9/18/17 Chronicles

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  Monday 9/11/17

practice room pianoMonday was my first real voice lesson. I was very tired and not feeling great, so we mostly just did some exercises. The teacher is very nice. I see her posts on Facebook, and she had been talking about something gluten free. I happened to mention that I had made some sugar free, gluten free pumpkin spice ice cream. She said that sounds delicious, so I jokingly said, maybe I'll bring you some. Then I found out that Monday was her birthday! I briefly debated baking her a cake, but I saw by her Facebook that she'd already had a cake, so she was probably sick of cake. I brought her in a little container of the ice cream, and she loved it. It was very good. I finally finished it today.

I'm still not doing a great job doing my singing exercises. I just feel tired all of the time. I decided to only eat at Chick-Fil-A for now, so I won't get sick, but it hasn't been a very successful plan so far. After Peter is gone, then I can probably stick to it better. The other restaurants all seem to make me sick, probably from cross-contamination.  My allergies have been really bad this week, too.
Chick-Fil-A salad
I've been so incredibly busy, and just exhausted, and I haven't had any time to train Brandy, either. We've been trying to teach her not to bite us, especially our feet. She loves to nibble on our feet, especially sometimes when we walk. We use the bitter apple or cherry spray, and we say "no" very firmly. It only works temporarily, though, and she comes right back to it again. She doesn't seem to learn anything when it comes to the biting. She's always bugging me to play with her, and I just don't have the time or energy to do it as much as she wants.

The trainer had recommended I get a chain leash because it's harder to chew up. The first one I got was too long, so I ordered a shorter one. When I put that on her, she just freezes and sits there, wherever I put her. She doesn't move much. It's great when we want her to calm down, or when we want to sleep and she doesn't. But it's not very good otherwise....the original point was to have it on her all the time so we can use the leash to make her go where we want, when we want. That won't work if she's so afraid of the leash. He thinks that it's because it's heavy andBrandy with her new chain leash makes noise. I don't know, but it's very strange.

Our friend Peter is coming to visit Sunday through Wednesday. I think we'll put that leash on her when he first gets here, so she'll be calmer. Otherwise, she'll have excited peeing and drive us crazy running around.

I'm very annoyed about something, but I can't say what it is... something to do with writing. Grrr!

  Wednesday 9/13/17

I had a term paper due in my Intro to Mass Comm class. We were supposed to watch at least three different newscasts and then answer some questions to compare them. It was pretty easy. I hate the news, though! It's funny because I don't like watching or reading non-entertainment news very much...I find it very boring.

I was supposed to do my presentation for my Intro to Public Relations class on Wednesday as well, but I asked to push it back until Friday. I just ran out of time to do both the term paper and the presentation. It's not like I purposely waited until the last minute to do them. I've just been swamped.

I still have all of my regular stuff for my site that keeps me busy (you know, my FULL TIME JOB!), especially on the weekend. It doesn't leave a lot of time for school work or anything else. I've cut way back on what I do, but there's still a lot to do, especially in the Fall with the new shows. Brandy making me feel guilty

I asked Christina to take Brandy and I to the Bow Wow Beauty Shop about 9:45, so we could drop Brandy off, and then pick her up later after school. Well, the people at Bow Wow neglected to tell me that they had moved! So we went to the wrong place first, wasting time. Brandy is not thrilled about riding in cars. I brought the thick blanket from our car to put in the back of Christina's truck, but still, Brandy peed on it and then vomited as well. I didn't see the vomit. I guess she got carsick. So later on, Christina texted me a picture and let me know what happened, and that she might have to pay to get her car cleaned. I was horrified and embarrassed, but she was not upset. She's a parent, and a nurse, and she's had dogs, so she knows how that is.

Anyway, David picked Brandy up and took us home, so Christina wouldn't have to. She was dealing with her own crisis, anyway. Her daughter's elementary school had a fire, so she had to rush to pick her up.

Then Yolanda and her daughter, Debra, came to clean the house. Debra was really taken with Brandy, but Brandy kept peeing. This dog is just set on making me look bad, I swear! LOL! Good thing they hadn't cleaned yet where she peed. You can't get mad at the poor thing for these mishaps because it is involuntary.

When they came to clean, I moved the living room furniture back where it used to be. I no longer have to watch Brandy's every move or worry about her peeing all the time. All of the changes freaked her out, though. Poor baby! I had taken the big rug out and some other stuff out of the sun room, too, so I moved it all back. Living room

I'm only letting Brandy stay in the bedroom from now on, not the sunroom. She just chews on furniture and rugs too much if left unattended. She chewed part of the molding on the corner of our bedroom, near the door. She chewed a corner of the rug, too, and also has been under the bed chewing away on the mattress. So at least I'm keeping her confined in there from now on. Between the bitter cherry spray and the gates, I mostly keep her away from the stuff I don't want her to chew. This way, too, I was able to move the plants and some other things back into the sunroom. Poor Brandy doesn't know why she's not allowed in there any more! She'll adjust, though.
Brandy on the new rug
We had this runner that went behind the sectional...when Brandy came, we moved the sectional apart, and I put the runner in front of the couch. It is a very thin rug that slips a lot. Brandy kept peeing on it, and chewing it, and sliding on it, so I finally put it away for a while. I moved that to our bedroom this week and I got another, better runner for the living room. It's very soft, like a shag rug, but with a pretty design. It doesn't move as easily.

Brandy in a hole she dugNow that the weather's nicer, she asks to be let out a lot more, and she stays out there longer. Well, that means she's also running amok. She's been digging holes, and ripping out this mesh that was under a lot of the plants and dirt. Fortunately, I don't care too much about any of that.

I only put some of the knick knacks and things back after the cleaning. I have more to do. I just haven't had any time or energy!

I did make some butterscotch ice cream, with sugar free butterscotch pudding. It's very thick and rich, but great.butterscotch ice cream

  Thursday 9/14/17

I stayed up way too late Tuesday night, so I was dead tired. Then I went to bed very early Wednesday. But guess what - on Thursday, I woke up at 6:30am and couldn't get back to sleep! I got up, had breakfast, etc. and then went back to sleep for a few hours. Now you know why I'm so tired!

We got to see part of a very interesting PBS documentary in my photography class about the history of photos in the U.S. I think we're going to see more of it next week.

Ever since last weekend, whenever I wanted to take a selfie, my pictures on my cell phone came out really dark. I couldn't figure out what I had done to change any settings. I asked my photography professor for help, and he couldn't figure it out, either. Then I rebooted it and that solved the problem. So weird!

I've been pretty careful about the mosquitoes, but I'm still getting bitten. On Wednesday, I was out in the yard very briefly, yet somehow I got bitten on my right wrist and on my left leg just above my knee. Then on Thursday, I did use the mosquito repellant, as always, when I walked Brandy, but one bit me on my face! How the heck does that happen? You can't put repellant on your face! That stuff is toxic if you swallow it or get it in your eyes. Grrrrr.

We've had bizarre weather this week. Monday morning it was actually cool, in the low 60's. Then it's been nice, but Thursday and Friday were back in the 90's! Argh!

  Friday 9/15/17

The lawn guy, Mark, was supposed to come back on Friday to pick up the messes Brandy made, and do some last minute mowing and weeding, and to plant my Meyer lemon tree in the backyard. I left money for him. When I came back, the money was gone, but nothing else seemed done. I spent many hours phoning him, with no reply. Finally I did hear back from him. He did the mowing and some weeding (it was hard to tell because it was mowed last week), but I guess he had other people's lawns to mow, so he had to leave. He's coming back on Saturday to finish it. I still have to go pick up the dog poop out there, too. I was a little worried there for a while when I couldn't reach him. I don't know him very well, so perhaps leaving cash for him was stupid. It turned out okay, though. It's a small town, so most people are pretty nice and trustworthy, I think. He's just not the most reliable person sometimes. When he says what day or time he'll show up, it doesn't always work out the way he promised.

my Marvel presentation first slideI did my presentation in my PR class and it went very well, even though I'd been sick off and on that morning. We were supposed to bring a company or brand that does some kind of positive PR, like charity work or other community involvement. I chose Marvel Comics. I found some great graphics online to use, too. I think I'm getting better at these because my voice wasn't shaking nearly as much. Also, I wrote out what I wanted to say, so I didn't say any "ums" and "ers" that he usually takes a point or two off for. (He did take off one point, anyway, darn it!)

My laptop battery is back to having that same problem again...I unplug it at home around 10 before I leave, and it runs out of power before 1pm when I'm in class. I don't even have time to take care of that right now.

When I was walking Brandy tonight, I noticed that many houses had their Fall decorations up. At least one (possibly three) had Halloween decorations up already! That's just way too early.

I still need to use my camera more and figure out how to use it for everything. We have an assignment due next Tuesday. We're supposed to take a lot of photos of someone and then select 4 to turn in. We have to make two of them into black and white photos. Our friend Peter is coming to visit on Sunday, so he agreed to pose for me. That doesn't give me much time to do the assignment, though. I couldn't talk David into doing it, and I don't know many other people. I certainly don't know anyone that I want to inconvenience like that.

Before Peter arrives on Sunday, I still have to do the laundry and dishes; straighten up the house; put the knick knacks etc. back out; figure out my grocery list; water the plants; make some more ice cream and possibly cookies; put some new lights in some places; pick up dog poop in the back yard; wash the back windows; learn how to use my camera better; as well as go to the football game and do my regular work on my site. Ha! Yeah, right, that'll all happen, I'm sure...

I usually try to post my blog on Mondays, but sometimes it goes up a few days later. Today I posted last week's! That tells you how busy I've been.

  Saturday 9/16/17

I was going to get up at 9am, but I woke up at 8:30 and couldn't get back to sleep.  I went back to sleep for a little bit before David called to wake me around 11 about lunch.

The lawn guy, Mark, said that he would be by "this morning." We left the back gate open, butBest ribs ever latched, so Brandy can't get out. However, she likes to go out there a lot, so I had to call Mark and ask him for a more specific time, around 10. Unfortunately, all he could give me was "before noon." However, he did promise to call before he came, so I could make sure Brandy is not back there.  Now it's almost 2pm and he still hasn't come by. :(

It's been a very stressful week for me... I didn't even keep track of what was going on in the blog like I usually do, and now it's already Saturday. I had to try to recreate everything from memory.

We had lunch at Backyard Barbecue. This place is great, but it's so slow, and there was a long line when we got there. It's worth the wait, though.  Their ribs are the best, but if you try to get them before 11:30, good luck. They don't always have them done by then.

Arctic Zero ice creamWe stopped at Brookshire's as usual for a few things. I got some Arctic Zero ice cream, which is not bad. It's not as good as real ice cream, but considering it's fat free, low calorie, low glycemic index, gluten free and fairly low carb, it's not bad. It's a nice little cold treat.

We're going to the football game this afternoon. We'll do like last week...go to the Mulegating and half the game. I've got too much to do!

It was very hot today, so that made it a little less fun at thescoreboard Mulegating. We said hi to people we knew, walked around, and then sat inside the new alumni center, which is air-conditioned, to eat dinner.  The game was fun...they won easily. It wasn't as hot there in the shade. My back was hurting me a lot, though, because of sitting there with no back support.

The lawn guy, Mark, was supposed to come by this morning, but he never showed at all. It's very upsetting because I paid him for the Hidden Figures posterwork already. He only did a small portion of what he promised. He knows that we're having company tomorrow, and that's why I wanted it done before then. I guess I'll have to find someone else for the future.

I spent most of the day getting the house ready for Peter's visit tomorrow. I have a lot to do. Too much! I stayed up until about 4 am. I watched "Hidden Figures," which I recorded on my DVR. Good movie! I played it while I worked.

  Sunday 9/17/17eggs with chorizo

I got up around 11 and was just working hard all day.

First we had lunch at the Mexican place near us, El Compadre.  Then, we went to the grocery store, and I did the laundry. We also had stopped at the dollar store, so I got more Fall decorations. The house came together very nicely. I got some more plants but forgot to get fresh flowers...the place looked good, anyway... You can see more photos on my Instagram. fall decorations

We had to spend some time out in the backyard to clean it up, since that guy Mark never came. I picked up the dog poop and some of the pine cones and sticks. David helped me with that. I also swept the back porch and patio, and cleaned off the lawn chairs, and washed the outside of the back windows. We had to put some lights up as well. I never did make the cookies!

I had a little nap in the afternoon, which helped immensely because I was so tired!

Before Peter arrived, I made food for us all. He was due in around 8, so I figured he'd be hungry.Brandy Most of what I made was very simple. I sliced up veggies and put them on some pretty dishes I use when we have company. I also had crackers and lots of sliced up cheese, and plenty of chips and dip. I put out olives and pecans as well. I made my usual simple dish with Buddig beef rolled up with cream cheese. I had bought some spicy cheese sausage and cooked that up, too. I also warmed up some cheese dip. The only thing that annoys me is that I forgot to take a photo of the table laden with all this! It looked great.

Oh, also, I didn't walk Brandy tonight because of being busy and tired.  We put the chain leash on her, so she was a bit easier to control.  She did pee on the floor a tiny bit, but that's uncontrollable...she was just over-excited with Peter's visit.

It's always fun when Peter visits. He's a nice person, but also, he's very funny and easy going. We stayed up quite late!

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This page updated 9/21/17

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