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Archive for the ‘Township’ Category

Politics, Local and National

Posted by Nancy on August 12, 2008

We voted to formally go out for bids on a new fire station tonight.  We have been working this project for a long time and the stars finally aligned to get it done.

Now for final preparations to solicit bid packages on the fire house/township offices construction.  It will be a nice building when we are done – not glamorous, no Taj Mahal, but spacious and functional to replace our current cramped station and tiny administrative building.

Our meeting went long, from 6:30 to 10:00, but we covered a lot of ground.  Lots of citizen input, lots of questions answered.  A good meeting.

On the national political front, I am beginning to hear from the occasional Democratic friend that they can’t believe it, but it looks like they are going to have to vote Republican this year.  Anyone else hearing that?  There seems to be a subtle dynamic changing.  People are paying attention and aren’t liking what they are seeing on the left.

The more I read, the more I see, the more interesting this election year becomes. 

What happens if Obama’s numbers keep dropping between now and the Democratic convention.  Will they stick with him, or will Hillary try for a coup?  I am seeing an awful lot of PUMA blogs showing up, and wonder if these people really are as committed to promoting Hillary as they say.

In the midst of everything, John McCain can’t get much coverage no matter what he does.  And of course none of it is going to be positive.  The MSM are ridiculously biased.

Yes, it becomes more and more interesting.

And if you haven’t seen this year’s jibjab sendup yet, you really ought to.

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Happy Anniversary To Us

Posted by Nancy on July 8, 2008

It’s amazing how quickly forty-one years can glide by when you are enjoying life together.  Oh, there were rought spots and tight times, but all in all it has been an enjoyable four decades plus one year.

Wow, that sounds like a long time. 

I feel like the same person I was those many years ago, just with a body that shows the wear and tear.  How can you explain to a young person that who you are, the true essence of yourself, doesn’t change.  We age physically, and we mature intellectually and emotionally, but we still are who we are. 

It’s no wonder the concept of body and spirit is universal throughout all cultures – a body that is only a receptacle for who we really are.  The concept may be refined differently through various religions, but it is there in some form.  It is a true concept, and we know it intuitively.

Bud and I celebrated by having lunch together since I had a township meeting this evening and wouldn’t be around for supper.  It was nice to spend time together, and we decided it was just as good as going out for dinner.  Maybe better, at lunch menu prices.

I ran home in mid-afternoon to meet with my visiting teachers, those angels from my congregation who check up on me monthly to make sure I am okay.  It was a welcome disruption in the middle of typing up the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  The agenda was so short I was sure we would be out of there within 20 minutes. 

Wrong again. 

It always depends on how many citizens show up with complaints and what issues get bloviated to death. 

The meeting lasted two and a half hours.

We bought a new brush truck for the fire department; we talked about trees on road right-of-way; but first we spent over an hour on citizen complaints.  I have many follow-up phone calls to make this week to try and find answers to the problems.

Tomorrow I am going to Doug’s to help S~ with her flag for girls camp.  I hope we can do a good job and she will be happy with it.

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Survey Results? What Survey Results?

Posted by Nancy on July 7, 2008

What happens if you have a party and no one comes? How about if you ask for thoughtful insight and no one responds (except Katie, who was disqualifired because she didn’t follow the rules)? Do you assume that everyone really has no opinion, or that they are hesitant to tell you what they really think?

Maybe it just means we each need to prayerfully consider what strengthens our own faith and family and go with that.

I have walked the tightrope of raising my family to be active in the Church while also respecting my husband’s choice not to be a part of it for many years now. Everyone has been married in the temple (except me, of course, but I was already married and expecting our third child when I joined the Church); everyone is raising their children in the Church; everyone is successful in their lives and careers.  I guess I will continue to prayerfully follow the guidance of the Spirit to keep us close as a family.

Meanwhile, life goes on. This is brush pickup week in the township, and after all the storms from the past few weeks the guys have about 100 stops to make. This is the most we have ever had, it will keep the whole road crew busy at least all week, and the calls are still coming in.

The temperature has been in the 80s for three days now and suddenly the petunias are looking good and the vegetable garden is perking up. Let’s hope the weather holds and we end up with something to harvest. All I have to do now is spend several evenings weeding and pruning to get everything in shape.

I attended today’s monthly luncheon held by a local property owners association and learned about several concerns they want the township to address. It is a lovely community with a series of small lakes. They brought several drainage issues to my attention, mentioned a couple vacant houses that need some serious attention, talked about an open house/garden tour they are planning for next year, and in general caught me up on some of their activities. I told them about plans for park improvements that will happen in September, discussed the infestation of invasive purple loosestrife I noticed in one lake, and visited one of the problem drainage areas. It was time well spent.

Bud and I were planning to go to into Amish country later this week to celebrate our anniversay but found all the lodging in the area is already booked. I wonder what is going on there this week? Anyway, now we are trying to decide what Plan B will be. We may just take a map and throw a dart at it and go from there.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=GsfVw9xxoNY 

The above link has had “embedding removed by request” according to YouTube.  It is Weird Al’s Amish Paradise, and it is a humorous, disrespectful, and in some ways sort of accurate view of Amish life.  We enjoy being among the Amish people and are sorry we are having to change our plans.

Posted in Mormon life, Township, Travel | 1 Comment »

Pretty Soon It Adds Up To Real Money

Posted by Nancy on July 1, 2008

We had our township budget hearing meeting today, and it is over $4 million again next year.

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What A Difference A Vowel Makes

Posted by Nancy on June 30, 2008

Eliza in My Fair Lady struggled to get her pronunciation perfect.  There are others out there who need to do the same, and one of them called me recently.

Either that or my voice mail didn’t pick him up very well.  It sounded pretty clear though, so I’m going with my original interpretation.

“Hello, this is — from the Park Commission, and I was wondering if I could have a chance to speak at the next county township association meeting.”

I haven’t been secretary of the association for two years now, but that’s okay.  I don’t mind taking calls and referring them on to the appropriate person, which is what I did.  I called the current secretary and left her a message; she called the president and left him a message.

Is this beginning to sound a little like the old “Telephone” game we all played as kids, only with answering machines added?

The president called the guy back and set up the time to speak, which was at tonight’s quarterly dinner.  We were treated to a half hour presentation on modern methods of raising hogs, given by a public affairs representative from the state’s PORK Commission. 

He came complete with movie interviews with farmers, showing the inside of the buildings where the piglets are born and the buildings where they are “finished.”  That means raised to market size, not slaughtered, although the specter was always there.  He talked about the feed, the cost, disposing of the manure, etc.

We had just eaten a dinner of barbecued pork, and he was talking about the “dung slots” in the floor of the buildings.

Some of the trustees are farmers and really enjoyed the program. 

I got a nice little cookbooklet out of the deal. 

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How Big Was That Baby?*

Posted by Nancy on June 27, 2008

Happy Birthday, Drew. Can it really be 25 years since you were born, so big you filled the hospital bassinet at birth? Seems like just yesterday.

Now you’re married with a baby of your own, starting your first real job as an accountant. Wow. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Here’s to your future, with wishes that your life is as full and rewarding as mine has been (so far – I’m not giving up yet).

* The answer is, ten pounds, eleven ounces. He remembers. I definitely remember.

With no segue, on to today’s litany of events.

I spent this afternoon working on Tim’s computer at the township office. It has been running like a dog and he took the day off, so figured I could waste some time defragging it, running virus scans, wiping out temporary internet files, etc. Those are the things you do to make yourself think you are accomplishing something, when in reality none of it helps.

A stop by my favorite ice cream shop lifted my mood.  I was on the way to check on four complaints of businesses being run out of residences with the outsides looking trashy, and the ice cream siren song was just too loud to ignore.  Black cherry in a waffle cone.

When I got back to the office I checked how much RAM that problem computer has, and, well, 512M just won’t cut it anymore. Probably should have checked that in the first place.  It’s not that old, and it worked fine when we first got it, but downloads and updates must have put a little too much into its memory banks.   Bud came up and helped me crack it open to find out what it needs; I’ll upgrade it Monday.

Matt called to ask about berries he found on trees along the creek while taking a nature walk with the kids. Hmmm.  Do I dare make a decision without seeing them?  Am I endangering my grandchildren’s lives if I make the wrong call?

I diagnosed them to be mulberries and told him they were edible, so they all tried them. Gee, I hope I was right (just kidding).  The black berries he found on thorny bushes nearby must be black raspberries, based on the fact there are ripe black raspberries in my back yard and blackberries come in later in the season.

Even A~, who doesn’t like fruit, was trying the berries, which is a good thing.

It just doesn’t get any better than black raspberries.  I hope she appreciated them.  Mulberries, well, there’s a reason why you hear about the monkey and the weasel and not so much about mulberry pies.  Although, try out this website which proves me a liar:  http://fooddownunder.com/cgi-bin/search.cgi?q=mulberry 

I ended the day striking out the second time trying to fill yesterday’s prescription from the doctor.  She decided my four years of gastric pain has been caused by h. pylori bacteria, but instead of writing prescriptions for the separate antibiotics used to treat it she wrote for some package deal.  This is not looking promising. 

You know h. pylori, the one that causes ulcers.  The generic antibiotics required to treat it are just amoxicillin and clarithromycin, and you take them with Prevacid in this case.  The individual antibiotics are dirt cheap, but my guess is the package deal won’t be.

Here’s to modern medicine, which cures you but doesn’t make it easy.

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Thursday Ramblings

Posted by Nancy on June 26, 2008

Hmmm, where to start.  I guess the beginning is as good a place as any.

My day started with a 6:30 a.m. appointment for some routine medical diagnostics.  Let’s just say because my father died of colon cancer I am supposed to get checked every five years.  I waited six years this time – some things you just don’t rush into.  The doctor also did an endoscopy to check for gastritis at the same time, since I’ve had problems before and there’s no use wasting a good anesthesia-induced sleep. 

All is well.  And if you should be getting yourself checked out don’t hesitate.  The day previous is a little rugged, but the procedure itself doesn’t last long and you’re asleep anyway.  I didn’t even see them hook the line into my IV, let alone start the anesthesia.

I’m not supposed to drive for the rest of the day, or make any legal decisions, or do anything of importance since my thinking might be impaired from the anesthesia.  Uh, right.  That feeling lasted for about 15 minutes.  An hour’s nap and I’m back to normal, or at least what passes for normal for me.

Drew called later this morning and put four of us on a conference call to plan Saturday’s dinner to celebrate his birthday.  That’s not a legal decision and probably isn’t of earth shattering importance, so I went ahead and helped plan the party.  Planning birthday parties is pretty routine , what with 24 people in the family and birthdays popping up fairly often. 

What was amazing was that he knows how to put us all on a conference call on a cell phone.  I need to have him show me how to do that.  I know, I know….I’m showing my ignorance again.

I’m going to a zoning hearing at 2:00 this afternoon to support residents who don’t want to see a small trailer court get permission to expand.  There have been problems with what is there and they don’t want to see it enlarge.  I’m getting a ride, so don’t worry; I will follow the doctor’s orders not to drive.  The nurse told me I might fall asleep if I went to a meeting, but I think this one will be too raucous for any napping.

The BIG NEWS of the day is (drumroll, please) Doug and Lolly are closing on their house at 2:30 this afternoon!  Yay!!!!  They are already talking about window treatments and furniture placement, so all they need now are the keys, a truck, some boxes, and some time.  Oh, and Lolly’s furniture to arrive from out west.  That will be in mid-July, so they will have time to move incremenatlly, which will probably make the process a little easier.  I am so excited for them.

Doug said Lolly sees the layout of the rooms differently than he does, with the computer in the back room and the front room used as a formal sitting room instead of the other way around (I agree with her 1,000%, by the way).  Anyway, I like what he said next.

“I will just have to keep talking to her about it until she decides to see it her way.”  I heard her laughing in the background.

He will be a good husband.

He was excited that when they went grocery shopping last night Lolly complained about the cost of a jar of olives.  She said it was 20 cents more here than out west.  She watches prices and tries to save money!  Oh, joy!  He knew she was like that, but to go shopping together and see it in action warmed the cockles of his heart.

She will be a good wife.

And that’s the news from my little corner of the world.

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Doesn’t It Make You Mad When…

Posted by Nancy on June 25, 2008

Township meeting tonight.  Our deputies need new computers.  They know what they want – let’s call them “Brand T” – and won’t accept another brand.  What they want costs over $3,200, and isn’t in our budget. 

I have been researching computers for weeks months, yet we keep disagreeing over what to buy for them.  The one trustee, who doesn’t know squat about computer systems, keeps insisting we buy “Brand T,” while I say either buy cheap laptops for $500 or so and replace them as often as necessary, or buy a different brand of hardened computer for less than half the price.  We’ll call those “Brand D.”  At less than half the price you are also getting a phenomenally better setup with “Brand D.”

What really made me mad was the request Mr. Trustee had from the deputies, comparing the prices of the two brands.  “See, they are only about $1,200 apart in price, and our deputies deserve the best,” he intoned.

Please define “best.”

He didn’t understand they weren’t comparing apples to apples.  They speced out two totally different computers.  “Brand T” came with an 80 GB hard drive, 2 GB of RAM, and a 13″ monitor.  They compared that to “Brand D” with a 160 GB hard drive, 3 GB of RAM, and a 15″ screen.  Oh, and for good measure they added Office 2007 to the one they don’t want, to inflate the price a little more.  They didn’t add it to the other one, though.  “Brand D” still came in under $2,000.

I am tired of wasting time.  I am tired of listening to him bloviate.  I am tired of being treated like a woman who doesn’t know her place.

We finally voted to buy the less expensive hardened ones, but not without that inevitable “NO” vote from the other end of the table. 

I speced it out online later this evening at $1,412, including the daylight-readable TFT screen.

Posted in Politics, Township | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Another Day, Another Dollar

Posted by Nancy on June 23, 2008

Township trustee pay may only be a pittance, but I take the job seriously and have a reputation for being the hardest working trustee among the 30 in our county – that’s three each in ten townships.  Just ask one of the county commissioners, the one who tells everyone how hard I work.  I used to think he was just blowing smoke, but eventually came to realize he is dead serious.

I really earned my pay today. 

Every month that has five Mondays we have a joint meeting between the local school board, the township officials, and the manager and city council of the small city located within the township.  It involves a dinner, and this month was our turn to host.  Read that as I fixed dinner for 25 people politicians.

Wait, you say.  This is only the fourth Monday of the month – next week would be the fifth one.  You would be right, but the county township association holds a quarterly meeting on whatever day happens to be the fifth anything of the appropriate month, and it also fell on Monday this quarter.  So, we bumped the other meeting back a week.  See?  Next week is the county township dinner, where I will go merely as a guest.

Anyway, since it’s summer and we assumed it would be hot we planned a salad buffet.  It turned out to be a nice day, but due to the failure of global warming it was only in the 70s and we could have fixed anything.  Whether out of dedictaion or ennui, I didn’t bother making alterations but forged ahead with the original plan.

I spent the morning shopping, the afternoon preparing, and the evening at the meeting then helping clean up.  Thank heaven for the township administrator who helped set up and clean up the place, aided on clean up by the other elected officials.  By then I was pretty worthless.

We had chicken salad, ham salad, potato salad, frog eye salad*, green salad, fruit salad, and a veggie tray.  Very healthful.  I ruined it with potato chips and blueberry buckle** though, but who cares.

Tomorrow we are eating leftovers at lunchtime at the township office for anyone who wants to drop by, which includes the state auditors currently going over our books, the county commissioner who dropped by this evening and stayed to talk for an hour after the meeting, and the congressional chief of staff he will be ushering around tomorrow.  “You need to get on the good side of him and stay there,” the commissioner said. 

Unfortunately, after I drop the leftovers by the township tomorrow I won’t be staying for lunch and meeting the congressional chief of staff.  It is my monthly lunch with some friends from church, and that takes precedence over politicians.  There are usually three or four of us, sometimes more, and we get together just to enjoy one another’s company and catch up on what is going on in life.  A little relaxation therapy. 

Everyone needs a few good friends, and they are some of mine.

*No actual frogs are harmed in the making of frog-eye salad, a favorite in my family.  It is made with acini-di-pepi pasta, fruit, cool whip, and a few other things.

**Blueberry buckle probably ranks #1 on my family’s list of favorite recipes, and I often make it for Sunday dinner when everyone is coming over.  It is cake-like with lots of blueberries and a streusel topping.  I tell myself it is a health food because of the anti-oxidant properties of blueberries, so don’t go bursting my bubble.

Recipes are available on request.  They’re probably also available with a Google search.

Posted in Politics, Township | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

What’s That Barney Song?

Posted by Nancy on June 20, 2008

Everybody was cleaning up Drew and Kelli’s house today. By the time I got there she and her mother had finished scrubbing all the carpets and we got down to serious work.

Unfortunately Murphy and his Law were in operation today, starting with Doug’s dog pulling a disappearing act while I was loading the car to leave and putting me even further behind schedule than I already was. Nothing like wandering the neighborhood looking for a runaway when you want to be on the road.

That was followed by problems with the paint color for the bathrooms that required a return trip to Sherwin-Williams, a broken paint roller that required another trip, two layers of wallpaper border in the kitchen that didn’t want to let loose and come off etc. Tenacity prevailed though, and one bathroom is done and the kitchen is ready to paint. Unfortunately, we had hoped to paint two and a half baths, the kitchen, living room, and dining room over two days.  We’re a little whole lot behind schedule.

Bob and Sharon came down for a visit in the afternoon, and he helped get the broken glass out of the sidelight by the front door – where the firemen broke in to assist the previous tenant in some emergency. Those tenants left the place a mess for Kelli’s parents but it is coming together pretty well. The cigarette burns in the carpet in the family room will require an area rug, but the smell of smoke is mostly gone and most of the other damage has been repaired.

Drew and Paul are supposed to be leaving Utah late tonight or early tomorrow to drive home. They have a van loaded with “stuff” and are towing their car loaded with more “stuff.” I hope all goes well on their trip.

I am pretty exhausted tonight after climbing up and down the ladder a million times (or so it seemed) to get that #$%! wallpaper border off. Soak, scrape with a putty knife, repeat, scrub with a cloth and an abrasive pad, wash, spackle, then sand. It had better look nice when it is done.  What I would really like to be doing is yard work, since that is my favorite thing to do and there are some overgrown bushes and some bare flower beds that need some plants.  There are still some nurseries with bedding plants for sale, so tomorrow I may have to take a few minutes and at least do the little bed by the front door.

The house is very nice – four bedrooms, two and a half baths, LR, DR, K, FR, full basement, and two car garage. It is on a busy street, but has a nice yard with a very large screened in back porch – ideal for K~. 

Speaking of K~, nothing humbles you as much as babysitting a 19 month old who is trying to communicate with you via sign language when you don’t know any.  Kelli is studying sign language and is teaching it to the baby. So, out of necessity I am now learning a little too. I know milk, juice, apple, peach, food, more, grandma, pizza, walk, and maybe a few more. She knows more though, and gets frustrated when I don’t know what she is trying to say. To heck with that smarter than a fifth grader stuff – I’m being beaten by a baby.

I am staying at Doug’s tonight and helping again tomorrow, then going home in the evening to get ready for the township cleanup day on Saturday. Nine to one, outside, helping people get rid of their junk. I hope I make it.

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