and Bread Addiction

Friday night we had to race out of the house as soon as James quit work for the evening; he had to get a blood test in prep for his nephrologist appointment next Friday.* Then we'd gone to Uncle Maddio's pizza joint for supper and finally, did the shopping at Publix. One of the things I'd picked up there was a 16-ounce container of chicken and wild rice soup, mostly of the content (rice, chicken, onions, carrots) rather than the soup because their soup is so salty.

Saturday morning was lazy: we slept in as much as we could, Tucker had a nice walk, and about one o'clock James decanted the soup and thinned it with no-sodium broth and we each had a small serving (James sprinkled crushed crackers on his and I had mine with the last of a Lidl baguette), and, since I couldn't find an appropriate retirement card last night, I made one up this afternoon.

Yes, we were off to another retirement party; this time it was Ron Butler's turn; he'd formally left work on Thursday. His wife Lin retires at the end of this month. We met at O'Charley's and discovered to our delight that Terica and Ben had driven up from Warner Robins. We had a nice crowd which was of a size to have appeared to overwhelm the wait staff: we arrived at three and some folks didn't get served until way after four. But...whatever. We sat with Ben and T, and Juanita kept making circuits of the room talking about how much fun she was having camping, and then I visited Caran and we chatted how she and Shannon were now the only two left in the once formidable group of us that worked at CDC (me, Juanita, Alice, Clair, and T formerly, plus Keith and Jerry were both contract employees there at one time), and how much we were enjoying The Orville.

After cards, gifts, and cake, we were on our own again and decided to go to Sam's Club. James needed "plastic cheese" and I needed milk and slivered almonds for my oatmeal. We got a rotisserie chicken as well. And then we headed home for a quiet evening. We really chilled; I even got tired of the television yammering and put on the Family Life Christmas channel (apparently they have orders to do replays on "Tennessee Christmas"...I heard it three times) which is all quiet mostly-instrumentals We chilled so much we didn't get into bed and shut the lights until 2 a.m.

We had wanted to finish the shopping by Saturday night because today it was supposed to rain all day, or at least all afternoon.  But when we got up around nine I had a wild hair. Barnes & Noble had something like 400 books on sale half price. I was interested in seeing if any were suitable Christmas gifts. James also admitted he needed mushrooms; we had only two cans left. (For James this is practically famine; he loves his veg and fungus.) So we skipped breakfast—James had a Belvita bar instead, but I couldn't stand the thought of something that sweet early in the morning—and slid out of the house about ten o'clock after I'd walked Tucker. I did a flying stop by Lidl to get fresh bread: two buns (one which I had for breakfast), a baguette, two chocolate chunk cookies for dessert, and Lidl's "dark chocolate" bar (that's its name, "Dark Chocolate"), and then we drove to Dallas Highway, where the Avenue at West Cobb has a Barnes & Noble. Across the street was a Kroger, and once again I just ran in—we had Butch and no power chair—and got some mushrooms and also scoped out the Easter candy: last year only Kroger had the Lindt dark chocolate Easter bunnies. And there they are again! So that's noted and logged.

We came to this Barnes & Noble because it's small enough for James to limp around, and it has a café with enough seats that he can drop into one when his hips and knees really start to hurt.

I am incorrigible. I left with five books, only one which was for a gift, including one I'd wanted for a while: Joyful: The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness. I also found this year's "Country Sampler" Home Tours edition, which I get each year. It's time for a new "Bella Grace," but I shall skip this one and the summer issue. All I ever do in the spring issue is scribble in the exercises how much I love the spring blossoms and hate my spring allergies, and as for the summer issue, all I do is rant against it. James got lucky: one of the half-price books was the new David Weber novel.

We made it home just as the first drops of rain were beating upon the car windshield. This was followed by several hours of rain, during which I washed and dried the towels, sorted this week's prescription drugs, started gluing a project, and farkled around the computer, and watched the live stream of today's "Tech Guy," which totally delighted Snowy. We turned on the television to find the national news was talking about a tornado in Warner Robins, GA. James gave his mother and sister a call to make certain they were okay.

We had the rotisserie chicken for supper along with the potatoes James made in the air fryer. They were quite good. The evening's entertainment was America's Funniest Home Videos, an episode of Perry Mason, and the season finale of Victoria.

*  James was rather reluctant to look at his tests results, as he's had certain problems of late. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that most of the results were good, and his creatitine score is down to 2.0. His BUN is still high, but one third of the score that it was when he was at his worst. We are crossing fingers that we are doing everything right and can continue to do so. He will see the urologist on Wednesday and the nephrologist on Friday. Next week he has to have a small skin cancer removed from his forehead. We are hoping for the best on this.

Labels: , , , , , , , ,