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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
...one page at a time
~MY POSTS~ 
3 sisters elf-ing around, elf 3 sisters
Yes, Marilyn and I are still around -- sorry I've been MIA here at LiveJournal!

Driving has been extremely difficult. But for some reason (???), Marilyn has been willing -- and even eager -- to drive in the snow and ice! She's never been like this in our entire lives, so I'm quite surprised. She just never fails to amaze me, I must admit! And we've had no issues driving (unlike so many others).

Actually, Marilyn mentioned that she wants to start blogging again, which would be AWESOME, I think. And clearly I'd like to get back to my old routine of blogging daily. It's such a great way to track my life, in all honesty. It's funny (or maybe NOT!) how much you can FORGET if you don't have a way to remind yourself! Hahaha.

Today was exhausting. But I'm PROUD of both of us! We had decided (Marilyn's idea, actually) to try and remove some of the snow that was against the house in the back yard. We wanted to do what we did the year we had the freezing rain back there, when we had to move the ICE away from the house to avoid it flowing into the window well. This time it's more about the part of our foundation that always floods into Marilyn's bedroom if we're not very careful -- but it was also about the window well (the windows into the family room downstairs).

Marilyn's bedroom and our family room are in our basement -- the basement is pretty awesome, running the full length of the house. Our house is actually much bigger than it looks from outside because of this. The family room is the length of the living room, and Marilyn's bedroom is in the area equivelant to my bedroom and our office upstairs. (Plus we have a second bathroom downstairs that's below our upstairs bath.)

The back yard leans in toward the house, I'm afraid. Well, it's high in the center and low toward the house and toward the fence (to be really clear). But we worry about water near the house, obviously!

This recent snow was incredibly DEEP for Portland. Actually, it's unheard of for us to have this damn much snow. I haven't been keeping up, so unless you live here, there's no way for you to know how bad it's been for us. Most people are pretty much trapped in their homes. Everything has been closed down and streets are AWFUL for driving. That's been especially true out here in North Portland!

We also had a HUGE PORTION of our tree near the garage come down under the weight of the snow! The same tree that we lost a large portion of in the past due to wind. This time instead of coming down in our alley, it came down in our DRIVEWAY. It's a good thing we park our car inside the garage, or it would have been crushed under the downed tree! We were TRAPPED for a couple of days until we got a guy out to remove the tree ($250). He and his helper only did so much -- WE actually had to go out and help with a bunch of it! Thankfully Jeff was here that day as we used shovels and metal rakes to clear the driveway down to the pavement. Exhausting.

It's been ridiculously COLD for Portland -- temperatures well below freezing. So nothing can moderate, so far. Amusing aside: the umbrella against that tree where I feed crows/birds/critters did NOT come down! It's still standing! I haven't been able to put much out there, though. I need to clean up the HUGE MESS and the water dishes, but today it was all about the HOUSE, so I had to prioritize, obviously. There's some food out there, but no water, I'm afraid. Poor things...

It's hard to keep the house warm. I should 'stick the oil' soon and be sure we're okay! I forgot that today. (sigh) I went out before noon to start the job of moving the snow OFF THE TARPS that protect us from rain. Then a few hours later both Marilyn and I went out to do a ton more -- moving snow from the window well area -- and finish moving it off the tarp. We could maybe move more snow toward the center/far side of the yard (closer to the back fence), I suppose. But it's better than it was, thankfully!

Not bad for two 60-something women working all alone, I have to say...

But we were, admittedly, tired and sore after that. I slept for HOURS when we came back in (and after we each had a cup of soup to eat).

Mostly you feel like sleeping or lying around doing nothing, to be honest...

The office has been CLOSED (everything -- including government offices and schools -- is closed), but we still went to work on Friday, even so. So much to do right now!!!

We're closed Monday and Friday of next week, so we'll only have three work days next week!!! What a mess.

Marilyn and I still managed to enjoy our usual Saturday night, though! We ate some slices of summer sausage and crackers for dinner and had popcorn. (You know, that wasn't much food today, really -- especially considering the physical work we did!)

Svengoolie was a 'repeat' from October: "Black Friday." In honor of Friday the 13th, I'm sure!

I'll make some notes (sigh) and try to fill in some blanks. And I really should share photos of this snow, because it's amazing for us! We're just not prepared for this kind of weather here. Trying to even find footwear to put on to keep our feet dry and warm is frankly IMPOSSIBLE. Marilyn and I don't ski or hike anywhere with snow! The boots we have are designed to look nice and that's it. So we do our best to wear what will keep us as warm as we can. But good God our feet have been COLD recently! Hours walking in and standing in the snow way up our legs. Good grief.

I don't even own a warm hat to wear on my head! Actually, I think I have two -- and these are at the beach house, of all places! Not any help here... Hahaha. Marilyn has one warm hat, anyway. And I do own a warm jacket and she has a warm coat. And I have warm gloves (she has gloves, but they're not warm). Boring, I'm sure. But staying warm has been pretty essential -- and impossible. I wear two layers on my legs whenever I go out, as I don't want a damn flare-up of my knees or ankles. It doesn't help my hip that much, but oh well...

I think I've carried on long enough. I'm bored and I imagine you are, too! Hahaha. There's nothing else going on for us to speak of. Well, there's a TON to relate about work -- but I just can't go there right now.

Much of my work recently has been negative -- IT has NOT been going that well in the New Year. Thankfully I had some 'wins' on Friday, or I'd be pretty crazy by now...

I'll share about some TV, movies and books next blog, I promise.

Things are supposed to start moderating Monday night -- with RAIN on Tuesday. We're going directly from this horrible snow situation into heavy rain -- and warnings about flooding. (sigh) I pray already that our house won't flood.

That tree has another huge branch just hanging there. In fact, we've got branches down in several of our trees around the house. There's a HUGE branch that could come down over the house. Our hope is that we won't have anything come down on the house. It's hard to know what will happen when things moderate...

Your good thoughts and prayers are appreciated, of course! Our dear friend June is terribly sick with a cold. Sister Sue's cold seems better, thankfully. Marilyn and I are hanging in there...

I know many parts of the country (and the world) are having much more serious weather problems. But this is pretty bad for us. I don't mean to whine, really. Today was beautiful and we were happy to be strong enough to get out and do work to protect our home under blue skies and sunshine!

Sorry this is so long!

Stay warm, safe and healthy, friends! And sweet dreams!
brr, cold
I woke up VERY EARLY this morning with the worst LEG CRAMPS I might have ever experienced (!!!) -- and no idea WHY I was having them.

Yes, if we get right down to it, I've pretty much had leg cramps my entire life. At least since I was a teen. (I don't remember clearly before that...) Today it was my right leg only. But several spots!!! And I was literally screaming in pain. I was shocked I didn't wake Marilyn when it happened, but glad (of course) that I didn't...

Thank God for the Hyland's Leg Cramps medication!!! I took a TON of pills (I actually prefer the ones you melt under your tongue -- these seem to go into effect sooner), then drank a bunch of water and finally got up to walk the cramps out. That's harder than it sounds when you're cramped up the way I was! When the pain is really, really bad, you just want to lie there in pain, trying not to move your leg any more than necessary. (sigh)

I finally got it under control, but it took ages! Then later in the day IT HAPPENED AGAIN. Same leg, different spot! This time I took more of the Hyland's pills, plus an Aleve (which Leslie allows me when I'm really having bad pain). And I got in and soaked in a hot tub of water, which also seemed to really help. At least I didn't have it happen again, thankfully, after that!

My blood sugar was high, which can probably be DIRECTLY related to the pain I experienced. I notice that happens for me now. Pain will often mean higher numbers... And as I didn't eat all that much yesterday, I can't see why else the number would be high.

And I didn't eat all that much TODAY, either. I just didn't feel that great and wasn't really all that hungry...

I bought a book about diabetes that sounded promising (the cyber version that I can read in my Kindle). But I don't know. It tells you all these foods to avoid -- which is pretty much EVERYTHING. I'm not sure HOW THE HELL you're supposed to get the versions of the foods that it recommends. (sigh) But I've only started reading, so I guess we'll see. I think it can't hurt to be proactive, anyway. It says that just trying to lose weight is NOT the answer, interestingly enough. When you're diabetic they're always after you to lose weight. But considering I did exactly that this past year -- and my A1C numbers got worse -- I'd have to say it doesn't appear to be the answer...

The weather here today was miserable. Not as bad as they'd expected, but we still sure as hell weren't going anyway, that's for certain. I imagine it will be a mess in the morning, too. So I suspect we'll go in a little later than usual, just to be safe!

Jeff did get back from his trip safe and sound, which was good news!!!

Marilyn and I watched TV and played on our iPads and slept today. Anyway, we took it easy. We saw the Golden Globes -- we were NOT fans of the opening act, but oh well.

We saw "Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds" today -- what an amazing documentary! If you get a chance to see, do! It was really enlightening and enjoyable. (That's an HBO show, by the way.)

I can't think of much else to share today. I guess that's all for now! Hahaha.

Work tomorrow, anyway! I hope we get there safely.

I just asked Marilyn about her doctor appointment, which she had forgotten. She'll need to check her calendar...

Sleep well, everyone! I hope the New Year is treating you well, so far!
frightful weather
A pretty quiet Saturday, all in all. We spent a lot of time just lying around watching TV and playing on our iPads.

But we DID drive out in the snow to Freddies and picked up a few items -- and had Starbucks in-store.

I also refilled the frozen hummingbird feeder, and put out food/seed for the birds/critters. And HOT water, as all their water dishes were frozen solid. (The water cools for them to drink pretty fast, but doesn't freeze over for a little longer if it's hot when I fill the dishes.)

This evening (just before 9:00), Marilyn and I walked out in the snow to the corner store (we got some donuts). Then we went over and walked a bit in the park. For the most part it wasn't miserably cold -- but then we both found our HANDS were cold, even inside our gloves, so we headed right back home again.

We've got the water running constantly -- and we don't dare turn the furnace down too far at night. Both are MADDENING. Normally we turn the furnace off when we sleep. And clearly the water wouldn't be running all the time. Hahaha. Anyway, better safe than sorry!

Driving was fine. We only slipped one time -- on our own street right before pulling into the driveway. And we didn't slip out walking, either.

So far we've ONLY had snow. Very fine (dust/powder) and very dry. And not much of it. But we're EXPECTING freezing rain and a real MESS any time, that is supposed to last into Monday morning's work commute... (sigh)

I didn't feel like messing with taking down Christmas today -- even though we're both sick of looking at these decorations. Maybe I'll start tomorrow.

We had popcorn and watched Svengoolie tonight (as we almost always do on Saturday nights). Tonight the movie was "The Shadow of the Cat," a 1961 Hammer film. We both enjoyed it -- and we'd never seen it before. As we're fond of saying, it was 'like a party' eating our popcorn and watching the show.

I never blogged that Marilyn got her Svengoolie t-shirt this past week. Angel had gotten it for her as a Christmas gift. It's very cool!

Marilyn is playing Zuma beside me while I type this. (smile) We still love that game!

We already played SimCity BuildIt at midnight (as we do almost every night). They made a GREAT new change to the game! Now they have 'clubs' you can create. And you can join these -- and interact between cities! This is especially GOOD for us, as we can share items we need (sell them to each other). We're loving that.

I can't think of anything else to share, really. Our focus is on the weather, which we're hoping won't be as bad as they're saying.

The cats are still trying hard to stay warm. Today Colin was INSIDE HENRY'S FAMILY ROOM TENT (!!!), which is unheard of! He's never done that before, just a sign of how cold he must have been. Colin has already taken over the upstairs tent that's usually used by Henry. Generally Colin isn't a 'tent cat,' but this weather has them both hunting for places to stay warm!

Marilyn's cough is much, much better! I'm so happy for her!!!

Stay WARM and HEALTHY, friends!
it management gotta
Before I get into the BAD news, I do need to mention the GOOD news! Yesterday my insurance renewal papers came in the mail. I'm looking these over, and see that for the VERY FIRST TIME I can actually do this process online! I was pretty excited -- but nervous, too...

Anyway, I set up an account and did the renewal. It seemed to go very well, but I was uncertain. So I decided I'd call and check to see it I did things right, or not. This morning I'm on hold (a 20 minute hold) -- I had my phone on speaker and was actually moving around the upstairs working when a person finally came on. I tell her my concerns (that maybe I've done it wrong), and she takes my info and looks me up. The good news??? I'm RENEWED until February of next year!

Usually it takes more than 30 days to find out the results, so it's pretty awesome that they've streamlined the process so much. As I've said before, the state of Oregon is truly a guideline for the rest of the country when it comes to health insurance.

As for the rest of the work day? Murder. Really, really rough -- all day long.

Katie had shared with Marilyn that we're currently in a Mercury retrograde period, which I honestly know nothing about. However, we've been having a bunch of unexpected IT issues at the office, and we had SEVERAL today!!! Here's what Marilyn read and shared with me (well, part of it, anyway):

Mercury retrograde periods are notorious for causing computers to crash and for machines, appliances, and other electronic devices to show signs of wear, requiring urgent repair. Backup your computer in advance of any Mercury retrograde period. If you had planned to install new software on your personal computer (or, if you work in IT, on your network), wait until the retrograde period is over to do so. Weird things happen during these periods. For example, you may suddenly discover that you were sold a defective hard drive, even though it may never have given you problems in the past, at least not until you created that vital document and your whole system went down.

Poor Donn! I was so freaked out about the issues on my BRAND NEW MACHINE that I was giving him a pretty hard time. Suddenly the software I needed to use is 'corrupted' -- and then when I'm trying to get it to work, it appears not to be installed at all! And when I try to re-install it, I get the message that I don't have Administrator rights!

Try to understand that I am the Administrator at our office, as IT Manager. I have full Administrator rights for everything. But not on my new computer, running Win7... (sigh)

Plus I couldn't log in to our PHONE SERVER using Internet Explorer for whatever reason (!!!). I had to go to my old computer (which was thankfully still there) in order to move Katie's phone from one spot to another.

We were moving a bunch of computers around. Kate's computer (she was Carol's assistant last year and is coming back again as a seasonal this year) was moved from the L location to M. Katie was moved from her current spot to where Ashley used to be (right next to Rich). (Yesterday was Ashley's last day.) And Christine will now move into the second area at the front desk in place of the spot that faces forward when someone enters the door into our lobby. That spot is perceived to be our receptionist -- and Christine is actually our Office Manager. We will be getting our seasonal receptionist any day now. We used to simply move Christine to the second spot and the seasonal would work on her computer until she departed. But it was Marilyn's idea to permanently move Christine -- and her computer is the better computer of the two, so...

After waiting around TWO YEARS to get my own new computer, you'd think I'd be thrilled to finally have it. But it's been frustrating, to say the least! Yesterday I was nearly in tears because my own monitors wouldn't work with the new tower -- and I could barely see at all on the temporary monitors! What a mess. Donn will be able to get adapters to fix the issue, thankfully. And for today, I changed some settings that made it okay -- barely.

I had Kris at the office for lunch. We went to the Turkey Place. He's been living together with his current girlfriend for a year now -- but she's suddenly started asking him about marriage, which is NOT something he ever wants to do again. And the company he works for was SOLD in November, so he's probably going to lose his current job. He went on an interview this morning for another possible job...

I had a pile of work I was never able to touch, as things were so crazy (and so busy). Not sure if I'll try and do it this weekend or not... Or maybe I'll just wait until next week.

I really WANT to try and catch up all the stuff that's been going on recently! I can't believe it's been almost TWO FULL WEEKS since I last blogged!!! And so many things happened during those weeks. Yikes.

I missed blogging Christmas. And the New Year! And discussing all the weather issues we've had.

Sue and I got a hair appointment this past week (for next week). And I went in for labs at my clinic (I have an appointment to see my doctor on the 20th). Marilyn's been still fighting her bug for WEEKS now. She's only just getting over that terrible cough! (She's going in to the doctor next week again.)

I may try to go back and blog a day here and there. Or just try to cover whatever I can remember happened in one big blog. Not sure, as yet.

But I certainly didn't mean to end my year that way. Or start a NEW YEAR without blogging! Good grief.

Marilyn had a major iPad crash, by the way. Jeff has authorized me to buy her a new one (the festival will pay for it!). She bought her own iPad last time around, so this is pretty big.

Henry seems better. He's been pretty miserable for weeks now -- and his eye was bad again. It was like he had a virus (cold?) or something. Winter is very hard on him -- and it's been a difficult time, with these terrible low temperatures!

I made both cats miserable yesterday -- but NOT on purpose! I was home (because of the labs). Sue took me to the clinic first thing. I came home and took down our outside Christmas decorations and then was working on the feeding station, and getting nectar for the hummingbirds (their feeder was frozen!). I was in and out and had my jacket on a lot. So it wasn't until late in the afternoon that I realized I'd never turned up the heat all day long! Poor cats.

Right now it's hard. We're running water all day long (so annoying). We just don't want frozen pipes (of course). And we don't turn the furnace off at night (partly for the same reason -- the plumbing). But both Marilyn and I HATE having the furnace running all night long. We get way too warm for sleeping! It's quite a balancing act, anyway...

Gosh, were we BOTH tired after work today! She had an intense (and long) meeting at one point. She also had a lot of work to get done -- but had people in her office and meetings and the usual difficult stuff. And I had the IT nightmare day from hell.

We stopped at Safeway on the way home and got a few things. Then headed home. It was around 7:30 when we got here, pretty beat. And we just ate a bunch of stuff. I made bean dip, for one thing. But we'd picked up summer sausage and were eating that, too...

I remember taking a nap around 10:00-ish, but getting up at midnight.

Colin is here in the office with me. Sweet boy! He's been following me around a lot lately...

We're expecting BAD, BAD WEATHER this weekend (starting around noon tomorrow). Weather that might run into the first of next week. (sigh)

Jeff is away right now until Sunday...

Donn was going to come in and work over the weekend, but I told him to rest up for next week. We have so damn much to do!

I think snow would be okay -- but I hope we don't get FREEZING RAIN!!! (ugh)

By the way, things were good once we got home. It's always nice to BE HOME after a long day at work! (smile)

I've been pretty random. Sorry! I hope all is well with all of you. Happy New Year (belatedly)!!!

Off to bed...
3 sisters elf-ing around, elf 3 sisters
I actually DID try to blog yesterday (Thursday). But LiveJournal wasn't cooperating, I'm afraid...

It's REALLY, REALLY LATE (!!!), so this will be brief, I'm afraid. Marilyn is sound asleep in the living room, and I need to rouse her and get her to bed (if I can).

Thursday, December 22:
Thursday was a day at the office, working! It was extremely busy for both Marilyn and me. I was dealing with a bunch of IT-related issues.

Steven brought three of his kids (the youngest) in to visit us, which was so nice! Wyatt, Quinn (a girl) and Grace. And naturally I brought out the toy box I keep under my desk and played with them. (smile) I also always let them take toys home, which is exciting to them...

At one point during the day I told Jeff -- well, emailed him the step-by-step instructions -- on how to change the setting on his iPad so he could hear sound when in certain Apps. I'd been through the same thing and finally reasoned it out. He was glad! (I don't blame him.) It's one of those odd things that can happen with the iPad...

Marilyn and I gave Jeff a new Fitbit for Christmas. So I also helped him to set it up! He's go to go again. (woo hoo)

We gave blankets (plus the movie tickets) to Rich and Merlin. And Merlin gave me a recipe that I'm excited to try out!

After work we came home and had dinner, then Marilyn went for her massage therapy (it's all the way out to Donald, Oregon). And I worked on decorating the living room (finally!!!) for Christmas. We were sort of early for the family room, but just never got around to the living room for some reason.

Aside from our brand new Christmas tree, which came with 700 lights! Very pretty even before you decorate it!

It was also garbage night (the real deal). So I was gathering recycling, garbage and composting to get outside. And of course it was RAINING and cold!!! Hahaha.

Marilyn is always very tired and very sore after a session. And she doesn't get back until quite late...

I had a difficult time sleeping, for whatever reason. (sigh) Strange, considering how tired I was!

Friday, December 23:
We went to a (VERY LATE) breakfast with sister Sue (we went and picked her up, as she currently has no car) and our friends June and Jim (who met us at Elmer's). We had a lovely time! (Marilyn was kind enough to pick up the tab.) (Marilyn dropped Sue and me so she could go and get gas, which we needed!)

And June and Jim had some nice birthday gifts for me -- and a card she had made for me! -- too. So sweet.

After breakfast we went and got our 'neighbor gifts' to be ready to give out tomorrow. This year we're giving out tins of popcorn! We haven't done that in many years, so it's sort of an exciting change.

We also drove to try and get a fresh evergreen wreath for inside the front door, but couldn't find one. Too bad. We really wanted the smell...

In the afternoon we went to Hooters to met up with Jeff, who wanted to give us his gifts. We had drinks and ate frickles (deep fried dill pickles) and chicken fingers (yummy!). Another nice visit!

Then we came home and I could barely keep my eyes open (after not sleeping well last night). So I had a VERY LONG NAP.

When I finally got up it was almost midnight! Marilyn had been awake for hours. Hahaha. So we FINALLY got out the decorations for the tree and put them up. It looks wonderful!

We watched "The House Without a Christmas Tree," "The Muppets Christmas Carol," "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" and "The Little Drummer Boy" while we did the decorating.

Time for BED at long last...

Sleep well, friends!!!
friends
This is an annual gathering during the holidays (last year we got together on December 21, in 2014 we met on December 22, and in 2013 on December 21).

The first year it was Micki and Vern, Julie and Greg and Shannon. Since then it's always Micki, Vern, Julie and the two girls, Shannon and Stacy. Vern doesn't sit down at the table with us, so it's turned into mostly a girls party. (smile)

This year we ate the same dinner as the second year: Salad and pizza. Micki always sets a LOVELY table, and the house is beautifully decorated for Christmas!

We have a WONDERFUL time together! It was fun this year to have everyone carrying on about the weight we two had lost -- and all the kind comments about how good we looked. (grin) They got the benefit of not seeing us for a year, so I'm sure it stood out more for them.

As in the past, Marilyn and I were thankful for GPS in getting to their house over in Vancouver. Especially as we had HEAVY FOG (!!!) here in our neighborhood when we left the house. Marilyn was able to get home at a reasonable hour, considering she had a ton of meetings today (so busy!!!). As she said as we drove there, she's the one who comes directly from work, so she does her best not to be late, but it's not that easy...

Julie had seriously hurt her shoulder during the year and now has a frozen shoulder, so Marilyn could relate (as she has had both shoulders end up frozen in the past). The big surprise was that Stacy is pregnant (due in six weeks!) with a baby boy. They hadn't planned to have another child, but I guess Baby had other ideas! Hahaha. Stacy was telling her doctor she was lactose intolerant when he suggested she have a pregnancy test...

Shannon quit her job at Yelp and has moved on -- even though they tried hard to get her back again. She and her boyfriend have bought a house in Arizona, so I think she's sincerely making that state her home.

It was great fun -- as always -- catching up. We always chatter like crazy!

Micki always sends us home with Christmas presents. And we always have something for her and Vern. But this year we gave to Julie and the girls, too. (Cards with movie gifts cards inside.)

Donn, Denise and Ashley dropped by earlier today so I could give them their Christmas presents. They didn't stay long, but we still managed to have a nice visit!

I think maybe Henry's eye is a little BETTER today (thank God!!!).

June and I talked about going to breakfast with sister Sue on Friday. I guess I need to tell Sue, now! Hahaha. So we were planning on June, Jim, Sue and me. But when I mentioned it to Marilyn, she reminded me that she doesn't work this Friday! So now it looks like we can ALL go together! I'm very excited.

Marilyn had also suggested that June and Jim and the two of us not exchange gifts this year, but just take one another out for dinner, instead. So I guess that's what we're going to do. We love spending time together, so that's a perfect gift.

Marilyn and I were drinking eggnog -- and Vern was making it with Maker's Mark -- an especially fine bourbon, in case you're unfamiliar with the name. (Back in the 60's and 70's, Maker's Mark was advertised with the statement: "It tastes expensive -- and is." Believe me, so true. (smile) I had a bit too much of a good thing. (I think Vern was using a generous hand.) And I've currently got the headache to prove it...

Well, we're off to work tomorrow, so I need to take my headache and head to bed.

Rich and I plan to go to Starbucks together in the morning!

And the best news??? Marilyn really seems MUCH, MUCH BETTER now! She was barely coughing this evening! I'm so glad!!!

Sleep well!
advent wreath
Just a QUICK (very!!!) overview. I'm so very TIRED tonight...

Sunday, December 18:
The fourth Sunday in Advent.

We talked about going out, but it was still frozen most of the day. So we stayed home!

But Marilyn was TOTALLY OUT of pop. That's the main she drinks (Diet Pepsi), so it was a bad thing. She did drink some diet orange soda I had in the laundry room fridge.

We decided to order pizza -- and got some diet Coke (that's all they offer) with it, in 20 oz. bottles. (In the past I swear they only had 2 liter bottles. So this was cool!)

"The Sound of Music" was playing on TV, so we watched it. I can't begin to express what a HUGE effect this film (and the music) had on our lives, the minute it was released in 1965. Yes, we know every song by heart and we know the harmony and we used to be asked to sing from it constantly. (smile)

I still can't believe Charmian Carr died this past September at the age of 73. Too young, too young!

Monday, December 19:
Marilyn and I watched a bunch of Lifetime Christmas movies... (grin)

Marilyn washed and did her hair, and I colored mine (it turned out nice!). We went to the pharmacy to get my prescriptions, including my insulin (I was out!). Then we did a short, fast trip to Freddies, before hurrying home.

Marilyn was supposed to get a massage from Amanda, but didn't feel well so changed the appointment.

We had roast beef hash with Green Giant Veggie Tots for dinner. The tots were very tasty, by the way!

Henry wasn't feeling well on Monday -- and he was squinting out of his bad eye. (sigh)

We were expecting a serious RAIN STORM -- but we hadn't heard a word about WIND! It was AWFUL!!! We could hear the wind rattling the house all night long...

Tuesday, December 20:
Today we heard a lot about the terrible rains and winds! We got a terrible amount of rain within a ten-hour period. Thankfully our tarps had stayed up!

Marilyn had helped me check on those in the dark, holding a flashlight for me. They were down from the weight of the snow. Plus pretty torn after being up for so long...

I stayed home from work. Good thing, as there were quite a few chores to get done!

Marilyn went to see the doctor this morning. I'm so glad, as she's had the most terrible cough, that really had me worried. As it turns out, there was nothing to worry about. Even though the cough sounds bad, her lungs are quite clear! That's such good news.

I got up and found the big umbrella in front down from the wind!!!

I started by pulling down the old tarps in back, then I took out a bunch of the roses (that get in my way for this project), and finally put up NEW tarps. I was glad that I'd gotten two of each last year, so I had what I needed. It's a long, tough job. Hard because one person can't hold things up, but I managed. (I always do it by myself...)

Then I had come up with a way to fix the very broken umbrella! I had this old iron (I think???) pole. It's huge and very, very heavy! I'd seen it while cleaning in the garage recently -- but I knew it was there. (It's been there since we moved in. I can't remember if I brought it with me, or found it here...)

I used duct tape to put the two together. The hard part was balancing the pole while attaching the umbrella, but I managed it! And I moved it and got it back up again, underneath the tree near the garage. Messy job (there's so much mud out there). But I felt very accomplished after!

I had also put a load of dishes to wash in the house...

I put out food for the birds and critters. I was SO VERY GLAD today was both a clear (no rain!) day and a warm one. It made it much easier to do the chores.

I also put up our outdoor Christmas lights. There isn't much, but we have this wooden, gold Christmas tree with white lights, and a string of candy canes that stick into the ground in a row. Better than no lights, anyway! It makes us both cheerful, and isn't too much work.

I did end up taking a long nap in the late afternoon. I was pretty worn out.

Marilyn got home late, then we had to go out to buy a bunch of Christmas presents. And pick up her prescriptions from seeing the doctor.

We still need to do the cards for passing out tomorrow! She has lunch with Marcia and Gail (and is giving them each a gift). And we want to give out our cards and gifts to the staff tomorrow...

We almost always give the staff movie gift cards. With a few exceptions. We're giving Jeff a new Fitbit. And other gift cards to Carol and Steven. And I have a different gift for Donn and Denise.

We counted out our blankets we're giving away, too -- and I made a list. This year we have enough to go around, thankfully.

I'd wanted to get out more decorations, but didn't really get to it. I put the green light bulb out on the porch. (smile) And the lighted 'box' under the tree (that looks like a glass package with lights inside and wrapped in a bow). And the metal tree that holds special Christmas ornaments is up, too.

Henry was sicker today. I'm not sure why. But he had his eye closed most of the day! I gave him his drops and his daily pill and spent some time with him. He felt feverish to me. Poor little guy... (sigh)

We ate McDonald's for dinner (we hadn't had it for quite some time). Easy. (No cooking!) And we were both starving by the time we ate.

Tomorrow night we go to Mickie and Vern's house for dinner (an annual event). That should be fun!

Work tomorrow! Forgot to mention that I spent time on IT today, as Rich was having computer issues. Talked to Donn several times.

VERY GOOD NEWS: It's not 100% confirmed, but it looks as if Donn and Denise are getting their mortgage after all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That means they'll be able to keep their home (which they both love), and Donn's beloved shop. This is their 'forever home,' so I can't express how delighted they are. I'm still praying, of course. I really want this to happen for them. They are both wonderful people and they deserve this. (And it's terrible to lose your home, after all!)

Forgot to mention talking to sister Sue SEVERAL times. She has no car, so we've wanted to go to Elmer's, but can't. (sigh) I hope Candy replaces her car again soon...

That's IT for today! I'm sorry I've been bad recently about blogging. But I am trying.

I still have a bunch of photos to share. Maybe sometime soon...

Sleep well!
tv
Marilyn is VERY sick. She still has a running nose and congestion and a fever. She feels lousy. She was DOWN all day long and slept a great deal today (which I think is a good thing). She has an awful cough. I'd like to say it's getting better, but I'm not sure that's true.

I did try to get a hair appointment with Kathy (my hair dresser) for either today or next week, but that wasn't possible. I'm disappointed, but oh well. It is what it is. I can live with it. I need to start making my appointments way in advance, the way most people do. I've been pretty spoiled in the past...

I forgot to mention that I cancelled the special dental plan that Mary had encouraged Marilyn to sign up for to help with my dental costs. Marilyn had asked me to do it, and interestingly enough, they called just before we took off on Friday. So that's done, anyway...

Today was another icy day. The snow has moderated a little, but it's still around.

June told me today that they never picked up the recycling this week. Wow, I was surprised. They managed last week. But Marilyn said it was much worse this week. I wonder if they'll just wait until next week now? Anyway, I stuck it down on the curb, just in case.

Jim was going to take me shopping, but I just couldn't get myself up and dressed to go. We need some groceries, but I'll figure it out tomorrow... (sigh)

I did make dinner and popcorn for the Svengoolie movie tonight. And I tried to make some peanut butter cookies -- using the new cookie sheets I got. But they all burned. We had this happen before when we made cookies several years back. We had a bunch of different cookie sheets, but only one or two would work at all. I think it's the oven, which has always been too hot. It's very, very old. The range was in the house when we moved in -- and we've been here 20+ years now. Generally the oven works fine for what we do, as we very rarely bake anything. But I guess it's why my brownies always get too dry around the edges of the pan. And stuff like that. The second batch of cookies I turned DOWN the temperature, moved the rack to the bottom and baked them two minutes less. AND THEY STILL BURNED. (sigh) And I was using parchment paper, too (which is supposed to help). Oh well. It was very small batches, thankfully.

I don't think the mail came today, either. If not, that will be the first time I've noticed them missing delivering...

I had more vertigo today. Mild, but I did throw up, even so. (sigh) I've no idea what brought this recent flareup of vertigo on. But I've never known in all the time I've had it. So why should now be any different? Vertigo is kind of a catch-all term, by the way. I know quite a few people who have -- and a couple who have it much, much worse than I do. So whatever.

I read Marilyn John Green's Christmas short story out loud today. Very entertaining. She enjoyed it. I need to ask Nicole if she's read it (he's her favorite author).

They played one of our favorite Hammer films on Svengoolie tonight: "The Brides of Dracula." Peter Cushing is fabulous as Dr. Van Helsing! It's amazing to realize the film was made back in 1960! Wow...

I think that's it for tonight.

Good night, sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. (As our Aunt Mabel said to us EVERY SINGLE NIGHT we ever stayed with her as kids... smile...)
christmas-wreath
Thursday, December 15:
Thursday was another SNOW DAY here in Portland (Portland Public Schools were closed).

Jeff had told us on Wednesday that if schools were closed the next day, he planned to come over. So he did! We spent time at the house visiting and talking, then we went shopping at Freddies. All three of us needed to get things for the staff party on Friday.

It turned out Jeff HAD actually bought a set of 11 different flavors of vodka. He wanted to get something to go with it, so he bought some mixers (including orange juice).

I got a crock pot on an amazing sale (plus a couple of boxed meals that go with). Marilyn ended up getting the game Twister.

The interesting thing about Twister? I just read a John Green Christmas story that featured Twister! It's apparently very popular with teens again.

After shopping, we headed to Darcy's to have burgers and beer. It turned into a work-related meeting, so Jeff picked up the tab.

Darcy's has wonderful burgers. We were in the larger room. We'd never eaten there before...

I found a holiday bag for Jeff to use that he took home with him. And bags for Marilyn and me, too, thankfully!

NOTE: We knew on Thursday that schools would be closed AGAIN on Friday.

Crazy me! I totally forgot it was garbage day, and didn't end up putting out our recycling or composting! Thankfully it wasn't 'real' garbage week, or that could have been bad...

I did have to go outside and fix the tarp out back, which had come down! I really need to get a new one. (sigh) It's pretty torn. I put it up last year, so it's no surprise...

Friday, December 16:
We slept in. Then got dressed and ready and headed downtown for our Staff Christmas Party.

Marilyn and I parked in a parking structure close by to Embassy Suites where our party was being held. We stopped there to see if we could drop off our presents, as mine was big, bulky and HEAVY as hell. Fortunately they let us do that!

Carol had texted us on the way to town that the bar we'd planned to meet in for drinks before lunch was closed -- and to tell us the new place we were meeting. We arrived there at 11:30, and had two rounds of drinks there -- and everybody visited and joked and laughed and had a really great time! Then we headed over for lunch.

Unfortunately there were two sad notes. Lilia and her husband were in an auto accident on the way there (he dropped her off), and Rich took a FALL walking back to lunch. I didn't see Rich fall, but was told he hit VERY HARD! His right arm was really messed up. (I hope he sees a doctor!) Thankfully he didn't hit his head, though...

Lunch was in the wine room at the Embassy Suites (Hilton). We've had our Christmas lunch there before, but not in several years. It's quite nice! It was a pleasure to be waited on and have a nice lunch with wine (instead of having to bring food ourselves and do all the setup and cleaning up and so on).

Angel brought along Christmas music and played it. And at one point we had a sing along! Very nice.

The food was a choice of ham, turkey or vegetarian, all nice. And the dessert was AMAZING! The service was very good.

The gift exchange was great fun! Everybody draws a number, then in order each person either picks a new gift (as yet unopened), or gets to 'steal' a gift from someone else. Jeff's gift was quite popular. Marilyn's was, too. I never seem to pick popular choices -- hahaha. I got the crock pot thinking how I'd like to have one myself. And I always say you should get a gift you really like -- in case you end up with it. Marilyn stole it from Christie (who originally got it), then later I stole it from Marilyn. Hahaha.

Lots of stealing goes on. You can steal any given gift twice -- meaning the third 'owner' of a gift gets to keep it.

Marilyn had a cute 'Santa' robe outfit at one point, which she immediately put on. But Katie stole it from her! It was darling on both Marilyn and Katie. Marilyn got a cool Scrabble set, which made her happy. I was dragging my heavy crock pot right back to the car again after the party. Hahaha. Not sure where I'll store it at home -- or how often I'll use it. But I do think it's cool to have it.

I was delighted that Donn had sent in one of his boxes, even though he was unable to attend. And Jason (our new guy) took my advice and bought a bottle of alcohol -- a nice gin, actually. (I'd told him during training that alcohol is often popular... grin...)

Christine got Ashley's massage (with Amanda) gift certificate, that made her very happy. Jeff wasn't that crazy about his Swiss Army knife, though. Marilyn and I thought it was pretty cool! (smile)

After lunch a bunch of us headed to Huber's -- Portland's oldest restaurant (opened in 1879). Their signature drink is Spanish coffee -- and it's just WONDERFUL to watch them create it!!! (This was after a quick trip to the car to drop off some things.)

Huber's isn't very far from the Embassy Suites, so it was an easy walk.

I wasn't going to have more to drink, after my two drinks before lunch and glass of wine during lunch. But I couldn't resist the Spanish coffee when I saw it being made! And it is simply yummy. (But I really sipped it slowly, believe me.)

I sat with Carol at the bar. You couldn't get a table! Every single table was reserved. The place was packed. I can't tell you how terrific this place is. Really nice!!!

Then we headed back to the car: Marilyn, Angel and me. We were dropping Angel at the office, where his wife Cathy was going to pick him up. Then we headed home.

When we got home, Jeff texted us and wanted to have another drink. So I invited him over. He was late coming because he'd stayed to keep Christie company while she waited for her husband to pick her up. (Jeff is such a nice guy.) He got stuck in some bad traffic coming home...

Jeff stayed for a drink while Marilyn huddled under a blanket on the living room sofa. Then he finally headed home.

I'm sorry to say that Marilyn really isn't doing well. She clearly still has the virus running through her system, as she has a runny nose and is congested. But the COUGH is serious and has us both worried. She's concerned enough that she's decided she'll go to the doctor next week...

And she was terribly tired tonight, poor thing. And told me frankly that she just didn't feel good all day long.

But she set a date with Jeff to go to the show with him on Sunday. I think we'll have to see how she's doing before we keep that date!

Well, I'm watching Star Trek as I type this. And I'm certainly ready for bed myself.

It's odd how my vertigo has been acting up again recently. I was bothered by it again this evening. I can go for months -- and even years -- without a single incident. Then suddenly it will bother me for some time. I'm hopeful this will clear up soon. Meclizine helps a great deal, but I can't take it when I'm going out. It makes me really sleepy.

Marilyn needs to stay down tomorrow. As we're expecting MORE SNOW (!!!), that should be easy.

We're also expecting temperatures in the teens, which simply doesn't happen in Portland as a rule. They say we might break our record low for tomorrow, which goes back to 1964! I'm so sick of this cold weather. Well, of the snow and ice, anyway.

I'm off to bed. Keep warm and stay healthy, friends! I hope you're all enjoying the holiday season.
frightful weather
Tuesday, December 13:
I spent the day cleaning a bit -- and THEN I got in and brought out all of the many boxes of decorations we put up in our family room, downstairs.

All of our decorations are stored in the laundry room -- some under the stairs, and others in the corner (not far from the dryer). We've kept them here since moving into this house.

These are pretty well organized. Christmas boxes are stored with other Christmas boxes -- just like Halloween is with Halloween and Thanksgiving with Thanksgiving. And they're marked outside for either the family room or living room. As there are many, many (many!) boxes, this is absolutely necessary.

I started putting things out. There are a few things that ALWAYS go in the same place each year. But other things end up wherever I happen to feel like putting them. (smile)

I took a bunch of photos tonight -- so I'll download and share those soon, I promise.

In the family room are the SENTIMENTAL items. Things that we've had since we were kids or teenagers. Or that Mom had before we were born -- or things that she made. They aren't necessarily the nicest decorations, but it's such a pleasure to see them every year...

I had things looking pretty nice at one point. Then I discovered another HUGE box that hadn't been put out, yet. Hahaha. As Marilyn is fond of saying, KA-BOOM! Christmas exploded in that room! Oh my. There's way too much stuff.

But here's an example: I have Mom's beloved broken toy soldier band that she put out every year. I couldn't figure out what to do with them this year, but I found this black metal 'box' that my nephew Larry made when he was in high school (and he's a grown man with children of his own now). I used some craft stuff to hold each soldier inside the box -- and it was the perfect size. And Mom would be so delighted. (smile)

I also made dinner: Super Green pasta spaghetti and tomato sauce (with buttered rye bread). And I baked some brownies, too.

Marilyn didn't get home until past 8:00 p.m. (!!!), poor thing. She was starving and so tired. She's still coughing very hard and trying to get over her bug...

The magic hour of our game rolled around (midnight) and I did it for both of our games before finally heading to bed.

Forgot to mention that I did TWO loads of dishes and a bunch of laundry, too. A long and busy day!

Wednesday, December 15:
We've known all week long that we were getting MORE snow today -- but it was slated to come during the afternoon. Then they kept moving BACK the time it would arrive.

But Marilyn went to her Executive meeting early this morning. They knew driving would be fine for the morning commute.

My task was to help put up the change of application submission deadline at the website, as today was supposed to be the deadline. But we didn't want a bunch of teenage girls (and/or their parents) coming downtown to our office -- especially as the plan was to CLOSE the office as soon as the snow hit. We made the new deadline Friday morning -- and were encouraging them to MAIL these (rather than hand-deliver them). Anything postmarked prior to 11:00 a.m. Friday would be just fine...

That might sound like a small thing, but we had to talk through exactly how we were going to say what was being posted -- and it had to go on several pages of the website. Interesting, to say the least.

Sister Sue and I were supposed to go get our hair done today at 2:00 -- but the minute the snow started falling Sue cancelled the appointments.

There wasn't that much snow, folks. But what a terrible, terrible mess! As of the 11:00 news, there were STILL people caught on city roads, unable to get home! There are school children sleeping overnight at schools or caught in school buses. Many people spent hours on the road, trying to get where they were going. Some ran out of gas, spun out or just got tired of the wait -- so there were abandoned cars all over the place!

I can't begin to describe how awful it was. But thankfully the festival closed down immediately when the snow started -- and Marilyn got home without any trouble at all (and even stopped to pick up some takeout Yakisoba noodles on her way).

We watched a lot of storm coverage on TV today. Portland Public Schools were really catching hell for not closing earlier. They not only didn't close in advance of the school day, but they decided to STAY OPEN when things started to go crazy. They deserve everything they've been hearing from parents, believe me. Needless to say, I think, they've already closed schools for tomorrow...

Which means that the festival office is also closed tomorrow. As Marilyn could use some more rest, I'm very glad.

Of course, we were supposed to go SHOPPING late last night to get our things for the gift exchange Friday (during our staff Christmas party). So we've got to try and do that somehow tomorrow... Hahaha.

Marilyn and I watched the WONDERFUL Pentatonix Christmas show (on NBC). And the SNL special, as well. Good stuff!

And I took photos to share of all the family room Christmas stuff. Plus the fabulous art pieces that I bought from my friend Zandre (Christine's 18-year-old son).

I talked to Sue several times, Shari several times, and June and Adeena, too. I'm blessed by friends and family. And Marilyn was talking to and texting with Jeff a ton...

Got to run -- it's time for the magic hour for tonight.

Stay WARM and SAFE, friends! We'll do the same, believe me.
manicure-pink
Sunday, December 11:
Sunday afternoon and night was spent with our friends Carla and Gary at the Tony Starlight Christmas show. The venue is cool, like an old fashioned nightclub! Lots of people (including us) were dressed up to be there. It was a dinner show, so first you have a drink, then dinner is served. Then the show starts -- very entertaining and interactive (in a good way -- no one ends up embarrassed).

The amazing Bo Ayars and his wife Barbara Ayars are part of this incredible show. Read more about them HERE. Barbara has an AMAZING voice -- and Bo is an incredible pianist. But his piano playing is just the tip of the iceberg! I was so delighted by him that I bought his book (he signed it). Good thing! There's not ONE WORD about either Bo or Barbara at Tony Starlight's website. Make of that what you will. I doubt I have to say what I think about it -- do I?

Anyway, it's Tony's show -- but it's far from a one-man production! He wouldn't begin to have the show he does without Barbara's vocals and all the work Bo does. But don't get me wrong: Tony is a very talented man.

During intermission we had dessert -- and they made sure everyone had plenty to drink the entire evening! Service was quite good.

We didn't get away until past 9:00 (and arrived around 4:30), so you can see it was a good chunk out of our day...

I thought Marilyn held up very well, considering she's still under the weather.

We ended up watching the movie "The Impossible" (with commercials) -- which is very difficult to view. It's a powerful film about the true story of the experience of Maria Belon and her family during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami. Very brutal! Very realistic! The acting and direction were INCREDIBLE!!!

Marilyn has the rented version (On Demand) on right now downstairs. It's really worth seeing, if you can STAND how realistic and horrible the events are! Painful to watch, but fascinating...

Monday, December 12:
Marilyn and I forced ourselves to go over and get our manicures done -- which we've needed for AGES now. Normally we would have had them done BEFORE my birthday. But with her so sick -- and all the terrible weather -- it's just impossible before this. I got a very sparkly red (and snowflakes hand-painted on two fingers), and Marilyn got gold!

Then we went shoe shopping at Jantzen Beach (where our nail salon is located, as well). We both got some really nice things. I got tall boots -- I can't recall the last time I had a pair! It's been YEARS. I just can't wait to wear them. She got three pairs of short boots, all very nice! (Gray, black and brown-- with fringe!)

Then we went over to Ross to shop for pants. She got a pair of red pants that are fabulous! And I got a pair of green pants that I love!

Anyway, we're both very excited about our new shoes and pants and looking forward to wearing them. It's really special to have lost weight as we both have and be able to buy some clothes that fit and look so nice...

Marilyn got dehydrated today, I'm afraid. She's been neglecting to drink enough, which often happens to her when she's sick. But she made a SERIOUS EFFORT to really take in a lot of liquid this afternoon and evening, so I'm very pleased with her. (The time she collapsed at work she was also dehydrated, so she's anxious NOT to ever repeat that again.)

We're unfortunately expecting MORE wintry weather this week. (sigh) Starting Wednesday evening and going into Thursday. Our staff Christmas party is FRIDAY, so we're really hoping it won't be ruined by this nastiness... (sigh)

Off to bed! I'm sure I'm forgetting a bunch of stuff, but it's late and I'm tired. More tomorrow.

Stay warm and healthy, dear friends!
rosie robot, cleaning
We FINALLY had this horrible icy weather MODERATE today. But it took a long, long time! You could see branches in our back yard trees just coated with ICE from freezing rain for most of the day. The streets were okay and most of the sidewalks and walkways -- but there was still ice all over the place. (sigh)

Sister Sue had her Christmas party at the house of her gay friends today (whom she knows from cribbage). They have this party every year. We both hope she had a great time!

I was glad to see all the birds and squirrels out eating and eating (all day long) under the big tree in front of our garage. I always feed and water the crows and other critters there. And recently I added the old (well, not-so-old) umbrella there, to keep the majority of the snow and ice from covering up their food. (We didn't use it anymore. We'd offered it to Sue and family, but they didn't want it. So our plan had been to donate it months ago. Now I'm glad we didn't, as it worked pretty well for this new purpose!)

I didn't go out to bring up the roll carts (garbage and recycling) until fairly late. It was already dark out at that point. There was a HUGE BRANCH that came out of the tree -- but it certainly could have been worse! I managed to drag that off the driveway, then I got a rake and got up all the smaller pieces that were left behind. I started wondering how 'rocks' had gotten all over the driveway -- then realized these so-called rocks were actually HUGE chunks of ICE that had been all over the branch that fell!!! I even picked up a couple of big pieces and brought them in for Marilyn to see! Good grief.

I spent part of the day cleaning the kitchen floor, which really needed it. I'd made it pretty bad going in and out during the bad weather, tracking a ton of mud and detritus (leaves and pine needles and so on). So first I did a ton of sweeping, then I mopped like mad. It really turned out nice!

I also cleaned up some of the bad spots on the hardwood floors in the living room. I still need to do the hallway floors and my bathroom, but at least I got a good start. I was sweating like mad and soaked to the skin when I got done. I even had to change shirts and use the hair dryer on my damp hair.

In other news (smile), I'm happy to report that Marilyn was feeling a little better today. That cough of hers still seems pretty bad, though! It really disturbs me to hear it. But thankfully she has a couple more days before heading back to work.

I'd like to say she could stay down both days, but we're both obligated to attend a concert with our friends Carla and Gary tomorrow -- and there's really no way around it. This is the couple we'll be going with to London next year. And she's invited us many, many times to see this performer with them. So this time Marilyn agreed. Hopefully it won't wear Marilyn out too much.

It reminds me how I was nodding off when we went to the Huey Lewis concert months back. I know it's hard to imagine someone not being able to stay wide awake at a concert -- right? Well, it's just a sign of how ill I've been in 2016, I guess... I can basically fall asleep almost anywhere, under almost any conditions now. And, no, that's (obviously) not a good thing. (sigh)

I still find it pretty damn COLD in the house, even though we're up into the 40's now. At least we don't have to keep running our cold water all the time. Hahaha.

Marilyn and I enjoyed the day -- and especially the Friday night TV, as always.

Oh! And earlier in the day we watched the movie "The Shining," which we only ever saw one time (right after it came out. We were always big Stephen King fans, and this movie was based on his 1977 novel. Originally we didn't care for it much -- and interestingly enough, neither did the critics! But since then, critics have changed their opinion!!! Actually, it's now considered one of the greatest horror films ever made. (American director Martin Scorsese ranked it one of the 11 scariest horror movies of all time.) Marilyn had it playing on some channel with commercials, then we decided to watch it uncut.

I felt very differently about it this time around and really did enjoy it. I think back in 1980 I was just too critical of the fact that it didn't seem to stick to King's novel that closely. Plus I remember thinking Jack Nicholson was way, way over the top. And I'd never been much of a Shelley Duvall fan. But now I think they both did a great job. And Danny Lloyd and Scatman Crothers were amazing! Plus the location was really wonderful. Very scary stuff -- without tons of gore.

If you've never seen it, you should consider it. If you saw it back then and felt negative -- as we did -- you might want to give it another chance.

There's a LOT to be said for horror that isn't just blood and disgustingly mangled bodies.

We also rented "The Exorcist," planning to watch that, but we ran out of time. (We have a lot to watch on Saturdays!) I suppose we'll try and see it tomorrow...

We were among those too frightened (mainly of being totally grossed out) back when this film came out to go and see it. Stupid! This is really a classic movie. We're also fans of the prequels they made (there were two versions -- we liked them both). More about this film soon!

Can't think what else I'm forgetting to share. But I need to head to bed...

Sleep well, stay healthy, happy and WARM, friends!!!
blog
Not sure WHY, exactly, but I just wasn't able to blog all this week. So I'm catching up the highlights of each day in this one post...

Monday, December 5:
The day after my birthday -- thanks again for all the greetings, guys!

Our friend Adeena came over on her lunch period and kindly took me grocery shopping. I bought her Starbucks (and got it for both Marilyn and me, too -- woo hoo). She put everything into the car for me, and helped me pack it all into the house, as well. Sweet.

Poor Marilyn was still down sick from her virus of last week. We spent the day quietly, watching TV and playing on our iPads.

Tuesday, December 6:
Marilyn went to the doctor early with Sue. They were meeting with the sleep doctor and chatted about her CPAP machine.

After that, Marilyn came back home to pick me up. We went to work, and they did my bday during staff meeting at the office. (Muffins and grapes as a treat.)

Donn was there working that day (putting batteries into computers that needed them).

Unfortunately I had vertigo and was pretty out of it during the Communications meeting, so after that Marilyn took me home.

I took it pretty easy the rest of the day, as I knew the plan was for Marilyn, Sue and I to go to dinner for a belated bday celebration.

Sue came over, and I was showing her my scarf from Charold and Rich. It's just amazingly soft, red plaid -- made in Germany! Anyway, Marilyn asked if she could have it, so I gave it to her. This is something of a tradition in our family, by the way. When Marilyn was very, very small, I got a stuffed puppy for my birthday, and Marilyn fell in love with him -- so I gave it to her. It became her favorite toy as a child, known as Puppy Dog! Over the years all three of us sisters have given each other things that the other one really wanted (not just me). And I was pleased to be able to make Marilyn happy with this gift.

Anyway, we were meeting Jeff at the restaurant, so the three of us headed over there. It's very close to home (the local Chinese place). We've eaten there often, and Jeff has been there a couple of times with us. We had our usual good time, enjoying drinks and good food and chatting like crazy. I had curry noodles and fried rice to eat (and brought leftovers home).

Jeff gave me a card and a gift card for seeing a movie. He's just the sweetest guy!!!

Wednesday, December 7:
Marilyn wore her new scarf (that I gave her) to work.

Katie -- who has been away for a month in Asia -- was BACK at work (woo hoo). We're all delighted to have her back!

We knew bad weather was coming on Thursday, so I did most of the garbage and recycling ahead.

Then I decided (not sure why) to clean in the laundry room -- and do some laundry. I did more organizing in the garage, too. I really made the laundry room a lot nicer (though it has a LONG way to go still). And I got several loads of laundry done, which was nice!

Marilyn came home late from work. Hard, I'm sure, after being out so sick!

We had a simple dinner of hot dogs (baked) for dinner.

We decided to watch the Live production of "Hairspray" on TV (missing "Designated Survivor"). I have to say that we enjoyed it very, very much!!! A lot of great talent. We almost didn't watch! I'm sure glad we did (Marilyn's idea). If you missed it and have a chance to see it later on, I highly recommend it.

Again, we knew there was a severe weather incident coming to the Portland area (pretty much the entire west coast!!!) on Thursday. Portland public schools announced school closures for Thursday late that night. It was nice knowing in advance that we'd be off the following day.

I made brownies sometime on Wednesday night...

Thursday, December 8:
Marilyn and I had brownies for breakfast. (smile) We had talked the night before about going out in the morning to get Starbucks -- and she needed more medicine. But she felt pretty damn bad Thursday morning! She just couldn't get up.

Anyway, Sister Sue and I went to pick up my prescription at Riteaid. (Interesting story there! Hahaha.) Then we went to Freddies shopping -- and to get Starbucks. It was just crazy-busy at the store! People were shopping like it was the Zombie Apocalypse. Hahaha.

Once again I had the Holiday Spice Flat white coffee. I'm really enjoying it! (I'll be sorry when it's gone after the holidays...)

Marilyn was very sick again. She was in meetings all day long on Wednesday without a break -- a very long day. And she had to talk all day long. So I guess it was little wonder she was so sick again the next day.

I spent ages working on the garbage and recycling, as it was 'real' garbage night. Gosh, it was SO COLD outside! And at one point it started raining -- freezing rain!!! I had a hard time getting it all done, even though I'd gathered most of it the previous day. The garbage can started to skid and slide and I could barely keep it from tipping over! But happily walking was okay while I was out there.

Friday, December 9 -- TODAY:
I had vertigo late Thursday night, so I took a Meclizine -- this made me sleepy much of today.

Marilyn and I were awake by 5:30 -- and they announced early that Portland public schools were closed for the day. We weren't sure they'd made the right choice, but we were sure GLAD they did!!! Marilyn needed today off, that's for sure.

I spent a lot of time sleeping today in my family room chair. And Marilyn and I played games on our iPads and watched TV, including Star Trek.

We watched "Last Man Standing" and "Dr. Ken" in the evening. And we watched "Shark Tank" (a Christmas version). We were especially impressed by by the Handout Gloves team, Jake Sullivan and Don Wildman (who is 83!). Don Wildman needs to be added to my list of impressive seniors, that's for sure!!!

I haven't mentioned the cats, but Colin and Henry have really been working to stay warm in this cold! Even when you run the furnace night and day, it's still cold. And, yes, we've been running our water in the sinks and bathtubs.

We tried our MINH Pork Egg Rolls out tonight. Very yummy! And they're precooked, so they only need a minute and a half in the microwave to fix them.

Back to watching "Star Trek" (no surprise) as we do every Friday night now.

The medicine story? They gave me my Meclizine in the end of November. Then again the first week of December. And AGAIN this week. Um, really??? This is a medicine I only use when I'm having vertigo, so it's never been on automatic refill. I did tell them I wanted to get it regularly from now on (so I'll always have it on hand), but this? Marilyn and I laughed and laughed and made a bunch of jokes! Needless to say (I'm sure), I would NEVER abuse this (or any medicine).

The weather situation here? They had felt it would moderate and clear out by this afternoon. Not a chance! We're still freezing and still having rain -- meaning freezing rain. It's a big mess. And so damned COLD!!! The garage is colder than outside. I've been keeping my magnum of champagne out there and even when I brought it in the house it stayed COLD for hours and hours! Hahaha.

We're just praying we don't lose our power!

Sweet dreams -- stay WARM and safe.
party
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!!!!
anti-whatever
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!!!