Stormi
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Monday, 30 August 2021
Back to School

  We had our Lady Eagles Luncheon on August 25th at the Mexican Inn on Lancaster.  It was fun.  It was the bright spot in a very busy week. 

          I did a WEDC anniversary at 10:30 on Monday, then a City Council Workshop and a City Council Meeting.

          Tuesday, my Water Aerobics class started.  After class, two of my friends from high school and I signed up for the 8:00 a.m. Yoga class. 

          Wednesday, Stan and I went to to our Citizens' Police Academy meeting. 

          Thursday, I went to Yoga and the Water Aerobics class.  We can't use the pool for a couple more weeks due to remodeling so we did fitness testing.

          We got in some quality time together over the weekend.  I'm dividing any spare time I have between painting wooden balls for garlands and crocheting dish towels.  I did finish a dish cloth this week.  I like the pattern and will make at least one more for our kitchen to match the dish towel I'm working on.

          This week started with blood work then back home for It's All Green to install new grass where we had shrubs and trees removed. 

          One of my good friends is going to Orlando with her husband and kids this week.  I hope everything is great for them.  She also won a trip on a CDC experimental cruise and that will be later in the month.  The only thing I've "won" lately was the Census Bureau contacting me every week about Covid and some other stuff.    

          Oh!  And I was actually called by Gallup people!  Yes, they are real.  They put me on their "list" of people they can call.  If that is really the case, then it isn't really "random," is it?  Perhaps I am now part of a statistical model that a client can request, like "cranky old lady" or "retired civil servant" or people with an advanced degree.  I studied research polls and models in grad school and it is all pretty interesting stuff, if you are a nurd - another group I might possibly belong to.


Posted by stormi36 at 6:09 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 30 August 2021 6:12 PM CDT
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Saturday, 21 August 2021
The Story Continues

Stan was released for "light duty" on his foot Friday.  He went to the doctor alone because I had an event to attend - the 37th Anniversary for the Senior Center.  

It was again a busy week.  On Monday, I had a City Council Workshop.  On Tuesday I had a Watauga Economic Development Committee meeting.  Wednesday, Stan and I attended the second session of the Watauga Citizens Police Academy.  On Thursday, I attended the NE Tarrant Chamber monthly meeting.

Next week is just as full, but I'm not there yet so I'll approach the future with joy.

I am fully into craft mode, making mini rolling pins and bead garlands for my seasonal 3-tiered tray.  I've knitted a half dozen hats and one neck scarf for the homeless shelter. 

Next week, I will start going to Water Aerobics again.  My other duties will cause me to miss a few classes, but I think it is better to go most of the time than not at all.

Well, that's it for today.   


Posted by stormi36 at 2:43 PM CDT
Updated: Saturday, 21 August 2021 2:52 PM CDT
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Thursday, 5 August 2021
Doing the Work I Ran for Office to Do

Last night we had our Budget Workshop.  The Finance Director had prepared an excellent document for the City Manager to present to Council.  During Covid, our Mayor and City Manager did a great job of balancing needs and what resources were available.  Watauga came out of the shutdowns with plans ready for success.  Our 2021-2022 budget reflects this.  We were able to add back about half the positions that were cut.  We were also able to provide the services that are necessary and some that are desired.  I'd say that's a good start to recovery. 

After the meeting was over, I went to the first session of the Citizens Police Academy that Watauga does every year - except when pandemics interfere.  It is a good program and attendees learn a lot about how the Police Department functions.  

Tomorrow is Big Vehicle Day.  Some of our large equipment and some vehicles from other sources will be on display in the back parking lot of the library.  It is such an exciting day for the kids who come to it and probably just as much fun for the parents.  I will be volunteering to work at the event as a Volunteer in Police Service (VIPS).

 


Posted by stormi36 at 8:32 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, 5 August 2021 8:34 PM CDT
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Monday, 2 August 2021
Updates!

Well, I won the election and have been serving on the Watauga City Council since November 2020.  It has been a lot of work but well worth the effort to get elected.  I am still on the Watauga Economic Development Corporation and have added the Crime Control District to my list of boards.  I am also trying to be very active in the Volunters in Police Service program for Watauga.  Who said being retired is dull? 

I picked up beef bones Saturday. I roasted them then put them in the slow cooker for 20 hours. I poured off the liquid into a metal bowl and let it cool then skimmed off the fat. I put the fat into the slow cooker for 10 hours to remove the water and simmered the broth on the stovetop to remove the excess moisture. I finished the process this morning, boiling the jars and lids and softening the bone broth a little. I got a half pint of pure lard and two half pints of beef bone broth. Starting on my bases now means better soup for fall and winter. NO - I DON"T MAKE PHO. LOL

Our lives were complicated by Covid-19 but after getting vaccinated, we felt a lot better being out and doing things.  We wear masks when appropriate but aren't as worried as we were a year ago.  For us, life has pretty much returned to normal.

 


Posted by stormi36 at 9:18 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, 2 August 2021 5:17 PM CDT
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Monday, 5 October 2020

We have been campaigning every day for several hours.  Everyone I have talked to seems to think I have the qualifications for the job and say they will be voting for me.  I am optimistic about the election.  We are almost out of signs, and that is probably a good thing.  I have two banners left and may be able to find them a home today.

The weather is getting so comfortable and we have enjoyed being out.  Wearing a mask while trying to talk to people is difficult so I usually back off a bit and pull my mask down.  Most of the people I talk to answer the door without a mask, so they do not seem to mind.

I have a lot of supporters, but the bottom line is that it has just been Stan and me out campaigning every day.   I was not able to help with the door-to-door campaigns in the last election because I was still having trouble recovering from foot surgery.  I have committed to helping my friends on City Council, a new candidate and the Mayor next year and feel I am up for it this time.

I will never be 100% again with the foot, but time and lots of working with it has made it more limber and I am used to the pain to the point it does not bother me at all most days.  My annual cancer check-up was excellent.  My EKG last week was “perfect” in the words of the Cardiologist.  I had cancelled all our non-essential doctor appointments due to Covid-19 but have rescheduled everything and we are making the rounds.  I am scheduled this month for a biopsy of a small red spot near my right eye and that is a little concerning but for the fact that last year my Dermatologist looked at it and was not concerned.  It has not changed.  My doctor retired and the new person was concerned.  My thumb has healed but I still need to verify that it healed correctly.  For the record, shutting your thumb in a car door and having it latch is probably not something one should endeavor to accomplish.

I was up quite early and got the clothes and napkins ironed.  I enjoy my early mornings when the neighborhood is still and the sun is not yet risen.  I usually work on one of the two afghans I have started.  One is for Christmas and the other is for St. Patrick’s Day.  I was having difficulty matching the gauge of the yarn for the Christmas afghan but I was able to order the same type as the colors this weekend.  I am making the other one quite a bit larger than the pattern and had to order more green yarn this weekend also. 

I am so ready for life to get back to normal.  Perhaps we will soon have a new normal that is not quite the same as what we once had but will be more tolerable than what it is now.  I want everyone to be safe in their daily activities and I want our nation to heal from all the hate.  I think people are tired of all the animosity.  We were founded as one nation, under God.  So many people seem to have forgotten that.  Freedom does not mean the freedom to destroy our county, our nation’s core values or our Constitution.  We have already fought one Civil War to settle that argument. 


Posted by stormi36 at 7:12 AM CDT
Updated: Monday, 2 August 2021 5:11 PM CDT
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Saturday, 12 September 2020
Old School

We have learned a few things, or should I say relearned a few things in dealing with the pandemic.

On my last outing before everything shut down, I visited a restaurant supply and purchased five packages flat-fold paper towels, five rolls of paper towels, and 5 rolls of bathroom tissue in the giant dispenser size.  I figured out that a stack of the paper towels in the kitchen handled the emergency spill situations.  I “engineered” a method for using the giant bathroom tissue rolls. 

The first shortage we encountered was paper towels.  The rolls from the restaurant supply as well as another six pack I managed to get delivered went to my dad, who I was encouraging to stay home.  I checked on my sister to see what she was not able get and sent her some paper towels also.  I still had some from pre-pandemic stock.  It was six weeks or more before you could get paper towels delivered from Prime or Walmart.

I found out that one of the industrial size rolls of bathroom tissue will last an entire month!  When I went back to the regular stuff, it was quite a shock because it was, shall we say, of a higher quality.

The paper towel situation was far easier to deal with.  I did not grow up with paper towels.  Neither did Stan.  I took the roll off the dispenser and we went back to the fifties and used real cloth towels.  The flat-fold towels were used for microwaving and spills.

The next shortage or unattainable item turned out to be paper napkins.  I set the table for almost every meal but with paper napkins.  Well, back to the cloth napkins.  Until then, I was not totally aware of just how many of those I have.  I found out today when I ironed them all!  I will continue to keep paper napkins for when our meal is out of a bag, and that is not very often.  Real meals deserve real flatware, cloth napkins and our Fiesta plates. 

I will be doing more laundry and ironing by using more cloth and less paper, but it is a small price to pay for reducing our environmental footprint.  The towels and napkins fit in the load of light colors I was already doing each week, so no extra water used.

If you grew up in the fifties and sixties, I encourage you to try some of the old-school ways.  We pretty much always eat at one of the two dining tables.  We have been doing that for years.  Now, I feel like we are upgrading our experience.  It is amazing what a difference just a simple thing like a cloth napkin can do to enhance a meal.


Posted by stormi36 at 5:07 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, 2 August 2021 5:04 PM CDT
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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
Updated: Monday, 2 August 2021 5:06 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
Updated: Monday, 2 August 2021 5:08 PM 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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