Sunday, September 28, 2014

Heading Home

This is our last full day in Florida.  We didn't get the lanai floors tiled but at least we arranged to have it done in our absence and ready for our return in November.

As it happens it was a very good thing we were here this week because our new upstairs neighbors were having work done and the contractors did something to cause a leak into our master bedroom bathroom.  It hadn't gotten to the point where a lot of damage was being caused because the water was running out of an A/C duct so I just put a bucket under it.

The owners were extremely cooperative and the contractor looked at it soon after I reported it.  They too were very cooperative and in fact they were working late into Friday night to repair the problem which required the removal of some newly installed tile.

I will have a 'do' list waiting for me when we get back here.  The water shut off valve is not working and one of the overhead fan lights needs a new pull string.

It's always something-whether it be in our house or now our condo.  But I guess I shouldn't complain since we're lucky enough to own two places.

So it's back home to beautiful autumn weather and then....well, you know!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day Two-Sunny (Not) Naples

Well, here we are, day 2, Naples, Fl.  It has been cloudy with off and on thunderstorms for two days.  This happened last year at this time also.  So why, you would logically ask, do we continue to come down here this time of year.  Well first, we had some work to arrange on our condo-which brings me to an observation about the work ethic and general approach to business of many of the people here.  It's definitely different than at home.

Some time ago we had gotten an estimate from a tile man who was referred to us by our home watch person (who I'm happy to report is extremely competent). Before we left I emailed him and left two phone messages to set up a time when we could get the work done.  Nothing.  So we went to plan B-an estimate from another tile company.  We went out to see them and were told by the lady there that she'd give her boss a copy of the estimate and the message he should call us to set up an installation date.  Nothing.

Now we're to plan C-yet another company but higher price of course.  Anyway, they'll be out next week to do the work.

The second thing we have to do while here is check on the construction of a friend's house.  That we'll probably do tomorrow.

That's the news from Naples.  Oh, except for the fact that we remembered on the plane that we forgot the keys to our condo.  Fortunately we were able to get a hold of our home watch person who let us in.  Then my daughter-in-law went to our house at home and Fed Exed the keys to us.

Exciting, isn't it?

Sunday, September 21, 2014


In the 28 years that we have lived in our current location there have been three political candidates who have bothered to make the long walk up our steep driveway to talk to us.  The first was a few years ago-Chris Lyddy.  The second person was Kim Fawcett who is running for a seat in the CT senate and the third was just yesterday.   We were sitting on our front porch when we spotted a young man walking up our driveway.  He introduced himself as Matt Cole and told us the position he was running for-Newtown's representative to the CT House of Representatives.

 There are probably many people who would advise us to count our blessings.  Who wants people knocking at your door all the time but I believe they should be commended for making the effort.  It is my opinion that a visit from a candidate  is more meaningful than being bombarded by negative ads from so-called “independent” organizations.     

By the way, for what it's worth all three candidates were democrats.  I wonder if that's just a coincidence or if the republican counterparts to these folks think because Newtown is a republican town, they have the election locked up so why bother.  

There's still over a month to the elections.  Maybe someone will show up today.  What are the odds?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The demise of the wallet?

Corresponding with the release of the latest iPhone, The Today Show ran a piece suggesting the demise of the wallet.  It seems the iPhone is now configured in some way to allow its users to pay for things thus eliminating the need to carry both cash and credit cards.

Several men were interviewed and the overwhelming majority agreed they stopped carrying wallets a long time ago.

In light of this I decided to take inventory of my wallet to see what I could do without.  Here's what I have:
1. Some cash, two credit cards and a blank check.
2. My drivers license
3. My Medicare and Medicare supplement cards
4. My dental care card
5. My CVS Caremark card
6. My organ donor card
7. Two lists of my medications
8. Several small pieces of paper with passwords and PINs on them
9. A list of important phone numbers
10. My AARP membership card
11. My Audubon membership card
12. Four pictures-one for each of my grand children
13. My Stop & Shop discount card
14. My Allstate insurance card
15. A few of my wife's and son's business cards

That's about it.  Can I do without most of these on a daily basis.  Sure but then I'd have to remember to get those I do need from time to time and that's not going to happen.  So for now I guess I'll hold on to my wallet. 

Sorry, iPhone.  Maybe next year.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Big Day in the Stockwell Family

Two anniversaries to celebrate today. Sandi and I were married 47 years ago and Pete & Jen were married on this day 8 years ago.

It's been an extraordinary journey.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy Birthday, Courtney

Courtney was 8 years old yesterday so the kids celebrated with one of the last swims they'll probably take for the summer.  In another photo Brooke & Courtney proudly display the quilts they each made for a neighbor who is having twins.  Also shown is their grandma who assisted them.  In the third photo Courtney & Brooke pose in the rocking chairs they got for their rooms.

Don't forget to check out the links on

Friday, September 12, 2014


Don't forget to check out the various photo galleries on

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Things We Remember

In looking back  over 70 years and putting aside personal milestones such as marriages and the births of children etc, I can recall exactly what I was doing in about 4 cases. 

The first big one was the death of John F. Kennedy.  The second was the first space shuttle disaster.  The third was the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And the fourth was the shooting at Sandy Hook School.

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the terrorist attack of 9/11/2001-an event this nation will never forget.  Thirteen years later, we're still fighting terrorism. Who knows when it will end.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Cooler weather and shorter days are certainly not the only signs of autumn.  Leaves are slowly changing color and my driveway is filling up with acorns falling off the big oak trees next to it.

More animal activity is also evident.  We have more birds coming to the feeders including many humming birds and of course the deer.

I wonder if they agree with the Old Farmer's Almanac which is predicting a colder, wetter than normal winter.  Yuk!

Along with school, fall sports have also started.  Brooke is playing soccer but we weren't able to get to her first game.  She scored 3 goals.

Cole and Nicholas have started fall baseball.  We were able to get to their game Saturday and watch their great hits.

Courtney has not signed up for a fall activity yet but I think there's something in the works.  Stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hackers-1, Morons-0

Did you hear the hullabaloo being made over the hacking of Apple's iCloud?  In case you don't know what an iCloud is it's a bunch of remote computer servers where people send all kinds of data so they don't have to risk storing it locally.

Well, it seems a bunch of celebrities posted pictures of themselves in the nude for private sharing.  Someone else came along, hacked into the private room and reposted the pictures for all to see.

Yes, such actions are criminal and outrageous.  But....had the celebrities not posted the pictures in the first place, they couldn't have been hacked, could they?

Just goes to show, boys and girls.  Watch what you put in the internet.   It's there forever.

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Loss of A Pet-November 2001-August 31, 2014

Yesterday, my daughter's family lost their beloved dog, Lacey.  Lacey had been ill for the past few months but she was comfortable and seemed to derive enjoyment out of life.  That all ended yesterday when she started having seizures.

In many ways Lacey seemed like our dog too.  There were many occasions when she stayed with us and of course we saw her on the frequent visits to my daughter's house.

Losing a pet is not a trivial thing.  They become an important part of a family.  We'll miss her.