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Tuesday, 5 December 2017
Gettin better
What started out as a little sneezing manifested itself finally as a full-blown sinus/inner ear infection that has had me grounded since Saturday.  My fever got up to a pretty low 100.5, but even that little makes me feel really bad.  I have coughed until my sides are sore.  I think I am starting to turn the corner.  I feel a lot better this morning and am not coughing as much.  I'm going to go make Belgian waffles with blueberries for breakfast for my wonderful caretaker and me.  I have BIG plans for today....we'll see how that goes.  It has been so nice for the past week and I finally feel better when it gets into the 50s and windy!

Posted by stormi36 at 7:23 AM CST
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Monday, 4 December 2017
First Week of December!

Saturday, a very large truck, probably exceeding the limits for our neighborhood, came down the street at about 40 mph and slammed into a tree branch.  The tree was properly trimmed and exceeded the required clearance per City of Watauga code.  The passenger got out and, per my request, at least got the limb out of the street.  Yesterday, Stan was out with the chainsaw making the mess go away.  Our street is two blocks long.  It is inconvenient to go down trying to get to anywhere else.  There is a through street two blocks south and another three blocks north.  None of the streets in this area have speed bumps.  Why these truck seem to need to come down our street is beyond me.  Well, it was a rental and now the offender will get to pay damages to the rental company. 


I've been pretty sick with a sinus infection that is trying to become bronchitis.  Stan has been so good at taking care of me.  I did go out and spot for him while he was on a ladder in the street.  The twins next door brought their markers over and colored on the one very large pumpkin and three small ones remaining from our fall decorations.  We hesitated to throw them away when putting up the Christmas things because they were still perfect.  We sent them home with the twins.


Our new neighbor across the street has moved in and even decorated!  While driving back from McDonalds late yesterday afternoon, I saw a house with nothing out except lights around the eves.  They were the old-fashioned multi-colored strings.  It looked so good, harking back to times before all the blow-up decorations and yard art.  If we ever decide to do eve lights again, I think that's what I want.


We mostly do ground elements.  We have a Christmas flag, a female elf in a ladder-back chair (chair courtesy of Shana Renz, former neighbor) an old sled (garage sale find) with a wreath and bells, one strand of blue lights across the front porch, and a Santa holding a light (another garage sale find).  None of that requires use of a ladder.


I have discovered I am more able to access my blog using Explorer rather than Chrome.  I'm not sure why, but today, I got an error message on Chrome and it opened right up on Explorer.  I will remember that in the future.


Wishing everyone a wonderful week.

Posted by stormi36 at 9:48 AM CST
Updated: Monday, 4 December 2017 9:49 AM CST
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Friday, 1 December 2017
WOW! It's December

I keep having trouble accessing my blog to post.  Tripod always gets it up and running again within a day of two.  It is a little frustrating, however.

We've been enjoying the weather and getting ready for Christmas.  We've done some decorating inside and out and are probably done for this year.  We need to do some major organization of the seasonal decorations so I can get to everything all year long.

Life is good!

Posted by stormi36 at 11:33 AM CST
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Thursday, 23 November 2017
Thanksgiving Day

I am thankful for my wonderful husband, Stan Hill, most of all.  He has been there through lots of health issues, the loss of loved ones and one particularly horrible boss.  I've tried to be there for him through several extended hospital stays, surgeries and his ongoing battle with asthma and COPD.  We are a good team.  We have the same general beliefs and goals in life. 

My sister is having Thanksgiving this year with her youngest son, then will have another dinner with her oldest next week when her grandchildren and great grandchildren are here.  My brother and sister-in-law are in Georgia with almost all their kids, grandkids, and great grandkids.  We are sharing this Thanksgiving with Billy and Jennifer Lea, my nephew and niece.  We are having Black Friday breakfast with my sister's oldest, DJ and his wife Robin.  It's a long-standing BF tradition made better now by not having to be at JC Penny at 4:00 a.m. for Disney snow globes.

I am very thankful that the only people who are a part of our lives now are truly good people.  Doing good things for the right reasons is its own reward.  You can't have a happy life if you let bad people and things in.

Enjoy the good people in your life.  You are lucky to have them. 

Posted by stormi36 at 7:08 AM CST
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Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Parade of Lights

On Sunday, we stayed at a hotel downtown for the annual Fort Worth Parade of Lights.  We had reserved seating in front of the court house, the starting point for the parade and where the announcers were describing the floats.  It was so much fun.  The weather was cold but no wind until near the end of the parade and then it was just a slight wind.  We were both dressed for the cold and had a throw to put over our legs.

I've been pretty limited for the past year due to the surgery on my left foot.  The implant has caused stiffness and a lot of pain.  I am both learning to deal with the pain and finding ways to function through it.  It was about a half mile from the hotel to our seats.  I managed to walk it both ways with very little trouble by wearing a compression sock and lace-up shoes.  My foot hurt quite a lot during the night, but I was able to walk OK Monday morning.

I have pain meds, but don't take them.  I have known too many people who got hooked on pain meds.  The body will tell you that there is still pain in order to get the drugs you are hooked on.  Most of the time it starts with a back problem and ends up an addiction.  I tend to rely on aspirin.  

I have severe rheumatoid arthritis.  I continued working, much to my Rheumatologist's surprise.   I even went back to school and got my Masters in Public Administration with a 4.0 GPA, working through the pain and many days the extreme difficulty even walking.  I was diagnosed with follicular non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma in 2003 and given two years to live.  I kept working and stayed in school.  I am definitely not a quitter and very proud of it.

Living a good life and trying to do the best we can to be good people is what keeps Stan and I going.  We have worked hard all our lives and are able to enjoy life now.  We are looking forward to Thanksgiving and being with family.

Posted by stormi36 at 2:12 AM CST
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Saturday, 18 November 2017
Irrigation System

Our irrigation system is digital, fancy, phone accessible and all that other techie stuff.  I would have thought it was smart enough to know when the time changes.  Guess the manufacturer didn't think of everything or maybe we need to download the software to our phones so that it is a little smarter.  It is supposed to come on at 1:00 a.m. on Saturday.  I woke up at 12:45 p.m. and thought it was raining.  Ah, technology.

We are going to make our Texas experiences map today.  We are mounting a map of Texas on foam board and will mark the things we do in Texas.  Later we will do a US map to pin the places we go.  We are in disagreement about the type of travel trailer we want, so that is pretty much on hold until we do a lot of looking and exploring.  I don't want to buy something only to not be happy with it.  He wants big, I want small.  We will be in mostly national parks that have really nice facilities, so we don't need as much as we would if we were camping in total wilderness.  (We are a little old for that.)  These are "vacation" trips, so I don't plan to cook and clean, etc.  If I can't make it in a microwave, we will be eating out.

We have some exciting things planned for December.  I am loving life so much now.  Retirement is really great!

Posted by stormi36 at 7:26 AM CST
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Thursday, 16 November 2017
A little baking today.

I made a large bag of Grands Southern Style biscuits and a raspberry scone mix (Great Value) this morning.  I don't remember ever having scones - maybe once at a tea at Montgomery Street Antique Mall.   I wanted to try a mix before I attempt to make them from scratch.  I liked them a little more than Stan did.  He was a little happier after I put strawberry jelly and whipped cream on it.  He still doesn't really care for them.  He does like the biscuits.

I finished my pom-pom snowman today, adding felt eyes, nose and buttons.  It actually doesn't look quite so much like a sheep dog now but does seem to resemble some fluffy bird.  I was going to make a garland of snowmen but really don't like the finished product.

We are going to Jennifer's for Thanksgiving.  She is one of my "lost" nieces.  She wasn't really lost, just "misplaced" after a divorce.  She and my nephew Billy and niece Kathy are three of the nicest people one could ever hope to know.  We are so glad to have them back in our life.

It is a windows open kind of day.  We take every opportunity to open the windows and get fresh air.  We waited as late as possible to close the house for A/C this spring.  I gave up around 85 degrees.  We close most of the windows at night right now but leave one cracked in the bedroom.  It's nice to hear the sounds of the world.

Bailey, one of our neighbors, brought her new daughter home yesterday.  Savannah weighs just a fraction over five pounds.  She was born with a full head of dark hair.  Armando, another neighbor, is in the hospital with an as yet undiagnosed ailment - high fever and disorientation.  Shana and Jeff's former house is probably now rented to a lady in her 30s or 40s with boy and girl ten year-old twins.  Jennifer's former house is for rent again.  The first occupant was there a couple of months before he purchased a home in Roanoak. 

I really, really need to make a more serious effort to get back on schedule.  I am going to do the meal plans today and get the shopping list ready for tomorrow.  I have been letting my foot (still recovering from surgery) and my RA limit me, which is something I never used to do.  I don't need to get up and get dressed for work every morning, so I tend to be here, in our home office, on Facebook, Pinterest, etc.  That's too much idle computer time when I have stuff I really need to do when I'm working in the office,  I have thousands of photos (probably not an exaggeration) to scan, hundreds (exaggeration) of web pages to get done in the photo album section, tons of crafts I want to do and lots of lifestyle planning.  I did manage to do a backup to my Seagate yesterday.  It doesn't stay plugged into the computer so it's a pretty safe place to store my files.

Well, off to other things for today.

Posted by stormi36 at 10:12 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 16 November 2017 10:16 AM CST
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Tuesday, 14 November 2017
Murder on the Orient Express

Loved it!  I've seen Albert Finney 1974, David Suchet 2010, and now Kenneth Branagh 2017.  The Finney character is a little too robust for me.  Until today, I preferred David Suchet, probably from years of watching him do Poirot on PBS.  Kenneth Branaugh nails the need for perfection and balance and adds humor and a lot more humanity to the role. 

In the first scene, set in Jerusalem, Poirot sticks his cane in the wailing wall.  Just as Shakespeare used witches to signal a play was a tragedy, the cane later (at least to me) indicates that a little comedy may follow.  Indeed, comedy does follow.  There are humorous insults by Peroit and almost everyone in the audience laughed - not something that happened with the other two versions.  In the Finney version, there is a reference to a jury of twelve men that I thought wasn't going to be made.  When it finally is, it's a not done with words but art.  I think I was the only one laughing at the Leonardo sight gag.  Maybe the rest of the audience didn't get it or didn't think it right to laugh at the image.  I thought it was both campy and amusing.  (I am easily amused.)

There were moments where I was almost in tears (I cry easily also).  The other versions didn't make the death of Daisy Armstrong so heart wrenching.  There was real anguish from the actors.

The scenery is digital but amazing.  I don't know if it was because the A/C was working overtime in the theater or because the cold on the screen was so realistic, but I wish I'd worn a sweater.

Yes, the critics don't like it.  It is a little too fresh and strays from the novel.  The differences are improvements that update the story.  One doesn't go see it to find out who did it - we already know that.  I wanted to see the presentation of the characters and the story and I wasn't disappointed.  This is definitely my favorite version.

Posted by stormi36 at 6:11 PM CST
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Good Morning

I got one magazine read yesterday.  I got distracted by a new book I got in the mail.  Years ago when I was diagnosed with cancer (2003) and told I had two years to live, I got hooked on Lillian Jackson Brown.  I had most of her books but found I was missing three so I ordered them.  The first to arrive was sent from England!  I didn't pay any attention to the origin since I ordered them through Amazon.  Even though I had read all of them before, I was probably not concentrating too much due to the more serious events in my life and the required reading for the graduate classes I was taking. This time, I am retired with no death sentence hanging over me and they are a lot more enjoyable.  They are still very light reading but fun.

Having recognized my need to actually do some of the Pinterest projects I had pinned, I went to Michael's yesterday and obtained two punches and paper to make garlands.  I love garlands.  They are so cheery.  I'll be making a Valentine's garland from two gold papers (heart of gold) and a New Year's garland of black, silver, and silver/black patterned paper circles.  There were a couple of pins with layered garlands that really looked good. 

Stan found a "Christmas Tree" of silver garland on metal rings.  It collapses to a pretty flat state.  It hangs on a central pole.  It's very skinny and he found a perfect place for it by the fireplace.  Arg....Christmas up before Thanksgiving.  It's OK though because it was his find and I love when he gets involved.  So now, there are still crows from Halloween (overlooked when putting up that holiday's decorations), lots of pumpkins, and some Christmas.

Even though it got bad reviews, we are going to see Murder on the Orient Express this week.  I am usually patient and wait for movies to be released to home audiences, but this is one to see on the "big screen."  I haven't been to a movie theater since 2002.  We are going to plan a daytime visit so maybe the ticket prices won't too much of a shock!

Well, back to other things that need to be done today and to make my second cup of coffee.

Posted by stormi36 at 8:54 AM CST
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Monday, 13 November 2017
Server Error

For the second time in a month, the server I use for my web page wouldn't connect to my blog. I may move it to the web page if this continues.  It is a little more complicated to do it that way.

I'm enjoying the warm, overcast weather and doing a lot of reading.  I subscribe to about 20 magazines and they keep me busy along with my books.  I used to give the magazines I'd read to a neighbor, but she moved back to Wisconsin.  I did find out I can donate them to Half-Price Books to be redistributed.  They charge $1 for most magazines, but that is probably not enough for their staff to do all the stocking and straightening work that goes with magazines.  If you don't want the mess of so many subscriptions and live near a store, that might be an option.  Today is set aside for finishing up my unread magazines then a trip to donate them.  I doubt I'll finish today, however.

I also have a lot of stuff I want to make/finish in my craft room.  I discovered I have so many Christmas ideas in Pinterest that it would take me almost seven years to do them all if I did one a day.  It would take even longer for the Halloween stuff.  Maybe I need to spend more time doing instead of pinning!  I did make one of the folded Christmas trees out of a Reader's Digest.  I only need to put a little green paint on the edges and maybe decorate is a little.  I'm more about the tree than the decorations.  I had to put my soda bottle witch on hold before Halloween because I needed kitty litter (fill to keep the bottle from falling over) and a dowel to hold the head on.  I will enjoy her next year, perhaps.  I know after Christmas I'll have cold days to sit inside and craft, so it will get done along with the 5,000 pins I really want to do (right).

The flowers around the edge of the back terrace are still blooming.  I love Texas because you can have flowers until Thanksgiving most years and sometimes we even have roses until Christmas.  A tenant at the airport who moved to Texas in winter time told me that he knew summers here could be brutal but you don't have to shovel heat.  I guess we will do winters in Texas and travel north in the summer.

Well, off to the magazines!

Posted by stormi36 at 11:08 AM CST
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