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the cousins...

Friday, March 6, 2015
...wanted to go to Q'town on Friday.  To look around, see what they could see. And found some things they thought they would enjoy having to clutter up their houses in distant places. Which was great. Even though the things they walked out the door with were relatively small, every little item that goes away makes a difference. Several pieces of framed art, a few knick-knacks, and couple of wall-mounted coat racks.

I am still struggling with a house full of furniture, don't want to donate, as in giving to a thrift store like Goodwill.  Or putting on Craig's list, which amounts to pretty much the same thing, virtually giving away, as the on-line buyers are generally wanting something for nothing.  I would rather donate and get the tax deduction, but know it is some nice, though 'olde' stuff and hope to avoid putting it out on the street for passers-by to pick and choose.

So after I opened the doors to let in some fresh air, and they walked' round and 'round, picked up a few odds and ends, we closed up and moved on. I'd talked of trying to find consignment shop in Thomasville, and having no luck. The consensus was to actually go to T'ville, have lunch and poke around. It's a pretty little town, has re-invented itself after the downtown went to pot in the era of mall developments.  The main street of downtown is only three or four blocks of commercial/retail businesses. Lots of little boutique type stores, eateries, gifts/clothing, mostly with hunting/birding themed apparel. And condo-living above many of the storefront/retail shops. Nice to see a historic, well-preserved downtown regenerating.

The cousins spread out, roaming the streets, looking into windows, peering into doors, checking out the options. Found three antique shoppes, some with very much high-end reproductions of the 'plantation furnishing' nature. But a couple I will contact next week and ask about the likelihood of some non-plantation items being offered for re-sale in their stores. One that sounded really promising, so hopefully I am making some progress. Two goals here: just to get the goods out of the house, and possibly find some buyers that would appreciate the value of the items.

I left south GA in the rain on Thursday afternoon to head home. A very dark cloud had followed us all the way from Thomasville to Valdosta, so I was not surprised that it started coming down really hard about the time I got on the road. The good news is, that once I got to Tifton, and turned west, the cloud did not notice  my absence, as I slipped off the interstate to head towards Albany.  The weather cleared: sunny and bright. Until it got dark. Uneventful drive home, and straight to bed.

a generational gathering...

... of sorts. When the James siblings met in Valdosta to toast the auntie's birthday. I wrote about the carrot cake, which has historically been The Birthday Cake here, and on an occasion or three, transported elsewhere for family events. I think I remember making/taking one to Perry GA many years ago, when our Grandmother was celebrated and family gathered for lunch and visit. As well as hauling to Decatur for Easter lunch: what else could the Easter Bunny possibly consume? Anything that is loaded with three cups of grated carrots would have to delight the Bunny, Tooth Fairy and probably Rudolph, but not so much Santa, who is accustomed to cookies and milk.

It was a delight to see those people. I often see the one who lives in Decatur (though not frequently enough - mostly due to busy-ness of daily lives). The brother who came for several days from the west was here back in the fall, visiting the auntie. It surprising to discover he would be coming again so soon. Truthfully, I suspected it was mostly due to good manners, which is a compliment and reflection on parents. His wife came along, who I had not seen in years. A pleasant, down-to-earth, plain-spoken person, and agreeable company. People who live at such a distance they are usually only seen at funerals.

So we all convened at the aunties' house, enjoyed time together and laughing. I am nearly certain that the auntie thinks she was the star attraction. But in truth: it was the third sibling. The one who married a Brit, and lives in the UK, planned a visit to the US hoping for sunshine. Apparently the weather in England is mostly grey this time of year, and she was looking forward to a change here in the States. We had that on Thursday afternoon: so warm in south GA, we were peeling off socks to walk bare-foot in the back yard. And strolling around in shirt-sleeves on Friday. Really pleasant, if a bit unseasonable. (While northern climes are still shoveling snow.)

an amusing additon...

Tuesday, March 3, 2015
.. to the 'she doesn't mind...' story that I don't mind telling, since it is not me that did the thoughtless thing. I was checking with the admin. assistant at church early this  morning to be sure about an item on the Sam's Club list, having called last night and left a message for her. When she called me back, she was walking out the door of the house, and: naturally as soon as she shut/locked the door, she realized her house/car keys were on the wrong side. Murphy's Law and gravity, still in effect.

So I said: I am headed out the door of my house to go to get the shopping done, so I will come by and run you to work. I'll be there in under ten minutes. Which I did. And as we were going to the church, I told her the story about the daughter who outsmarted herself with putting the keys in the mini-fridge along with her left-overs.

The response from the friend in need of transportation was: they do have a spare key hidden in the yard. But it is in the back yard, where you cannot access. Due to husband deciding they need to keep the gate to the six foot tall wooden privacy fence locked from the inside. So... I asked 'what good is that hidden key?' She just laughed. And said 'fortunately, the keys I need for work I have learned to leave at work, so I won't leave them at home.' (Locked in the house, I might add!)

whoops...

....I thought I was getting up this morning to drive to south GA. And got a call from doctor's office  yesterday about an appointment at 10:45 today  So rats. And best laid plans....I had it on my calendar, squished in with all the other obligations and events that occupy my time. It was simply overlooked, smooshed in between other things that are more interesting, attractive or necessary.

Plus the dr. appt. is in Alabama. I found a female dr. in Montgomery through info. from an acquaintance at church, so after getting established (meaning making the trip about once every three months for the first year), I now drive over once a year. To be poked at, questioned, make a blood donation to check for proper levels of chemicals, get a new Rx and go on my merry way.

I thought, vaguely considered the possibility of going from Montgomery to south GA. But quickly discarded that proposal as ridiculous. It looks to me like about five hours of driving, which my damaged back, bad kneed and normally pleasant disposition could not tolerate.

Plus I have yet to put the frosting on the carrot cake, due to the fact that I discovered: no confectioner's sugar when I took it out of the oven, placed on racks to cool. Decided that was not worth  making the drive to get a bag of sugar, so bought it when I went to work on Monday. And will get that done this  morning. As well as make a run to the north side of town with a small grocery order for the church. If I don't get there this morning, it would probably be Friday, and if I put it off too long, it will either get much longer, or might not get done at all, so best to get it over with today...

good news, bad news...

with the 'new' Toyota that I bought last fall. I had been using a semi-synthetic oil, and paying more for an oil change than with the previous vehicle, a sturdy little Saturn (back in the era of my being determined to only buy American made vehicles - which I have obviously recovered from.) Just doing what the manufacturer recommends without any truly expert knowledge. But if 'they said' I should be using a more expensive oil, that I what I must do.

And now, with the newer model (2013) ''they say' I should be using a fully synthetic product. So I am/do. Which, as you can imagine, is even more expensive than the stuff that is half-synthetic and half-who-knows-what. But that's what I have.

After poking around on the internet, by googling 'synthetic oil changes' and finding what I thought to be the best price, I went down yesterday morning before work to get it done. And find that, lucky me, I have an unusual filter, that has to be 'special ordered' (which in this case apparently means the oil change guy has to walk across the parking lot to the Auto Zone store next door and buy the one that goes under the hood of the Toyo.) So they have to charge me extra for the full synthetic oil (whatever that means???) and extra for the oddly shaped oil filter. So much for bargain shopping.

Then to top all this aggravation off: I looked at the email this morning, and today, just now, I find a coupon  from Goodyear for $25 off any service over $50. That of course, expires long before I will need another oil change.

Oh  - and the good news part of this is: the first time I had this done, in the new'ish toyo, they told me I could go twice as long before I would need to have it done again. The usual definition of having oil drained and replaced and a new filter installed is 5000 miles, but according to the service rep. with the higher priced oil, it  can go twice the distance before you need the service again. So, if you take a big step back, tilt your head and squint, with one eye closed, I have saved, right?

the auntie...

Sunday, March 1, 2015
... is having a birthday on Wednesday. She has taken to telling people that she has the only birthday that is a 'command': March forth. This will be a birthday that ends in zero, which is a pretty big deal.

I stopped at MyPublix after church to get carrots and a block of cream cheese. I have already grated the carrots, and will get the cake mixed up and baked this afternoon. She is in for a big surprise. I doubt anyone has baked her a birthday cake since she was a teenager, before she left home to go away for an education.

Also taking the makings for a big salad that will be lunch on Wednesday. It is sort of amusing to me, and will be interesting to hear her response. She is not much fond of salads and has commented numerous times over the years that she does not care for beans, much rather have animal protein. There will be No Animals Harmed In The Making Of This Salad. So it will be really amusing to hear how she will react to meat-less... she could be very big-hearted and kind, act appropriately appreciative. Or wonder repeatedly "where's the beef?"

bummed....

... though I don't want to take all the responsibility, and know it is not entirely my fault: it still hurts like the dickens. I want to think it's getting better, but have moments when I want to go to bed and pull the covers over my head. Doubtful that would make it feel better, but it's sometimes nice just to retreat from the world, go hide in the closet.

I had a completely unnecessary accident one day last week. And fell on my bum. Landed on my tailbone, which did not need to be injured. I said a bad word, several times, but don't think it was very helpful. The worst part is that I had to go to work, so it got even more worser before I could get home and apply ice. I have been sleeping with a bag of ice every night since. Applied to my lower back, while I have a heating pad under my feet. If that won't confuse your personal thermostat, nothing will.

It is for times like this that we save old, outdated Rx. I have been taking a highest powered OTC pain killer during the day, but decided to scout around for something really strong to take at bedtime. And found a couple of long expired bottles of serious pain-killers that have been very helpful with getting a good night's sleep. Even if they should have been recycled several years ago, and have someone elses' name on the label. Thankful I kept them instead of turning in to be destroyed, when we had one of those 'Save the Chattahoochee River' recycling days.

There's nothing anyone could do: I could go to the Doc-in-a-Box and pay for x-rays and office visit, get a new Rx written with my name on it. And a likely diagnosis of fracture of the tailbone (I cannot spell that word that starts with c and ends with letters at the tail end of the alphabet, and spell check is broken). But that's about all I would get. Nothing to resolve the problem. I think/hope/want to believe it is getting better.