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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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charlie sick, sick in bed
I've just been sitting at my computer trying to reason out FTP access to the festival website. It used to be SIMPLE with the old website, but is anything but since we moved to the 'new' one. It's pretty ridiculous to keep calling it 'new,' considering we migrated there in 2014. But all things being relative...

Marilyn was pretty SICK last night! I knew she had some IMPORTANT meetings today, but doubted she'd be able to go in. She also had wanted to shower and wash her hair, but was too sick to do that.

I woke around 7:30 and found Marilyn GONE. I never heard a peep out of her while she got ready to go. I guess I was dead to the world!

I texted her (knowing she was in a meeting). Then around 8:00 I phoned sister Sue to see if she was up and had taken her pills. I'm trying to help Marilyn out with this task. It's not easy to make sure Sue takes her pills each morning!

I was working on some festival work from at home, anyway.

When Marilyn finished up her three (!!!) meetings, she phoned me from the car, heading home. She had gone to work pulling her hair back, with no shower and NO MAKEUP (unheard of for her!!!). She knew she had to be there for those meetings, but planned to leave right after -- which is what she did.

She was pretty miserable, anyway. And told me she was terribly dehydrated and dizzy! She didn't dare drink anything.

Once she got home I got her started drinking Gatorade. Later we both had peanut butter toast. She gave me her Starbucks (Jessica had bought it for her).

She changed and snuggled down on the sofa. I was sitting near her in my chair. Neither one of us was feeling great. Eventually we decided to spend the day resting and totally staying down.

I did phone and set an appointment with my nurse practitioner to get my bursa injections. I go in a week from tomorrow at 5:30. I was VERY RELUCTANT to set a late day appointment, considering last time and the issues surrounding the time. But I was told the woman setting it would check and get back to me. If she doesn't, I'll phone back myself.

I didn't want to put it off any longer, considering both my hip pain (which is extreme right now), and my seasonal allergies, which are ALWAYS helped by these shots.

Anyway, I went back to bed eventually and just slept a ton. I think Marilyn was sleeping, too, but I'm not sure. I can say for sure that she did stay down, though, and rest, anyway.

Later in the day we each had a sandwich for dinner (skinny meat and thinly sliced tomato). And some coffee, too.

We decided to watch the Beatles movie "A Hard's Day Night." We hadn't seen it in years. We both enjoyed it immensely! Part way through I made us both popcorn and we snacked on that.

Well, it's garbage night, so I need to take out our recycling and composting. (It's not 'real' garbage week, so the garbage doesn't go out). Then to bed.

I'm getting a stiff neck, I'm afraid, on top of everything else. (sigh) That's the sign of a vertigo flareup for me. All these things seem tied together and they are all worse this time of year. So as much as I don't enjoy them, I do expect them. So whatever. Staying down today was actually very nice.

I feel awful for Marilyn to be so sick, though. It takes me right back to how miserable she often was back in her college days...

It's COLD here. This morning I again considered turning on the furnace! But it's supposed to be warmer tomorrow, hopefully.

Our friend Shari is going down to stay at the Shilo Inn tomorrow until Monday in Seaside. I hope she has a nice trip! If we were able, we could go down and try to see her while she's there. But right now it's pretty doubtful...

Sweet dreams, everybody!
Cousin Linda is 62 today! Marilyn and I hope to get together with her and at least have coffee to celebrate... Time flies! Seriously, it's easy to remember when we were all teens. Hahaha.

I was SO TIRED last night that I couldn't even force myself to blog. I'm always more tired in September and October EVERY YEAR. And this year is no exception. (sigh)

I got a TON done both yesterday and today. Personal errands and WORK-RELATED projects, both.

Yesterday (Tuesday, September 19) I contacted Comcast and got all the information for Sue's phone account. Then I helped her to start erasing all the old messages that were blocking her phone. She had items going back to February of 2016!!! This was when she went into the hospital and then that nursing facility for a time. She hasn't had her messages working since that time! I'm really pleased with how it went and how diligent Sue was both yesterday and today going through everything and get it cleared out. Now people can leave her messages again!

This matters, as she has doctors and so on trying to reach her about appointments and prescriptions, so it's difficult when they can't leave a message (in case she's not there or she's sleeping when they call).

I want to fix messages on her cell phone, too -- but I need Candy's help to do that. So far she hasn't responded to my text messages about it. She made it clear she doesn't want to do anything, so I'm trying to take the burden off her. But I guess she doesn't think it matters if Sue can get messages on her cell or not.

Marilyn and I think it matters because it will connect her with her friends again! They don't really call her anymore and it's partly due to being unable to leave messages. I get it, because it's been equally annoying for Marilyn and me when we're calling her...

Lots of website work going on right now. And today I was trying to CHANGE THE SUBSCRIPTION area on the website, now that we're not using Cooler anymore and have changed to MailChimp. But I don't have ACCESS to the area I need to reach.

This has been my issue with the 'new' website ever since we switched over back in 2014. I've never had total access to the site and can't touch certain portions. I've been pushing and pushing to get it ever since. And it came to a head today.

I guess we'll see tomorrow whether I finally get it or not!

We're dealing with a DRASTIC change in the weather here! We've had horrible rains and thunder and lightning storms. We were in bed and heard a TERRIBLE crash last night. I was convinced someone was outside the garage messing with things (as we've had that happening lately). But it turned out to be a huge branch that came crashing down and hit the house. We both went out to see it and got wet from the rain...

It's not only sopping wet and pouring, but it's COLD. I actually considered turning on the heat (!!!) today! In all the time we've lived in this house I have NEVER turned on the heat in September! In fact, I find it annoying if I have to turn it on before November!

Marilyn has been dealing with the cold in her office, too, which is total glass on two walls. They reset her thermostat and messed it up (as they often do). But happily Steven was able to reset it enough that she wasn't too cold yesterday or today...

Marilyn didn't get home until 9:00 p.m. last night. So getting home after 7:00 tonight seemed early. She picked me up without coming in and we ran straight to pick up my meds at Riteaid (they had called me yesterday).

Speaking of, for whatever reason my Metformin needed a new prescription! What the hell? It's paired with my Glipizide (both diabetes meds), so I was already annoyed they weren't getting filled together. But there's NO CHANGE there this time, so why did it need a refill when the other didn't? And WHY didn't the clinic call it in when I saw Leslie back in August??? It shouldn't fall on either Riteaid or me to make sure it's there, but that's how it goes...

Marilyn actually authorized me to set up training with Inflow (our telephone support company) for Donn and me if I want to do that. I discussed it with Heidi from Inflow and she sent me to a TWO HOUR online instructional video that I'm very slowly and carefully working my way through. She's going to give me two weeks to absorb the info and then discuss what things I might want to work on. We haven't had in-house training from Inflow since 2010 -- and that was before Donn came to work there. So it could be a good idea.

On the other hand, as I go through all this stuff, I'm rather surprised by how much of it I already know. I need to write it up and start training Donn and Wanda on the material.

I used to train Christine on some of this, but we let it go over time. And I've barely touched on it with Donn to date. I think it could be helpful for someone else to understand the back end of the phone system. Currently I handle it all, which is no problem. I have the aptitude and am almost entirely self-taught. (The original training from Inflow wasn't helpful -- Hailey and I basically jumped in and figured it out ourselves. She learned the front end and I learned the back end. But Hailey hasn't been on staff for several years now...)

I totally digressed from Marilyn and me out shopping after work! Once we got my meds we dashed over to Freddies and picked up quite a few things. I have a long list, and we got most of it. We needed bottled water and cat food and kitty litter and garbage bags and light bulbs and chili and canned white beans and refried beans (we eat a lot of beans!) and bread and so on... We shopped quickly and got home around 8:00. Still earlier than Marilyn got home last night!

She never had a break either yesterday or today. And she said both Jessica and Carol were still working when she left tonight...

We both came home and fixed sandwiches for dinner and I made a pot of coffee (we drink Yuban). Then she was ill. She said she started to get a headache driving home and her IBS-d made her very sick after shopping. She's downstairs now sleeping on the sofa. She was feeling pretty lousy.

I felt crummy all afternoon, too. My seasonal allergies are bugging me. And my hips are KILLING ME. You wouldn't think the pain could get me down like this, but it does. I'd like to be more active, but it's hard when the pain is this bad.

We had watched The Beatles in "Help!" (the restored DVD) last night, but Marilyn had fallen asleep. So we put it back on tonight to watch the end over. And she had to watch it twice to see it, as she fell asleep again.

We really love the Beatles! And we love that movie. It takes us back, that's for sure.

We were HUGE fans of the cartoon series, which isn't really available to purchase. I'm going to watch some of it on YouTube, though. We never used to miss it.

Next up we'll watch the DVD of "A Hard Day's Night." We have that waiting to view...

I finished "Forever Amber," which made me sad. Not the ending, but because I was enjoying reading it so very much! What a wonderfully written and engaging book! I love historical novels so much.

Now I'm reading the book Dick Van Dyke wrote about aging. I want to start reading it to sister Sue, too.

I heard from my jury friend Lucy today!!! (Via Facebook.) That made me happy! I didn't know her last name until today, so I wasn't sure I'd ever be able to connect with her. I had given her and another woman my business card, so she had everything she needed to contact me. Anyway, I'm very glad she did. I really think we have a lot in common. I saw that she's done NaNoWriMo, which is something right there! I'd love to give that a shot again one of these years. But it's hard going, no doubt!

I actually did some fiction writing last night!!! I doubt I'll share (it's slash fanfic), but at least I gave it a shot. That's the first time in ages. It reminded me how much I love writing.

I did my pills when we got home tonight. I need to start doing a week at a time, but as long as I have them ready in advance of taking them, I'm happy.

Well, I'm dead beat, so off to bed. I'm just yawning and yawning! I'll need to phone Hector about the gutters. I sure don't want issues with them right now.

Sweet dreams, friends.
dad's fave
Marilyn and I stayed up all night long. Well, it's something we often like to do at least once during a vacation week. I don't think we set out to do it, but that's how it ended, anyway...

I don't think we went to bed until well past 4:00 a.m.

I had a hard time getting to sleep after that. It's often hard for me to get to sleep when it's past four. But I finally did, anyway. And then didn't get up again until nearly noon! Oh my.

Meanwhile, Marilyn got up and tended to errands. She went over to sister Sue's to deal with setting up her medicine for her. She wants to do that weekly and try to keep track of how Sue is taking her pills. She talks to her daily about it now.

Sue's weight has been up lately -- probably water weight. But she needs to get it off, of course.

I felt bad that I slept while she was doing this alone! I would have gladly gone with her. I want to help if I can...

Then we were chatting while Marilyn headed home. Trying to figure out what to do about the BottleDrop. I need to write a blog entry JUST about this subject, actually! The thing is, this service attracts many people who aren't pleasant to associate with (and are possibly not safe to associate with). I guess you could say it brings out the 'crazies' to some degree. People who spend time gathering and/or stealing empty cans and bottles in order to turn them in for the cash. Anyway, I'll go into all that in more detail later...

I looked it up and found out -- surprise!!! -- that there was an Express BottleDrop at our local Safeway!

Marilyn had been to the usual one in Delta Park twice today, but couldn't get near it. The line was wrapped around the building! (And it's NOT a line you want to be in.) But she was OUT of both tags and bags.

Anyway, she came home, I did my insulin/bloodtest, took my pills and got dressed (did my hair and makeup and put in my contacts) and then we headed up to Safeway to check it all out. You can actually buy the bags INSIDE the store (!!!). And there's a kiosk there to print out the tags! (Labels that go on the bag to identify you.) They were out of bags, but it's still a better deal than going to the big place at Delta Park (which is always disgusting, even I'm being kind).

We met a woman who had just started doing BottleDrop who was discussing it with us. She mentioned the commercials that pimp it out, which suggest it's 'clean' and 'safe' to go there -- and made it very clear she didn't think those things were true! Marilyn said we'd been doing it a year and she asked HOW we managed it. We suggested taking the bags at night when the place was closed to avoid the crowds of people. She said the smell alone bothered her (it's always bothered me, too), and we told her we got that.

Anyway, we finally took the one bag full we did have with us outside and discovered there is a drop off for bags. You use your card and scan it, the door opens and you put the tagged bag inside (up to two bags a day). Marilyn just recently transferred $100 of her BottleDrop money to our charity of choice (the festival, of course). You can either cash out the money or give it to charity. Marilyn always intended it to go to the festival, which is why she started doing this. (We used to give our cans and bottles to a neighbor before this.)

We go to Safeway often, so this is a much easier option for us! We're pleased about it... And especially about how to get more supplies for the future!

After that we headed to go see a matinee movie. We've been wanting to see "It," so we went to Regal at Lloyd Center. We enjoyed the movie and thought the casting was excellent. It was beautifully filmed and the special effects were good. There were a few things we didn't like about it, but overall we really enjoyed it.

We saw a trailer for "Justice League" coming in November -- it looks awesome!!! (grin)

Then we came home. It's been raining, but not as much as we'd been expecting.

My hips are giving me fits and my seasonal allergies are in full swing. Marilyn's IBS-d is always bad this time of year and was also flaring late this afternoon. This has bothered her since she was back in college...

It's interesting that we both have health issues in the Fall. We both really love this time of year, even so.

I took a nap, but Marilyn got me up in time for "American Ninja Warrior" -- the Finale of the season. We were both Tweeting during it (as I've done for ages now). And Joe Moravsky (#theweatherman) actually RETWEETED Marilyn's Tweet about him!!!!!!!!! How cool is that???

Again, I love this show. I don't care for most reality TV shows, because I think they display the worst behaviors that people can display. Not so here! These people are friends with each other. Not false friends who stab each other in the back. But real friends! They support one another. They might be competing against each other, but you'd never know that to see this show! They cheer for each other and wear shirts in support of each other. They train together! Many of them live together. They end up in relationships with one another. They fall in love and some marry. Their stories are moving and wonderful! I can't say enough good things about this show!

And they work HARD to train their bodies and improve themselves in order to do these runs. It's inspirational. And this is true for the WOMEN as well as the men!

Anyway, we're always sad when the series ends for the year -- and we were sad tonight. But we can't wait to see them do it all again next year!

I can hear it raining. Normally I might be unhappy about that, but not now. It's a relief to have weather that's helping with our wildfires and all the terrible smoke and bad air quality. I might have my usual allergies, but at least Marilyn is suffering from not being able to draw a decent lungful of air, and the same for all of us.

I do need to get in and get my bursa shots. (sigh) I actually HATE the idea of seeing my Nurse Practitioner, Leslie Cody. Since my last visit to her, I really don't like nor trust her -- which is hardly what one wants to say about their GP. I guess I'll need to find someone new, but dread the process. But honestly, nobody wants to be treated like that 'old and fat' person -- as if that defines me. Her suggestion that I'm 'not active' is the thing that bothered me most -- and bothered the many, many people I've discussed it with since then, too. Recently Donn added his voice to this, saying it was clear she didn't know me at all if she could describe me as inactive. He said I was one of the most active people he knew. Of course, he sees me AT WORK, and she clearly pays no attention to what I've told her about my work and being in the work place...

Sorry to get off on that again, but obviously it still bothers me. Hahaha.

Marilyn and I have been eating Cheerios with cinnamon (we do NOT add sugar to anything we fix/cook, ever), and enjoying it. But Marilyn is sensitive to milk in Autumn. Did you KNOW that milk is different during various seasons, based on what cows ingest? It's true!

Well, time for bed. I'm tired tonight. Hahaha. I'll try to get more sleep than yesterday! (grin)

I hope all of you are enjoying the weather -- whatever you're experiencing -- and are SAFE. I know there are still terrible storms out there, and I pray every day about it... Enjoy your season, whatever it might be (I have Australian friends, too!). And have sweet dreams!
Yes. We're revisiting the SMOKE again. It's just been terrible all day today.

I wish I had photos that could do justice to the colors. The sky starts off this awful muddy yellow. The sky looks so far from normal there's no way to even express it. Today was much worse than yesterday. And because of that, our chests burn, we can barely breathe and we have sore throats. Marilyn felt terrible yesterday -- very sick. She thought she was a bit better today, but the air was worse, I'm afraid.

We stayed in most of the day. If we opened the door -- however briefly -- we could immediately tell a difference.

So we watched TV and did things on our iPads. And so on.

I was napping in the afternoon, and Marilyn got a bunch of things done, including washing and doing her hair, doing some laundry and so on. And she gathered up cans for the BottleDrop.

At one point we spent some time getting her MAC computer from Mark up and running again. It's on the coffee table in the family room. It has a HUGE monitor, by the way, like a good-sized flatscreen TV. She hadn't touched it in ages, so it had gone offline.

That also made us decide to finally change the email address for our Apple ID. This is no small thing, by the way! Marilyn was very worried we'd end up messing up access to our Apple ID -- and that would totally impact our Apple devices. Thankfully it went okay. (As far as we know, anyway.) everything attached to our ID is still working!

We've been anxious for years to get our most important accounts off the damn CenturyLink (formerly Qwest) emails. Marilyn admitted her reluctance to associate things with her Yahoo email. So we like to use our work emails for everything.

After my nap, I, too, washed and did my hair. Then we went outside.

We were going to McDonald's for fries. I had been craving them, and Marilyn offered to get them for me.

Driving there Marilyn suddenly says in a voice filled with shock and horror, "What's THAT??!!" At first I didn't know what she meant. Then I, too, saw the sun, a huge, round BLOOD-red circle in the muddy sky!!!

I didn't get a photo, and by the time we stopped it had disappeared from the sky. And that sky? Was darker and heavier and just more smoky every second. It was like smog. Really thick, but not gray, because the color was much darker!

It already seems like Autumn, because around here you get accustomed to smelling wood fires when the weather changes and gets cooler. A lot of people still heat their houses with fires. But the smell wasn't pleasant -- far from it! We were both complaining about how it irritated our eyes. And about the smell and our trouble breathing.

It's downright CREEPY. You really get an 'end-of-the-world' hit. Especially with that red sun!

We got fries and drinks. Then took a short drive and got gas for the car. Marilyn reminded me, and I got flavored sunflower seeds, too.

We stopped at Safeway to get chili (shockingly, we were out!), and ended up buying a few more things. Then we headed back home, intending to see Svengoolie as we do every Saturday night.

They recently changed the time for this show, which used to run from 10:00 to midnight, and now runs 8:00 to 10:00.

I cleaned up a little in the kitchen and put on a pot of chili and made some white beans. That's what we had for dinner.

I put up recent photos of sister Sue and Donn. And also of Kris. (At Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.)

We watched shows on METV and eventually fell asleep. I just woke to blog...

September is always a hard month for both Marilyn and me -- and always has been, since we were kids... We're both glad we didn't make the trip to London. Even though all Carla's photos at Facebook look incredible. (There was another bombing, by the way...)

We wanted to get down to Sauvie Island and pick more green tomatoes. Maybe tomorrow...

Cousin Linda's birthday is coming up soon.

At the store the checker was complaining about the smoke. She mentioned how miserable she's been, and how she can't wait for the RAIN. We all feel that way right now. And frankly it's NOT normal for Portlanders to be looking forward to rain...

I hope life is treating you all well. Stay healthy!
under the weather
With this SMOKE, both Marilyn and I are really suffering. In the middle of the night we were awake and complaining to each other about our sore throats and headaches -- and just generally feeling lousy. We knew by 4:30 a.m. that we weren't going to the office today...

Marilyn sent a text first thing and that was that. We stayed home and stayed DOWN all day long. And tried to avoid opening the door or going outside. It's bad enough inside the house without doing either.

Of course, I got my 'new' (very used and dirty) yellow bin to replace my old one today, so I did run right outside to bring it into the garage. It's DISGUSTING. When I'm feeling better I need to take it out in the back yard and scrub it down. I barely wanted to touch it. Yuck. When I think how NICE I kept our old one that was stolen it just makes me sick...

And (of course) I brought in our roll bins, too. Aside from going out to bring in the mail, that was it for going outside. They were again suggesting you go out as little as possible, especially if you have issues of any kind... Tomorrow is supposed to be bad, as well.

But we're slated to get RAIN on Sunday (it sounds like Sunday afternoon at the earliest). And the rain is supposed to run through Thursday of next week. I guess we'll see.

Right now I feel miserably allergic as I sit typing this. Itchy and scratching. My eyes have been driving me crazy from irritation. And the sore throat will probably be with us for a spell longer...

Marilyn is complaining of a 'burning' in her throat and chest, along with the pain. Poor thing!

She rarely ever stays home from work even when she is sick, so that shows how poorly she was feeling.

I still had to deal with the WEBSITE work I didn't get finished yesterday, though.

First sister Sue called and I chatted with her for a time. I was suggesting she try using her CPAP during the day, instead of at night. My idea is that maybe she could try it sitting up and awake, while watching TV to distract her. Maybe if she can get used to it then she could trick herself into wearing it, and later move to wearing it at night. Just an idea, anyway.

After we finished talking I called Jessica at the office so we could talk through the Court application and how we would post it at the website. We have an event where we'll be pimping it out on Sunday, so we'll see how it goes for the girls trying to use it.

I looked up the URLs for Adobe Reader (free) at both iTunes and Google Play (the Apps, in other words) and added those to the website. That makes three links, with the desktop (computer)/laptop link already there. I hope that helps people, anyway!

We watched a bunch of "Monk" today, and played on our iPads. I posted a couple of things to Facebook.

I also read more in my book, "Forever Amber." What an entertaining read it's been! I'm finally getting close to finishing it. I'll be sad when I'm done...

Marilyn is sitting playing good old Zuma on the desktop computer next to me in our office as I type this up. I just finished my website stuff on the same computer. This is a perfect room to work in.

And no matter how handy our iPads (and iPhones) might be, it's still easier to use my desktop computer (a PC) to do my actual work. That's just a fact. I can't see ever totally going to an iPad, simply because of the LIMITATIONS of the device!

I don't tend to talk about that much, but seriously, just the way it handles text is so ridiculous and annoying! There are so many things like that where you want to tear your hair and ask 'What were you thinking?' of Apple. The level of arrogance and stubborn behavior is beyond the pale.

If I'm entering my usual zillion tags to an entry, I'd better not stop midway using my iPad! Because I'll be screwed if that happens! There's NO WAY to go to the end of the line!!! Why the hell is that? Microsoft wins when it comes to how it handles text by a long shot. Apple isn't even in the ballpark! I keep thinking Apple will change -- admit it has a big FAIL with using text. But not those arrogant bastards. Oh hell no! We'll be straining to select one letter in the middle of a word forever with no success! We'll be stupidly backspacing over every typed word for ages, trying not to erase words we actually want to keep. WHAT ARE THEY THINKING??? Who could possibly think that's a good idea???

What a lot of WASTED TIME trying to manage text on all Apple devices!

I could NEVER support using nothing but Apple iPads in the workplace! We deal with TEXT all day long! We need to be able to do so efficiently, for crying out loud! I need to be able to take out ONE LETTER, or move quickly from one word to the next or to the end of a sentence or to the beginning. You can't beat how Microsoft handles that, and that's simply the truth.

By the way, I can manage text speed with a stylus pretty well after loads of practice. But it's not going to compare to the speed of actually typing something on a standard keyboard!!!

Well, enough ranting. But you get my point.

Marilyn was doing my 'bland food' thing tonight, eating a bowl of cottage cheese with saltine crackers. Last night's spicy Chinese chicken really bothered her. I get that, because I've been doing bland a lot lately...

I think I'll get something to drink. I'm back to forcing myself to hydrate again...

Sweet dreams, all!
work gfp, gfp work
Well, the day started with sister Sue, actually. And Marilyn and I taking her to Emanuel hospital to get a blood draw. We actually parked up above in Marilyn's 'favorite' spot (as even Sue called it) and we all three walked all the way over to the lab area. Good for Sue! She walked really well. (She needs more steps!)

Speaking of steps, I got 6,207 steps today. Not bad for someone who is 'inactive' according to Leslie, my nurse practitioner. (Thanks, Leslie. Every person I tell that to is astounded, by the way. The LAST thing they would call me is 'inactive,' I'm happy to report... And I've heard that now at least a dozen times.) I still love my Fitbit! (I had to change the battery while at Emanuel as it was low, yet again.)

The blood draw went quickly. The drive there, parking and getting Sue back home again? Driving -- especially during rush hour -- in the city of Portland and surrounding suburbs is always difficult now. So...

We had to stop at Safeway by Sue's to get her prescriptions -- and Marilyn got Sue Starbucks. We need to figure out the deal with her prescriptions and insurance, by the way. We're not at all convinced that insurance is currently covering things -- and Sue has GOOD INSURANCE! And boy, does she NEED coverage!

Then off to work for the two of us. Donn had texted me and was there before we could get there...

I went for Starbucks right after getting there. My regular baristas were all happy to see me -- and I them!

I had festival website updates to do -- from Jessica M. I love working with her!

And I gave Wanda the gifts I've had for her: a rock that reads 'courage' (in light of some recent things), plus a cross embedded in plastic to carry in her pocket. She's a delight to work with!

Donn and I met several times about his work and he kept plugging away.

Carol reminded me about the one printer that needed fixing. I phoned Kris and asked him to come by. He told me he'd be there by 1:00 and would could go to lunch.

I got the Band Program changes made after several attempts.

Aside: it's helpful if I touch the website more frequently than not! It just keeps me on my toes to see the coded part and do it so that I don't forget it. And I have certain ways I like the pages done. Just sayin'... Not that I'm anal or PICKY or anything. Right.

Kris comes in (a bit late) and he and I immediately go to the Mandarin Cove for lunch. That's always nice! But lunch always becomes a meeting, too, for the record! Discussing projects and so on.

We bring Marilyn back food. And Kris tackles the printer. Then we have another meeting in Marilyn's office about projects that need doing -- the second Server, the contract for Comcast and the other imaging thing that must be put off until the new fiscal year...

Kris decides to take the second Server home with him to work on (cheaper for us that way). I help his get it to the car (super-heavy!!!).

Then after he leaves I'm back to doing website work. This time it's court-related pages that are usually updated around October 1. We're doing them early for an event this coming Sunday where we want to pimp those pages out.

I need to put up the court application. The PDF is way too big -- the website rejects it! Jessica, Carol and I discuss it. Marilyn is also in the mix. I find a way to compress it. Later on it turns out it's dumped all the fillable stuff -- plus the red indicating that certain things are mandatory. Terrific. We leave that for now (sigh) and move on...

I do part of the work, check with Jessica. It's wrong. I tweak and check with her. More changes. And on and on all afternoon!

Marilyn and Carol have a meeting that runs well past 5:00. Good by ME, as my website work is also running long...

At around 6:30 Marilyn hits the wall and tells me to pack it up. I'm not done -- I'll have to finish things up tomorrow...

We stop at Safeway on the way home and get Chinese there for dinner (nobody feels like fixing anything!). And I grab rye bread and a couple other things, including kitty litter -- which Marilyn manages to remind me I need! Tonight, after all, is garbage and recycling (the real deal!!!).

We're both TIRED tonight.

And the SMOKE is still a hazard. Everybody is coughing at the office. My eyes are killing me. My seasonal allergies would always be bad now, but they are horrible right now. If you go outside you suffer. If you stay INSIDE you still suffer! There's no escape from the effects of all the wildfire smoke!

And, yeah, now I'm getting as pissed off as everybody else that our wildfires and all this misery barely even gets national coverage on the news. WHY IS THAT??? Our state is still burning like crazy. People can't go home. Major interstates are closed. The smoke is everywhere and nobody can breath. But we don't even get a mention on national news... Yet requests for assistance for hurricane relief are everywhere (Oregonians are really doing their part, believe me). I just don't get it. I'm now as big a whiner about it as everybody else. Hahaha.

I take a 'nap' because I can't keep my eyes open. And I blog, but I need to go finish the garbage and recycling NOW -- and get back to bed! We have another busy day facing us tomorrow.

Marilyn and I saw Sean at Safeway. He's a young man who is part Irish and part Scottish with a heavy accent. And a body covered in tattoos. And he's ripped with muscles! A very physical guy. And what a personality! We love it when we run into Sean -- he's maybe our favorite grocery clerk right now. He always makes our shopping trip, that's for sure! Hahaha.

Kris had a new buzzed haircut today that looked GREAT! He made Marine jokes, but it's seriously a good look for him.

And I need to get moving, as it's now 2:30 a.m. and I have lots more to do!

Sleep well and STAY HEALTHY, guys!!!
Every now and then I'll be given a VERY LARGE PDF that is too big to upload to our festival website. It happened again today (an application that was fillable).

(Aside: LiveJournal doesn't believe I spelled 'fillable' correctly. For all I know, it doesn't think there is such a word... Seriously?)

I'm in a world of hurt when I have no access to the original PDF -- which means I can't compress on my own (or show anyone else how to compress). By the way, it's not that difficult to make PDFs that aren't huge, if you use care when Saving one.

Anyway, there's nothing I can do if our WordPress-based website refuses to upload a PDF that it deems 'too big.' I have to have a smaller file!

Thank you Smallpdf!!!!!!!!!!!!!

They have SO MANY online options available that it's crazy! And so helpful! I can't tell you how quickly I managed to compress the large PDF that I needed to change.

Yes, I'm recommending them. But I'm mainly posting this to be able to TAG this entry -- so I can remind myself to go back and use Smallpdf when I really need them!

Aside from the compression service, there are a bunch of other OPTIONS, as well.

Anyway, check 'em out -- you'll be glad you did!
I got up quite early as Marilyn was getting ready to dash off ans start her day. My 'job' for the day? To call and make sure sister Sue was up, and getting ready for her doctor appointment that Marilyn would be taking her to. I didn't want to phone too early, so I waited until 8:00 to call her (and got her out of her bath, I'm afraid).

I was watching (not closely) some very early morning TV, including "The Beverly Hillbillies" -- I was never a fan and still am not. But Aunt Mabel LOVED that series! I can't even give you a vague outline of the episode. But I sort of watched "My Three Sons," which had Tony Dow as a guest star. Then "Leave It To Beaver" was on (I vaguely recall Uncle Billy). And "Columbo" comes on at 9:00... (I don't think I saw any of that.) I was actually connected to work via Remote Desktop and trying to work more on my email. (sigh)

Donn and I chatted briefly (he's coming in tomorrow to work).

Marilyn and I talked as she was on her way to pick up Sue about executive and festival finances. The appointment was at 10:00, then we talked again after...

I actually started work on a new LJ community this morning, too. We'll see if that goes anywhere. It's been ages since I created a new community.

I spent some time working on my plants. I have a nice plant stand (large shelf unit) near our huge windows in the living room that has cactus and succulents on it. I cleaned off the dry pieces and watered it all, using ELEANOR'S VF-11, the plant food I've used since moving into this house. My big bottle I got more than a decade ago is finally empty. If you've never tried it then I highly recommend it. Great stuff. The plants are looking good, in spite of the fact that I haven't given them much attention for months.

I had a stomachache again today. (sigh) It's all the time recently, on and off. Not horrible, but uncomfortable.

I did eat my Cheerios, anyway, covered with cinnamon. Almost too much, if there is such a thing.

Later I fixed a can of white beans, which is easy, as I just open and heat them up. They don't even need seasoning. But, again, I had a stomachache and could barely eat any...

I talked with sister Sue, who was in a good mood.

And I finally forced myself to color my hair (which really needed it!). That's a big task...

I have some website work to tackle tomorrow when I'm at the office. Aside from my IT work, that is.

Marilyn and I -- and the cats, too -- are still SUFFERING from all the smoke. Lots of sneezing and Marilyn and I both have sore throats and are congested. Yucky. I have no idea when it will clear up...

I already deal with seasonal allergies that make me nuts. I need my shot(s) bad.

INTERESTING MOMENT TODAY: I had a comment at Facebook from and unfamiliar name to one of my recent posts. It mentioned a recent 50th grade school reunion that I knew nothing about. Suddenly I'm looking at a photo that includes the woman who was my best friend all during grade school! And several other people I knew in grade school. That unfamiliar name? The married name of a grade school friend. You know. The girls frequently went and got married and ended up with new last names. In my case, I got a new first name years back! Hahaha.

I told Marilyn that a few days ago I was thinking about Michele, my grade school friend. There was no good reason for me to do so. We grew apart freshman year in high school and I only ever saw her once after that on a bus. She was showing off her engagement ring and headed to California. Clearly my name must have come up during the reunion and I 'felt' it somehow. The gathering was at a nearby part (very close to our house). I knew almost everybody who attended...

But it's odd, really. I honestly didn't stay close to any grade school or high school friends. (Excepting our cousin Linda, dear friend Mitch and a very few others.)

Michele hasn't really used her Facebook. Her last post was in 2016. I friended her, but don't know if she'll even see it...

I was not 'popular' (until I got to college). I wasn't at all outgoing back then. I'm pretty much the polar opposite now. I'm truly blessed with a huge circle of friends and associates, literally around the world. When I go places I'm always greeted, hugged and kissed, and treated very warmly. If you had known me in grade school, you'd probably be surprised. Hahaha. Yes, I'm quite changed since back then. Nobody EVER believes I used to be shy.

Almost forgot to say! My blood sugar was 130 this morning! The best number in ages! (woo hoo)

Well, it's past 2:00, so we should head to bed.

I hope your memories are happy ones -- and that the people who 'come back' into your life are special. Friends are always worth having...
I seem to have a constant stomachache these days (on and off). Not severe, but still. Not sure if it's related to my IBS-c, or not... But it's annoying.

And my blood sugar has been high lately -- no idea WHY. Very annoying. Even the raised insulin doesn't seem to help. At least I was in the 150s this morning...

Need my bursa shots!!! Hips are giving me fits. And I'm starting to notice my seasonal allergies. (sigh)

Have I mentioned that I'm trying to be slightly more active at Facebook these days? I'm actually pretty awful about keeping up there, considering I'm always on people to be 'more active' on Social Media... Hahaha. I like to just read, for one thing. And try to Like and Comment a bit. But it does take TIME.

I've also been using Twitter a bit more, too. Mostly for Ninja Warrior stuff, but now and then for other stuff, too...

But -- as always!!! -- my main thing is still to BLOG right here at LJ. Now if I can just get to reading and commenting more here, too!!! Goal!!!!!!!!!!

Marilyn went back to WORK at the festival today. I stayed home and did some festival work remotely (as usual). I can't believe what a JOB it is just to keep up on email. (sigh)

Marilyn worked REALLY LATE (past 8:00), which is no surprise since she's been off, right? She had an extremely busy day and was really tired when she finally got home tonight.

She said she'd wanted to go see "It," but was too late getting home for that, unfortunately. We're very anxious to see the film, to tell the truth.

I cooked green tomatoes (red and zucchini, too) for a late dinner, anyway. Probably too much, really. But we do love them! Marilyn wants to have them with rice one of these times (which is how we always used to have them).

I managed to go through all three (well, two and a half) bags of green tomatoes today. I washed every single one and carefully dried them. Then separated them (some were getting quite red!) and put the green ones away in the fridge. That will help keep them green a bit longer. Otherwise they'll all go red!

And I did pick up around here (living room and kitchen) a bit today...

I spent around 90 minutes on the phone with Donn about IT. Reviewing some things and discussing some maintenance that needs to be done and just chatting. I haven't talked to him since before vaca, really.

I started some 'research' on costumes for the Auction, which will be here before we know it... (Our theme this year is Wizard of Oz, so...)

I also took a couple of old shopping lists and made a new one. We need several things. (sigh)

And put more stuff for the Goodwill out in the garage. There's a lot there, now.

I'm still reading "Forever Amber," which is an excellent read. I can't believe I've read so much and am barely half way through the novel!!!

And we watched part of "Madam Bovary" when Marilyn got home. I just linked the novel! We were watching THIS VERSION of the film (our favorite). Jennifer Jones was such a beauty...

Can't think what I'm forgetting to share about today. Oh well.

Marilyn has executive first thing tomorrow (early), then has to take sister Sue to see Dr. Markin (her lung doctor). My role is to make sure Sue is up and ready when Marilyn gets there to pick her up!!!

I want to color my hair (finally!) tomorrow.

My plan is to work in the office both Thursday and Friday. I told Donn to figure on working Thursday, and maybe Friday, too.

And that's it for now.
Marilyn and I had fried green (and red) tomatoes today. And zucchini, too. Yummy.

And we watched a very good 2016 movie on cable, Mean Dreams," a Canadian coming-of-age film. (One of Bill Paxton's final movies prior to his death.) Sophie Melisse and Josh Wiggins were both wonderful. Marilyn and I really enjoyed it!

We had been talking about going to a movie today (we really want to see "It"), but we didn't quite get around to that. But Mean Dreams was a wonderful alternative.

And we (of course!!!) watched American Ninja Warrior tonight. I really love Tweeting to the various ninjas. It's really amazing how they will Like posts and how people re-Tweet things. I've even had some ninjas answer me. I think they're such a friendly group of people!

Generally I don't Tweet that much, but I love it during ANW.

Vacation is over. Back to work!

We're still having heat here. But we're due for rain later this week. That will be a blessing for the wildfires.

It's interesting how ANNOYED many Oregonians are that the media hasn't given our wildfires the same coverage that they've been giving the hurricanes on the east coast. I don't tend to think of it as dueling disasters, personally. There are several places in the United States that are suffering, without a doubt. (And in other countries, too, for that matter.) But people here feel we're having quite an awful time. It's bad when the ash is everywhere as it is and air quality is so bad. Our friend Carla ended up in the hospital (glad that wasn't either Marilyn or me -- or sister Sue, who has a serious lung disease)...

I called about my syringes today to Byram HealthCare. I was sent some samples to tide me over. On August 25 when I saw Leslie (ugh), she raised my insulin amount. The old syringes are too small. So the following Monday I tried to order new ones. I didn't get the samples until this past week. As I told them today, TWO of the syringes broke (!!!) when I tried using them. (Yeah, I get the most inexpensive version. Not complaining, but it can be a pain sometimes.) Anyway, I was checking to be sure my next order was coming soon...

Then I had to call our garbage and recycling service to report our STOLEN yellow recycling bin that is used for glass. It was originally how we recycled all paper (like newspapers, back in the day). We've had that bin SINCE WE MOVED IN HERE more than 20 years ago! And I took very good care of it, it never sat out more than when being used. We already had a crate I kept just outside the garage stolen, and now the yellow bin. We have homeless people in RVs over at the park a few blocks away. I know I'm guessing, but these things were never stolen before this...

When I told the woman at our service, she said it was happening ALL OVER TOWN, and they can barely manage to replace all the missing bins. She also said there had been some stealing of the roll carts (!!!), as well. Some of them like to SLEEP inside these (yuck). Anyway, they'll bring us a 'new' one this week. (sigh)

I had our ADDRESS written on the outside, because we used to have two bins at one point and did have one stolen many, many years ago. I can't recall the circumstances as it was so long ago.

Yeah, we've had some things stolen before this. And we never have packages sent here because of the people who steal those. It's not all about the homeless. But there are many issues regarding homeless in neighborhoods, I'm afraid. By the way, these are NOT families. Usually it appears they're young/younger. And several living together. We frequently see them outside the RVs (or cars) doing drugs... (sigh)

I've always been so supportive of the homeless. But it's different now than it was before. Portland has attracted many homeless from out of city (and state), and nobody knows how to control things.

By the way, I don't like people in my yard. They have no business there! Read a meter, deliver my mail, come to the door and ask for a signature, etc. But don't skulk around my yard late at night! That's just wrong...

Well, off to bed.
star glow
Marilyn and I went to see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan 35th Anniversary tonight at the Regal Lloyd Center. We hadn't been to a movie in quite some time and this just immediately drew us when Marilyn found it!

I don't even know HOW MANY TIMES we saw this film back when it first aired (and in second run). I mean, we saw it over and over and over again AT THE THEATER. We loved it then and still love it now.

It had a big impact on our lives. But frankly, Class Star Trek had a big impact on us. We're huge fans.

I can't say that we've kept up with all the various incarnations of Star Trek. But Classic Trek and the original movies meant a lot to us...

Plus it was nice to get out while still on vacation and do something fun. This has been that kind of vacation (poor Marilyn).

We were very pleased that Rafa Nadal won the US Open, by the way! (woo hoo)

Finally, we got bad news today. We heard from Marcia that Don T. had passed away. He's the man that was involved with US Open tennis forever -- they even mentioned his passing on TV today at the Open...

He was also the husband of Gerri, the first woman President of the festival (and a dear, dear friend). Back in 2015, Don arranged for Marilyn and I to sit in the President's Suite at the US Open and see Serina and Venus play (and to have drinks in the suite and attend a very fancy and exclusive dinner).

Marilyn and I feel terrible for poor Gerri, who will be lost without Donn. Gerri and Don had moved, so I had a heck of a time tracking Gerri down. But I managed to do it. Shortly after leaving a message, Brad (their son) phoned me and told me Don had just died yesterday (we'd originally heard he died Friday). I was glad to make the connection -- he's going to send me more information later to pass on to festival people...

We've certainly had a lot of losses in 2017. Ron in August. And Gil and Lois back in June. And now Don. Four people in a four-month period. (sigh)

Gerri lives in Mercer Island, Washington (near family), so I imagine we won't be able to attend the memorial this time around...

Not sure what we'll do tomorrow. It's our last day off. Vacation officially ended today, but tomorrow is a Marilyn Monday. (grin)

I need my injections for my hips. I need to phone about an appointment. In light of my last appointment with Leslie, I'm not looking forward to it, frankly.

I need to call about getting our recycling bin replaced that was STOLEN from outside the house, too.

And check on my diabetes supplies. Two of the new larger sized syringes were FAULTY and can't be used (!!!). The problem is I'll run out quickly unless new supplies arrive soon. (sigh)

Final (annoying) note: I was LOGGED OUT of LiveJournal at some point today!!! What the HELL is that about??? I never log out on my home computer...

Time for bed.
We did VERY LITTLE during the day, saving our energy for the evening event. And we only ate breakfast all day, too. (Aside: We've started eating Cheerios, as they're 'heart healthy' and lower cholesterol -- they're oats, of course. We eat these with stevia and cinnamon -- which helps both of us digest them, as they've always given both of us indigestion...)

The main thing we needed to do was both SHOWER and wash and do our hair. Plus get dressed in our gowns and do our makeup, of course. Hahaha.

This was actually my first-ever ball. I've never attended the Royal Rosarian Ball previous to this. Marilyn has been to a couple of others -- surprising when you consider how many years she's been with the festival and associated with the organization...

Short entry! I'm very tired and need to head to bed...

Marilyn and I had a LOVELY TIME at this event! Truly enjoyable.

We were seated at the best table in the room! Perhaps it was considered the second-best table, but I think that's a matter of opinion. Still, in a room full of tables, this was quite a happy surprise. We were RIGHT IN THE FRONT of the room. Gary and Carla were at our table, as well as Jeff (and others). Jeff sat right by Marilyn.

Leslie and the Queen were at the table directly across from ours (also right in the front of the room).

Everyone looked fabulous in their dress clothes. And of course we know so many of the people in the room. Things began at 5:00, but we didn't arrive until nearly 15 to 6:00. That was okay, as we only missed drinks and mingling -- they were just seating people when we got there.

Lengthy programming, as this is the official installation of their officers for the year.

Dinner was very good! Really lovely food.

We got drinks when we arrived. And later Gary bought us each a drink, too.

We left after dinner when the dancing was beginning. We were home by around 9:30-ish (the program was supposed to run to 10:30, but I suspect it was going to run much longer than that). Jeff left just before we did and phoned me from the car to apologize for taking off abruptly (which I didn't feel he had).

We went outside to WET STREETS!!! It had clearly RAINED while we were inside. Such a happy event in light of the wildfires.

We got home and out of our gowns. Then I made popcorn and we watched Batman (one of our favorite episodes). And Star Trek after that (another favorite episode).

Now we're off to bed. It's been a LONG AND EXHAUSTING WEEK.

I didn't mention the tennis, but you know we've been watching the US Open all along... (smile)

And that's my short (quickly typed) entry. Not very detailed, but that how it goes! More soon. I should share photos!

Worried about friends around the country. I hope everyone is SAFE!!!

Sweet dreams...
Marilyn and I were late waking up! So Marilyn didn't get her shower before we headed out... She dropped me at Kathy's and I got my hair cut. And caught Kathy up on things with Sue and so on. (And met Penny, her next client.) The second she put my layers back in I got totally curly all over. Hahaha. I never need a permanent.

Marilyn was parked around the corner and we went to get Starbucks and decided to take a drive. We ended up back on Sauvie Island. Marilyn had suggested getting more red tomatoes, so we wanted to go to The Pumpkin Patch were we got the green tomatoes. We had walked around the animal barn, but not really checked out the 'grocery' area where all the produce for sale was.

We also went to the gift shop, which is VERY NICE! The buyers have picked a lot of wonderful items and Marilyn and I both bought several things. (Interesting aside: We each got a small gift for Wanda, thinking about yesterday...)

We bought a tiny pie, red tomatoes, zucchini, more plums, and two small pumpkins.

We got home and I called Sue about the tennis which was starting at 1:00. June called me, looking for sister Sue's number so she could phone her. And I talked to June briefly a bit later.

The situation with the wildfires? Grim. Things are expected to get worse. The ash is everywhere. I'm sneezing all the time...

We're praying for our many friends who live that way. And the nature that's being destroyed. And the situation in Florida is AWFUL!!! Worse by the minute. (sigh)

Rafa Nadal and Anderson both won today. They will meet in the Finals on Sunday.

I bought a wonderful little 'Rosary box' at The Pumpkin Patch gift shop. I found a small red bead rosary that was broken and fixed it -- it fits inside perfectly! How nice for beside my bed...

We had taken green tomatoes to Sue yesterday. She was talking about cooking them today. I'm not sure about that, as she rarely EVER cooks, except to use the microwave or heat up soup on the stove...

Tomorrow is the Ball. It starts at 5:00 (!!!). And runs to 10:30. Are you KIDDING me???!!! Five and a half hours long? Well, Marilyn and I will probably go for the dinner and not stay. (It makes me tired just thinking about it.) At least I got my hair cut before it. (I should color, but if I don't, I don't...)

We ordered chicken from Domino's. We really like the white chicken bites with jalapenos and pineapple. And it's incredible how fast you can get a couple of orders delivered!

Yesterday I was looking back for some information in my blog. I was so wishing that I'd kept it up better in past years. Sometimes I would barely write for weeks on end... I have few regrets, but I wish I had forced myself to blog more frequently!

Well, off to bed. Tomorrow will be a big day. Sleep well and stay safe, everyone.
tennis ball
Marilyn is a saint, all that she does for our sister. The amount of work she's put into being Sue's medical manager is astonishing. Here she is on vacation and not getting to relax or do anything for fun. I feel bad for her...

She did a lenthy write-up of Sue's health, including her various conditions, doctors, medicines and so on. Very detailed. She wants to make sure Candy and Sue both have copies. I think it will prove extremely helpful in the future. (It took around three hours.)

This morning we went out running yet more errands. Getting my insulin. Going shopping for several of our items and for sister Sue. We took some green tomatoes over to Sue, too.

Comcast was down today. Annoying! At least it's not our phone. June and Jim had no phone service while the problem existed. But it was no TV and no WiFi! Awful.

Anyway, I ran next door to take June her gifts and stayed to watch her open them. (Her birthday was yesterday.) She said she and Jim had gone to Fishwife yesterday for her bday dinner.

Then we watched a bunch of US Open tennis.

Marilyn had to chat with Wanda about work after hours... (Marilyn manages personnel.)

This evening Marilyn went to the office, then out to Donald, Oregon, for her massage therapy. While she was gone I did the garbage and recycling.

She brought home my syringes -- the new size. They already bug. I was used to the other ones...

The ash is better, I guess, but still bad. My eyes are suffering. It's still hard to breathe, but we didn't wear the masks today. I was sneezing like mad several times today. It's awful being so sensitive.

We watched the movie "Cluny Brown," which we enjoyed. We both read the book recently.

We also watched "Staying Alive" tonight. The movie bombed, but Marilyn and I always liked it.

Tomorrow morning I have a hair cut, which I really need, with Kathy (at 9:00).

It's nearly 2:00 a.m.

Sweet dreams.
Early day.

We're suffering from the ash in the air. The air quality has been awful. We had masks and these helped. We had three, so Marilyn and I each wore one and we gave one to sister Sue to wear. We don't wear them in the house, but DO WEAR THEM in the car and when outside. Yes, it helps a great deal. And I was wearing my sunglasses even though it was far from 'sunny' outside -- in order to protect my eyes (wearing my contacts). At one point I did go out very briefly without mask and glasses and BOY WAS I SORRY about that!

We headed to Sue's so we could get there before 9:00 a.m. I phoned Deluxe Fuel on the way and discovered Rick would be coming to our location second. So we had anywhere from 90 minutes to two hours to wait. We had brought along bottled cold coffee, but after going to Sue's we went and got her a Venti caramel latte. (We also got a white egg bite -- one order has two, and we also share them between us.)

While at the house I did take her cell phone to see it I could set up her voice mail message. So weird! The thing gives the prompt in Spanish, even though I tell it to use English. It needs to go back to the provider, I guess...

We texted Candy for the WiFi password. She had to get it from Nicole. But now that I have it, I put it in two spots at Sue's house and I've got it on both my cell and iPad...

I had to trim the tree outside the house so the number would show. Anyway, Rich had no trouble finding us, thankfully.

We'd found the 'closet' where the unit resides, and Sue and I moved all the ton of stuff piled in front blocking it. He got in and worked on it and then we had to locate the breaker box (I found it). And he had to go get a part. So he fixed the furnace fan so they can have heat when the time comes, thankfully. Then he went out to work on the outdoor AC unit.

The news there wasn't good. He got two bids -- one 'cheaper' one and one for the better unit. The cheap bid was nearly $5,000. No, we do not just have that kind of money lying around, in case you're wondering. Hahaha. (The better unit was $600 more, if you're wondering.)

Marilyn paid for today, then we were off to take Sue to see Dr. Jhooty (her heart doctor). He's at Emanuel hospital.

After that it was back to Sue's. Candy was there and we told her the good and bad news. She's still going to check with Daniel and her school chum for an alternative (cheaper) option for the AC, and we'll help with the cost.

It's difficult to want to put much money into their manufactured home for several reasons. First, it wouldn't increase the value in any way. Second, they're upside down on the place anyway -- so if they let it go, they walk away without anything. And they frequently talk about doing exactly that. So spending thousands just doesn't make sense (even if we could afford it).

Our bottom line -- even with the current heat issues -- is that many, many people in Portland (and the surrounding areas) do NOT have AC and manage. We lived in our house for years without it, using fans and in-window units. So... It might be hard to believe now, but in weeks it will be cold again.

Oh! And this has been interesting: since the wildfires and all the smoke, it's been cooler. The smoke blocks the sun and the heat.

Sue tried to phone our friend June. She wanted to wish her 'Happy Birthday' -- but nobody was home. I was excited to see Sue trying to phone her. And that it was her own idea to do so! She really hasn't been calling people much recently...

Marilyn and Candy were working on a list of all Sue's medications. They're trying to reason which doctor assigned which drug, what she's currently taking and what might be missing. It's been complicated ever since Sue was in the hospital last year and the hospital doctor got in the mix and screwed it all up...

Finally when this was all done, Marilyn and I stopped briefly by Staples (I wanted a couple more lightning cables).

If you use iPhones and/or iPads (or even iPods), then you really should get one or more of these! They're AMAZING!!! They come in a BOX, blue and white with 'STAPLES' written in red at the top. There's a plastic window that displays the cable. On the outside it reads: Charge/Sync Cable - Lightning connector - Extra durable braided design - 6' - Made for iPod, iPhone, iPad. (The cables are in a variety of colors.) They cost $10 (cheaper than the Apple cables).

These work BETTER than the lightning cables that come with the devices, believe it or not! They won't break like regular white cables do. They're longer (obviously). They decidedly charge FASTER, believe it or not. Obviously I'm nuts about them. I've already bought two each for Marilyn and me (four), plus one for my friend June. And now I've gone back and bought two more! (We wanted them for work, too.) It's not always that easy to locate them in the store, so it's helpful to have the stats I've shared above to tell the sales person. If I were Staples, I'd be putting these right were everybody could find them! I can't recommend them enough.

After that we stopped briefly at Target. We needed gift bags and pretty tissue for June's gifts (for her bday). And Marilyn wanted to get a cake, but they had none, so we settled for cinnamon rolls (smile). On our drive home, we saw the Farmer's Market in Kenton and stopped, wanting red tomatoes to fry with the green we got yesterday.

Then we headed home. I immediately wrapped up June's gifts and we signed our cards. I tried to phone her, but nobody was home. So I put the stuff aside (including some happy-un-birthday presents for Jim) for later. I did leave her a message.

Both Marilyn and I were exhausted. What a stressful day. We watched more of the US Open tennis, but I didn't last long. I headed into my bedroom for a nap. I tried to read a bit, but was soon snoozing.

I've been reading the novel "Forever Amber," which I've never read before. (Yes, I've seen the movie several times.) I'm really enjoying the book! Very well written, with amazing research for the period.

I just finished reading Mary Renault's "Funeral Games." I love her writing so much! (And I love that she spent her life in a relationship with another woman. Mary was a fascinating person.)

del Potro took out Roger Federer. We like del Potro, but Roger is a favorite. Still, I wouldn't mind seeing del Potro win the whole thing. NOT that I'm pulling against Rafa, mind you! Hahaha.

When I finally woke up, Marilyn and I decided to fry tomatoes, always something we like to do during night matches of the Open. We missed the actual match for dinner, but that didn't matter. The food was still good! No rice, just red and green tomatoes. Marilyn cooked a pan, then I cooked one. And I fixed a second pan for Marilyn, and a few leftover slices for myself. Sheer gluttony! Hahaha. Delicious! Those red tomatoes were garden grown and yummy...

We also got some carrots -- I immediately ate one when we got home. We also bought some lemon cukes. And some plums (I can't remember what kind, but they're tasty).

Marilyn is asleep on the sofa upstairs. She was watching Frasier when she drifted off. I have the TV on while I'm typing this.

I did finally talk to June late in the day. We decided I'd take her the gifts tomorrow, as they were heading to bed shortly.

I guess sister Sue had called at one point needing adult diapers. Candy asked her before going to see her boyfriend if she needed anything and she said no. And we asked her the same before we headed home and she said no. She told Marilyn she'd asked Candy, but certainly not when we were there... She gets confused.

We'll have to go tomorrow for these, I guess. We also need to get by the office and get my medical supplies that are waiting there (syringes -- the new LARGER SIZE I need). Plus go to Riteaid for my insulin. Plus we need to go shopping at some point (we're not in a hurry... hahaha...).

I've been setting up my pills three days at a time. I don't know why, but that's so much easier than doing a week at a time (which takes forever). Unless we're going somewhere, this works fine, by the way.

Wanda was so sweet on the phone yesterday! I forgot to mention it. I was sharing with her all the various American Ninja Warrior participants who had responded to my Monday Tweets, which excites her so much. I always have to share with her. Hahaha. That reminds me that we were messing with Marilyn's Twitter account today, too...

June and Jim went up the Gorge today! They wanted to check things out. I can't imagine doing that. They went into the smoke! I think it would kill Marilyn and me, we're so sensitive. As it is the smoke is making us miserable. We both had terrible headaches again today... She told me she thinks it's getting better. I hope that's true.

We really need some RAIN here!!! Montana is on fire. California is on fire. Washington is on fire. And OREGON is on fire. Terrible. Meanwhile, Texas is flooded and horrible storms are headed for Florida. Sorry if you disagree, but don't tell me this isn't due to global warming! And I don't think that should be a political issue. As they recently said in National Geographic, this is simply a scientific fact.

Well, before I get more political (and talk about DACA/Dreamers), I think I'll end for today. Sorry it's such a long post!

I hope all of my friends and family are staying SAFE and as comfortable as possible. I'm praying for all of you...

Sorry I didn't post yesterday.

Monday, September4:

Marilyn and I dared to drive out on a few errands. I say 'dared' because of yhe horrible air quality in Portland due to the wildfires.

Some probably don't know, but Marilyn has only ever had 80% lung capacity. And she suffers from asthma. She seems better than when she was younger (and often couldn't catch her breath), but she still has issues. And this situation doesn't help.

We got prescriptions from the pharmacy and went to Sauvie Island to U-Pick green tomatoes. I am totally DONE with Kruger's Farm, by the way. Aside from several instances the last couple of years of rude behavior, now they no longer allow the picking of green tomatoes. As Marilyn said, what's the difference if we buy them red or green? And charge us what you would for harvested crops -- we'll pay it. We just want the produce! And they don't sell the tomatoes green. Whatever. I'm tired of their unpleasantness anyway. So we went back to The Pumpkin Patch on Sauvie Island. (Aside: years back we had some incidents there and quit going! But we experienced nothing but warmth and kindness yesterday, so it was time, I guess!) They have a lot of features for visitors and were very friendly and helpful. And the green tomatoes were beautiful and abundant! We got quite a few.

Then we got Mexican take-out and came home.

Later we took bags to the BottleDrop. It was CREEPY! The sky was platinum. Awful. I said it reminded me of nuclear winter -- not kidding. Marilyn agreed. There's a yellow hue that's ominous.

I'm not sure how, but we were up much of the night. But didn't sleep in all that late. Still watching a lot of US Open tennis...

The news last night was so upsetting. We have many friends who live in the Gorge. 10,000 acres are bruning in Oregon. Nature is being devastated. Amazing locations are being threatened, or destroyed.


The Oneonta Tunnel was destroyed last night. It was beautiful. All wood. We have photos of Marilyn in front of it from 2013...

Praying Vista House and the Multnomah Falls Lodge will be saved. Plus Pat and Pat's amazing historic house.

There was a layer of ASH all over today! I couldn't believe what I was seeing! It took me back to whe Mount St. Helens erupted! I made Marilyn go out to see it briefly, but shouldn't have. I made her sick being outside breathing that air.

Anyway, we stayed in most of the day. Our chests are burning and we both have headaches. Awful.

It's hard to think about anything except the fires.

I can't believe a 15-year-old started the Eagle Creek Fire! With fireworks, no less. Disgusting.

Here are some photos. Click to see the larger version.

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Just a sample of what's happening here, anyway... some of those are the lodge -- they've been working hard to save it.

Tomorrow we have to be at sister Sue's house early, so off to bed (it's 3:00 a.m., but I needed to share). Then she has a doctor appointment.

More tomorrow.
summer - tennis
First, a quick memory moment... Today is Dorothy's birthday -- the mother of my best friend, June. Dorothy left us in 2004, but I know we'll see her again one day. She was such a sweet lady.

Dorothy and June

I always think about Dorothy (and June) on this day... Marilyn did, too.

Marilyn and I went to the Cambia Portland Open today. IT WAS ANOTHER VERY HOT DAY. We were both dressed in shorts, needless to say.

It was our first-ever golf tournament (attending as spectators, to be specific). We got great parking, due to Marilyn's volunteer involvement yesterday (she knew exactly where to go!). So we didn't have far to walk from the car.

But if you've never attended a golf tournament, it's a ton of walking around, even as a spectator. I wish I'd taken more photos, but I wasn't sure if it was okay or not (cameras were not allowed).

We were actually following the leaders for some time, totally by accident! Stacy Lewis won the tournament, and gave her purse to Houston! What a wonderful thing to do.

We came home and watched more US Open tennis (we missed most of Maria Sharapova's match -- she lost, unfortunately). We saw Venus and Petra win, though!

It was a very hot day again. And Marilyn was still suffering from yesterday, which was very hard on her. It was great to get home, that's for sure...

So we took it easy after getting home. Just watching TV. Tennis and Mod Squad and so on.

We were doing the quiz at the History Channel website for ages. Usually we'd get 8 out of 10 right. A few times we did as poorly as 6 out of 10. And sometimes we'd get them all correct! But all in all we did pretty well.

We had delivery pizza for dinner -- with some very good chicken, believe it or not! In fact, we might just order the chicken in the future, we enjoyed it so much. (And we very rarely ever eat pizza.) But this was a treat, celebrating being on vacation.

We're not planning to do anything tomorrow except take it easy. I think that's a great idea.

Well, I think that covers today.

Sleep well, friends.
sunshine, sunny
Today was another day of the Cambia Portland Classic. Marilyn was a VOLUNTEER for the event today -- much of our staff and many of our directors were also volunteering. (Kind of mandatory volunteering...)

For those who don't know, we're in the middle of a heat wave here. Today the official high temperature for Portland, Oregon was 103' (!!!).

Marilyn was set to be working from 12:00 noon until 5:00 p.m. -- on one of our hottest days of the year! Out in the sun, with no CHAIRS provided for volunteers (???!!!) and no tarp overhead or anything. She was working in a parking lot -- very hot and dusty.

She was with Carla and Gary -- and was grateful to have Gary there do a lot of the VERY HEAVY LIFTING that they were required to do. They were providing water for people, which meant CONSTANTLY moving cases of water from the pallet they had to one storage unit full of ice or the second one -- then handing cold bottles out to anyone who came by. It was never ending work -- each time I called to check on them, she had to go immediately to get back to it! I can't even imagine women being assigned such heavy work. (No wonder Marilyn didn't want me to go along today...)

But we had a lot of other volunteers there from the festival (staff and board) who were also in their 60's -- or even in their 70's -- working in this awful heat. It's a wonder nobody got ill from the heat. Marilyn came home exhausted and hungry, with a splitting headache (no surprise, really).

As for me, I had wanted to color my hair, but had no hair color. So I walked from our house down to Freddies, which is quite a hike, by the way. I took along a bag to carry whatever else I got. There was a breeze, thank God! I was out around 1:00...

Anyway, I got some things and headed back again. Finally I caught a bus and rode part of the way. I'm glad, because it was pretty darn HOT out there.

I still managed to get more than 8,000 steps today, anyway. That's a good thing.

I was too tired to face coloring my hair, though. Hahaha. So maybe tomorrow sometime.

Sad thing? I somehow lost our Fred Meyer card while shopping. We'd had that thing for many, many years (one of the old purple cards). I had it to check out, stuck it in my pocket and went to get Starbucks (also in the store). By the time I got there, it was missing. I backtracked, but never found it. And later searched my pockets, the bag and my wallet (but I knew it wasn't there). I had my wallet in an inside pocket for protection and had left my purse home so I didn't have to pack it around. Well, at least I didn't lose my credit card! Hahaha.

We watched our usual METV shows -- but were also watching US Open Tennis (Rafa and Roger), and The Mod Squad on Decades TV (we love that show). A good night.

I made homemade popcorn for a treat.

No word from sister Sue, but she rarely calls when she's at a cribbage tournament.

I need to get to bed soon! It's around 1:30 now...

I hope you have cool, comfortable days and sweet dreams!
So TIRED this week! Totally spaced blogging late last night... (It's actually 6:00 a.m. On Saturday -- and not Friday... sigh...)

Marilyn, of course, had a killer day. The final day before going on vacation is always hard for her. So much to do.

Of course, as she pointed out, with so much work-related stuff and other non-vacation errands to get done next week, it's far from an actual week off for her. I find it hard not to resent events that bite into our Marilyn Mondays or the weekend, totally aside from having vacation messed up. But it is what it is.

I talked to sister Sue first thing. She was going on and on about cribbage from Thursday night, and then about the upcoming tournament. Obsessively so. She seemed happy to be heading out of town, anyway. She also went on for some time about Rafa's recent match, even though she couldn't have seen much (it started while she was at cribbage). Anyway...

Just sayin'...Collapse )

Marilyn just woke up. We're having a 'jolt' of cool air. (smile) We don't normally run the AC non-stop (read: never), but switch it on when we're too warm. She can still get more rest before heading to work, whether she sleeps more or not...

Yesterday was exciting!

Marilyn gave me enough information to set up Sirius radio on our mobile devices. Just in time for the Top 100 countdown on The Beatles Channel which will run all weekend.

No, it was not complicated. Marilyn had told me Dennis had a terrible time with it, so I had braced myself for this to be annoying -- it totally was not.

We first got Sirius radio in June of 2016 (with the new car). Once you have it you can never go back. This has especially been true since The Beatles Channel for us. We start every day with it.

I'm SO DELIGHTED I can now listen to it at home, as well. I ha it on for hours in the afternoon.

I cleaned up some things around the house, and did dishes. And rearranged things back to normal.

It was a hot day. But I went out in the back yard and walked around, trying to get some steps in. I worked up quite a sweat.

That was pretty much our Friday. Marilyn came home late. We talked and we watched Star Trek as we do every Friday night. And tennis as we always do during the US Open.

Oh! Serena Williams had her baby. (A girl.)

Missing? No green tomatoes! We love frying them during the Open -- especially to eat during night matches. We haven't been down to pick a single one...

SweeT dreams.
star, gold star
This morning was amazing! Marilyn and I attended the Cambia Portland Classic: 2017 Women’s Leadership Breakfast, which this year honored Nancy Lopez. Marilyn made a point of reminding me that we were among 100 people (mostly women) who had been invited to attend this very exclusive event.

It was a lovely catered breakfast with excellent servers (great food).

Marilyn put in quite a bit of work to help arrange to have to get today officially declared Nancy Lopez Day by the mayor. (With a beautifully framed certificate.) Marilyn also spoke briefly, doing her usual excellent job. Our Queen was there (again) -- but had unfortunately been in an auto accident on her way to the event! (I was very impressed that she was still able to make it there and to do her 'job' even though she was upset. When she sat down she reached across Leslie and grabbed my hands and we sat there looking at each other and squeezing each other's hands. Such a sweet girl!)

Nancy Lopez spoke at length to the group -- it was very impressive and inspiring.

After that we got to have our pictures taken with her. And we got colored photos of her that she'd signed last night. (I was able to bring one home for Sue, too! Nice!)

THIS ARTICLE gives you some idea of today's program.

As a gift of the event, everyone got a pair of these special SUNGLASSES. We all got to pick among a variety of styles. (The price on the boxes is $129 -- so it's a pretty impressive memento!)

Marilyn brought me home to stay with sister Sue while she went in to work...

This evening Sue was picked up by friends Ross and Tammy G., who took her with them to weekly cribbage. (Tammy is so heavy that she doesn't get out of the car to come to the house -- she waits there, with the seat way back for her to get inside. I went out to say 'hello' and thank her for her kindness to Sue. Ross wasn't very friendly, but I did manage to have him step inside while Sue got up to leave. I carried her suitcase and she got her own bags of stuff.)

She had decided to stay at home (her house) tonight, as these same friends are picking her up first thing in the morning to go to a cribbage tournament at 'The Mill' (I'm not all that sure where this is, to be honest). The tournament is this entire weekend.

We've set up to get the HVAC fixed for Sue and Candy, going through our own company (we'll pay for it). Someone is coming to their house on Wednesday. We'll have to be there, of course. Fortunately this is during our vacation...

I feel awful right now! I was so dead tired tonight that after a late dinner I went in and laid down for a 'nap.' I didn't wake until around 2:30 a.m. -- it's currently 4:00.

I had to get in and clean the cat boxes and gather all the recycling and garbage (real garbage week). This was a TON MORE THAN NORMAL with Sue here. And such a mess (no details, just take my word for it).

An aside...Collapse )

Anyway, I finally got all the garbage and recycling out. Two extra bags this week. It really wore me out. Hahaha.

Well, I need to go back to bed. I was just waiting to feel a little better first. Ugh.

Goodnight, friends.