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, October 29, 2023
After the Fall and Before the Wedding
Everything was going so well this week. I even ran out on my own on laundry day to get more Smart Balance and stop at Sprouts for Litehouse salad blend. Except the Publix on the East-West and the Sprouts across the street didn't have either of those products. I did find the Smart Balance at the Smyrna Publix; we always stock up when they're on BOGO.

Then on Wednesday James had an appointment with his rhematologist. He spoke frankly this time about all the pain he has been in and asked if there was some way it could be relieved without using opioids. Dr. Salazar decided to put him on a short course (two weeks) of Prednisone to see if relieving the inflammation helps. Then we went to the Sprouts at Heritage Pointe and they had the Litehouse we needed, too.

On the way back from taking his blood sugar, James stumbled on his slippers—he tends to roll on his right foot and he stepped wrong—and fell. He didn't hit his head, but he pulled something, and the usual way he gets up, by scooting to the stairs and then standing, he couldn't do. So we had to call the nice firemen at Station 30 again. He had no bruises we could see, but he was awake during most of the night with pain from the muscles he strained.

Ironically, after all that, he felt better in the morning, but I did the shopping on my own on Thursday.

On Friday, we made a decision: James needed some type of shoe to wear around the house; the slippers are just too soft. I tried to get him a soft shoe at Walmart, but for once a marked size 12 didn't fit him. He also wanted to look into those "step in" Skechers they advertise. So Friday afternoon we went to the Kennesaw store. We did find a pair of the step-in shoes, but also got a different kind, too, very light, but with a very firm sole. (The step ins, alas, don't work for James; his ankle joints are too deteriorated for him to point his toe like you need to do to step in.)

The surprising thing was that I bought shoes. Voluntarily. I not only bought shoes, but I bought women's shoes, which, except for the wedgies I bought for Sabra's wedding, are the first women's shoes I've bought in years; I've been buying boys' Reeboks, which have always been the same style as women's Reeboks (and $20 cheaper) and wide enough for my feet. I got two pairs of the same grey ombre shoes. I have not bought women's shoes that fit properly the moment I put them on since my Hush Puppies. The soles on my Reeboks were worn down anyway.

Sigh...except, getting used to the shoes, James fell walking into the kitchen. Mostly what was hurt was his pride, and he was able to scrunch to the door.

Saturday night, however, was fabulous. On Saturday, October 28, Neil Butler, the son of our good friends Ron and Lin, and his girlfriend Emilee Cox, joined hands in matrimony at a ceremony at Ivy Hall (formerly an old cotton mill which was in use until 1975). We had a blast. The music was old, from 40s swing all the way to modern rock (James and I even sorta danced; I got up and moved and we held hands and he rocked back and forth in the power chair), we stuffed ourselves on delicious food, and the company was outstanding: we were seated with Daniel and Clair Kiernan, Bill Ritch and Caran Wilbanks, Charles Rutledge, and Marilyn Teague. The latter, especially, we hadn't seen in ages, since she had some medical problems and had to have part of a leg amputated. We were happy to see her walking very well with a walker and prosthetic leg!

The only fly in the ointment was that the handicapped access for Ivy Hall was terrible. The venue is two levels, and the big open deck and the cocktail area (and the only bathrooms!) are on one level and the ballroom on the top level. The only way to get between these levels is a 45-degree angle road and a narrow "ramp." James got down there with the power chair set on "1" and moving very slow. When the ceremony and the appetizer course ended, we had to go back up to the top level via that steep road. James had power and made it up the hill with me spotting behind him, bent double in the chair. Poor Marilyn had to have both Charles and Robbie Hilliard help her up the hill. We were still having fun at nine o'clock, but had to leave early because James needed to urinate (the doctor said he should never "hold it") and there was no way he was going up and down that hill in the dark!

I can't believe this gorgeous venue can't afford to install a little lift (I've seen ones that look like a capsule and work like the lift on the Jupiter 2) for handicapped or temporarily incapacitated people in a corner somewhere. Either that or they need to rent a handicapped Porta Potty every time they have an event.

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» Sunday, October 22, 2023
Apples! Apples! Nice Fresh Apples!
Thank goodness, the week was pretty harmless. The one problem was Thursday; by the time we went grocery shopping and finished it, if we went home to drop off the food, we would be late for James' Procrit shot! So we stuffed all the perishable items into the cold bag and dashed to Kaiser. They were quite understanding about the need to hurry with the shot!

Saturday was Hair Day, but we didn't stay long because James' club meeting was this weekend and it was the annual Swap Meet. He went off to the VFW Hall and I stayed home, finally swept out the garage, and vacuumed. In between I did some writing.

Sunday turned out to be fun: we went to Ellijay for the second weekend of the Georgia Apple Festival. It's gotten quite expensive, $10 each to get in plus $5 to park. Of course all the proceeds go to the Elks Club and the Boy Scouts.

We got the second of our two fudge purchases for the year, and also bought some Asian sesame dressing that was very good. We figure we can use it for a finishing sauce. James and I also bought anniversary gifts for each other: I bought him a new leather wallet, and he bought me a Christmas sweater (since most of mine are worn out). We each had an ear of corn, which was so yummy; we stopped having them at the Yellow Daisy Festival because they were always so dry, but these two were juicy and wonderful. Afterwards, as always, we went to Panorama Orchards and bought all our favorite things: James' herbal teas in the little wooden boxes and sugar-free taffy and also some salsa, goats' milk lotion and blackberry spread and peanut brittle for me (their peanut brittle is wonderful), and a bag of Granny Smith apples and an apple pie for both of us. The day was sunny, but not hot, and we had a very good day.

I wish they could be all good days. I don't ask for perfect days, I just want good days.

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» Sunday, October 15, 2023
Busy for Us and Happy for Emma!
Well, we had some Big Events this week (and none of them involved goddamn Urgent Care).

The Friends of the Library book sale was on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and it was the first time that I've gone that I did not go first thing on Friday morning. I still fret about James and I didn't feel like getting up early to boot, plus I know I'm not going to find the stuff on my want list at the sale (it has happened, but not often enough to be a pattern, like when I found Time Out for Happiness). I ended up going on Saturday instead, to kill a little over an hour before Jessie's birthday party at Mellow Mushroom. And, yes, I still did manage to find books, including Michener's Chesapeake and Alaska, a compendium of Agatha Christie's books, a book of British mystery short stories that includes one by the late Christopher Fowler, My American Revolution about the war in the Middle Colonies, and Ronald Kessler's The FBI. Also grabbed four books for James including a P.J. O'Rourke and a first edition Book of the Month club version of Victory Through Air Power (from 1942).

Ironically, James was going to go to his club meeting and only I was attending the birthday party, but he discovered the meeting was next week, so I followed him over there only to find out Jessie had a problem and could not attend her own party. There was a nice crowd anyway and we enjoyed ourselves.

Instead of the book sale on Friday James and I went to Home Depot, which was absolutely filled with Christmas trees! Doesn't anyone make a decent-looking tree under 7 1/2 feet tall? I simply cannot decorate one that big without getting on a stool! The small ones have mixed branches which are absolutely repulsive.

Anyway, we were at HD to get light bulbs. I've discovered I like their "bright white" bulbs (3000K), since they are brighter, but don't mess with my eyes. I got a box of four clear 60-watt equivalents and one of 100-watt equivalents. For the living room I bought two bulbs which you can adjust from "warm white" to "daylight." I have left them on "true white" for now and am crossing fingers they don't irritate my eyes.

We also went to Lowes just for the heck of it, and...more Christmas trees. Same heights, too.

Had lunch at Hibachi Grill—oh, God, are they now in this oversalted hell, too?—then finally returned the pair of slip-on shoes I got for James at Walmart and bought up sugar-free candy, and picked up some things we hadn't gotten at Lidl during the big shopping trip on Thursday.

On the way up the stairs with the groceries, I whacked my right elbow good on the woodwork of the stair rail. Oh, my God! I bang one of my elbows at least once a week and it's horrible and painful, but goes away in a minute. Today I had to run to the fridge and put ice on it for twenty minutes and it raised a big purple bruise and dear Lord it hurt! I was afraid I'd broken or chipped something. After the ice I wrapped it in an Ace bandage for the rest of the night, and by shower time it was fine.

All I could think of was: if my arm is broken, how will I cath James????

Something nice happened to a friend of mine on Saturday that I was very happy about. Rupert Holmes was signing his book Murder Your Employer at the Deptford, NJ, Barnes & Noble store. Our friend Emma goes there all the time! I was practically jumping up and down in the truck seat as we went to James' physiotherapy I was so excited as I texted Emma the news. She was able to go and have MYE and also her copy of his novel Swing autographed by Rupert, and he told me how nice it was to meet another "friend of WENN" (Remember WENN, that is).

We didn't go to the Apple Festival on Sunday because both of us got too little sleep and it's a 75 minute drive. I did manage to format a new piece of fanfic for upload on Thursday, though.

Something sad did happen on Sunday that was of little consequence, but was still a bummer. I signed up for Twitter a couple of years ago so I could read posts from a few people I liked, including Susan Branch, Sam Neill, J. Michael Straczynski, and Vincent D'Onofrio. The latter, especially, would post neat views from his apartment of the NYC skyline, or his unusual little "poems" which are by turns funny, inspirational, and sometimes downright melancholy. After Elon took over Twitter, D'Onofrio mentioned he might quit, and Sunday afternoon he just pulled the plug. It will be sad not waking up to a funny video (like the one he posted a couple of weeks ago of him and his daughter cleaning the carpet in his apartment!) or a pretty view or a poem).

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» Sunday, October 08, 2023
Something New and Something Old
James had a really good surgery followup on Wednesday; I guess the fistula is "maturing" okay. It will take several months to be completely functioning, and then it will be ready when James needs it.

Am I just being desperate hoping that he won't need it for a long, long time?

Afterwards we went to Barnes & Noble. I bought two "buy one, get half off on the second" books, and also a nonfiction book called The Murder Room, about detectives and forensics experts who get together to solve cold cases.

We have found something interesting to watch on Apple+, For All Mankind, which is an alternate universe story (you see, it's not just for fanfiction!). The Soviets landed on the moon before Apollo 11, so the Space Race is still going on. Things are the same—Neil and Buzz still land on the moon—but there are fictional astronauts, and now some of them are women because on their second moonflight the Russians sent up a female cosmonaut, so of course the United States had to have female astronauts, too. The ERA gets passed in this universe and Teddy Kennedy doesn't go to the party on Chappaquiddick—but once in office he is having an affair with Mary Jo Kopechne. Some of the social advances still seem kind of quick, but it mostly jibes.

Friday we got things done: took our clothes to the cleaners to be ready for Neil and Emilee's wedding, brought the boxes for donations to Goodwill; after physical therapy we grabbed some quick food at Krystal to go on to Kaiser for James' Procrit shot, bought gas at Costco, then finally picked up some craft supplies before going home.

Saturday I did a lot of tidying, and also finally put all the fall decorations up. In March, I had just left the winter decorations I had taken down in a box because I wanted to go through the rest of the winter decorations to get rid of some of them, the ones I didn't put up last year. So I went through the winter box and gathered a dozen or so things that "didn't spark joy" anymore and put them in a donation box. Then I finally put the rest of the winter decorations away.

I guess the truth is that I have been in kind of a funk most of the year from James' different falls and the wretchedness of summer. This makes it hard to be enthusiastic about decorating or crafts; I just want to brood. When it gets at its worst I can escape into my stories, but it doesn't do a lot for my wanting to do anything else. It got so cool over the weekend we could ride in the truck with the windows down and I felt like taking a longer walk with the dog. It's such a relief not to sweat because the moment I do my rash flares up again.

Maybe once it gets cooler permanently—but that's always such a fluctuating thing in a Georgia fall and winter—I will be in better spirits. At least I hope so.

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» Sunday, October 01, 2023
New Experiences
We have discovered the best day to go to Costco: Tuesday. Oh, there's still a crowd, but it's a smaller crowd, and parking spaces are more available. In fact, we ran into a friend there: Alex Lucyshyn was there on his lunch hour. We bought toilet paper, which was a relief, because we were down to three rolls. James has been hankering for a new air fryer because ours was so small, so we bought one today. Alas, he made wings in it the first time and burnt the sauce. I ended up throwing up by bedtime. (But the wings themselves were cooked perfectly.)

I am determined to get more junk out of the house, so I made up two boxes of items we don't use (the old rice cooker, a sander I never used and now I don't make furniture any longer, etc.) to go to Goodwill. The box didn't go anywhere this week, though.

On Saturday, we took a few things to electronics recycling—the notice for it popped up unexpectedly on Twitter a few days ago—then went to an event in Acworth called the "Time Traveling Book Sale that had popped up on Facebook Events. This took place at the Acworth Community Center, and while there were a few booksellers, most of the dealers sold other book-related items. James bought a couple of dice from a vendor, and we saw the neatest keyboard at one vendor's table. It really does click like a typewriter keyboard!

We also went to the Crazy Book Lady bookstore. I found a neat book about numbers in literature and science, a book called Indian Time to read next month, and, finally, James Michener's Creatures of the Kingdom, which is all the collected nature and animal shorts from the beginnings of his books like Centennial, Hawaii, etc.

We ate in a spot off state route 41, Capo's Pizza/Ristorante. The service was very good and the "garlic knots" were to die for, but the spaghetti sauce was much too sweet. We didn't need dessert afterward.

Anyway, James has been wanting to see the film Greyhound for ages, but it's only on Apple+. Best Buy had this special offer for new subscribers: three months' free membership, so I got it. We watched Greyhound on Sunday and we both really enjoyed it. Laughed at some of the reviews, which complained there was "no character development." This was basically an action film, a war action film, about American destroyers escorting supply convoys across the Atlantic and being trailed by U-boat wolfpacks. Except for the first five minutes in the hotel, it is nonstop shooting and battle, and it's so well done I enjoyed it immensely. I didn't care if there was "no character development"--it was perfect as it was.

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