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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Catching Up: Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Today (Tuesday) -- Plus: SANDY!!! 
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First and foremost: I contacted our dear friend Sandy who lives in Holyoke, Massachusetts!!! The last time I spoke to her was on January 13, 2014. Marilyn and I had become convinced that she had passed away. The problem is that there's NO ONE ELSE on Sandy's end to let me know if something happens to her. And we just lost touch.

Today I phoned and got another woman who told me I had the wrong number. I was sure Sandy must be dead. I've actually put off and put off trying to call because I didn't want to know if she was gone. But I tried again and suddenly heard Sandy's voice! It was like a miracle. Sandy explained that she's developed rather severe arthritis and can barely write anymore -- even cards! Sandy has NEVER been online (she once had a computer and had a bad experience, so she gave up on it). So if she can't use the mail to communicate, the only thing left is phoning.

She said she'd thought about Marilyn and me often and considered calling, but hadn't gotten around to it. When I think I about it, I realize it could be that she really can't afford the phone calls! She's in a pretty bad way financially. She used to tell me that she didn't know what she'd do after her mother passed, considering they were barely making ends meet between their two incomes. Sandy has had health issues since she was in her twenties. But she lived with her parents her whole life and helped take care of both of them until they died. And at one point went to live with her brother and care for him (in another state) while he was dying of brain cancer. She said that she almost lost the house last year, but thankfully has worked it out with a reverse mortgage so that she's okay now. Thank God!

I think about her often and pray for her -- and your prayers on her behalf (or good thoughts) would be greatly appreciated. Anyway, it was SUCH A GOOD THING to discover she's still alive and still managing. She's in her 70's, but does get out a little (she just went out to lunch yesterday). I'm terrible about writing letters anymore, but maybe need to try and get back to it just for her... Of course, she couldn't answer them. So maybe it's best if I just call her every now and then -- and keep it up!

So, you're probably wondering what's been happening since last Friday (the last time I blogged). Can you believe I suddenly let three days pass without blogging? My bad!

(Oct. 17) Saturday:
The Madonna concert was amazing. It started at 8:00 p.m. -- which is to say there was an opening act, which was Los Angeles-based DJ (producer and pop artist) Michael Diamond. (He's the producer on her Rebel Heart album.) He was fine, I guess. (The local DJ Leslie had at her bday party was better, I think, but let's not go there! Hahaha.) He was on from 8:00 to 9:00. Then there was nothing from 9:00 until just before 10:00 when Madonna came on. For those into seeing the main act, it seems safe to say that arriving by 9:45 would probably work! (Marilyn and I used to frequently skip opening acts during a concert and stroll in right before the main act came on...)

Anyway, it was WORTH THE WAIT, I have to tell you. It's kind of like a music concert combined with a Cirque du Soleil performance! The stage was incredible. The dances/performances were incredible. The giant screens with video effects were incredible. And Madonna performs for TWO FULL HOURS and is on stage almost the entire time, except for a few very quick costume changes. Two hours is almost too long! You go into sensory overload there's so much to take in. The venue was packed, people were wild for her and she really controls an audience, no doubt about it. Finally, our bright pink 'Bitch' tees (mine was Bitch 1, Marilyn's was Bitch 2 and Adeena's was Bitch 3) were a HUGE HIT with everyone who saw them! If you're struggling with why we would wear 'Bitch' shirts, you have to know that Madonna has a bitch song... Well, if I have to explain, you're probably not going to get it. (grin) Anyway, people even took photos of us they were so delighted!

IT WAS SO GENEROUS of our friend Adeena to take us to that concert!!! She's such a dear friend.

(Oct. 18) Sunday:
We were done in by Saturday, and really didn't do a thing. In fact, I can't remember anything worth reporting! No, that's not true. Marilyn went all the way to Donald, Oregon, to get a massage from Amanda (who has been her masseuse for years) at her house. Amanda used to come here to the house on a regular basis, but after we bought the beach house it was hard to afford this. Frankly, we probably need to re-think that, as Amanda's work really saved both of Marilyn's shoulders when they were 'frozen' -- and help keep her in decent shape. It's VERY PAINFUL to have a session, anyway. Especially after a long time not having it done. So Marilyn came home sore and tired. She was still feeling the effects on Monday, too...

So mainly we took it easy and did what we do on at least one day on the weekend during Autumn: We slept, watched TV, napped, read and played a bit on our iPads. And that's pretty much it!

(Oct. 19) Monday:
Marilyn was still pretty miserable on Monday after her massage. And we were both still tired from going to the concert, too (on Saturday). We're apparently concert wimps now! To think we used to go to them all the time. I don't remember needing to 'recover' back in those days. Hahaha.

Anyway, Monday night we needed to dash out to get a couple things (like cases of bottled water) at Walmart. We went to the local one, as we didn't feel like driving all the way to Washington. And we'd been discussing going to a movie in St. Johns (the local neighborhood we grew up in), so we wanted to be back quickly.

"The Martian" (with Matt Damon) was playing at the St. Johns theater at 10:00, so we decided to go. We've been wanting to see it for ages. Neither of us are really Matt Damon fans, but he was WONDERFUL in this role! I won't spoil the film for anyone (in case you haven't seen it, but still want to), but I will say it's just as great as everybody has been saying. We really had a good time! Plus you can have pizza and beer there (and, yes, popcorn, too) -- so of course we did! Fun, fun!

Today Jeff said he was sorry we hadn't called him to go along -- that he absolutely would have 'snuck out' to see the movie with us! I guess we'll have to remember that the next time...

We got home at 12:30. Then poor Henry Tudor (one of our cats) had a 'pee pee' accident on Marilyn's bed!!! A bad one, too. He soaked all the way through to the mattress. So we had to strip down the bed and clean the mattress and treat it. (We've been through this before with other cats, I'm afraid. But at least that means we had spray to use.) Then make her bed up again and start washing all the bed linens. (Except for the comforter, which we'll just dump, I guess. It's nearly impossible to clean them, even at the laundromat. Funny note: I wanted to write 'laundry mat.' Great Charlie! Hahaha.)

Anyway, it was another late night -- and we both needed to go in to work today...

(Oct. 20 - TODAY) Tuesday:
It was a very, very busy day at the office. I had Donn come in. And Marilyn was taking a tour with Carol (that was supposed to include lunch), so she left fairly early on (before the end of Staff meeting).

I skipped Staff meeting because they were discussing Health Benefits (which I don't qualify for, obviously). I would probably have skipped anyway, considering I had Donn there and we needed to meet.

I got Donn going on several tasks. Setting up Calisa's Profile on her 'new' computer (new station), making a list of which computers are on Win 7 and which are on Win XP, and starting to change the add-in status of TeamViewer with Outlook. He left well past noon and was pretty worn out.

I did a bunch of IT work that's been piling up. I needed to do maintenance on the Profiles of people no longer employed at the festival. We keep certain ones and delete others. I have to review that with Marilyn to be sure what goes and what stays. Then I logged in to a bunch of Profiles to check them out. I personally am responsible for three accounts besides my own that I need to keep in order. We have 'extra' accounts for things like Living History characters, the President (we use it to send messages on his behalf), accounts for certain events and so on (like accounts payable).

I had an interesting thing happen today -- that's never happened since I've been doing this work starting in 2007!!! Suddenly when I went to delete one of the profiles, it wouldn't work! So I had to spend around an hour researching the issue. Part of it is knowing exactly HOW to search for what you need to find. With the Small Business Server I've found all along that it's hard to use the correct language to get a good search. Then when I discovered it was a common problem (as usual), I needed to find the right answer. And finally I needed to tweak the explanation of how to 'fix' the problem, because very few people can write things out in a way that MAKES SENSE and really resolves a given issue.

Anyway, I now have every single step (of the many steps) written down! I ended up needing to do it more than one time, interestingly enough! But I got every profile deleted that needed it.

I did go to Starbucks with Rich and Carol in the morning, thankfully! Coffee can be a lifesaver. And Marilyn did NOT get lunch (weird) at her tour (though it was mentioned, then ignored), so she came back hungry. We walked out to McDonald's and then 7 Eleven (for pops) to get food.

Dinner tonight? Cottage cheese and potato chips. I kid you not.

We were watching "The Middle" (I love that show!) and I kept falling asleep. Then we were watching the Charlie Brown Halloween show and also the Toy Story one (back to back). Marilyn was out like a light.

I did call sister Sue around 9:00-ish so we could talk. We just haven't had much chance recently. She's having some problems at home and isn't feeling that great, but we talked for around 45 minutes and enjoyed chatting. I think she'll do okay. She hangs in there really well. And we both know we're blessed, even when things are tough...

Marilyn and I decided to WORK next Tuesday -- even though we normally take Halloween week off. There's just so much to get done! And tomorrow will be about getting ready for the Annual Board Meeting on Thursday!!! Marilyn plans to work as late as necessary to get ready. She still needs to do the script (which she hasn't started yet). We're both fine with that.

Obviously Thursday will be busy! And late. But that's how it goes. I'm sure it will go really well.

Our weather is still not like Autumn. We've had sprinkles, but not any of the promised rain. And it's still quite mild -- no Autumn chill in the air!

No, we didn't come home (thank God!!!) to another pee pee problem with Henry. We worry about his kidneys failing. That happens with older cats anyway, but with his steroids and medical condition, it's a wonder he does as well as he does. Poor guy. But he sure hangs in there!!!

On that note, I'm beat. But I did get caught up!!!Good night all!
October 21, 2015 (Wednesday) 04:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much for the wonderful telephone call, Also glad to hear about you reaching Sandy that was super. It is so nice to just talk to you often. I miss it when we do not keep in touch. I hope that I can get into see Dr. Young on Thursday and find out what he thinks about my conditions. I know he is worried about me. It is so foggy that I can not even see across the river. I talked to Larry several times last night and he was feeling down with some health issues. I sure hope that he can take good care of himself. I worry about him a lot.

Well I wish I could go to the beach with you, but will need to stay home and do some work around here. Love you lots.
October 21, 2015 (Wednesday) 11:17 pm (UTC)
Sounds like you've been very busy!