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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Marilyn is still VERY, VERY sick. I had a number of people suggest things I could do today -- including Marilyn! But I wouldn't enjoy celebrating WITHOUT Marilyn, frankly. And I didn't think she should be trying to get up just to take me to get food (especially as she was too sick to be hungry today), either.

But our personal outlook is that EVERY DAY IS A PARTY! Not every minute of every day, but I can't tell you how often one or the other of us (or both of us) say "It's like a party!" We can make a party out of any day, just watching TV, eating some food we like or having popcorn and/or ice cream. I'm NOT kidding. That's how we really feel.

So even when we're sick, we manage to stay happy. Even when we've been sick on and off for MONTHS AND MONTHS (as we both have this year), we still stay positive.

2016 has been a difficult year for both of us. I can't believe Marilyn is sick again. And she's suffering, no doubt about it. She's really miserable, poor thing. But she just won't let it get her down, even so.

I heard from many, many friends today. By phone, online and via text messages. All these people helped to make my day special.

We basically spent a quiet day, watching TV and (yes, you guessed it) playing with our iPads (and SimCity BuildIt, among other activities). As has been true our whole lives, television is such a lifesaver for both of us! And there's nothing like a good game, as well. SimCity BuildIt has sure been fun while we've been sick these last few months. And when we're NOT sick, too! Hahaha.

I don't think it's quite as cold outside as they'd warning about earlier in the week. But I still DID go out and cover the front spigot, just to be safe!!! Naturally I forgot until after DARK, but it was pretty simple, so that didn't end up mattering.

I did make eggs and bacon for lunch-ish. But poor Marilyn couldn't eat much. Doesn't matter. Any uneaten food goes right out to the critters, who always appreciate it! Waste not, want not, as Mom would be saying if she were here...

Yes, part of getting older is dealing with the loss of loved ones who have gone on before us. And missing them on special days (or just on any day). Marilyn and I were discussing it today.

We saw the "Touched By An Angel" Christmas episode that mentioned Mark Twain today. Being fascinated by history, I had to immediately find out if what they were sharing on the show was true or not. They didn't exactly get it 'right,' but it was interesting that they would have someone write a script that included the Twain story! Marilyn and I were both impressed...

We had popcorn in place of dinner. Hahaha. Marilyn couldn't face food and I wasn't really that hungry. And we've often eaten popcorn in place of a meal, so...

But I did have a couple of glasses of CHAMPAGNE, I have to admit! Celebration! Hahaha. Every new year is a good one.

I sure hope Marilyn feels better soon...

THANKS SO MUCH to everyone who has (or will) wish me birthday greetings! I try hard to thank each person, but don't always remember. (No! It's not because I'm getting old. Hahaha.)

Off for a nap, I think! I've spent a bunch of time SLEEPING today. But I was up most of the night. And sleep is a good thing. (smile)

I wonder if we're still supposed to get SNOW tomorrow? That's always a big deal here in Portland.

Sweet dreams -- and may you, too, have many 'parties' in your lives!!!
brr, cold
Marilyn is very sick and really suffering, poor thing. Coughing constantly. I feel terrible for her.

Candy is still sick -- and now it looks like sister Sue is sick, as well.

This is a nasty virus that has been making the rounds in our office at work -- but around the area, clearly, too. (sigh)

Henry was howling like mad several times today. He really, really wanted my attention -- especially when I was very busy...

Colin has taken to sleeping in HENRY'S tent in the living room (!!!). Good grief! When he's not sleeping on the soft blanket I put under the Christmas tree especially for him, that is. I think he goes in the tent when he gets cold.

And it's been VERY COLD here -- and we're expecting even colder weather Sunday and Monday.

I made eggs and bacon for lunch today. And then chili, again, for dinner. Both Marilyn and I like to eat chili when we're not feeling well.

And I made hot tea (served sweet without milk). Trying to help Marilyn's poor sore throat.

Fridays are always fun, even when we're not feeling well. We love watching the METV shows that start at 6:00 p.m. our time and run all night long. Though for whatever reason we can't seem to remember to tune in in time for "The Wild, Wild West" at 6:00 -- usually we only see the end. This is a series we've loved so much in our lives that we used to have EVERY SINGLE EPISODE on video tape (naturally we've since gotten rid of them -- but we did have them at one point).

Watching "Batman" sure takes me back! We loved it as kids and STILL love it as adults. Man, that Adam West! (grin)

I did text with Candy, Adeena and Mark today -- at one point with all three at the same time. That was when I was also on the phone with my friend June (plus talking briefly to Sue, as well). Crazy how that works, huh?

My focus remains Marilyn, for the record. Friends and family are all asking about getting together with me tomorrow, but I don't see that happening. Jeff has been really firm about it -- but I don't think he realizes how sick Marilyn really is, as he wants to do something with both of us. Oh well.

Timing is everything. Marilyn comes first for me, probably needless to say. I can't see me doing something without HER there, after all. (As if I could enjoy myself knowing she was at home REALLY SICK AND REALLY MISERABLE. Not happening.)

Anyway, we don't tend to do anything for my birthday, anyway, so that's fine. Sometimes we go out for lunch or dinner. And sometimes we go to a movie. But usually not. (shrug)

Every day is a 'party' for Marilyn and me, in spite of illness or other difficulties. We work to make life happy in spite of negative things. And Saturdays are sure party days now that we enjoy the METV lineup so much! Hahaha.

Oh! I also made popcorn tonight, which we both really enjoy...

I almost forgot to mention this! I put our four pumpkins -- and a bunch of gourds -- out in the back yard. You can easily see them from our huge living room windows. And today I saw that one pumpkin has the top totally torn off and looks gutted. And a squirrel was really tearing into another one and eating and eating! Very cute to see! We did that last year and were quite surprised when they began eating them. So we knew we were going to do it again this year. I wish I had video of it!!! Hahaha.

I had hummers again today. I really need to clean and fill the hummingbird feeder again (hopefully tomorrow). We get a lot of the little guys (and girls).

I think that's it for now. Continuing to send out good thoughts and prayers to Frank!

And I sure hope Marilyn, Sue and Candy get well soon. (And all my friends at work, as well.)

I'm sure enjoying my flowers from Rich and Merlin! (I'm having one heck of a time keeping Colin away from them. Hahaha.)

Sweet dreams all. STAY HEALTHY IF YOU CAN!!!!
Marilyn is very sick. Terrible sore throat and other upper respiratory symptoms. And clearly running a fever, as she keeps telling me how 'HOT' it is in the house, when it's actually quite cold...

I feel TERRIBLE for her. She's had so much illness to deal with this year. Plus she had a really full day of work that she had to put off -- and nobody else can do those things, so they just pile up for her to tackle. Poor Marilyn.

I admit to spending a VERY LAZY DAY myself, this Friday. I mostly was lying around and sleeping a TON. I was sleeping in the family room chair (MY chair), which is close by to Marilyn's beloved sofa (where she does most of her sleeping -- especially when she's sick). I never used to be able to sleep so soundly in that chair in the past. I always went to BED when I wanted to do any serious sleeping. But with my illness this year I started actually sleeping in the chair -- and in front of TV, another thing I didn't used to be able to do. I guess it shows that when you're truly tired you can sleep pretty much anywhere. Hahaha. But I think I've also made that chair more comfy for sleeping, thankfully...

I did go out with sister Sue again today so we could get BOTH my prescriptions (from yesterday!!!) and Marilyn's, too. And then Sue and I went to Freddies to do more shopping.

We always ENJOY these trips together, which give us a lot of time to chat and share the details of our lives with one another. It's nice to be together when we can. After we were done shopping (and I'd put everything out in the car), we got Starbucks and sat and visited for some time before heading home again.

Yes, I got a latte for Marilyn -- but she never did end up drinking it today. It's in the fridge in case she wants it tomorrow. And I finally remembered to get COFFEE for the coffee pot (!!!) today (we use Yuban), as well. So I can always make a pot of coffee when we want it.

I really WISH I'd remembered to get PAPER TOWELS, though! Good grief! How many times can I go to the store and still not have everything we need???????

Marilyn ate her burritos for lunch and I made myself curry noodles (the very short version). Then we had a delicious pot of chili for dinner! We both love chili in cold weather. Heck, we love it in all kinds of weather, actually. Hahaha.

Tonight being Friday night, we watched a bunch of Star Trek, as always.

Marilyn being Marilyn, she ended up doing a TON of work from here at home (!!!), no surprise. No matter how sick she is, she always does what really needs doing.

I ate a bowl of my 'on sale' cereal for breakfast this morning! As I told Sue, I just couldn't pass up that sale yesterday, it was so damn good! It's a HUGE box (!!!), so I had one heck of a time finding a spot for it. But I managed. And I'm planning to enjoy every single bowlful. (grin)

June and I talked for ages this evening, which was nice. She was asking about Pinterest, which I barely use, frankly. But I went into the App (for iPad) and looked around a bit, just for the heck of it. I think it only appeals to certain people, but what the hell... I like to try and keep up on various forms of Social Media. Anyway.

We're expecting one hell of a cold snap here, come Sunday (my bday). And possibly SNOW on Monday (!!!). They're usually WRONG when they predict that, so I guess we'll see!!!

That's it, so good night! Sleep well. Still praying for Frank!!!
Before ANYTHING else, I want to send out PRAYERS from both Marilyn and me to our friend Frank fbhjr, who is dealing with issues with his vision. Please join us in sending prayers and/or good thoughts to him (I so believe in the power of prayer and positivity). Thanks, guys.

Marilyn appears to be fighting a bug -- and there's been a bug running around our office. Carol has been out sick for two days -- and Marilyn used Carol's phone to take photos (our cell phones end up pretty germy even when we're not sick!), so...

We're a small staff in a small office building, so it's difficult for us not to pass sickness around. I decided against going in tomorrow, considering so many people who are AT THE OFFICE are ill. I'd like to avoid getting it. (I've had enough illness this year...)

Marilyn does NOT have the choice to stay home tomorrow. She has several important meetings (including budget) -- and she's talking with Kate about coming back to work for us again.

I guess we know what we'll be doing this weekend! Taking it easy so she can hopefully feel better sooner rather than later.

Sue took me shopping for a few ESSENTIAL items today. And we tried TWICE (before and after grocery shopping) to pick up the rest of my prescriptions -- which weren't ready the SECOND time, even though they'd told me to come back in half an hour (and I waited more than 45 minutes). Annoying, to say the least.

Marilyn said she has TWO DAYS left of one of her prescriptions, and they've just finally filled it! She thinks that's too damn close to running out, considering how hard it can be for her to get there to pick things up with her busy schedule.

I carried all the heavy stuff in from shopping. And did the garbage and recycling (garbage didn't go out this week, but I did gather it and put it in the rollcart).

I had another low blood count this evening. (sigh) I'm sure it will balance out sooner or later. Not sure if I hadn't eaten enough, or it was because I'd had too much physical activity, or what...

I baked brownies this evening. Yummy! (And very easy.)

I did some things today around the house, but was trying (well, some) to take it a bit easy in light of the rest of this week. I've been so tired. Oh well. Gosh, it was COLD today!!! (brr)

Marilyn worked really LATE again today.

That's it for today! I'm hoping Marilyn will feel better tomorrow (you can never tell, after all). And I'm praying Frank will be GREAT and not lose his vision.

Sister Sue went to her son Larry's house last night and had cribbage tonight. It was very nice of her to haul me around today.

I washed my hair and used my NEW HAIRDRYER that Marilyn bought me -- it works great!

Can't think what else to share, so I'm off to bed.

Oh! We were watching "Sister Act" and "Sister Act II" this evening on cable. Suddenly the grandfather clock was just chiming and going crazy. We always call that 'Mom talking to us' (it's never on the hour and always seems to happen when it's something that would interest her). I reminded Marilyn that years ago Mom gave me both of those movies on video tape (I still have them, but obviously don't use them). I guess Mom was telling me she was happy I still enjoy those two movies so much. (smile)

Sweet dreams!!!
Last night I really, really didn't feel well. I had a very stiff neck and a touch of headache and I was afraid I was going to have a bout of vertigo (which I have very rarely now, thankfully!). So I took a Meclizine before going to bed. I was also nauseous, so I tried one of our new anti-nausea medication Marilyn and I bought to try: Nauzene. The cover of the box reads: New improved taste! Scary, because these taste REALLY BAD. Yuck!!! They actually work, by the way. But I think it could make some people nauseous to try taking them. Hahaha.

Marilyn said I should take it easy today (she was worried about me). But I actually felt good this morning, so I decided to tackle a couple of important chores!

I needed to rearrange in the garage so I could make room for the HUGE BOX our new Christmas came in (and that we'll want to use for storing it during the rest of the year!!!). I wanted to put it where we had the old tree, but the old tree box was considerably SMALLER. Anyway, I spent quite some time out there moving things around and getting rid of a bunch of old boxes -- which I stuck out back for Hector to haul off.

Then I took the box out of the office where I'd put it and managed to get it into the garage where I'd made a spot for it. (grin) That was harder than it probably sounds. The empty box is still HEAVY and also AWKWARD! I think I'll need to drag the tree out to the garage to put it inside. I have to reason that out when it's time to take the tree down again. Hahaha.

It was REALLY, REALLY cold in the garage, by the way! (brr) But once I get working hard the cold doesn't bother me.

After that I was ready to tackle getting out the boxes and putting away all the Thanksgiving decorations from the living room and family room. We'd added several items this year, so I actually had to start a whole new box. Thankfully I'd found a WONDERFUL one in my closet recently. I think I was keeping it to store clothes, but frankly I need to PARE DOWN my clothes anyway. So I took this plastic box with a built-in lid and used it for Thanksgiving decos.

I got all of the things packed up again and stored away (we keep them in the laundry/utility room). So I ended up working really hard again today -- and doing a lot of lifting, too...

I was pretty tired by the time Marilyn finally got home after her LONG DAY at work! She was worn out, too, believe me...

I made Steak-Umm for dinner, along with Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice. It made a good dinner. And we each ate a scone for dessert.

And I made homemade popcorn tonight, too.

We watched "Designated Survivor" while we ate our popcorn. We're both disappointed with the direction the show has taken. At first it seemed very original, but now it's a typical over-the-top series. So many shows seem to go this way. We HATED what happened on the show tonight! I won't spoil for those who might follow the show and have yet to see it. But we found it highly unrealistic and disappointing. (sigh) This tendency to make movies and television series so convoluted and over-the-top is unfortunate. It makes these shows hard to relate to, as real life just isn't like that.

Marilyn was sound asleep by the magic hour of SimCity BuildIt, so I gathered free items for both her game and my own. I sometimes do that when she drifts off before midnight. (smile) It's difficult to explain, but they ALWAYS give you a bunch of free things between midnight and one -- and that ALWAYS includes a gold key, Sim bucks and Simoleans (plus some other items that are difficult to get).

I watched a bunch of "The Simpsons" on cable today while working. Well, listened to is probably more accurate! Hahaha.

Marilyn just came upstairs to check on me. I woke up and wanted to blog, so here I am. Anyway, it's very late, so she was wondering why I was still awake. I need to head to bed, obviously!

Must quickly mention that Colin was sleeping under the Christmas tree for HOURS today! And at one point I thought I'd never get Henry to stop trying to CLIMB up the center of the tree! They just love the tree so much -- and don't care that it's not a real tree.

Fun note!!! I got a delivery in the late afternoon/early evening. It was FLOWERS for my upcoming birthday from Rich and Merlin. Isn't that wonderful of them??? And when Marilyn got home she had my present from Charold and Rich (different Rich), too! They NEVER forget my bday and always give me something really nice. I love these four people and can't get over how sweet and generous they are!

Well, better head to bed! Good night, and sleep well, all!!!
As I mentioned previously, today was the festival's annual Toy Drive day. We team up with Fox 12 and Tires Les Schwab as one of the spots where people can drop off toys for children in need.

I was having low blood sugar this morning, so Marilyn and I ended up a little late this morning. But we made it in plenty of time for the morning segments. These start at 4:30 a.m. and run until 9:00 a.m. Several times during the hour they go Live at our office to show the Toy Drive and pimp out various things about the festival. Our Clown Prince is there, princesses, members of the Clown Corps, singers, Santa Claus and others (mainly staff!!!). We have 'snow,' our Clown Prince throne FLOAT, cool lights on the side of the building and tons and tons of awesome TOYS.

I got to sing a couple of times on TV with the group performing (harmonizing with my friend Don, who directs the group). And there was a lot of gathering up toys as they were delivered.

In the evening during the news (from 5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.) we're on TV again. A different Santa Claus, the Clown Prince, clowns and others (staff, again) appear during segments. They talk to various people like Carol about Giving Tuesday and Jeff about the festival in general (and upcoming news). I ended up helping 'direct' people in gathering the toys. The last 'action' was to load the Les Schwab truck with the toys gathered today -- but he could only take away HALF, there were so many toys!!! (He'll be back tomorrow for the rest.) It actually was NOT my goal to end up on TV during the evening segments, but I ended up there several times, even so... (Marilyn did, too. Pretty much the entire staff was on...)

The Toy Drive went amazingly well. We always get some incredible toy donations, but this year topped others by far. Bikes and trikes and HUGE toys (expensive ones!) were all over the place! Some really big Star Wars toys, for example. Some of these toys were both big and HEAVY. I'm not kidding.

After the morning segment ended, I started in training Jason, our new Sponsorship Manager. This went extremely well -- I have to say I was very impressed by him. The session was well over before noon (!!!), and I felt he was way ahead of the curve, so to speak.

Donn was in to work today. I think I'll have him back again on Friday...

A big gang of us went to Starbucks for coffee -- the 'first day' tradition for a new person. (Marilyn paid, but was in a meeting and couldn't go with us.)

In the afternoon Marilyn and I went to Subaru for routine maintenance on our car -- the first time since getting this car (back during the festival). It was incredible how FAST the service was!!! We'd planned to be there for 90 minutes, he told us 35 - 40 minutes when we got there and it actually took 24 minutes! Wow. It's quite a huge improvement...

Marilyn and I went over to Anne's Deli to get sandwiches when we got back. We both picked out a sandwich and a bottle of pop, then she headed back to the office to take photos of Angel with the toys, while I waited for our food. We were both really hungry, so we ate half of our sandwiches right off (and the rest later in the day). I've been cutting way back on soda, so this was quite a treat for me. Hahaha.

There were cookies and stuff in the office for the event, but neither Marilyn nor I had anything... Just sayin'.

Fitbit Update: I got 6,537 steps today (!!!), 4,995 (missed 5,000 by FIVE STEPS!) yesterday and 3,324 on Sunday. My personal 'goal' is 4,000 steps a day, so I'm doing much better again. It's not like I'm getting to 10,000, but it is an improvement!!!

I think we got home between 7:30 and 8:00 tonight (after the Toy Drive had totally wrapped up). We ate our leftover Crisp Meat Burritos from Taco Time (from yesterday) for dinner...

I forgot (!!!) to turn up the heat this morning, so the house was pretty cold tonight. It was a chilly day, I thought. Good for our fake snow! Hahaha.

We're both pretty TIRED tonight. Marilyn had numerous meetings during the day, aside from the Toy Drive. We all had Creative Team at 4:00 p.m. where we managed to do some brainstorming in spite of being on a tight schedule.

Aside from my walking, I did a lot of heavy lifting (most everybody did!). I'm a bit sore tonight, but oh well.

Can't think if there's anything else left to share. But it was quite a busy and productive day today!

I got to wear my new puffy vest to work today! It's the first-ever puffy vest I've ever had. And it's a large, by the way. And my brand new black pants are starting to be too big on me. Crazy, huh?

Today was a dry, lovely day, thankfully! The Toy Drive is much nicer when the weather cooperates.

Well, the magic midnight hour is coming up. Then we'll be off to bed.

Did I mention my HAIR DRYER went out??? Awful! So we got a new one at the store last night. I can't wait to try it out. It's supposedly has some fancy new feature. Hahaha.

Sleep well all and happy dreams!
Quickly!!! It's almost 1:00 a.m. and we have a VERY EARLY DAY tomorrow! (It's Toy Drive day at our office!)

Marilyn and I made TWO trips to Costco today. The first time we got our NEW Christmas tree (!!!) and the second time we picked up a few other items -- plus we sampled stuff and had a good time.

Lunch/dinner (it was a platter) came from Taco Time on the way home.

We set UP our Christmas tree this evening. It's built really well and is SUPER DAMN HEAVY!!! In the box it weighed 75 pounds (!!!), which I had to lift. Fortunately our neighbor Doug came over and helped me take it from the curb into the house...

It's beautiful! I'll try and share photos soon...

I also have to train Jason tomorrow. Again, I need to head to bed!

Good night all!
charlie 2012 beige
Today is the first day of ADVENT, 2016.

I did take down Thanksgiving (all the decorations), but I have yet to pack them up and put them away. And, no, I haven't started to decorate for Christmas, as yet.

Marilyn and I spent another quiet day of TV watching, iPad playing and napping (at least, I know I napped quite a bit -- not sure about her!).

We thought about going to a movie, but ran to the store, instead. We grabbed a few items then came back home to watch MORE television. And we had popcorn. It's always 'like a party' at our house -- pretty much every day, when you come right down to it. Oh. And we had roast beef hash and green beans for dinner...

I broke down and did the unheard of: I got SKIM MILK at the store! I've ALWAYS HATED it, my entire life, and always refused to drink it or use it on cereal, etc. But I'm giving it another chance, I guess. I mean, if I -- of all people -- can successfully give up salt, then maybe I can go to using skim milk, too. Anyway, I want to give it a fair chance. I guess we'll see!

I did let myself have a soda today -- I've cut way, way back on that. But I don't necessarily think it's bad for you. I haven't used pop with sugar for decades -- so I always use diet (sugar free) sodas. But there is a sodium content, so...

It's certainly been cold around here! When I bring in water from the garage (where we store it), the bottles feel like they came straight out of the fridge! Yikes.

We watched some Christmas shows on TV. And we were just watching Jurassic Park II (we both really like Ian Malcolm).

I can't think of what else I should say, so I guess I'll close for today. Sleep well, my friends! And wherever you are, stay warm!!!
charlie 2012 beige
Really, this was a VERY QUIET vacation day for Marilyn and me. In fact, I didn't even get up until past noon!!! No, I'm NOT kidding...

Lots of TV watching and iPad playing went on.

By the way, yesterday our friend (and co-worker) Rich was setting up his NEW iPad (go, Rich!!!) that they got (he and Merlin) as his Christmas present. They had such GOOD sales on tablets for Black Friday. Anyway, he had messed it up and contacted me for help -- and I sent him a link that apparently worked. So I guess he's good to go now! (woo hoo)

Marilyn and I both washed our hair today...

And we went with our sister Sue to Starbucks in St. Johns, which was very nice!

Aside from the usual Saturday TV watching, that was our day in a nutshell.

The episode of Batman was WONDERFUL, by the way! All about the Penguin and Batman running against each other for Mayor of Gotham City!!! We'd both LOVE to own it, I have to tell you. In light of the recent Presidential election, this was CLASSIC!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway, if you get a chance to see it, I'd highly recommend it.

The weather here is still miserable. Too damn much RAIN and it's cold, to boot. (ugh)

On that note, I'm heading for bed!
charlie 2012 beige
Posting this quite late tonight, as I just finished up our garbage and recycling for this week (and it's real garbage week, by the way).

The cool thing??? It was POURING DOWN RAIN all day long -- and I do mean POURING. But it's actually NOT raining outside right now! There was rain dripping from the trees (and we have a large tree just outside our garage), but it was lovely not to be dealing with heavy rain while I was outside! Plus it's been BITTER COLD all day long, too! Just going into the garage about killed me earlier (I needed bottled water, and we store it out there). I brought in a big bottle of water for making coffee, and some smaller bottles of drinking water, too. Those smaller bottles felt just like they'd come straight out of the fridge!!! Yes, it's that cold inside our garage (which is not insulated, unfortunately).

Imagine how much warmer the house would be if the garage was insulated? Well, maybe not. But there's a big cold area just inside the back door that goes to the garage...

We sure had a ton of garbage this week. No idea why there was so much! But I'm glad to be done with it.

Before I go on any more (heh), I want to be sure to share with my American friends:

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you all had a wonderful day!

I have many things to be grateful for, in spite of all the difficult things in 2016. One of the main things I'm thankful for is my friends and family, which includes YOU guys!!! Thanks so much for your friendship and support!!! I really cherish you knowing you!

Marilyn and I spent a quiet day here at home all day. Considering all the rain (!!!), it was a good day to be inside the house. I feel blessed that we have no sign of flooding (so far). Amazing when you consider the amount of rain we've had all month long (and in October).

We were both up around 6:00 for a bit, but went back to sleep until 9:00, when the NBC coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade started. We watched that until noon. Partly because of family tradition, of course, but also because it's our job to see it so we can discuss it with our festival staff.

I made coffee and turned up the furnace, then we ate leftover pizza for breakfast -- it was delicious!

We talked with sister Sue and our friends Shari and June. And we texted with Adeena. I hope they all had a great Thanksgiving!

We watched a bunch of TV, including Star Trek. And played on our iPads, of course. And I did a TON of napping during the day, which is wonderful, too. (smile)

We had talked about going to a movie, but didn't end up doing that. We'll probably go sometime in the next few days, though.

There's really nothing else to share. We had a nice day and both enjoyed it very much. Just being home all day is delightful. We're enjoying our vacation -- and today's holiday.

We did each have a small slice of pumpkin pie and coffee, finishing the small pie we'd bought. And I made popcorn, too. And later on we each had a mug of cocoa, as well (using the Keurig). I guess good days do include good food. (grin)

Again, I hope all of you had a good day, too. I'm off to bed!

Sleep well, friends. Sweet dreams!
charlie 2012 beige
Marilyn and I had a great day today. We took it easy and just didn't really DO anything much. (smile)

At one point we were going to drive down to the beach house today, but we had decided not to do that. Did you know today is one of the busiest travel days of the entire year? So I'm sure it was a good decision not to go.

We spent our day playing online, including RPing. And watching TV, of course.

Sad news: Candy's car was struck by another car while sitting on the parking lot of the building where she works (over in Vancouver). The good news was that it didn't happen in traffic, nobody was hurt and it wasn't Candy hitting someone else! We'll know more later on.

Sister Sue spends Wednesday nights at Larry's house (her son and his wife and family). Marilyn and I had dinner at Amalfi's. We ate spaghetti and got a pizza, too. But we didn't touch it. Instead we ended up bringing the entire pizza home and eating some of it tonight -- plus we'll eat more tomorrow. We got a combo, as we always do -- but it had NO pepperonicini peppers on top. Interestingly enough, Marilyn hasn't been dealing all that well with spicy foods lately, and we were both just fine with this version of the pizza. (grin)

We eventually had coffee and pumpkin pie, too. We got the pumpkin pie the other night and had a piece then. It's small, but good! Actually, we're both glad it seems a bit on the bland side and not as spicy as some pumpkin pies tend to be.

I forgot to mention! I replaced the FILTER on the furnace today!!! The last time we bought new filters, we got two, so we had a spare. These are quite spendy and run around $50 in price. (No, I'm NOT kidding!) I put on rubber gloves and got a large plastic glove to use to dispose of the old filter. It really was filthy!!! And we're both noticing that we're not as 'crazy' when the furnace is running now. I guess it was about time, in other words.

I'm off to bed so I can get up at a decent hour to see the parades and stuff on TV in the morning...

Good night and sleep tight!
It's now 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday night, and I just woke up from where I'd fallen fast asleep in my chair in the family room. Marilyn is sound asleep on the sofa in the same room.

So I came upstairs to take my night time pills and to blog. It's actually chilly in the house (!!!), so I'm very glad I have on my red and white athletic pants and that there's a furry rug in front of the computer on top of the hardwood floors to keep my feet warm (both Marilyn and I have one here in the office upstairs).

I recall nodding off several times while playing SimCity BuildIt during the magic hour at midnight! It was a long and busy day.

Marilyn and I got up in plenty of time to be at work before her 7:30 Auction recap meeting. I was pretty proud how quickly I ran through my new morning routine (which now includes an insulin injection). I even found time to give Henry his pill before we departed.

My blood sugar this morning was 76 (!!!), but I was NOT having a low, in spite of that. I'm not sure WHY. But I was very cheerful this morning, actually! And singing while getting ready for work.

When Marilyn was done with her two meetings, we finally got to go to Starbucks with Steven (I bought coffee for him). I got a Holiday Flat White (love them!!!!) and a brownie. (smile) I actually needed to eat something so I could take my pills...

Jeff and I visited and chatted about his recent trip to Mexico. He was tanned and relaxed -- he had really needed a vacation, so I was happy about that!

Early on I worked on Jason's Profile and phone setup, which needed to be totally finished before Donn arrived to do the Profile on his computer.

At 10:00 a.m. we had Staff Meeting in the downstairs conference room. Jeff had promised to keep it short, which he did.

After that I spent my day working on the eNewsletter for next Tuesday. It involved coding and was somewhat complicated, but I actually LOVE the challenge. (smile) I was changing a bunch of the standard code to satisfy myself...

Marilyn hadn't felt well in the morning, so I gave her one of my anti-nausea pills: Prochlorperazine. I've been taking this medication for nausea for years. But I guess I never googled it before! Anyway, Marilyn wasn't feeling 'normal' after taking it, so she googled it later in the day. We found out it's a very serious drug and has a lot of side effects. Who knew? I originally got it from Mary (my dentist), and later from my doctor.

During Staff Meeting Jeff and Marilyn had decided to close the office early. Originally the mayor was having a Peace March in the afternoon -- and Protesters were expected to show up. They were doing all this at the Salmon Springs Fountain, which is right near our building! But the mayor wisely decided to cancel his gathering when he found out protesters were coming. That didn't stop the protesters from gathering anyway, though! Happily Jeff had said we should still go home early...

Marilyn and I were leaving as the protesters began to arrive! So I ran back in to tell everyone so they could all leave, too.

It was nasty coming home! Rainy and cold! We were pleased to finally arrive here.

I put on a pot of chili for a late lunch when we got home. My new 'trick' is to thicken the chili with some Wondra flour. I can't believe how 'watery' chili is now! It's really annoying! I get it that they're trying to fill the can more cheaply, but why not give us a better option that we can pay more for? We just want the same product we used to get! Anyway, adding the flour seemed to work. Obviously you don't want much flour in your chili, though! Hahaha. The goal isn't to bake a cake, after all. (sigh)

It was a nice day to be HOME. We were both tired and napping on and off as we watched TV and played on our iPads.

I did a little bit of work from here at home, helping Carol get our video up at YouTube. The festival has an account, and I am the 'keeper' of all the account passwords. It's a long tale, so I'll skip the details. I must say that it's ANNOYING since Google took over YouTube, though! Why make things so hard?

I chatted with sister Sue in the morning, and friend June in the evening.

I can't think what else to share. Marilyn and I watched DWTS -- it was the finale. Marilyn's favorite pair didn't win, but we both like the couple who did win.

I still have work to do on that eNewsletter, so we might have to go into work again at some point during vacation. I'm not sure I can do it Remotely. My Remote Desktop connection isn't all that great anymore, I'm afraid. Plus my work computer pretty well SUCKS!!! It's so slow! Even Donn admits that.

I'm due to start using my new computer, but it's not 100% set up yet. Maybe we'll get that done next week.

Anyway, I'm off to bed now. I hope you all sleep well!
Busy and productive day! But fun, too. (smile) It is VACATION, after all!

I did a bunch of CHORES today, including some loads of laundry and a load of dishes.

I also spent a couple hours do more cleaning and organizing in my bedroom, which I think is pretty nice now. Anyway, I'm HAPPY with what I accomplished.

Marilyn went in to the office to work around 4:00, working until after 7:00 (almost 7:30). She had a lot to get done. In the meanwhile, I did a bunch of festival-related work here at home, Remoting in to the office.

The important thing I needed to get done was setting up a Profile for Jason, our new staff person, who will be starting next week. (Donn is coming in tomorrow to profile him on the computer, but he can't do his job until I actually CREATE the Profile for him to use.) I also have to add Jason to the Staff Page at our website (and remove Marissa, which I hadn't yet done).

Finally I had to go into the Exchange Management Console and put Jason into the current staff distribution group. Adeena had mentioned that she wasn't getting staff emails, so I added her back. It's quite annoying (!!!) how the damn distribution groups will simply randomly dump members! Earlier on it dumped both Carol and ME (!!!), for example. I just don't get why Microsoft wouldn't FIX that stupid error!!! WTF? Are you kidding me?

They just don't care about older versions of any of their stuff. It's been an ongoing issue for me forever. We are a non-profit, so we'll NEVER have the means to be keeping updated. (Ironically, Microsoft is a Pacific Northwest company -- and our festival holds the number one special event in the Pacific Northwest. But I strongly doubt you'll ever see us getting a dime from Microsoft, as much as we could use the help and support. Typical.) Okay, enough bitching about Microsoft. You guys already know how I feel, anyway. Hahaha.

Remoting is a huge pain in the ass for me. I have to use a total workaround to do it now. That's another thing: Why can't Microsoft fix the damn Remote feature? I've only been saying that since 2007 when I took over IT management for the festival... (sigh)

I talked to sister Sue several times today. And to our friend June. And I gave clothes (including jackets) to Sue -- along with some non-clothing items (like flavoring for water). And I gave some pants to June. She gave me a bunch of undergarments (woo hoo). It's like all of us get a bunch of new clothes this way. Hahaha.

Actually, I did send a brand new blue jacket over for Candy to have (it still has the price tag on it, which is $199.99, by the way). And a really nice bag that was Marilyn's...

I got mail I'd been waiting for with paperwork to fill out. About time!

Donn and I also talked for around an hour. Prayers and good thoughts appreciated for Donn and his wife Denise. I'm really hoping (and praying) they don't lose their house!

Marilyn and I played our Sims game on our iPads and Zuma on the computer. Always fun.

Marilyn got the HOT STONES massage tonight from Amanda (who lives in Donald, Oregon). She drove out that way and went to the Woodburn Outlet to shop at Fossil on her drive to Amanda's house, so she could get a new wallet. She got the RFID Protected wallet from Fossil -- really cute, as well as safe.

Marilyn helped me reason out that I had a BAD package of syringes for my insulin. I tried a different package and could inject without pain, thankfully! I'll need to talk to Byram Healthcare about that...

Can't think what else I might be forgetting... Oh well!

We need to go do the 'magic hour' (midnight to one) for our game. It's just past midnight right now!

So that's it for today! Sleep well and sweet dreams, all!
rain sidewalk
The highlight of the day? Andy Murray beat Novak Djokovic to win the ATP World Tour Finals title -- and seal his spot as world number one! Marilyn, sister Sue and I were all VERY, VERY PLEASED about that! (woo hoo)

I'd imagine the Queen will knight him now. Or so Marilyn strongly believes!

We spent a pretty quiet day today. We both did our hair (washed, dried and styled), always a good thing. (smile)

And we watched TV and played on our iPads (surprise).

This evening we drove to Safeway to pick up a few things. It was AWFUL driving in the pouring rain! And it was so dark and nasty out there. This was more than just rain, it was a storm that made it 'white-knuckle' driving (as Marilyn called it). We were VERY GLAD to get back home again!

We got Chinese food at Safeway, but it was bad, I'm sorry to say. Oh well. It's never good on Sundays or in the evenings, so I knew better. But I just didn't care.

We also picked up a small pumpkin pie and some Cool Whip. Sounds like a good idea, right? (grin)

We're planning to go into the office tomorrow night for a couple of hours, then work all day on Tuesday. Then we'll leave for the beach house on Wednesday. (Hopefully the traffic won't be too bad, nor the weather conditions!!!)

I can't think what I'm forgetting to share. But that's all that comes to mind.

This was the fourth day in a row that my insulin injection HURT when I did it. I have no clue WHY!

I got some liquid Tang that you squeeze into a water bottle to drink. It really takes me back to the days when we drank Tang. Gertrude Schoeler (my wonderful art teacher in high school) ALWAYS drank Tang, and often shared a glass with me. (smile) For the record, it doesn't taste that great, really. There are many other drinks that are better. I guess I'd call it an acquired taste!

We watched a bunch of Harry Potter on TV today. Gotta love Harry Potter!!!

Sweet dreams, friends!
Marilyn and I went to the Creston Elementary School Bazaar today, arriving slightly before 11:00. It was interesting trying to figure out how to get there, but Marilyn found it!

Alexandre (Zandre) -- Christine's son and my buddy -- had his own booth and was selling his paperclip art, which is frankly AMAZING!!! Marilyn and I each got one of his pieces, then I put several on hold that I'll pay for later.

By the way, I was embarrassed to discover I've been spelling Zandre's name WRONG all this time (I was writing Zander). I believe strongly that you should always try to spell names correctly...

Zandre just turned 18! He's growing up so fast. He's a very good friend and I really love him! And his art is incredible. I need to take photos and share, for sure!

Christine told us the school called her and told her they could no longer fund his hobby, making things with paperclips. Hahaha. No doubt! He uses a TON of paperclips in his creations!

Interesting note: Ages ago I found a paperclip item on my desk and Christine told me Zandre had made it for me! It's been on my desk (at work) ever since. It's a cat. So he's been doing this a long time...

Two of Steven's kids attend Creston -- and his wife Michelle was the event producer for this bazaar.

We'd rushed to be there before 11:00, because we'd been told there would be entertainment then. A small group of the children with a teacher playing the guitar sang some songs for everyone. It was really sweet!!!

After we left we ended up driving by the Original Taco House and deciding to eat there. So Marilyn took me to lunch! She goes there once a month with her friends Gail and Marcia, but I hadn't been there in years.

Then we came home and relaxed, watching TV and playing on our iPads. And I took a LONG nap, which was lovely!

Saturday nights we have our usual television routine, watching all the shows on METV. The Svengoolie movie tonight was hilarious! It was an old black and white and the T-Rex was a man in a dinosaur suit! Really horrible special effects and played like a drama. Very funny stuff.

We ate leftovers for dinner which were yummy. And had popcorn, too.

We'd been thinking about driving down just for the night to the beach house. But I slept too late for that. But we may go down tomorrow night. Then we could go to the new 'Harry Potter world' movie with Adeena (it's playing in Seaside) and stay over night, coming home the next day... Adeena is okay with the idea -- but we feel a little bad crashing her mini-vacation away by herself. She doesn't get many chances to just be alone, after all...

Obviously we did NOT get to the office today -- so we'll need to do that tomorrow, during the day!

I'm going to FORCE MYSELF not to watch all the 'red eye TV' things on METV tonight. I can easily stay up ALL NIGHT LONG, every single Saturday night, watching old TV shows!!! I just love it so much.

But I'm off to bed as soon as I finish this (it's currently 1:30 a.m.).

Sleep well, everybody!
thumbs up
The morning was my usual routine -- medical plus the cats, including fresh water in their yellow bucket. (smile) And I watered all the plants, put out seed and food for the crows and critters and more nectar for the hummingbirds.

My Thanksgiving cactus is in bloom!!! I'm really pleased, as sometimes it doesn't bloom for Thanksgiving. (My friend June gave me that plant years ago. I really love it.)

Adeena came over and we chatted, then we went to lunch at the Fishwife. I also got food for dinner for tonight -- no cooking! (woo hoo)

Then she took me down to the office. We went over to get Starbucks, then Adeena headed out to the beach house (using my key).

Marilyn and I both hope she's having a lovely time!!!

I had my meeting with Carol and Marilyn, then they set up for the video they wanted to make. It's so cute and funny!!! Hahaha. When we have it online I'll share a link...

I was sure glad I'd brought that food in! Marilyn was starving (hadn't eaten all day), so she had her dinner then and there, I'm happy to report!

Anyway, I headed upstairs to my desk and did some work. Obviously Marilyn and Carol were working, too. And Sheila worked late tonight. Carol left first (shock), then Marilyn and I left, with Sheila coming right after us. It was around 6:30/7:00 when we took off...

It was VERY COLD today. (brr) I turned up the heat when we got home.

Marilyn and I started watching Star Trek (on every Friday night!!!). And I finally cleaned the cat boxes. (I need to take out more garbage tomorrow.) An aside: Earlier in the day when they picked up the recycling, they tossed my glass recycling out of the yellow bin on the ground! Annoying! Thankfully I discovered it before we left, otherwise it wouldn't have been picked up...

Marilyn and I had homemade popcorn tonight. We'd talked about beer, but didn't have it.

Marilyn was ASLEEP at midnight, so I did the magic hour for our game (SimCity BuildIt) for both of us. It took AGES to get everything, but I finally did! Thankfully I was enjoying watching Star Trek while I did it. (For those who don't know the game, you get a chance at midnight to visit other cities and collect FREE items -- and this always includes a gold key, simoleans -- which is Sims money -- and Sims Bucks -- which are like real cash. But you have to HUNT for the packages, so it's a lot of work! Hahaha. It can take an hour or more. Tonight I was at it until 1:30! Do you believe that???)

I somehow managed to get my 4,000 steps in today! That was a nice surprise. Fitbit always lets you know on your iPhone and iPad.

It looks like we're going to WORK tomorrow, too. We both have a lot to get done!

Anyway, it's late, so I should head to bed now.

Sleep well, stay warm and have good dreams! (And stay healthy!!!)
I started in very early working on my bedroom, going pretty slowly. I still haven't got my normal strength or energy back, I'm afraid. And there's constant pain with bending and lifting. Not complaining, mind you. Just by way of information. I'm sure it will continue to improve over time...

I took a break at one point. I heard a truck outside the house, so I threw on jeans and went out, thinking it was Hector. I wanted to remind him to trim the tree branches hanging over the alley where people drive all the time. But it was that guy that works on the neighbor's house across the street (he's so ridiculously 'afraid' of me -- give me a break, buddy, he's twice my size!). Anyway, I got out the clippers that expand in length and did it myself! So that worry is over, anyway.

Then it was back to the bedroom again. I was plugging away, wanting it to be somewhat nicer and more organized, at least. It still needs a ton of work, but it's a good start.

(In the late afternoon I was just DEPRESSED when I looked around. I'd been working and working and didn't feel I got as much done as I wanted to. Oh well. It still is a good start...)

I wish I had pictures to share! Maybe tomorrow... Or maybe not. I need to actually GO TO WORK at the festival tomorrow so Marilyn, Carol and I can meet and work through what I'll be doing with this eNewsletter we're going to put out next week...

Marilyn and I have also decided we'll be WORKING next Tuesday (and maybe one day this weekend, as well). Yes, we'll be on vacation (our annual Thanksgiving week vacation), but neither one of us minds. There's a lot to get done. Plus we're lucky to have the time off! And very much looking forward to our beach trip.

Adeena is going to take me in to work tomorrow, so I'll get to see her for a bit before that! That will be nice...

Marilyn and I did try to go to the birthday party tonight, but it was impossible. First, Marilyn had meetings and couldn't get home until these were over. Then we were in rush hour traffic (which was terrible!!!). And this was being held in a part of town with NO PARKING -- so you have to drive around and around and around and hope you'll find a spot. We were totally willing to walk several blocks, but there was absolutely NOTHING available anywhere. I'm not kidding. Marilyn was getting very stressed. Plus she was starving (she'd had no food all day) and tired. We had five minutes before the event was supposed to END when we threw in the towel and headed for home.

Marilyn decided that in the future she's simply NOT going to accept invitations to events that are held in places with no parking! It's so frustrating spending ages driving in heavy traffic and then not finding anything. We spent at least 45 minutes just looking for parking! Ridiculous.

We were sorry to miss our friend's 40th bday, but that's how it goes. Marilyn must work, after all. And she couldn't change those meetings. So...

We came home and she immediately started eating peanut butter on crackers, while I fixed dinner.

Tonight was garbage and recycling -- but not 'real' garbage week. The recycling and composting are out. It's VERY COLD tonight (I could see my breath out there!).

I was supposed to 'do' my pills today (set them up for another week), but didn't get it done. So I need to go put out pills for tonight (take them) and in the morning. (sigh) When I'm doing them all it takes me around half an hour (or more). Seriously. I have that many pills (including supplements) that I take. Oh well.

Off to bed soon. It's now 2:00 a.m. and I'm tired!

Sleep well, everyone.
Quick and hopefully short blog entry (right, Charlie -- hahaha), as it's past 2:00 a.m. and I'm so TIRED tonight...

I've been trying Hyland's Leg Cramps PM: "Hyland's Leg Cramps PM has the same effective ingredients as Hyland’s Leg Cramps, combined with a unique sleep formula to help you fall back asleep and stay asleep so you can enjoy a good night's rest and wake up refreshed." I've found that these seem to work quite well, actually! I've been using the regular non-PM version for some time now, as I have so many issues with leg cramps. Anyway, I highly recommend these, guys, if you have the same issues.

I colored my hair today, using Schwarzkopf hair color, which does a REALLY GREAT JOB of covering gray/white hair. Frankly, as hair becomes more gray and/or white, it just doesn't take color well anymore! But this brand is quite an improvement. Aside from that, the smell of the product is not as unpleasant as some other products. Oh! And I got several compliments on my hair tonight, so I must be doing something right. Hahaha.

It's been VERY COLD here in Portland recently. Okay, not freezing and below yet (thank God!!!), but Portland tends to have very moderate weather, as a rule. There's no doubt in anyone's minds around here that winter has arrived, I can tell you that! And we're all running our furnaces (or burning wood in the fireplace) in this neighborhood. But there was no rain today, so that was nice!

Marilyn got home early and we headed out into rush hour traffic to our botox party at Summer's salon, taking along a bottle of wine for Summer, plus champagne to share with the other attendees. It was most of the usual people, plus some new women. (And missing a few, too -- not sure why. We don't always make these gatherings, so probably some people had other obligations...) It's always such a friendly experience that it makes sense to me to call it a party! (grin)

The botox injections HURT LIKE HELL tonight -- both of us thought so! And I bled like mad (of course, I've always been a bleeder). But I swear I can already see a difference from the treatment! Botox really is amazing. I used to have this huge, deep crease in my forehead -- which I've had since I was a teenager. And you can barely see it now! Just wow. It's worth the pain (and the cost). That's for sure...

Marilyn and I both got compliments on weight loss, too, as these women don't see us often. Marilyn had on the cutest outfit! She really looked fabulous!

We got taken right away, but lingered a bit so I could drink champagne and we could both visit. (smile) Then Summer trimmed Marilyn's bangs before we headed home.

We stopped at Freddies to get a different spaghetti sauce, as we hadn't really liked the one last night. Funny thing??? We seem to always prefer the least expensive jars of sauce! I don't know why, but it's true. Hahaha.

Came home, and got out the leftover spaghetti (cool green pasta I mentioned in yesterday's blog!!!). Then I heated up the new sauce and we had dinner. We really like Ronzoni's SuperGreens spaghetti, and feel like it's healthy eating with the three servings of veggies.

Marilyn is sound asleep as I type this. Not even sure how I managed to wake up enough to blog tonight!

I did try to clean the rug in the living room today, but it just didn't go well. The color is very light and it's shag, so you can probably reason it out. Hahaha. I guess it's time for a new rug... (sigh)

There's more, but whatever. I'm tired and heading to bed!

Sleep well, friends.
rosie robot, cleaning
Marilyn and I were shopping recently and saw Ronzoni's SuperGreens spaghetti (at Freddies), and decided to give it a try. We also saw Walmart's Sam's Choice Premium Angus Meatballs and got those, too.

Dinner tonight was the GREEN thin spaghetti pasta with basil tomato sauce and meatballs (and rye toast in place of garlic bread). CAN YOU SAY DELICIOUS??? We've tried the gluten free pasta before and really did not care for it, but this pasta is really yummy!

It's as easy to make as any spaghetti, you just boil it for nine minutes and then drain. It contains spinach, zucchini, broccoli, parsley and kale! It has four grams of fiber and only two grams of sugar, plus it counts as THREE SERVINGS of vegetables! And has five vitamins and minerals. Oh, plus nine grams of protein.

I was really TIRED this evening, so I wanted a very simple dinner to prepare -- and this sure did fill the bill! (grin)

As for the rest of my day, I had a goal of really cleaning our family room downstairs. It's been some time since it's been cleaned and it really, really needed it. Marilyn and I had talked about it this past weekend, but she wasn't feeling that well (and I was tired out). I can't believe it took me all day long to finally get it done, but I'm happy with the result. That included cleaning the carpet on the stairs and the landing and stairs above those, too.

Our unit that holds our big screen TV is made of wood and MOSTLY black glass (!!!), and does it every draw dust! Just ugh. If we had that to do over, we'd pick a different unit for sure! It's nearly impossible to keep clean. I completely emptied it out and really did a good job cleaning it.

In fact, I moved a TON of furniture around so I could clean under everything, including the treadmill (which thankfully folds up). But it was a lot of work, so it's no wonder I'm worn out tonight.

I also had a LOT of phone calls today (several of them were work-related). Donn has pretty much finished up the very complicated Symantec project, thank God. Now we need to get going on the final computers that still need to be updated from Win XP to Windows 7... There's always a lot of IT to get done in November and December.

Sue and I talked several times. We're trying to get to meeting this week, if possible... It's NOT as easy as it sounds.

Tomorrow night is the Botox Party that we attend at Summer's salon (she's Marilyn's hairdresser). I'd totally forgotten I wanted to get champagne while at Costco recently (!!!), damn it, but Marilyn and I got a couple of bottles at Walmart, anyway (we got Korbel). For the last party I'd taken along a Magnum of champagne (I read that the Magnum format is said by some wine experts to be superior to a regular sized bottle for maturing wine because the ratio of air to liquid is lower in larger formats which allows the wine to age more slowly. But what do I know? I just like the big size! Hahaha.)

Sue goes to her son Larry's house to have dinner with him and his wife and the kids every Wednesday night (and they watch Survivor on TV).

I'd phoned my friend June to see if she wanted to go to the party with us, as she showed some interest in the past in trying Botox. But she declined this time, which I totally understand. Botox is expensive, and there is some discomfort (not much) involved. June had to have blood today and it was her first time ever having it drawn from the back of her hand. That's what they do when they can't find a good vein in the arm. It's happened to me many, many times -- I'm very used to it. But I told June she needs to hydrate so it doesn't happen to her again.

Marilyn and I walked over in the dark to see June and Jim's Star Shower lights that I mentioned recently. They've got them in the back yard glowing on the trees -- really lovely! I think Marilyn was surprised by how pretty they are.

Marilyn was happy with the family room and happy with dinner (she was REALLY HUNGRY when she got home tonight). I'm so glad!

I'm really glad to have enough energy back to be able to do some serious cleaning again. I've spent months (!!!) where I could barely do any cleaning at all. And it still wears me out more than it should. But I think I'm getting more energy back all the time, thank God.

I did speak briefly with our friend Adeena today, too. I didn't have much time to chat, but hopefully tomorrow.

Speaking of tomorrow, I simply MUST get my hair colored before tomorrow tonight!!! If I get nothing else done all day, that's my one priority!!!!!!!!!

Good news today! I was calling sister Sue later in the day and her ANSWERING SERVICE engaged! It was her familiar old message, back again! It's been 'gone' for ages now -- and she'd been unable to pick up messages. So she was spending a long time today going through all of them. Hahaha.

I guess there was something wrong with their various TVs, so they had the guy out -- and while he was there they also had him help with the phone...

Well, I'm so ready for a long nap!!! It's been a long and very busy day.

I look forward to trying more Ronzoni SuperGreens pastas (they have more than one variety available!). We felt remarkably HEALTHY as we were eating dinner tonight. (grin)

My insulin shot HURT this morning. No idea WHY. I don't know if I did it wrong, or what. (sigh) I already feel very confident about the process, so this was a disappointment. Oh well.

It was POURING DOWN RAIN several times today! And the temperature dropped from 60' to 49' at one point! I guess winter is starting (in spite of the calendar).

The clock in the office that hangs way up on the wall has died. Damn it! I just had to get up there to change it when we 'fell back' -- now I need to take it down and change the batteries. Seriously??? (sigh)

I should clean up the kitchen a tad before napping, I guess. At least I've already put the food away!

Almost forgot! We tried the new stress relief medicine for pets that we bought on our cats last night. (I don't have the name here right now, sorry!) I didn't get much into Colin, but I did with Henry. I think it might have worked a little. So I'll try it again tonight! The goal is to calm him down so he doesn't keep Marilyn or ME awake at night.

He threw up a HUGE furball today, poor guy! I mean, it was quite big. What a mess. And Colin threw up today as well (???), but at least it was on the floor (not carpet) and was liquid. Poor guys! I hope they aren't getting sick with something...

I hope all of you are staying healthy and are happy! Have sweet dreams tonight!!!
melvin briefcase, busy melvin
Marilyn and I ended up doing a bunch of errands today, so it wasn't our usual FUN 'Marilyn Monday.'

We started out by getting up very EARLY to go with sister Sue to see Dr. Markin at Good Sam hospital. Dr. Markin is her lung doctor who deals with Sue's Pulmonary Hypertension. (Sue is very lucky to have this amazing doctor treating her.) Sue drove, but was having one of her 'confused' days. (Not that it's easy to find the way to Good Sam at any time, frankly. Hahaha.)

I always wait in the waiting room while Marilyn goes back with Sue. They do a 'walk test' and other things prior to seeing Dr. Markin. Sue's results today were VERY GOOD (!!!), which is remarkable when you consider we thought Sue was DYING back in February of this year. She did an excellent job walking (!!!) and her BMP was really low (which is what you want).

The three of us went to Starbucks in St. Johns to get coffee after the appointment. It was so full there that we brought our coffee home to drink. I had the NEW Holiday Flat White, which they make by taking a regular Flat White and adding a mulled spice blend of ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, sugar and a touch of tangerine -- which ends up tasting like 'milk toast' to me. For the record, milk toast was a breakfast treat we had frequently as kids. Mom (or Dad) would make toast and warmed milk. The milk was poured over buttered toast in a bowl, then spices and sugar were added. It was also something you got when you weren't feeling well, as you could generally manage to get it down no matter how sick you were (cinnamon is a remarkable spice, by the way -- and a little sugar won't kill you).

I even had Marilyn taste this beverage and she agreed it was the flavor of milk toast. (smile) Such a delightful childhood memory!!!

We headed home and spent HOURS chatting with Sue about her health. She left just before 2:00. Right after she left I checked my blood, which was 129 (very good). It had been 109 this morning.

We went shopping to Freddies to pick up some things we needed and were home by 2:30. I could tell I was having a low -- I did what Leslie told me to do and ate some peanut butter crackers I had in my purse to 'fix' it. I can't begin to express how horrible I feel when it happens. (sigh) We got home and I tested again and was 88 (after the crackers). I basically felt lousy after that.

Marilyn grabbed her cans to take to the BottleDrop and we ran over there. We had two HUGE bags from the office, plus a bag of our own from here at home.

Then we got home and both fixed something to eat.

I can't believe I FORGOT to mention that I stuck the OIL last night (finally)!!! It was right around 330 gallons, which is great. We won't be worrying about it again until probably next December! (woo hoo) By the way, when I say it's 'around' whatever number, the means of measuring is this long, long stick that you poke into the tank (our tank is outside in the back yard near the house). For whatever reason these sticks always have really RANDOM markings, so it isn't that easy to tell exactly what you've got. I know from our tanks at Mom and Dad's and Marilyn's and my last house (both were oil, as well) that these sticks are ALWAYS like that. Each tank appears to have a slightly different stick, however, depending on how large the tank is and how much oil it will hold...

I once looked into automatic refills of the oil. But they want you to FILL your tank for that! Our current tank holds something like 600 gallons (!!!), so there's NO WAY we'd ever fill it up! 300 gallons is a LOT of oil for us, really. (Often I let it get down to 60-70 gallons before adding 200 gallons, but it's risky! You never want to be 'in the sludge' of the oil in your tank -- and I was taught that wavers right around 60 gallons for our size tank... It's a balancing act, in other words.)

Speaking of balancing acts, I'm clearly still trying to balance my insulin. I've only been on insulin around a month -- and have only been taking this version that I inject with a syringe for four days. So I figure I need to keep tweaking until things work out. But the nice thing about insulin as opposed to oral meds is that I CAN tweak the amount! Try fewer units and so on until things seem more even. I also need to really watch my food intake. I was HUNGRY earlier today right before I had that low, so...

Off to make popcorn before bed! (grin) We think we earned it today.

Sleep well, friends.