Latest Post - This Week
I had a very hard time getting to sleep this morning, so I didn't wake up until after noon. It wasn't hot outside, though, so I got dressed so that I could take Brandy for her first walk. Unfortunately, it was raining by then, so we came back in.
I had breakfast and then, a little while later, I noticed the rain had stopped. So I got ready again and we went back outside. It was starting to get warm, but it was not too bad yet. I put my hand on the sidewalk, and it wasn't that hot. We did our walk, but it was very humid, and there were garbage trucks all over, making it smell really bad. So I cut our walk short.
I still can't find my online course, where or when I'm supposed to go. I've been discussing it back and forth with the support help desk for blackboard (the campus computer system for assignments etc.). The person I was emailing with kept making me repeat information, which is very irritating. Hopefully they can figure it out! Now, it's a bio lab, so maybe it doesn't occur until after the bio class. I emailed the professor as well, so we'll see. So far, this online class thing has been way more work than a regular class.
I heard back again and they said it'll be available tomorrow. They didn't give me a time or anything...
I made some sugar free vanilla ice cream, and then I cooked up some chopped chicken for Tikka Marsala (it uses a package for the sauce). It was OK...we probably won't make it again. Neither of us liked it that much, but we had some of it. We're trying to eat out less, and eat a little healthier.
My mosquito bites are slightly better today...
I took Brandy out to walk around 8 as usual. There had been some thunder, but no rain. It was nice enough out...not as humid as earlier.
David was tired and went to bed early. I'm sure I'll be up late, but we'll see.
I found where my online class is. I printed up the syllabus. I haven't done much else yet.
I was sick all day from something I ate with gluten.
In the evening, we tried out this new restaurant in town, near SAU, called Mule Kick. We weren't sure what kind of place it was until we got there. It looks like any trendy craft beer you might find in any big city or college town. Their main food is pizza; they also serve ice cream and beer. All their beers are from local Arkansas breweries. They have a GF pizza crust made from broccoli and cheddar. They didn't know how many carbs are in it. Normally I like pepperoni and sausage on my pizza, but they weren't sure if the meats were GF or not. Anyway, it was very good. We ran into our friend Abe, who works at SAU. I believe he's the chair of the biology department. He and his wife Antoinette are great. She works in that department, too. They rescue and foster dogs. Very nice people. Anyway, Abe sat with us for a while, while we ate our pizza. We had a nice conversation. It was a good place. We'll be coming back, for sure. The pizza's not low carb, unfortunately. I ate the rest at home, 2 pieces at a time, so it won't be bad for me. I also put on my own pepperoni and extra cheese. We enjoyed the place and will definitely be back. It's right by the university...I wonder if it'll be too expensive for students? They don't sell slices.
I heard that they might add wings, and a charcuterie board, and a taco bar.
We didn't do too much in the evening...I walked Brandy, and she got to say hi to the boys down the street.
I just love walking around our neighborhood and looking at how pretty all the trees, flowers and birds are. I see many beautiful cardinals. Most of the crepe myrtles are in bloom around the neighborhood.
I watered the flowers after our walk, but a whole bunch of insects came flying up at me. I guess they were either mosquitoes or some other kind of biting insect, because a little while later, I checked and I had about a dozen bites all over my knees and legs! UGH.
I was up until 6am because I couldn't sleep, so I walked Brandy. It was nice and cool.
I had breakfast after I got home. I had the rest of the leftover pizza from yesterday (just two slices). I think I had an Atkins chocolate bar after that. My blood sugar didn't go up, so that was good.
I went back to sleep after that and woke up at 1. I got dressed. I put Brandy back in the bedroom. Trisha picked me up, and we first went to the plant place out in McNeil that we've been to before, Aydani. I probably bought a few too many plants. It was hot out there, and I just chose a bunch of plants that looked interesting. I like to get a variety of interesting-looking plants. I was getting ones that would do well indoors and not need much water. We dropped the plants off back at our house, and then we went to Wal-Mart. I bought a barbecue grill, grilling utensils, charcoal and a bunch of other stuff. Trisha was very helpful, and we had fun.
After I got back home, I put the plants out and put away a few things. Brandy and I took a nap after awhile.
I know I just said we're not eating out as much, but we decided to go to Java Primo for dinner. I wasn't planning on eating, but while I waited for David to pick me up, I realized I was pretty hungry, and my blood sugar was kind of low. I like their pork chop. It was a little bit overcooked, but it was huge. I had some of it and took the rest home. One of their side dishes is this AMAZING potato salad. I don't know what-all's in it, but it has cheese on the top, and I think it has bacon and sour cream. I just had a little, and David had the rest. The pork chop also came with a salad or fruit, so I had the fruit and took half of that home, too. I had the rest later with my pills.
They do the Fourth of July fireworks here the day before (I think it's cheaper that way). They call it Sparks in the Park. We never go. David's not a big fan of crowds, or driving at night, or finding a place to park when it's crowded. We could really hear them, and I saw them a tiny bit through the trees. The trees block them, big time.
I finished the laundry, did work on my site, put the rest of the groceries away and put the grill together. I went to bed about 2am.
I had trouble sleeping last night because of the mosquito bites. I kept waking up and going to the bathroom, where I slathered the Benadryl gel on my poor legs.
I woke up around 11. David put the grill outside and put the charcoal inside. The lid has a neat little thing on the side so you hang it on the side of the grill to get it out of the way, so I did that. I helped put the charcoal in a pile, and he lit it and waited for it to burn down into ash. I mostly stayed indoors because I didn't want to put on bug spray. They leave him alone, but they love me. Brandy was very excited and kept wanting to go outside and see what we were doing. She finally got past us when we were going in, but David kept her away from the grill.
First we grilled the veggies. I should have grilled them longer, but they were OK. Then we grilled the burger patties. I buttered some buns, and some GF bread for me, and I put them on the grill. David stepped inside for a moment, and I said, hurry back, but he didn't hear me. So the buns burnt because once you put something with butter or oil on the grlll, the flames flare up. He had the spatula, so I had no way to take the buns off or move them away from the fire. Oh, well. We just said, never mind and went with cold bread. I didn't feel like taking out the butter and doing it over again.
Everything else came out great. I served the burgers with mayo, mustard, bbq sauce, lettuce and avocado, and I also had baked BBQ chips and potato salad. Then we had watermelon for dessert. We used to keep Brandy out of the dining area while we eat, but then she would just whine. She's calmed down quite a bit. She just sat next to us, on the floor, looking up hopefully. Sometimes she would jump up as if to say, "Let me see what food you're eating!" That's always funny. She wasn't too annoying. We did feed her some tidbits. She didn't eat the avocado. A dog after my own heart! LOL!
I went in to put on more Benadryl and my left ankle had a lot of blood on it! I guess I scratched myself a little too much. Oops!
My left index finger is hurting. I may have somehow injured it while playing with the dog.
He had a nap after a little while. I'm thinking about it, too... I went to sleep around 3 and slept until almost 5. There was a big rainstorm outside, with lots of thunder. Brandy was a little freaked out. Not too bad. Usually she's fine with storms. Anyway, I kept waking up, and having weird dreams. I had the air on, but at some point, it was too cold, so I asked David to turn it off, so he did. Then about 4:45 I woke up, and I had a sudden, terrible headache; I was feeling very very hot and sweaty all of a sudden. I got up, and I felt awful. I tested my blood sugar, and it was 69 (which is really low for me). So I went to the kitchen and looked for something high carb to eat, to bring it back up. I found a bag of Doritos, so I scarfed those down. I did share some of them with David and the dog. I had some chocolate, too. That low blood sugar feeling is really awful. You just want to stuff your face until it goes away. I was surprised that, with everything I had earlier to eat, that I got that. The medicine is so weird because sometimes it will do that and sometimes not. I just never know. Usually I do eat lunch a few hours later, but I didn't this time because I was napping. I should have tested, but I just didn't. Then I wouldn't have gone to sleep if I knew it was low-ish. I was just tired and wiped out after that, for a little while.
I feel much better now. The rain is over, so David went to walk over at SAU.
After he got back, I walked Brandy. There was a lot of smell of grilling out in the air, and some fireworks shooting off as well. One of our neighbors down the street is often having parties (I think they have a pool, and teenagers). There are often many cars outside their house, and people coming and going. A woman was getting into her truck with someone else. I waved, and she waved back. As I walked by, she still had the door open, so I said, "Happy 4th!" and she replied in kind, then said, "You have a precious baby!" meaning Brandy. I just said, "Thank you!" People I see are always giving me compliments on how pretty or cute Brandy looks!
Most of the day, I've just been relaxing, watching TV and not much else.
David's watching baseball on TV. I've just been typing this and chatting with people online.
I had him bring in the top grill of the bbq, so I can clean it. Maybe we can grill again tomorrow! I read that you can re-use the charcoal, so that's pretty cool. I have some chicken I can grill, and some turkey hot dogs, and another hamburger.
I stayed up very late watching TV. I decided to just stay up until 6 and walk the dog.
As soon as it looked light out, I went to get ready, so I could take Brandy to walk. It was nice out, as usual at that time of day. We didn't see one person or one moving car. It was great! Not that I mind people, but it just makes the walk easier if there's no one for Brandy to want to visit and no car to chase. Nope, it was just us and the robins!
After we came back, I went to sleep.
David woke me about 11 to go to lunch with him. We went to Chin-Chin, the Chinese restaurant here in town. They don't have anything I can eat, so I just had soda. I wasn't hungry yet, anyway. I looked at the menu, but the waitress never came back to see if I wanted anything! So I just said, never mind.
We went to Brookshire's for a few things. They had a display for this GF company called Canyon Bakehouse, so I bought a loaf of their bread. It's only 13 carbs for slice, which is pretty good. I tried a slice when we cam back and it wasn't bad.
I took a nap after awhile...I woke up about 5:45. David came back around 7. I wasn't sure what he wanted to do, so I waited for him to return. He didn't want to go anywhere, so I went ahead and lit the coals again. I had some chopped onions, and one chicken breast, so I put it in some GF soy sauce, olive oil, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. I tried to re-use the coals because I read that you could, but they were not having it. I had to add in a bunch of other coals on top of them, and then it still took me having to relight them again. By the time the fire was going good, it was time for me to walk Brandy.
I had put on a long sleeve shirt and pants to grill, so I wouldn't get eaten by bugs. I had to change into my usual shorts, tank top, socks and shoes to go walking, and put up my hair. It was very miserable outside. It was in the 90's and 73% humid. This was at almost 8pm. Sundown is around 8:30. Anyway, David grilled the chicken and onions for me while I was walking. I walked as fast as I could. When I got back, I took a quick shower (I have to, to get that nasty-smelling bug spray off). The food was all finished. Yay! It came out really good, too. I was shocked at how tender and juicy the chicken was, even though it was cooked through all the way. Maybe we just got lucky :) It was a little too spicy for me, so next time I won't put so much cayenne pepper on. We shared it because he had a big lunch. I ate most of it.
I don't think I ever explained why we haven't done much grilling before...When we were younger, we used to get a cheap charcoal grill (around $20) at the store, use it once, and then I would be too lazy to clean it, so it would sit outside, and get rained on, and rusted, and the bag of charcoal would sit there, and also get rained on, and probably full of spiders. Then when we moved, we would have to throw it all out. I would have loved to grill in Hawaii, but they didn't allow you to grill on the lanais (which makes sense as they were very small, so it was probably a fire hazard). They one downstairs, by the pool, but we never bothered to use it.
So when we moved here, we just never got a new barbecue grill, but I always wanted one. David was reluctant to buy yet another grill and have us go through that same process of leaving it outside to rust. But I finally talked him into it. To my surprised, they're still $20! At first I didn't see any in Wal-Mart, and I couldn't find any online that cheap, either. Then I finally saw them last weekend. So, anyway, it's been probably 8 years, at least, since we grilled, and we didn't do it much, so that's why we're kind of grilling newbies. I'm enjoying it, though. The food tastes so much better. I even cleaned the grill yesterday so we could do it again today. We have a closet now in our backyard for stuff, so we put the charcoal and the lighter out there. As long as I keep cleaning the grill, we'll keep grilling! It just cooks so fast, and it's so yummy. We were too stupid and lazy not to grill before. :)
I stayed up late again to watch TV.
I got up around 11. I was being lazy, so I didn't even try to get up early to walk Brandy.
I was having weird karaoke dreams. I dreamed that I was related to this nice African-American family. It was a really large family, and I think they were my cousins. All I really remember is that we all flew on an airplane, and then we went out for karaoke. That part was fine, but then halfway through, some wedding party came in, and they were famous people. They decided there would be no more karaoke (they were very disdainful of it), and they were going to sing (or dance). I don't remember, but I was very pissed because I hadn't had a chance to sing yet, and I was really looking forward to it. I seemed to be the only one who cared.
David and I went to Flying Burger for lunch. I really wasn't that hungry. We both usually order the grilled catfish (mine spicy), and the salad that comes with it. The problem is that it's set up like a fast food place, so they give you all your food at once, on a tray. The food is good, but if you eat your salad first, then the fish is going to be cold by the time you eat it. So it's always disappointing. But if you eat your fish first, then you might not have room for your salad. I ate the salad, and the fish didn't seem that great....I only ate a little of it. I would have brought it home for Brandy, but it's too spicy for her.
I came home and went back to bed after that. I had some weird dreams again. Recurring dreams I've had many times before about going out into the garage, and the doors are not locked, and I'm worried about people getting in.
I woke up around 3:30. I did some work. I started working on my stuff for my biology lab class. First, there are two prerequisites to complete. There were a couple of videos about safety and such, and I had to answer questions. This took way longer than it needed to, about 2 1/2 hours. Part of the problem that it asked me to put in H2O and they said, make sure to make the 2 a subscript, but they didn't say how to do it. It gave me a special keyboard on the screen, which confused me. Eventually I figured out which key was the subscript. There was also a safety video that moved very fast, and I took notes, so I had to stop it here and there. Then it asked me questions about the video (glad I took notes!). Most of the information was obvious, like, don't touch things that have been heated on the stove! If you get chemicals in your eyes, flush them with water and then call a doctor! Or my favorite, don't give food or drink to someone who's unconscious! LOL!!! I mean, really...how stupid are today's college students that they don't know this stuff?
It also makes you fill out an emergency sheet with numbers to poison control, the fire department, etc. by the phone. First of all, most people don't even have land lines any more, so "by the phone" is not really a thing. Also, these are very simple experiments, using very small amounts of chemicals, so it's very unlikely that you'll need to worry about these things or have these numbers handy. I'm sure it's probably freaked out some of my classmates.
So, anyway, I took a break to walk the dog. I decided not to grill dinner because I wanted to get these experiments done. It was a bit humid, but otherwise, not too bad. I made dinner after I got home. We had BLT's and home made sugar free chocolate ice cream. I only used one slice of bread with mine.
There were some things here that were very confusing and still are. I'm waiting to hear back from my professor. They syllabus says that assignments are due Sunday night, and it says the grades are based on the experiments, and two tests. It doesn't mention anything about a book or a discussion board.
Our school uses this online communication system called Blackboard, which is fairly common, I guess. It's not new to me, but I haven't used it too often, either. The professor I take most of my classes from, Professor Reppert, doesn't like it, so he doesn't use it at all. He has his own website, and that's where he puts assignments and other things for his classes. He uses Google Docs for that.
I've only had 2 other professors that used Blackboard. Clark was older, so he's not terribly comfortable with technology and had trouble with Blackboard. He posted his syllabus, and quizzes, and tests, and scores on there. However, he put up the previous year's syllabus, which was not accurate (he never did fix it). He made constant mistakes on it throughout the year, which was frustrating.
My photography professor, Professor Ochs, just posted his syllabus and our assignments on there. They were either text or Word docs.
When I clicked on my class name in Blackboard, I clicked on the various links on the left side. The relevant one says "Start Here." It has the syllabus and some other information from the professor. One part says "orientation" and that's where you click to get more information. It has a link so that you can register for the Hands On Learning site (HOL). There is other information, including: "This Introduction laboratory course is designed to give you hands-on experience. The laboratory assignments are located on the HOL website. Each week, you will complete one laboratory assignment by Sunday at 11:59PM.
To get started please click on the link below and set up your account using your SAU email. (You will be required to have purchased the LabPaq kit from the SAU bookstore to begin.)"
You'll notice there's nothing about buying a book, just the lab kit. Also, when I went to the CampusConnect system to search for a book for the class, there was none listed.
Now this is the second place, after the syllabus, where it says that our assignments are due by Sunday night. However, the list of assignments, on the last page of the syllabus, says that all of the assignments for this week are due July 9th! Now, Sunday is July 7, so that makes NO SENSE!!!
Also, below this it talks about a discussion board:
So now all of a sudden, we're also supposed to post on the discussion boards. The syllabus, let me remind you, says that half the grade is from the lab experiments, and half is from the exams. No mention of discussion boards! However, this does say that you can use your textbook to answer the questions!! What textbook??? And also, it says there are "points" for this. What points, and why aren't they on the syllabus? It's crazy.
It's possible that only people enrolled in the regular course, not just the lab, will be doing the discussion board, and I don't have to do it. But if that's the case, why is it listed here at all? The regular biology course is a completely different course. Something is messed up, that's for sure.
If I click on "discussion" in the left side after "Start here," it gives more assignments for the discussion board. Besides introducing ourselves, etc. we're supposed to discuss the things we've learned. The first one is about proteins and amino acids. The second one is about organelles.
Apparently we were supposed to post this on Thursday, but I didn't know that. How would I? It's not on the syllabus! Gaaaacckkkk! I went ahead and posted them today, just in case. Here's the other thing. The questions are about the info provided before you do the experiment (which is fine). Yet that means you have to read it before Thursday. Even if you don't do the experiments until later. OK, fine. But there's one problem with that. They won't let you read the information about experiment #2 until you've completed experiment #1! So that means you have to do at least experiment #1 before Thursday, or you won't be able to read the info you need to answer the organelle questions! But at least it does say that you can use this supposed textbook as well as the internet. So I just used the internet. Also, I clicked on the other students' posts and, as instructed, made comments.
I don't think I'm the only confused student because while 10 students introduced themselves, only 6 posted the information about proteins, and only 5 posted about organelles. There were no comments yet about the organelles, either, but at least the comments are supposed to be done by Sunday night, so the other students have time...I have to also say that doing all these assignments on the Fourth of July weekend is very difficult. We started class on Tuesday, then had only one day, and then we have a 4 day weekend. That's not a very good time to start a class and have assignments if you ask me.
It was kind of tough for me to answer the questions, since I haven't taken biology for 30 years. I found some good references online that explained things well, though. Well, for the one about proteins, I just used the material from the first experiment. It was kind of hard to understand and took me a while to figure out. The second one was easier because I used the other websites. There's a great site called http://biology4kids.com that puts things in very simple terms and uses great examples, so that helped a lot. Maybe I need "biology for dummies!"
I can't do any of the experiments until tomorrow because I have to use a potato for the two experiments, and by the time I figured this out, it was too late to run out to the store. :( Also, I need to get bleach, distilled water, and a 100 watt bulb. Fortunately, I seem to have all of the other needed ingredients. What a pain. I was trying to do them today, so I wouldn't have to do so much tomorrow, but it looks like I'm going to be doing the assignments tomorrow. I mean, first you have to read the instructions thoroughly, then do the experiment, then answer questions. In some cases, you have to take photos and such. Then I guess I'm supposed to let the professor know . It says "scroll down and click on the write submission button." I'm not really sure what that means, but hopefully I will figure it out.
There is a Q&A message section on the discussion board, for asking the professor questions, so hopefully I will hear from her tomorrow...
One of the advantages I have over the younger people is that I write really well, so maybe that will help me! I have to say, though, that I don't like this discussion board layout. Once you make a post, you can't go back and edit or delete it! You can only post a reply. That's very annoying. I've been on hundreds of message boards, and this is one of the worst formats I've ever seen. I don't know if that's the fault of Blackboard, or the professor wanted it that way.
This seems like a lot of work for a one credit class -- even one in summer, where the work is accelerated. The only one credit courses I've taken before were dance or music. There were very few assignments in any of them, aside from just practicing, outside of your lesson or class.
I just watched some more TV, and then I went to bed about 4am.
David woke me up around 11:30. I wasn't hungry, so we went to Taco Bell. I just had a soda and watched him eat. Their Diet Pepsi tastes weird, though (and not in a good way). It was raining out all morning.
After that, we went to Wal-Mart for our weekly shopping. I went to the deli to get some turkey, and the woman that worked there was a real witch to me! I didn't catch her name, unfortunately. They didn't have the turkey flavor that I normally buy, so I asked if the Butterball regular roasted turkey is gluten free. She replied that none of their stuff is GF. I was pretty sure she was wrong, so I asked if I could look at the ingredients. The turkey was on the middle shelf, but she told me to get it. I mean, that's how she put it. She gestured rudely and said something like, "Go ahead and get it." I said, how? She was clearly ticked off about something and told me to get it in the case. I said I didn't know how. She said, again rudely, "lift it from the bottom!" I said, "OK! I don't work here, you know, so how was I to know?" I was a bit angry at this point. I tried to lift the case, but it didn't work. I said, "Is it locked? It's not working." So rather than get the turkey, she yelled over to this other guy and said, "Is this gluten free?" And he also replied, "None of our stuff is gluten free." So I repeated, "Can I please look at the ingredients?" So she got it out, FINALLY, and I looked. I said to them both. "It says right here on the package that it's gluten free." I was not very happy at that point.
She went in the back, and he came over to slice it for me. I said to him, "She was a real witch to me. I don't mean to complain, but she was awful." He mumbled something, like, "I know..." and went over to cut the meat. She came back out and asked him what he was doing, so he told her that he was going to cut the meat. She insisted that she do it, so she did it. I was very polite and nice. She brought it back, and I said, "Thank you. Wow, that was fast!" which it was. Usually it's not there. He came back over while I was waiting for it and mumbled an apology. I felt like saying, "It's not like you were much better." Wow. I mean, people around here are usually very nice, so that was shocking.
Also, their deli meats are mostly GF. They use Butterball and Sara Lee, both of which do mark on their packages if they're GF (I just looked it up now).
I ran into some people I know from SAU, so that was nice. When we got home, I saw that my husband had gotten the wrong kind of water. I need distilled water for my experiments. He had to go back and get it, which he wasn't too happy about!
I cleaned up the kitchen and noticed that the hot water is out again. Also, I can't use the dishwasher because the rubber part that goes around it (to keep it from leaking) came completely off. No wonder it's been leaking! :( So I just emptied the dishwasher and stacked the dirty dishes on the top. I had to clean out the sink to use for my experiments. You have to have running water handy.
I taped two garbage bags on my kitchen island, and that's my workspace for class. I got out all of the materials that it listed and did the first experiment. It was pretty easy. Then I had to answers some questions online.
I heard back from the professor. The assignments are due on Tuesday, not Sunday. That's great! I'll probably do the second set of assignments/experiments tomorrow. Also, no book is needed, but I do need to do the discussion board assignments. She forgot to update her syllabus to let us know all this. I'm sure that all of the rest of the students are in the regular online bio class, so she probably told them then.
We went back to Mule Kicks for dinner. I still don't know how many carbs are in their GF pizza crusts. They were out of the broccoli and cheddar, so I got the cauliflower crust. It didn't taste any different, from what I could tell. I just got it to go for later. I tried their salted caramel ice cream, which is very good.
I did some work on my site after I finished up with my experiments and the questions for them.
I was very tired and went to bed pretty early, about 12.
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This page updated 7/8/19
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