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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
...one page at a time
Here's last night:
Marilyn needs to go to the office after being home all day. She's stayed home two days in a row for her concussion after seeing the doctor and getting instructions on how to care for herself and her injury. Anyway, she has a presentation on Friday she needs to prepare for, so we go into the office late Thursday night, figuring it won't take that long.

While she works on that, I clean around the office. We're having guests (the people connected to the presentation) and I want the building to show well. We leave around 11:20 to head home (it took longer than planned).

We head directly to Safeway as I need kitty litter (if nothing else) to clean the cat boxes (it's real garbage night). Safeway is closed when we get there. We go from there to our local Walmart and they let us in -- very nice of them as they, too, are closing! We grab a loaf of bread, some saltine crackers, kitty litter and a couple of packaged of sliced cheese and call it good.

When we get home I'm rushing to make dinner (it's now past midnight). We had tomato soup and toasted cheese (open face) sandwiches -- it was quite good! We're starved as we've barely eaten all day.

Then I'm dashing to do the garbage and recycling! It's 1:00 when I start and Marilyn needs to be up early for her meeting... It might be the fastest I've ever done it. Haha.

So, Marilyn was off very early to go to her GFP Creative Team meeting. Then the presentation was after that at 11:00 and lengthy. She didn't get away from work until past 3:00.

She would probably have stayed home again today if not for those two important meetings, anyway. She's being very careful this week.

Meanwhile, I phoned about our weird-working furnace. No, we were not without heat. But we were having to turn the entire furnace off at the source and not with the thermostat, because the fan was running all the time...

I expected to have to wait until next week. After all, when I called Monday I couldn't get oil in an emergency situation until Tuesday! But she told me not only could I get a repairman today, but he'd be here within the hour!

I was pleased to see Rick, an older man who has worked for us before. He was here some time checking over the furnace. It's literally $95 to have him in the door, and he gave us full value in my opinion!

Rick discovered what I expected, actually: That I had bumped a button while getting the furnace to run again after getting oil. I knew two things I had deliberately pressed, but not this button. And it took him ages to find it, too! Hahaha. So now he's shown me for the future (I hope I remember!). He had to do the $95 charge (they tell you about it when you set the appointment), but didn't charge me anything more than that (which I'd been expecting). I had always ordered two filters, one of which he installed for me! These are normally $40 each, but we got them on sale for $30 each. So the total cost was $155.

I'd also wanted to have Rick do maintenance, but he talked me into waiting, as they have a spring sale coming up soon and he said it would save us money. Nice!

It's just such a break to have the furnace working again normally! (woo hoo)

Rick also told me if we ever ran all the way out again to use a small can and get five or ten gallons of diesel fuel from the gas station and stick that in the tank -- that it should hold for a few days... I would never have thought to do that, honestly.

Marilyn had a lively meeting early today (someone used the f-word!!!) with people shouting. I guess it ended fine. And the presentation went very well.

I was sorry she didn't get to leave in a more timely fashion and come home after all that stress, but she's always in major demand after having been out. People don't mean to be thoughtless, even when that's exactly what they're doing! I mean, all these people should be equally concerned about Marilyn's health in light of her concussion as it certainly does impact that office...

I had phoned about a prescription that wasn't ready, so we waited when she got home to go pick them up. After we finally did that, we went to get something to eat, skipping getting gas (sigh). And we did not do more shopping, which seriously needs to happen this weekend.

Tomorrow we MUST go for our long-delayed manicures. Sunday we have a funeral.

I saw June (and Jim, briefly) today. I finally took his birthday gifts and the jeans for her. And we had a couple of cups of coffee and a peanut butter cookies (I took cookies along and June had coffee).

I told her about the wonderful Heinz tomato soup we ate last night. And took along Dickenson's Lemon Curd for her to try (I think it's wonderful). And we discussed Blue Buffalo cat food, which is now carried at Safeway. (It used to be impossible to find anywhere!)

I mean to phone both sister Sue and Shari today, but that didn't happen. After eating I had a 'nap' that lasted for hours! I can't get over how much I sleep right now.

Well, it's past 3:00 a.m. and it's time to go to bed.

Sweet dreams, all!
I'm more than a little disturbed with myself this morning...

I need to find some way, somehow, to keep blogging daily. Even if it's a bunch of short entries here and there. Because I don't blog only for fun or to be social -- it's how I track things Marilyn and I do. And I did a bad job in November and December of 2017, and have continued doing a bad job this year (January, February and March 2018).

Why does this matter?

For example, I track medical conditions here. Doctor appointments. Changes in insurance. Medication. When we feel puny and when we feel great. I track when we have house maintenance. When we shop, especially for major items. And little things, like when I get hair cuts, when I color my hair and when we get manicures and pedicures. For years now when I need to look something up, I do it here in my blog. And it's a system that's worked really well for us.

Plus I should have learned my lesson back in 2012 when I let things slide -- and how disappointing it is to go back and NOT be able to check things from that year (when we bought and furnished our beach house).

Why am I bothered today?

I was looking for information about our oil, which I keep here. We moved in to this house in April 1994. I didn't get this blog until June 2002, and didn't really start to keep it decently until 2005. But as we age -- and my memory declines -- I find this blog more and more valuable!

Anyway, our normal pattern for purchasing oil is to stick (see what we have) in November, then buy in November before it gets really cold. Sometimes we don't buy until December (the first part). We usually get 200 gallons (depending on price and what we can afford). Then I would stick again in February, and we'd order more oil, if necessary. And repeat next November. It's a pattern that has worked great for us forever. I used to be the one doing this when we still lived with our folks, so this goes back to my early twenties, believe it or not. Haha.

In my blog I only saw April (April???) references for oil for all of 2017. That had to be wrong! I mention once in November sticking the oil. But that's it.

Okay, I haven't felt great for months. I've had some minor, thankfully, memory issues. I turned 65 in December and we took our big trip to NYC. January and February have been tied up with this new health stuff -- plus a ton of health insurance issues (related to being 65). Excuses, but a few good ones.

I'm the 'wife' -- I've always done house maintenance! I did the oil from my teenage years before we moved out at Mom and Dad's, and have always done it for the two of us. (I did tons of house maintenace starting in high school -- thanks for the trust and responsibility, Mom and Dad!) And I'm not an idiot about this stuff, as I just said via phone to Donn. I've helped with plumbing for years and done minor stuff myself. I've helped with electrical, helped roof two houses, re-wired minor appliances and one landline telephone (using very inadequate tools). Plus I used to clean the gutters myself and do the yard work (until we started hiring it done). I've been the one dealing with all our house contractors (when we got our new roof, our new gutters, our new deck, our fence, our garage door, our second bathroom, the new front walk, the painting inside and out, our new furnace -- and probably a ton of things I'm forgetting). I'm a cross between 'wife' and being 'the man' when things like this come up. In a house with two women and no man, you figure it all out as you go -- but somebody has to do it.

Marilyn has done her share of hands on over the years, too. But she needed to work -- to earn the money to pay for all these things! And that trumps my contribution any day! Hahaha. When we first lived here I did our lawn. But it was a bear, and I didn't do it for many years, thankfully... And I finally quit cleaning the gutters after the time I was alone and hanging from them (!!!), struggling to get the ladder back under me before I fell to the ground. I might not be the fastest to turn over tasks, but I know when it's time to give in and get a professional.

Yes, Dad. He's asking me (memories of these questions are strong) to get back to the primary subject for today: the oil. He taught me to stick often during winter months -- he believed in tracking use weekly. He taught me never to let the tank go below 60 gallons, so we weren't drawing from the sludge. If you've never had oil, this is important. There's always sludge at the bottom of the tank. If you go too low you can get this into the furnace and have hell to pay. I have my fingers crossed that we'll be okay on that one! I'll never forget the time I was down to 40 gallons and freaking out -- I turned the furnace off until after delivery! I felt sick when I stuck and found us under 20 gallons.

So what the hell happened?

April last year was a fluke, admittedly. We had a long winter and cold spring, still running the furnace into April. I can't get over that! Usually we quit the furnace in March, except for a few days... Donn said I needed automated reminders, and I guess he's right. Man, that's a bit of a blow. He was gentle, but he mentioned aging. I guess there's no getting around it.

Good news! I started this entry around 9:00. It's now 11:30 and the plumber has come and gone. We have a working toilet in Marilyn's bathroom! (woo hoo)

Now let's keep our fingers crossed about tomorrow. I'll be praying the lines are clear of sludge (please, Dad?) and that we get the oil delivery early in the day.

More later...
There's no way around it: Marilyn and I are having a tough year.

Today was another very tough day for Marilyn. Work is -- at best -- unpleasant. She really hates her job right now. Very different from last year.

She worked really late. It was 9:30 (later?) when she finally got home. I know we were having dinner at 10:00 (and beyond). She was tired and hungry. We ate (totally veggies) and had a beer (big splurge). She went down to the family room to do the treadmill around 11:30. I was still in the living room.

I hear a TERRIBLE NOISE and start frantically across the floor, wrenching my body in my rush. Now I can hear Marilyn screaming downstairs and the treadmill is still making an awful sound. I run downstairs and see Marilyn crashing from the treadmill and falling against furniture and the wall as she ends up on the floor!

Music is blaring and the treadmill is going at some ridiculous speed. I get the treadmill turned off and the music off and am freaking out. Marilyn is bleeding all over and bruised and has struck her head in the fall. I'm just trying to remain somewhat calm. Her left knee -- the one she fell and hurt so bad last year -- is split open and blood is running out.

Thank God she wasn't hurt worse. She explained why she didn't just shut the machine down, as she would have been thrown from it! That hadn't occurred to me. I think had I been there I might have done something to make it far worse.

She was running hard trying to keep up and reach the controls, but she couldn't. Her left side got messed up, shoulder, arm and hand. Her right thumb and a finger got badly bruised. I was putting ice packs all over her once we got her off the floor and sitting on the sofa. She was seeing flashing lights at first, but thankfully that passed. She was never unconscious or confused. Her head is very sore, but the skin isn't broken and there was no bleeding. We'll see later about more bumps and bruising. Her shoulder has bad abrasion in two places.

It was difficult getting her up off the floor. She had been running, so she was sweating and her clothes were wet, as was her hair. We had to get her changed and she had to stand up in the bathroom and use a dryer to dry her hair. She'd had on a sleeveless shirt, but we changed her to one with sleeves, so I really couldn't reach her upper arm/shoulder to treat the wounds. I used alcohol swabs on her knee and hand/fingers and wrist. We discovered her ring -- the one she never removes -- had cut her finger badly, so off it came.

She was such a trooper as I tried to clean up the mess. The alcohol has to have been killing her.

It's now 4:15 and I'm so tired I have to lie down and sleep. I was in a down mood yesterday dealing with this continued fatigue (even crying about it), and it's no better today. I was trying to take a nap earlier, but of course that's when LaToya finally called me...

I had called LaToya and left a message to find out if she had followed up on my diabetic testing supplies prescription or not. I get little to NO help from my clinic with this stuff! I order supplies from the company that's covered me for years, but get no package. I call them and they no longer cover me. Would I like the number for my new supply company, maybe? Well no shit!!! Does my clinic help? Hell no. I call the new company, but they need a prescription, duh. Does my clinic check with me? No.

I talk to the 'helpful' LaToya who asks if I keep a testing log or not. Since I became a diabetic I've almost never missed a day testing AND recording the results. She needs 30 days of results for the new company. I tell her I'll get it for her -- how should I send it. She needs -- get this -- a fax!!! Not only do I not have a fax here at home, but we got rid of our fax machine at the office ages ago! Can they take an email? Absolutely NOT. Are you kidding me? I can 'drop it by' if I can't fax it. Yeah, and I have no way to get there today with Marilyn is working until the wee hours (poor thing).

I get the calendar and scan it, then turn that into a PDF and forward it to Marilyn. We have a workaround there for crazy people who still fax. I call the clinic to double check that they got it. The woman says something about 'modern technology' and I laugh at her -- I couldn't help myself! A fax is NOT modern by any stretch of the imagination! She joins in, agreeing with me! Finally she confirms it's there, though not that LaToya will get it today. That probably means no more will be done about the clinic sending the additional needed paperwork until next week... Hell, I've only been waiting since mid-February.

I'm fed up with incompetence. It's everywhere. I did my job today with the Princess announcement at the website first thing this morning. I did the proofing of the Press Release, too. I spoke with Donn about IT. I fixed the webpage for compliance for the BBB. (But I only got a twenty minute nap...)

I should be sleeping (it's now 4:33). But I'm listening to Marilyn snoring and afraid not to be able to check on her.

I think the treadmill went nuts. It's old and has been used hard. She thinks she touched something, but that SOUND!!! And I sat on it after and it was burning hot! I just don't know.

Plus tonight the furnace was making some BAD sounds, too. We finally just turned it off.

Tomorrow we need to go the office so she can work on her PowerPoint for her presentation next week. Qi hope I can help her! Today she had to work (again) on Jeff's PowerPoint. There's nobody but me to help her!

And we MUST get manicures -- we should have done it last weekend. It would be nice to go shopping, as we're out of a bunch of stuff like toilet paper, cat food, dishwashing liquid and FOOD FOR US. WE just ate our last package of stale crackers tonight... We need eggs and crackers and coffee and on and on...

I'm heading to check on her. I hope this won't require a trip to the doctor. She's worrying about working out and her current training, and I'm worrying about her pain and ability to keep going.

What choice do we have?

I really need that energy to kick in any second now. This additional fatigue is impossible. And how does Marilyn keep going? Yesterday she did the announcement at the school. She and Lisa walked there (it was downtown) and got caught in a terrible downpour!

So many people in our office are sick, have medical issues or injuries -- or family members with issues. What a mess!

Well, sister Sue had a good time at cribbage last night, anyway. She had a nice conversation with me this morning. She keeps these short -- I think because that's all she can manage mentally...

I hope things are going REALLY WELL for all my friends. Keeping you guys in my thoughts and prayers. I love you and wish you well.
I spent nearly three hours looking through photos today for a project Rich and Marilyn are doing for Jeff. I'm pretty sure Jeff has NO CLUE the amount of man hours and effort that goes into this, seriously, considering it's unlikely he even has any idea I'm involved...

But after spending ages going through my Camera Roll on my iPhone, I found a bunch of this stuff on my external harddrive in digital camera downloads! Surprise! It's been ages since I relied on my camera, so I guess I didn't know what all I'd find that way.

The Princess selection for today was early on. I went back to bed after Marilyn left, but didn't sleep, as I was expecting text messages any time. This was number three, so I should be developing a pattern, but I still feel it's a bit clumsy. Oh well. There's no perfect way to do it.

I get a test text and respond to it. It's Kate seeing if she can reach us from a school auditorium (which isn't always easy). Later we get work the announcement has been made. This is a GO signal. Rich is on it fast, sending out the Press Release to the media. I'm waiting for a photo, which he doesn't need. In the meantime I'm usually already logged in to the website. I can load up the Bio and Speech and type in the name and school name. If there's a delay with the photo, I use a placeholder image I have ready.

When the photo arrives I size it twice -- once for Facebook (my own entry) and again for the website (200 x 200 pixels in size -- much smaller!). I put a pre-created frame the small version. Of course I sometimes have to mess around with the image to make it work... Then I load the image up to our library at the website and finally I go and upload it to the proper Princess page.

The first day I had to re-do the image, as I'd grabbed a frame Christine had tried last year, forgetting that we decided not to use it. It was purple and faded into the background, so we returned to my pink frame from previous years. The second Princess had a spelling error in her Bio and on the website (she has an interesting and somewhat difficult name -- and there's a capital I which ended up being replaced by an L and whatever... We finally got it fixed!) No issues today, anyway!

Marilyn will be doing the girl for tomorrow (at St. Mary's). So she just did the treadmill and her hair and is currently drying it before heading to bed (it's now past 2:00 a.m.).

These weeks where we have the Court announcements are stressful and very busy every year. I think moreso this year, but we're all doing our part.

I got word today that another member of our staff has a serious health issue and needs surgery and will be out for several weeks. Aside from me, there have been two other women who've had medical issues aside from this new one. It's that kind of year, I guess.

And Rich is sick (he was getting sick yesterday while I was with him), as is Jeff. Yikes. I hope it doesn't run through the entire staff. We just can't afford to have everyone out sick!

There's an 'Apple, Inc.' scam going on via telephone. I got several DOZEN calls today! I was sort of counting these at first. And then I actually talked to them a couple of times. They discuss your devices, but then want you to get on your computer. WTF??? Logic makes them hang up. So why call back over and over? I finally blocked the main number, then they started calling back with an 'Out of Area' number that you can't block! Geez.

Well, off to bed as it's late. More soon, hopefully!

Sweet dreams, all!
I've been writing up NOTES and trying to figure out how to catch up my blog. It seems hopeless. Hahaha. And I have a lot of IMPORTANT life moments to share and record. But maybe I just need to jump in and try to actually post an entry for a change. So not like me! I've been 'the person who blogs every day' -- and that's actually a part of my identity in many ways. And it's a part of my identity I like. So hopefully I'll start to do that again...

Anyway, for those who follow me at Facebook, you probably know my latest 'big deal.' I hate saying that, because as you all know: LiveJournal is my favorite Social Media activity. Period. Always has been and probably always will be. I love it here and Facebook isn't even a close second. Actually, I prefer Instagram to Facebook, so it's not even second. Hahaha. I guess the main thing about Facebook is it's quick... But it has a million strikes against it, aside from that.

Today was a training day at the festival office. The new person is Alyssa who happens to be brand new to Portland! She's only lived here a week and is coming to work for us. I was impressed by her. She'll sit in the 'front desk' position and is our Seasonal Receptionist who will assist Wanda (who I always think of as Receptionist, even though her official title is 'Administrative Assistant').

The training went well.

The day didn't.

I just didn't FEEL WELL. I'd had low blood sugar in the middle of the night. Woke up and went to test and fell back asleep. Marilyn woke me and gave me dark chocolate as I was in the 80's. I was so damn tired I couldn't stay awake to do something about the low -- that's the first time EVER that this has happened. Or as Marilyn said, "Did you just want to DIE, or what?" (Lows are no joke. You can easily go into a coma and not wake up again. But I have never gone back to sleep! Lows have always awakened me...)

I'll crack that up to my recent iron infusion from last Wednesday. I still plan to try and go back for myself and 'fill in' some of these past days. But anyway, last Tuesday was my follow up with Dr. Phan, my hematologist. I was so low on iron and so anemic that he wanted me to come in the very next day for an infusion. I was enthusiastic, so that's what happened.

Infusions are done in the same room that chemo (etc.) is done. It's a big room full of lounge-type chairs that can recline. There are a couple of small rooms for privacy, but almost everybody is just in the big room together. (They appear to put people who are vomiting and so on in the small rooms for obvious reasons.) My infusion takes several hours, and Marilyn had dropped me off at 9:00-ish as she had a meeting she had to attend. She did come back and sit with me for a spell before heading off to another meeting later.

There are side effects to the treatment. I've been EXHAUSTED -- more tired than I was before the infusion. This is mentioned quite a bit online, so I assume it's a common thing. Some days I feel like just sleeping the day away -- and I have been sleeping a lot. There are also other side effects (various pains and whatever), but whatever. If this ends up helping me, the side effects don't matter. I can put up with those to gain more energy!

I will supposedly see the positive effects of the treatment in 10 days to three weeks. And I go back again in May to test and see how it's all working out. I spoke to my medical manager (Nancy) from my clinic and it turns out her daughter has taken these all her life! She goes every six months or so (depending on how she's feeling). I've even said I'd go once a month if I could see real change.

Today the low blood sugar had me down, however. I was STILL LOW when we got up to get ready for work -- though not as low as in the middle of the night, thankfully! That always has me dragging, though. (sigh)

I could barely walk over to Starbucks with the gang. That's our new person tradition every time.

And aside from feeling puny, I was having some pain on and off, too. It really had me cranky, considering things were just not going well today. There were a ton of IT-related issues: Donn having a couple of issues I had to address, problems with the Court announcement for today, setup issues with the new Profile, a couple of issues on my computer (!!!), I suddenly discover I screwed up the new Profile and have to dump it and re-do it from scratch (a big hassle). I'm trying to do the phone setup (more complicated for the front desk phones). I'm trying to get Lisa to be able to do Jeff's calendar from her own Profile -- that was a huge waste of time! Marilyn finally said she could just sit on his computer to enter the info, which was great by me.

I was trying to follow very complicated instructions on how to go into the regedit and make some modifications. First off, I'm always reluctant to do it, but I have done it successfully in the past. However it does require really exacting details on HOW for me to even try it, which I could not find no matter how hard I looked. I was ready to have Kris assist me when we threw in the towel...

Marilyn is downstairs right now doing the treadmill so she can get her 10,000 steps. She went to Starbucks this morning then took a walk later on, so she had more than 8,000 steps. I just checked my Fitbit and I got 7,000 steps today -- not bad at all!!!

I also did some minor website adjustments today...

As I mentioned, Donn was there and we tackled some things. This will be on-going stuff. And Kris came in and he and went to lunch at the Turkey Place (he bought). I had half a sandwich and some soup. Very yummy! (Actually a lot of food for me these days...) Kris is trying to work on our internet connections and WiFi which is a big pain in the ass, frankly. But I guess that's pretty much true for everyone these days!!!

We came home around 6:00 which seems early. I remember sitting down in my chair in the living room and I guess I just went to sleep and didn't wake up until past 8:00. I was worn out.

We're going to head to bed shortly, which is fine by me. I know when the iron kicks in I'll feel like a million bucks. I just need to hang in there until then.

Two Princesses down and 12 more to go (we only have 14 this year, rather than 15). I still need to show somebody how to do the website upload, but for now I'm doing my best to handle it. We had a name issue today. It's an unusual name with difficult spelling. And even when you get the spelling right it looks wrong! Hahaha. Oh well. Plus I started with one photo and moved to a second one.

Weird thing about WordPress: even if you tell it to permanently delete an image, if you upload another image named the same it will revert to the original image! What a PITA!!! I can't overwrite an image with a new one unless I rename...

I think that actually might be true for ANYTHING you upload to the library, including PDFs. Again, that is ridiculous!!! There are so many things like this that I really hate about WordPress...

I'm sipping a ZESTY BLOOD ORANGE Diet Coke. I really haven't decided if I like it. Hahaha. I mean, I guess I like it, but I don't know if I love it. I think the skinny tall cans are weird, anyway. It doesn't fit in my holder that helps keep it cold. Geez.

The new people this year are not only liking, but seem to be loving my 'Beatles theme' for passwords. Haha. I like it, too.

And, yes, I wore a Beatles tee to work today. With my new gray pants. I was stunned to be down to that size when Marilyn and I went to shop for them! I thought I was an 18, but I'm now officially a 16. Shock. I also have new mini-boots that are gray that I adore. Gray has always been one of my fave colors.

Well, that's it for today and it's a start. I'm going to get back to this!!! And I miss all of you painfully! I hope things are good for you.

So many crazy things to share from February! What a busy month. Plus this change after turning 65 medically speaking has been very interesting. Man, it is so weird to be 65! I just can't even buy it most days. I don't feel 60, much less 65!!!

Sweet dreams and happy times, guys!
I was actually at the festival office today because Marilyn and I were expecting our friend Shari to come by. We've been trying to figure this out for weeks now (before Christmas). We have gifts and cards for both her birthday and Christmas to give her. It's quite a bit, so I did say I didn't think she could get it all home on the bus...

But by the time I finally reached her in the afternoon, it was too late for her to come out. Marilyn had to leave the office by 3:30 today for her dental appointment (and of course I went with her). Anyway, we're going to try again this Thursday.

It was a BUSY day at work, anyway. I had a bunch of stuff to tackle. And Donn was there and we have a lot of joint IT work to get done, as well.

I did get to go to Starbucks with Rich (and buy for him), so that was nice. Marilyn wasn't feeling well in the morning, so she didn't go along.

Donn didn't get to the office until WE WERE ALREADY IN STAFF MEETING (that is frankly not a good thing!), I'm afraid. Staff Meetings will move upstairs soon according to Jeff, as we're pretty packed into the downstairs conference room.

The notetaking/presentation laptop had gone 'missing' today (!!!) and I was pretty burned about it. I'm responsible for all this equipment, so I don't appreciate it when someone moves it without letting me know. Anyway, it was 'found' again and Marilyn is going to have it stored in her office from now on.

Happy moment: I kept telling Donn we had already set up a Profile on a computer for Sue B. LAST YEAR when she worked for us. But he hadn't found it and Marilyn was convinced I didn't do it from things Sue had said. And Donn had no record of doing it. I think that's because I actually set up her Profile last year (and I rarely do these anymore, Donn usually does them now). Anyway, I suddenly noticed one of the PHONES was set up for her (!!!), so I had Donn check that computer and sure enough! There was her Profile! Profiles can take from and hour to two hours to do, so this is a real time (and money) saver...

No, I didn't get together with either Steven or Jessica P. about various web-related items. But as I told Steven in the afternoon, it's early yet and I think we'll know more in around a week from now.

But I was disappointed not to be able to do the Clown-related stuff with Angel as planned. Oh well.

I'm drinking 'Herb Guru' right now (very thirsty!). It's pretty nasty tasting, but is supposed to be 'good for you' (if you know what I mean!). It came from the office and I wanted something cold to drink. I think I'm not really that desperate as I taste it, however! Hahaha.

I got 11,000+ steps today! Most of that was without the treadmill. I only had to do around 10 minutes on the treadmill to finish off my 10,000 -- then just walked to get the rest. I often get a lot of steps on work days.

I did go to Starbucks with Rich and then took a walk with Marilyn -- she's very dedicated to her walking and running right now! Marilyn did the treadmill and also got around 11,000 steps.

We dashed to Fred Meyer tonight to get pop (we were out) and I also got my new Fitbit. It's an Alta wristband one. I'm not sure I actually like it that much, to tell you the truth. I guess we'll see. What I wasn't happy about tonight was it NOT tracking my actual steps as I took them. And it would track steps and display them and them SUBTRACT steps. What the HELL is that about????????

I guess we'll see how it goes. It was ridiculously expensive compared to buying the Zip, even on sale (Freddies had a sale on them). Oh well.

I already have more than a 1,000 steps for Wednesday, anyway, as Marilyn was on the treadmill past midnight, so I just kept walking back and forth, too.

She's playing Zuma now while I'm typing this up.

David at FISH resolved one of my festival website issues that I just couldn't figure out. Turns out it's something he can touch but I can't, so that's fine...

I felt bad for Marilyn needing to go to the dentist. She had two cavities in the same tooth! She was in pain tonight, anyway.

We picked up Taco Time on the way home -- there's one near the dentist -- and had that for dinner. Yummy!

Then we both ended up having a nap before going shopping. We barely made it to the store!

Jessica M. was out today. She's having some medical issues that we both relate to. I hope things improve for her soon, poor thing...

Jim (June's husband) has a birthday soon.

Marilyn is taking Friday off work (she has to work all day Saturday). I have my appointment with the hemetologist on Friday in the morning. Again, the reason I'm supposedly seeing a blood specialist is that I have too much lead in my blood. I have to wonder if it's also about my pancreas, but I don't really know, to be honest. I guess we'll see how it goes on Friday.

I still need to tackle the huge pile of paperwork which of course I didn't get done over the weekend. (sigh)

Well, off to bed soon. It's nearly 2:00 a.m. Naturally when we're exercising late it's hard to get to bed earlier...

I think all my steps speak for how much better I felt today. A big deal considering I started out the day around 5:00 a.m. with LOW BLOOD SUGAR yet again! We were making jokes about it. 'What if I hadn't had raspberries before bed last night? Would I have died in my sleep?' I guess that doesn't sound that funny, but seriously! I eat berries before bed and still have low blood sugar in the early morning!!!

I bring that back up without spiking by eating some DARK chocolate, which works great. We need to try that thing they suggest now about eating dark chocolate before working out -- supposedly it's good for you, too.

Sweet dreams, friends!
I didn't feel sick or anything, but I just felt a bit 'off' (if that makes sense. I guess you could say I've had better days...

I did get a bunch of festival website work done, anyway. But some issues came up that I can fix, so I did contact Brit and David about it. Brit wrote back, but she isn't quite following what I'm referencing. I might need to phone her tomorrow...

I'm in the office on Tuesday. Shari is supposed to come by. And Donn is coming in to work. Marilyn told me Staff people are excited I'm coming to the office, which is nice. It's lovely to be that wel liked by co-workers.

I promised Rich we'd go to Starbucks.

Marilyn and I really didn't have dinner to speak of tonight. She fixed this cauliflower and mashed potatoes thing she'd picked up and it was delicious! Very low calories. We need to get more. Frozen and heats in the microwave, so easy to prepare.

We also ate a bit of cheese and crackers...

I did my pills today. And discovered I was out of Lisinopril -- my high blood pressure medicine. The pharmacy said I had no prescription. So I called my clinic who confirmed I had no prescription. WTF? I've been on it for years. No mention was made of taking me off. And my blood pressue was high during my last visit. I said if Leslie wanted me off the pills, of course !'d stop. And left it at that.

Nobody called me back.

This evening I got a text that my pills had been refilled. Geez.

I colored my hair today, which needed it.

I was working on another project in both Word 2007 on the computer, then in the WPS App on my iPad. It was complicated, but good practice for me. I don't use Word that much. Actually, I probably use WPS more than Word.

True Grit is coming on. (smile) God, we love that movie.

Marilyn was home by 5:00 tonight -- unheard of. She's been tired with her working out.

Talked briefly to sister Sue today.

We had raspberries before bed. Nice.

My blood sugar is quite good today.

Time for bed.
The goal for the weekend? Rest and more rest. But to continue healthy eating (which we've now done for months) and to continue our goal to get to bed earlier and get more sleep. Sometimes that ends up more about sleeping in on Saturday and Sunday than it does about getting to bed earlier on the night before. Haha.

We're still seeing the effects of adding more and more exercise. That means feeling tired as our bodies adjust to the additional workouts. All normal and all good. We're cutting ourselves a lot of slack as we work on getting in better shape, physically.

Marilyn is averaging something like 18,000 steps a day right now -- astonishing!!! She's not only walking, but running. She goes for walks during the day and then does the treadmill at night. She's inspirational.

My hip was bothering me today, I'm afraid. I was kind of hoping I wouldn't need another bursal injection this soon, but it's often what keeps me walking, it seems. The pain is not as bad as usual, though. I have to guess that's about diet and other factors, as I'm generally in constant pain. Interesting!

I can't remember what I'm averaging right now, but it's in excess of my 'goal' of 4,000 steps a day, anyway.

Friday night Marilyn and I actually went to a spur-of-the-moment movie, "Call Me By Your Name," which was really enjoyable. I highly recommend it! Pretty remarkable for a film with subtitles...

We took walks on both Saturday and on Sunday. Saturday on Sauvie Island and today at the Twin Tunnels path.

Mostly we took it easy and got a lot of sleep, though...

I got hair color and will color tomorrow as I'm growing white roots. It makes me look weirdly 'bald' because of the light-colored roots! Very unattractive, anyway...

I'm using the same medium brown shade as last time, rather than one of my darker and redder shades. We'll see how that goes, anyway.

We see Shari on Tuesday. I have Donn coming in that day to work -- and obviously I'll be there! Haha.

Marilyn just did the treadmill forever while we watched "How the Beatles Changed the World" on Netflix (1 hour and 49 minutes long). It was very entertaining. Then she washed and is now drying her hair so we can head to bed...

I highly recommend this Beatles show, too, by the way. Very well done and very interesting!

I need to take my nighttime pills (I'm late!) and head that way very soon...

I really can't seem to get back in the habit of blogging! I'm disappointed in myself. I know I've got a lot going on, but I've tried to never let that stand in my way in the past. Oh well.

I have my appointment with the specialist on Friday. I hope that goes well...

Sweet dreams, friends and family!
It's 2:00 a.m.

I just finished up the damn garbage and recycling (real garbage week). I should have finished long before this. I had a decent start earlier today...

Marilyn and I had naps after dinner. We were very tired from our exercise for last night. So she failed to get her 10,000 steps and I failed to get 6,000 steps. We just didn't wake up in time!


Yesterday (January 31) was sister Sue's 75th birthday. It's nearly impossible for us to see her on a weekday. I did phone her early in the morning and sang to her. But then NOBODY could reach her all day long by phone! It turns out her son Larry took her out to his house for the day and to stay overnight. It would have been nice if he could have sent me a lousy text message to tell me. But hell no.

Her daughter Candy and granddaughter Nicole took her out to dinner the night before her birthday. Candy left the morning of her birthday for a vacation in California with a friend, asking if Marilyn and I could 'look in on' her Mom. I explained we'd been there both days over the weekend, but weekdays are hard (everybody knows how we work, so it really doesn't need explaining).

I did speak to Sue today who was very confused. She hadn't received her phone messages from either June or Marilyn that I know were left for her yesterday. She said Larry and family had had 'dinner' for her birthday and that was it. Seriously?

We have gifts which we'll give her on the weekend... (sigh)

And I'm reading updates on Facebook of Candy's good time in Cali. I don't begrudge her. We got our trip back in December in NYC (not mentioning that we rarely ever even get to our beach house in Seaside, but I don't begrudge anyone else a good time or time away). I'm glad for her -- just sad for Sue.

But Sue is a problem as she won't cooperate with anyone. Not sure she can even if she wanted to...

Meanwhile Marilyn and I have our own health issues to deal with, including her IBS-d. I'm a week away from seeing the blood specialist. (sigh)

I did set up to see our friend Shari next week on Tuesday. We've been trying to do that since before Christmas and now it's February...

We're still trying hard to eat better and exercise more and get all our work done -- there's a ton of it.

Real life is where we have trouble. We both have 2018 goals, but not enough time to hit all of them.

Time for bed.
Hey, Charlie??? What the HELL is the matter with you? Why can't you get back to blogging every day! You'll be very sorry you didn't... Well, I'm annoyed with myself, I must admit. But it's one of those 'something has to give' things. I can't get over how much there is to DO every single day.

Well, it's my attempt to play catch up, anyway!

Marilyn had Court orientation first thing in the morning.

Then we ran some errands, but didn't do our manicures -- we just couldn't get ourselves to go.

One of the things we did was to drop by Sue's house briefly.

Then Marilyn and I took a ride to Kelly Point Park and took a walk there. (We're trying to get a lot of walking in right now.)

We were up late to see the Men's Finals for the Australian Open Tennis Championship of 2018. But we didn't even manage to stay awake for the end of the match as it ran so long into the night! Roger did win, and we were pulling for him.

We got up in time to go do our manicures. We both went VERY SHORT this time around. We both want to be able to work on learning the guitar and there's no way to make chords with long nails! Not even as long as we normally have, which really aren't that long. I think it would be safe to say my nails are actually short right now. And neither one of us cared much about the color, either. Hahaha.

After getting our nails done we stopped to see Sue and take her to get Starbucks. But we were in a hurry as we needed to get home and change into our uniforms for the funeral we were attending. We wanted to be there early as we knew it would be a big turn out. It was downtown, so we needed to get parking, as well (not easy downtown). And walk to the event.

It was held at the Portland Art Museum in the ballroom, and was packed with people. This event was for the amazing Vera Katz. Vera Katz (August 3, 1933 – December 11, 2017) was an American Democratic politician here in the state of Oregon. She was the first woman to serve as Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, and later became the 49th mayor of Portland. She was elected to the Oregon House in 1972, and served as mayor from 1993 to 2005.

I have a photo of Vera with me here in my home office. Marilyn knew Vera quite well and did a lot of work with her when Vera was our Mayor. (Marilyn was invited to her retirement party, which was a big deal at the time. Marilyn took Jeff as her 'date' so he would be able to attend...) You can read more about Vera HERE.

After that we picked up Sue and went for a short ride up the Gorge (Columbia River Gorge). We stopped in Cascade Locks and had a bite to home before heading back and dropping off Sue.

Marilyn and I considered going to a movie on Sunday but were just too tired, so decided to skip it. There are several movies we'd like to see, but we haven't been up for it much recently.

This is ridiculous, but I don't remember yesterday that well. I was doing things around the house and messing with the festival website.

The main thing I recall is Marilyn on the treadmill running and me walking back and forth downstairs in the family room to get my steps. I was struggling with my damn Zip Fitbit which appears to be broken! The way these are made if you have to take the battery in and out (and they just eat batteries), then the little panel that opens and closes ends up cracking!

I did finally get 5,000 steps, anyway...

Oh! Marilyn brought home veggie burritos from Chipotle for dinner. That was nice!

Marilyn had to go to the dentist and came directly home after.

Marilyn has been waking up every morning at 5:01 a.m. Just an aside...

I spent time on the festival website again. And trying to work with Barracuda (our SPAM blocker), which I still don't understand all that well. (sigh)

I went out and once again fixed the umbrella for the critters by the tree. While I was there Carl dropped by and chatted with me. He's a black neighbor who would really like to start doing some yard work for me. He also mentioned today that he paints houses, so you never can tell...

I made it clear I don't want to fire Hector. But if Hector decides he can't keep going with the yardwork, I'll need somebody new. I also might want him to finish up the job Hector started on the tree (and never finished). Depending on how high Carl's bid is, of course. He's supposed to come by on Friday.

We ate leftovers from the Chipotle order for dinner tonight. We frequently eat leftovers now, as we rarely ever finish a meal. I had leftover Bong food for lunch (I stretched that meal into four different meals, actually!).

When Marilyn got up early this morning it woke me and I checked my blood sugar, which was low again. So I had some dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is actually good for you -- and I've gotten so I don't care for milk chocolate anymore -- who would have ever thought that would happen??? I just eat enough to bring me back up again without spiking, anyway. Lows happen for me when I eat very little and also exercise. But I'd rather be low than high...

Loving my new insulin pen, by the way! What a change from syringes with those miserable big needles that always hurt.

I tried to call June today, but missed her. I hope I can see her tomorrow...

We just each had a bowl of raspberries before bed. They weren't the best -- rather green and sour. Oh well. We don't eat many sweet things anymore, so we enjoy this treat quite a bit. (We don't eat that much period, if you want to know the truth.)

Speaking of, my weight was down a pound today. That makes me happy!

Marilyn had massage therapy tonight with Amanda in Donald, Oregon (that's a LONG drive). I did the treadmill while she was gone. I was listening to chords on my phone (using a speaker) and watching the movie "A Hard Day's Night" (the sound off) on TV. I got 6,000 steps today!

I got my paperwork for my upcoming appointment. It's tons of pages! I looked it over today and it's daunting. But I did force myself to go and type up my entire list of prescriptions and supplements -- and Marilyn was kind enough to print it out for me! So that was a step in the right direction, anyway. I wonder why they have to make all of this so hard to do? (sigh)

Well, we're heading to bed shortly. Believe it or not, it's not midnight yet!!! Maybe we'll make it to bed early tonight -- at least, early for us!

Sweet dreams, guys!
tennis ball
Just for the record, after much phoning back and forth -- I was very aggressive about all this -- I finally got my insulin in a pen and began using it. Plus I have an appointment with the specialist, too (again, I ended up phoning them). That appointment isn't until February 9, so as Marilyn put it, they must not think I'm dying or anything. Haha.

It's actually past 2:00 a.m. Right now -- we're up watching the Women's Finals for the Australian Open Tennis Championship right now. It's a set each for Halep and Wozniacki, both really outstanding players. Both are close to the same age and hit the ball really hard. It's been an impressive match, which is always nice for the Finals.

I spoke a couple of times with our friend Shari today -- very nice chatting with her. And I spoke several times with sister Sue, who has been really depressed recently. She called before this match, but not since then, so I don't know if she's still awake and watching...

We like talking to her during the match, so I'm sorry she hasn't phoned again. We can't call her as we might wake Candy...

I don't mean to dwell on it, but it's certainly nice having the pen for my insulin injections! So much less painful! It's wonderful that insurance covers it. The pen is ridiculously expensive. At one point we were going to try and pay out-of-pocket for it, but it was hundreds of dollars a month (!!!).

Marilyn did the treadmill again tonight, but didn't get her 10,000 steps. She does have a lot of steps for Saturday, however! I got 6,000 steps today, I'm happy to say.

I did the sheets (bed linen) today. And cleaned the cat boxes.

We have work and errands tomorrow. And a funeral on Sunday. It might not be a miserable pouring down weekend. The weather lately is nasty, cold and very wet.

Sweet dreams, my friends!
I had a FRUSTRATING day from the perspective of my medical concerns. I spent ages on the phone this morning! Back and forth about getting my referral to the specialist and then back and forth about my insulin pen. Thankfully the pharmacist mentioned I had a covered prescription for the pen, but they had neglected to send a prescription for the needles (!!!) to go with the pen! Geez, I could have ended up there with no way to actually inject the stuff. WTF????????

Marilyn had suggested I get the medical manager Nancy in the mix -- she phoned me back in November. What a brilliant idea! Anyway, she ended up a big help.

I thought I'd hear from the hematologist today, but didn't. I hope I hear tomorrow...

Went to Starbucks this morning with several people. I had low blood sugar early today (84) and was still pretty low when I finally got up (101). So I got food as well as coffee, just to be safe! I always get a bunch of steps at work, so I need to be careful.

I had lunch at the Turkey Place with Kris -- I ate an all-veggie sandwich (half, actually).

After that Kris and I had a lengthy meeting about Barracuda, which I think (fingers crossed) I understand better now. We shall see!!!

Then in the afternoon I had a website meeting with Rich, Kate and Calisa -- basically a start in the correct direction (I hope!).

I need to chat with Adeena about her role. I've kept her on the Website Team, as she has some skills. But not sure if she has the time for this or not...

Marilyn had severe IBS-d today! Miserable, actually. I felt really bad for her. It's hard enough to do the work without the health issues.

She's inpressed with Lisa (her new seasonal assistant), which I'm glad to hear. I have really positive feelings about both Lisa and Sophia.

I ate a peanut butter bun for dinner. Sometimes peanut butter doesn't sit well with me. We've been eating a lot of it with no issues, so I thought I'd be okay. But I had HELLISH stomach and back pains all evening and night tonight. I'm still not over them now.

The good news is that the bloody spots all over both arms have nearly entirely disappeared -- at least for now. I'll take whatever good news I can, of course!

Marilyn got 11,000 steps today! She just did the treadmill -- and was bleeding after that. I think from all the IBS issues plus the rubbing of running and walking on the treadmill. Poor thing!

I was just shy of 6,000 steps today! If I had looked before midnight I'd have tried to get those steps (less than 200). That burns me! Hahaha.

I never had time to phone sister Sue today, so hopefully I'll do that tomorrow. I usually check in with her daily, but it's hard when we're really busy and then tired.

Time to head to bed (it's nearly 1:30 a.m.).

I LOVE the new Burger King ad is trying to teach customers about net neutrality (using Whoppers to criticize the recent repeal of regulations that proponents said ensured equal access to the Internet). It's really brilliant! I have the link somewhere, but am too tired and lazy to hunt for it. Maybe tomorrow!

Why is there no 'pain' mood? They should have fixed the moods years ago... (sigh)

Sweet dreams!
I just got off the treadmill after walking for around 35-40 minutes. And then I got terribly nauseous and dizzy and frustrated and started to cry, half in anger (to tell the truth). Geez. No matter how hard I try to be more healthy, my own body is fighting me every step of the way.

Waah, waah. Poor me. What a 'Little Bitch' I am... Ignore that, please!

Okay, moving on now! It's 12:30 a.m. and I need to wash my hair so we can head to bed! Long day tomorrow. I'm meeting with Kris at the office for one thing.

I also really need to meet with Kate and Calisa about the website. And contact David at FISH about another website issue. (sigh)

My Fitbit appears to be broken. I can't believe I need yet another Fitbit!!! The way these are made, the cover tends to crack -- which is what happened to my last one. Seriously??? I was so burned I was going to miss steps coming upstairs to replace the battery. These things eat batteries, by the way. It's ridiculous! I love Fitbit, but certainly think they could make them better!

I did get my 4,000 steps for today -- plus 1,000 toward tomorrow. So that's good. Marilyn got 18,000 today!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I left a message for setting up my referral appointment today, but didn't hear back. Tomorrow I'll need to phone again and leave a different contact number and keep my fingers crossed, I guess.

I was very upset with Latoya, Leslie's assistant, today. She implied I was shouting at her. I would never do that! I hadn't even raised my voice. I can't understand where she was getting that. But, yes, I was disagreeing with her, I admit. You can disagree without raising your voice, though.

I leave a message for her to call me. I've told the front desk the entire message, but still want to tell her. It's that TWICE they have sent the wrong prescription for insulin to my pharmacy. I have two insulins. I don't use the second one. I certainly do use the first one. I'd like to get the first insulin in a pen -- and with my new insurance I'm pretty sure it's going to be covered. But they keep sending the second one to the pharmacy. It is covered, so that sounds like the first one will be, too.

So instead of sending the wrong prescription, please send the correct one. That's the crux of the matter.

When she finally phones me she doesn't want to do this. I ask if it's too much trouble and she basically says yes. She wants me to phone my prescription coverage provider and find out if it's covered or not. So after she has me terribly upset I agree to do that.

I call them. They check and say yes, it is covered. But they tell me I must get my health provider to send in a prescription. Wait. Is there an echo in here???

I call the front desk back and relay the message, telling the woman there is no way I'm going to speak to Latoya again after being upset by her. Yeah, there's no customer service anymore. And, sure, it didn't hurt me to make the call. But it's not my job -- it's Latoya's job. What the hell.

Anyway, assuming she ever does that, I should get my insulin in a pen finally -- which is wonderful!!! It will be so much less painful than injecting with a vial and syringe. I guess I'll find out soon whether she'll get it there for me or not...

I had to also replace the batteries on our Aria scale (it's a Fitbit-tied scale) today. I really like the scale and the fact it's tied to our device. Very nice!

The weather here is pouring nasty rain and cold, too. Just filthy weather! Ugh. And there's no end in sight. I only went out a couple of times all day and hated every second of it.

Took out garbage today and picked up around the house. Wrote some fiction (around 1,500 words, I think). I can knock off a thousand words easily, really, and love doing it...

Marilyn got home at a reasonable hour but very tired. Me, too (surprise). I'm constantly fatigued, but there are apparently a couple of decent reasons for it! Haha. We both had naps and lost track of time and she missed her massage therapy!

The bad thing: we hadn't taken our ballots in yet! And we missed the deadline. And our yes vote was badly needed. (sigh)

We are voters in this house! We rarely ever miss a vote...

Time to dash and do my hair. Sweet dreams, friends.
Monday. Marilyn felt poorly and stayed home. We BOTH slept a bunch today.

We did go to try and pick up my insulin, though. Leslie repeated the same wrong insulin. WTF?

We got some butternut squash at Costco around Christmas -- it's frozen. We hadn't tried it until tonight. It's really pretty good.

We're watching the Australian Open Tennis, but not fanatically. Often Marilyn is up all night and gets no sleep, but not so this year.

We picked up a TON of supplements that we needed (well, I needed). Vitamin D, Vitamin B 12 and on and on and on. Piles of bottles. Geez.

And we're about to have raspberries before bed. We both used to hate them and now love them. Go figure!

I've been having stomach pain on and off today -- it could be worse, I suppose.

Tomorrow I need to try setting up my appointment with the specialist.

It's been cold and rainy today -- really filthy weather. Yuck.
Marilyn and I tried to take it a bit easy this weekend -- never a simple thing for us!

We had issues at the office we had to deal with (sigh) and problems with sister Sue. I wish Sue could somehow get along to some degree with Candy, seeing as they've been living together for decades now. And Sue DOES need to use her oxygen and CPAP, take her damn pills and get exercise! She's been eating way too much, drinking too many fluids and lying around too much. The pills thing is maddening, considering I call her constantly to try and help.

She was in massive tears on more than one occasion when I spoke to her. I'm sympathetic, but she's not trying hard enough. And I can't blame Candy for getting worn out with her...

Apparently Sue did go to a cribbage tournament this weekend which made her happy, anyway... But expecting us to come there when I told her we COULD NOT DO SO this weekend is asking a lot. (sigh)

Saturday, January 20:
Marilyn and I attended the funeral for our friend Swede. Besides being a long-time member of the Royal Rosarians (which was how we knew him), he was also in the Elks and was a Mason. This is, interestingly enough, the first Masonic funeral Marilyn and I have ever attended. Fascinating, anyway!

We sat with Connie and Marcia at the funeral.

We stopped by the festival office afterwards and found that a window in Marilyn's office had been broken!!! These are huge windows (the building has a lot of glass), by the way. We got immediately concerned that someone could kick in the window and access her office and the entire building. So we were dealing with this for some time. Trying to figure out who to get to help us! Jeff was not initially much help. We took several items away with us to protect them (the crown, scepter and Marilyn's scepter).

We ran some errands and called it good...

Sunday, January 21:
We slept in today. We've been working out and have had a lot going on in January and we're TIRED. So sleeping is a good deal.

We needed to go to the office and see what (if anything) had been done about the window. Happily it got boarded up!!! I wonder when they'll replace it? It's far from lovely right now.

We did go to Starbucks and had brunch out (we were starving). And a long nap once we got home.

We decided to see a movie on the spur of the moment. We went to "Phantom Thread" which had excellent acting and an amazing setting, but was a VERY STRANGE movie, even so. It has 91% at Rotten Tomatoes -- which is unheard of! But seriously, it's an odd film. I'm not sure I'd recommend it to others. It was not what we'd been expecting.

No, we did not go shopping for supplements tonight as planned. We were too tired. We need to go, though.

Time for bed as it's 1:00 a.m. now. Marilyn has NO MEETINGS tomorrow! I hope that makes for a better day for her. Last week was brutal and she's pretty unhappy with her job right now...

An aside: I'm a bit burned I got nothing from my nurse practitioner Leslie on Saturday in the mail. I'm waiting to get that referral, for one thing -- but also the printed explanation of my labs, seeing as I wasn't even able to take notes when she phoned. Geez. I guess I'll have to call and get on this on Monday. Annoying.

Sweet dreams, friends.
I mentioned that my nurse practitioner (Leslie) phoned yesterday while Marilyn and I were 'out and about' during Sue's hair appointment. She insisted on going through ALL the damn lab numbers. Marilyn said after that we had made an appointment ESPECIALLY to discuss my current situation, and we didn't want to get into the rest of it.

I think she was trying to give me 'good news' before bad news -- it's ALL good news when you're dying to know what's going on! Just give me NEWS, can you?

I wish I'd been somewhere I could have made notes, but oh well. Cholesterol was HIGHER. Are you f-ing KIDDING ME?????? I've been almost totally vegetarian for months now! Certainly eating the best of my life. But the 'good' cholesterol was better. And my triglycerides were better. My A1C was 7.5, which is also better. Not perfect by any means, but better. I figured it had to be, as I'm pretty low much of the day when I test, and often very low, as well. And now I refuse to immediately pull it back up and spike, even if that strategy makes me miserable for hours...

She told me something weird about my blood being 'thick' (what???). Then dropped a bombshell that I have very high LEAD in my blood. She's referring me to a hematologist -- she mentioned three times not to 'freak out' because this would also be an oncologist. Apparently the two go hand in hand. She must have thought I'd jump to the conclusion that I had cancer. Me? I just want that referral to a specialist!

Finally, she said one of my pancreatic enzymes was normal. Then seemed forced to admit that another enzyme WAS high. She didn't say WHAT she wants to do about my pancreas, but 'Doctor Mur' (Marilyn) has scored again! I can't begin to list how often Marilyn does medical research and finds the correct prognosis! Those spots on my arms? Even with the pancreas issues Leslie was trying to say there was a different cause. They are what clued Marilyn in...

I've had pancreatic symptoms since around 2002. That's more than 15 years. Pancreatic problems can cause diabetes, which happened between then and now.

But if you look up high lead, it can cause many of the same issues as pancreatitis. WTF?

One article said that 40% of all people had toxic levels of lead. 40%??????? Are you kidding me? The only reason she found this was because she did such a wide range of blood tests. Clearly they don't normally check for lead.

How do you get it, I asked. She suggested my work place or the pipes in our house. Marilyn and I drink bottled water, and even make coffee with bottled water, so I find that unlikely, unless you can absorb it during showers or when washing in a sink.

However, when chatting about it with Kathy (my hairdresser doing Sue's hair), she mentioned sanding paint in her house. I did a TON of that in our last house. Tons and tons. It was a 1920's house. I never thought to wear a mask for the dust. But I can't really discover how long lead stays in the body. It can end up in organs and your bones. But it seems so random and wild. We made many jokes about licking window sill paint. Brother.

A reduced diet can be bad for people dealing with lead. Geez. Vitamin C helps, as does calcium (I've been eating far less cheese lately). And I'm low on iron and anemic, too. Really? Iron also helps with lead...

I have no clue what to think about all this. Just give me the referral, please!

Meanwhile, Marilyn had an awful day at work. Lately she's been hating her job. That sucks. All this extra work because of Jeff's new position with IFEA is ridiculous. She has more work than any one person can handle without adding to her workload. It's not fair.

Sister Sue is not cooperating with us about her health. She's not taking her pills which are essential to save her life. But at least her hair looks great! (smile) Kathy had been nervous at one point, but the color is perfect! And we love her cut.

I chatted with Sue several times today, anyway.

And I was doing work from here at home. Kris and I are going to meet next Wednesday about Barracuda, thank God! I really need this resolved.

Leftovers for dinner. We love Bong food. For me, that's noodles, rice and veggies.

Marilyn did the treadmill while I walked from the family room into Marilyn's bedroom and back again -- over and over. Marilyn is on a real mission and doing great. I've had a tough week with the pain and dizziness.

Sister Sue called tonight crying. I just can't go into it now. Maybe tomorrow. What a mess.

We have a funeral tomorrow...

Time to head to bed, anyway.

Don't worry -- Marilyn and I always manage to stay positive!

Sweet dreams, all!
I had an awful night last night. I went to wash my hair and got terribly dizzy in the shower. After that I dried my hair and headed down to bed. But I got to feeling worse when I tried to lie down. So then I went in the family room planning to rest sitting up -- but the TV was driving me nuts. Marilyn was asleep on the sofa in the family room watching Australian Open Tennis.

I went upstairs to my bedroom and piled up pillows so I could rest sitting up. This wasn't very comfortable because I was so miserable with dizziness and nausea. I had left Marilyn a note telling her I was sick in case she woke up worried about me.

Eventually I fell asleep and then Marilyn came and checked in on me. I was somewhat better by then, thankfully. But I figure I was awake more than half the night. (And in pain and feeling horribly sick.)

The question was whether or not I'd be able to go to work today.

Happily I did that and was able to walk to Starbucks (as we always do for a new person). And then train Lisa, who I really love. A very sweet woman who also seems smart and quick to learn. We were done with her training by 12:30 p.m.

THIS IS SO ANNOYING!!! For whatever reason, my computer is doing the 'stalling' thing it does! I type and it takes it ages to catch up to me. I've no idea why that happens when it does. But I'm in a hurry, so this is even more frustrating. (sigh)

I'll skip everything else from work. I was just glad to be there and things went well. The website was down and when I contacted Jeremiah at Atmosera he had it back up in around five minutes! Impressive. We were under a server attack, I'm sorry to say...

Marilyn had meetings all day long. We took off for one near home. She dropped me here and then when she was done we went to get sister Sue for her hair appointment. This time I had her going to Kathy, my hair dresser.

While Sue was at her appointment, Marilyn and I went shopping for a few items I needed (kitty litter, etc.). And we picked up food for dinner at Bong.

Sue's hair turned out PERFECT! The right shade of red and a lovely cut! Great job, Kathy!!!

I just did the garbage and recycling (real garbage week). And Marilyn is washing and doing her hair. She wore her hair up today (really nice!) and wore her new dress which looked fab.

Now it's past 1:00 a.m. and we're heading to bed any minute...

My nurse practitioner (Leslie) called while we were out with results from my labs. Too much to cover tonight. I'll share tomorrow (what we know now, anyway).

Sweet dreams, friends!
I'm better tonight, thank God. The pain earlier today was awful. At one point I was going to lie down, it was so bad. But then Donn pgoned about the Profile he was doing for me, and he was having issues, so I moved to the computer and never looked back...

On the positive side, my blood sugar was EXCELLENT today. Barely eating will do that. Seriously, when I'm in pain it often screws up my count, as pain can drive a person to be high. Not today.

I was 100 this morning. I had a peanut butter bun for breakfast, plus a pot of coffee. Much later in the day I dropped to 88 and felt slightly crappy, but I ate a plate of leftover Bong (noodles and veggies and fried rice with no meat or egg). There wasn't much, but it was enough. Marilyn came home and had a peanut butter bun for dinner, so I did, too.

I got a bunch of festival website work done today. And I finally managed to explain the Outlook distribution group to Donn. Good thing I get it. I have the steps for creating a Public Folder all written carefully out, and then adding Distribution Lists, too. And how to maintain these, and rename them if necessary. I reasoned all of that out for myself. I'd share with Donn, but if he finds simply making sure a User has access hard, then this stuff would be way too much. I'm fine managing it...

Last week I had to remind Rich how to maintain his own Public Folders he uses for PR. He seems to get it pretty well, actually.

I'd already set up Lisa's phone last week, thankfully. Sometimes I forget to do that, as it's specific to the phone system and not a computer setup item, per se. But our phones ARE tied to our computers (VOIP - voice over IP), so that's not entirely true. And nobody else is able to do this, so... At one point I was going to teach both Christine (now gone) and Donn how it was done. Oh well.

I did some research on things today. I was going to write, but didn't quite get there.

I did do dishes and took out the garbage, anyway. Yesterday I cleaned out a drawer in the office. I'd been looking for heavy duty tape for my outdoor project, and just jumped in. I got rid of MORE THAN HALF the contents! I'm pretty proud, as it goes against my normal tendencies so much.

Today I also dusted around my computer desk.

I did talk to the office several times. Marilyn was really busy, so we didn't talk much.

I'd love to reason out this stomach pain. Considering I'm barely eating, especially.

Our CABLE was out tonight! We pay way too much to ever have issues! We're also unhappy with our WiFi. Damn.

NASTY weather today!!!!! Pouring rain. Marilyn got soaked. She had a long, late day.

Well, I train Lisa (Marilyn's new seasonal assistant) tomorrow. So I need to wash my hair and head to bed very soon...

Sweet dreams!
So part of whatever-the-hell-is-going-on-with-me-now is that I have stomach pain and back pain. I THINK the stomach pain comes first and radiates into my back. But frankly, I'm not that sure. It's very low in my body, anyway. But this evening and night the stomach pain is MURDER. (ugh)

TMI: I'm constipated as I frequently am. I discussed this (yet again) with Leslie and said I didn't find that fiber was much help. She agreed saying some people were just 'slow' -- and Marilyn immediately agreed, as my gastro doctor was very clear about that with me.

I'm eating VERY LITTLE right now. And when my stomach hurts I really don't WANT anything to eat. (duh)

Today I had a small 'hunk' of a burrito. And some saltine crackers. I've had several cups of coffee. Oh! I had a small slice of bread. The neighbor brought over fresh baked bread for our belated Christmas gift and I had a slice (it's a very small loaf). And that's all I've had to eat. Unfortunately eating very little does not encourage my bowel to do its thing...

Marilyn wasn't feeling too hot this morning and stayed home. We both slept late.

Marilyn later went in to work for a meeting she had. She left around 3:30 and got home around 8:00.

While she was gone I went outside and worked on the 'feeding station' I have near the garage for the crows and other critters. I've had that up some time now and the wind never bothered it until recently! Now the frame which is light-weight metal got bent. I used duct tape and some pieces of wood to reinforce it. It's standing again, but I have no clue for how long... Marilyn saw it and didn't sound hopeful. Hahaha.

I talked to both sister Sue and my friend June tonight. I hadn't spoken to them and wanted to check in. I enjoy hearing the sound of a voice that I care about...

Loving "The Greatest Showman" soundtrack! Wonderful music.

Marilyn is LOVING her new iPhone! It's set up and working great now. Tonight we were trying to get the Jamoji speaker (looks like the poop emoji) to sync and having a pain -- but we reasoned it out, finally. That little speaker works great, by the way!

Marilyn was doing the treadmill and wanted the music. We were singing along part of the time! Great, great music.

My blood sugar today was AMAZING all day long! The highest it was ended up being 135 (!!!) AFTER EATING (unheard of!). But I was mostly in the 114 range all day long.

Not eating is great for diabetes, it seems. Hahaha. Well, as long as I don't get a LOW, that is!

I guess that's about it for today. We need to head to bed soon. We've been trying to go to bed before midnight, but it's hard.

I hope I hear results soon. I'd at least like to know why I'm having this pain. (sigh)

Sweet dreams!
sleeping-john, john-sleeping
Marilyn and I went to my doctor appointment today. Basically Leslie decided to do labs. If those come back negative, she's going to send me to a specialist.

She was very nice today -- especially positive about my weight loss, which made me happy.

After that Marilyn and I drove and got Starbucks, then went to Chipotle to get VEGGIE BURRITOS for lunch/dinner. We really do love these, so that was a nice treat!!!

Other than that, we spent a bunch of time SLEEPING. And watching some of the Australian Open Tennis tournament, too -- but mostly we slept during it. (grin)

We both realize we need to cut ourselves some slack about being tired right now. When you're really kicking up your exercise routine, you are tired for the first several weeks. And we're also getting back into our festival season, so...

Actually, it's 11:00 p.m. and we're heading to bed! Shocking, right? Hahaha. I don't know how others do it. We have such a tough time getting in bed before midnight.

Sweet dreams, everybody!!!