12/5/16 Chronicles

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  Monday 11/28/16

I couldn't get to sleep last night, so I didn't get to bed until after 10am today. Then I woke up around 2:30 pm. I had breakfast and then was sick (usual gluten problems). I went back to sleep for a few hours.

Tomorrow we're flying to Austin for a few days, for a conference for David's work.  I'm just going along for the trip and because I haven't been there before.

I spent most of the day working on my site and trying to pack and get ready for our trip. I had to do laundry last night, and today did the dishes, packed, etc. I caught up a little on my shows that I missed last week.

I've been eating way too much lately.... it's not good. At least I did have soup for lunch, and a salad for dinner.

I went to bed about 2:30am.

  Tuesday 11/29/16

I got up about 6:45am. UGH. I had breakfast, finished packing, took a shower, brushed my teeth, etc. We drove to the airport about 8:15. The Texarkana Airport is really small, but it means you don't have to get there super early, and security is easy.

We just had two short flights. First we flew to Dallas, then we flew to Austin.  We only had about an hour in-between, too, so the whole thing took about 3 hours. I wish we'd had some more time in Dallas so I could do some shopping or look at some of the places. At least I successfully avoided eating at Pinkberry!

I'd had snacks, so I wasn't that hungry. David ate at TGIFriday's, but I just grabbed one of their sandwiches before we went on our plane. Mostly I just walked around a bit. I shouldn't have worn a long-sleeved shirt because it was way too warm.  Then when we got on our plane in Dallas, it was very warm as well.  Our seats were not too comfortable, either. Even though it was a pretty big plane, we didn't have a lot of legroom, or elbow room, and the seat pockets were really tiny.  We did have one of those video things, but I didn't use it. After reading a magazine a little, we both went to sleep.

The flight was fine, but I was tired and my neck was hurting (from my spine problem), in part due to sleeping on the plane. The cab driver hadn't heard of the place we're staying, the Star of Texas Inn, even though it's right near the university.  After finding the address for him, he put it in his GPS. It was not a good GPS because first it told him to turn left on a one-way street. Then after we saw the place and he was driving right to it, the GPS said, "it's on your left" and we all said, "No, it's not!" LOL!  So he let us off outside the place, none of us knowing that it was the wrong building. We have some very heavy luggage. It's a "quaint" little place with a yard and a little fence, which is not the most convenient way to enter a building with a lot of heavy luggage.

Then we find out that we're staying in the next building over, so we have to drag our luggage over there, with no real sidewalk. The lady who welcomed us and showed us where to go was very nice and offered to help us with the luggage, but still, I wasn't going to let her do that as she was really tiny, and she's not exactly a bellhop. So the conference backup hotel is a bed and breakfast! And not a super nice one. It's just ok, nothing special. It's very hot here, and I was wearing a long sleeve sweater-shirt and already miserable. We arrived at the second building, and there are stairs, no elevator. So he takes the heavy one up, with the woman helping. I'm taking the others, which are smaller, but still very heavy, and it's tough with my spine problems. I tripped on the stairs and fell, hurting my left knee and ankle. We get up to our room and it was very hot, and I saw no a/c controls anywhere. Also, the room is really small. I took 2 Aleve for my knee. Also, there's almost nothing right near our hotel, so everything is quite a bit of a walk. The central downtown area is 6th street, and we're on 22nd! Why schedule a conference out in the middle of nowhere?

So, anyway, when we get there to our room, David and I are arguing with each other, as we do, (and I was in a bad mood at this point from falling, being in pain, and being too hot, and complaining that there isn't any A/C), after we close the door.  So after I changed into a cooler shirt, we went out to find somewhere to eat. Then another woman, a brunette who works there (pretty sure she was downstairs when I fell) walked out and said, very rudely, that the place does have a/c. I was shocked and said nothing, but I guess my face must have looked pretty annoyed that she was eavesdropping on our private conversation. She then she went on to bitch at me more about how their a/c is central air (which I kind of figured since there were no controls in the room) and then she made excuses (but still very rudely) about how she had just turned it on because there was no one up here until now. I really felt like saying, a) thank you, but b) our private conversation is none of your business, and c) if you know you have guests coming and it's hot out, put the a/c on ahead of time! But I still said nothing. I was pretty livid at that point. Also, my knee was really hurting. I was very upset. We went back to the other building to see if we could ask someone about someplace close by to eat, but there was NO ONE, so we sat in the common area for a few minutes, trying to figure it out on my phone. I found an Indian restaurant, but it wasn't all that close by. However, we were starving, so we went, anyway.

It was really hot out because it was afternoon, and we were not really sure where we were going. I finally asked someone for help, and he pointed us in the right direction. There was a super long light we had to wait for. I mean, it was ridiculous. Oh, and then someone almost ran me over.  This car was turning (right after David crossed the street...I was lagging behind a bit), so I started to speed up, so he wouldn't have to wait, and instead he just turns without regard to the fact that I was walking there.  I was very annoyed.  And also, at that long light, I fell off the sidewalk because my knee was hurting and I was so upset about almost being run over.

When we finally got there, the place was closed! Neither one of us had realized how late in the day it had gotten or thought to call ahead (it was after 3pm). After sitting down for a few minutes to rest, we decided to head back to this other area, which we weren't too thrilled about because it seemed like a long way, but I thought, well, maybe we'll find something on the way. The Google maps etc. doesn't list every single restaurant. So we happened to spy this place called El Mercado, which had pretty good Mexican food. No a/c, so it was really hot! What's wrong with these stupid Texans? It's 80 degrees out! LOL!

After that, feeling somewhat better, we walked back and went to our room. And I tripped AGAIN on the same stupid place on the stairs! I didn't fall this time, though, thankfully. So far my knee hasn't swollen up. We'll see how it goes. I've just been very upset because of all of this, and the heat, and not getting enough sleep. Oh, and of course, NOW the room is really cold, too cold. That's why you don't stay in a place that has central a/c that you can't control. UGH.  Time for a nap.... not loving Austin so far.

I never did get to nap, but things got a little better. David went to his evening event, and I did work. Then we went out to find food. We found a really good Japanese restaurant. It was a little chilly out, so I brought my jacket. It's not really cold, though. The restaurant, Sushi Junai, had a gluten free menu! I've never seen that in a Japanese restaurant before, so it was great. It was mostly sushi, though, which I'm not a fan of. Anyway, I had spicy garlic edamame (which were a bit too spicy for me, so I could only eat about a third of the) and some fried rice with chicken. It was really good! It was just enough food, too. We also stopped in this other place to get a few drinks. Then we stopped at 7-11 to pick up snacks and went back to the room.  Austin does seem like a really nice town, very safe. It reminds me a little bit like Berkeley.

When we stopped at 7-11, they had the same brand of pistachios that I had gotten at home, so that was good. Also, they had the Moon Cheese that I like. I had bought this last year at a Starbucks in Honolulu but couldn't find them anywhere else, except online. They charge a lot more online. They're great, gluten free and low carb, and nice and crunchy. A good snack. So I bought a few here to take back with me.

I stayed up way too late again...ah, well.

I'm trying to get David a new smartphone because his died, but I don't know his Verizon login, and it's giving me a hassle about resetting his password. After many hours of trying, I finally got a tech support person to chat with, so maybe he can help me. It's taking a long time, though, and I want to go to sleep! They were finally able to help me and I went to sleep around 3am.

  Wednesday 11/30/16

David had to get up really early to go to his conference. I decided to sleep in rather than get up for the free breakfast. I have plenty of snacks!

About 9:15, I was awakened by lots of noise! I heard really loud talking and sounds of a hammer and power saw. I peeked out the blinds and saw that a guy was on a ladder right outside my window. WTF! Also, there was really loud music outside, but I couldn't tell where it's coming from. I think it's coming from next door.

I called down to complain about the man on the ladder and was told that it's the owner, repairing an awning. I said, "It's a bit early...." So they asked him to stop, which he did. Thank goodness. The music is easy to tune out, but not the rest. I was able to get back to sleep until about 1 when he started up again. That was fine. I'd had plenty of sleep. It sure is a loud place. Kind of cold today, too! The temperature has dropped at least 30 degrees in one day.

David's coming back around 4:30, so I'm going to take a shower in a little bit and get ready. Just sitting in bed, doing online stuff and watching some TV.

I didn't realize that the "Do Not Disturb" sign was on the back of the one that said "we don't need our room made up." Whoops! Lucky no one knocked on the door.

We walked over to the Indian restaurant, The Clay Pit, for dinner. It was really delicious. All of the foods with gluten or nuts were marked, so that was awesome. We both really enjoyed it. However, it took a long time, so we were rushing to finish eating because he had to get back to his conference for a reception.

Later, we went to this German restaurant, that has a beer garden.  I think we should eat there sometime because it looks really good. We just had some drinks and dessert.  The local ACLU was having a meeting or party there at the same time.  Then we walked over to the tourist area and went to an Irish pub. It was kind of loud and annoying because they were hosting a trivia night. My feet were really sore by that time. We walked at least 3 miles today. We shared some delicious ice cream there. The local places serve a brand called Amy's ice cream that's really good and also gluten free. This was a coffee/whiskey/bailey's flavor that they served with chocolate syrup.  The tourist area was kind of dead...I don't think Wednesday after Thanksgiving is their big time!

We both have enjoyed Austin and would like to come back sometime...hope we can!

We took a cab back and went back to our room. He watched some TV and then went to sleep. I noticed that there are some earplugs left there by the housekeeping. At first I thought it was a sarcastic comment about my complaining about the noise this morning, but then I read in their little book in the room that they usually do have earplugs and a fan to keep the street noise out.  I didn't see any fan, and I'm fairly sure the earplugs weren't there before, but we'll give them the benefit of the doubt. We met the owner earlier and he was very nice. He helped us find the post office.

I had to call their service line to get a wake-up call and to ask about putting the heat on. I think it was the owner.  They don't normally do wake-up calls, but since our alarm clock isn't working, he said ok. The thermostat is right outside our room, so he asked me to put the heat on (he's in another building), so I was fine with that. I would still prefer to have an in-room temperature setting because I hate having to get dressed and go out there every time I want to adjust the heat or air.

I just worked on the site and chatted with friends until about 2 am. Too bad we have to fly back tomorrow. I would have liked to have tried more restaurants. Well, we'll have breakfast or lunch tomorrow, so that'll be good, at least.  We'll have to come back and see the LBJ Presidential Library and other things.

  Thursday 12/1/16

I woke up around 11 and we checked out about 1.  It's been a pretty disastrous morning all the way around. We stored our luggage at the B&B and then walked for a few blocks. We picked up a cab at the 7-11. Our cab driver was this old guy in his 70's who liked to chat. He was mostly humorous, but he made sexist jokes to David that I didn't appreciate. I just read on my phone and ignored him. We were both very hungry.  David asked him to drop us off at 6th Street, which is where all of the tourist places are (lots of restaurants), but apparently we should have said, "Drop us off in the tourist area" because the place where he dropped us off was nowhere near where we wanted to go. By the time we figured that out, he was gone.  We stopped first at this one restaurant called Hofbrau, thinking it was a German restaurant, but it was a tiny little steak house. We walked some more until we found an Italian restaurant called Italic. It was okay, nothing special. He had gnocchi and I had what they called "sausage and peppers," but it was really four pieces of bland sausage, and a whole plate of white beans with some chopped up peppers.

After that, we walked over to the real 6th street area and back to the Irish bar.  I had some more ice cream, and David had some more lunch because his pasta was not very much. He said his Fish N Chips were great.

We took a cab back to our place and picked up all of our luggage, then we went to the airport.  After we got to the airport and checked in, we were about to go through security when I realized that we were missing David's little satchel or case that had his papers and some other stuff, plus his Samsung tablet and case.  So we were both very upset. We didn't take note of which taxicab company we took. It was just one we found outside on the street. I think it was yellow.  I called a few companies and left messages.  I'll call some more when we get home. Hopefully the taxi driver or his passengers were honest and turned it in, either with the taxi company or at the airport.

In the meantime, I had to call Verizon and let them know that it was lost, so they could disconnect the wireless usage from it. Unfortunately, anyone who uses the tablet can still use it with Wireless.  I'm concerned about things on the Web that David may have signed into that will remember his password. He mostly just uses it for email and some web surfing.  I'm just concerned that I may have signed in sometime with my email or other things and forgot. I hope not.

We only had a short time in Austin before we flew out. It's too bad because I would have liked to have explored it more.  There was some problem with our plane, so we couldn't use the bathrooms until we were over 16,000 feet.  When two of the flight attendants walked by with the cart, David asked them if it was ok to use them, and they said, no, we're not at 16,000 feet yet.  We both thought that was wrong, so we went on the little computer thing on the back of the seat and it said it was over 21,000 feet! By that time, they had gone to front of the plane with their cart.  He tried to use the one in back, but someone was using it, and the other woman had her cart in the way. She said to go ask the other people (the bathroom was locked, so he couldn't get in).  He had to wait a long time until they got around to opening it.

Then later, when they finally brought drinks to us, I ordered a Diet Coke.  It was a very short flight. When they came to collect the trash, I wasn't done with my soda yet, but she insisted on taking it. She was quite awful. They don't normally care if you hold on to your drink, as long as your tray tables are up.  You can even bring your own drinks on board! So that was irritating.

Normally I don't mind American, but the seats on this flight and the ones coming to Austin were way too small. Usually their seats are bigger than, say, United.  I just felt like there wasn't much elbow or leg room. I tried to watch a show, but it was too short of a flight to even watch a sitcom all the way through.

We flew an hour to Dallas and then had a brief time there, too. We ate dinner quickly at TGIFriday's. Our plane was very small but not too uncomfortable. It was just a bit cold. They didn't warn us that we were descending or landing, so all of a sudden, BUMP we landed! I had been napping, so that sure woke me up. Not that it was a very long nap.

We got our bags at the Texarkana airport. We're staying tonight at the Wyndham Gardens because it's late. This woman from the hotel picked us up. She's quite a character and liked to chatter on.  We're getting a ride tomorrow morning to pick up our car from the airport parking lot.  He has to get back for work, so we needed a ride at 6:15.  She's serving the breakfast, too, so she asked if we could go at 5:30 instead. Normally we're quite accommodating, but...um, no, that's too early. It was already after 9pm when we got in.

They have a restaurant here now...they didn't have that before when we stayed here. We'd already eaten, though, so we didn't bother. They still need a bar. Ha ha!  Anyway, we just had some snacks in the room and he went to sleep.

I've been trying to change his email passwords, but it's been difficult. One is for Hotmail, which they now do on Outlook. I went to change his password, and it wanted to send him a text code. Well, his phone is pretty much dead. He can't text, so I took the other option, which was to change it to my phone. Well, Microsoft considers this a "security change" and so now we can't change anything else with his account for a month! So forget about changing that password. I called them on the phone, but there was no way to help me. They can forward his email to another one, and he can delete his emails, but that will still mean that whomever has the tablet, if they can login to his account, will be able to send out emails from his account.

I tried to change the password on his work account, but apparently he gave me the wrong password or something, so I'll have to wait until he's awake to do that one. In the meantime, I ordered him a new phone. I got on with Verizon tech support chat to ask some questions. I was hoping that maybe David could check his texts online and thus avoid having to use his phone. Unfortunately, last week they had to delete his registration on their site in order to make me the primary owner of our phone service, so that I could then buy him a new phone. The whole thing is very stupid. If you register, they send you a code on your phone via text.  So because he can't get text messages, he can't register, to get text messages....LOL! I investigated, but there doesn't seem to be any other way to get your text messages online that doesn't involve having to also install something in your phone, which we can't do, since his phone is messed up.  Makes me want to bang my head against the wall!

I went ahead and changed a lot of my passwords, just in case... even though I'm pretty sure that I didn't have any of my stuff on the tablet.

Well, time to go to bed, so we can get up early.

  Friday 12/2/16

I got up around 5:30. I was already packed, so I just had to dress and get ready.  I went downstairs briefly to grab a little of their free breakfast. We took their shuttle at 6:15 over to the airport and picked up our car. Then we drove home to Magnolia. It was kind of neat to see the sun come up. The fall colors are very pretty and there was a lot of frost on the ground -- almost looked like snow!

David just dropped me off and then went off to work. After that, I got the house ready for the cleaning lady. I was on my feet for almost 2 hours, so that was not fun. I'd only had about 2 1/2 hours' sleep. I was able to nap a little bit while waiting for them, and then also while they were there. They came about 11 and left around 3. The woman, Yolanda, and her daughter, Debra, cleaned the house. They did a great job. I went back to sleep after that, for a few hours.

The pest control guy also came by because David saw a mouse last week in the kitchen. At first, he didn't find any evidence of one, but then we found the droppings under the kitchen sink.  He moved my traps in there and told me to let him know if we see more. I bought some more traps that I'll put in other parts of the kitchen, too. He offered to put out the sticky traps, but I hate those. I don't want to make the poor mice suffer, and I don't want to deal with their dead bodies, either!

David came home around 6 or so and I made him dinner. I was up for a little while, and then I went to bed pretty early, around 10.

The cab driver turned in the tablet, so we are getting that back! Yay! So relieved.

  Saturday 12/3/16

I slept until David woke me up, around 10am.

Today's my birthday! Yippee!

I don't get too many presents any more...just ones from David and his sisters. Sometimes I will get something really late from one of my brothers. Not too many cards, either. People are lame. :) I do get tons of birthday wishes on Facebook, which is great, I guess.

We had a busy day. We went to the post office and mailed the rest of the Christmas presents. Oh, it was very cold today (in the 40's all day) and rainy.  The post office line was not too bad, thankfully. Then we went to Wal-Mart and did our grocery shopping.  We took them home and then went out to lunch.

It's my birthday, so I get to eat at places I like. Usually we go where he wants to go because he's very picky. We went to Backyard Barbecue, which we'd never been to before, and it was really good. We'd been told that their service is really slow, but we didn't think so.

I worked and read all my birthday posts on FB.  I got about 160 people wishing me a Happy Birthday! :) Of course, I have over 900 FB friends...but that's ok, many of them are celebrities or other people that I don't really know at all in real life. Next year I want to get real birthday cards.

Later, we went to Sonic for dinner. I love their tater tots, which are gluten free. Their burgers are great, too. After I ate, we took all of the Christmas boxes out of the garage. We have about 25. I didn't get a chance to do anything with them yet, though.

I was mostly being lazy, but I did do laundry, and I made some eggnog ice cream, and I went through some boxes of business cards, so I could send some to people in the business card collecting clubs I'm in.

I tried to sleep around 3:30, but the allergies were bad, so I had to get up again. UGH.

  Sunday 12/4/16

David woke me around 11:30. I was still so tired! Still am, in fact. I would love to take a nap, but I'm trying to get back to that great earlier schedule I had before.

Our town has a Wendy's now (didn't have one before) that just opened, so we went there for lunch. It was pretty good. We then went back to Wal-mart to get a new Christmas tree and a few things at the grocery store that I forgot. It's 7.5 feet and has colored lights that twinkle. It's not a really cheap one, so hopefully it will last quite a few years.

My stupid doctor didn't call in one of my prescriptions, so now I have to wait until Monday to call it in... Grrr. She has messed up SO many times.

Last week something funny happened. Someone knocked on the door, and David went to answer it. It was some kids from a local church, singing "Jingle Bells." They were raising money. We only had $5 to give them, unfortunately. I wish we would get real carolers. I would love to do carols myself.

There isn't a ton of Christmas stuff going on around here, from what I can tell. Monday we were invited to a holiday party by one of the professors, and then afterward, there's a percussion concert at SAU.  Last week we missed three big events. On Thursday, the town had some kind of thing on the Square, and SAU had a big Christmas tree lighting thing, and then on Friday, they had the Madrigal Feaste. We were out of town for the first two, and the third one was sold out. I was very disappointed.

I was seriously falling asleep, so I made myself some coffee. I like the hazelnut international coffees. I add in cocoa, vanilla, cinnamon, cream or milk, and then top it off with whipped cream and a little Hershey's chocolate syrup. It's yummy. It kind of woke me up, for a little while!

I put away a lot of stuff in the master bedroom and bathroom. Then I'm doing some work on the site, then I'll do the dishes and clean up the kitchen. Then back to work. Then I'll make cookies. If I don't get up every once in a while and do something, I will definitely be too tired and will fall asleep!

I did that and watched some TV. I then got the new Christmas tree out of the box and put it up, and I fanned out a lot of the branches, but I got tired and had to quit. It's a nice, big tree, with beautiful lights! I'll put the rest up tomorrow.

Have a great week!

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