4/15/19 Chronicles



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  Monday 4/8/19

I got up pretty late, around 11:30. I was tired, hung over, ugh. After I got ready, we went to lunch at this great restaurant I found called Public House. It's the only "new" place we've visited this trip.  It has a huge "gluten-friendly" menu. I ordered three of their small portions, not realizing how big they were. They were delicious, though, and David says his sandwich was, too. The only problem was that the service was really bad. When we walked in, there were no smiles from the hostess. I started to ask a question of the guy who brought us water, but he ignored me and walked away.  Then we waited quite a while before anyone took drink orders. The waitress was nice, but everything took a long time.  The food was worth the wait, though.

I had the best brussels sprouts ever. They were delicious, kinda greasy but in a good way. They had a great dipping sauce, too. I ate most of those. I had ordered the deviled eggs. There were three halves, and then they each had a humongous thick piece of bacon on top. Those were really good. A little too rich for me, but David loved them.  And lastly, I ordered the sweet potato tots. Like tater tots. They were good and had a really good, spicy-sweet dipping sauce.  David had a chicken burger. Everything was just outstanding. I took the rest back to our room, since we had a fridge. I had the leftovers later on and they were still very good. Although, I was a BIT annoyed because I'd had 3 sprouts left, and the guy who took my food didn't keep them for me when he packed up the leftovers! Hey, dude, I paid for those things! :(

After we got back to the hotel, David had to go back to his conference. I asked for the room to be made up, and I took my laptop down to our restaurant/bar and worked while I sat there, looking out the window at the people passing by. It was a beautiful day (a little windy), and it's a beautiful view. I had some diet soda, and later on, I had a scoop of vanilla ice cream, with chocolate sauce. Yummy.

After the room was made up, I took a nap.  I woke up around 5:30. David came back a little while later. We went to the Irish pub he likes, Fadó. I wasn't all that hungry, so I just had a salad. It was a really good salad with pears, mandarin oranges and sweet pecans. We sat there for a while, but it was getting kind of loud.  We were just taking it easy, so we decided to walk around a bit before heading back to our hotel. I found a nearby restaurant that had a bakery that included GF pastries, so we went there. It was crowded, so I just took stuff to go. They had about 5 or 6 different cookies, so I just said, give me one of each! I sampled them a little later on.

We stopped at another pub, but the bartender was kind of rude. I had taken out part of a cookie, and she said that I couldn't eat it there, since they serve food. A good bartender would have left me eat it, anyway, especially since they don't have cookies, and had nothing GF.  It was not a very comfortable place, either, so we left.

We passed the Chicago Fire Department station, so I stopped briefly to take some photos of it for a friend of mine on Facebook who really loves firemen, firetrucks and firehouses. We went back to our hotel and stopped in the bar there for some drinks. I had some ice cream with chocolate sauce to go. I stayed up a bit in the room, on my laptop. David went to bed pretty early as he always does.

Today is the 29th anniversary of "Twin Peaks"! That was a great show. I never missed it. I love Kyle MacLachlan. He was so gorgeous in that show. It was a weird and sometimes funny show. Many shows have tried to copy them, but none succeeded. I tried to watch the movie, and the sequel show, but they were both too slow, weird and boring for me. The original kept just the right balance.

  Tuesday 4/9/19

I woke up at 7:30. I'd set my phone alarm. I was hoping David would wake me at 7, but he hadn't gotten out of bed yet to see my note.  It's OK because we had plenty of time. I got dressed and finished packing, for the most part. After he took a shower, we went to breakfast downstairs. I had so been looking forward to trying their GF pancakes, so I ordered them, along with some sausage. The sausage was great, but the pancakes were AWFUL! I don't know why. They tasted like someone had left out the sugar and put in too much salt or something. Yuck. Even putting maple syrup on there didn't help. Too bad. Oh, well.

We went to look for this place called Do-Rite donuts, that has GF donuts. It was a fairly short walk, so we went there, and I picked up some donuts. They had 3 or 4 different flavors. I got two chocolate ones and two "birthday cake" flavored donuts.  I had a little nibble and saved the rest for later. It's just so great to be in a city where GF pastries are right nearby, no matter where you are, it seems.

We went back to the hotel and finished packing up, and we both did some work on our laptops as well, since we had time to kill. Then we left about 10:30 for the airport, after checking out. I hate to leave! It's been a great trip.  We had a lot of fun, and there was so much good food. Back to my diet!

It's a little cooler today. I wore my hat and scarf, and a sweater. It's supposed to drop down into the 30's later and then tomorrow, stay cold, and rain. We're both glad we're missing that.

We checked in at the airport. I got TSA Pre-Check, but he didn't. He never gets it when he uses his SAU card for a trip, for some reason.  The security line wasn't long, though, so it didn't matter. We went through very quickly.

David hadn't eaten much at the hotel, so he got lunch at the Macaroni Grill. I just had a soda. I went to my favorite chocolate place there, though, Vosges, and spent way too much money on chocolate I didn't really need.

My stomach was bothering me off and on all day, but I was never sick otherwise, so that's great. I think I only had my usual problems once during the whole trip. It was probably from something I ate before we left.

We boarded our plane....and then we waited an HOUR there! That was annoying. They thought there might be some birds trapped in the fusilage, so they had to call some people in and check it out, and clean it.  Yuck. Imagine telling people you know, what you do for a living. "Oh, I clean dead birds out of airplanes." I hope that person gets paid a lot. We were both tired, at least, so we dozed while we waited. We missed our connecting flight in Dallas, but they scheduled us on a later one. Yay!

That turned out to be a good thing because the restaurants in the Dallas airport are way better than anything in Texarkana.  We had about 5 hours to kill.  We went to a different terminal so that I could go to this Mexican restaurant I like there called Cantina Laredo. I love their Enchiladas Veracruz, and they can make it GF. It's very spicy, and I always forget to ask them to make it less so! But it's delicious. I felt much better after eating. There was a Baskin Robbins nearby, so I also got a little bit of their chocolate chip ice cream. I only ate half a scoop and threw half away.  Then we went over to the International Terminal. David wanted to eat this Irish place he likes there, Tigín, but they have disappeared (they have 3 other locations, just not nearby). Fortunately for him, they were replaced with a sushi bar, Shin Sei, so he just had lunch there. I worked on my speech for my class tomorrow and got most of it done. First I had to write the speech part of it, and then I had to make up the Power Point part of it. It was pretty easy and turned out well.

Eventually, we flew to Texarkana. Our flight was uneventful and we slept through it. I used my headphones a lot on both flights, to listen to music on my iPod, and I tend to fall asleep to it. It's a small plane and a short flight.

David had been concerned about getting a cab at the Texarkana airport because it was a bit late, and we've had some problems before getting transportation there.  Also, since stay at the Rodeway Inn, there's no airport shuttle. Turns out, he was worried for nothing. We got our cab, no problem.

We were both pretty tired once we got to our room. It was after 11:30 by the time we got in. I didn't stay up too much later, either. I slept very soundly.

  Wednesday 4/10/19

I've had a lot going on, so I'm just now catching up on the blog. So busy! This morning we woke up in Texarkana at 6am. Too early! We didn't even have breakfast. Well, not really. I had some leftover GF donuts, so I had one of those. Not very healthy, but I had to eat something. The birthday cake donuts are wonderful, even better than the chocolate ones. So yummy!

We just checked out and took a Lyft over to our car at the airport.  The hotel used to sell bottled water, sodas and snacks. They used to have a free breakfast, too, but neither any more. Too bad. I was very thirsty, too.

Our Lyft driver was very interesting. He's from here, but he spent most of the past 10 years in Los Angeles, trying to be an actor. He sounds like your typical Hollywood NOT success story. So many people fail there. Sounds like he was only an extra, for the most part. He did get paid, which is great, and a lot of free food, but didn't get beyond that. He's a handsome guy, but it looks like he got older and lost his looks, for Hollywood, anyway.  He found a woman and got married, and then she went back to her ex-husband. Then when he came back here, he had a falling out with his parents, so he was homeless for a while. Sad story!! Poor guy.  A little bit TMI, but at least it was interesting.

We got our car from the airport and then we drove back home. It was kind of irritating because the sun was in our eyes the whole way, even with sunglasses and visors. When we got back, I called the vet to let them know we aren't picking up Brandy until tomorrow. I miss her, but it's cruel to bring her home, then lock her up in the bedroom for many hours (I wasn't sure when David could bring me home and it was possibly 5).

Then I set the alarm for 11:30 and went back to sleep. I really needed that sleep. I was so tired! But I kept waking up after 10:30, which was annoying. The phone rang (a spam call) around 11:15, so I just got up.

I had plenty of time to switch my stuff from my plane bag to my purse, and to my school backpack. I had to print out my speech for my class. I wanted to find an animal shirt to wear, since my speech is about PETA, but the only one I could find has a horse on it. It's the Red Pony shirt from the TV show "Longmire." I do have a blouse with little whales on it, but it really doesn't fit me any more. It really never did! I bought it in Hawaii and loved it, but it shrunk in the wash.

I made some bacon and had that for lunch, along with more donut. I made lunch for David, too.  He picked me up at 12:30 and dropped me off at Reynolds. I chatted with the ladies there at the coffee place for a little bit. I told them a little about our trip.

My class was fine... I was the only one giving a speech today. It was fine. I really didn't have much time or energy to get nervous. It went well, and the questions the other students asked were really good, too, and we had a nice discussion afterwards about PETA. You can read my speech here and see the Power Point presentation.  If you don't have Power Point, you can use this viewer.

Thankfully, David could take me home afterwards.  It's been nice to sit around, relax and catch up on my soap. While I was updating my blog, I read some of last year's blog, too. We had passed by this Indian restaurant on our trip called India House that smelled good. It was the same one we went to last year! Also, I had forgotten that the restaurant D4 had this delicious pear cider that I loved last year. Darn, I could have had it again. Major bummer. I guess I'll have to order some online...

David came back later on. It's so light out still at 7pm! I made him dinner and we watched some TV. He was tired and went to bed very early.

I stayed up way too late. I was very sick from something I ate. It just shows that no matter how many great "gluten free" restaurants you find, there is risk of cross-contamination. :( I had trouble sleeping after that.

  Thursday 4/11/19

I had to get up at 9, but I really didn't want to. I canceled my class and stayed home, but I still had to get dressed and be around in case I needed to pay the couple that mows and weeds the lawn.  David had unlocked the back gate for them when he left. I sat in my chair and went back to sleep. I woke up around 11:30. Not too long after, they rang the doorbell, so I paid them. It looks nice out there!

I kept having weird nightmares about them having other people out in the backyard who kept coming in the house, and I was yelling at them to get out. Weird dream.

My husband brought home Brandy around lunch time, and she was very excited to come home. We had a nice walk. It was so beautiful out, with many beautiful pink flowers.

After I got up and had breakfast, a little while later, I was sick again from something I ate. UGH.

Then my brother called to tell me that his wife, Laurie, passed away last night. That was so shocking and sad. I still can't wrap my head around it. She was close to my age and such a kind person, and so much fun. None of us can believe she's gone. I haven't been able to do much all day. I just sit here and watch TV or doze. It's been very emotionally and physically draining.

David and I went out to dinner to Tokyo. I just had edamame and wine. He likes sushi. I'm not a fan, and I'm allergic to the rest of the food. We mostly talked about her and times we spent with her.  We're supposed to go to Little Rock the next weekend (Easter weekend, 4/19) for David's work. He has an important meeting. I'm waiting to hear when the funeral is to see if we can work it in.

Besides watching TV and doing laundry, I've just been talking to some friends and relatives online.  I don't seem to have the energy or ability to concentrate on anything else. As soon as some of the laundry is done, I'm going to bed. Hopefully a little earlier than usual.

  Friday 4/12/19

I got a pretty good night's sleep, so I can't complain.

I've been trying to keep to my diet and keep my blood sugar in a good place, but it's been tough. At least the donuts are gone now, so I won't be tempted by them. I had the last bit of one with my turkey sticks for breakfast.

Brandy and I went for our walk again, and it was fine. Oh, I met a new neighbor. One of David's former deans used to live right near us. In fact, we used to be able to see his house from our kitchen window, but now the bushes have grown up too high.  Anyway, he moved away last year, and his house has been on sale for a while. They did a ton of fixing it up, inside and out. It used to be red, and now it's yellow (Frankly, I liked the red better).  So the new owner was out there, a guy named Steven, who seems nice.  He met Brandy and we chatted about the neighborhood a little, and his two little girls. He's from Magnolia, so he's not new to the town.  He seems nice, though, and has two dogs. I'm glad to see the house sold... there's two others for sale in our neighborhood. One right behind us.

Brandy got loose on our walk, but it ended ok, thankfully. I use this harness leash on her because it makes it easier to control her. She can't pull as much.  However, she has tiny little legs, so she's able to wiggle out of it at times. I watch closely to make sure she hasn't done that, or I put her leg back in if it slips out. Somehow she was able to wiggle out, and when I put her leg back in, instead it make the harness come off her almost completely. Still not really sure what happened. Anyway, she threw off that harness before I could bend down to fix it, and she ran all over the neighbor's yard a few times. I was horrified and yelled at her, tried to get her back. I dug a treat out of my pocket and waved it at her. The main problem is that we were right at the end of our street, and there's a street there with heavy traffic, so I was very worried about her chasing a car and/or running into traffic. Fortunately, she turned back and I was able to get her to come back for a treat, and then I grabbed her collar and put the leash on it. Whew!

My brother announced Laurie's passing today on Facebook.  Please donate to the funeral expenses if you can. The comments on her Facebook page and on GoFundMe are very nice. She touched a lot of people. I know that's a cliche, but she really did.  Sometimes when a person dies, people might be thinking, "I'm sad he's gone, but he was kind of a jerk" or whatever, but there really wasn't much bad you could say about Laurie, even if you wanted to. I mean, sure, she wasn't the mos punctual person, but I don't know too many people who are. She was even friends with her ex-husband. I mean, when she and her family had nowhere to live for a month, he let them stay in his garage. That's pretty unusual. She was always super nice, and genuine.  She really loved her family, and her job, and her life. Even after her son was killed in Iraq, and we could see she was struggling, she was still such a nice person and able to laugh and crack jokes. She was a real FUN person whenever we got together, for dinner, or drinks, or breakfast, or karaoke, whatever. I wish I had gotten to know her better, but we really never lived in the same place.

I think we've only seen each other fewer than 10 times in the past 25 years. That's kind of sad, but when you live in different states, it makes it difficult. We were briefly both living in Riverside, but they were very busy and ended up not staying like they thought they would. We always think we'll have more time!

There was a brief time, when she and my brother both lived in Riverside while we were there, but we were all so busy... I'm glad that at least, I was able to spend one day with Jeremiah there, when he was a boy. He spent a few hours at my place (I can't remember why), and we hung out. He was great, too.  Not just some bored kid stuck with an aunt he barely knew. We actually had fun.  And I remember one day, years ago, that Laurie and I hung out in San Diego, and we drove around. Again, I don't remember why, but we had a lot of fun and got to know each other a little better.  She took me to some awesome taco place in Santee that had the best Mexican food I've ever had! I'm still mad at myself for not writing down the name or address.  She was a very frank and forthright person, so she said what she meant, and you could tell she was being honest. I remember when she had Eliza, my niece, and we all got together for lunch.  And in the parking lot, she wanted me to hold Eliza, who was a baby. I was like, um, no....Laurie always teased me about that.  I'm just not a big fan of babies, which she thought was hilarious. Kids I like, but I don't like babies too much. I mean, they're cute, but they're also gross. They have a lot of gross fluids that they seem to spew from just about everywhere.  Laurie was just made to be a mom and loved babies, and of course, gross fluids didn't bother her. I guess that's why she became a maternity nurse.

She and my brother struggled for years, working at apartment management, and restaurants. She starting taking classes after they moved to North Dakota, and she got her nursing degree.  It was great to see her improving her life and getting a real career that she loved. Eliza followed in her footsteps, having kids and becoming a nurse. Her son Alex is a successful architect in Texas.  It's gonna take a while for it really to sink in that Laurie is gone. It's amazing how much energy grief takes, not to be too melodramatic.

Well, darn it...looks like we can't go to the funeral. It's Friday the 19th and we'll be in Little Rock.  David has an important meeting that day. That's a bummer. I had really hoped to go.

I finished the laundry today and put away some other clean clothes as well. Brandy found something on the floor and ate it. I couldn't get it away from her. It was pink. Hopefully it was just a Benadryl. There was a lot of pink residue after it was in her mouth and then went on the carpet, before she ate it. She was already pretty tired before that, from all the running around she did! Silly little dog.  She seems OK, other than sleeping for a while, so I think it's fine.

I've spent most of the day either playing with Brandy or looking at dog pictures online. It cheered me up a bit. Otherwise, I stayed off social media because it's been too depressing. I posted about Laurie and the GoFundMe page, but it's too sad to read all the comments.

I called Dyson...they fix appliances etc. I had them out before, and they said they fixed it. It worked for a little while, and then it started leaking again. The problem is, now that we have hot weather, people are using their air conditioners more, and so they're breaking down, or not working. So they said, they'd try to fit me in between repairs...

I didn't do very well on my diet today. Hopefully tomorrow will be better. I have a long list of things to do, and so far, I haven't done much. I did some work for my site and watched TV.

  Saturday 4/13/19

David went to get his own lunch because I was too tired to go anywhere.  Then he woke me up, and we were on our way out the door when he couldn't get the garage door open. It usually opens manually, but it was stuck halfway up. He managed to plug it back in (the repair guy had unplugged it) so he could fix it. Now he's able to do it manually again. That was quite annoying.

We went to Wal-Mart to do our grocery and other shopping early because we have things to do tomorrow. I wanted to buy a new dress or skirt. There wasn't a ton of things available at Wal-Mart, but I bought a dress and a skirt. Neither was really wanted I wanted, but I'll make do. There are some other stores in town, but I didn't really feel like going around to other stores.

We did our grocery shopping and I got a soda, as usual, to take home.

I tried on the clothes. The dress is too tight. Maybe I'll try it again if I lose weight. It's not so bad, just uncomfortable. The skirt is OK, so I'll wear that.

I walked Brandy. It was a little chilly, but not too bad. It was pouring rain all day, but we had a slightly break in the afternoon, so I was able to go out with Brandy. She got to say hi to the kids down the street that enjoy petting her. She loves that. I tightened her harness, so it works better, but I think part of the problem is that it doesn't say tightened very long. I'll probably get a new one.

In the evening, we watched some TV and listened to the 70's Casey Kasem countdown on SiriusXM (which we get with our DISH Network). I try to remember to record it on DVD every Saturday morning, so we can watch/listen to it whenever we have time.

I finally finished unpacking and putting everything away, so that was good to have done.

I stayed up pretty late, working on my site. One of my volunteers is on vacation, so I usually try to fill in for her when I can.  She does as much as she can before she leaves, though, in case I don't have much time (which is great, puts less pressure on me).

  Sunday 4/14/19

I got up around 8:30. I had a quick breakfast and got dressed in the new skirt I bought etc.

It was cool this morning, and windy. I had to wear a sweater, but I wished I had brought a bigger coat, and a scarf.

We went over to the First Baptist Church around 9:40. One of David's co-workers, Cheryl, invited us.  They were having this Easter special choir event, called "The Story." Basically, it was a musical journey of Jesus' life. They had a big screen in the background that played a movie, with narration, and actors playing characters. The choir would sing at certain intervals. They had some solo singers, too.  The pastor spoke beforehand and then afterwards, and prayed. It wasn't quite like a real church service, though. It did have the offering. Anyway, the music was nice, and I enjoyed it. It was clear that they were trying to get more people to their church (it's a huge church and the place was pretty full, so I guess their efforts work).  We're not Baptists, though, so we just smiled and thanked them.  People were very nice there...friendly and welcoming. I guess I shouldn't be surprised by that because people in Magnolia are usually that way.

A few years ago, we went to Central Baptist because the SAU choir was singing there. That was a beautiful church, inside and out. It reminded me a little of some of the Catholic churches I've been in.  Both churches are near each other, downtown.

Anyway, it ended about 11:30. David drove me through Burger King so I could get a soda. After we went home, I did the dishes, ate lunch and walked Brandy. I took my phone with me and took a ton of photos of flowers around the neighborhood. We have many pink flowers.

Oh, we stopped by my P.O. Box while we were downtown, too. I have a card, though, so I have to go back when they're open to pick up a package.

I went back to sleep for a few hours. I was tired! Brandy and I had a nice nap.

David had an event that he went to after the church thing...an honors banquet or something at the university. 

I finished cleaning up the kitchen, which really needed it. Later, I did the laundry again. There's always more!

David and I went to Antigua's, like we usually do, around 6. It was a bit more crowded than usual.

We listened to the 80's SiriusXM station because they were counting down the year's best from 1981.  These are songs that we listened to on the radio back when we were in college, before we moved to New York. We both stopped listening to the radio about 1985, roughly.

I checked out my site's news/schedule page that one of my volunteers is supposed to update every weekend. I was shocked to find it hasn't been updated. She's usually responsible, so it was probably some emergency or something.  She lives in another country, and sometimes their internet goes down. Anyway, so I felt like I should try to put up at least tonight's shows. I had put them up in our old site, and I was about to update the new site as well, when I saw that she had finally posted. Yay! She didn't email me, though, so I don't know what happened.  Anyway, I also found some coding problems in the new site's pages so I had to go through the previous week's news/schedule pages and fix all those, and email her about it. And then I found more problems. So it took me hours, and I was annoyed, mostly at myself for being stupid. ARGH.

Then I just watched TV and did a little work on my site. Not much because it's already late and my back is not doing that great.

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This page updated 4/15/19

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