Friday, August 31, 2018

It was after 11 when I went to bed last night, and unfortunately I woke up at 4:30.  At 5:30 I gave up on falling back to sleep, so I definitely didn't log enough hours of ZZZZZ.  

I'm still going to head to the gym later this morning.  Though my back remained somewhat sore yesterday, at least it had moved out of the pain range and I was once again moving virtually normally.  (It was especially nice not to have to hang out on the heating pad any more in this heat!)  Depending on Jim's suggestion, I will either do an upper body workout (like originally planned on Tuesday) or more stretches.  

  Then I'm off to lunch with Perri.  Maybe we will have time afterward to stop by Mulqueens and The Other Quilt Shop to pick up the Row-By-Row patterns before that ends this weekend?  Of course it's not like I really need more patterns for NESTYs; despite my "plans" I haven't done any sewing done since I got back... 

though yesterday I did get out the materials to make yet another baby bib (for one of Alex's friends.) I couldn't help noticing that Presley sure is a pretty baby - yet so it begins, being 'judged' on physical appearance.

Now I should have plenty of time to finish the first 2-hour class 
before I officially start my day.  Then who knows?  I might even pop into the second class!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

A link to the Tort lectures arrived today - YAY! - and I started my first class.  I'm enjoying prof’s sense of humor,  but just hope I can handle the material.  The first case being discussed is not an easy one.   I still don’t have the text yet so I couldn’t do the reading, but I am taking copious notes.

Picked up some books waiting for me at the library, then stopped at the hardware store to have a key made.  Sadly it didn’t work, so <sigh> I will have to return and try to remedy that.

Tyga spent part of the day here while Alex ran some errands, and Marcie came by with Latina, so I got a good Dog Fix today.  

When Alex returned he took care of the leaf piles for me, so that’s done.  However both cans are now so stuffed it could be a bit tricky to get the kitchen trash bag in there Sunday night.

Tom called from Oregon this evening.  He’s done digging rock, and is now in town where he got a room (and said he enjoyed a much-needed shower.)  Tomorrow he heads to visit friends.  While we were on the phone he wanted me to open my birthday package, which arrived a few days ago. Turned out to be 15 books in a series, each one named after a quilt block. 

I continued to take it easy yesterday, and am very happy to report that my back did not get worse as the day wore on (like Tuesday.)  It's been quite a while since I put out my back, which of course is the truly good news.  It is not that enjoyable hanging out on a heating pad this time of year - but  maybe I won't have to do that today!

When I couldn't find the torts lectures on Blackboard, Pamela suggested that I e-mail Professor Gifford, which I did. He responded within the hour, and was very warm and welcoming.  Apparently there's only been one so far, "a two-hour orientation class", but since he himself has no technical knowledge he forwarded my e-mail to the director of the law library who he thinks should be able to find the right person to help.  The number of people at the law school who are involved in this issue just continues to grow.  So much for keeping a low profile!

Terry will be happy (and no doubt somewhat surprised) to hear 
that "her" dinner turned out well last night. 

Alex pronounced it delicious - and had several heaping helpings to back up his statement - so despite making a rather large batch there was just a tiny bit of it leftover.  Lunch today?

Nothing much on the agenda today other than a trip to library - and attacking the leftover stack of mail and other items on the ubiquitous To Do list.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Obviously won't be doing any yardwork today as I had originally planned, but the good news is that my back doesn't seem any worse today.  Here's hoping Alex can find time in his busy schedule (assume he plans to relax today?) to do that for me before irrigation Friday.  At least the piles are already raked and ready to be dumped into the can, so it shouldn't take him long.

I did get another phone call from Pamela, at the law school, who thought she had things figured out.  But after using the new information, and trying several things which didn't work (same error message) she suggested I call the Help Desk again.

The good news was now that I actually was in the system (Thank you, Pamela!) so Kevin was able to help.  Turns out that the PIN (which stands for Personal Identification Number, right?) the site wanted wasn't a number after all, but a word Andy had set up last year.  Of course each time I try the  "forgot ID" link, it would e-mail me a new 4-digit number to use.... but which never worked. 

Still, the bad news is that I can't find any of Professor Gifford's class lectures on Blackboard.  Andy said classes started last week, so there should  be lectures, right?  And I can't do any of the assigned reading because I'm still waiting for Andy to mail me his text (saving me close to $200... even used law books are expensive!)

Watched some coverage of Senator McCain's arrival at the state capitol this morning.  I may not have agreed with his views on various political issues, but he was certainly a decent, honorable man who spent his life in service to his country and this state.  

This clip shows him during the 2008 campaign, 
defending Obama against a racist voter. 

“I can’t trust Obama. I have read about him, and he’s not, um, he’s an Arab,” a woman said to McCain at a town hall meeting in Lakeville, Minnesota in October 2008.McCain grabbed the microphone from her, cutting her off. “No, ma’am,” he said. “He’s a decent family man [and] citizen that just I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues, and that’s what the campaign’s all about.”

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I woke up quite early yesterday, so guess it was no surprise that I was dragging in the afternoon.  Actually dozed off for about 15 minutes while watching TV - until the exterminator rang the doorbell.  

Glad I slept until a more reasonable hour this morning.  Interesting that too much sleep seems to be as bad as too little, though I don't seem to be at much risk for getting more than 8 hours sleep.

Sleep has recently emerged as the most crucial element of well-being, given that a poor night of shut-eye can ruin your mood, destroy your next-day workout, increase your risk of heart disease and dementia, inhibit your ability to retain memories and learn new skills, and even make you gain weight. You’d think that since it’s so beneficial for you, getting as much sleep as possible is a good thing, but an increasing body of research shows that getting too much sleep is just as bad for you as not getting enough.

Sleeping in <g> until almost 7:00 meant it was a tad hotter by the time I made it outside to fill up the now-empty can - though with much of it already raked it didn't take long.  The trucks also picked up our bulk trash yesterday (and hopefully got around to the rest of the neighborhood after that.)  Sure looks trashy right before our quarterly collection, though around here it seems to be mostly yard debris, and this time a lot of downed trees from the monsoon.

Then spent part of the morning on the phone with different people at UMB, trying to figure out how to get me registered so I can access the video lectures for the torts class.  Still no progress on that front - though at least I'm on the prof's e-mail list; I got a notice from him about tomorrow' class!

I was surprised that though my legs complained during Friday's workout, they were not especially sore on the following days. 

So I didn’t expect problems at the gym, and started my usual warm-up routine of five exercises.  The first four went just fine, but during my first dead-lift I pulled something.  So instead of an upper body work-out, Jim just had me do a series of stretches in hopes of minimizing later pain.  Once home I spent most of the afternoon on the heating pad.

Did drag myself off the couch to go vote.  My polling place was just a mere two blocks away, there was no line, and I was in and out in about 10 minutes.

Alex arrived home, but asked if we could do dinner tomorrow.  I had planned to cook Terry’s shrimp dish tonight, but with my hip/back so unhappy I was just fine with putting it off for a day.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Got a good night's sleep Saturday night, and was outside working in the yard by 6:30 Sunday morning.  Raked more of the jungle (and also pulled weeds back there) so both cans are full and out front.  With a little luck all the remaining leaves will fit in them after they're emptied today, giving irrigation a fighting chance to flow freely and fill the front yard on Friday.  

Did have to saw off two of the lowest hanging branches from the orchid tree (which, though leaning at quite the angle, seems to be doing quite well since the monsoon trauma; it's put out a zillion suckers.

Yesterday Patti and I went to see Alpha.  It takes place during the Ice Age, so I guessed there would be substantial snow involved.  Surprisingly, it didn't show up until about an hour into the movie.

Last week I watched a PBS program (taped while I was gone) about The Rockies, and somehow <g> "temperatures of 40 below" didn't sound quite as bad as they should have...

Instead of going out to lunch afterward, we came back here and had some of the leftover grilled chicken and Patti helped me tape up the doll boxes.  And now that the label is sewn onto the quilt, I just have to find something to pack it up in.  I see a trip to the post office in my near future!

Saturday, August 25, 2018

Didn't get a very good rest last night after I watched some TV and then read until midnight (!) I should have been tired, but noises kept waking me up every hour or two.  Many sounded like they were inside the house (scary thought) but I'm guessing it was just wind outside.

Before it got too hot outside today

 I ventured outside to set the irrigation gates, and then raked part of the jungle.  Sure don't want the pass-through blocks to clog up with all the dead cottonwood leaves since our wonderful shade-giving tree in the south-facing front yard needs all the water it can get!  And it would also be nice to keep those mountains of leaves from blowing into the pool...

Also packed up all the dolls and their stuff, managing to get everything into two boxes, and plan to get them on their way to California on Monday.  This weekend I also must sew the label onto Marcie's quilt for Mom so I can box that up and mail it at the same time.  I actually made a run to the post office yesterday to get some birthday stuff off to Lily, but (obviously) had not gotten organized enough.

Did go through the two large boxes of Nancy's stuff that Steve dropped right before I headed to Colorado.  Next I can make arrangements to get that to the 'other' Nancy to take to Busy Bees next month.   Also consolidated all the craft stuff I want to give to Kathi, which I can drop off any time.

Bottom line: LOTS of boxes of stuff should be heading out of here shortly!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Still somewhat sore from Tuesday's workout, I headed to the gym this morning.  However, unlike my upper body (which didn't 'complain' until the following day), my thighs objected (strenuously!) from the git-go despite starting back up with lower weights. 

I can hardly wait <NOT>to see what shape they're in tomorrow!  

Think I'll skip Sunday's boot camp and shoot for the following one instead.

Afterward I did some grocery shopping, picking up chicken (that I grilled tonight) and also the ingredients for one of Terry's dishes I'm going to try.

Since I won't get my daily dog fix while Marcie is gone, she dropped of Latina this afternoon for an hour while she went for her acupuncture appointment.  We took a short dip in the pool, starting off on the top step.  

Latina actually swims quite well, but she was not terribly thrilled to be in the water. Once back on the step she wasted no time getting herself out of the pool.  So we played fetch in the house with her penguin toy instead.

I was right that Marcie would get that last column done today - but I didn't expect that she would also have time to rip out and resew the upside-down triangle section.  That means once she gets back from her trip she can get right to work sewing the strips together.

This evening I caught Mr. Holland's Opus on TV.  

Haven't seen it in years, but it was even better than I remembered.  Gotta love movies about good teachers and their impact on their students' lives!  

And "of all the lives he changed, the one that changed the most was his own."

The ladies, as usual, did a fine job of cleaning yesterday, and (for a short time at least) there was no monsoon dust in evidence.  

The skies did start to cloud up shortly after they left, and then around 6:00 we actually got rain!  When I went out front, I could hear Ben & Estera's kids in their backyard, enjoying it (like all kids of the desert.)  Brought back memories of my kiddos whenever it would rain.

Definitely a lot more than a sprinkle, the rain came down with enough gusto to wash things off - at least for the 5-10 minutes that it lasted.  I saw from friends' posts on FB (and flash flood warnings on the TV) that other areas got considerably more.  But we'll take whatever we can get!

Popped up to Marcie's for a short visit (the cleaning ladies were here during her usual break-time visits) and saw the progress on her StarBox quilt.  

It's comprised of 22 columns of very carefully placed triangles, and she now has 21 of those columns completed.  It's a toss-up whether she'll get the last one finished today before she heads to Oregon tomorrow for a family visit, but barring a real crisis I'm betting she will.  

The best news is that she noticed one little section of 4 triangles had been sewn in upside down, which (once she gets back home) will be an easy fix since the strips have not been sewn together yet.  (Of course it would have been somewhat of a disaster if she hadn't noticed until too late, down the road when it was all quilted!)  Again, if a detail-oriented quilter like Marcie can make a mistake like that, what chance to I have?


Paula always said that there are no mistakes in quilting...
just 'design opportunities'. 

But when you're doing a geometric pattern like BoxStar, 
accuracy becomes much more crucial to the finished product.

I didn't read too long last night (turned out the light before 10:00) so I only slept until about 6:30 this morning; looks like I'm back "on schedule".  I've just started The Tenth Gift, a book in which "the art of embroidery uncannily links two fascinating women of different eras."  Have already learned that crewel (one of the first types of handwork I learned) is from the Welsh word for wool.

Still feeling fine, so no excuses to skip the gym today.  My upper body is still a bit sore from Tuesday, but today is legs so that won't matter.  At this point still planning to make an appearance at Boot Camp on Sunday.

Andy got right on it after I reminded him Wednesday about the Torts class this semester, and sent this to the powers that be:

Hi Mary Alice.  As you may remember, last Fall my sister Bobbi, a long-time and devoted friend of the Carey School, audited my Evidence class via video. A glutton for punishment,  Bobbi has asked about auditing a Torts class this Fall.  I spoke to Don Gifford, and he said he would be glad to have Bobbi as a long distance guest in one of his Torts sections this semester.  At this late date, would it be possible to arrange to give her online privileges to do so?  Bobbi has a UM ID from last year, but I imagine it would have to be reactivated.  Thanks for letting me know. Andy

Today I received this: 
Welcome back to UMB! You will need to reset your UMID password to access Blackboard.  Once you have reset everything successfully, you will be able to access Fall 2018 TORTS – Gifford on Blackboard via the following instructions.

Unfortunately I encountered the same issue as last year: I can't sign in on the link without a (bogus?) student ID number.  At least this year I know what the issue is, and am hoping a quick phone call at Andy's end will solve things. Classes at the law school started this week, which means I'm already behind... and I still need to get hold of the book for the class.  On the plus side, since it's a First Year class, in theory I won't be expected to have much "legal literacy"!

Time for breakfast, and then it's off to the gym.