Big Meatball Pasta Dinner, To Do List, and Nutrition

George fixed “The Big Meatball” Italian dinner last night. He went all out. He even put “snow on the mountain” with his Ricotta cheese. The buttered garlic bread was good with it too even though we don’t need it.

Was able to get most of the Withholding Returns done yesterday. Just a couple of things to wrap up there and follow back on. And of course there is Oregon which is an All in One where you do both the Withholding Return and the Unemployment Return as well as several other taxes and it’s very different in style and takes up a lot of time so I always do it last. That way if we WERE to run out of time on something its just the one state and not several, but I don’t think we’ll be late. So today I’m going to start working on my end of quarter reconciliation spreadsheet. Quarter End is right on target. It’s usually around mid month when I get to this point. I will work on it for a few days and then start the Unemployment Returns. But I have to get my Friday stuff done first. So the month is moving on – that’s for sure.

I’m glad it’s Friday. I have a lot of things built up I need to do. You can’t see all of my list on the screen shot. Each section scrolls up where you can see the complete list. Of course there is no way to get all of this done in a weekend. I just park my “to do” lists on here so I don’t forget to do them, or look things up. I love this app. It’s the Focus Matrix. It syncs across all devices.

I do not use the categories like they mention. It is confusing to me to have a block that you call “Not Important, But Urgent” – that seems conflicting, at least in my mind. If it’s urgent you still have to do it, but I guess it’s supposed to be a priority thing. Anyway, I use the blocks in priority mode as I call it from 1, 2, 3, and 4. The grey section being things I’m not even considering doing right now. The top two columns are the most priority.

I wish I was off today so I could get started on everything. But it’ll be here soon enough. I’m really excited to do the camera research. But I need to do a few other things first. I’m just glad to have “my spirit” back where I’m excited about something. It’s been a bit difficult to fight the blues away. But the nutrition thing is key. If I don’t get the greens and fruits in and the nutrients and Vit B’s and D’s in it is difficult for my body to function and think properly. It really impacts my moods. Even 1 day without my vitamin pack is noticeable. I know that sounds unreal. But it’s something I’ve noticed. So I try to make sure I’m doing what I need to every day on that. It’s helping have had more veggies this week. Squash, carrots – anything yellow and orange. Not just beans. Anything green. I eat a lot of potatoes and beans and meats here at the house. So we have to focus on adding those other veggies in or we’ll by pass them. Fish is also good brain food. And we are low on that front right now but going to Aldi this weekend. They have some pretty good frozen fish. I do have my “That System I use” that I can do my “greens” and “fruits” and also even the Hydrate water has vitamins. But I have to focus on that too or I’ll drink coffee, water, and tea and the day is gone. So I’ve been trying to notice and plan these things in my diet to help my mood, clarity of mind, and also keep the immune system boosted.

Got to have a long chat with my Katebug yesterday. She is feeling less nauseated in her pregnancy and was able to cook a meal finally. Food has made her feel so sick. But she’s coming out of it into the 2nd trimester. I can’t wait to see her and Cody in a few weeks. And of course I continue to pray we can go. She says right now everything is at full capacity in their small town. Even schools are starting back as normal. Stores are open as normal. So let’s hope it stays that way and we can get through. I guess as we travel it’s best to do small towns for our meals and restroom stops – less COVID huh? My worries is that states will shut down their borders. But I’m hoping that does not happen.

I also need to order more books from audible. I have 3 credits. I have had some very very very long books I’m doing, also some very boring. lol And I’m trying to get through those but I’ve waited to use my credits. I need a Christian book to replace the 5 Love Languages I’m almost through with. Not sure what other books I’m wanting. I think I have several already downloaded to read. Might even do a fiction one b/c right now, we kinda need some fiction! lol. Real life is almost too much.

Anyway, hats off to George and his “big as your fist meatball” pasta dinner.

He wanted to show you all how big it was! It was great!

Have a wonderful Friday! I have a lot of blog subjects I want to do but short on time! More later.

Frustrations Build, Lost Files, and Technical Difficulties

We’ve been so busy I’ve not even had a chance to show my pretty plant that Katy gave me for Mother’s Day. Didn’t even get to blog yesterday!

Yesterday it was very odd to start a Saturday without doing laundry. It’s been almost a week with no washing machine and the clothes, sheets, and towels are starting to mount. As is my morale.

I cleaned the kitchen, fixed us some eggs, helped take care of doggies and the doggies have not actually been very good lately. Also not helping my morale. Maisy is having some episodes and Findlay, while having a good time, we are probably missing her queues to go out to do potty business. So we have been cleaning sections of carpet most all weekend long. ::sigh::

The new toilet quit working yesterday. Well it kept running. And running. And running. And George has to go to Lowe’s to buy a part for it. I mean really? All the toilets on the shelf and we buy the one with a faulty part and it doesn’t work a week before breaking?

I had a virtual shower to attend at 1 p.m. and got on that. My internet quit working momentarily and kicked me out of the room half way into the shower. Only the host could let me back in. Since the host was opening gifts – I had to text relatives to please have the host let me back in (give permission). I was about to give up and go do something else but finally I was allowed back in the group.

You see a theme here? Life is trying to beat me up this week. What did I do wrong? Simply Exist?

Yes I know, I know. You have to stop and smell the roses. Well, I don’t have any but I do have some pretty peonies.

After the shower, we went to Publix. I had to get my blood pressure meds refilled and we needed pet foods. We still left with a cart full. I needed freezer foods to take for lunches. I’m just so tired of frozen food for lunches. I’m tired of eating at my desk. Quite frankly I think I am a bit tired of everything – I’m still struggling here with time crunches, old or broken everything’s, and enough frustrations at every thing I try to touch not working appropriately – that I could just scream. But I’m trying to be calm and go on and just let it be. Go on to the next thing. I’ve done that so much I’m becoming ADD and running in circles all at once. Can’t finish AnYTHing!

But anyway at Publix I reached in for my mask and it’s in my work bag and not my purse. George also forgot his mask. Grrr. I felt naked and afraid, lol. But we did not go home. We just took our chances.

Oh yeah, I’m also way over this COVID bit too. I think if one more thing happens I will go over the edge. If I do I’ll send a post card. 😉

On the way to Publix we talked with my BIL and SIL and we are going to have them over – and also plan to eat dinner with them. Kevin (BIL) is going to look at our internet situation and see if he can help me. My iMac just turns off the internet after a while – it’s why I got cut out of the virtual shower yesterday. I have to reboot and then it connects again. It’s so annoying to be in the middle of something and then it won’t connect until reboot. And I’m supposed to host one of my own showers in June. I know that with all the technical difficulties that ALWAYS surround any piece of anything that I touch – I already know this will be an issue. The evil computer gremlins know they can knock me to me knees with these technical glitches – so they basically do.

In light of this, my SIL kindly suggested (she knows me well) that it worked really well for the person opening the gifts to stream from their location. Amazing idea. I am ok with paying for the premium zoom account and letting Ellen have the password and controls. She will have family on her end to help while she opens/shows the gifts. So likely we will try to do it that way. If I have connection issues at least it will only impact me and not everyone.

There is always a black cloud that follows me with things going wrong, going sideways, and basically attacking the world I try so hard to control and keep upright.

After we did our shopping, I was starving. I’d not had time to eat lunch. So I asked George if he would go to the new Slim Chickens place. Oh my – I am going to love this place. We went thru drive through of course as we had groceries in the car and it was 80 degrees out. Their menu looks amazing. I will be going here every chance I get. I will risk the COVID. They have outside seating also with a covered patio. I really wanted to study the menu but George is not a fan of the drive thru ordering for other people. (Once he backed into a Sonic backwards so I, the passenger, could place my own order, lol lol lol lol.). Anyway I just made it easy. It was almost 4 p.m. and dinner would be happening at some point, so I just said get the pepper ranch chicken sandwich – something like that after pulling them up online to get advance quick start to the menu. Oh my heavens it was lovely. It had those onion straws on there and the ranch sauce with just a slight bit of heat. And lots of pickles and I am not normally a pickle person but it all worked so well. I’m trying to like pickles as the vinegar is good for your gut! It just occurred to me that I like to eat so well because it seems to be the very ONE thing in life I possibly have any control over!

Oh yeah, I’ll be going back here. They had some salads that looked really good. And some sides. Yeah, this place is going to be a staple with me. I’ll be running extra errands just so I can go thru the drive thru. I wonder if they have breakfast? Probably not. I’ll have to try their tea. They have milk shakes, but I’ll be staying away from those.

I had so many notes of “to do’s” that I had to work in to my to do list yesterday. At least after putting the groceries up I was able to kind of regroup. Most of it is just geeky stuff to do with the blog or the movie clips or the creation of YouTube channels. I’ve managed to create quite a list. But some involve other things going on that eventually need to be done. Even some reading and watching. I put some things on here so I won’t forget about them, like the remaining gift card balances that need to be used up that have been in my purse for year.

Back to yesterday, I refilled the vitamins and supplements for the next week and peeked at the wardrobe to make sure I had enough pants to wear next week in case I didn’t get time to wash anything once the repair man (hopefully) fixes the washer. I’m afraid to hope that it will be fixed Monday. These days there is no guarantee that a said repair person will even show and if they do, can they get the part? What another week? I know I’m a bit pessimistic. I prefer to call it that life has taught me such and it’s realistic. So if it does take a week to get it fixed I can say “that is what I figured”. Otherwise I’ll be pleasantly surprised.

I’d really like to go to sleep, wake up and everything be fixed, working, and in order. But that would be boring right.

I also looked up how to get soap scum off the shower stalls. This has plagued me for years. I’ve got something I’m going to try before ordering a $23 bottle of something Mom suggested.

The bathroom curtain I bought it pretty, and it covers it up – but it’s just weird to have to cover the bathroom stall window up. It’s just flat weird. And that has also been really bothering me. As the floors/carpet/kitchen.

I just want to wake up and everything be to my standards of living. I’ve been highly aggravated this week with all of it. It’s been building up for the last few months. At least George doesn’t have to fight with the plumbing. I know he is relieved to have his desires met. And I’ll probably enjoy the water filter, although I cannot say I can taste a big difference but maybe I’ve not had time to slow down and really notice. Mostly I’ve had coffee or mixes FROM THAT SHAKE/SUPPLEMENT COMPANY I USE but I did have a bit of straight water to drink in the overnight. Thinking back – I think it was less metallic, less chlorine tasting. It’s in the overnight when I usually drink the water unless I pour a glass after dinner. I think he paid a couple of thousand more to have that filter installed and then all faucets put out the fresh filtered water. So hopefully it is doing what they said it would. Normally at night when I get water from George’s bathroom sink – it DOES have that metallic taste and it wasn’t like that last night as I remember. So as I sit and ponder that – I think it is going to be a nice thing.

I got baby shower gift ordered for Ellen and Justin, the one we are doing the shower for. Katy and I went together to get it and it’s being sent via Amazon. George came in and helped me decide because he needed to be involved too. I didn’t want to be the only one deciding. I’m happy with our decision.

And I also gave Maisy a bit of a trim yesterday. (As well as myself.) She looks quite a bit better and was very patient. She looks a bit refreshed. I will try to work on Roger in an effort to hold on to our June appointment. If our groomer is still in business and working by then. I guess I should call but I’ve just not had time. I called once and no answer and left a message with no return call so I think they had been shut down and not worrying with the phone system til they got back. I need to check on it but I’ll wait til we are less busy.

Mom called yesterday through the House Party app so we could video each other and she had fallen and landed on her tailbone earlier in the day. She said for a long time she could not get up. She had her car keys in her hand and set her car alarm off so the neighbors would come out and look. Two neighbors did and they helped her get up. She was finally able to walk again and said she even cleaned off the porch but it was hurting her to sit.

So I ordered her a doughnut pillow. She didn’t think it was broken but just sore.

As I’ve been sitting here typing, my neck and shoulders have been tightening up and I think I slept funny. Starting to get a pain in my neck. Yes, I guess this week has literally been a pain in the neck with all that has gone wrong. A few things have gone right though so there’s that to hold on to.

I started working on the video/pics that I took over the last week to week and a half. What do I really want to do today? Work on that! But I at least got to geek out for a few minutes. In the few minutes that I worked on the project – probably an hour – I discovered that all of my iMovie audio library (the music and the sound effects that came with imovie on my iMac) is missing. Dammit. What is the deal? What have done?

Do I have time to deal with this? NO! I will finish this video and then I’ll save the project. I will use my Epidemic Sound music and sound effects. Then I guess I will do an uninstall and reinstall of iMovie (????). I don’t want to mess up what I currently have in there. I could just go to Movavi as I’d downloaded that too. It’s just that my learning curve is not as far along with that and I gave up trying it last week, getting frustrated.

I’m trying to be patient with life but right now – nothing is going according to plan. The things I even enjoy are going South. There is SUCH a big learning curve to the Mac life and jumping in and trying to do videos right off the bat, on top of it, is just crazy. I am trying to learn both at once. I think I got my files in order and learning how to do that. However the icloud thing confuses me. I’m not sure what to add to the icloud and what not to. Photos are in the cloud except I move them off the cloud b/c they show in my phone if they are in the cloud. I don’t want all of them on my phone. Anyway I’m not going down the file path here but it still is kindof a confused mess to me. I can at least find most files though which was more than I can say a month ago – and I will need to back them up if not in the cloud. But have I moved things around so much that I’ve deleted or moved the audio files for imovie? Perhaps so. I’m just in shock right now, having just discovered this. It literally makes me sick to my stomach. I’m not sure why everything has to be amiss and so complicated. That edge I was talking about? I think I’m there!

And me being one that won’t quit til I find an answer – this will irritate the entire fire out of me until I figure it out. And I don’t have time to figure it out this week.

So anyway, there will be a VLOG at some point. But I have to stop to do life. I can’t just full time figure all this out. Most things you can learn via YouTube. But it just takes time. Hey at least I cranked a couple of videos out. But I decided to just “start where I was” and try to capture a week of video and pics. I had more than I thought. I have to whittle down about 33 minutes of footage to 13 and I’m working on an intro. I’ll probably be doing a lot of voiceovers and have to get used to that. So it’ll be a week or two or three before the video is available and they will be few and far between at first til I get a handling on this iMovie thing. Geez. As if making the movie itself isn’t a learning curve, the files have to go missing from the program itself? Can I curse here? Ok I won’t. But I sure feel like it. lol

So I’ll be working on the house today and trying to get it in order. Maybe that will give me some calming down time away from the computer which is supposed to be my calm time.

And I need to begin working on the invitations.

And we get to see Katy and Cody today. Excited about that at least. They leave tomorrow.

And I am through griping for the day. At least on the blog.

George is not going to be a happy man when I tell him not much show watching this week. I’ll be doing my to do list. The invitations are up at the top of the list and they are not going to send themselves. ha.

Making the Tulsa iMovie, Maisy Update, and More

Maisy and I went to the vet yesterday. We sat in the car and waited to be called. I had to walk her to the foyer, hang her leash on a hook, leave my debit card in a tray, and head back to the car as they took her back to examine her, and wait for a call from the doc.

Turns out, they said they could not hear anything in her lungs but that it seemed she had an irritated throat from most likely allergies. They asked if I wanted an x-ray to be sure but suggested it was fine to just try the allergy meds and see if they helped her. They said that if that doesn’t solve the issue then we can bring her back and do an x-ray. The problem DOES come and go. The vet said if it was a heart problem it would not come and go but would be persistent. She said that she still does have the heart murmur but her lungs seemed fine.

So I guess that is good news. I figured we’d be starting heart meds from here out. The vet could be wrong without having the x-ray to be sure, so I guess we wait and see. Here’s what we were given. One has an antihistamine in it and the other is an anti inflammatory. They did not want to put her on steroids as that can enhance the heart murmur into a heart condition.

One is Hydroxyzine and the other is Rimadyl. We have to start the Rimadyl this afternoon – she said to wait a day before beginning it. The rimadyl is also for pain but mainly they wanted her to have it for inflammation. I will give it to her today if she is coughing but if the one med does the trick not sure we’ll need the other. Might do some research on the drugs. Can you tell I’m always picky about these things?

I think the Hydroxyzine helped yesterday. It was about a 2 hour ordeal at the vet. I vow to switch vets, to one that is not quite so busy. However, they seem to do a good job, they have a history of our pets, and are often open til 6 or 7, and they will allow the walk ins although it’s a very long wait to be worked in. I didn’t want to be out of the house for 2 hours yesterday on my vacation day but I love my Maisy so off I went to do it.

When we got through it was waaaaay past lunch and I had a distinct craving for Taco Bell. I almost turned right to go thru the drive thru and get something to take home. However, this big ugly dark cloud was coming and it looked scary. Having not paid a lot of attention to the weather, I decided it best just to go home, plus with Maisy in the car – she’d be wanting my taco, lol.

So home we went where the plumber was there working up a deal with George.

Turns out we are going to be replacing our plumbing pipes. We’ve had issues since we have been here. Most all of our neighbors have also had to redo part or all of theirs over the recent few years. In the last two weeks the issues in our house have worsened. Usually George has been able to remedy it. But we could let the plumber doctor it, and continue to have issues and have to call them or it could break and we really have a problem. I teasingly said I should wait for that to happen so then as the pipes busted I’d eventually get new flooring. I told George I was ok with the upgrade to the pipes to avoid damage issues as long as he agreed I could get my flooring and updates to the kitchen before long (flooring, counter top, stove upgrades). He said we had begun our home improvement season. This is a good thing. I’m even willing to forego our Christmas giving to one another (ok a few little things to open maybe). So we are getting the pipes pretty much a complete overhaul, complete with adding a filter to the tankless water heater which means all taps will have pure and clean water. And I get a new toilet out of the deal. lol I am getting rid of the old gold toilet. We will be going to Lowe’s to pick out the new one. I’m going white. And our water pressure will be better as well.

So the roofer will be here next week to fix the chimney – concreting over the chimney of the fireplace that is never used and probably unsafe to use at this point and will be fixing all around the fireplace so that the roof does not leak in the sunroom anymore.

Here is where I sat most of yesterday creating the next iMovie video of our girls trip to Tulsa. It is true what they say about these videos – that for every minute of video footage, it’s about an hour’s worth of work. The Tulsa video is, I believe, my longest creation to date and I think my best work so far as I’m coming around the learning curve. Of course I bought Movavi and still need to do some things with it. And as I am seeing other do will eventually move toward Final Cut Pro – but we’ll save that for much much later. It’s an iMovie on Steroids with many bells and whistles and for professional video. I want to do a professional video but I’m not a pro! It seems that our vacays have always been when it’s dark and dreary, so most of my footage is just dark and dim.

My goal with the Tulsa girls trip video was to show what we did but to show it with the feelings that we were feeling. I specifically chose music that depicted our anxiousness about the virus as it was unfolding, yet our excitement to be together, to shop, to eat and do the things we love to do together. I feel I did that.

I was better organized with creating this video. I organized my files first as I’ve been trained by these video creators on You Tube. The usual method is just to start dragging files in from my photos directly into the iMovie media file. NO – did NOT do that this time. I created a file on my computer first and then uploaded all of them at one time into my iMovie media folder.

I also picked out songs ahead of time that matched the various moods of the different scenes of the video. I’m loving the use of Epidemic Sound. George thinks it’s hilarious that I downloaded Epidemic Sound during the Pandemic. He actually thought I came across it because of COVID-19, lol. But no – a lot of the video creators are using this one. It has all kinds of music you can use by mood, or genre. And has sound effects too. It’s most awesome. I believe that I can download and use in my iTunes for personal use as well. Unlimited downloads for $15.99 month with a free trial period and the music sounds awesome.

So next I want to learn a few things about adding Text and Graphics and learn tips for simplifying the process. For example, I’m needing to learn all the Mac short cut keys. I’ve tried to avoid this but apparently it’s a good thing with the Mac as it really IS a short cut worth knowing. For example if you shorten all your photos to 3 seconds instead of the 4 that it auto drops into the iMovie, you can hit Control A or something like that – no I’ve not learned them all yet, and it will mimic all the pics to be like the current one you just changed. That saves a LOT of time.

So now that this video is done, I can focus on making some that are just about our week or whatever is going on with the Less Hustle More Coffee household, lol! So I guess I need to move on to getting around THOSE learning curves – and the big one of filming myself and being able to get through that, the confidence, the audio of it and sound quality, the lighting, and perfecting THAT process. These videos will be quite a bit different as they are capture more live video and less photos. And will need to tell a story of sorts as best I can piece it together. But I’m looking forward to trying. My fear of doing this is there will be nothing interesting to capture, especially during the Pandemic where outings are minimal except work and of course work is off the table. There will be no video at work. Even though that would probably the most interesting footage of all. lol lol lol Talk about watching THE OFFICE. lol Version 2! So no – nothing from there – the TROLLERS who TROLL and WATCH need not worry. Place your heart to rest. It’s all gonna be ok.

So it’s looking like tomorrow will be the day I’ll post the YouTube on here. It’ll be posted to YouTube itself in an hour and 24 minutes of which was a 3 hour upload. But I wanted good quality.

I will also have to figure out space as I get more of these under my belt. I guess they will have to be parked on another drive or another website somewhere. As I have found in doing this, one expense leads into another. lol

But like I said I’m easing up on my hair and nails expenses. And may stop my audio book subscription since I’m not getting much of them read. My trip into work is pretty quick these days. And there are always podcasts and I can always buy a book or two when I do have time to listen to them. So we’ll see.

Here’s what I did during our Netflix session of watching the new season of “Dead to Me” last night. I finally got the ends off of the “Dip” that was on my nails. My gosh it tears your nails all up. They are so tender and brittle. As mentioned I’m going to do my own for a while. And going to get some new polish colors too. So obviously “doing nails” is on the list. Hey this is a reality blog so you get the raw real me – well most of the time.

Well it’s 10 a.m. and I need to hop onto getting ready for the upcoming work week as we will be spending time with Mom tomorrow and of course I goofed off (geeked off) lol yesterday so I must get some things done. Here’s a list of to do’s. It doesn’t show everything in each section. I also don’t use the sections like they want you to. I use it like this:

Urgent – in Pink – is Urgent but “This week”

Not Urgent in Green- is really usually fairly Urgent but most likely not til the following week.

Not Important in Blue – is stuff that is important to me but not likely to get to until I have time to! Usually hobby related.

Grey area is stuff that will be postponed til later on in the year. It’s fun to kinda reshuffle this as one week morphs into the next. This is the “Focus Matrix App” and it’s the premium version so it’s on the iMac and my phone. And it syncs.

And I must really go and tackle life before I blink and today is gone too!

Ya’ll take care and hope your weekend is a fantastic one!