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, March 26, 2022
Yogurt Trek 3: The Search for Chocolate
We had to be up early this morning to go to Hair Day, as Sherii had to help her daughter move and her grandmother had died. So we were at the Butlers' house early and got to talk with the Lucyshyns, and the Campbells showed up briefly as well. To our surprise, Mel and Phyllis actually showed up as we were leaving; they haven't been to a social function in some time due to coronavirus and also malfunctioning transportation.

We made a last valiant attempt to find my chocolate yogurt in some supermarket other than Publix or Kroger by going up to the Ingles in Dallas, just north of Hiram. I have to tell you, as supermarkets go, Ingles is gorgeous. They have a big long salad bar that's almost as good as the one in Whole Foods, and we availed ourselves of it (me some cucumber, tomatoes, and olives and James a container of chili). They also have a great international section that includes Thai and Cajun food, and we even managed to find some juice boxes (to keep in the closet for James when he has low blood sugar), a scarce commodity in any of the supermarkets close to us. But, alas, no yogurt, and damn, this place is expensive. For instance, Pringles low sodium crisps are $1.79 at Kroger/Publix. $2.23 at Ingles.

For the yogurt I will probably have to go rooting at Walmart or see if Publix will special order them for me.

Then it was home for a few hours so James could load the dishwasher and I could vacuum, and later in the afternoon we headed up to the Kaiser Townpark location so James could have an ultrasound on his left kidney; his MRI revealed a lesion on it. We picked up a prescription for his UTI as well, and then had supper at Fried Tomato Buffet; me, I was only there for the "pork ribs," which are yummy. (Yes, I had a vegetable; I had some olives!)

James wanted to go to Hobbytown, but they closed at six! Instead we went to 2nd and Charles. James found a book, but I was just looking for the rest of the CSI novels and they had none. Didn't see anything else used I wanted. Interesting that they keep stocking more and more new books.

Bother. I don't want to go to freakin' Walmart...

And so our weekend is over again.

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» Friday, March 25, 2022
Days of BJs and No Roses
We needed Kleenex and what James calls "plastic cheese" and fruit cups, so we decided to go up to Woodstock for a shopping trip to BJs. (We really shouldn't quibble at the's shorter than my commute used to be!) It was a pretty day, and we stopped to get gasoline first because it was 3.65(9) at BJs.

As always, we bought lots more than we went there for. We got the Kleenex, the cheese, and the fruit, and, oh, yeah, toilet paper, I found a set of Bic pens, some laminating pouches, and even two pair of my favorite pants (Gloria Vanderbilt "Amanda") in the correct size and the correct length!). It would have been three pair, but the third was in orange, and I will not wear orange pants. 😁 Plus we got Skinny Pop and I treated myself to a bag of PopCorners, which we had for minor snacks until we could actually pick up real food. I'm still shuddering at that fast food pickup we had last week on the way to Atomicon, which sat in my stomach like a rock for an hour, and then two hours later I was hungry all over again. What a waste of money.

We came home by Dragon 168 and picked up a very late lunch and enjoyed it in front of the television.

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» Thursday, March 24, 2022
From Store to Store to Store in Spring
Damn. It really is spring. We awoke this morning to lawn mowers going under our window. Alex and the bi-weekly lawn mowing has arrived. Of course this meant I had to hot-foot it out of bed instead of getting to eat breakfast to write out two checks, one for our lawn and one for the damnable HOA account we got stuck with, and then I had to remind James to order checks on the HOA account, and we haven't gone in the HOA account since last year, and of course it locked us out, and we had to call the bank...grrrrrr.

Only then could we go out: we had to stop by Kaiser first to get James a test (we think he has another UTI), then it was on to grocery shopping. I could stand grocery shopping more if we didn't have to go to three stores to get everything we need. Lidl is for decent baked goods, reasonably priced veg and wheat bread, relatively cheap meat (even though their meat has skyrocketed), and relatively cheap juice (although they quit selling cranberry juice). Publix is for the twofers, Pepperidge Farm Hawaiian bread (my one vice), vegetable broth, and low-sodium Smart Balance. Kroger is for cheap milk, the manager's special meat deals, low-sodium Pringles when Publix doesn't have them (which is often lately), no-salt mushrooms—and was the only place left (besides Walmart) that I could get Yoplait's chocolate Whips yogurt, well, until two weeks ago. Now they don't even have a shelf for it anymore, so if I want it, I'm going to have to go to stupid Walmart (and half the time they don't have it anyway).

Plus then drag all the stuff up the stairs because it's all James can do to get himself up the stairs these days with the back pain and put it away.

We didn't get home until 2:30, barely enough time to eat lunch before James had a video appointment with Dr. Kongara, his nephrologist. We spent the afternoon watching Law & Order reruns on WEtv, all the way through what I thought would be a new episode on NBC tonight. Instead it was a rerun because of stinky basketball playoffs on CBS. Fox wasn't afraid to play a new episode of a show, so we watched Masterchef Junior instead.

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» Sunday, March 20, 2022
On the Way Home...Again
Always sad waking up on the last day. One must get dressed, share a final breakfast, pack All That Stuff, and talk until it's time to leave, and today was no exception. We were awakened just after eight, and we did some packing then, then had our meal from the breakfast buffet and ate it in the common room. When I was done eating, I started packing again, then James came to help me, and we had it all put together in a trice after brushing our teeth, and put the bags and things in the common room.

Then we could sit and chat for a while. Clair and Daniel wanted to go to the zoo and Alex and Pat were going to join them. Others were going for a walk. The Kiernans and the Spiveys, at least, are staying through tomorrow. I made our reservations for next year to stay over Sunday, too. Since it looks like this is the only vacation we are ever going to have again...

We left sometime after noon, stopping at the Ingles in Cleveland to see if I could find a plastic garbage bag to cover the birdcage. The one we had on the way to the vet flew out of the car yesterday. I did find some 55-gallon bags with a very thick mil, so I bought them, and also two more dark chocolate Lindt bunnies. The Ingles didn't look like our stores in the metro area, with large swaths of empty shelves. I should have looked for juice boxes when I was there!

We had a pleasant ride home, including behind a car whose bumper sticker said "Walt Longmire for President." (There would be a candidate I could get behind!) It was a nice sunny day, which means when we finally got to the vet's office and picked up the rest of the family—Tucker gave a happy little whimper when he saw James!—the fids were sitting in different positions than they usually do. Tucker was sitting on my right thigh with his head out the truck window, and Snowy was sitting between James and I, out of the sun, making mad, passionate love to the bell toy in the carry box.

To make a long story short, we made it home okay, the house was okay, and we ate the ribs we picked up at Rib Country before we left Cleveland, GA, and then watched the season finale of Star Trek: Discovery and the accompanying Ready Room, last Thursday's Law & Order (which was based on Britney Spears this week), the first episode of Call the Midwife's new season (which is a lot more promising than last year), and Young Sheldon from two weeks ago.

Then it was time to walk the dog, and now the weather's just over and it's time for bed.

Yes, we're back, "back from the Moon."

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» Saturday, March 19, 2022
Saturday With Books, Flour, and "Cheap" Gasoline

Another good night of sleep, except when James went off to the bathroom at 8 a.m. and didn't come back. I called to him, he didn't call back, and I found him on the toilet, asleep. But the hotel toilet had a grab bar next to it, so he had something to lean on and wasn't in danger of falling.

This morning we decided to go to Dottie's for breakfast; this is a breakfast/lunch place right across the street from the hotel. It's a buffet deal; you pick out what you want. I had bacon, ham, a cat's head biscuit, home fried potatoes (that were not oversalted!), and two slices of French toast. The ham was country ham and too salty, so I only ate about half of it. It was good, just really salty. Nothing really I could drink; I had Fanta orange and suffered carbonation bubbles up my nose.

We were going to Nora Mill next, but all the parking spaces were filled, so we went on to the Mt. Yonah bookstore, run by Ellen and her tortoiseshell cat Daisy. James found a book about fighting ships and also a book about U.S. food history. I found a CSI novel and a "Richard Castle" novel, and I bought a gift for someone. Ellen had written "Welcome Atomicon!" on the whiteboard outside, and we always get a discount.

Then we gassed up the truck in Cleveland, just down the street a few miles, because it was only 3.65(9) and everywhere else it's 3.94(9). James said it would be $50, and it was.

It was only around one o'clock, but Nora Mill was almost completely empty now. Just as we got there, a little lizard (what they call a "skink") came running along the fence that keeps you from tumbling down the hill that goes into the millrace. I took a photo of him, but it's blurry because I couldn't get close. At one point he puffed out his throat at me and it was like pink bubble gum.

They were also taking a delivery of freshly harvested corn when we got there. The truck had a funnel at the end of the bed that led into a pipe that crossed to the front of the Nora Mill building and dumped into another hopper that took the corn directly into the mill to be ground. They still use a real mill wheel run by the falls outside on the river.

James found several different kinds of cherry jams inside and bought one of each, so he was happy. He also bought country gravy mix (he loves it, I loathe it) and we got buckwheat pancake mix, and a pickle grabber, too.

Back to the hotel, a whole bunch of people in the common room, so we just sat, noshing on veg and cookies for the rest of the afternoon and chatting. Some folks were out doing things: Alex and Pat had gone to Ellijay for wine tours. Charles usually hikes, but I don't think he did so today as he's had a cold.

We did this all afternoon, until everyone separated for supper. Some went to Bigg Daddy's, the bar/restaurant; some to Bodensee, the German restaurant; others to Spice55 because they weren't here on Thursday. We wanted to go to Rib Country, where we went last year, and finally went on our own. But every parking space was filled, so we decided to get it as take-out. We got the combo platter and forgot we had ordered extra last year, so we really didn't overeat: I had a rack of ribs (except for one which I gave to James) and applesauce, and he had beef brisket, beans, and the Texas toast. For the rest of the night it was the same thing, chat, rinse, repeat, until midnight. Some folks played games, but I was editing a story while talking.

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» Friday, March 18, 2022
Walking, Running, and Sitting
It meant carrying two more things, but this year we did something smart: we brought our own pillows. (The Country Inn & Suites pillows are terrible; square, and two aren't enough and three are too much, and they're that terrible hard foam.) So last night the only thing that woke me up was the air conditioner turning on (it sounds like a tractor-trailer truck) and the only thing that woke James was bathroom sojourns.

We had breakfast at the hotel buffet, which is still a sad shadow of its former self: you can make waffles now, but the other food is still pre-packaged. Had oatmeal, Frosted Flakes, a bagel with cream cheese, orange juice, and lots of milk, and saved a cup of milk for lunch. Then, even though it was damp, 40s, and cloudy, James and I walked downtown (well, I walked, he wheeled). I picked up a few Christmas gifts in the glassblower's shop, and a few more in the sock shop, and then we walked down to the Alpine Olive Tree—and they were closed! Called them, no answer. No sign of hours on the door, or on Facebook page. Oh, nuts.

We walked almost as far as Hoffer's Bakery, then turned and came back, strolling past more shops, and then cutting under the road bridge that goes over the Chattahoochee River to walk next to the river, and then back to the hotel through the back road. By then it was lunch time, so we took the truck and went to Wendy's so James could have chili and a burger, and then we ate in the common room with several others; I had my leftover pad thai.

Since it was raining pitchforks and little fishes, we thought it would be a good time to go to the bookstore, but alas, it wasn't to be. We waited long enough for the rain to slow down, about 2:45, and by then my lower GI was in gastric distress, and I was miserable for a couple of hours.

So we didn't go out to dinner tonight, I just pre-ordered Zaxby's and we went down to Cleveland to pick it up. We ate in the common room, with quite a few people still there, or those who went to dinner early. And that's what we did for the entire night, talk, type, trade memes, show each other videos, talk more, recommend books and videos (Bill was talking about a book titled Me and Orson Welles, and I referred him to Vincent D'Onofrio's film "Five Minutes, Mr. Welles"). A few people played games, but we just talked and talked until one in the morning.

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» Thursday, March 17, 2022
On the Road Again
And once again it's time for Atomicon.

I'd packed yesterday and sorted two weeks of meds on Sundays, so that was the hardest part. The annoying part is all the stuff you have to wait in the morning for, like the charge cords for the phones and the last-minute meds. And then you have to wash the breakfast dishes so they don't sit for the weekend, and toss the trash.

Then, of course, one must decant the budgie into his carry box so you can wrap the cage in a trash bag to ride in the back of the truck. Snowy has discovered it's spring and it's time to mate. On Tuesday when I spring cleaned his cage he did a credible effort in trying to mate with my right hand, wings outspread, tail feathers open, the whole shebang. When I put him in the carry box he instantly crushed on the bell toy and spent the entire trip to the vet (a 45-minute drive) trying to make love to it. Tucker wanted to look outside, but finally decided he wanted to just lean against James and be petted on the ride (with a look on his face that said "can't you get Brother to shut up?"—probably not; Snowy sang all the way there). At the vet they let me set him up in his cage, and he attempted intercourse with my hand again. Yep, it's spring.

We had a nice ride up there except for being hungry. We tried one exit to get to Wendy's, but the road T-boned and didn't tell us which direction to go, left or right. So we went up to the next exit and a Krystal. I had three plain Pups and some fries and hash browns, and I was full and still hungry at the same time. It was sunny and high 60s, and a beautiful ride, but I was so sleepy! The trees are just blooming up here, so we're seeing the Bradford pears white again. Lots of cattle out grazing in the fields that haven't been pre-empted for houses.

Arrived at the hotel to check in just at three, with the Spiveys, Butlers, and Gibsons all waiting, too. We pretty much stayed in the conference room for the rest of the afternoon, and were wi-fi less, so did a lot of chatting. For dinner over a dozen of us went to Spice55, the Thai place, for supper. I love this place; they make the best pad thai. James had some sort of ginger dish and we shared a ginger salad and potstickers. I had enough to take back to the hotel for lunch tomorrow.

James gave a big tip to the waiter. I think he was the only waiter working, and he was on the run throughout the night (literally—he loped to and from the kitchen most of the time).

On the way out, we saw someone sitting on the terrace eating who had a white pitbull puppy. Oh, she was adorable, tail-wagging cute.

Spent the evening in the common room chatting and sharing computer stuff.

TV? Who watches TV at these things? We are too busy having a reunion (even if some of us saw each other last week—hi, Alice and Ken).


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