5/1/17 Chronicles



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  Monday 4/24/17

I wasn't able to sleep at all last night..so I was very tired. It was a long day. Linda picked mePiano in practice room up about 10 minutes early, around 9. I got to my voice lesson early. I'm supposed to start at 10, but her 9am student keeps not showing up. I had plenty of time to practice and warm up before my lesson.  This was my last voice lesson until Fall! Too bad.

I really want to make sure to practice the exercises this Summer, and maybe go back to working on my guitar, too. I just don't know when I'll have time!

After the lesson, I took our taxes in to the post office to mail them in. We pay an accounting firm to do our taxes, but they had some sort of trouble e-filing two of our tax returns.  We had three for 2016: federal, Hawaii and Arkansas.

I got a soda and then went to class as usual. I was having trouble staying awake, though. I was so very tired! I had fun chatting with my classmates in-between the two classes.

After I had lunch at Chick-Fil-A, Linda picked me up. She was a little bit late. There was nowhere to sit there, but there is a nearby wooden bench-swing. Some students were on it for a long time, but then they finally left and I sat in it. It's very nice and there's a tree right next to it with many birdies in it. They Me on swing chairwere singing up a storm.

Linda took me over to the cellular store and then to Wal-Mart.  I'm doing one of my projects for class on the Samsung S8, and I want to upgrade my phone to that one, too.  I asked the sales guy a bunch of questions and then asked him if he minded if I took a video of him talking about the S6.  His colleagues were teasing him, too.  He was a nice guy and did well on the video. I can now use that video in my class presentation. I like to do some unusual things in my presentation that aren't required but might help my grade. For my Star Wars marketing presentation, I brought in props - many Star Wars collectibles and T-shirts.  For my Soap Opera Digest presentation, I brought in some of the magazines.  For my presentation on the NIMA gluten tester, I brought mine in and used it to test, so they could see it in action.  For my presentation about the karaoke app Smule Sing! I recorded some videos on their site and put links to them, so they could see them if they want.  We're encouraged to use many links and videos in our presentation.

I went to Wal-Mart after that and bought the rest of the things I needed for my party that IJazz band was supposed to get on Sunday.  I'm still sick sometimes, feeling the effects of those sausages I ate at Dugan's on Saturday. I got most of the things on my list, so that worked out great.

I came home and then took a nap for a few hours.

We had a jazz band concert to go to in the evening.  It was very good. They're great!

I realized that I hadn't sent in my paper that was due on Sunday, so I did a last minute checkupflowers on that and sent it in.

I made up a schedule for all I need to do this week...it's working out pretty well so far.

  Tuesday 4/25/17

I got a good night's sleep for a change!

Linda picked me up this morning and we went downtown. First we had to find a flower/gift shop. I thought there was one on the town square, Simply Beautiful, according to Google, but it's gone out of business. A nice older man walking by, with a cane, told me that there was another one a few blocks away, Something Special. It was a very small town experience :)  Anyway, this was a flower more flowersshop, but they were getting most of their live flowers tomorrow, so there was very little choice in what to buy. They had many beautiful silk flowers, but only a few live plants and flower bouquets. David wanted me to pick up a couple for Administrative Professionals Day tomorrow. I found two bouquets and I bought a small azalea plant for myself. It's really beautiful. One of the other bouquets had a lady bug on it, so I asked them to add that in as well. They didn't have a box or anything, so I could take them home easily, but they only charged $5 for delivery, so they delivered it in the afternoon.

We went back to the Square so I could go to the antique place, Deanne &azaleas Maree's Hitchin' Post, but it wasn't open until 10. It was about 9:45, so I walked around the square. First I went to Magnolia Bake Shop to see if they had anything gluten free. I was very thirsty and starting to get hungry. I had stupidly skipped breakfast. I bought a water there, but they had nothing gluten free. Too bad because it all looked yummy.  Then I kept walking and found another antique store there that was going out of business. They didn't have much left that I wanted, and they didn't take credit cards, so I left. Too bad again! I went to this restaurant, My Kitchen Table, but it was not open until 11. I thought they were a breakfast and lunch place! Guess not. The only other place there that sold food is the Corner Clubhouse. I didn't feel like going there.

By the time I walked back to the car, it was about 10:12, and the antique place still wasn't open! There was no one around that I could see. I peeked inside the windows, too.  So I decided to give up for the day because I was just too hungry at that point. It was already pretty hot, too.

Linda drove me over to Dairy Queen so I could get lunch. That was the first place we saw on the way to the grocery store. I always offer to buy her lunch, but she always turns me down.  :)  She took me to Brookshire's, which is the nicer, more upscale grocery store. I had a few things to get there that Wal-Mart didn't have.

After that, the day did not go so well.

I've been dealing with a local company that does yardwork. It's a family business, and the son cuts the grass. He does a fine job.  The dad (let's call him Jake) does the other type of yard work.  He had come out last week to give me an estimate on trimming the hedges out front, and he said they would also weed. I said, OK, but just make sure not to mess up my flowers.  These are the flowers that Brianna and her sister planted for me last Fall, and about half of them came back, and she will be planting more. Also, there are 5 or 6 flower bushes that were already there when we moved in.  So he assured me, not to worry, that the guy he has will do a great job and make it look nice.

So after I came home today, Jake's guy (I don't know his name, but let's call him Roberto) was out there trimming the hedges.  I happened to look out a little later, and he was roughly raking the flowers on the right side of our front door. I went out and said, "Careful of the flowers!"  He made a pulling gesture and asked, "Pull?"  And I said, "No! Be careful of the flowers!"  His English is not great, but he understood. I got worried after what he said, though, so I went out there a little later and saw, much to my horror, that he had pulled out all of the other flowers, aside from one bush that has white flowers.  So I phoned up Jake and told him what happened. He offered to plant more flowers, so I said, OK. I told him that there were at least a dozen that had been pulled. 

After he came out, he argued with me about all of the flowers, saying that Roberto was right to pull them because they were not really flowers, they were "over."  Now, I realized later, thinking about this, that he's looking at it from a long-term, gardening perspective. He meant, these flowers were no longer going to bloom, either this season or maybe ever. But still, that was a really dumb thing for him to say. He knew he was in the wrong because I had specifically told him to be careful of the flowers. If he didn't know what that meant, he should have said, which flowers do you mean?  So I said, no, they were flowers! He still argued but did bring some flowers to replant. It was very uncomfortable.  Well,  he didn't bring that many, and they were all the same color of pink. I'd had many different colors planted.  Also, Roberto had removed four or five small bushes in front, too. They do flower in the Fall, I know, because they did last year.  However, Jake was being such an ass, that I just didn't want to deal with any more or bother arguing further.

His wife came by to get the check and I tried to explain it to her, but she didn't want to get involved. I asked her to make sure that Jake knew that I wasn't trying to be a bee-atch or anything.  She did give me some very helpful hints about how to treat the flowers, such as adding mulch to keep the weeds away.  She was very nice, and happened to mentioned that they had their son's dog with them, so I went out with her to the truck to see the dog. It was a very sweet dog.  Jake and Roberto were already packed up and sitting in the truck. I said to Jake, "Sorry if I came over as obnoxious. I wasn't trying to."  He sort of grunted at me. I was pretty pissed off. He did ask if everything looked okay, so I said it was fine and then thanked them and left. Normally I would have insisted that they plant more bushes and flowers, but this is a small town, and I didn't want anyone hating me or causing us problems in the future. I doubt I will use them again, though, except maybe to have their son mow the lawn.

After having looked on their Facebook page, and meeting them, I think Jake is the type that is not used to having a woman disagree with him.  UGH.  Or who knows, maybe I read the whole thing wrong, and he knew that he had messed up, so he was just being very defensive.  Who knows with people! It was very unpleasant. At least they did do a great job with the hedges. That is no way to run a business, though. You shouldn't argue with the customer (especially when you're in the wrong).

Here are some photos I found that I took last year and early this year of what the front yard looked like, especially the area right in front where those bushes were:

From May 2016 Fall 2016

March 2017 flowersFall 2016

Here's what it looks like now:

I did some cooking of appetizers ahead of time for our party on Saturday.  David and I wentpercussion ensemble to the percussion ensemble concert in the evening. The theater is always freezing, so I have to remember to bring a sweater, and socks. Someone told me this week that it was because of the lights being so hot.  Percussion is not my favorite type of instrument, but they were good. I was very tired and having a hard time staying awake. Even though I got some sleep last night, I've been very tired all day.

I made chocolate ice cream for the party after we got home. I was sticking to my schedule!chocolate ice cream

I also put the finishing touches on my media presentation for my Trends in Modern Media Class. It was about the Samsung Galaxy 8. We had to do it on some tablet or phone. This was a fairly easy one to do compared to most of the others;  probably because I didn't care as much about the subject.

  Wednesday 4/26/17

It was a typical morning. I've been trying to make sure to go to bed early so I'm not so tired, but your body still gets tired if it's not used to the new schedule.

I gave my presentation and it went fine. It was kind of cool because the guy before me did the iPhone 8, and he had mentioned the features that he hopes it will have (it's not out yet, and they haven't said for sure what it will be like).  Most of the features he mentioned, such as waterproofing, are already on the Samsung Galaxy 6, or 7, let alone 8. But it was nice because I could then mention his presentation in passing. Also, the girl who went after me did hers on the Pixel, which is the Google phone coming out, so it was almost like we planned it!

I was kind of hyper afterwards, which is good. Better than being tired!

We had a big rain and thunderstorm today! It lasted all night, too.

I had planned to do a lot of work for our party today - cooking and whatnot. However, I spent way too much time working on my other project, for Friday, so I ran out of time. Also, I had to pick up around the house because the house cleaners are coming tomorrow.plant

My last project in my Internet Communication class is about Career Marketing. We're supposed to do it on ourselves. It's like a resume but with photos. It's probably too long... it's hard to condense so many years living and working into ten slides. That's a much easier project for the other students in my class that have only been around for about 22 years and have only had a few jobs at most.

  Thursday 4/27/17

I'm feeling very stressed and overwhelmed. Too much to do! Plus I've been totally neglecting my site.

The house cleaner Yolanda and her daughter came today around 9. I just barely had time to take a shower and eat breakfast before they came. I only had about 4 hours' sleep.  Then Linda picked me up about 10 and we went back to the Square, so I could go to the antique store. I phoned yesterday to make sure they were opening on time today!

It's a huge place with many cool things. I could spend hours in there, and many hundreds of dollars. I was mostly looking for a few little interesting knick knacks or paintings. I got a big painting of flowers that is pretty nice, and it was pretty cheap. I got some beautiful crystal dishes to use for the party, and a few other things.

Here are some photos of things I bought:

 

 

Then we went over to Wal-mart and I did a lot of shopping. Last minute things, etc. and also I bought some more plants.  Unfortunately, I was very sick with the usual gluten problems flowers from Wal-Martall day.  After Wal-mart, she was going to take me to Sonic for lunch, but I was worried about getting sick again, so I just had her take me home.  We were gone for over 2 hours, but the time went by pretty quickly.

I'm almost out of Sudafed, which I use a bit with allergies or if I'm sick. As I mentioned before, the doctors and pharmacists in this area have made it so that you need a prescription for Sudafed, even though it's not a law or anything. Even though I'd had a prescription before, it was old, so I had to ask them to call it in to the doctor. Ridiculous.

Brianna came by later with her sister to plant some flowers out front. It was really hot today, so I felt bad for them being out new flowers plantedthere in it the afternoon heat.

I tried to nap after Yolanda left, but I was too stressed out to sleep very long. I had to put all of the stuff back. I always pick up the knick knacks etc. all over the house so it's easier for them to clean.  They still take about 5 hours to clean the house! But they do a great job.  They even do extra stuff I asked them to do, such as sweep the front and back porches, and she mopped the back porch (which was very dirty). I did clean it myself for a change in March, but the place is so big and gets dirty very quickly.

We had another concert, this time with the concert band and the wind ensemble. It was a great concert! I especially enjoyed the Phantom of the Opera medley the band did.  The whole thing was very enjoyable, though.

It took me a long time to finish putting everything back. I did a few other things, wind ensemblelike marinate the pork, but otherwise I'm way behind on where I should be on food preparation for the party. I stayed up until after 2.

  Friday 4/28/17

I was very tired today! I gave my last presentation in class for the semester. It went well, but I think I talked too much and went on too long. I probably bored the crap out of the students! They're very nice, though. We went about 15 minutes late on class, and they could have left but chose to stay.

I left my phone in the bathroom in Overstreet, and some couple who was visiting the campus found it and returned it to David. I was very shocked when he walked into my class (between classes) and gave it to me. I didn't even know it was missing! That's how tired I was. He was the last text on my phone, so that's how they found him.  I don't normally lock my phone, since I'm mostly home. Lucky for me, they were honest folks. Later, I found a message from them on our home answering machine. In my contacts, I have our landline listed as "Home".  Now I plan to put the password lock on my phone when I'm out, even though I find it very irritating.

squirrel and bird feederAfter I went home, I started working on preparation for the party. I had a lot to do, and I had some mishaps in the kitchen when trying to make the lasagna. I stayed up way too late, too.

I had bought a "squirrel-proof" bird feeder and put it out. It's funny...I saw a squirrel scamper up to it, then pause, like it was trying to figure out how to get into it, then it scampered up and over, away....poor thing! It was funny to watch, though.

  Saturday 4/29/17

I got up around 10. We went to Atwoods, the hardware store, first, to get some carpet tape. We have a couple of carpets that are always slipping around on the wood floor.  Then we had a quick lunch at Taco Bell.  Then we went to the grocery store so I could get some last minute things that I didn't get before. My doctor's office didn't get around to refilling the Sudafed, so I won't have that until at least next week.  Grrr. I gave them plenty of time.

David helped me a lot today with stuff around the house, like taping down the carpets, moving chairs, helping unload the dishwasher, etc. I felt like things were proceeding apace, and I even had time to take a shower and brush my teeth before the party! LOL!table before the party

We had a big storm that came about an hour before the party, but luckily it stopped before people came. Yay!  Then they started showing up about 6:20 and I was NOT ready. I had too many things that had to cook or reheat in the oven right before the guests came. Make a note - don't do that! LOL!

I used the buffet warmer that my SIL Susan got me a few years ago for Christmas (it was on my Amazon wishlist). First time using it! It worked out well.

David did a great job of hosting...getting everyone drinks and chatting. I felt completely overcome at this time, but then two of the guests kindly helped me in the kitchen, so things all came out okay. I made too much food, but I like to have an assortment of food so everyone can get something they like. Also, they make good leftovers.  Some of them I can't eat, though, so David will have to.

Eventually, I was able to sit down, have some food and wine, and chat with everyone.

caramel cakeThe party was for Lisa, the business dean, who's moving away.  We had already planned to have all of the deans over for a party, but this gave us a good excuse ;)  I'd asked what kind of cake she likes.  She said that anything was fine, but she liked caramel, so I made a caramel cake. I've never made one before. The frosting was kind of difficult, actually. It was more like a candy or fondant than a regular frosting.  It came out good, though. At least, everyone seemed to like it. I can't eat cake because of the gluten. I did taste the frosting, even though it has some flour in it. It's hard to resist frosting. It's hard to resist tasting anything when you're cooking it!

I served the cake with two types of homemade ice cream - chocolate, and French vanilla. I also had a small carton of regular vanilla from the store, in case we needed it. There were also lots of toppings. I had caramel sauce, bananas, strawberries, whipped cream, cookies, candies and chocolate sprinkles. I also put out many dishes of candy and snacks as well as the real food and the chips. So, there was a lot.

We have a big house, but only about 9 people showed up out of the 20 we invited. That's because we waited until April to do it when everyone is so busy at the end of the semester. Anyway, they all congregated in the living room, which was fine. If we'd had more people, some would have probably sit out in our sunroom. Fortunately, we did have plenty of chairs!

I've made the same lasagna for years, although not lately, since I can't eat pasta. Apparently David has developed a pine nut allergy (he's allergic to most nuts, but was not allergic before to pine nuts, and not pecans). What a shame! I'll have to throw the rest out, since I can't eat it, either.

This was really a "work" dinner for most of them, so they left before 9. I wish they had stayed longer, but they are busy people. They seemed to like the house and the food, so that's fine. I was pretty exhausted, anyway. David and I just listened to music for the rest of the evening.  I actually went to bed before David did, which is rare. He stayed up pretty late. I went to bed around 1:30.

  Sunday 4/30/17

I slept a lot... I'm so glad I don't have to go in to the university until Wednesday! No more getting up early after this week, either. Don't get me wrong...I love school. It's just hard for me to keep getting up early.

I did a lot of work on my site tonight. I did a tiny bit of cleaning up the kitchen, but not much.

In the afternoon, we went out to the SAU trail and did our walk there. It was chilly, but just from the wind. Otherwise it would have been pleasant. It was nice to get some excerise.

Afterwards, we went to McDonald's. We had a pretty relaxing day and night. I found out that the Padres were on for a change. They weren't on DISH, but they were on MLB.com, so we watched the game on my ROKU.Lenny

I found out that one of my online friends, Lenny, passed away. He was a really nice guy, and a good singer. He was elderly but did a lot of karaoke, including online karaoke, and local contests. He was very close with his family and always bragging about his kids and grandkids.  I know he was in the hospital recently and in a lot of pain, so I'm glad he's out of pain now.  We will all miss him.

Over the years, I've posted some articles about singing on the site karaokescene.com  This is the latest one. Singing Thoughts #8

Hope you have a great week!

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This page updated 4/25/17

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