Please, Mr. Postman

I’m trying not to have a complex about this, but I’m not even sure that I’m Number 4 on our dog Scout’s list of people preferences.  I know with certainty that Spots 1, 2, and 3 are taken.

1.  Lord and master of the universe.  (That would be Dearly Beloved.)

2.  Our mail carrier, Danny.

3.  Ivy, our daughter’s Goldendoodle. (Yes, of course Ivy is a person!)

No. 2 on the list is the Pied Piper of canines in our neighborhood.  His mail truck generates as much excitement with the dogs as an ice cream truck for neighborhood kids and he does it without a bell.  Danny carries treats in his mail bag and hands them out to all the dogs he passes as he makes his rounds.

For the lucky dogs with mail slots on the doors, he slips a treat in along with the mail.  Once he realized that Ivy was spending the summer with us, Danny added a second treat, but Scout would race to our front door and wolf down both treats so fast that he barely had time to get his fingers out of the slot.

After Danny realized what was happening,  the mail slot started clanging three times. . . one time for the mail, a second time while he tossed in a treat aimed toward the left, then a third clang to aim one to the right–to give Ivy a better chance of getting to the one meant for her.

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When DB took the pair on their morning walks, they watched for the mail truck and pulled in that direction, even if they’d already been treated on another street.

Emily, the big black lab on our block, has a case of Danny-love, too.  Once I saw Emily lying in the grass several streets away from ours. I would’ve thought she’d been hit by a car but for the disgusted look on her owner’s face as he tugged on her leash.

“Is Emily all right?” I asked him.  He nodded.

“Then what is she doing?”  

“Stalling.  She’s hoping Danny will come by.”  

As the weeks progressed, Ivy became wiser about the magic mail slot.  Rather than try to outrun Scout, she decided to outsmart her.

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Having Ivy here for two months has been wonderful for Scout.  She appears to have lost her fear of other dogs, if her romps with Ivy are any indication.  We began calling them Thelma and Louise.  I’d be embarrassed to admit how many videos DB and I have made of those two clowns and their antics.

Over the weekend, we returned Ivy to her peeps.  It was a happy reunion for all of them, but we certainly miss her.  I hope Ivy doesn’t encounter any mail carriers for a while.

They might misconstrue her salivating.

Did you hear the one about the unstamped letter?

You wouldn’t get it. 

For Whom The Road Tolls

Our knitting/e-mail group got together for a few days at Lulu’s house in Birmingham this summer. They’d needle me if I posted a photo of the group, so here’s Lulu’s dog, Sami, just to prove I was there.

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Why yes, that IS a pink elephant on the table and since wine was consumed,  I’m relieved that you can see it, too.  (And yes, you purists, that’s crochet, not knitting.)

On the way back, I stopped to see our daughter and her family in Atlanta  and attend one of Middle Grandson’s swim meets.  His older brother had strep throat, so I volunteered to drive Middle Grandson to the meet, a 20-mile or so trek on Atlanta’s highways and toll roads in rush hour traffic.

No problem.  The calm voice of Miz MapQuest anticipated my every question and took us right to the pool.

I set up camp in the last spot of shade to be had– just outside the men’s room door.

“How will I know when you’re swimming?” I asked Middle Grandson when he walked by later.

He stuck out his arm, which now sported a hodgepodge of Sharpie-tattooed tic-tac-toe lines and numbers.

“Take a picture of my arm,” he said.  Genius.

I misread the arm photo for his first race.  By the time I realized my error and made it  poolside, all I saw was an empty lane.  Grandson was probably out of the pool and off eating a popsicle somewhere.

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In full-blown crazy grandmother mode, I bulldozed through the crowd of timers, coaches, and players for the next race. Squatting at pool edge, I aimed my camera to get a closeup of Grandson when he bobbed up at the touch pad.  I wanted to  send it to Dearly Beloved.

My camera honed in on the backstroker coming toward me, ready for the big finish.

What th’. . . ?

The kid that popped up, nose to camera lens with me,  was a complete stranger.  Wrong lane again!  Grandson was already towelling off.  I think that his time in the race was better than mine in trying to stand back up from that  squat.

My son-in-law, who’d come directly from work, called out, “Did you SEE that?  His best time yet!”

Mumble, mumble.

When persistent thunder delayed the meet for an hour or so, I decided to head back to the house.  Son-in-law stuck around and, as it turned out, saw a few more heats before the match was called for the night.

Once in my car, I kicked off my shoes and told Miz MapQuest to reverse her directions and lead me back.  At the toll entrance, I threw my quarters into the basket and started to drive forward.  The gate didn’t lift.  What now?  Did I even HAVE any more quarters?   Wasn’t an attendant supposed to be wandering around?  Had the people lined up behind me never heard of patience???

And where the heck were my shoes?

I scrounged around and found more quarters–and, because I’d already driven past the basket in anticipation of being able to proceed, I now had to walk back to put the money into the basket.

I didn’t take time to look for my shoes, so I opened the door and put my bare feet down,  cringing at the thought of what might await.

Want to take a guess what littered the pavement?

????

Pennies.  Dozens and dozens and dozens of pennies.  I’m don’t think my feet even  touched the nasty asphalt.

Who throws pennies out at a toll booth?  And why?

I usually pick up loose change I see in parking lots and on sidewalks,  so it might have been difficult to walk away from all that loot, had not the honking serenade behind me insisted.

The toll gods accepted my coins this time and the gate raised.  I jumped back in the car and screeched out of there.

I called Dearly Beloved.  Son-in-law had been sending him excellent videos of the races, he told me. . . “But I’m sure watching the videos is nothing like actually being there.”   

Yup.  Nothing like it at all.  I didn’t say so, though.  He didn’t offer me a penny for my thoughts.

All Systems Down

Because our kids and their families live in different states, communicating with them isn’t simple.  We aren’t big fans of Skype or Facetime.  Dearly Beloved and I are scary.  I’m all neck and he’s all nostrils.

None of us answers our landline phones, since we can’t say, “Please remove us from your call list” to the automated voices inevitably at the other end. “Not In Service” calls often.  You may remember my all time favorite, Phone Scam.

For a time, e-mailing worked, but now the kids say their e-mail boxes are overflowing, so it’s become all about “Texting.”   DB embraced that right away.  He lets a picture take care of his thousand words:  a video of the dog, a photo of his new banjo.  A  sneaky shot of a sweaty me in a bandana and overalls, working in the garden, gives them an update on mom.   When his fingers do the talking, he’s a man of few words.

Last week he texted a query to our youngest daughter and as usual, received a prompt response. . . just not one he expected.

It was a text from her youngest, our soon-to-be-first-grader grandson:

Sorry she is not avalabel.

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Deliverance!

The banjo practices continue.  Dearly Beloved feels that he is improving, but adds that the purest notes that come out of that banjo are the sounds when he accidentally bumps the instrument neck against the chair arm when he’s sitting down.

Part of the problem is that it hasn’t been tuned in a month and there has been much “a-pickin’ and a-grinnin’” since then.

Yesterday he practiced in the bedroom.  Granddog Goldendoodle Ivy lay at his feet the entire time.  Our girl Scout, as usual, fled the scene after the first few notes.

Dearly Beloved is starting to take this behavior personally.  He says he’s learning a lot about his so-called “friends.”  He calls them “True” and “Fair-Weather.”

With all the rain we’re having, letting the dogs outside for anything except a potty break results in mud-wrestling, but they’re managing to keep themselves entertained inside.  Their games are a bit hard on the wood floors, but they’re fun to watch.

DB also refers to them as The Princess (Ivy) and The Street Dog (Scout.)   It’s easy to see why, even in the way they eat.  Ivy carefully chews each individual little kibble, while Scout sucks hers down with turbo power.

Our favorite game to watch is the tug of war, played with a remnant of rope left from an “indestructible” toy.   Scout puts one end of the rope in her mouth, flips over, and waits behind the sofa for Ivy.

Prissy Ivy grabs the other end of the rope and pulls, dragging Scout around the room.  Neither dog will let go of the rope.

I have some photos, but I must tell you first that the sofas in the photos are a combination of our flowery beach-house-not-on-the-beach couch which I love and our bad upholstery choice den sofa and love seat.  All will be made right when I find slipcovers for the “hotel lobby” sofa and love seat.  So, no whispering about these sofas.  We know we’re a decorating nightmare right now.  (Feel free to report us to HGTV.  We could use the inspiration.)

The wait.

The wait.

The grab.

The grab.

The tug.

The tug.

The spin.

The spin.

If The Princess wants to win this duel, all she has to do is drag Fair-Weather toward the practice in the bedroom.

“A banjo is like an artillery shell — by the time you hear it, it’s too late.”
— A Prairie Home Companion Pretty Good Joke Book

Doggone It, He’s Playing WHAT???

My Dearly Beloved is a music junkie.  When he takes a walk or does any work outside, his ears are always clogged with ear buds.  He can be standing only a few feet away, but  I am unable to get his attention, short of tackling him.   I try not to complain, since this is progress of a sort.  He used to walk around with the music of Dire Straits emanating from the pocket of his shorts.

He does have musical talent in that he can identify ‘most any song from the 50′s and 60′s and tell you who sang it and what year it was released.  He still has his shag dance moves, including the double back Suzy.  But as for making music?   Um… no.

He “whistles,” but there is not a hint of a melody there.  The man can whistle sharp and flat–on the same note.   It’s scary.

Since retiring, he has been adding to his lists of activities, determined not to be Earl in the Pickles comic strip, at least not on a daily basis.  About three weeks ago, much to my surprise, he left for the hardware store and came home with an instrument from the music store in the same shopping center.

That was right as I was packing to go to Birmingham to convene with my knitting/e-mail friends for a few days.  DB would stay here with our girl Scout, the wonder dog, who sticks to him like velcro.  He planned to practice his new instrument.

So, when I left for Alabama, he had a banjo on his knee.  104242697 - Version 2

(Why yes, Susanna,  I DID have to say that.  )

He e-mailed that things weren’t going as planned.  Whenever he played, Scout would leave the room.  The dog that accompanies him everywhere– the garage, the kitchen, the bathroom–the dog that goes to bed when he does–vanishes when he starts playing that banjo.

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The main isn’t Earl Scruggs, but I don’t find his banjo practicing nearly as bad as his whistling.   Scout apparently feels differently.  Perhaps she is banjo-phobic?  DB was truly dismayed.

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On my way back from Alabama, I stopped in Atlanta and picked up Granddog Ivy, our granddog golden doodle.  Her peeps had a lot planned in the coming weeks, so we decided that Ivy could come stay at Camp Granddad.

She and our girl Scout are real pals, romping in the yard or wrestling in the house.  They love being together–except during banjo practice.  When DB sounds the first chord, Scout leaves the room.  Ivy, however,  immediately goes and sits beside DB, watching him and listening intently to every note.

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She stays with him during his entire practice session, while Scout makes herself scarce.

It IS  strange because except for the banjo music, the two are inseparable.  Really.  Inseparable.

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This morning, DB said that for the first time, Scout stayed in the room during his practice. He was delighted to play for both dogs.

“Do you think I’m playing better?” he asked.

Yes, definitely. . . because you’re playing SOFTER.

At this rate of progress, I may be able to remove the earbuds from my own ears pretty soon.

What is the least often heard sentence in the English language? That would be: Say, isn’t that the banjo player’s Porsche parked outside?
- – - – - – Jackson Browne

 

Paparazzi R Us

To say that Dearly Beloved and I have minimal photography skills would be overstating our talent.

Dearly Beloved jumped into photography some years ago with a very pricey 35mm camera and additional zoom lens that allowed him to read the Do Not Leave Children Unattended sign in the shopping cart across the parking lot from the camera store.  Nevertheless, after his first attempt –36 nearly identical pictures of a cardinal– where all we could see was a red dot on a tree branch, he lost interest.  The camera, interestingly enough, broke itself in the closet and the manufacturer went out of business, so the camera and the extra lens are permanently relegated to the dark back corner of hall closet hell.

Never mind.  Now DB has an iPhone.  He’d sooner go somewhere without underwear than be without his phone, so he takes pictures with that.  (The phone, I mean.)

After I began taking pictures with my own phone, I thought it was faulty because all my pictures were pink and blurry.  Turned out that was my finger over the lens.  I also have dozens (unintended) of photos of my knees, the floor, my car dashboard.

The HBO series, Homeland, a show I’ve never seen because we don’t have HBO, has become a source of great interest to me because it’s filmed mostly in our area.  I’ve seen the Homeland trucks at the neighborhood shopping mall and other sites around town, but   most often,  I’ve seen them a couple of blocks up our own street.

At first I thought it was a one-time thing.  Their trailers fill the across-the-street parking lot of the big church on the corner and spill over onto street parking.  Besides the lovely sanctuary building, the church has a large lawn as well as a wooded natural area, and a large fitness center building.  The nearby university offers even more location possibilities.  I understand they use one of the neighborhood houses, too.

Our son is a big fan of the series and I thought perhaps some of you might be also, so I set out to capture an up-close view of the filming.  It has not gone well.   For instance. . .

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The one on the left was one of my first attempts.  I took it from inside my car on a rainy day.    That’s not a pink umbrella–it’s my pinky.  The other photo?  Why, I took that one today.  I walked up to the church and took my regular camera to prevent any pinky shots.  Technically, I succeeded, since that’s my thumb, instead.  The striped thing is my shirt.   (Feel free to click on these to enlarge.  It’s too embarrassing to post them full size.)

Walter Brennan used to sing (cue the guitars, boys) that “It Takes a Heap of Living To Make a House a Home” and I’m here to tell you (stop the music) that it takes a lot of trucks to make an episode of Homeland:  food and catering trucks, tractor-trailer trucks, rental trucks, as well as  a bunch of trailers.

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In the episode they’ve been filming recently, they turned the church fitness center building into  this:  Image 14 OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

When I took this picture today, the front grounds were full of children, kiddy pools, and sprinklers.  Either they weren’t filming out there or the Idylwood Rehabilitation center did one heck of a job, Brownie.

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DB, knowing of my interest, has often called to tell me whenever he saw trucks at the church and sometimes sent back a picture on his walks.Image 1

One day he called from the car and said, “They’re filming outside today.  I think I see Claire Danes’ blond hair.!  I’ll take a picture and send it to you and the kids.”

Without further fanfare. . . .

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Oh yeah.  Nailed it!  Are we a team or what?!

Check the trees while you’re looking.  I’ll bet there’s a cardinal in one of them.

DB Goes to MD

So yesterday, my Dearly Beloved had an appointment for a physical with his new doctor.  DB liked the doctor he had in Wilmington, so he hasn’t had one here until now.  Since we sold that house, he needed to find one locally and decided to try mine.

He came out, ready to go,  all shaved and spiffy, wearing one of his best shirts,  and … JEANS!

“You’re not going to wear jeans to the doctor!” 

“I certainly am.  These bluejeans are comfortable, they’re clean, and besides, I’m going to take them off as soon as I get there anyway.”

The man didn’t wear jeans for years.  I don’t even think he wore them in high school.  He claims they were too tight on his thighs because of playing so much football.  Years later,  our daughters started giving him jeans for his birthday or special occasions in an attempt to make dad cooler.

They’re fine around the house.  They’re fine going to the hardware store or the soda shop. But when he’s going for an appointment, I wish he’d wear some of those pants taking up space his closet.   What’s he saving them for, anyhow?

An hour later, he called from the car to give me the doctor’s report.

“They wouldn’t examine me.”

“WHAT?  Why didn’t you have an examination?”

“The nurse said to tell you that it wasn’t because of the bluejeans.  It was because my underwear had a hole in it.”

He’s lying, of course.  The nurse DID say that, but only because he told her that I hadn’t wanted him to wear jeans.  (“Bluejeans,” as he insists on calling them.)  But he did keep his pants on.  It turns out this appointment was just to go over lab reports; his physical isn’t until October.

They got along quite well.  The nurse asked him the usual general health questions… did he smoke… when was the last time he was hospitalized, etc.

“I just answered all those questions on the forms they gave me to fill out in the waiting room,” he said.

“Oh, nobody reads that stuff,” she told him.  “I need to write it on your chart here.”

“Well, then why did I fill out all those forms?” 

“That’s to get your blood pressure up.”

I suppose the underwear comment was meant to raise mine.

-   –  -  -  -

eaten_something

My doctor gave me six months to live, but when I couldn’t pay the bill he gave me six months more.
Walter Matthau

Ripples

Already my new gardener (aka My Dearly Beloved)  has the lawn looking lush and lovely, even though he only began his job a couple of months ago.  Every day he is out here, looking for a reason to crank up one of his new power tools.

Our neighbors are placing bets as to what he’ll find to cut down next.  Here’s what came down last week:

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That was a holly tree, cut down with my blessings.  The power company butchered it at 3 AM one winter morning after a windstorm blew knocked out power here.

He mimics me in exaggerated gestures for the neighbors: left hand on hip, right arm raised and index finger firing around the yard with laser-like precision (think NCIS opening scene) to show how I’m always pointing out things that need to be done.  As there is some truth to his routine, I’d even considered leaving DB and his chain saw unsupervised–until he removed enough of the softly drooping branches of our specimen Japanese Maple to change it into a palm tree.

Except for that mishap, he has every right to be proud of his efforts.

When DB answered the doorbell one early evening recently, the stranger standing there identified himself as the builder of the condo project on the other side of the block.  In front of our house, an anxious looking man in a bright green shirt waited anxiously by a huge truck which was almost as long as our lot is wide.  The truck held a supply of building materials and would require backing into the small residential driveway of the property for delivery.   The driver was afraid there might be some damage to our yard in making that sharp turn and the builder wanted to assure us that he had his landscaper on call to come and repair it.

Our street is narrow and definitely not suited for commercial traffic, specially not anything this large.  See the driveway between the two end flags?  That’s where the truck is heading.

Pardon the glare--I took it from inside the house.

Pardon the glare–I took it from inside the house.

DB went outside and introduced himself to the driver, who shook his hand and said he was Jurr.

“What?”  DB asked. The guy repeated it several times.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jurr.

Finally DB got it.  “Oh. . . JERRY!”  

They had a good laugh and chatted awhile.  DB said, “The lawn can be repaired.  Just  curve w-a-y into the yard so you won’t hit my stone wall.”  

He pointed out the sprinkler heads, then stood and watched as Jerry backed the huge trailer into the small space.  The truck did indeed jump the curb onto our lawn, but Jurr was able to miss the stone wall by a foot or two.  DB came into the house to tell me, “That guy is a heck of a driver.  That was the best maneuvering I’ve ever seen.”  

The lawn did have some deep trenches, but nothing that couldn’t be repaired.    DB said he’d fix the damage himself.

He was surprised when the phone rang early the next morning and the caller said he was the manager of the trucking company which had delivered the building materials the evening before.  DB quickly jumped in, saying, “I’m so glad you called because I want to tell you that Jurr is the best driver I’ve ever seen.  You’re lucky to have him.”

The man agreed, adding that Jerry indeed was their best driver and he got the toughest assignments, so consequently he got the most abuse.  A couple of days before he had knocked down two fence posts on someone’s property on one of those turns.  Even though they put them back up immediately,  the owner berated Jerry at length, then called the company to rage at several of the staff there.

The man continued, “When Jerry came in this morning, he was beaming.  He told me, I ran into the nicest guy in the world yesterday.  You’ve got to call and thank him.  He made my day.’

“That’s why I’m calling, Mr. Lee.  To thank you and to let you know that you not only made Jerry’s day, you’ve now made my day, too.”

The funny thing is, that call made Dearly Beloved’s day and since I was hearing the conversation, it made my day, too.

Later, the builder came over to give DB a gift card to Home Depot.

I’ve thought about that incident often.  DB didn’t invite the guy in for supper or rush out with cookies.  He simply allowed the man to do the job he had to do without giving him grief about it.   I’m glad I witnessed the event.

The fence post owner may have gotten some satisfaction in throwing a tirade, but I’ll take my husband’s handling of the situation any day.  His behavior subsequently caused ripples of kindness.  One day our grandsons may read this to learn how their granddad behaved.

I don’t think they’ll be surprised.

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. ~Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns.  ~Author Unknown

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.
- Scott Adams

PS.  The gift certificate was nice, but I don’t think it’s ample enough to buy the next piece of power equipment DB is going to need.  Just how much IS a stump grinder?

Calendar Girl

Occasionally, someone will ask if my Dearly Beloved minds that I write about his… um…. missteps.  HAH!

Believe me, his ego remains unaffected.  In fact, he feels that he’s given me plenty of material for additional gems I’ve never written–a mistake on my part, since he considers the ones about him to be my best.   Without him, it’s all squirrels.

My ego not being as intact as his, I’d have to leave the country if he took up blogging.  He’d have to learn to type faster.   For the past week or so, I may have blown any previous record for screw-ups.

I baked cookies and cut up fruit last week when it was my turn to provide refreshments for our library Book Club Meeting.  Since I reside in the State of Panic, I was running late, so DB helped me load the car.

He helped me unload it when I came home 20 minutes later.  I’d been a week early. The meeting wasn’t until this week.

When I brought in our Sunday paper and discovered it didn’t have the comics, Parade, or ads in it, I called the Circulation Department to request a complete paper.  The automated voice informed me, “Today is Saturday, April 13.”   Oh.

On the day of my doctor’s appointment, having not received their usual confirmation call, I phoned them.  Even though I had the appointment slip in hand, I was convinced I’d done something wrong when they said they had no record of an appointment and put me on hold.  I  had plenty of time for mental self-flagellation while I waited.   Was it only my appointment that was missing or was I a goner, too?

Eventually, someone picked up to inform me that their new computer system had lost practically everyone’s appointment and it was a madhouse there.  Could I come next month?

Sure.  Just remind me.

My friend Martha and I had planned for a month to attend a gardening seminar to hear a speaker we both enjoy.  We had spoken and e-mailed about how much we were looking forward to it.  I had my computer calendar send me two reminders.  Nevertheless, Monday night I received an e-mail from Martha asking, “Are you okay?  Where were you?  The program was delightful.”

I shrieked.  I thought the program was Tuesday.

Martha reminded me that had DB and I bought the house next door to them (for sale when we moved back to Charlotte) this wouldn’t have happened.  “We could take care of each other,”  she told me.

We made a date for lunch the next day–so I wouldn’t have time to forget.  When DB asked what time I was meeting Martha, I couldn’t remember if we’d set a time. I  said I’d call her, but I checked my e-mails first, in case she’d written.  She had; she was canceling lunch.

She’d forgotten that one of the suburban herb guilds was coming to tour her garden at 10AM.

Yep, we should have bought that house.

- – - – - – - – - – - – - – - – -

“All the girls feared their Father less than they did their Mother, because she sometimes remembered things and he did not. Lord Brightlingsea was swept through life on a steady amnesiac flow.” 
― Edith WhartonThe Buccaneers

“Why can we remember the tiniest detail that has happened to us, and not remember how many times we have told it to the same person.” -François de la Rochefoucauld

The Life of “I”

Dearly Beloved and I didn’t go to many movies last year.  We’ve seen too many that were  too loud, too soft, too long, too violent, too foul-mouthed, too stupid, not to mention too expensive.  Or maybe it was that we were too lazy.  Our interest began to wane shortly after we swore off movie popcorn because it was so bad for us.

We haven’t jumped on the Red Box bandwagon either.  It’s fine if you know what you want, but it’s not a way to browse, is there?  I can’t even buy a can of tomatoes without reading the cans, so I can’t choose a movie based on the title alone.

Tuesday, I rented Flight and Skyfall from our library and congratulated myself on getting two movies we wanted to see for less than the price of a movie ticket.  While I was out, I ran by the plant nursery and selected a flat of snapdragons and several spring and summer perennials.

Had DB not been interested in seeing them, too, I’d have simply watched them on my laptop, but he wanted to see them on his fancy HD+ TV, so he brought our old DVD player in from the bedroom and hooked it up in the den.

About 15 minutes into the first one, the screen suddenly went blank.  No sound, no picture… just grey screen.  We put in the second movie.  Nothing.

I think,” DB informed me as he fiddled with a fistful of remote controls, “that it is probably the player. It has died of old age.”

I assumed that we’d watch them on the laptop at that point, but DB had a different solution:  “We need  a new DVD player.”

At this point, I should probably mention that the man has been sick with a stomach flu–again– for almost a week now.  He has really felt rotten.  That made me the designated shopper.

I headed over to Best Buy, which is in one of those parking garage kind of malls with a Best Buy and Trader Joe’s on the same parking level.  At any given time, there are so many cars trolling for a parking space that there is no such thing as an empty spot.  One waits until she spots a shopper leaving the store and tries to be in the right place at the right time to snag the shopper’s parking space.  When the thin mom with the pony tail, a baby in a car seat, and a cart full of environmentally correct bags headed toward the aisle I was on, I guessed “black SUV” and stopped just short of it, flipping on my turn signal so that the trollers behind me would go around.   I’d guessed right.  I listened to my book on CD while she loaded her baby and her groceries into the SUV, pushed her cart to the side, got behind the wheel and maneuvered her vehicle out of the tight,  perpendicular parking place amid all the circling vulture cars.

DB had suggested Best Buy because they were apt to have knowledgeable sales persons  to assist me.  I think they were at lunch.  The very nice young man who assisted me said that he knew nothing about them.  I selected one that was the same brand as our TV.

Much to the disappointment of the drivers lusting for my space, I put the DVD player box into the car and walked up to Trader Joe’s at the other end of the parking level, figuring that I might as well take full advantage of my parking space.  I returned home with three bags of groceries and a DVD player.

DB opened the box and assembled his toys, only to find that the required HDM1 connector was not included and had to be purchased separately.  This time I headed to Target, which is across the street from the Trader Joe/Best Buy mall.

Since I don’t go to Target very often, I might as well stock up on some pharmacy and laundry items while I was there, I figured.  I left with the connector cord and two bags of purchases.

When I returned the movies to the library so that I wouldn’t have overdue fines,  I ran by Walgreen’s to drop off a couple of prescription renewals, then ran into EarthFare because it was giving away free Irish Vintage Cheddar with a small purchase.  What the heck, since I was already in the neighborhood?!  While there,  I bought an corned beef brisket, a couple of crab cakes, and three bags of groceries.

I saw on Wowbrary that my library has ordered Life of Pi, another movie we want to see.  I put it on hold.  Why not?  We have a giant box of Boy Scout popcorn we need to eat.

Look at how much we’re saving!