1/2/17 Chronicles

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FIRST 2017 Blog post! Wheeeeeeee!

To recap what we've been doing in 2016... As most of you know, we moved to Magnolia, AR in June and bought a nice, big new home and new car. I really miss Hawaii (where we lived the past 3 years), but the people here are very nice. It's a very small town of fewer than 12,000 people and not a lot of restaurants or shopping. No mall, just Wal-Mart. No public transportation. It's kind of rural feeling. I spent most of July through September unpacking and setting up the house with furniture and decor. I still have to get more furniture for the bedrooms.

We went to Dallas for Christmas weekend and had a lot of fun. We stayed home here in Magnolia for new year's.  We've taken a lot of short driving trips since we've been here, to Little Rock, El Dorado, Shreveport, and Texarkana. Some of them were for David's work. He has to drive around the area a lot. Little Rock is the state capitol and he often has business meetings there. We flew to Austin for a brief weekend in November for a conference.

David loves his job as Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs at Southern Arkansas University.  He works long hours, though, and doesn't have much free time. He goes in about 7am and comes home around 6:30, and he often has evening or weekend activities to attend.

He's been on vacation but goes back to work Tuesday. We've been walking 2 miles every day for the past week. We still hope to get a dog soon.  The people next door cut down a lot of trees around them, near us, and it looks terrible. I'm upset about it, but they own the property. David doesn't care one way or the other about it.  I'm going back to college to take classes starting January 11 to get my second B.A. in Mass Media (sort of what they call journalism now). I'm hoping that I can learn some more things to make my website better, get more interviews, etc. I will also be seeking help from their business center. I will be taking 3 courses: Internet Communications and Trends in Modern Media, and a third one, probably a music class. I'm waiting for them to get back to me on whether I can take guitar or voice lessons. I'm just doing it part time to start.

I post a lot on Instagram Twitter and Facebook You don't have to be a member of the first two in order to see my posts.  I think you do for Facebook. However, I have many photos and posts that are public on Facebook that you might be able to see if you're not on there. Eventually, I post all of the Instagram photos into an album on Facebook. I'm only up to October right now in Facebook.  Please check it out if you can!

  Monday 12/26/16

We woke up around 6:30am in our hotel room in Dallas... we got ready and then left there about 8am. It's another nice day. 71 degrees this morning! Great Winter weather, but I'm sure it won't last.

We stopped briefly at a gas station in Mount Pleasant, Texas, and then we didn't stop again until Texarkana. We went to Denny's for lunch. It's funny because when we were younger, we used to go to Denny's a lot, especially the one near the Carlsbad mall because we could sit there for a long time and talk, any hour, and they would drink coffee, and I would drink soda. They also had a bar for a while, and it was not very popular, so it was a good place to go for quiet drinks. We even went there for New Year's Eve a few times and it was like we had our own private party.  The food was ok and cheap. I loved their pies, their milkshakes etc.  Then we moved away and rarely went, and the few times we did go, I didn't like it as much. Now that I have to eat gluten-free, I love it, because they have many gluten free items. I especially like their gluten free English Muffins and hash browns. We don't have one in our town, but there is this one in Texarkana and other nearby cities. Oh, and now that I'm 55, I can order off the Senior Menu! Yippee! I had their scrambled eggs and cheddar. It was really good. I was a little surprised, though, that the waitress didn't ask me to prove my age. Most people are surprised that I'm 55 because I don't look it. That may sound conceited, but it's true. It's not something I did. I just got lucky with good genetics, at least in that sense.

Lately, I'm really feeling my age, and my weight. I guess that's why I'm finally trying to lose the weight and get in shape. I feel like this is my last chance to do that.

When we got home, around 11:40, we found that there was lots of mail. I thought I had stopped it, but apparently not. Whoops! Today is a mail holiday, so this was all from Thursday through Saturday.

The mailbox was packed full, and we had a few packages on the doorstep as well. We got a few presents and lots of nice Christmas cards. I had ordered a few small Christmas bears as well, from Amazon and Ebay. Now I have enough to cover the whole window sill in front of the Christmas tree.

I was surprised by a Christmas check from Marianne, my foster mom. That was not expected. She's had a lot going on the past few weeks. How nice of her!

I had sent our friend Kathy a "Sound of Music" calendar because she'd mentioned that she loved that movie a lot. Mainly, I wanted to check out this calendar-making thing they have at Walgreens. I may want to order more in the future. Anyway, she sent us some nice little Hawaii things: a Christmas ornament, a shotglass, and a postcard with bears on it; all from Hilo Hattie! That was neat.

I also got another present from my SIL, so that was great. It was wrapped, so I haven't opened it yet. We still have presents under the tree, unopened. David took a nap and then didn't want to go anywhere, after the long drive, so I let him off the hook :)

Our new washing machine was delivered! Yay! I have a lot of laundry to do, so that's good.

We did open one present each last night, just for fun. I got David a funny calendar.  I opened a big present from Susan and John. It's a Pizzazz Plus Pizza Maker. This looks interesting. I have a lot of appliances, but not this one. I can't wait to test it out! It makes other things besides pizza, too. David opened a joke calendar I got for him.

I was getting very sleepy, pretty early, like around 7pm. I was struggling to stay awake.  Then I started getting really sick from the gluten allergies. I had to keep running to the restroom. It was not fun. I was worried that it was so bad I might have to go to the ER again, but fortunately I didn't get too dehydrated, and there wasn't much nausea. I finally got back to sleep and slept through most of the night.

There was a big, loud, long thunderstorm all night!

  Tuesday 12/27/16

I woke up around 7:30.... I'd had a lot of sleep!

I did work and then we went out to lunch around 11. We just stopped at McDonald's and then went to Wal-Mart. He got my presents while I got most of the groceries.

When we got home, we learned that Carrie Fisher had died. So sad.  What a terrible year. I hope that 2017 will be much better than 2016! I can't say I have a lot of hope in that direction, though.

Later on, we unwrapped presents. That was fun, but short. My main present from him was the laptop I got last month. (It's the nicest one I've ever had) Besides the presents we opened yesterday, and the couple of gift cards from my SIL Eileen....she also sent us some Starbucks Peppermint Mocha mix, and some candy. From my other SIL I got a ladybug mug (very cute). From David I got a neck massager (for my poor spine that's always in pain!), a fairly large stuffed bear; and some bear and other ornaments. I don't really care what he gets me as long as it's something he picked out himself!

We exchange gifts over Skype with our friend Barbara on Friday, so that will be fun. She sent us a bunch!

We don't really get gifts from anyone else, for the most part, even though we do send gifts to other people.... I've given up expecting it from them.  Some people are just lame about that kind of thing. I think they feel that it costs a lot of money. I just like the idea and thought of gifts. They don't have to be something expensive. Frankly, I think that homemade gifts are the best kind. Anything you put some thought into is the best gift. I don't need anything and there are few things I want that I don't buy myself. It's just the idea of Christmas I love, and that you put thought into making/buying the gift.

Sometimes I put a lot of thought into gifts and sometimes I don't. I try to. Some people just want gift cards, so I try to accommodate them!  When we were in Hawaii, I enjoyed sending Hawaii stuff. One year I sent boxes to almost everyone on my list with chocolate covered Macadamia nuts and other local goodies, in Hawaiian boxes, so that was fun.  Another year I sent a friend pineapples.  This year I found these great sugary pecans from a company called Old Dominion, here in the stores. It's not something you can buy online, so I sent some to a few people. They are delicious, so I hope they enjoyed them. I also sent some Star Wars cat toys to a few friends, and that was a good choice.

I did a lot of laundry today in my new washing machine! It seems to work fine :) It's a Kenmore, even though it was one of their cheapest, so it will work well and last a long time. The Kenmore washer we bought back in Lubbock lasted more than a decade, even though it was cheap. At that time, we got a cheap Kenmore washer, new, and a used refurbished dryer that was a good bargain. Both lasted a long time. One of them we had to replace when we were in Alabama, but I don't remember which one.

We went for a walk around 4 over on the trail near the university. I think it's over 2 miles. I wore shorts and a T-shirt. My arms were a little cold, but otherwise it was fine. Nice weather.  It's warmer now than it was a month ago. I wish I'd brought my camera. There are some mules along the trail, behind a fence (as well as cows, bulls, horses and goats), and someone had their dog there. The dog and horse were touching noses, saying hello. That was so cute!

I was pretty tired but managed to stay up until around midnight.

  Wednesday 12/28/16

I woke up around 8am. I did some work on my site and some straightening up around the house. I have more to do.  I had some of the Starbucks Peppermint Mocha that my SIL sent. It's kind of high in carbs, so I just used half the packet. I also added Equal and cream, and put whipped cream and a swirl of Hershey's syrup on the top. It was delicious! It gave me some energy, too.

I did a lot today... I picked up a lot around the house and put away the clean clothes. I'd had a lot of laundry! I did a lot of work here and there.

David went into work and then came home around 11:30. We went to Taco Bell for lunch. I love their Power Bowl. It took a really long time, and then they left the meat off, but it didn't take them too long to fix it. I was starving and it tasted really great.

I made a new Facebook group for losing weight and/or getting in shape, so please join!  I am determined to get healthier.

Later on, we went walking again for over 2 miles on the trailer near SAU.  It was much warmer and more humid. It was 70 degrees. Wow! I brought my sweater but took it off. It's been shorts and T-shirt weather, but this was even more so. It made the walk tougher.

I made some pork chops for dinner. I had bought some really thin ones and pan-fried them in olive oil. First I coated them with a little flour, parmesan cheese, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian herbs. I used the gluten-free kind of flour for mine, regular for his.  They were excellent!

First, we heard lots of fireworks last night. I guess people are getting ready for new year's!  Then, we had a short thunderstorm last night. Fortunately, it was late and didn't last long. I guess that's why it was warmer.

I was very tired and went to sleep around 10pm.

  Thursday 12/29/16

I woke up around 6 - way too early! I'm definitely thinking of taking a nap. I tried to take on around 2:30, but it didn't work.

I replanted two of my plants into larger pots. It might not work...they might be too far gone. We'll see!

I finished putting away all of our stuff from the suitcases and bags. I need to somehow find energy to do the dishes and clean up the kitchen.

I've been watching a lot of TV shows for my site, and we've been walking every evening (over 2 miles).

I went to pick up a prescription and got dinner from Subway. Nothing too exciting going on! I think I went to bed pretty early.

  Friday 12/30/16

I woke up really early. The kid came to cut the lawn and get rid of the leaves and weeds. Glad that's done with for awhile! I did a lot of work on my site all week. Like usual!

I can't really remember what we did, but we did have a Skype call with our friend Barbara in the evening to exchange Christmas presents. That was fun! We were chatting with her for about 2 hours. I got some DVD's, some Christmas decorations etc.

I think I finally got around to washing the dishes. I've just been so tired and busy all week.

  Saturday 12/31/16

David's off until Tuesday, but he's still been going into the office to do some work.  We went to run some errands, so we went to the dry cleaner and did some shopping at Walmart. I stopped at Subway again, but I got impatient and left. They were being very slow and inefficient, and worse, they were letting my food get cold. So I had dinner at Wendy's instead. The Wendy's is new, and I like it more than most of the other fast food places.

I was really missing Honolulu today because we used to go bar-hopping downtown. We'd have dinner at one of the great restaurants and walk around to various places, having drinks and snacks, and also doing karaoke. That was great. Here in the small town...not too much to do. It's ok. We just listened to music, had snacks, and then later had some Champagne and watched the ball drop.

I have a lot of light-up things inside and outside the house at Christmas. I haven't been bothering to turn on the indoor things, but I did tonight. It's the last night I can! We take it all down tomorrow.

After that, I ended up staying up until 4 am, singing on SingSnap!

  Sunday 1/1/17

David woke me up about 11am.  I showered quickly and got dressed. We went to Antigua's, but they were closed, so we went to the Mexican restaurant near us, El Compadre. They were open! Yay! I had my usual scrambled eggs and chorizo.

I took the day off from dieting and exercise. Sometimes you need a cheat day! I had some chocolate today, and some eggnog. Tsk tsk!

After we got home, we took down all of the outdoor decorations, and the ones in the window. It was a bit drizzly, so that wasn't too fun. I also took down the ones in the laundry room, guest room, kitchen, front room and part of the living room.  We put the outdoor ones in the main dining room. There's a rug in there, so I figure if I clean them there, it will be easier to vacuum up. The rest I'm putting in the smaller dining room near the kitchen. I put the breakables on the table, and the others are on the counter or floor. I won't have to wrap them as well as I did last year, but I still do want to wrap the breakables a bit.

It was in the 50's today. I'm so tired of the cold. It's supposed to be warmer the next few days but then drop down to the 30's on Wednesday.

I started the laundry but got pretty tired and went to bed about 11pm.

Happy New Year and have a great week!

This page updated 3/24/17

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