10/2/17 Chronicles

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Latest Post - This Week

  Monday 9/25/17

Wow, I can't believe that it's almost October. It'll be Thanksgiving in less than two months! Crazy.

The past few weeks have been very stressful because I'm taking one too many classes.  This week is already stressful, too, for other reasons.

I've been speaking with this woman Amy in the advising office, who's very nice. She gave me some good news and some bad news today. The good news is that I don't have to worry about the previous things I was worrying about. No 120 credit hour requirement. However, it turns out that I do have to take the Gen Ed courses. However, I took most of the required classes already, so I just have to take a biology course and possibly some labs as well. It's just very upsetting to me, though, because the person last semester told me that I didn't have to worry about that at all. Apparently it's some state law here that if you've gotten your B.A. at a college outside of Arkansas, you have to fulfill the Gen Ed requirements. Stupid law!  Anyway, it's not self portrait for classreally that big of a deal. I was pretty upset about it earlier today, though.

I was sick again today as usual, which didn't help.  While I was in class, David picked up Brandy from the vet.

After my two classes, I met with Professor Ochs about my photographs. He was kind enough to look them over to help me figure out what I'm doing. He has a huge office.  He made me feel better about my grades, so that was great. He also showed me a few things I didn't know about my camera.

Then I went to see Michael, the accompanist, to go over my song. That went pretty well. I tried to record it, but I should have put my phone on my music stand instead of the piano. I can barely hear myself!

I had lunch after that, and then Christina gave me a ride home about 3:30.  David has a meeting now on Mondays, so I have to get a ride home with her every Monday.

The UPS finally picked up the two boxes I had on the porch! That's great because I had one huge one and one smaller one to return. Brandy

Brandy was very happy to see me when I got home! I missed her, too.  One thing she really likes is being hugged by me. She's such a sweetie. She jumps up on my chair and I hug her and rub her back. We both enjoy that! Or if I'm sitting on the floor, she just sits in my lap for a full body hug. :) She really wants to be a lap dog, but she's a bit too big. Plus we don't have a regular couch.

David brought home McDonald's for dinner. It was a pretty quiet night. I had a lot of work to catch up on. I stayed up too late again.

  Tuesday 9/26/17

I had my photography class like usual and turned in my self portrait assignment. I would have liked to have redone the photos, but I ran out of time and energy. The class was fine.

I had lunch at Chick-Fil-A and then David gave me a ride home.

After I got home, I made some vanilla ice cream and had some.  Then, I had a little nap. 

vanilla ice creamThen I got a big shock and disappointment which really upset me. As you may know, for my site I review all the new TV shows and many DVD's, as well as interview actors (and many other things).  Well, FOX was one of the networks that was best for both letting me watch their shows ahead of time, in their screening room, but also for giving me interviews.  Now, back in August, they closed their screening room and said it was being repaired.  Then I heard they had a new screening room, but when I emailed them about it, they never replied. After about ten emails in the past month, they finally did reply and said I won't have access to the new screening room. They gave me NO explanation at all. I asked why and reminded them that I've been working with them a long time (about 15 years). Hopefully I will get an answer, but I'm not too confident. It's just a big kick in the gut.  Here I am, getting a second degree and working so hard to balance my work and school, and improve my site, and then this happens. It's very discouraging and I was very upset for a long while. I do know that I'm not the only one this happened to, but that really doesn't make me feel much better.

David brought me home Burger King for dinner (we really need to stop doing that).  We had a quiet evening at home. I watched a lot of TV and finished writing a lot of reviews for mylemon tree site and working on last week's blog. I tried to go to bed before 1 am, but it just didn't work.

Just to top off my day, someone cloned one of my Instagram accounts (for spam purposes, I'm sure). I had started a new Instagram back in June when my current one was not working right. I haven't touched it in a long while. it was suelanoue and someone made suelanoue1 and used my profile pic and the other info there (not any of the other photos).  I reported them and then told everyone I know, and I changed my profile pic on that one. Hopefully that will stop them from fooling everyone!  I just looked at it now and it's gone, so they acted quickly to take it down. Yay!

Earlier when I was letting Brandy in, I noticed that my Meyer lemon tree is doing well. I only have two lemons on there and one of them is now mostly yellow, so I should be able to pick it soon.

I've been very tired tonight, but I couldn't sleep. My back was hurting a lot. I ended up getting to sleep about 4am. I wrote another article for the school paper, about the new Fall shows, and I updated last week's blog.

  Wednesday 9/27/17

My back was still hurting in the morning, so I decided to stay home today. I took a muscle relaxer and went back to sleep for a while.

I felt better after I woke up. I had breakfast, fed the dog, etc. and then did work on my site. I also did the laundry today. I took a nap later on. When I woke up, I felt shaky. I had forgotten to Brandy being a monstereat lunch! So I had food right away, and eventually I felt better.

I moved some plants around and put the gates up in front of the sunroom furniture so she could go in there. I figured it's OK as long as I keep an eye on her to make sure she's not getting in to anything she shouldn't. I don't want to have to move a lot of things out or roll up the rug again!

Otherwise, it was a pretty normal day.  We have our regular routine.

Here's what we do: David leaves around 6:45 AM, long before I'm awake.  I wake up, feed and water the dog, eat breakfast, make sure the dog goes out, get the bedroom ready for her, get my stuff ready for school, and do some work if I have time. Christina picks me up (10 MWF and 12 Tuesday, Thursday) and takes me to SAU. MWF I get a soda from the Mulerider Cafe in Reynolds. I go to Overstreet for my class (usually a bit early). I get a paper towel or napkin to put under my soda. Class is two hours, and then I go to get lunch at the Chick-Fil-A in Bruce.  Then I get a ride home from David, or Christina if he can't do it.  Mondays I have voice at 2 so I go to warmup my voice after lunch, in the practice room, and then I have my lesson.  Tuesdays/Thursdays I go right to my class in Brinson (no soda allowed there). After class, I get lunch. Same thing.  Then I get home, feed and water the dog. Maybe take a nap. Do work. Make dinner. Take Brandy for a walk. Work more. Feed her again later. Go to bed. That's pretty much it, except for bathroom issues, house work or school work.  Weekends are slightly different.

I guess I picked a good day not to go to school...turns out my professor was not in today, either! Good choice, then. I would have hated to go in for nothing.

  Thursday 9/28/17

I got some good sleep yesterday. I was pretty tired today and had my usual issues.

Photography class was fine. He started going over our projects, but he didn't finish.

I just barely had time to get lunch to go and then David took me home. I got a salad for later as well as some grilled chicken for lunch.

I had a nap as well. Never a good idea because it messes up my sleep patterns.cookies

I made some healthy chocolate chip cookies. They're gluten free, low sugar, fairly low carb, and low fat. I made them with a combination of almond flour, quinoa flour, some gluten free baking mix and flax seed, as well as Splenda and regular chocolate chips, and low cal margarine (Country Crock) instead of butter. They taste yummy.

When I went to use my phone, I was told that someone from some foreign country had tried to login to my Instagram account (the real one this time), so I had to change my password. Wow, twice in one week, problems with scammers and Instagram.

Brandy has been more irritating then usual the past few days. Otherwise, nothing new going on!

I worked hard on completing my project for tomorrow's PR class, and sent it to the professor. Then I tried to go to bed relatively early, but my neck/back was killing me again. I just couldn't get to sleep and ended up staying up until 4 am.

  Friday 9/29/17

I decided to stay home again...not good at all, but I did email the professor and he's very understanding. I wouldn't have been able to function if I'd gone in, with only 2 hours sleep. I got some more good sleep and that helped my back a lot.

David's boss (who's very nice) gave us tickets to the ZZ Top concert tonight in El Dorado. It's about 45 minutes from here. David took Brandy in the vet to be boarded again. I cleaned up the house a bit, and packed for our little short stay.

We drove there after he got off work, about 5:30.  We checked in to the only hotel that we could book, the Candlewood Suites.  Apparently it's not just ZZ Top. They built this new arts district with a big amphitheater and some other theaters, etc.  This weekend is the big Music Fest that they have every year, but it's bigger than usual because of the opening of the new area.  So that's why most of the hotels were booked up. We were lucky to get one.

Luckily, they had a shuttle from the hotels area to the downtown because I don't think they have reliable cab service in El Dorado.  They're only a little bigger than our town, although they seem to have more money, and thus more amenities. We didn't even go to our room. We just left our stuff in the car and grabbed the shuttle. We were both pretty hungry, so we wanted to get there and eat.

We went to Faywray's, a place I've been wanting to try for a while. Last year when we went to El Dorado, we went on a Saturday, and Faywray's is closed on Saturday and Sunday.  We were worried that it would be too crowded, but we got in easily. It's kind of an expensive place, so Faywraysthat's probably why.  I had some wine and a good dinner. They had pretty good duck. I even had creme brulee for dessert, and they said it was all gluten free. Yay!

We weren't really sure when the concert started because they had many bands playing before and after ZZ Top. We went over to the venue about 8, but we had to stop at the ATM. We went to four ATM's before we found one that worked. I guess the Music Fest was overtaxing them or something.  Then we got in a long line for a while. They need to work on that because it was way too slow. They should have had 4 lines instead of 2. It was the security, checking the bags, that took so long.

The amphitheatre is an outdoor area with no seats. Some people brought their own or bought them there. We just brought a blanket, although it wasn't super comfortable. They have astroturf instead of real grass.  We're just a bit too old and rickety to be sitting on the ground for very long without back support. We did a lot of standing instead. A lot of the people in front of us were standing, anyway.  We didn't go too close because it was sort of crowded, so we really couldn't see much back where we were. We did move up as the concert went on, and got to see them a little closer, and take photos and videos.

Neither of us are exactly huge ZZ Top fans, but we know their hits and like them OK. It was just fun to get out and go to a place outside of Magnolia, and have some fun.  They played some cover songs. They did a lot of great rock and blues. I think the concert was only about 90 minutes long, and they played their hits at the end. That was fun.

We wanted to grab some drinks before the show, but the lines were super long for drinks, too. I just went to the water fountain to get some hydration!  If they're not going to let you bring in your own drinks, then they need to fix those lines, too. No one wants to be standing in a line instead of listening to the concert they paid for.

This Music Fest was a big deal to the people of the area. We ran into several people we know!  I wish we could have gone to the free Smokey Robinson concert on Sunday.  Unfortunately, David had to be back for a meeting on Saturday.

After the concert, we went over to this Mexican restaurant. We shared a burger and fries. I had to have more food to take my pills with, since I had forgotten to take them earlier.  It was packed, so it took a while. They didn't have their full menu; otherwise, I would have had the tamales, which are outstanding there.  They had a shortened menu for the Music Fest. After we ate, we took the shuttle back to our hotel.

We took our stuff out of the car and went to the room we were assigned earlier, 210. Well, the key card wouldn't work. So David left me there with the bags and went back to get another key.  He came back with a new key, and it still wouldn't work.  He left again. Then a guy from inside the room poked his head out to tell me that this wasn't our room! I thought David might have somehow misread the key card envelope, since I had seen it was written in cursive (although I didn't see it clearly).  He said he had already called down to the desk to let them know.

So I moved our bags a little ways down the hall. I couldn't call David because my phone had run out of power earlier in the day. When he came back, we went to 216, the new room they gave us. When he opened the door, we could see that it was not made up! It was dirty.  So again he left me there and went downstairs. We were pretty annoyed by that time.  He came back again, and we went back downstairs to the lobby. They were apologizing profusely.  Funny thing is, when we checked in, the woman checking us in had checked with some other manager, who had double-checked some list to make sure that the room had been inspected. I guess she was wrong!

So then we went up to room 333 and finally, it was the right one. We felt kind of like Goldilocks at that point! They should have given us a discount or something to make up for all the inconvenience.  The rooms are very nice....they are big, have a couch and a kitchen with a full fridge and freezer, and plates, silverware etc.  But they're not super fancy or anything.  Sure not worth the $130 they were charging.  This was also the only place we've stayed in recently that didn't have either their own restaurant or some kind of free breakfast. Even the crappy Rodeway Inn in Texarkana has a free breakfast. Not a good one, but still!  This place only has a snack room where you can buy some packaged stuff to go.  Anyway, after all those foul-ups, we'll probably never come back there again.

I would have taken some pictures of the dirty room and such, but as I said, my phone was dead.

It was after midnight by the time we went to bed, and we were exhausted. We went to sleep right away.

  Saturday 9/30/17

I got up at 7 am. I was so tired! The shower was kind of wimpy and they only had two small towels. Figures!

There was very little I could eat in their snack room because most of it was not gluten free, or it was just carb-heavy snacks. I just had some ice cream to help wake me up.

When we checked out, they had only one piece of printer paper and the printer didn't print out our bill. This place is so badly run! Wow!

After we got home, I went to sleep for a while. I had some nice dreams about living in Hawaii.

He woke me up around 11, and we had lunch. We went to II Brothers Italian Restaurant.

 Apparently they are still in business. I don't know why they were closed when we went there a few Saturdays ago! I had my usual salad. Then we went to Brookshire's, the grocery store. I was going to get a flu shot, but for some reason, my insurance wasn't going through. We just gave up. We got our groceries and left. They charge $45 there for the shot if you don't have insurance!

I found a new person on Facebook (through the locals online sales groups) to mow the lawn, do the weeding, etc.  He came over about 1:30 and looked around. He's going to be a lot cheaper than the last two guys I had (one being the guy who ripped me off). I hope he's reliable! He's coming next Friday.digital selfie

I worked on my site after that, and then we went to the football game. We went to the Mulegating first, of course. They make great cheeseburgers there. There was a minor crisis when the power went out (they were worried the scoreboard might not work), but they got it working again. We walked around, chatting with people, as usual, and watched the pep rally.  Besides the regular cheerleaders, they some little girls who were like cheerleaders-in-training They were very cute!  Then we walked over to the game.  It was fun and the Muleriders won! I took more photos and a video before my phone died. Again! I think I need a new one. It's been going through power like crazy lately. Good because I really want a new one! I want the Galaxy 8.

Don't forget you can see all my pics at Instagram!

The weather was very nice the past two days! I hope it stays nice from now on.

I kept doing more work after we came back... I'm going to bed before 1 am, and I hope to get up at 8 am from now on. We'll see! I have a lot to do...

  Sunday 10/1/17

I can't believe it's October already!

We had lunch at the Mexican restaurant El Compadre as usual. Then we went to Wal-Mart. I got my flu shot there, finally! It was only $25.Wal-Mart pharmacy

It was a fairly usual Sunday, aside from some terrible news that a girl at SAU committed suicide. It's so sad that anyone would do that. It's unfathomable to me, especially when you have your whole life ahead of you.  I feel bad for her poor family, too.

I have a lot of work coming up this week...I'm so busy and tired all of the time! I was shaky again...I forgot to eat enough for lunch.

We ordered pizza for dinner. I love Domino's gluten free pizza.

Here's an article I wrote for the school paper back on 9/11 that is not showing up, so no one can read it there. It's a bit outdated now.

Just a few weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Hurricane Irma landed in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. At least 70 people have died in Harvey, and it looks like at least 42 have died from Irma.  Charleston now has to worry about flash floods, but all of the area, including Alabama, is facing strong wind and rain. The Florida Keys has been "devastated," says Florida Governor Scott. The area has no water, fuel, cell service or electricity, and the roads are closed between any remaining residents and the mainland. In fact, 65% of the residents of Florida are without power.  It's hard to even comprehend such a disaster, and yet it affects the entire country.  Firefighters and other first responders from all over the country travel where storms and large forest fires hit to help with search and rescue, so their resources are stretched pretty thin, according to NPR.   Meteorologists expect that there will be more hurricanes hitting this season.

If you, your friends or family members need help during any disaster, you can phone National Disaster Distress Hotline at
1-800-985-5990. It's free, with 24/7 support for any crisis.    There are many other resources for hurricane victims at https://www.texastribune.org/2017/08/28/hurricane-harvey-relief-efforts-how-help/

If you think that a hurricane or tropical storm may hit in your area, you can go to this Red Cross site to learn how to prepare:
http://www.redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane  Or go to the government site: https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

Wondering how you can help?  If you have money to donate, you can view some of the best rated charities here: 
https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=5239  Here's another good list: http://digg.com/2017/where-to-donate-hurricane-irma

Food banks are looking for donations of non-perishable food, and cleaning supplies. Find your local food bank at:

Want to help those who lost their home and need shelter? You can open your home to disaster victims through Airbnb, RENTCafé, or by posting on this Facebook group:

Unfortunately, disasters also bring out the scam artists. Make sure that you are donating your money or time to the right place.

Hope you have a great week!

I disabled the comments because of spam, but please do Contact me if you have a comment about the blog!

This page updated 10/6/17

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