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Saturday, 15 September 2018

When I changed the bandage on Stan's toe last night, I could see that the skin has begun to mend and found no indications of infection.  There is a lot less swelling and redness.  I think he is about to turn the corner on this injury/surgery.

Water aerobics continues to challenge in good ways.  I come home really tired but am energized once I recover.  I can tell my legs and arms are getting stronger.  All the water exposure has been a little tough on my allergies, but I'm coping.

The sun room is going well.  We will go purchase the exterior stone tiles this afternoon and Brad will pick them up since Stan is pretty limited.  The framing inspection is Monday morning.  I have secured all the lighting fixtures for inside and out.  I love wall sconces and will finally have some in the sun room, despite objections for the other party involved.  We couldn't find anything we really liked so I ended up getting single tulip lights for now.  They can be changed easily when we find ones we really like - maybe antique.

I got my lab results this week and my A1C is the best it's been in years.  All my other numbers are great too.  I have my second Rituxan infusion this week then I'm done for 10-12 months.  I am seeing the foot doctor Monday to try to figure out why I am still in so much pain since the surgery in March 2017.  If I need surgery, it will have to be after the aerobics class is over for the semester. 

We have our 50th class reunion this October and I am really looking forward to all the activities.  It will be great to see everyone!

Stan and I are so blessed.  I can't imagine a better life. 

Posted by stormi36 at 11:48 AM CDT
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Sunday, 9 September 2018

You know, I do believe in the power of prayer, but if you want to change something you need to be the one to change it.  Mostly, you need to be the one to change who you are.  Asking God is good, but he does help those who help themselves.  One should never take credit for another's good intentions.  It doesn't work that way. When your promises have a three-day expiration date, they are pretty much worthless.  Sometimes our beliefs are tested.  When you always fail, maybe they aren't really your beliefs.

Posted by stormi36 at 8:49 AM CDT
Updated: Sunday, 9 September 2018 8:50 AM CDT
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We have been quite busy these past weeks.  I am taking a water aerobics class twice a week.  Bradley Construction has begun the complete reconstruction of our sunroom. I am working on a project with a friend.

I was having problems with my cooking software because of conflicts with Windows 7 so I got a new laptop with Windows 10.  I have never liked 10.  Stan switched to 10 when it was free to upgrade and while he can use it, he isn't as proficient with it as he was the older versions.  I have signed us up for a two-week class in November so maybe we will finally arrive in the world of 10.  I've actually not had too much trouble with the new laptop, but it is touch screen and that actually helps.

Stan was doing pretty well with respect to foot issues until last week.  We have a stock-tank thing with a liner that was used at Sprouts to hold ice for displays of vegetables.  Our neighbor, Shana, got it when they were getting rid of it and didn't want to move it back home to Wisconsin when she left so she gave it to us.  The drain got stopped up a little and Stan went out to empty the little bit of water standing in it.  He lifted the entire thing instead of just the liner and set it back down on his toe.  The toe was pretty damaged and swollen.  I got him in to the podiatrist as soon as I could with the goal of both making sure his toe wasn't broken and seeking a remedy to an anomaly caused by the amputation of his big toe.  His toe curled because of tendon issues related to not having a bit toe.  The doctor decided to take the joint out to flatten the toe.  Stan is once again in a boot and taking major antibiotics to ensure no infection.  Keeping him off the foot is an issue, as usual.  Because it doesn't hurt, he thinks he is fine to do stuff.  Ah, the challenges of having a 73-year old male child.  LOL

I loved getting ample rain but am so glad it is over for a few days.  It did usher in cooler temperatures and we are really loving the feeling that fall is just around the corner.  We had a lot planned for fall so I hope Stan heals quickly

Posted by stormi36 at 8:34 AM CDT
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Monday, 27 August 2018

The forms for the foundation and sidewalk have been completed and the city gave us the final inspection OK to pour concrete.  Stan is moving plants from the back to the front and relocating some liriope to the front.  We got three more gardenias and put them along the edge of the raised bed terrace where the liriope had been.

I'm going to probate court with my niece today to try to finally settle my ex-husband's property stuff.  He never did a will so it has been pretty complicated for her.  He had life insurance that made me the beneficiary but the divorce decree said I wasn't.  There isn't anyone left from his generation or his parent's generation now.  Her brother is the oldest but he doesn't live here so she is doing all the legal stuff.  Stan and I have wills and have reviewed all our insurance policies, retirement accounts and bank accounts to ensure everything is delineated.  Hopefully, it will be easier for everyone some day.

Happy Monday!

Posted by stormi36 at 11:14 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 22 August 2018

Demolition is proceeding quickly.  All the windows and doors have been removed and most of the exterior finishes removed.  The electrical elements are also gone.  They are loading the demolition debris as soon as they take it off the structure so there won't be any damage to the lawn from boards and sheetrock sitting on it.  They are about to demo the floor.  I am sure the contractor and his helpers will get a little bit of a laugh at our efforts to level the slab.  It probably wasn't the best idea, but it worked for many years.

When completed, there will be a large picture window on the south side of the new structure with two windows and a glass door on the east and west sides.  I opted for an edge wall about 2' tall around the perimeter and the windows will not go to the floor as they did before.    The interior is supposed to be finished in bead board to match the existing ceiling.  We are attaching a concrete patio to the east side so that we have afternoon shade for cooking out and sitting outside in nice weather.  We currently sit on the west walkway and the chairs make getting around a little difficult.

In the future, we may add a concrete patio to the west side but put a pergola or something similar over it for shade.  I really want to have our contractor build a greenhouse for us next, but since the concrete sub orders a truck for concrete, it may be pretty economical to add the second patio when we pour the footing walls for the greenhouse.  Time and finances will tell.

Posted by stormi36 at 11:11 AM CDT
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Sunday, 19 August 2018

I spent most of yesterday cooking and working on a cross stitch that will be a Christmas present.  I have a few projects picked out to make for Christmas.  I made a huge pot of pasta sauce for the freezer.  Stan likes mine better than most restaurant pasta sauce.  I tried crock-pot ribs.  I could only find boneless pork ribs.  They would have been better if they had bones.  I haven't been able to find beef ribs that aren't half a cow - way too much to fit in a crock pot.

We have made really significant progress clearing out the sunroom.  It had a lot of serious issues and will be rehabilitated beginning next week.  I am really looking forward to the finished product.

I start a water aerobics class next week at TCC and hope I'm up to it.  Jumping in the pool will feel good right now, but getting back to my car with wet hair in November may not be so much fun!  Maybe they still have the hair dryers in the locker room.  I will get a grade in this class, so I hope I do well.  I'm one of those people driven to always make an A.  I'm a member of Phi Theta Kappa (international honor society for junior colleges) and Phi Alpha Alpha (national honor society for students of public administration) - my master's degree is in public administration.  I haven't made anything lower than an A since I went back to school in 1993. 

Time to get back to work.  Happy Sunday!

Posted by stormi36 at 12:56 PM CDT
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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Yesterday afternoon, we began the process of moving all the plants and decorative items out of the sunroom.  Monday our contractor will begin demolition of the existing structure with the exception of the roof gable.  It will be reconstructed from the ground up, made slightly larger to square the foundation to the house and redesigned to have a knee wall under the windows.  Once completed, it will be a true 4-season room.

I have beautiful faux wicker furniture that has been in storage for 10 years that will return to this room.  The furniture was an early graduation present from Stan when I earned my MPA in 2006.  We needed a place to winter over our plants and got a little carried away.  We were saving annuals that could be replaced every year just because we could once we put the furniture in storage.  We have decided that we are retired and can put new plants in the baskets.

There are two large plants that will need a 2-wheeler to get them moved to a shady spot in the front yard.  We have about two more hours' work to finish.

Stan is going to Dallas with a neighbor this morning so she can have a pic line put in prior to some pretty major surgery.  She is very young (30s) and this is going to be pretty serious stuff.  He is very familiar with pic lines since he's had three separate instances for various infections.  She has bad veins and this may be more of an IV catheter.  His lines were run from the right arm to very near the heart for antibiotics. 

Stan is a really good guy.  He does so much for other people.  He took a relative to Baylor Dallas three times a week for check-ups after transplant surgery.  He never got a single thank-you for doing it.  He's taken another neighbor for doctor visits when she wasn't strong enough to drive.  He believes in helping others.

All that said, I guess I'm pretty lucky to have found him!

Posted by stormi36 at 8:56 AM CDT
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Sunday, 5 August 2018

Life is good.  Stan is doing well and I've recovered from the 100+ days.

I have been having so much fun with my Cricut learning how to use dies and embossing folders.  I still need a few embossing folders but am pretty well set with dies unless something new catches my eye.  I stocked up on papers when Hobby Lobby had them 50% off a few weeks ago.  I did a tussie mussie and gift tag for a birthday present and Stan even commented on how nice it looked.  I even cut balloons out of one of the craft papers I had used and put them on the card envelopes.  I learned how to do rosettes and put one on the front of the tussie mussie.  My $15 craft table is perfect for doing paper crafts.

Stan has been doing a lot of work in the yard, within his doctor's and Jan's imposed limitations, that is.  He is allowed to lift 20 lbs. now.  He seems to be feeling a lot better.  There is a new asthma medication that I want him to check into.  With the heart issues being addressed, maybe it's time to work on the lungs.  He is holding at 165, so all is good.

We haven't seen mama cat and the two surviving kittens for a week or so.  I think she has taken them out into the world to teach them to fend for themselves.  There are several people who keep cat food out, so they should do well.

We have some excursions planned, but I won't post anything until afterwards.  It's not a good idea to announce to the world when and where you are if away from home.  We do let neighbors know and they watch our house.  This is a pretty friendly neighborhood.  We really enjoy where we are.

I think it's important for one to enjoy their place in the world.  If you live a good life and don't reach out to others with hate (you know who you are), God will take care of the rest.  Your heart makes you a good person, not how often you attend church.  


Posted by stormi36 at 9:40 AM CDT
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Thursday, 2 August 2018

The last couple of weeks have been "interesting."  We had a power outage this week from 2:00 pm until a little after midnight.  We made some new friends (ONCOR) and visited with quite a few neighbors since almost everyone was out at one time or another due to the heat.  We didn't open the freezer or fridge, so everything fared quite well.

Stan was released to do almost anything except lift over 20 lbs.  He seems to be feeling a lot better than he had been.  He's working in the yard a lot more and enjoying life a little more.

The cooler weather the past few days has finally perked me up some and helped motivate me to make plans and get things done around the house.  I have begun making Christmas gift tags and have some layouts planned for Halloween Tussie Mussies.  I've charted out a fall cross stitch and have started on a cute one that will be a Christmas present.

We've had a really tall evening primrose that came in the wildflower seeds we planted.  It is approaching six feet.  I went on line to see what they attract and found that butterflies and hummingbirds seem to like them.  I didn't know if I should collect seeds or buy new ones next year.  The first site I visited sold seeds for $24.95/lb.  I think I'll collect seeds!  Our perennials have survived the heat but not thrived.  I think they will welcome fall.  We had an irrigation system put in last fall and it has made a world of difference in the health of the trees and grass.  All the trenches from the installation have mostly seen the grass cover them.

We have been feeding the wild birds really good stuff over all summer.  I have white-wing dove that are the size of pigeons.  There are some sparrows that are approaching the size of mockingbirds.  We have a grown downy woodpecker and two immature ones.  We also have two hairy woodpeckers and an immature one that doesn't quite have a full red spot on the back of his head.  The male cardinal is still feeding two babies that can fly and follow him around.  We have a female squirrel that will almost take peanuts from our hand.  The mama cat that brought her babies to our yard after they were born next door may have moved on now.  We haven't seen her or the two kittens for a couple of days.  We don't feed the stray cats because of the birds, but several neighbors do.  Strays do come by to drink out of the water feature in the front yard.  We really enjoy watching the birds and spotting species we never noticed in our landscape before.

Ah, now off to expend some of my extra energy doing laundry and ironing!

Posted by stormi36 at 8:32 AM CDT
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Sunday, 22 July 2018
One Day at a Time

Stan is beginning to feel a little better.  He has been so sore from the surgery that he hasn't been able to sleep well.  It has been eleven days now, and he feels like he is turning the corner.  Last night I asked him if he feels like his health has improved and he noted that he has not been short of breath since the surgery.  We have been out some and he seems to handle the heat pretty well.  Stan mostly needs lots of rest so he can heal properly.  His next doctor visit is Wednesday and we will see how he is doing.  The will probably do an EKG and I hope it shows improved function.

I have had time to start on a few Christmas projects.  I'm learning how to make gift tags with my Cuddlebug, dies, embossing folders and stamps.  It's fun but not too easy to do some things with arthritic hands.  I am able to do embroidery and cross stitch pretty easily and really love to do cross stitch.  I have tons of stuff I would like to do.  The heat has helped to keep me inside from noon on, so I have felt more like working in my craft room.

And now, just waiting for fall!

Posted by stormi36 at 5:52 AM CDT
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