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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» Saturday, June 29, 2019
In and Out on Errands

The lower GI troubles reoccurred throughout the week. It was bad enough when it happened on Tuesday—I had to transport James to Urgent Care with a severe pain in his hip; after x-rays determined there was nothing wrong, they sent him home with pain meds and a referral, and I was so upset by thinking it might be something horrible (like appendicitis) that I worked my way into constant toilet trips (in fact, I was in there so long I managed to finish all of Alan Shayne/Norman Sunshine's book Double Life)—but it happened again on Thursday, which means we didn't get to start grocery shopping until after noon, by which time it had become hellishly hot. (I think I had some sort of low-level stomach virus. It could have been triggered by the heat; I tend to get sick when it's hot anyway. Or it could have been the lamb stew, which also gave James grief on Monday.) So we only went to Lidl and then were going to the Publix on Floyd Road, but they were out of handicapped access carts, so we ended up in Smyrna anyway, with me finding it extremely painful to sit.

On Friday, we needed to pick up what prescriptions James didn't corral at Town Center on Tuesday. Because he was picking up insulin, the pharmacy clerk (our favorite lady) at the Cumberland office gave us this big "icepack," so we were safe stopping at Sprouts for some fruits and veg before going on to Patak's butcher shop. We have only been here on the first Saturday of the month, the only weekend day they are open, so used today as an opportunity. To our relief, they have remodeled. Now you get to line up inside instead of outside, which is very helpful on a day like today. The smell in that place is incredible! If we brought Tucker here he would pass out from sensory overload. So we got a pound of fresh mortadella (half the price of Publix), some pastrami for James, fresh chicken wings (not as cheap as Nam Dae Mun, but larger), Italian sausage, kielbasa, and a pound of lovely stew beef (seriously, I need to come here for stew beef; Patak's price is what Sprouts has for a sale price).

We dropped this off at home and I put the insulin in the fridge and left the icepack out. We then had lunch at a new pizza place at Belmont Plaza in Smyrna, Your Pie. The place is nice, but the ceilings are high, meaning the acoustics suck, especially when they have background music. Had trouble communicating with the lady making my pizza because the echo was so bad. Pizza was okay. It had a crispy crust, and the service was quick. However, the crust is nowhere as tasty as Uncle Maddios. It kind of has this bland cracker taste. And somewhere either in the crust or the marinara sauce there is more stupid pepper! James also noted that, while he liked it, the Italian sausage is very spicy! He got the wheat crust and also found it pretty bland.

Finally we went to Barnes & Noble. I feel bad for the people working at the Akers Mill store: it is bloody hot in there! No air moving at all. Found Time's Convert out in paperback and discounted already, so used my coupons on Don't Make Me Pull Over ("an informal history of family road trips"), also finally in paperback, and a nifty graphic novel version of the story of the moon landing, Moonbound.

Remember those fresh chicken wings? We had them for supper. Yumm!

So we ran around for two days and discovered we had still forgotten enough stuff to occupy this morning. We had to go to Costco to fill up the truck, then stop at Petsmart for birdseed (bojemoi! big bag of seed now $19!), and I nipped into Titan Comics to see if they had any recent copies of the "Rivers of London" comics. Alas, just old ones. We had also made a brief stop at the Spring Road branch of Nam Dae Mun in search of the elusive TVP, which they call "soya." Found enough bags of it to make a small store again, including some with caramel coloring that will make the pale ground turkey meat James uses in his breakfasts look more brown and appetizing.

In the meantime, we continue to enjoy more of season one of Perry Mason and A Taste of History. I didn't know the latter was originally a PBS program.

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» Saturday, June 22, 2019
Sabbath Days

"So," I said to James, "what do we have to do today?"

You know what? Nothing. No need to go out in the damn heat. So that's what we did. I happened to change stations on the television to find something better for Snowy and came upon the last day of the Royal Ascot races showing on NBC Sports until one p.m. Ascot is basically like the Kentucky Derby spread out in five days. The Queen opens it and often watches the races (sometimes she has horses entered herself), and everyone wears their best clothes (men wear morning suits!) and men have top hats and women wear all these little colorful confections of hats. I love watching the English race horses. American horses seem almost uniformly brown—chestnuts, bays, blood bays. The horses at Ascot come in all colors, and a beautiful grey horse (not a dapple grey, which is born black and gets whiter as he gets older, but a stunning silvery pewter color) won the Hardwicke Stakes, name Defoe. You can tell this horse was well raised; he was very calm and curious about everything, ears forward, just taking it all in. Little bit of a dish to his face; that's the Arabian blood showing through.

After the races ended I put on The Right Stuff. Lots of facts tweaked and humor added, and I understand Gordon Cooper hated Dennis Quaid's portrayal of him, but a great film about the awe of flight. I was curious what happened to Jane Dornacker, the actress who played the deadpan "Nurse Murch," so looked her up. Very interesting, but ultimately sad: apparently she was the postal service's first female carrier. She did Right Stuff and another film, then got into comedy and did news reports for WNBC radio. In 1986 she and the pilot of the helicopter she was riding in crashed in the Hudson River and both died. Since her husband had died not long before, this left their only child an orphan.

[Alas, on Sunday, my lower GI was in an uproar. I got the towels washed and the meds sorted, but I was pretty sick all day. Nearly threw up a couple of times.]

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» Friday, June 21, 2019
Fire the Fire Marshall

So, having done all the grocery shopping yesterday, we were free to do something fun today—well, at least if going out in 90℉ is anyone's idea of fun. We were going to partake of the Tent Sale at Half Price Books up near Merchant's Walk in East Cobb, no book higher than $2. I have found some gems at library book sales and sales like these—the thrill of the hunt, so to speak.

Except when we got there and parked near the tent, we couldn't get in.

The fire marshall had shut down their tent sale. WTF? Apparently this is their third tent sale, no problems two previous  years, but this year "they didn't have the right permit" and also they said there was some sort of problem with the tent arrangement that "couldn't be fixed" in a short time. Huh? Aisles too narrow? Tables could be moved. I mean, the whole thing is mobile. Sounds to me as if the correct palm didn't get greased.

We did go into the store, and I found WHOology, a trivia volume, on clearance and also bought How Star Wars Conquered the Universe, which looked like an entertaining study on the creation of the films and the fandom that sustained them.

We also dropped in on Fresh Market, which I've been curious about since it opened. Hell, we couldn't have afforded to shop here when I was working. It's like Whole Foods: expensive.

So instead we stopped at Trader Joe's for a few things, including James' favorite fruit bars, and got lunch on the run, as they have these premade wraps that are pretty decent.

And then we stopped at Nam Dae Mun, mostly for Ritter peppermint bars and black soy sauce. James was also looking for TVP, which we found there last time, but seems to be gone this time. Bother. We'll have to see if they have it at the store on Spring Road.

Spent the rest of the afternoon on Amazon Prime watching Perry Mason alternating with A Taste of History. James made pork chops for supper with rice as a side.

Of course as soon as it was time for Tucker to go outside, someone started shooting off fireworks just outside our neighborhood. These weren't little firecrackers, but big Roman candles. It was so loud our neighbors came outside to see what was going on. The airshow was gorgeous, but poor Tucker was petrified. I had to pull him down the stairs calling him a good dog the entire time, and gently lead him around until he felt safe enough to pee. I thought they'd quit the barrage as I took him around the upper cul-de-sac and just as we reached the part that was closest to where the fireworks had been going off, they set off four more big ones. Tucker tried to make himself one with the sidewalk and the poor dog practically dragged me home.

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» Thursday, June 20, 2019
Grocery Store Roulette

The mercurial weather from yesterday continued today. Even the weather reporter on the news was confused; would it rain in the morning? Or in the afternoon? It looked like the answer was "morning" as I stepped out to give Tucker his walk. We did the shorter walk since the sky was looming downward and rain was spitting at us, starting to fall in earnest as we mounted the front steps upon our return. So we took the car out instead of the truck, and headed for supermarket heaven, a.k.a. Floyd Road. James stayed in the car while I stopped at Lidl since they don't have mobility carts; I got bread and the ground turkey that was on sale; he uses the latter for home breakfasts and burritos. Then we made a brief detour to Clay Street and the East Cobb library so I could drop my books off.

Then it was time to turn around to go to Publix, mainly for the BOGOs, although James did get part of his lunch meat (we would get the no-salt-added turkey at the Smyrna store), and then again I just briefly dropped in at Kroger for milk (sale this week) and salt-free canned mushrooms. Now with all these perishable foods, it was time to hit the road for home to put this all up.

We did this as quickly as possible, because by the time we finished it was lunchtime. We had a coupon for Williamson Brothers barbecue, so off we went toward the Big Chicken and then hung a left. The place was considerably busy for a Thursday at one, but we got served fairly quickly. We both had pulled pork platters; I ordered "onion rings" and indeed got two huge rings. I had to use a knife and fork, and one filled me up, so James had the other. We both had enough to take home for a lunch.

Next we were to stop at Sam's Club. We needed popcorn and mandarin oranges (both fresh and cups), and also more triple-A batteries (every remote in the house runs on them), and, alas, it was time for us to re-up membership. Well, the changeable weather, which had been raining when we arrived at Williamson and not raining and cool when we left, changed in the five minutes' drive from barbecue to warehouse. By the time we got to Sam's it was pouring—what a day to have forgotten my hat!—and the place, as always, was packed, and every handicapped space was full. But look! Here came a woman trundling out a cart. She hurriedly loaded her car and then got in. She was in a space where she could just drive out, so we lined up behind her and waited for her to go.

Except she didn't. She just sat, and sat, and a couple of times waved us to pass her. We flashed the handicapped placard at her to let her know we were waiting for her parking space.

And then she wiped her face and calmly started eating! How rude when the store was so crowded. She could have pulled over to the side and eaten there and let someone have her space. Instead, after ten minutes, another person in a handicapped space pulled out and we got her space.

So we got what we needed (plus some pepper and BreatheRight strips) and headed home. We decided to go to the Smyrna Publix to get the turkey lunchmeat and get it over with. (Why go to this trouble? James isn't supposed to have salt. He tried the no-sodium Boars Head turkey with skepticism, and was amazed when it tasted good. In fact, and I can corroborate this, it tastes better than the regular turkey lunchmeat or the reduced sodium version. So we go out of our way to get this for him because it's good for him, but many of the Publix stores don't carry it. Why? Don't know.)

At long last the shopping was over and we could go home and relax. He had a bowl of vegetable soup for supper and I had a Lidl bun with pulled pork.

Later on I discovered Amazon Prime has five of the nine seasons of Perry Mason, so we watched the first episode, uncut unlike the first time we saw it on FETV, and then I turned up a series called A Taste of History. James is crazy about a YouTube series by a man who cooks colonial foods in authentic colonial style, over a fire with only the foods and the tools of the time, so I tagged this because I thought he'd enjoy it. This is similar, a professional chef, originally from Germany, who works at the City Tavern in Philadelphia, who cooks his foods (at least for this series) the same way, over an open fireplace. After watching three episodes, all I can say is that women in those days must have had back muscles like steel and muscles in their arms like weightlifters to manage the bending over and having to shift all those cast iron dutch ovens, spiders (a frypan with legs), frying pans, and kettles! And the food he cooks is making me drool!

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» Friday, June 14, 2019
The Case of the Squinting Dog

Pretty normal morning: woke up (thankfully), did morning ablutions, breakfast and all that, and it was dogwalking time. Then I noticed Tucker pawing at his face. Then he looked into my face.

He was squinting with his right eye. In fact he looked like Schuyler when she had conjunctivitis. Oh, what now?

So we had our walk, and then James held him while I checked out his eye. Not swollen, eye not red. I got a syringe and filled it with warm water and James held him while I rinsed out the eye, then patted out any blobby stuff, but this was clear, not infected looking. We'll keep an eye on it and pick up something for it while we're out.

We had a busy afternoon. Our first stop was Petco, where I picked up something for Tucker's eye, then we stopped at Barnes & Noble. Got the new "Just Cross Stitch" and found a Flavia DeLuce book I didn't have on the remainder table. James got some magazines and a military book. As he was paying, I nipped a few stores over to CD Warehouse. Had no luck finding a BluRay Crimes of Grindelwald, but I did find The Last Jedi for $8.99 and also a BluRay of Big Jake for only $5.

We decided to have lunch at Applebees. I was happy to see you could get ribs on the 2 for $25 menu, so we did that. James had chicken stir fry and ordered me the full rack of ribs for $5 so he could have some, and we had onion rings for an appetizer (a lot better than most, still not better than Mel's Diner in Pigeon Forge). Well, my mouth was watering by the time the ribs arrived, but they were spicy. I sort of enjoyed them, especially since as I moved toward the center of the rack the heat seemed to lay off, but I was so disappointed. I wonder if someone peppered another dish while it was sitting next to my ribs, or applied the sauce with a utensil that was used with a spicy sauce. I've had ribs at Applebees before, my godmother treated me once, and they were not spicy, they were sweet and delicious. This is like the second or third time I've been screwed with ribs when eating out, even in a real barbecue place. I think I will stick to the ribs at Fried Tomato Buffet and the riblet appetizer at Williamson Brothers Barbecue. I am so sick of freaking pepper.

Then we were off to the mall. We haven't been to Town Center in ages; there's really nothing there anymore: no bookstores, no Radio Shack, no Hallmark store, no Lindt store, just an endless succession of boring clothing stores and even more boring shoe stores. There's still a Disney store there, and we did go in that, just to look around, but we were there to shop at ThinkGeek; we'd been given gift cards there over a year ago, but just had no strong urge to go to the mall because it's so boring anymore.

ThinkGeek is a cute store, but it carries more modern fandoms. Most of the stuff is Funko Pop stuff, which I'm not interested in (if they did a Lassie, or a Maxwell Smart or Agent 99, maybe), or fannish statues. I'm at the age where it's just something else to dust! So we found a card/board game based on the old Missile Command videogame, and a Ghostbusters edition of Uno which added up to just $2 over our gift cards. Otherwise, rather a depressing visit overall.

The old Waldenbooks is now a damn shoe store. Bleah.

It had been a nice day weatherwise until we came out of the mall; the lovely spring weather with warm-in-the-sun/cool-in-the-shade and a breeze had continued this morning and early in the afternoon, but by the time we got out, it was hot and uncomfortable. We had to come home by Publix since we couldn't find the no-salt Boar's Head turkey that James needs to eat. It's like only the Smyrna store has it! Also got some BOGO watermelon and the carrots we are making for tomorrow's Hair Day.

Really bushed when we got home, and dozed off on the sofa when I was supposed to be reading the newest About Time volume. Tucker's eye looked a little better, but I still irrigated it with the eyedrops from Petco and will do it again before bed. James remembered as we were treating his eye that last night he had turned around to pet Tucker and he jumped at him unexpectedly, and James thinks he may have poked his eye, so that would explain the squint. Just nibbled on French bread for supper and later on had some bruschetta cheese.

Also finished up watching Good Omens tonight. Caught both the Doctor Who jokes, and loved the ending. I'm glad Aziraphale got his bookshop back. Very bromancy at the end, and I love "the faces" they chose. 😀

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» Thursday, June 13, 2019
Tale of the Unexpected

So, another Thursday has rolled around. Woke leisurely, had breakfast, walked Tucker.

We were still having gorgeous weather this morning. Yesterday the high was only 72℉, and there was a breeze. It was like a day borrowed out of April, one we could actually enjoy without yellow pine pollen dust in the air. Had the front, bedroom, and dining room window open, and the door to the deck while we were at home. So walking this morning was a joy, even with the sun out. There was a smart breeze, and the air smelled fresh and wonderful, of grass, trees, and even flowers, rather than hot asphalt, hot concrete, and car exhaust.

When we got back, it was off grocery shopping! We got in the truck, James backed out, then stopped a foot from the garage door and said "Something's wrong." I didn't understand. I thought he meant the garage door, or, even worse, something wrong with him. "What's wrong?" To my relief, his response was only, "There's something wrong with the truck. I've got a flat tire or something."

Why, yes, yes, he did. The left rear tire was flat as a pancake. I remember when he came home Tuesday (he teleworked on Wednesday because he got about four hours sleep and didn't feel safe driving) the truck looked a little low when it pulled in the driveway, but the tire was not flat then, nor looked low.

So James slowly pulled the truck back in the driveway so as not to damage the tire, and we took the car to Lidl (where I went inside for milk and bread) and then to Publix where we picked up twofers, including more dog biscuits, and some lunchmeat and more turkey thighs. On the way home, James called AAA, and they were on their way before we arrived home. James could watch the truck's progress on a map on his phone.

Man, that's a big truck. The guy told me he towed a Hummer once! He had the spare tire out from under the truck, the bad tire off, the spare tire on, and the spare tire filled with air (there's a compressor on the front of the AAA truck) in less than 20 minutes. So Triple A has paid for itself this year.

I'd already eaten a sandwich (James was sweet and bought me mortadella, which I had with a nice fresh Lidl bun), James ate his, and we took the tire over to MMW (formerly NAPA Auto Center), although James was certain he would have to buy a new tire, and the tires for the truck are over $125 each. But...surprise! It was a puncture that could be patched and only cost $25. We hadn't been here since they remodeled, and the inside looks really spiffy now, new floor, checkout desk, even a little counter where you can get water and coffee. Mr. Gagnon, the sweet older man who would occasionally be the one who drove me home and back when I had Twilight repaired, must have retired. There's a new gang, but Mike the head mechanic is still there.

On the way home we stopped at Kroger to pick up no-salt mushrooms and found a windfall in the Manager's Special section in the meat department: three meals of sirloin steak and three meals of pork loin, all discounted. We got six main courses for dinners for about $22. Also the mushrooms. Pity Kroger is the only place to find no-salt mushrooms.

Because of the meat, we had to come straight home. We got all the servings in the freezer, and I also sliced up the green pepper we bought at Publix. Both James and I love green pepper flavor in chicken cacciatore, but we can't eat the pepper itself because it makes us sick. So I freeze strips of green pepper to break up into chicken cacciatore to give it the flavor, and then we discard the bits of pepper.

By the time that was over, it was almost time for supper. We had the last of the chicken cacciatore I cooked last time, and James had it with green beans and brown rice, and I had it with fresh French bread from Lidl. Finished my library books, watched two Perry Mason episodes, took Tucker out under an almost full moon that was so bright you could see the sky as dark blue and not black. It was so nice outside the college students renting one of the houses down the street were out goofing off on skateboards (and one on a scooter with lighted blue wheels).

There was a comment on my Facebook post about the flat tire saying that we "were sooooo lucky." Yes, we were. James teleworked Wednesday because he only had four hours sleep and didn't feel safe driving. What if he had gone to work and that tire gave out when he was driving to or from work, going 45 mph on South Cobb Drive or the East-West Connector? Or if he came out exhausted after ten hours work to find the tire flat and had to wait for AAA? Instead it went flat in the garage. So, thank you, God.

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» Saturday, June 08, 2019
Rain Detours

And so it rained.

James isn't allowed to get the power chair wet, so I offered to take him to his club meeting. He decided against going to lunch with the guys because he wouldn't be able to make the walk between the restaurant and the hobby store; just too painful for his back, knees, and feet. So we had a couple of hours to knock around before we needed to leave.

Some months back he was having painful problems with his legs. The rheumatologist told us at his April appointment that he had probably had something called a Baker's cyst that formed behind his knee that partially contributed to the problem that made it so tough for him to walk at Atomicon in March. When it burst this caused the terrible "popping" and excruciating pain he heard and felt when we went to the urologist one Friday, pain that didn't cease even when he lay down. The other problem appeared to be his home office chair. It was suddenly very wobbly and he was pretty much working his knees and feet eight hours a day balancing in that chair when he teleworked.

We called the manufacturer (Serta) and they told him they could do nothing about getting him a new chair because we didn't have the receipt (it has a three-year guarantee). Who would have thought to keep a receipt for an office chair? However, the lady he spoke to was sympathetic. She asked what the chair was doing, and James explained how very wobbly it was. She said most of the time a wobbly chair is caused by the plate at the bottom (the one that fastens the wheels and the upright with the pneumatic tube to the chair) that has cracked. She took down our address and said she would send us a new plate free of charge. This was in April. We never saw the plate and figured she'd gotten our address wrong.

Thursday when I was still looking for the missing DVD cases a box turned up on our doorstep for James. Inside was the errant metal plate.

So that's what we did this morning: take the old plate off and put the new one on, which was harder than we reckoned because the pneumatic tube was stuck fast in the hole in the original plate. We had to take turns beating the old plate off the tube with a hammer. And sure enough it was cracked. And sure enough when we put the new one on the chair had quit wobbling. So now it's back upstairs and the cracked plate is in the trash.

[Postscript, June 12: Oh, this is too funny. "Dingdong!" said the doorbell today. At the door was a package. Another metal plate from Serta! I put it away in the laundry room in case the plate breaks again.]

It was raining pitchforks and little fishes when I drove James up to Hobbytown a little after noon and deposited him as close as possible to the door. (I did not, however, park as closely as the inconsiderate dude we passed as we cruised by Bed, Bath & Beyond. The one at Town Center has a big overhang and some guy had parked his big long SUV under the overhang, completely blocking the front door of the store and the sidewalk, so he could load something into it without getting wet. Sheesh.) Then I went on to Whole Foods, as James was looking for more Hippeas (they are basically low-salt Cheetos made with garbanzo beans). Publix is always out of them and only carries three of the five flavors. I found the barbecue and the sriracha on a top shelf, of course over my head. A tall gentleman kindly helped me out. I also got some barbecue-flavor pretzels and turkey wild rice soup which we later had for supper.

From there I went to the library and read Marie Kondo's Spark Joy until James called me to come pick him up. We came home by Lidl for me to get bread, which I enjoyed with the soup, which was quite good! And by then the rain had let up, so we could ride with the windows down. (Lidl, however, had been a mess: the lines were all backed up, and there was only one self-serve register open out of four and that was misbehaving.)

Watched two more episodes of Good Omens tonight. I am not in raptures about it like some folks are (but then I've never been able to make it through a Terry Pratchett book, either), but it is fun; and I love the relationship between Aziraphale and Crowley. Also love the fact that the Hellhound is now a cute terrier dog. Having peeked in the book at Barnes & Noble yesterday, it sounds as if the adaptation sticks pretty closely to the book, but that is certainly because Neil Gaiman has done it.

Oh, yeah...the box of DVD cases that I reordered yesterday was nestled before the front door when we got home. Still wonder what delayed the first so radically.

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» Friday, June 07, 2019
Rain, Forgotten Items, and Missing DVD Cases

Another late night, another somnolent night's sleep. When Tucker and I emerged for our walk this morning, it was grey overcast, not hot, but uncomfortably sticky. We encountered another person walking around the neighborhood taking some exercise as well as ourselves, but otherwise it was quite quiet this morning. Even Tucker's bete noires the cats were undercover.

We ventured out before noon to end up back at Costco, but this time just for gasoline, and then next visited the new Hobby Lobby. We weren't there for anything special, but I bought a couple of the plastic totes to use in James' truck for shopping, and we found a cute resin sleeping dragon for half price. There are even more fall items out, and the Christmas crafting items, like blank ornaments and decorated papers, are starting to appear. I found something I had wanted to buy for a friend when she retired, but couldn't afford, on a really nice discount, so I picked that up as well. All their wall decorations were on sale, and we wandered through them noting how many themes you could use in a room: superheroes, baseball, football, Western, military...they had hooks, switchplates, plaques, etc. James ended up buying one can of a new kind of spray paint for his models; it's apparently safe to use on plastics, dries quickly, and is made from sugar cane!

Then it was time for lunch, and this time we were going out for a decent meal (yes, we're looking at you, Burger King): West Cobb Diner. We both had the turkey and dressing, and I had mine with cucumber/tomato salad and James had corn and beans. Came home with leftovers to boot.

Our final stop was at Publix to pick up the stuff we'd forgotten yesterday: eggs, chow mein noodles, and Miracle Whip. The clouds had been thickening and darkening all morning, then the sky had cleared a little and there had been sun, but now they were back, boiling up on every horizon, clear thunderheads off in one direction, looking as if they were rising out of the roof of Target. By the time we got out of Publix, clouds were spitting water steadily, so we covered up the power chair and beat feet for home. Got the chair in the garage just as it started to rain in earnest; James got a trifle damp getting the ramp up.

Spent the latter part of the afternoon watching a British comedy on Acorn TV that Patti Taylor had mentioned, All in Good Faith. I hadn't heard of it before. Richard Briers plays country pastor Philip Lambe, who feels he is no longer challenged spiritually and wants to start fresh in an inner-city church. Barbara Ferris is his wife Emma, who loves the snug country parsonage and the small town they're in. They have two kids, Miranda, a teen, and Peter, who has a pet tortoise and loves computer games. The congregation includes the insufferable Major, who, frankly, would have driven me away from that parish long before. Not as funny as The Good Life, but humorous and charming. We watched the entire first series (six episodes) before and while we ate supper.

Then I hit pay dirt: a lovely three-part series called Vintage Roads Great and Small, which starred Peter Davison and Christopher Timothy, old friends since they did All Creatures Great and Small forty years ago. In three 45-minute shows, they tour Great Britain (Scottish highlands, London to Land End's, Cardiff to Snowdonia in Wales) via what we in the U.S. would call "blue highways," the old two-lane roads, in a vintage Morris 4-4 roadster from the 1930s. It was a delightful combination of two old friends chaffing each other, stunning scenery, encounters with vintage motor vehicles, and even an awww-moment reunion between Timothy and his old friend Ted in Timothy's home town of Bala, Wales. Watched this for the evening, totally enchanted.

Today also marked the end of the saga of the DVD cases. Last Saturday I ordered DVD cases for the Lassie DVDs I bought. Amazon guaranteed they'd be delivered on Sunday. Personally, I didn't care. Well, they didn't turn up on Sunday, although according to Amazon tracking they had arrived in Smyrna at 9:20 a.m. that morning. But I expected them Monday. No Monday. No Tuesday either, so that evening I sat down and had a short chat with an Amazon rep, who said he would expedite them to be delivered on Thursday, and he gave me a $5 credit, which I promptly used to order the huge Kindle-only book about Perry Mason (covers all the novels, the movies, the comic books—did you know there were Perry Mason comic books? I didn't!—and of course the television series).

Anyway, no DVDs Thursday, and today when I went in to look at it, Amazon had canceled the order and was refunding my money. I have reordered them. We'll see if they come tomorrow.

Or I just may have started the cycle over again...

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» Thursday, June 06, 2019
Thursday at Costco (Again)

It is amazing how much better we sleep when we go to bed later. We are night owls for certain, happily inhabiting a twilight world and then flinching from light when we wake in the morning. (One of my favorite scenes in Auntie Mame is early in the movie after Patrick has arrived at his aunt's house, and, next morning, comes bouncing into the bedroom and opens up the curtains. Mame blinks at the glare and comments "Child, how do you see with all that light?") Last night we weren't in bed until after one and woke naturally and mostly alert after nine. Then time was reserved for breakfast and dog walking.

This weekend we expect to be thwarted by the weather, as the forecast for rain grows graver each day from yesterday. Today we did make it out fairly freely, although the air was sticky-humid.

This Thursday looked a lot like last Thursday, because we ended up going back to Costco because we needed acetaminophen for James' arthritis. He can no longer take ibuprofin or naproxen, and they have the largest bottle of the capsules at the most reasonable price. So we wandered through the books, picked up Splenda and a few other things besides the pain reliever, and then swung around to stop at Publix for the twofers, including more pork chops. Of course once we had perishables we had to go home and put them up, but in a little while we mounted up the power chair and tootled out to Dallas Highway.

We'd planned to have a quick lunch at Krystal—I love their little hot dog "pups"—and we could get a cheap lunch for $6. Alas, their computer was down, so they couldn't serve any food at all, which I found tiresomely stupid. Instead we went to Burger King, two storefronts down. That was a mistake; we should have taken the extra time to go across the street to Wendy's. The bun was dreadful—really, I don't criticize bread that often, but this was terrible!—and I threw most of it away and just ate the burger, and that tasted funny, too. Did they cook someone's cat? At least the French fries were good: crispy on the outside, meaty inside, and not overly salted.

The Barnes & Noble portion of the trip was successful, at least for me. James didn't have any books in his series coming out. I found a new classic Star Trek novel about how Kirk earned the captaincy of the Enterprise. I was going to get Don't Make Me Pull Over, which has just come out in paperback, until I discovered that the latest book of Harry Dresden universe short stories, Brief Cases, had also just come out in paperback. So I had a nice brace of fictional men to tote home along with the sweet one driving, and I had Harry Dresden to read for the rest of the night. (But I nearly spit out my food when he started talking about Burger King food being good! 😀 )

We are still planning to eat most of our daily large meals on weekends during the day, but today we broke that rule and had it for supper instead; on the way home from the bookstore we stopped at Dragon 168 for some welcome Chinese nosh. Pork fried rice for me, since they make it the proper way without peas and carrots. James loves their sa cha beef combo.

Later it was time for Perry Mason, but I pretty much had my nose stuck in the Dresden stories otherwise.

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» Saturday, June 01, 2019
Too Short, At Least Sweet

We have conclusively proved that a three-day weekend goes by just as quickly as a two-day one.

God, it was short.

Today we had another good sleep-in, a leisurely breakfast, the dog was walked (sadly I waited until the temps were up in the 70s; they were mid-60s when we got up), and then we ran a short errand: we went to Ollie's Discount Outlet. The tarp that James uses to cover the power chair if it rains blew out of the truck bed coming home from WHOlanta, so we needed to get another, and also another bungee cord to fasten it on, as he'd been using two smaller cords we usually use to secure gallons of milk in the truck bed. The old one rotted in the Georgia sun. I found a book about Gypsy Rose Lee and the Great Depression among the bargain books, and James, having finished Sea of Glory and really enjoying it, picked up another Nathaniel Philbrick book, Valiant Ambition.

We stopped briefly at Publix so I could run in and get the loaf of whole wheat bread we'd forgotten, and I found Mayfield Dairy had mini Brown Cows (ice cream bars) in a no-sugar-added variety. We will rotate these with the dark chocolate Oreos, peanut-butter filled chocolate Twinkies, and the dark chocolate Reese's cups for desserts.

Sadly, the weather wasn't quite as nice as yesterday. The 90s had disappeared yesterday, and although it was in the 80s, there was a very nice breeze and the sun didn't feel like it was burning through your skin when you walked under it. The breeze had died down today and the air felt a little close.

And that was the extent of our day. Farkled around on the computer. Watched the first part of Good Omens, which gave me several chuckles. Fell asleep on the sofa. We had a salad with chicken meat from the rotisserie chicken we bought on Thursday for supper with a Brown Cow each for dessert. Watched a Wheel of Fortune rerun and then decided James needed a pick-me-up and put on Strategic Air Command. I know how Jimmy Stewart feels at the end of this one, too.

My nicest surprise today came after the dog started barking this afternoon. It was the mailman delivering a very special package. You see, back when Nickelodeon was showing Lassie, I always regretted not keeping all the episodes, but it was just too much. The videotapes would have cost a fortune and I would have needed two VCRs to cut the commercials out of the episodes to keep. So I just kept my favorite episodes of both Jeff and Timmy, and eventually transferred the VHS tapes to DVD. Back then Lassie turned up regularly on the rerun circuit relatively intact. Now when it does the episodes have up to five minutes hacked out of them. Anyway, there's a gentleman online who recorded all the episodes, from the first one with Jeff to the very last Holden Ranch story, and I got the black and white episodes from him. (I never much cared for the forest ranger episodes, although the first four years with Corey Stuart were okay. I don't mind watching those episodes edited, though.) The channel he recorded them from pretty much has them uncut, although they still have the syndication titles on them. (For instance, the title cards changed at least four times when Timmy was on, but they only use the second version on the syndicated prints.) Alas, they got the same butchered version of the five-part color episode "The Journey" that we did. Too much to hope for. I'd love clean, uncut network copies.

So tomorrow begins James' workweek again, and also mine: towels need washing, medications need sorting, and I'm planning to cook some turkey and some chicken to put away for next week's meals.

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