23 November 2012

Over the River And Through the Woods (and the Stores)

It's been an eventful two days!

We usually spend Thanksgiving with our "friends who have become family," but this year my mother-in-law and sister-in-law invited us to have Thanksgiving dinner with them. Accordingly, we were up at eight o'clock to get dressed and walk and feed Willow. I shouldn't have done it, but I gave Schuyler a break on her medicine this morning. I figured she needed something to be thankful for, too. We left the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade on for her and commenced to traveling.

Before leaving, we stopped at the new Race Trac gas station on Spring Road. This is a huge gas station that has just been opened for a few months. It's not quite as big as the "travel stations" on the freeway and  has no showers, but it's got a huge selection of food. I was Bad with a Capital B: got a pack of Hostess chocolate cupcakes for breakfast. I haven't had them in, literally, years! Also got a big container of sliced Granny Smith apples to share with James, and both papers, the Atlanta and the Marietta, and perused the sales ads for tomorrow for about half the ride down to Warner Robins, when I took over driving.

We hit town about 11:30. Wow, the city limit is almost to the freeway now. The city already had their Christmas decorations up, and when we drove past the stores at the edge of town, we saw people camping out for Black Friday (and "Grey Thursday," as they are calling the Thanksgiving night openings) in front of Best Buy even there!

Finally got to bring Mom her birthday and Mother's Day gift, as we hadn't been there since last Christmas: James was either working over the weekend or something else came up or we were away or they were busy. I made this with grapevine wreath with yellow forsythia wound in it with a hint of purple flowers, with a purple ribbon and some purple butterflies for trim.

We had a nice relaxing afternoon. The end of the parade was just scrolling by and we watched the National Dog Show and then football. We had dinner about 2:30 or so. Sadly, Sabra and her fiance were unable to join us as she wasn't feeling well. And, like my dad before me, I dozed off on the sofa. :-) Later we had dessert, but my stupid digestion picked that time to be a brat, even though I ate only a very small portion of turkey breast, James' biscuit stuffing, and some more olives along with some milk. I could barely eat a sliver of pumpkin pie and apple pie.

With a beautiful sunset on the horizon, we left for home. Neither of us slept well, and James was getting so fatigued on the way up that I took over driving at Locust Grove. I had sorted out the sale papers when we got to the house, and now I cut out the things I wanted to look into today and placed the name of the store and the opening hour on them. I cut a couple of Wally World and Best Buy items, even though both stores were opening tonight and I didn't expect to find the items left over.

James was off today and when I first asked him if he wanted to go with me he demurred in favor of sleeping late; however, he was awake when my alarm rang and was close after me. I gulped down some yogurt as James walked the dog and then I grabbed two Atkins bars, one for each of us.

I was headed for Sam's Club, which had Brave on Blu-Ray for $10. (Almost thirty regular price!) We were early, so we stopped at Walmart, which also was selling the same Blu-Ray. We couldn't find it, but we did find Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows. It wasn't on sale anymore, though, but it was still pretty cheap for a Blu-Ray, so I bought it. It was a fortuitous stop, because James' One-Touch diabetes testing gadget was throwing error messages, and Walmart had one for $10.

BTW, this Walmart was nearly empty! Opening last night sure cut down on the crowd this morning. I don't think there were a dozen cars there.

So we got in line at Sam's, where people were turning back in droves because they were out of cell phones and large-screen televisions. We did get Brave and I picked up something else that I can't mention because it will hint at another gift. I also picked up James' Christmas gift.

Just for the heck of it, we did go down to Best Buy, and, again, because it opened last night, there was hardly anyone there at 7:30. To our surprise, they had season five of The Big Bang Theory still in stock, only for $9 (they wanted $30 at Sam's and $35 full price at Best Buy!), and I found Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows on Blu-Ray in a bargain bin for $4! So I bought it anyway and later took the Walmart copy back.

Meanwhile, we went across the street to Office Depot. James was looking into getting a new laser printer. His printer, the color one, messed up some time ago when he was trying to print out some decals. They stuck to the roller and made a god-awful stink and it hasn't printed well since, plus ink doesn't stick to labels (yes, laser labels!). I've dreamed of printing Christmas labels on it, but it just flakes off them. Then we discovered that by the time he bought color cartridges for it, he would have spent enough to buy a new printer. So he found a nice Brother, but it wasn't in stock; we're having it shipped to the store.

I got another gift, a spare wireless mouse, some Christmas labels, and a desk blotter for work.

By this time, we were ravenous and went to the IHOP for breakfast (another place that wasn't crowded). James can now eat off the senior menu, too, so he had the sampler and I had the senior French toast. The drinks (his cola, my milk, and the two orange juices) nearly cost as much as the meals! Played on the wifi while there.

Then we headed for Cost Plus World Market. This year they are giving away Life of Pi tiger ornaments—and more free movie tickets! Also got something to finish up a gift basket.

By now it was going on time to head for the hobby shop. Today and tomorrow are the last two days they will be open (ironically they're going out of business on Small Business Saturday). (On the way we stopped at MicroCenter and I was able to pick up another gift.) The shop was very crowded (gee, if the crowd had been this big when they were doing regular business, they wouldn't be going out of business) and I sat and read as always as James made his last purchases.

If you thought it was time to head for home, well, not quite yet. We went back to Sam's to check on something, and while we were there I got more Chex and James some chips for his lunchbox, and James got me a copy of Call the Midwife for Christmas, then we bought gasoline for the car, and returned the DVD to Walmart. On the way home we stopped at Publix to get some lunch and picked up some turkey wings for dinner (that's all they had in dark meat). Even after all that turkey yesterday, we were still in the mood for more today!

James wondered if I felt like going out again. You see, we've both been having problems with our cell phones. Mine has had trouble getting a GPS signal and the speakerphone is not working properly on James'. He had an interview a month or so ago that I think was negatively impacted by the fact that the speakerphone did not work properly. So we went to the Verizon store, casting covetous eyes on the new Galaxy S III. But those were $200 each, so we went instead with the Galaxy Nexus instead, which had a complete price rebate. Of course we had to give up our unlimited data plan to get new phones, but we rarely go much over 2GB a month, so we could get a very small plan. It took a while because their (Windows) computers were working improperly, but everything was eventually transferred over and we could come home.

So now it's just a matter of re-downloading everything.and setting things up. Fortunately, these units also come with changeable batteries! I was hoping not to have to get a phone without that feature, remembering all the people at DragonCon scurrying to plug their iPhones in at every meeting room I was in! And the 4G is mighty quick; in fact, it's faster than the T1 line at work!

Exhausted when we got home, but did cook up the turkey wings—really the "drumettes" from two turkey wings—which we had with gravy and James' leftover stuffing, and a thin slice of Entemann's chocolate loaf cake each for dessert. Watched the news and Jeopardy and the repeat of the dog show, and I finally put on a couple of Lassie Christmas episodes to relax to.

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