4/23/18 Chronicles



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  Monday 4/16/18

new breakfast entreeI woke up around 9:30. I had a lot of sleep, but I was still pretty tired. I made sure not to take a nap, though. I want to keep getting up fairly early. It was cold this morning. The thermostat said it was 62. In my house, that's pretty cold. Outside, it was in the 50's. However, outside it felt pretty nice. The sun was out, and it wasn't windy like yesterday.

I tried a new Atkins breakfast entree, an omelet. It was pretty good, and I tested it with my NIMA. It's gluten free as well. I had it with some toast.

I was shocked by an offensive phrase that someone I know used today. I'll just leave it at that! Most people I know don't use these type of phrases, thankfully.

I really need to stop buying chocolate snacks when I go out. I eat them all at once and they're not good for me. I keep saying that and then ignoring what I said...

Our class was fine...it let out a little early. I got a bit of work today on my site. Still catching up a lot, though. I put the laundry away, too. Yippee!La La Land poster

I did my singing and also recorded a little...

David has a cold, so he came home a little bit early. He sounded pretty hoarse yesterday, too, and I could tell he was congested, and coughing a lot. He just had dinner and went right to bed. I hope he feels better tomorrow! He doesn't usually stay sick very long.

I got all caught up with my shows and blogs. I've just been lazy about stuff around the house, as usual! I watched "La La Land," which I recorded off HBO. I enjoyed it, despite the poignant ending. Lots of great music and dancing, and very retro, like an older musical.

I'm very itchy tonight, and I stayed up way too late. I took another hydroxyzine before bed, which made me very groggy when I woke up.

  Tuesday 4/17/18

I was very tired, and also not feeling well. I got glutened again (probably from Elfront of our house Compadre, darn it) as well as having other allergies. I had bad sinus pain and a headache all morning as well as abdominal pain. Then I had to spend some time in the restroom, and eventually I felt better after that.

Somehow I made it through my voice lesson, and it actually went well. Strangely enough, the sinus allergies were not getting in the way of me singing. It was just hard to concentrate, and it hurt my head a little to sing. At one point, I felt a little dizzy when looking down at the music, so I stopped looking down. I know the song, so I really don't need the music.  I'm really going to miss my teacher, Jaimee, next year. She's leaving. Bummer.  She hates the commuting from Little Rock, though, so I understand that.  It's too bad because she's really an excellent teacher, even though she's fairly young. Honestly, she may be one of the best I've ever had, and I'm not just saying that. She's helped me so much.  I've taken voice lessons off and on for years, and most of the time, they just tell me the same things.  She's actually told me new things that have helped me a lot. I hope they would hire her if they had a position or the money. They don't really have a music department here. It's a very small school. They have a performing arts department which includes music, but it's not the same.

I know she will do well in the future, though, and I look forward to hearing about her success. The thing that's great about her is that she really cares about her students and their learning.  She puts a lot of effort into learning herself, so she can pass it on to us.  She's always reading new things or watching videos online from other teachers. I've never had any voice teacher that talked about doing that. The ones I've had seemed to just learn in their classes and then that's it. I'm sure they did other learning, and maybe they just never talked about it... hot today

Seriously, I've had many voice teachers, and although I learned something from all of them, there are only 3 1/2 that I thought were really good. I say 1/2 because I only took a couple of lessons from the woman at Columbus State before we had to move. She seemed really good, though.  Bill McDonald at ISU, who was a world-renowned opera singer, was the first great teacher I had. He really made me understand for the first time how to support the breath, which is really important and a fundamental thing in singing, but it took me years. With voice lessons, you have to really have someone that can connect with you.  My second great teacher was the guy at Alabama (I can't remember his name now, and he's retired, I think). They have an excellent music program there. He was the first teacher I'd taken in a long time, and he was strict but really helpful.

Anyway, back to the present...after my voice lesson, and being sick, I stopped briefly at Reynolds to get a soda, and then I went to my other class. It was fine, but I was so tired and not feeling well. I have another blog/paper to write for that class that's due Thursday.Brandy

After David took me home, I walked Brandy as usual. I spent a little time working, but I was tired, and Brandy kept climbing on my lap (as she likes to do). So we moved into the bedroom and napped for a few hours.

When we were out walking, I chatted for a second with a woman going into this one house that's on the corner of the other cul-de-sac. I love this house because it looks like a real 70's house on the outside. It reminds me of "The Brady Bunch."  Also, they have beautiful flowers in that yard and do a good job keeping it up. An older man lives there, and I've seen him out walking his little yappy white fuzzy dog, Pepper. Anyway, this woman was walking into their house, so I asked if she lived there.  Turns out she works for that man (and, I think she said, his wife). I don't know if she's a caregiver or what. I had a hard time hearing her because she was on the other side of their yard, and also because she has the local accident.

David had a work dinner tonight. He's feeling much better, though.

It was warm today -- got up to the 80's! So weird, this Spring weather.

I did the dishes and cleaned up the kitchen. I've been just working on my site, etc.

Looks like we'll be going to Little Rock on Thursday and might stay until Saturday. That will be great!

  Wednesday 4/18/18

I keep staying up too late and getting up too early!

My driver, Trisha, had a dentist appointment, so I went in at 10 today instead of 11.

I took the extra time to do my singing in the music practice room. It went pretty well. Later on, I did more singing and recording at home.

I had a paper/blog to write, but I sort of put it off for a while because I didn't know what I wanted to write yet.

I had a fun time chatting with the ladies again before class.  We have some pretty amazing discussions. David came over and said hi...he was in the building for a meeting.

SAU selfieI've been sick all week from something I ate. I don't know if it's that Mexican place or something I'm eating at home. I hate it. :(

Class went fine as usual....We don't have an assignment due in this class, this week, for a change! We have one next week and that's it, I think.

They set up a "selfie station" in Reynolds for the yearbook. It's not technically a selfie, but, anyway....they had a cell phone on some kind of special stand, and they took photos of you in front of an SAU background. Then they emailed you the copy. I had it done. I was dressed in a pretty shirt. I wish I had remembered to wash my hair and wear makeup! LOL!

After class, I grabbed a diet lemonade from Chick-Fil-A. I ran into Bryan, who used to sit next to me in my photography class last semester. Funny because earlier, when I was in Brinson, I was just thinking about him and some of the other people from that class, wondering why I never run into them!  We just chatted briefly.  He's a nice kid.

After I got home, I walked Brandy as usual...I decided not to take a nap today. I was tired, though. I watched a lot of TV, did some work, cleaned the kitchen and did the laundry. I also spent a little time picking up all of the mess that Brandy made....the documentary "I Am Evidence"pieces and insides of her toys that she's ripped up and strewn around.  She makes a lot of mess for a little dog.

Lately, my home laptop, the big one, has been doing this weird thing. Whenever I close it, or it gets unplugged for a while (I assume it goes into sleep mode), I have to login to get it going again. I have the login turned off the laptop, so that if I reboot it, then I don't have to login. Yet it was still making me login when it was in sleep mode! I couldn't find a way to fix that. Admittedly, I didn't look too hard. I had a little free time, so I thought, I'll just call Dell and see if they can make this easy fix. Well, the idiot I got on tech support took an HOUR to try to fix it. Ridiculous. I sort of chewed him out because, first of all, he said it would take about 20 minutes. Secondly, he did a bunch of other stuff that had nothing to do with what I asked him to. He was running some sort of antivirus program.  This is what was taking so long.  Then it was taking a really long time to reboot, and I had to go to the bathroom. I said, "I'll be right back" and then he hung up, or got disconnected.  He didn't call back, either. I tested it out, and the problem was still not fixed. I was quite annoyed. They sent me an email about what happened, so I told them that the problem wasn't fixed and all of the rest.  Then they sent me a quick fix, which worked! I thanked them but then wondered why this other guy took an hour and didn't do this quick thing. What a waste of my time... Eventually, they did apologize more about the way the guy handled it.  They should apologize, too, because I've been buying Dells almost exclusively for a long time, and I pay extra for good support.

As I said, I did more singing and recording. Eventually I did write my blog/paper. David packed, but I'm doing mine tomorrow. I stayed up way too late. I had trouble sleeping because of itching.

  Thursday 4/19/18

Brandy with head tiltI woke up around 8am...too early! I've been very tired. David came home around 9:15 to pick up Brandy and take her to the vet to be kenneled. I'll miss her! I took some really cool photos of her last night. (This one to the left, and the one above with her head on the red blanket)

I just pan-fried some turkey and cheese for breakfast, and I had some Awake chocolate (it has some caffeine). I needed the caffeine this morning!

I sort of dozed in my chair, or tried to...Brandy kept waking me up by wanting out, or trying to climb in my lap, or nibble on me.

I had called in a prescription refill 2 weeks ago, but they didn't have it when I went to pick up a bunch of refills, so I didn't have it when we went on our trip to Chicago. Then I was too busy this week to call about it. I assumed it was ready. I mentioned to David that I had to pick it up, so he went to pick it up when he dropped off the dog. He phoned to say it wasn't there, and I was surprised because I didn't know he was going there. I phoned them, and they got it together (They had to go over to the doctor and get her permission - they're in the same building).  So when Trisha picked me up, I had her take me over to the pharmacy. I picked that up and also some snacks for our trip.

I chatted with the ladies at the coffee place briefly (I'm here too early on Thursdays to sit while they have lunch).... Then I just killed time before my class. I always get heredelicious coffee drink a little early, just in case. Good thing because I was very sick again, right before my class.  I don't know if it's still the Mexican place making me sick (that was 4 days ago), or if it's something I have at home that's not GF like I thought.  So annoying.

Class was fun. I always enjoy the days where we go over our blogs. My blog topic today was kind of interesting, so I enjoyed talking about it. I enjoy hearing the other students talk about theirs, too (when I can hear them - a lot of them are too quiet for me to hear, or they mumble etc.).

I got a sugar-free lemonade at Chick-Fil-A, and then David took me home. I had lunch, packed, and then I sang a while. He came home around 3, and then we packed the car and went back to SAU. I killed time in Reynolds while he had a meeting.  First I sat upstairs for a while and worked on my laptop, and played on my phone. It's always freezing in that building. I went back down to the coffee place. I had intended to get a hot drink, but I remembered that they have a delicious-looking frappuccino-like drink where they put Butterfinger pieces crumbled on the top, so I tried that. It had a coffee-vanilla mix, so it had caffeine and was also very good. Too much sugar for me, I'm sure. I only drank half of it before David was done with his meeting, so I threw the rest away.

Dugan's Then we drove to Little Rock. Despite the caffeine, I was still very sleepy and fell asleep on the drive.  We checked in to the Holiday Inn very quickly and then went to eat dinner. We went to Dugan's Pub because I know he likes it. They now mark the foods that are gluten free right on their menu, so that's great! I had the Brussels sprouts, which are outstanding. They had some kind of sugary-spicy sauce on them that made them taste a bit like General Tso's chicken.  Then I had a steak salad for dinner. It was huge, so I took some of it back with me toDelicious Brussels sprouts our room. Luckily, we have a fridge in our room.

There's a little store next to Dugan's that has a deli and also stocks many gourmet foods, including some GF cookies and crackers. I always pick up a couple of bags of Milton's crackers, which are the most delicious GF cracker. They don't sell them in our town. I also bought some Pamela's chocolate chip cookies and some other snacks.

We stopped briefly at the bar/restaurant in our hotel for one more drink, and I also bought some bottled waters for our room. We both went to sleep really early, about 9:30. I was so exhausted!

  Friday 4/20/18

Photos from our hotel windowI woke up at 9:30, too! Wow, 12 hours' sleep. I was TIRED!  David was at his meeting this morning. I had breakfast and then took a nap (still tired!!). I ate my leftover salad, a small bag of cheese popcorn and half a Snickers bar. 

David came back but then had to make a bunch of phone calls, so he went downstairs for that. He came back, and I woke up and got dressed.

We walked over to Wasabi, a sushi restaurant here that we like. I had the hibachi steak, as always, which was very good. It comes with rice and veggies. I've tested it before, and it's all GF as long as they make sure to leave off the soy sauce, and I don't have the soup or salad.  David had my salad, and then he thought it may have had nuts in it, so he was a little bit sick. I gave him two Benadryls, and then he was OK. It may have just been a slight reaction to some cross-contamination.

We went back to the room after that, and he took a nap while I worked here. I'mView out the window of the river getting tired, so I might take another nap.  I'm sleepy, what can I say...but I didn't nap for very long.

Later on, we went out to dinner at Brave New Restaurant, which is a great place we sometimes go to (it's not down near the Riverfront area where we usually stay).  I had tried to make a reservation at this Italian place called Capeo, that sounds really good, but they were all booked up until 8pm.  Next time!

Brave New Restaurant is on the river -- it's just not the same area as we stay. It overlooks the river and has a beautiful view.  It was a little windy today, otherwise some people may have been sitting outside. We took Lyft there and back.

I ordered the lobster salad; I shouldn't have because it was not really my kind of thing. It was OK. Usually their food is really good. I should have gotten the duck, instead.  Soup came with it, and it was OK as well. It was sort of, vegetable soup with some chicken in it. It had huge chunks of squash. I ate most of it and about half the salad. Besides salad and lobster, it had slices of cheese and a whole bunch of fruit. I took the rest back to our room so I could maybe eat it later, or tomorrow.  They usually have gluten free crackers, but they had run out of them. When restaurants butterscotch ice creamsay that, I always feel like saying, "Well, so why don't you run to the store and get more?"

They make their own ice cream, so I did have butterscotch ice cream for dessert, and it was delicious.

We went back to our hotel room, and I got ready for karaoke. I put on makeup and contacts, and did my hair a little. I had wanted to get it cut, but the only nearby place didn't answer when I called them. My phone was dying, and I forgot to charge it, so I left it charging when we went out. I wish I hadn't done that because I enjoy recording my singing or taking photos.  Bummer!

We stopped first at Dugan's. I had a drink there. A band was setting up, but they didn't start before we left. The place was pretty crowded.  We walked over to Dam Goode Pizza, which is where they have karaoke Friday nights. It was a pretty good night. He wants to leave early tomorrow, so we only stayed 2 hours; however, I got 4 420 Daysongs in, which wasn't bad. When we first got there, there were two large tables of people. One was teens, and the other was some kind of Indian family party.  The teens were singing some, but the Indians didn't.  There were only a few singers.  Then the small group of regulars that usually sing there arrived, and the big tables left (not all at once).  So it was not too crowded.

I stayed up pretty late, working...It's 420! Pot smoker's day....I never have smoked pot. No big deal. I hate the smell, and I grew up with two smokers, so I never saw the appeal in sticking a burning, smoky thing in your mouth.

  Saturday 4/21/18Breakfast at the Holiday Inn Presidential

I got up around 10. We got our bags ready and then went downstairs for breakfast. They had a buffet, which was so-so.  Normally we would stop at Dempsey's Bakery, but I decided it was a bad idea. I don't need the extra sugar or calories.  We checkeDriving homed out and then drove home.

After we got home, we took a nap.  Then I took a shower, and David took me to Wal-Mart so I could get my hair cut. Finally! It turned out pretty well. The woman who cut my hair (who is covered in tattoos and doesn't new hair cutsmile much) didn't do exactly what I wanted, but she did a pretty good job. She styled it for me, too, since I asked her to.

Around 5, we went to this dinner at the university. It was for donors. I wanted to wear this dress I got, but it doesn't look that great on me (It will after I lose weight!). I wore a fancy top with regular pants, instead. It was fine. Many women didn't wear dresses, so I didn't stand out.

They really decorated the place beautifully. There was a photographer there takingDining room photos of everyone, too, against a backdrop, so hopefully we will get a copy of that. We chatted with people before sitting down. I enjoyed chatting with Alain, who's in charge of the food service on campus. He's from Belgium. Sounds like an interesting place to visit, with good food.

They made me a gluten free meal, so that was great. It was a salad, and a pork loin wrapped in bacon, potatoes, and grilled veggies. The salad and veggies were really good. The rest was okay. They gave me fruit for dessert.

They gave out some gifts for donors who gave various amounts. We received a very nice coaster with the university's name on it.  Others got some really nice silver platters, clocks, etc. Oh, I was seated next to this very nice couple. She is a financial advisor at Edward Jones, and he is a corporate life coach. Very interesting Hairspray star Darbypeople. I loved her jacket, too, which is was a sort of purple and looked really cool. I mostly talked with him because he was right next to me. I don't remember their names; I'm very bad at remembering people!

After the dinner, we went to this semester's musical: "Hairspray!" It was really good. I enjoyed it a lot. I'd never seen the movies/plays/TV specials. I love musicals, but I just never have time to watch them, for the most part. I haven't kept up with most of them since about the mid-80's. I'm going to have to rent this one.  The SAU students did a great job at pulling the musical together under some difficult circumstances. They were helped by the choreographer, accompanist and musical director, among others.  If you're on Facebook, you can see many photos here.

It was pouring rain out, but we didn't get too wet, thankfully.

I just watched TV and worked on my site after we got home.

  Sunday 4/22/18

It's cold again!

Cold weatherI slept in until about 11. I made myself breakfast. David had a work lunch, and then we went to the grocery store.  We watched some TV while I worked on my site. I've been very tired and haven't done much physically today, aside from the dishes.

David also had another work meeting in the evening. He works too hard!

We've got some concerts coming up Monday and Thursday night. Two of my classes end this week, too.

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