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, December 31, 2022
Books! New Year's Eve! Books! Lunch Again Finally! And Did We Mention Books?
Monday morning my lower GI rebelled against all the rich food from Christmas dinner. I did get some cleaning done, but most of the day I was in the bathroom. Fortunately this let up by Tuesday because I opened Facebook that morning–

–and discovered that on Monday and Tuesday Barnes & Noble had every single hardback in their stores half price. I started the laundry then we went out forthwith, first to the B&N at Akers Mill, and then to the B&N in Buckhead, and bought lots and lots of Christmas gifts for next year, nine gifts all told including two for James, and, yes, I bought books for myself, including the Crayola anniversary book, the anniversary coffee table book for A Visit from St. Nicholas, full of wonderful illustrations, a Norman Rockwell dog book, a gorgeous Frances Mayes photo book about Italy, Sarah Miller's Marmee (same author who did Caroline about Caroline Ingalls), Vesper Flights, and Christmas Past.

By Friday we were able to go back to our weekly lunches, although O'Charley's cheated us out of our salads this time, and by Saturday I'd found the Susan Branch calendar I'd misplaced, I wrapped up a few last gifts for the gift exchange at the Lawsons on January 14, and put up the 2023 calendars. We watched The Poseidon Adventure and Ellery Queen: "The Adventure of Auld Lang Syne," and finally Rudolph's Shiny New Year and had dinner, and spent the evening at Alice and Ken's to end off the year, enjoying snacks and goodies, and watching some football.

Happy 2023 everyone!

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» Sunday, December 25, 2022
"We're Fr0zen!"
Remember that headline? From the opening scenes of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer? Headline of a newspaper reporting the "big storm" Santa Claus needs Rudolph to lead the sleigh for? (BTW, to the folks who complain about "everybody only liked Rudolph after he proved he could lead Santa's sleigh on a foggy Christmas Eve", 𝐠𝐨 𝐛𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐰𝐚𝐭𝐜𝐡 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐬𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐢𝐚𝐥 𝐚𝐠𝐚𝐢𝐧. Hermie and the deer—followed by Yukon Cornelius and the Bumble—get back to Christmas Town and Santa apologizes to Rudolph—as well as promises to find homes for the misfit toys—as does Donner—and presumably the others—before Santa gets the weather report and asks Rudolph to lead the team.)

Well, we didn't get the blizzard (thank goodness, because Atlantans would have thought it was the apocalypse), but we did get the cold! On December 22 the temps were in the 40s. The next day the high was 19°F. Christmas Eve the high was 21, and it only got up to 31 on Christmas Day. It was cold, even for me. I put Tucker's sweater on him and bundled up in my RI-weight winter coat, lined hat, and lined gloves and was pretty warm outside except for my face and knees. Thank goodness for the boot socks!

I prepared early: shut the outside faucets off, took the flags down due to high winds on the 22nd, and left the faucets dripping downstairs. But boy was it cold, even in the house with the heat. Snowy fluffed up and we put on sweats and warm socks and it was still chilly; the heat couldn't keep up. I kept warm by making gravy for Christmas Eve spaghetti and pork ribs.

Christmas Day we lay slugabed and didn't even open gifts until noon. (Both of us gave each other lots of books. I also got a CD,  Dinner was spent at the Butlers with friends and good food and a gift exchange near the Christmas tree, and when we got home I watched The House Without a Christmas Tree. Good times.

It was good earlier in the week: we were vindicated! James had a video visit on the Winter Solstice with the nutritionist, which the doctors at Wellstar had insisted on, to purge us of the Evil Sodium! This was the first appointment we could get. She asked us a series of questions, which we answered honestly, and talked a lot about the low-sodium foods we ate (we even knew the numbers). At the end of the interview, she admitted that, based on our answers, we were doing everything we could.

So there.

Later on that day we went into downtown Marietta and walked around so we could see the Christmas decorations before they got torn down on Monday. Had a nice time there, too.

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» Sunday, December 18, 2022
The Monthly Sojourn and Christmas Music
A nice quiet week with the decorating all done. Now it's time to enjoy Christmas specials and music in between the usual chores.

We had a happy treat this week: we took our now-usual monthly trip up to Canton. The closest Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint is up in Canton, as well as the closest full-size Books-a-Million in the adjoining shopping center (since the one in Acworth closed and the one in Douglasville is reduced to the size of an old Waldenbooks). We happily perused the bookstore, then had personal pizzas at Uncle Maddio's (the owner is still running the place by himself!), and then stopped at BJs on the way home for essentials like "plastic cheese."

I officially finished my fanfic Christmas story "Bookmarks" (although I know I will tweak it down to the point I post it Christmas Day) and all the gifts are wrapped.

And now back to the Christmas music...alas, in playing I🧡Radio, both James and I got "Wham'd." (Look it up!)

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» Sunday, December 11, 2022
Christmas Tree Down
I am fit to be tied.

Thankfully, this has nothing to do with James' health. James had a very good day on Friday at physiotherapy, and we also saw the respiratory specialist that day. We can knock off carrying the oxygen bottles around and he no longer needs the supplemental oxygen during the day! She gave him a walking test and his pulse ox stayed at 93 while he was walking and went up to 96 when he sat down. (We had been practicing him coming up and down the stairs without the cannula for a few days now and got the same results!) We still have to keep the "fishtank," though, because she wants him to stay on oxygen at night. We can cope with that. No tripping over that damn hose anymore! He's fallen three times due to it, including into the printer, breaking the printer cable.

No, it's dealing with Christmas tree lights again. Monday I'd put up the easiest tree, the metal one that showcases all our 12 Days of Christmas Hallmark ornaments. So easy. We just bought the 12th day ornament this year, so it's complete. Tuesday I got the big tree upstairs, but by the time I fluffed it and replaced at least a dozen bulbs, I was too tired to decorate it. That I did on Wednesday, and by the time I was done I was knackered. I usually watch Christmas specials while putting up the tree, but just left NBC on and let the "Chicago" shows play out. Dear God, is this what Dick Wolf is reduced to now? Chicago Med is so overblown and stagy and soapy I kept expecting Matt and Maggie Powers, Nick Bellini, and Steve Aldrich and Carolee Simpson from NBC's classic daytime drama The Doctors to come strolling in. Poor S. Epatha Merkerson, stuck in this awful thing when Anita Van Buren was such a great character on Law & Order!

Unfortunately, all the lights on the library tree are shot, completely burned out, every single one of them. I considered removing them and just putting on another string, but the lights are fastened on there tight and it would be a lot of work to get them off. The rest of the week I looked for another four-foot real-looking tree, and the ones I saw were as ugly as sin. Even Michael's, where I got this tree, didn't have anything good, just one with mixed branches that looked horrible. So by the time my birthday arrived on Saturday, the library was still undecorated. However, I had brought a string of fifteen battery-powered seed lights. I took the table the tree usually goes on, put the tablecloth and "snowy material" on top, then set the six little village houses that I usually put under the tree around the big pine cone Christmas tree I bought for a dollar at a craft show. Then I wound the seed lights around the houses and put an extra color-changing candle at the back. It didn't look all that bad, in fact kind of sweet.

But not being about to put up the library tree is still disheartening.

Plus my Fitbit was having fits this week: one night the display dimmed and dimmed and dimmed, and finally pretty much almost disappeared. Even though it said the charge was at 85 percent, I figured maybe it never charged properly, so I plugged it in. Still dim. So I chatted with the Fitbit people and they said they would send me a return label. Still I plugged in the Fitbit that night, since it was still relaying information to my phone, and wore it to bed.

When I got up in the morning the display was fine again. [eyeroll] Electronics. Can't live with 'em.

Also sad news on the fandom front: Chris Boucher died. Among the things he wrote, my very first and still favorite episode of Blake's 7, "City at the Edge of the World."

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» Sunday, December 04, 2022
Decorations Go Up, and Hopefully So Does James' Mobility
Alas, my Christmas decorating is perfunctory and stolid this year. Did I not love the lights and want the glow and of course the decorations for Twelfth Night I might just bury my head in my fanfic and stay there. I am working on a Christmas story to help.
Decorations that went up this week: foyer and dining room, the gingerbread and candy cane stuff for the kitchen, the woodland tree and the Rudolph tree and the little Scots and Italian things for our bedroom, and finally the village on the mantel—I do so love the 1940s theme and wish I had 40s Christmas music somehow playing for it—and the hall bathroom and the wall divider.
This makes it sound gloomy, but several good things happened this week. First we had Hair Day, which was nice, even though I was feeling a bit ill. I had Butch inspected so I could renew my registration, and I also stopped at CVS to see if they had tinsel. I was appalled: the once lovely CVS Christmas aisles had been reduced to one with a few decorations and a bunch of cheap gifts.
On Friday it was time for Apple Annie. Mostly what we bought was stuff from the bake sale; James was dying for goodies and we bought all sorts, from oatmeal chocolate chip cookies to something butterscotch for him. It was surprising because there were no sales downstairs at all; St. Ann's has opened a new fellowship hall on the first story and most of the booths that went downstairs were in this huge new hall. I bought only a little ceramic Hanukkah decoration for Mel and Phyllis and a little ceramic ring holder with a fox design. On the way home stopped at Michaels for some Christmas lights, Trader Joe's for our annual Christmas treats like peppermint puffs and Candy Cane Jo-Jos, and finally stopped at Half-Price Books, where I found Rinker Buck's new book at half price, a book about travels in Arctic Europe, and the Llewellyn book about Yule that I wanted to borrow from the library which is no longer at any Cobb library at all.
After a long delay from the hospital triple-event, James has finally started physiotherapy. We go once a week to Post Oak Tritt Road off Sandy Plains. His therapist is a perky, bouncy lady named Karen, and we both like her very much. She has him doing lying down exercises to move his hips, standing exercises briefly, side stretches with his legs, and rubber band pulling with his arms.

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