29 December 2016

On the Third--and Fifth--Day of Christmas

I've been out this week twice stocking up on crafting supplies. What with James' problems taking up most of the first seven months of this year, I had gotten out of the habit of using the Michaels and JoAnn coupons. I need to take this up again. What I gather can be use for gifts, and when money starts getting tight in the future, that will be useful.

Tuesday I went to Town Center because I had two good JoAnn coupons, a fifty and a forty. Town Center is great because four hobby/craft shows are right near each other, in walking distance, really, if you are in good shape. I skipped Hobbytown because they're mostly models, trains, and puzzles, and started at Hobby Lobby, where they were industriously putting up Valentine decor, having scrunched Christmas into as few aisles as they could. I checked out the leftovers, but mostly ugly stuff was left. I was getting an urgent call of nature, so I left without picking up anything else.

First checked out the bathroom at JoAnn, then the merchandise. Storage was already on sale, so I finally got a case for my drawing pencils. With the other two coupons I got a start on a Christmas gift (actually parts for a couple). Then next door at Michaels I picked up something that will become another Christmas gift, plus a bag of little pieces of wood. I have an idea for them that isn't quite formed yet.

From Craft City I went to Book City to check out the clearance table at Barnes & Noble. No goodies today, sadly. Checked for new books and gave the magazines a once-over, then went to Publix in the hopes of finding a baguette. I did, as well as some low-sodium beef soups for James, plus they had Sterlite storage boxes on BOGO, so I bought two.

I came home through the battlefield park and down Kennesaw Avenue past the beautiful old homes with their long aprons of lawn and sweeping sidewalks, which are more traditionally dressed in greens and red bows. I like to slow down and look at the homes, but always there's someone behind me and I can't linger too long to check out the beautiful gingerbread trim and the columned porches. A couple of people even have wire fences like the one that used to be in front of my grandfather's house, not your garden variety chain link, but like the wire in the photo at right (click to see details). They make me ten kinds of nostalgic.

I got home just in time to see the flurry of posts on Facebook about Carrie Fisher's death. Damn. I hate 2016 more each day. I sat down, got fidgety, and pulled out my drawing pencils and sketched Artoo-Detoo saying farewell to his princess in hologram. Yeah, cliche and corny, but who cares? (Damn. She was younger than me.) And then, oh, yeah, the exterminator showed up.

Casually skipping over yesterday and later Tuesday night, which is covered elsewhere, I woke up having had a sort-of decent sleep. After breakfast and puppy perambulation and enjoying listening to Dana and Mugs, I headed for Lowe's to see what was left of their Christmas stuff. They had strings of C-9 clear bulbs and I decided to try once again to provide some light out in the back yard, while the tattered remnants of the last string still hang broken from the deck. I have to take them down and put the new string up properly; I think it broke because I just swagged it from some floral wire; it shouldn't dangle. (Of course there's a chance the stupid squirrels chewed it, too.) I also bought clear and white C-7 bulbs, and checked out the LED bulbs again. I also looked for winter banners, as ours is shredded. They had some, but only in small sizes. Eeek! I've had to order one online. Hope I don't get skunked.

Now, Michaels had a two-day after-Christmas coupon: 40 percent off all jewelry-making supplies. This seemed too good not to take advantage of. I originally started for the Hiram store, but changed course to go back to Town Center because I still had two more JoAnn coupons. I was able to pick up some really good pieces in Michaels, either under the coupon or on clearance, and found some dimensional Modge-Podge to use with their 50 percent off coupon. JoAnn was just as profitable; I bought some permanent colored pens, a holder for James to use for his medications, and a few more sale items.

I told Snowy I would try to be home around noon, but missed it by an hour. Once again I came home through the park. The parking lot near the park headquarters was crammed with cars and dozens of people (and many dogs) were walking on this beautiful sunny day with temps in the 50s, tempered by a pretty brisk wind which kept a steady stream of dead leaves swirling around any area they had accumulated. At one point leaves came dancing in front of my car like tiny ballerinas skipping across a stage. Once again I logged on to Facebook to discover that someone has passed away: this time it was Debbie Reynolds. She had what they thought was a stroke yesterday after commenting on daughter Carrie's death. ::sigh:: Now mother and daughter are reunited again.

For the rest of the afternoon, I had a leftover pork chop for lunch, put some of the most egregious mess away, updated blog entries, played Christmas music and more Christmas specials stacked up on the DVR (Perry Como in Austria and Bing Crosby joined by Mary Costa and Robert Goulet, plus the second half of a Pearl Harbor special that I unfortunately missed the first hour of, talking about how Admiral Kimmel was screwed by military intelligence and warned too late due to multiple blunders.

James and I had the rest of the pork-recipe beef pot roast for supper with scalloped potatoes, slices of a Terry's chocolate orange for dessert, and I have been watching specials about Switzerland: a tour of Swiss Christmas markets and now a train ride through Switzerland.

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