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Sunday, 2 December 2018
Soup Weekend

It’s time to get soup in the freezer so we have lots of lunch choices once the weather gets colder.  Today I made chicken pot-pie soup, chicken noodle soup, beef and green bean soup and corn chowder.  Walter came over and I sent six containers home with him.  Tomorrow I will probably make King’s Ranch soup, vegetable soup, jalapeno potato soup and rustic shrimp soup.  I’ll be making a quick trip to Sprouts for Italian sausage and potatoes.  I am pretty much diced out for today.  I did 10 lbs of potatoes, half a package of celery, half a package of carrots and two large onions.  My step-dad came over and I sent six containers of soup home with him.  I put his in single-serving size containers and ours in two-serving containers.  All these soups freeze wonderfully.  I will probably make chicken and dumplings for tomorrow’s dinner.  That doesn’t freeze as well so I always make it fresh.

 Stan has gotten a lot done outside this week.  He has cleaned up leaves every day and had most of the oak leaves done then the Chinese Pistache decided to drop almost all its leaves in once day.  Stan got those all up and the bald cypress next door dropped half its leaves in our yard.  They are the easiest of all to rake because the clump and roll and don’t blow around.  This afternoon he is topping off the raised beds with oak leaves and removing the oak leaves from the terrace border.  He can sit on the stone wall and work the border bed along the edge.  He hasn’t been able to really work in the yard for a long time.  Now that the heart issues have been addressed, he has so much more energy.  His foot is totally well for the first time in over five years.  

 We took a 20-hour Windows 10 class and I actually learned one thing I didn’t already know, but it’s not actually something I needed to know.  Stan missed two of the 4-hour classes so he didn’t get a certificate to throw away.  What I discovered in the class was that even people who use their computers a lot don’t seem to understand the basics of file structures.  They didn’t know the difference between a file and a folder.  They didn’t understand why they needed folders.  I guess they were the ones with all the paperwork piled up on their desk because they didn’t know how to file it.

 The water aerobics class has really helped my foot.  It is hurting a little today from standing for 5 hours chopping and cooking, but my recovery time is now hours, not days. That’s quite an improvement.  I have already registered for next semester and a couple of other ladies from our high school class may be enrolling.

 Our TV decided to get “stuck” on 480 dpi and no one could figure out how to get it to work so we could reset it.  It was about 15 years old, so we opted for a new “smart” TV.  The picture is amazing compared to the old one.  We got it late Tuesday evening and Geek Squad delivered and installed it Thursday morning.  They are really reliable and fast.  I hadn’t looked at TVs in ages and was really impressed by the way the legs work on the new one.  The cables go through a hole at the top and come out a hole on the bottom of each leg so they don’t show when you put it on a TV cabinet.

 December 1 Oakhurst Elementary celebrated its 90th anniversary.  Stan and I attended as well as a few others from my High School graduating class.  We were “army brats” and moved around a lot, so I only went there for part of the 5th grade and all of the 6th.  There were still two fireplaces.  One was in the old library and the other in a room I never had been in.  Even though the hallway ceilings have been lowered with acoustic tile, most of the transom windows are still over the doors.  They have all the latches and hinges but the rods are no longer there - I guess that keeps the kids from messing with them.  The school is still beautiful.  The expansion wing was done well and almost blends in with the old building.  Oakhurst is in the top 10% of elementary schools in Fort Worth, probably a reason why Amon Carter Riverside High School is now one of the most in-demand high schools in Fort Worth due to it’s academic achievements related to college preparedness.

I love the time I now have to do the things I love thanks to retirement.  Our days are pretty full.  I don’t know how I found time to do anything when we both worked!  I guess then we did what had to be done, and we still do.  Now, however, we also have the time to do the things we want to do.

Posted by stormi36 at 3:24 PM CST
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Monday, 26 November 2018
Busy Times

Our 50th Class Reunion was October 26 and 27th.  I spent all Friday at the school, Mama Mia’s, and watching the parade.  The actual reunion was at the stockyards on Saturday evening.  It was so much fun seeing old classmates and catching up.

 The sunroom was demolished except for the roof.  Bradley Construction poured a new foundation and made it about two feet wider and a little deeper.  They then rebuilt the structure with new windows, walls and new light fixtures and electrical.  We now have a large picture window facing south over the yard.

 We also had a new driveway done.  The existing one had been compromised by the massive roots from the cypress next door.  We had the existing sidewalk removed and a new one installed with a square for the water feature and a sidewalk across the western half of the front.  There had always been a 2” “step” from the porch to the sidewalk and the concrete people eliminated that hazard.

 We have a few more projects to do before we are finally done with the improvements we want to make.  I want more sidewalks in the back, a greenhouse and electrical to the shop and storage building and the planned greenhouse.

 Thanksgiving was wonderful.  We went to Jennifer’s on Thursday and to Stan’s brother’s home on Friday.  It was good to catch up with everyone.  Trea’s family and Cheryl came from Georgia for Friday.  Billy’s family came from south Texas for Thursday.  I love being able to share the holidays with my nieces and nephews and all the kids in both families.  They all love being together and no one is sitting in the living room texting their mom asking if they can go now after 30 minutes.  (True story.)

 I will be doing Christmas eve at Walter’s again.  No one really makes much effort to come and it’s usually a pretty small gathering.  To me, it’s about ensuring that the tradition is continued in some form for those of us who treasure our family and the true meaning of Christmas.  I know Walter appreciates the gesture.  We’ve been going out for Christmas day but I think I have finally recovered from the last foot surgery enough to actually fix a small meal.

 I love the water aerobics class I’ve been taking.  This is a hard-core workout.  We were moving plants and Stan thought they were too heavy to pick up but they weren’t a problem for me.  I’ve really seen improvement in my upper arms.  I think doing the steps in the water and all the other stuff has helped strengthen the muscles in my legs and back and has had a positive impact on the foot issues.  It still hurts, but I can deal with it better now.  The orthopedic surgeon told me that anything he could do to correct the issues might work or could make the problem worse.  He doesn’t recommend doing anything.  In other words, learn to live with it was the recommendation!

 Stan is back to normal.  His toe has healed from having the knuckle removed and he is feeling pretty good.  Winter is always a little hard for him, but this year should be a lot better now that the heart issues have been addressed.

 We are enjoying life and are very happy, and that’s the best place to be.


Posted by stormi36 at 6:26 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 2 December 2018 3:27 PM CST
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Sunday, 7 October 2018

Yesterday our country won a really big victory.  The Supreme Court will no longer be as likely to legislate from the bench.  All the fears of the right will fade away as common sense takes over and extreme liberalism is tempered with constitutional law.  This wasn't a vote against women's rights; it was a vote for justice and American sensibilities.  Republicans were not swayed by all the bullying tactics and the protests funded by the extreme right.  If anything, the left was spurred to take action against all the malicious maneuvering designed to try to help Democrats get back the power the voters took away in 2016.  Stand strong.  Vote your conscience in November.

Posted by stormi36 at 8:01 AM CDT
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Thursday, 4 October 2018
My Political Opinion

The Democrats have a history, especially in the past few decades, of not wanting to enforce the laws of our country.  These laws pertain to immigration; equal protection for all, not just for those of color; enforcement of drug laws; prosecuting those who commit welfare fraud;  allowing our freedom of religion laws to be used to commit horrible abuses against Moslem women; and the list goes on.  Conservatives elected a president with full knowledge that he would nominate conservative judges that would not try to rewrite the Constitution of the United States.  He wanted a court that would rule every case in accordance with this constitution, not try to legislate from the bench. 

Conservatives want to take our country back from those who seek to destroy it from within for the sake of their own grandiose visions of power.  We want laws enforced.  We want a nation we can be proud of.  We need open discussion, not safe zones for college students.  We need to stand for the national anthem.  We need to salute the flag.  We need to support our first responders and our military.  We need to quit coddling unemployed near-do-wells who think Socialism will give them free everything at the expense of those who work, sometime two jobs, to support their families.

Think about your vote carefully.  Do you want open borders, gangs, sharia law, or Socialism - history has taught us it never works?  Do you want to forgive student loans of those who made barely passing grades because they were out partying all weekend then had to go back home and live with their parents because they couldn't hold a job?  We need an old-fashioned 1940s work ethic.  We need the Pledge of Allegiance and flags back in our classrooms.  We need civility on TV and in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The Democratic party has become the party of bullies.  If they don't like what they hear or see, they try to legislate against it.  They try to bully those who support the president by attacking conservative demonstrators on college campuses and stealing their personal property (signs) and destroying it.  They protest against conservative speakers and demand they not be allowed on campus yet flock to liberal speakers who preach hate.  They are jealous because they don't really have a just cause for which to fight so they try to make sure no one else is ever heard.  Conservatives have a just cause - our cause is justice.  Our cause is to support the president, the laws of the land and the values upon which this country was founded.

Posted by stormi36 at 8:07 AM CDT
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Wednesday, 3 October 2018

I was about to go to bed when a news story totally shocked me. It showed students at UT physically bullying Judge Kavanaugh supporters by ripping their signs out of their hands and destroying them. Where were the campus police? The little liberal snowflakes have to have safe zones so as not to hear anything that upsets their whiney little socialist butts but it's ok for them turn to violence against those who don't agree with them. All the aggressive students should be suspended and sent home with failing grades in all their classes and no tuition refunds. That kind of behavior should not be tolerated. What if it was your daughter or granddaughter that was being pushed by someone trying to take their sign? If you raised a child that would do something like that, shame on you. You need to sit them down and tell them that bullying of any kind is totally unacceptable. Violence is not a form of protest, it is assault.

Posted by stormi36 at 8:28 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 4 October 2018 8:08 AM CDT
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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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