Stormi
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Saturday, 8 August 2020
Updates during the time of Covid

I decided to run for the Watauga City Council.  Unfortunately, the elections were moved from May to November 2.  I took time off from the campaign to adjust to on-line shopping and on-line meetings.

I have really enjoyed being at home with Stan and we have found lots to do.  I crocheted six cat beds of various sizes for our animal shelter and some bird nests to send to Australia after the fires.  I made a yellow afghan, several rag wreaths, and several rag garlands for the fireplace.  I made a few other 4th of July decorations.  I worked on several cross stitch projects.  One is finished and I have a little more work to do on the other.  They will be pillows for next year.

For the 4th of July, we did not do our normal trip downtown to watch the fireworks.  Instead, I helped organize the first ever permitted parade in Watauga.  No one in the city remembers there ever being a parade and there was no permitting process for one.  I worked with the Director of Public Works and his staff and they developed one for me.  Our wonderful Police Department participated with three motorcycles and two patrol vehicles.  The awesome Fire Department sent a fire truck and ambulance.  It was not a large parade – just a few very decorated personal vehicles - and the route took less than 15 minutes, but we were all thrilled to see people out in family groups along the parade route.  It is undoubtedly the most fun I have ever had on the 4th of July.  I think everyone who participated felt the same way.

Watauga has survived so far.  A few businesses have closed but some of them were already in trouble before the pandemic.  There have been some bright spots for growth also. 

We had not been out to a garden store all season, but we had to be out last week and when we drove past Tropical Greenery, the parking lot was empty.  We bought some plants and a container, and Stan has most of them planted already.

We decided to stay home from the first of March until the end of July.  People were not taking the advice of doctors and leaders seriously.  Now that masks are mandatory everywhere, I am willing to venture out in situations where there are low numbers of people. 

Very few people are likely to know how to get to this blog.  This is mostly a note to myself so that I will be able to recall how we were doing during this time of great stress for our country and our friends.  We did well.  We are both retired and not dependent on a job or outside income.  We have helped where we could, sharing what we were able to forage with friends, family and even total strangers.  We got creative at times and found replacements for those things that became unattainable, but we are old enough to remember what a dish towel is for, so paper towels were never an issue.  We went back to using our Fiesta rather than disposable plates.  Even though food prices are higher, we have saved quite a lot of money not eating out, something we used to really enjoy.  We have done local take-out meals to try to help our Watauga businesses.  We used some of the stimulus money to replace aging appliances in our kitchen. We are planning for the future, even with all the problems our country is facing right now.  It will get better and we will be more than ready to be out and doing things with our friends.

 

If you got here, I hope you enjoyed reading something positive.  


Posted by stormi36 at 6:08 PM CDT
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Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Time really does fly!

I’ve been pretty busy having fun for the past five months and forgotten all about my blog.

Here’s a quick update:

Stan has fully recovered from all the foot issues and the heart issues and is feeling great!

We love the sun room.  We put a bistro table out there and have been enjoying most of our meals surrounded by nature.

We loved the sidewalk to the east gate so much, we are adding a sidewalk to the west gate, a small patio, and sidewalks to the lower yard and below the raised terrace.

Our drainage improvements helped a lot, but we have added more this week.  

Our next major project is a fabulous car port framed with huge cedar posts and constructed to match the roof pitch over the garage.

We worked on a local election and our candidates won!!!!  

I am as recovered from all the foot issues as I am ever likely to be thanks to water aerobics.

The Parks Development Corporation that I have served as a director on for the past 19 years has become the Economic Development Corporation.  I have been going to business anniversaries with City staff and City Council members and volunteered to help with the first business expo.  It has been a lot of fun.

Because of our involvement with the elections, we have begun going to a lot more public meetings and are much more aware of what is going on in our city.

Mostly, we are really enjoying life.  That’s the absolute best update I have to share.

 

I’ll try to get back here more often, but will probably fail miserably.  See you soon,…..maybe!


Posted by stormi36 at 12:54 AM CDT
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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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