Yet Another Journal

Nostalgia, DVDs, old movies, television, OTR, fandom, good news and bad, picks, pans,
cute budgie stories, cute terrier stories, and anything else I can think of.

 Contact me at theyoungfamily (at) earthlink (dot) net

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» Sunday, April 28, 2019
The Sunday Goes Whizzing By Again

After breakfast and dog walk, we were on a mission: we wanted to hit the bakery at Lidl, get cranberry juice at Aldi (where it's the least expensive), and then finally stop at Kroger for distilled water, no-salt mushrooms, and onions. No need to go driving from one location to the next: the handy-dandy "supermarket shopping mall" on Floyd Road would serve us well (there's a Lidl and an Aldi going out toward Mableton, and a Food Depot, a Publix, and a Kroger coming back).

Lidl was the first stop and we lucked out. While James was stocking up at the bakery (baguette, buns, cheese buns, and dessert cookies), I ran to the back and got two gallons of skim milk, a dark chocolate bar, and some chicken drumsticks for 79¢ a pound. On the way out we also found distilled water for ten cents cheaper than Kroger, inexpensive Vidalia onions, and...tada! cranberry juice at the same price as Aldi. We didn't bring the power chair (James just limped around leaning on the grocery cart), so this was a big plus: all we needed to do then, at Kroger, was to have me run in and get the mushrooms (and I also grabbed two cucumbers and some ramen noodles). That's my favorite kind of grocery shopping: fast!

We got home not long after one, and the rest of the afternoon went by at the speed of light: I put up the groceries, made a quick salami sandwich with one of the buns, washed towels, sorted both our pills for the week, and made the bed. While I was doing the latter, I got aggravated at how dusty the headboard of the bed is. I could dust the master bedroom once a week and the spare room once a year, and at the end of the year the master would still be dustier than the spare room. I think it's the C-PAP; our bedroom in the old house was the same. I cleaned that up, and also the top of the chifforobe and vacuumed the stuffed animals on it. When I put the vacuum cleaner up I was looking forward to sitting down for a while, only to discover it was time to start dinner!

Between dinner prep steps, I worked on a project: looking into cord-cutting options.Our Dish bill is ridiculous, and we don't even have any of the premium movie channels. (Nope, we're not following Game of Thrones.) So I made a list of the channels we watch most often in a WordPerfect document and turned the list into a table with columns of checkoff blocks next to each channel. Then I went one by one through the channel lists on each of the streaming services and checked off which plan had what channels. I listed both Sling plans (Orange and Blue), PlayStation Vue Core and Elite plans, two pertinent Hulu plans (base and with the "entertainment" option), a YouTube plan, and something called Fubo. It's crazy: Playstation Vue has the best single offering of channels but then doesn't carry the History Channel (which James wants for Forged in Fire). Sling Blue carries Discovery Channel (which we want for Alaska: the Last Frontier) and History Channel, but neither Sling plan has Cooking Channel (Good Eats repeats) and DIY (I love Rehab Addict and we both like Mike Holmes), nor Animal Planet, Smithsonian, and TCM. What would work for us best to get all the channels we like would be the Core PlayStation Vue plan and the base Hulu plan together—but that adds up to only $10 less than we pay Dish for our programming now with more channels. Plus while all of the plans but Sling have local channels, none of them carry PBS! I even checked the Dish Flex pack. That would be only $20 less than we pay now, and we'd lose a bunch of channels we love, like NatGeoWild, Science, DIY, and Cooking. If we could only get rid of those dozens of tiresome sports channels and the music channels we never listen to except at Christmas, and then not have to pay for them! They are more than half of our subscription!

We had the chicken drumsticks, of course, baked in cream of chicken with herbs soup and some plum balsamic vinegar. It gave the drumsticks a nice rich taste. James had his with rice and I had mine with baguette slices (in no universe would I choose rice over fresh French or Italian bread). Watched the news and then it was time for Call the Midwife, served with a Perry Mason chaser.

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» Saturday, April 27, 2019
The Whole Tooth

We had a full schedule planned this morning: we were going to get to the Jonquil Festival right at opening time so we could find a parking place at the library, then we would attempt a trip to Costco (a dangerous proposition on a Saturday), and then to Lidl. Unfortunately yesterday I bit down the wrong way on my bad molar. I went to bed with it feeling very tender and while it was okay when I woke up, I had to give it some TLC this morning, chew my oatmeal carefully, and then brought some Orajel with me when we left.

Alas, everyone else had the same idea about the Jonquil Festival: the close parking lots were full when we got there at opening time, so we had to park at the lot on the other side of the festival area. It was still cool when arrived, so the walk wasn't bad. We did a full walk-around of all the booths, bought some more blackberry honey and some sugar-free strawberry jam for James, and, irony of irony, he bought books and I didn't: Philbrick's Sea of Glory and a Barbara Tuchman book about the American Revolution. We saw a lot of nice things, including jewelry made by a sixteen year old girl (she's been doing this since she was eleven) that was very professional-looking. Sampled dips and a rum cake.

By the time we finished it was 11:30, so we had pork sandwiches from Williamson Barbecue for lunch. My tooth was starting to bother me, so pulled pork was the only thing I could manage. We sat in the shade at long folding tables up for that purpose. I noticed as we came down that one of the food trailers had elephant ears, and we were sitting across from that one as we ate. So I wasted $7 on one because the last time I had anything resembling a doughboy was 2015. Disappointing. It was overcooked until the dough was actually crispy and dark brown, and the lady had to smear some kind of syrup on it to get the sugar to stick on it. It cooked so long the dough was tough. Iggy's at Oakland Beach would be ashamed to serve such as a doughboy.

We made a quick trip home with our purchases and then went on to Costco; amazingly we were able to find a parking space right off. We picked up cheese and mandarin orange cups, which we needed, and also boneless skinless chicken thighs to turn into sandwich meat for WHOlanta, since the hotel restaurants are too expensive. We also picked up mandarin oranges "in peel" and found James' favorite "Hippeas" there again (puffs made from chickpeas). Still no skim milk, and they don't have Eggland eggs, so on the way home James parked at Publix and I ran in for eggs for his breakfast, yogurt, and Crystal Light. Alas, I forgot the distilled water, but we still need mushrooms, so Kroger is our fate tomorrow since they are the only place with no-salt added ones.

My tooth was throbbing by then, so we headed home without going to Lidl, and I left James to put away the groceries while I took three ibuprofin and liberally painted my tooth and gums with Ambesol, then crawled onto the futon for a long nap. Woke up over ninety minutes later feeling hungry and slightly dislocated. James cooked up some fine egg noodles and put them in chicken broth and I had that. A little later, I bit down hard on the tooth, saw stars, and since then it has felt better.

Spent the evening watching Rick Steves, Father Brown, and Britcoms.

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» Sunday, April 21, 2019
An Easter Weekend

Thursday's e-mail had delivered to me something I really needed: a Barnes & Noble coupon for the weekend. My old Samsung tablet gave up the ghost—the battery swelled up and was popping the screen right off—so I had picked up another, and needed a case to keep it in. I didn't want a big heavy one this time, but a kimono sleeve instead, and I had already gotten a Go Strap to hold the tablet itself while I read. So to do something different James and I went to the B&N in Buckhead. There were no books out in any of the series James was reading, so he picked up a British magazine devoted to the Apollo 11 moon landing. I got the kimono, and also found three treats: in the $5 clearance bin was an interesting-looking book about life hacks. Also, their hardback discount books, usually $7 or $8 each, were two for $10. So I finally bought myself a copy of Walden (I've never read it, and this copy is nicely illustrated) and also a book you can't escape reading about if you've read Victorian children's literature: Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales from Shakespeare, also nicely illustrated with classic illustrators like Arthur Rackham, Walter Paget, and Robert Bell.

Since Publix was closed for Easter, we had to brave it to finish the shopping on the way home from the bookstore. We stopped at the big East-West Connector store, hoping it would be less crowded. Fat chance! It was a mob scene in there. We were glad to get home and relax for a little while until we went to supper at Fried Tomato Buffet and then stopped at JoAnn to use some coupons on do-it-yourself trays (actually wooden picture frames with deep frames) to put on top of the new "toy" chest.

Stayed up late watching this and that, including the rest of "Visit to a Hostile Planet" on Lost in Space.

Easter was a very quiet day. We got up late, dawdled, and finally James went downstairs to work in his man cave. I sat down to watch the usual Easter things: first Rankin-Bass' Here Comes Peter Cottontail, my favorite of their Easter offerings. I remember that at a bad time in my life its song "The Puzzle of Life" helped me cope with what was going on.

Next I put on the Addie Mills story The Easter Promise. I've made no secret that I consider The House Without a Christmas Tree a small masterpiece and its sequel The Thanksgiving Treasure a worthy followup. I've always been more ambivalent about the final two. The Valentine special, Addie and the King of Hearts, is riddled with clichès and was only an hour as compared to the usual ninety minutes. It was the only time the book version of the story was superior to the media version. The Easter Promise is much better, but suffered compared to the first two in being the first of the two that were not filmed in Canada in countryside that looked very like 1940s Nebraska. Instead it was made on a soundstage and looked like it. I love Addie and have always watched the stories from her point of view. This time I was suddenly watching it from Constance's point of view and found I enjoyed it a little better that way.

I also watched It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, in which the funniest gag isn't watching Marcy ruin every batch of Easter eggs they buy, but the wonderfully funny scene near the beginning of the story where the kids walk into the department store and it's decorated for Christmas already, and the Lutheran TV special with Benji and his sheepdog Waldo, Easter Is.

We had a great Easter dinner: shrimp scampi over linguine, wit a cucumber salad.

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» Friday, April 19, 2019
How I Finally Defeated the Frog*
When I began working at CDC, the office was located in Buckhead (formerly the bar scene, now home to high-priced stores and condos), and we were living in Smyrna; it was an easy drive each day over surface streets (including the very pretty West Paces Ferry Avenue, which blooms beautifully in the spring and turns lovely colors in the fall in front of all the fancy homes) to work. In 1999 CDC moved us part and parcel out to Koger Office Park (later University Office Park). You could get there via surface streets, but it took two hours, so the quickest way was via the freeway.

It wasn't ever easy, but those first trips were halcyon compared to the later ones. Every morning it would take a little longer, but every evening it would take a lot longer. The commute weighed on me, not just the time it wasted, but the thought of getting involved in a horrific accident like the ones that showed up every night on television.

2007 brought relief: after a smaller telework test program, a larger one opened up and I became part of it. Once this was in process, James and I went to Ikea and bought a nice wooden desk, red, with a slide-out keyboard tray and wheels so it could be used in the living room and stored in the bedroom. (I never did use it as it was meant to be used; I always worked on my own computer, because trying to see that teeny-tiny laptop screen was a headache [the san serif fonts were bad enough on my monitor at work!]—this is why James bought a separate monitor to telework. Instead I had the all-in-one-printer that I was issued on the desk, and my supplies.) We later bought a beige version of this same desk for the library, and when the wheels broke on the red desk, swapped them out.

Since I've retired, I've wanted that desk out of the room. The damaged red desk got disposed of last year, when I added more bookcases to the library, so the beige desk couldn't go there. What I really wanted to do with the beige desk was to put it into my craft room to have a bigger surface to work on; I have a folding table in there, but the desk was bigger. But this hinged on getting rid of the old loveseat sleeper that ended up in the craft room as well; this loveseat what I used as a seat when I painted or made jewelry, or repaired items. But the seat was never high enough and too soft—perfect for a sofa, but not for a desk chair.

I have tried for months to get rid of it. It's still pretty sturdy, it's not stained, and the mattress is clean; no leaky kids, adults, or pets have ever been on it. Heck, as a sofa bed, I think it's been used twice, once during an ice storm for James to keep warm in next to the fireplace in the old house, and once when Jen and Meggan came to visit and Meg slept on it. One of our friends said they would take it, then realized they had no room for it. But no one wants sofa beds, not even Habitat for Humanity and places that re-home domestic violence victims. After trying two more places on Thursday morning, I finally said "screw it."

Now I'd been cleaning off the desk slowly for a while. As a horizontal surface, it collected every bit of extraneous detritus we could manage, and there was a shelf underneath to boot! The shelf alone had old plastic file folders, magazines, and other items in Ikea wicker baskets. On top there was another basket filled with bluetooth keyboards and power banks and backup drives, a clear lucite pen holder, and a case filled with office supplies I've bought over the years (I ended up buying most of my office supplies, even for going into work, since they never had anything but gel pens which smeared when I highlighted them—instead I bought Bic pens when they were on sale before school started). The keyboard tray had more office supplies: post-it notes and tags, notepaper, more pens, pushpins, paperclips.

The power supplies and backup drives and the folders got put in the bottom cubicle in the chifforobe after I tossed some items we didn't need any longer. I kept the supplies on the keyboard tray "as is," and put the case with the office supplies on the bottom shelf. Finally I was ready to move it.

I've basically repurposed the loveseat as a shelf for supplies. Half of the seat is still a seat, with a pillow, perhaps if I want to chill listening to my records (alas, not my tapes, because both tape players have suddenly died after working properly in December) or CDs. It's getting to the point that the whole deck is a dead loss except for the phonograph. The other half of the seat holds those wicker Ikea baskets with supplies in them: Scotch tape, blank cards, the case with my jewelry-making supplies and pliers. Before I had to turn around to get the tape, or the glue, or a Kleenex off the shelves in back of the loveseat. Now they are grab-and-go.

Before I put the desk in the room, I cleaned out all the junk that was piled up against the record cabinet with the stereo on top of it, and the speakers, and the bookcase all against the far wall. One container was magazine clippings from "BBC Food" that James had worked on and which got shoved into the craft room when we put the Christmas tree up. I put it back next to his chair. Then I put a bunch more cross-stitch magazines into the cabinets, so they didn't take up that space. I also tossed out a bunch of fabric paint. The tubes are dried up and anyway you can't buy iron-on patterns to embellish anymore in the craft stores, not like you could a dozen years ago. That trend has passed. The new office chair I'd ordered for James from Amazon Vine had arrived, so I could get rid of the tottery old kitchen chair that James' dad gave us, and put the new drafting chair James had been sitting on in there instead. Plus I got rid of a bunch of CD cases and rearranged a storage box of scrapbook paper. Once that space was clear and vacuumed, I moved the desk in; I put it perpendicular to the loveseat rather than parallel. The old table was folded up and put behind the door; I will still use it for painting as I'm not about to ruin the finish on the desk! (Either that or I will use a coupon to buy a big poster board at Michael's and cover the desk top with it.)

I tossed a big bunch of papers and a couple of old posters as well.

This was all accomplished on Thursday. Friday morning I got up and had to hustle, since my Three Hours of Meditation starts at noon on Good Friday.

In October 2017, knowing I was retiring in January, I got a child's toy chest from Amazon Vine. It has sat, on the short end of its box in the downstairs hallway, waiting for me to get the desk out of the bedroom. Now I got the vacuum cleaner and gave the space where the desk had been one last pass and then assembled the toy chest. It didn't take me long, even though I started by putting the back on backward and had to re-do it, and had a painful time putting on the lid supports because I had to balance on painful knees. It's a pretty chestnut color called "espresso," and now sits very demurely between the chifforobe and one of my Grandma's old kitchen chairs, which I use for putting shoes on. I left some pens and notepaper with it, so we can write notes without having to run to the craft room for supplies, but eventually I will have two square trays on the top instead (I bought them at JoAnn on Saturday night) holding the supplies for easy removal to get into the chest. Inside I plan to put extra bedding that won't fit into the blanket chest at the foot of the bed, which is chock full with the afghans my mother made for me. (I need to put them out, but don't know where.) I also need to get some cedar squares to put into it to keep the items smelling fresh.

This sounds like No Big Deal, but it has been a thorn in my side for eighteen months and I am so glad it is finally done! It was such a relief to mark this down as done in my journal tonight.

*Supposedly Mark Twain said “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” It was actually said in jest by a French writer and not by Twain, but since then motivational speakers have referred to distasteful tasks as "frogs."

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» Wednesday, April 17, 2019
A Typical Day (Thank God)
Things are in a comfortable groove right now, although we are still keeping a hawk's eye on James' health. His creatitine was very low on a previous blood test, but went up .3 on the last test. It doesn't sound like much, but when the bad score is 5, there's not much give there. We are hoping it was the poor health he was suffering due to the pain in his legs, which has lessened a bit. He is going to see his GP tomorrow about it, as the rheumatologist is concerned it might be a circulation problem. I assume this means another leg sonogram will be in order. However, the rheumatologist also believes his knee pain that started at his doctor's appointment on March 29 was a Baker's cyst that burst. It's possible the knee pain before that was also due to the cyst. Cross fingers.

We are also waiting on two biopsies James had on skin moles. If they are positive, he will have to go back for more MOHS surgery. ::sigh::

I've been trying to get back into decluttering mode, but these little things are still bothering me. It's hard to work when James is teleworking, not because he's in my way, but because I'd rather spend time with him, even if it's just going in and out of the room.

However, he was able to go in yesterday and today, and I've gone back to trying to get rid of, as Marie Kondo says, "things that do not spark joy." And, boy, oh, boy, there are more and more of them every day.

One thing that hasn't been sparking joy has been my craft room. I did a cleaning job on it last year, including sorting all the Christmas cards I've bought on discount, then Christmas came and all sorts of things that are in the way of decorating ended up in my craft room (except for the hassock of the rocking chair, which got stowed in the spare room for the duration). It doesn't help that miscellaneous items have wandered in to live as well: videotapes I was sent, my videotape masters for Remember WENN, miscellaneous magazines, CD and DVD cases, and that loveseat sleeper that has become a thorn in my side because no charity seems to want it. Not to mention the ironing board, the iron, and things to keep clothing in repair (which to me is certainly not a craft, but mending is immensely necessary). Plus I used to love to use my stereo system to play records and cassettes while I was in there, and out of nowhere the dual cassette players just died. I have only one cassette player left: my 1974 graduation gift! And I need to keep it safe or I'll have to buy a cassette player from the Vermont Country Store, because the stuff I have on cassette is irreplaceable.

So yesterday I made a decision: if no one wants the loveseat, I'm going to have to repurpose it. (Otherwise it will cost $50 to have a junkman take it away, and I hate to have that happen, because it is still it good shape—it is not junk.) I had containers of things in front of the stereo and the bookcase next to it. I cleared those out as much as I could. This makes more room. The folding table I have in there now is just a little smaller than the desk I want to put in there. So I will get rid of the folding table and butt the desk up against the loveseat and use the seat for a storage spot, which will leave more room on the floor. It will be a little crowded, but I can make it work. I guess. Today I cleaned off the desk, which I used to use for teleworking, and put a couple of the things that used to be on top of it (like the portable chargers and backup drives) into the chifforobe. The office supplies can go on the shelf on the bottom. I will leave some in a container in the bedroom for notes, and they can go on top of the chest that I can finally assemble after a couple of years of it sitting in the downstairs hall in its box. We still need blanket storage; the blanket chest at the foot of the bed is chock full.

Alas, the small armchair I also hoped to put into the bedroom is no longer made by Ikea. They've gone back to that gut-ugly Swedish modern furniture that was so trendy in the 1960s. Ugh. I'm glad they were making decent furniture when we first moved into this house!

This morning I made a trip to Walmart. Picked up some corn on the cob for Easter dinner (we're having shrimp), bought more sugarless candy for James, picked up more vinegar since I cleaned out the drains, other things we needed. On the way home I stopped at Lidl (for bread, of course) and found two women about my age cleaning out the bakery bins! I waited my turn for the dinner rolls ("buns"), which were almost gone, and said, "Wow, these are popular today!" The lady responded in a German accent that she had driven a long way to get them! They must have had a dozen rolls, other kinds of bread and pastry, and several loaves of rye bread which they had sliced! I'm not the only one who loves the bakery!

Also found some thick pork chops on discount, so did another pork chop bake for supper like I did a few weeks ago. This time I browned the chops in onion and garlic powder and Lighthouse salad blend herbs, then baked them in cream of onion (instead of mushroom) soup with cut-up potatoes. Last time the potatoes came out very soft, so I cut them a little bigger. Well, the pork and the soup gravy was magnifique, but the potatoes were still crunchy. Ah, well.

Speaking of magnifique, it is hard to believe that beautiful Notre Dame Cathedral caught fire the other day. I was working so hard I didn't know until James got home from work, and then we watched in horror for half the night. It's not just a Catholic icon, it's a beautiful relic of the medieval era with workmanship that cannot be duplicated. (They were talking about this today on NPR, about restoring the burned areas—remarkably, pews, altars, and most of the beautiful stained-glass windows survived the inferno! and volunteers rushed in during the fire to save the holy relics—because craftsmen like those who built the cathedral almost no longer exist today. The Dean of the cathedral in Washington, DC, said there are only two stonemasons left who actually do hand-carving for the cathedral; no one learns this any longer. What a shame.) But wealthy French have already pledged money and the mayor of Paris vows to have the building restored in five years. I hope they can. It's like other irreplaceable structures: the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall of China, Tikal, the Sphinx.

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» Saturday, April 13, 2019
As Friday Rolls into Saturday

Our weekend actually started yesterday afternoon, when James had to stop work to go to the doctor. Originally he had one appointment, to get his quarterly steroid shots in his knees. But yesterday he got a call saying he needed his annual retinal scan required because of the diabetes. So he made that appointment for before the shots. I hadn't planned to go with him but it looked like he'd be there so long he could use some company.

First he had the retinal scan; they dilated his eyes and then did whatever it is they do with the scan. It was interesting seeing his scan through the instrument. She showed us the images afterwards.

Then we went on to the rheumatology appointment. The room was exhaustingly hot and we were both parched before the doctor even showed up. When the nurse opened the door it was like a breath of fresh air. Anyway, James talked to the doctor about the tight feeling he's had in in his calves since before Atomicon, and also about the injury he sustained two weeks ago, and he was advised to see his primary care doctor about the former, as it may be circulatory problems, and he believes what happened two weeks ago is that James had a "Baker's cyst" behind his right knee that burst. It causes the same pain and side effects as James has been having. (We also discovered that his once-comfortable Serta chair is part of the problem. A part on it appears to be broken and it wobbles back and forth and creaks loudly, so James is spending eight hours a day trying to balance on the chair. He is now using the drafting chair I got from Amazon Vine and says it does feel better. He called Serta but they will not help him unless he still has the receipt. We got the chair two years ago; who keeps a receipt for a chair that long? They said they think it's the support plate that's cracked, judging by James' description, and said they would send us one, but James had to read our address to the lady so many times I doubt it will make it to us.) Anyway, while his knee is feeling better, the doctor says it sometimes takes up to six weeks for the pain from a broken Baker's cyst to completely go away.

After he got the shot, we had to go to the laboratory—he had several doctors requesting blood tests—and also to the pharmacy. Only around five did we get to go home. We just warmed up some leftover soup for supper and spent our Friday evening watching Perry Mason.

We were up at nine this morning. James said he slept pretty well and was going to go to his club meeting and the pre-meeting lunch. This would be a good test for him finally going into work  next week. So he had a small breakfast and left about 10:30. I walked Tucker and finished up doing some things, then went out myself around noon. Unless I wanted more soup there was no lunch in the house. So I went out to Dallas Highway and bought no-sodium added mushrooms at Kroger (our only source for no-sodium) and the milk was on sale, so I got it there. I stuffed the milk into the insulated bag and went across the highway to Barnes & Noble with the coupon I got in e-mail.

I lucked out. I had just finished a historical mystery ARC that I got from Vine that was the second in a series. I enjoyed the protagonist so much that I was going to buy the first book from Amazon, but B&N had the book and with the coupon it would be cheaper than Amazon. Then I found a real treasure: A.N. Wilson's biography of Queen Victoria, which is the chief basis for the miniseries Victoria, on the clearance table for $5!

On the way home I stopped at Lidl to hit the bakery and also found some promising-looking lamb shanks.

Came home to cool off (it was in the 80s today), open the mail (after all the medical hijinks yesterday I discovered my Vitamin D is way low and I'm going to have to go out and get a supplement) and listen to an episode of "Happier." James got home earlier, also came in to cool off, and then we went to Ken's Hometown Grill for supper, followed by a trip to Publix. We needed to get all the grocery shopping done so James could make burritos tomorrow. It's a good day to do it as it's going to storm.

This evening? More Perry Mason, "the crazy lady" (Hyacinth Bucket) and Are You Being Served, and even an episode of Lost in Space. I hate the way they have letterboxed the latter. The series was made in fullscreen; leave it alone.

[James spent Sunday making thirty breakfast burritos. As you can imagine, he was exhausted when he finished. Another tearjerker Call the Midwife finished out Sunday night.]

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» Saturday, April 06, 2019
Tentative Steps

Oh, that makes me mad. I had no alarm set this morning. I should have slept with no trouble. Did I? No. Knees hurt, right leg twitchy, in and out of the bathroom, a fat disappointment all round. Phooey.

Emerged from the bedroom to find James had tried his first time on the stairs since last Friday. He got his juice, but it wasn't an unqualified success; he had to sit down at least five minutes before the pain subsided.

Well, we had to see if he might be in shape to go to work next week, so we went out. Instead of taking the truck and the power chair, we took the car. I dropped him off at the front door of Publix, since the carts are stored just inside. We picked up various things I'd forgotten:  BOGO Miracle Whip, the yogurt the other store didn't have (we got the last ten), a couple of other things.

I did get ticked off when we checked out. Occasionally Publix, which sells Hallmark cards, has a BOGO Hallmark coupon. The coupon clearly says on it that it is for a Hallmark item of equal or lesser value. I picked two packs of Easter cards with one as the BOGO, and also added a birthday card into my cart for a friend's upcoming birthday. The checkout went smoothly until we got to these items. First the cashier told me she could not do this as a BOGO because one of the cards said "Dayspring" on it, not Hallmark, so it wasn't a Hallmark product. "Dayspring" is a trademark Hallmark uses for its religious cards, and I pointed out the Hallmark logo on the back of the package. She then told me she could not give me the second pack of cards as the "get one free" because the second item has to be a lower price than the first item. I directed her to read the coupon, but she insisted, so I left the birthday card behind; it was the only way she would give me the BOGO with one pack of cards being free. I have previously successfully bought two packages of cards as a BOGO and another small item (stickers, or another card) at other Publix stores without this type of argument. The coupon clearly said "of equal or lesser value," not "lesser value only." I sent a note to Publix about this when I got home.

We made a stab at getting into Costco, which is a dicey proposition on a Saturday afternoon, but lucked out and found a handicapped space in front. It took a couple of minutes to get a cart, but then we gathered what we came for, including generic Flonase and Breathe-Right strips. Also got a multipack of Band-Aids, liquid soap on sale, and another moon landing book, this one about JFK and the space program.

Then, since it was wayyyy after two o'clock, we went to Uncle Maddio's for a very late lunch. We both ate all our personal pan pizza. No big supper for us.

Climbing back up the stairs pretty much knocked any energy James had out of him. He eventually had to take a pain pill. He had a sandwich for supper and was restless for the rest of the evening, I cooked up some egg noodles and had them in chicken broth. My joints are all achy and my throat is sore, presumably due to the pollen count, which was "only" 1600 today. (Yesterday it was over 6200.) We spent the evening amused by Caught in Providence.

The only other thing of note is that our bats are back! When I took Tucker outside this evening they were flying back and forth across the street past our street light. Hard to tell in the dark, but I think there were at least three individual bats; pretty certain there were two, one right after the other, and a third one. I hope they get all those mosquitoes that will be birthing soon; I much prefer bats to West Nile virus! 

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» Friday, April 05, 2019
The Simple Woman's Daybook


Outside my window...'s still light outside, per the time schedule, but a muted light since it's been cloudy most of the day. There was a nice spot this afternoon when it was cumulus clouds and [still winter] blue sky, but already much too warm. I can see baby leaves on the trees.

I am thinking...
...that it's been a rather discouraging week. James' right knee feels a little better, but he's still in pain. He's been housebound for a week now. I bought him a decent knee brace which he wears in the daytime, so he's been walking around more, but because he's limping, his right foot hurts as well. It's the gift that keeps on giving, unfortunately. Tonight he is going to try to sleep without a pain pill.

I am thankful...
...James' knee didn't get hurt at Atomicon. Having to spend a second year in the Habersham County emergency room would have been too much.
In the kitchen...
...there's a leftover leg of chicken cacciatore. It was part of a container of leftovers that we had for supper. I had a fresh baguette, great to zoop in the leftover sauce.

I am wearing... Great American Eclipse t-shirt with its beautiful logo and blue scrubs pants (and white socks). It's so warm outside I may have to switch to tank top and shorts tomorrow.

I am creating...
...not much of anything this week. The pollen count has been very high and after I've done things for the day I have had a screaming headache. Today I only went to Lidl and to Publix and came home and had to take three ibuprofin and a nap.

I am going... pray for rain.😀

I am wondering...
...if I'll ever get the house decluttered to my satisfaction. It seems when I get one problem dealt with another appears. And how am I supposed to work with a blasted headache all the time?

I am reading...
...Joyful by Ingrid Fetill Lee. I've wanted it for ages and Barnes & Noble had it half off a few weeks back. I've just finished the first chapter about how color brightens not only your environment, but your mood. Maybe that's why I felt so bleak those last years at work; everything was beige and grey and the whole office looked tatty.

I am hoping...
...James' knee will feel better soon. He is at least seeing his rheumatologist next Friday; maybe Dr. Salazar will know if it needs more attention or just more time to rest.

I am looking forward to...
WHOlanta, but I am dreading it, too, because it's the last one. I understand—running a convention is hard work, and the con runners are tired, and one of them wants to go back and get a degree. But it's a family reunion I will dearly miss, and that nothing can replace.

I am learning...
...not much. To hate spring more and more? Because the headaches get worse every year.

Around the house...
...after-dinner quiet. James is playing a game. Tucker is back on a chair. And Snowy is talking and chattering. It's Friday night and there's a new episode of The Cool Kids and another of Hawaii Five-0.
I am pondering...
...finances. I've spent a lot this week because James hasn't been able to go out, so I did a bunch of shopping. I spent a lot more on groceries than I should have.

A favorite quote for today...
"Joy isn't hard to find at all. In fact, it's all around us." . . .Ingrid Fetill Lee. (But it's hard to see, when you're worried about other things.)

One of my favorite things...
I am really, really loving the bread at Lidl. To the point I have to keep myself from going there every other day and buying some. It's real bread, too; it gets hard quickly. I love what they call "dinner rolls." In Rhode Island we call these "buns," and you bought them at bakeries. Makes me miss the bakeries: Gansett, Rinaldi's, Ann's Bakery, Garzilli's. They're all gone now except for Solitro's. Very sad.

A few plans for the rest of the week:
Poor James. Maybe he will feel okay enough to get down the stairs tomorrow and get out of the house. We need to go to the Farmer's Market at some point and get more dog biscuits, and Costco and get more generic Flonase.

A peek into my day...
What I'm reading!

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