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, 2024
Just an Ordinary Week (But...Dogs!)
It was a red-letter week: I finally delivered an overdue Hanukkah gift. It's been a comedy of errors for the last four months trying to get Mel and Phyllis their gift. Either they were where we were and the gift wasn't, or it was the other way around. ::sigh:: It's not even valid as a Passover gift now.

The bad news is that James' toe is still not well; we had it checked out at podiatry this week. The doctor said if we were still patient about this we could "stay the course." So we are, but she sent him down for an x-ray to make sure.

The good news of the week was Saturday in (1) going to Hair Day (where the Hanukkah gift finally was reunited with its owners) and talking to everyone, except for Charles, who is in Greece! and (2) going to the Jonquil Festival. We got there just in time for the Ready Go Dog Show. All the dogs are rescues, some from shelters, some from specific breed rescue. Five dogs performed: an Australian shepherd, a Pomeranian, and a chihuahua named Tito all chased frisbees. Then Phobia, a smooth Border Collie, jumped from a box over a hurdle six feet high. The final performer was a Belgian Malinois named "Beano," also a frisbee freak. The handler said the hardest thing to teach Beano was "stay"!

James got himself two sugar-free desserts (I tasted the lemon cake; it reminded me of the lemon squares from Solitro's Bakery!) and also picked up some jambalaya and red-beans-and-rice for lunches. They had a bumper crop of vendors, but didn't see much that we wanted. The honey guy was there, but he had no small bottles of blackberry honey.

On the way out we stopped at the library because they didn't have an outside book sale this year. Their "perpetual book sale" has shrunk from three large bookcases to two smaller ones. I still found three books: Reviving Ophelia, which I've wanted to read; Sisters in Crime, a collection of short mystery stories about women; and Strongheart, an award-winning children's book about the famous dog star. (We did go to Barnes & Noble, and I didn't buy anything. The library books only cost $2.75.)

In other news, dropped more stuff off at Goodwill, posted the first part of a seven-part fanfic and redesigned the graphic for the series, tried out a new grammar-checker called Quillbot, and listened to more Colonial Williamsburg podcasts.

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» Sunday, April 21, 2024
The Doctors Multiply (and We Don't Mean Who)
Yay! The grass is cut for the next two weeks and the pine pollen seems to be gone, so it's time for me—something I didn't do last year—to get the hose and rinse down the front porch, which is no longer brick colored, but yellowish. Alas, every single gasket on the hose and nozzle is shot, which means I got as wet as the porch in front (my capris were still damp around the waistband two days later).

We started out the week with one doctor's appointment and ended up with three: Wednesday it was James' physiotherapy followed by the rheumatologist. Dr. Salazar upped James' steroids to 7 1/2 milligrams since he's still in a lot of pain. Later we had supper from Tin Drum, which, to my sorrow, was less than sterling for me.

For years now Tin Drum's teriyaki bowl (under different names) has been my go-to treat. I would go there once a month, especially after I retired, and treat myself to lunch and racked up so many points I had lots of free meals. Over those years they made tiny tweaks to the dish (like adding a lime), but it was always okay.

This time it was disappointing. Instead of just adding a meat now, you have several choices. I got the thin-sliced beef. It was greasy, and at the same time there wasn't enough sauce to cover the rice, and they seemed to have put a little bit of pepper in the sauce (either that or it was grilled after something spicy without the grill having been wiped). It was blah instead of rah. Sigh.

Thursday was James' Procrit shot. Bruce, the nurse who practically bounces off walls, was telling us they are remodeling the Cumberland office, and they want to send nephrology, rheumatology, and a few other things, to Glenlake (and move cardiology and optometry to Cumberland), which means we would have to drive to Glenlake every two weeks for Procrit shots! Bruce is going to see if he can get permission for James to give himself the shots; we would just need to stop by Cumberland to pick up the dosage every two weeks (since the dosage is variable depending on his blood test that week). You give the shot the same way you give yourself an insulin shot, so it's something James can do.

Finally Friday James had a urology checkup. We talked with the PA instead of Dr. Jefferson, which was nice.

Saturday I exposed myself to temptation. James wanted to look for an SSD for his laptop. I have been suffering with envy watching people creating art on iPads because their stylus and art programs are so good. MicroCenter had some discount iPads, and I was very tempted. I'm also looking at new phones because I know the batteries give out after a couple of years.

But...we'll see.

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» Sunday, April 14, 2024
Partial Sun and Full Runs
After we saw the total eclipse in 2017, both our minds turned toward this year's event. Since Evansville, Indiana, would be in the path of totality, and was just a short drive over the Ohio River from Owensboro, Kentucky, where we stayed in 2008 to see the Remember WENN play (and met Jen Payne!), we had toyed with the idea of staying in Owensboro—and hopefully being able to eat at that terrific barbecue buffet again if it was still in business!—then driving over the border early in the morning to see totality.

Unfortunately, the last seven years have been...well, a fat bitch. A TURP, four hospital stays in 2022, UTIs and falls...James was in poor shape physically and mentally I wasn't a barrel of laughs. So we made no plans. And watching ABC's "Eclipse Across America" segment later in the week was depressing as well as thrilling. But, can't be helped. Instead on Monday we watched what Atlanta had of a partial eclipse (about 85 percent) from our driveway. It never got dark, or dusky, but the light, to me, had this silvery cast, and the temperature did noticeably drop and the wind picked up.

My favorite part of the eclipse was past peak: about ten minutes after what we got of totality, the mail lady came by. She said "Can I see? Can I see?" and I said yes and she stopped the mail truck in the middle of the street, jumped out, and I let her use my glasses!

Kept busy this week: Tuesday I shelved books in the library, returned all the fannish things I dragged out of the closet looking for the eclipse glasses to the closet and concatenated all our vacation souvenirs in one drawer in the spare room (where I found the eclipse glasses).

Wednesday James had a stellar workout at PT, and then we went to Barnes & Noble, which I suppose was a bad idea because I bought two books (but...they were history books and one was half off...) and the SVU magazine.

A victory on Thursdays: no more followup trips to the dermatologist! James' nose is now well enough to take the daily Band-Aid off. We also had an appointment with the sleep doctor—he's gonna see if he can get James a new C-PAP unit, but James will probably still need the sleep study first—which I had to leave early because I had my checkup scheduled for late this afternoon. As usual Dr. Mobley was over an hour late; thank goodness I had someone to chat with (thanks, Vanessa!) since James was stuck out in the waiting room.

Friday we went out to the Costco David (therapist) recommended to us, out where Macland Road intersects with Charles Hardy Parkway (which turns out to be the other end of Dallas Highway; it changes name when you hit the Paulding County line). In fact, we went through Dallas Highway and stopped at their Walmart first—nicely kept, but their sugar-free candy assortment isn't much; we did find more mushroom-flavored rice sides (but, horrors, they're on clearance! mushroom rice goes with everything). The Costco was not quite so empty as David described, but we walked around and picked up a couple of things.

Even though I do not "redd up" the house in summer, I did get some lawn decorations this week. There's nothing like neighbors having cookie-cutter bland front yards to inspire you to put up more decorations. I got a butterfly, bird, and blue flower, a rainbow pinwheel, and a tiny bunny to go between two mushrooms (do those garden decorators actually know what those fly agaric mushrooms are? LOL). I put them up on Sunday and trimmed the nandina, which was starting to look like it stuck a root in an electrical socket.

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» Sunday, April 07, 2024
After the Fall
The week did not open auspiciously, but instead with pain (James') and tears (mine).

I took Tucker out Monday morning and did our "regular" walk (across the street, down to the stop sign, reverse direction to the day care, and back across the street again). When I got home I called up to James, but he didn't answer. So I figured he was in the bathroom, which I hadn't begun to clean yet, and let the dog upstairs. Then I headed for the hall bathroom to "walk" me.

I looked down in the doorway to see James' shoes. They were attached to James, stretched out on the floor, his right arm bleeding in several places including on the hand, and some cuts on his right leg. He had somehow caught his right foot—we think, he says he doesn't know how he fell—on the doorframe and fallen face down. He did not hit his head, nor hurt his face; he was conscious, annoyed at himself, and uncomfortable.

So first I mopped up the blood and then came the problem of getting him off the floor. He can't roll over onto his knees. So I got him into a sitting position, and he basically crab walked—or actually pulled himself forward on a kitchen chair while I moved it forward incrementally and then held down—to the stairway, where he could stand up. Next I patched up all the bleeding parts and checked him for bruises.

We ended up not going to Urgent Care. He said he was bruised and did hurt, but that he didn't think he'd broken anything, like a friend did last week and who had to go to the emergency room. Instead James took Tylenol and I gave him an extra steroid. Needless to say he was very sore for most of the week, and David had to ease up on him when he finally got to go to PT this week (we hadn't gone the past two weeks due to the allergies making us feel horrible).

Lawn care, alas, is back in season. Alex is going to come on Tuesday this year, he says, so I had to stagger awake on Tuesday and go through a flurry of writing checks.

James was up to Walmart on Wednesday (sugar free candy and other stuff we can only get at WallyWorld) and then grocery shopping on Thursday. On Friday we took it as easy as possible, but did go to Canton for our monthly trip. Came out of Books-a-Million with many books, then we had pizza at Uncle Maddio's, and finally we stopped at BJs for fruit cups, maple syrup, and a few other items.

Saturday afternoon we had great fun at Ken Spivey's birthday party, which was held at Volcano Steak and Sushi, a new place out in Hiram (they also have a Korean BBQ and Hot Pot). This is one of those hibachi places where the guy cooks in front of you, and it was great fun to see little Kassidy (who's elementary-school aged) watch the chef do his tricks for the first time and be startled when he sets the fire on the grill!

James' club meeting was on a Sunday this month because it was the only day available, so he went off while I did some chores and washed some towels and did some writing and listened to the Colonial Williamsburg podcasts.

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