How $7 a Month Saves Me Money

I confess, I watch a lot of shopping television. All sorts of channels, HSN, QVC, ValueVision ShopNBC ShopHQ, even JTV (Jewelry Television). And I buy a lot of stuff—because this one thing is going to make my life better, easier, more productive, whatever. (Well, maybe not the JTV stuff, but it’s so pretty and sparkly!) Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don’t.

In these trying times, having something delivered to your door is better than going out to shop in a store. Plus, in my case, I don’t have to lug whatever it is up 3½ flights of stairs—IF the delivery person isn’t lazy and leaves the package by the mailboxes. The downside is you’re tempted to buy something you hadn’t planned on buying.

A few years ago I bought a Fire TV Cube but never hooked it up. Yes, it was one of those unplanned purchases from HSN. But, in my defense, I have a dumb tv, and the Cube would make it smarter. Plus, it was 1/3 the price of what it now sells for on Amazon.

Given my new-found interest in the Marvel universe, I decided it was time to look into Disney+. I’d paid money to rent several movies, and even bought Avengers: Endgame because it’s not available for rent. When I discovered Disney+ was available through Amazon devices, I thought “I have one of those!”

So, I hooked up the Fire TV Cube, having first unhooked the DVD player (which I haven’t used in ages) because my 2008* dumb TV has only 2 HDMI ports. I’ve now been watching Disney+ nearly non-stop.

Artwork of The Mandalorian and IG-11

The first thing I watched was the live action version of Lady and the Tramp. It wasn’t too bad. The original, animated Lady and the Tramp is among my top 15 favorite movies, and it was the one movie I’d wanted to see ever since Disney+ launched. (The animated version is also available to stream, although I do have it on DVD. Oh wait, I disconnected my player.)

The second thing I watched? The Mandalorian. Although I saw the original Star Wars the theater—three times!—and read the book, and bought the soundtrack, I haven’t been a rabid fan of any of the sequels, or prequels. The first movie (NOT Episode 1) was advertised as Star Wars, NOT Star Wars: Episode 4 – A New Hope. Nor did it contain the two scenes of special effects that George Lucas added when The Empire Strikes Back came out. (Sadly, that version isn’t available any more and I much prefer it to what the movie is now.)

Nonetheless, having watched the Disney Gallery, which focused on The Mandalorian behind-the-scenes stuff, I now have not only the Marvel universe to explore, but also the Star Wars universe, So, yay! More time to waste save money by not watching the shopping channels.

Incidentally, The Mandalorian is terrific. I especially love the artwork featured in the end credits and the music. I may have to buy that soundtrack as well. My only complaint is that I wish Werner Herzog had been nominated for the Emmy (Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Drama Series) instead of (or at least in addition to) Giancarlo Esposito. Not that I don’t enjoy me some Giancarlo Esposito, I just thought Herzog gave the better, more ominous performance.

*As for the TV, I know it’s a 2008 model because I bought it specifically to watch the much-anticipated season 4 premiere of Supernatural, “Lazarus Rising.” Hmm. It’s been 12 years, a myriad of improvements, and drastic price reductions since then. I think it’s time for a new television. I wonder what the shopping channels have to offer…

The Real Tear-Jerker

In cleaning up my blog tags, came across the tag “Agents of SHIELD.” Interestingly, I recently binge-watched the entire series from the beginning. This time I added viewing the pertinent Marvel movie at the appropriate time to see if it would add any insight. It did, but mostly in reference to mentions of “Barton and Romanoff,” “Pym particles,” and “the Sokovia Accord.” Not necessarily essential, but interesting.

The movies I watched included Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War (my favorite). Somewhere along the way I also watched Thor: The Dark World, Ant-Man, and fast-forwarded through much of Thor: Ragnarok (because it was awful).

I finished the movies with the Avengers duo of Infinity War and Endgame, (Boy, were they depressing.)

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One Year Later…

… and my heart still aches.

Romeo in his favorite spot—my lap.

After fracturing and dislocating my left ankle and needing surgery—less than six weeks after fracturing my right leg—I had a choice for follow-on care upon leaving the hospital. Everyone recommended I go to rehab (i.e., a nursing home), but I chose to return home rather than go into rehab. My reasoning was simple. Romeo.

I adopted Romeo from the shelter when he was 12. A few years later he developed diabetes and had done well with insulin and a special diet. But the people who volunteered to take care of him while I was in the hospital were uncomfortable giving him his insulin. One neighbor said he hadn’t eaten any of the food she’d put out for him. So I was worried.

After a very scary trek up 3½ flights of stairs in a chair, the EMTs settled me on my sofa and set up my hospital-issued items. Romeo came out greet me, but he was listless. Aware that he hadn’t eaten, I tried giving him some of his favorite treats, but he didn’t eat them at all. Thus, I knew he was on his last legs.

During the night, he came into my bedroom (where his favorite water dish was) but didn’t get into bed with me. In the morning I called my vet for the name of an in-home veterinary service, then made an appointment to have him euthanized. Lap of Love was able to schedule us for early afternoon. “Dr. Danielle,” the vet who took care of us was absolutely wonderful. I’d told her the door was unlocked, to just come in and I’d guide her (by voice) to the bedroom. As she walked down the hall, she first saw Romeo and gushed about how beautiful he was. Then she turned the corner and saw me and my big-ass cast, and bemoaned my sorry state. But she was lovely and caring, talking me through the procedure, letting me know he was no longer in pain, and treated him with the utmost respect and tender loving care.

She thought I’d had 17 great years with Romeo. When I told her I’d only had him for 5 years, she was even more impressed. She said I’d saved him twice, once from the shelter, and again when he contracted diabetes. (Apparently some pet owners won’t deal with such a disease; thankfully no one I know!)

Romeo’s death added to a very low point in my life, making life nearly unbearable. In retrospect, he had begun to fail a couple months prior. He’d developed neuropathy, I just hadn’t recognized it. And I’m not sure how I’d have taken care of him since I could barely take care of myself.

But I loved him and I’m grateful I never took his love for granted, telling him several times how happy I was that he’d chosen to live with me.

Romeo's spot on the sofa.

A Tale of Two Ankles

Note:  I’ve had the best intentions of finishing the cliffhanger post, but every time I come to the blog, I get sidetracked with the design… as you can see.

So… the right leg healed reasonably well.  I became officially bootless on July 24th or thereabouts—at least toward the end of July.  (Can’t remember the day of the week I went to the doc.)  The ankle was still a bit sore as it turns out the break wasn’t completely healed.  But I was cleared for shoes, albeit with ankle support of some kind, and warned not to go on any day hikes or such.

My car started up fine after 6 weeks of sitting idle.  (Subarus may not be sexy, but they sure are reliable!)  And life got back to normalcy, except for a bit of digestive problems I was having.

On Tuesday, August 6, I went to the 7-11 in the afternoon to pick up some milk (because I was out) and chicken noodle soup (for my digestive distress).  While waiting in line (the guy in front of me was taking forever, what with talking on his phone and trying to get just the right kind of “cigarillo” [or whatever those cigar-colored cigarettes are called]) I became dizzy.

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I Am Officially Old

It didn’t happen when I retired. It didn’t happen when I started getting Social Security. It didn’t happen when I started Medicare. Nope.

It happened when I fell.. and couldn’t get up.

In my defense, I had been drinking wine. In fact, I was on my way to the kitchen to refill my glass when I slipped. So yes, I was somewhat inebriated. Hey! It was Friday night and I was celebrating my successful endoscopy/colonoscopy earlier in the week.

It was a strange feeling, not being able to pull myself up. I couldn’t believe that all of a sudden I was that old. A chair was nearby so I tried pulling myself up, but I couldn’t get my legs underneath me. So I got on my knees and tried pushing up that way.

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I Haz Pikturz!

Here ya’ go!  I downloaded Paint Shop Pro 2019 this weekend.  I went with the full version vice the upgrade since 1) the old PSP isn’t on this computer and 2) it wasn’t much more expensive.  And it’s still cheaper than Photoshop Elements.  Maybe Ps Elements is better, but I have years of experience with PSP.  Not so much with Ps, even less with Ps Elements.

Romeo doesn't care for his namesake mitts.
A hand pat and some sun. LIfe is good.

The photos were taken a couple of years ago, back when I was actively knitting and was regularly on Ravelry.  The pattern is called Mitts for Romeo—because it gets cold waiting on the balconey for your Romeo to show up. With a name like that, I had to make them!  And of course, I had to include Romeo in the picture.  He wasn’t all that excited about it.

Incidentally, I can  find only one of the mitts now.  And Michaels no longer carries (or makes, since it’s a Michaels brand) this type of yarn anymore.  Although I do believe I have an extra skein… somewhere.

All for Naught?

Remember that book I was reading with the atrocious grammar?  I finally finished it.

I’d picked the book Heroes & Ghosts, specifically because it had 535 pages (nearly twice the number of pages these types of books usually have) so that I’d need to read only one more book—and a short one at that.  After reading the book, I had read a total of 4837 pages.  Which meant I had to read only 163 more pages to finish the challenge. Yay!

Notice the use of the past tense there?  Yeah.  That’s because when I moved around the gameboard (see pic) after rolling the die, I went the wrong way.

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Well, that didn’t work

Goodreads gives you the opportunity to copy your book review to your blog. I’ve never done it before, so I decided to try it out. Basically you just copy & paste the html—and it comes out looking like crap on WordPress.

I spent quite a lot of time trying to reformat the damn review, but decided instead to just show it as it comes out. As you see (after the break) the spacing is wonky, the text size is inconsistent. And honestly, I’m too afraid to to even try one of the links.  Hell, the GR “spoiler” tag doesn’t even work here, although it dares to show itself.  What a mess!

But I’ll leave it as it is for now, because, 1) I’m lazy, and 2) I’ll likely be changing my theme soon, and it’ll all look different again. Maybe even worse.

(Incidentally, the book is about the folly that was the Crimean War, with a [literal] demonic twist.  I loved it.)

Continue reading “Well, that didn’t work”

Opps!

That’s how I spelled “oops” for many years.  I recently came across it again when reading a self-published book, and had to laugh.  The book has hundreds of errors, including my #1 pet peeve, then for than.  But in this case the author also consistently uses than for then.  And for added measure, the notorious effect when she meant affect.  It’s obvious she’s not a great grammarian because she also misused apostrophes and commas ad nauseam.  Apparently she had no beta readers.

Anyway, all that is a prologue to say that “Oops, I forgot to post on Sunday.”  As for Saturday, I didn’t forget.  I knew I missed the day.

So, three.  Three days of consecutive blog posts.  I suppose the next goal is four consecutive days.

One Down…

…Three to Go

Goodreads tells me I’ve met my reading goal for this year—or rather my personal reading goal.  Then again, I aimed low, aiming for 50 books.  AT least that’s double last year’s goal.

I can’t take all the credit, though.  It’s mainly the result of the three challenges I’ve signed up for.  Two are annual challenges, one is a bi-annual challenge.  (Goodreads also have monthly and quarterly challenges.  And probably more that I don’t know about.)

Continue reading “One Down…”