10/10/16 Chronicles

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  Monday 10/3/16

I was up until 5 am, but I had to set my alarm for 10 so I could call the dry cleaners and have them come pick up David's suits.  Unfortunately, some telemarketer called me and woke me up about 9:45. I've been getting a lot of this one type of call. A recorded woman's voice comes on and says, "Hi. This is Julia. Congratulations. Your business is entitled to a loan of..." and then I usually hang up. So annoying. It's always from some different number or city. I just figured out how to add numbers to my block call list (it should be a lot easier than typing in the number, ugh). I added 15 numbers to it. These are just the spam calls I got in the past month. My phone is on the Do Not Call list! It doesn't seem to matter...

Anyway, I was awake after that, so I phoned Magnolia Cleaners. Their pickup guy, who's so nice, came over right away and picked up our large bag of clothes.  Then I was up for awhile. I had breakfast (leftover pizza!) and brought in my mail and the latest packages.

My brother sent me a package. He lives in Mexico now and had picked up some things he saw there. One was a wooden flute, which is really cool-looking.

 I also got a nice framed print that I ordered - from a painting by our friend Sue Dawe, a great artist. Most of her stuff is fantasy stuff, like wizards, dragons, etc. but I wanted something mundane, so I found this great horse painting she did. It's blue, so it fits well in our bathroom.  It's a lot bigger than I thought, so I put it in the inner bathroom part and moved a smaller framed photo I had in there out to another area. It seems like I'm always moving things around!

I had bought a bird feeder because the previous house owners left us a big can of bird seed, so I put that out in the yard. We'll see if it attracts any birds!

My phone didn't charge. Apparently there's something wrong, either with the outlet near the bed, or the cord, or something...

I got a few other odds and ends...some snacks I ordered, and a new alarm clock. It's a cool red retro clock. David needed a backup clock. I got a big frame for this old thing I had. It's actually a magazine ad from the early 60's for the 1962 world's fair. It was previously on cardboard and wrapped in plastic, so I used to just put it up on the wall that way, but it was all bent now from being in storage, so I took it out of the cardboard and put it in the frame.  It looks much nicer.

I had ordered some flowers for our get-together on Saturday, but some of them came today! I hope I can keep them alive until then. I didn't think they would come quite this early.

Eventually, I got tired, so I went back to sleep until about 4.  I took a shower and was sick a little bit (off and on all day from the usual gluten stuff). Later, I got another package...

We got the new kitchen stools to replace the ones that were way too high. Those were 31 inches and these are 24 inches, so they fit better.

I had some more food and got dressed. David came home around 6:30.  We had to go back to the university for this charity event. People bought battery-operated candles and put them in paper bags, then they wrote "in memory of.." and the person's name they know that died of cancer, or they put "In honor of..." and put the name of the person who had cancer but didn't die. They placed them in a circle around the outdoor fountain. They also had a giant pink ribbon hung on the building. They made some short speeches and prayers, and then when it got dark, they lit up the pink ribbon. It was pretty neat.

I got to speak with some of the faculty and other people. Very nice. I don't know too many people who died of cancer, as far as I know. I have an aunt and uncle who died of it, but I didn't know them very well. We have friends and family members that have had cancer but beat it. It's not nearly the death sentence that it used to be. Thank goodness! 

They originally did this event for one of the business professor's wives who had cancer, but it's evolved over the years, I guess. Each year, the money from the candles gets donated to a cancer charity. 

I'm still trying to catch up on all the work stuff, plus going through boxes from the garage... I always have way too much to do, and not enough time to do it.

I went to bed about 4am. Still too late!

  Tuesday 10/4/16

I woke up around 12:30... Brianna and her sister are coming over at 2 to do the weeding and plant some more flowers.

I got a few packages. Not too many now, and not too large, thank goodness. No more new furniture for a while. I got a large blue vase for the master bathroom to hold the blue orchids. Mainly I got it to hide a flaw/stain/whatever on the bathroom mirror. It's a beautiful vase, though, from Brazil.

I've just been working on my site otherwise...

Things have been so crazy and busy!

The yard looks really nice now...we have lots of flowers! I took two of the ones they brought and put them in the window sill in the guest bedroom, which you can see from the front of the house.

I got a lot of stuff done today. We have been slowly unpacking boxes in the garage. David found his old baseball stuff, and it's in our bedroom, so I put that into some nice decorative boxes I had, to get rid of the ugly cardboard ones. I did the dishes and laundry, and I went through a lot of boxes and also broke down a lot for next Monday's trash. I just did a ton of stuff.

I did a stir fry for dinner of veggies and hamburger with BBQ sauce. I use Guy's Award Winning Sugar Free BBQ Sauce, Smokey Garlic, 18 Oz  from Amazon. It's also gluten free. It's very yummy.

  Wednesday 10/5/16

Magnolia Cleaners brought our stuff back, so that was good. It's hot today, which it hasn't been lately.

I had ordered a half dozen of pink roses on Amazon (fairly cheap), and they arrived today. They're pretty and smell beautiful, but they're yellow with a little purple around the edges. Whoops!

I soaked the blue orchids today as the package instructed. I hope they look okay still by Saturday. They are drooping.

I got a big ficus plant for our entryway. It's actually a fake one, but it looks nice, anyway. I knew that if we put a real one there, it would not only be really expensive to buy one that large, but it would just get smacked all the time with the door.

I had bought this print on canvas that arrived today, but it's not at all what I expected. For one thing, it's much smaller than I thought it would be. Secondly, it's fuzzy, not defined, so it's useless. It's a world map. That would make a nice handbag or something, but not a wall print.

I really didn't want to cook today, so I ordered Domino's Pizza for dinner. They have pretty good gluten free pizza. I was going to try Pizza Hut's gluten free pizza, but their website is very confusing, so I just gave up and ordered Domino's again.  Not that I should be eating pizza. I feel very fat.

I spent some time going through more boxes in the garage, bringing some in etc.  That was exhausting!

There's a shelf running across the whole sunroom, near the ceiling, so David helped me put up a lot of our collectible mugs up there. I think they look nice!

This website was down for a long time today. Not sure why. I think it was some domain name thing. Fortunately it's working now. That was very aggravating. I couldn't get in touch with my webhost for a long time because he was traveling.

Every day I check the plants and their soil to make sure they're not too dry. I haven't killed any lately! Yay! They look great.

I'm going back to college to get a second Bachelor's degree. I figure if I get a Mass Media degree (that's what they call a Journalism degree nowadays), I can learn some things that I need for my website, such as marketing and PR, digital photography etc. Also, they might be able to give me some pointers on how to get published in a real newspaper and how to get into the TCA, which is something I've been wanting to do for a while. I got rejected by them twice. They only take a few new members online per year, and they don't tell you why you're rejected.  So all of this should make me more of a journalist in the eyes of the TV networks and publicists, so I might get more interviews for my site.  I already have a B.A. in Liberal Arts, which doesn't impress anyone! LOL! Hopefully I won't have to take too many classes over again. I hope to start in the Spring, but we'll see. I had emailed the Admissions Office over a month ago with questions, but I never heard back. I phoned them today and they forwarded me to the advising office.

I spent a good portion of my evening going online to get copies of my transcripts. It was very annoying. Even though they say that you can order them online, it doesn't work very well. I went to 7 colleges, and I was only able to get ONE to work right. 4 of them are in California, which has a stupid privacy law that requires that you print out and mail in a form allowing them to send your transcript (on top of the actual transcript request, which you can do online). What is the point of doing it online if you still have to print something out and mail it in? So stupid!!  The link on ISU's website for the transcript service didn't work, so I emailed them about that. Both UCR and Stony Brook require you to login to the school's site with your school ID and password, in order to get transcripts. Problem with that is that it was over 20 years ago! We didn't have any online anything back then. If I had a student ID, I sure don't remember it, and we never had a password. So that's just stupid.  I just went ahead and printed out the applications to send in.

Tomorrow I'll try filling out the application for SAU again and see if I can remember what problems I had, and call them if I can't get it all to work. My memory sucks, so I hope I can still be a student at my age.

I couldn't sleep and stayed up until after 6am.

  Thursday 10/6/16

I got up around 1pm and had pizza for breakfast! No wonder I'm so fat.

The company that sent me the yellow roses said they're sending me pink ones by Saturday, so we'll see how that goes. The blue ones are pretty saggy.

I had ordered a plumeria plant, so I got that today. No flowers on it, but it's pretty big. I hope it does well! I love plumeria. They smell so nice.

I watered the outdoor plants; it's been very hot and dry, so some of them are suffering. I also watered the hanging plant I bought in the back. I decided to look for the house spout, which no one else could find, and I have to say, it was pretty easy to find! It's right next to the air conditioning unit. I guess they were looking for it in the front. I have a hose, so I'll use that from now on to water the plants. I've been using a big water bottle, running back and forth. That's good exercise, but otherwise, not very fun.

After I did some work on my site and took a shower, I got ready. SAU's president, Trey, and his wife Katherine, picked us up, and we drove over to the country club. They are really nice people. We had a great time. Their friends Todd and Joanna have club memberships, so they met us there, and we all had dinner. More very nice people. We had a great time, and the food was very good. I just had a salad, but it was good. I was starving at that point. I've just been eating leftover pizza at home.

We went to the SAU production of "Our Town" on the campus. It was really good. I didn't expect it to be great, because it's such an old play, but it was. The students did a nice job with it. I got to meet the professors in charge, too, who seemed nice. The theater was freezing, though. I wore a long sleeved shirt and long pants, but I was still very cold. I even went outside during the intermission, and that did help a little. It was a very nice night.

After that, I just worked on getting the house ready for the house cleaning tomorrow. I had about 5 boxes to go through that I'd drug in from the garage. I still can't find these little plates that go on the wall hanging thing. Ah, well. I did find a box of Christmas decorations! I thought I'd had all of those in Hawaii, but I guess I missed one.

I'm very tired and going to try to go to sleep a little earlier than usual...around 3am. Hopefully I won't be too tired tomorrow when I get up at 8 am!

  Friday 10/7/16

It was more like 4am when I got to bed. Somehow I still managed to wake up around 8am. I got up and started moving more knick knacks and things out of the way for the cleaning lady. I had just enough time to do all of that, and eat some breakfast, before she showed up at around 9:10.

I felt bad for her because her sister died last night, but she wanted to focus on cleaning in order to help her out in her grief. She had to drive an hour and 15 minutes to get here, so it's not like she was going to leave at that point, anyway.  She's such a nice lady, and has so much energy and kindness.

She was here until about 3pm. It's a big house, and she does a very thorough job. I did a lot of work on my site, but I was very sleepy and even took a short nap while she was here. I also helped her move some furniture, and I put back some of the knick knacks and other things as she finished various parts of the house.

After she left, I had a little food, and then I went back to sleep for about two hours.  David brought home McDonald's for dinner. We were both too tired to go out, anyway. I've just been putting stuff back where it belongs, doing laundry, working more on my site, etc. I had to iron the table cloth, and rewrite the grocery list for tomorrow, and put the orchids in fresh water. So many things to remember! The house looks great, though.

We watched some TV. I'm fading fast. I think I'm just going to eat a little bit more (to take with my pills) and then go to sleep pretty early for a change (before midnight!).

I'm so glad that the house is finally in nice shape and looking good, and we can have some people over. The ones tomorrow night are our first guests, but they're more or less a trial run. Next time we may have about 10 people over. The food this weekend will be a lot easier, too.

The plan tomorrow is to go over to Wal-Mart at 9 and get my hair cut, and then buy groceries, including more plants. Then we'll probably have lunch. I'll be using my ice cream maker to make ice cream, and I'll start on the food a little bit early, to have everything ready. We're going to have chips and salsa, plus some guacamole, and some other little crackers etc. And then fajitas for dinner, and ice cream for dessert. We'll see how it all goes!

I went to bed around 11 but couldn't sleep very long. I woke up in pain (probably from moving boxes around), so I watched TV for awhile before trying again. I was up until about 4am.

  Saturday 10/8/16

I woke up around 8 am. I did some work on my site and put my blue orchids in water to soak (you put orchids in water for 4 hours and they can revive a bit). The plan was to put them in the tall blue vase in the bathroom, to block some weird spots we can't get out of the mirror, but it didn't work because the orchids sank and drooped too much. So I put the dried eucalyptus leaves in there instead and that worked fine. I put the orchids back in a glass vase and put them on the windowsill in the dining room.

David took me over to Wal-Mart and dropped me off. First I got breakfast at Subway. I asked them to put the bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on just paper instead of bread. I could tell the guy thought it was weird, but he agreed to do it. I tried it once before on flatbread, but the cheese just stuck to the flatbread, and it didn't taste too good. This time it was way better.

Then I went to the salon to get my hair cut. I had to wait about 10 minutes while the woman finished cutting a guy's hair. There was a cute little girl there who was brought in my by her grandmother. She was so adorable and had a lot of energy. They wanted her to sit and wait in the chair, but she wasn't really able to do that. Later, while I was getting my hair cut, two other little kids came in with their dad. They were pretty fidgety, too.  The woman did a good job with my hair, but when I went to pay with my credit card, I somehow missed the part where it says to tip her, so I told her I would have to come back with the tip.  Then I went over to the ATM machine, but it was out of order, so I had to text David to make sure to bring cash when he picked me up, and then I had to go back to the salon to explain to her that it would be a little while.  I told her that I didn't want her to think that I'd forgotten about her!

I did the grocery shopping. Besides the regular shopping, I got some more plants, and some new plates, flatware and wine glasses. We only had some really cheap plates, and none of our flatware matched, and we had no wine glasses. I also had to pick up some other much-needed stuff. It was a lot more than usual, so the total was a lot. I filled that basket! LOL!

David went to another grocery store while I was at that one. He was getting different things.

I sat in the Subway with my soda and waited, then David arrived and gave me the tip for the hairstylist. I gave it to her while he took the groceries out to the car.

I was very tired after that but didn't have time to take a nap.  I had a few minutes resting here and there, but otherwise, I had to put away the groceries and start the food. I did a little bit of work on my site, too.

It seemed like everything kept going wrong. The ice cream recipe called for vanilla bean, but neither store had that. I just used regular vanilla instead. I cut up onions, green peppers, red peppers and orange peppers, and steak and chicken. I marinated the meat in the fridge.  Then I made the ice cream. I forgot that there was a middle part to the ice cream maker that stirs it. It's been a really long time since I used the ice cream maker.  Then it didn't seem to get as thick as it should.  In the end, it did turn out fine, but I was worried that it would be too soft.

I also had to do a little bit of picking up things around the house. David had a nap and then helped me with the food and cleaning a little. I swept the front porch, and he swept the back, and he cleaned the bird stuff off the windows. I was supposed to get pink flowers, but they never arrived. I had to improvise a bit on things.  David set the table for me. We got it done. I cooked up the veggies, steak, and chicken, and then I set it in the oven, as well as the tortillas, on a low temperature. 

The night went really well, despite the mishaps. I only have two regrets. First, that I wasn't able to clean up the kitchen a little better before our company arrived. It was a mess.  Secondly, after we ate, I didn't put the meat away, so I had to throw it out.  But otherwise, everything else went great.

Our friends arrived; they are professors who work with David and live nearby. They had us over a few months back, so we're returning the favor. They're very nice people, and we enjoy talking to them. They have two great dogs, too.

For appetizers, which we had in the living room, I put out gourmet crackers and some sliced cheese, and tortilla chips with 3 dips - salsa, queso and homemade guacamole, and also some Old Dominion Burnt Sugar Pecans, which are yummy.  Then for dinner, in the dining room, we had fajitas. I made both steak and chicken, and had both flour and corn tortillas, with all the fixings. I've made fajitas many times, but I used the recipe from food.comFajitas Recipe Then for dessert, in our sunroom, I used my Cuisinart ice cream maker to make Decadent Chocolate Ice Cream. I served it with a Swedish cookie and had toppings they could use if they wanted, like chocolate syrup, sprinkles, sliced strawberries, and whipped cream.

I was so busy enjoying myself, that I didn't take too many photos of the evening, but you can see a few on my Instagram

I had a lot of wine, and I was very tired. Around dessert time, I started falling asleep, but then I woke up after a little while. I had a really good night's sleep after that, too. Our company was here from about 6 to 11, so that was a good night. I think I went to bed around 1am.

  Sunday 10/9/16

I slept in pretty late, so I had lots of sleep. I even went back to sleep again later on.

I mostly worked on my site. We just had McDonald's for dinner, I think. We were both pretty tired.

We watched a lot of TV, too, and then I ended up staying up again all night.

I finally did clean up the kitchen late tonight and start the dishes. I think it will take me a few days to run all those dishes.

I kind of feel like I lost a day due to sleeping so much.

Have a great week! Tomorrow is Columbus Day as well as Canadian Thanksgiving.

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