New blog site

My blog has, for many years been self hosted. However, that is changing. I have exported all of the previous posts and comments and moved them to the new site. You can find it here. Standiford Family. Email may be changing also at some point but that will take a while because there are so many people that will need to be notified.

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Second half of January test

The HVAC company came out on Friday, January 19, and did the A/C install. They got here around 11:00 and finished up around 1:00. Did a good job. The weather was warm enough that they were able to charge the compressor with freon and test it for leaks. etc. We will have to make arrangements for the inspectors to come out yet but the HVAC company will send a postcard with information on how to go about doing that.

Beth finished painting and decorating the master bath this weekend. She has been working on it a bit at a time but started the painting last weekend and finished it this weekend. It looks good although the paint is a bit darker than we thought it would be. Makes the bathroom seem a bit darker overall but I think we will get used to it.

on January 24 we went and had dinner at Hibachi Grill. It is a Chinese buffet. During the winter months we get together with our camping friends once a month and this was it. Good to see them again.

On January 25, the company had a celebration for the 10 people retiring at the end of the month. Beth came over for the celebration and had lunch with me at the cafeteria an then I gave her a tour of the new building.  After the tour we went to the celebration. At one point they lined us up for a picture and then asked each of us to tell how long we had worked for the company. There were a lot of gasps when I said 49 years. Beth said one lady whispered “Did he say 49 years?”. They had cake and ice tea and flavored water. I was concerned about getting a bit emotional but I really didn’t.

When we got home last night we were both really tired from standing for over 2 hours. We ate and went to bed.

On Sunday, January 28, Scott, Jessica, April and the boys came over to celebrate my 69th birthday. It was a short celebration with cake and ice cream. I received some very nice birthday gifts. Three shirts and a retirement plaque. I also received a crystal computer paperweight type thing that does not photograph well.

Retirement shirt

Retirement shirt

Retirement shirt

Retirement Plaque

Monday, January 29, started my last week of employment. The days at work have been going very slow since I really don’t have enough to do since my successor is fully trained and doing all the work. On Wednesday, my last day of work, I got up at my normal time and went into work. I found my boss decorating my desk with a banner. I guess he thought I would come in later on my last day. I spent most of the morning accepting congratulations from my coworkers. My boss took me out to eat with three of my coworkers. I had hired three of the four (including my boss) and all four of them had worked for me back at Central Soya. We had a very good time talking about “the good old days.” When I got back to work they had a cake for me and shortly after that I left work for the last time. It was rather emotional for me when I left. I had been working for Bunge and it’s predecessors (Central Soya) for over 49 years and I will miss it. When I got home Beth was already there and watching TV. I sat down to watch and promptly fell asleep. My first retirement nap.

February 1, my first day of retirement. First thing I did was to go down and walk on the treadmill. Two years ago I was walking every day but had quickly got out of the habit. I was not able to walk for a long period but I hope to work up to the longer times and distances again. Next, I went to the social security office to apply for Medicare part B. I had to take a form in that said I had been covered by group health insurance. Waited for almost and hour and it took about 3 minutes of time. Oh well, I’m retired. Next, I stopped at FedEx and sent the form back that will get me the lump sum from the VERP. Finally, I went to the bank and deposited a check from the credit union.

On Friday, I went to the STL RV show to man the FCRV booth for three hours. It was a lot of fun. We had about three very good prospects for membership during that period of time. I went home and ate and then went over to pick up Beth at her work and we went back to the RV show and manned the booth for another two hours. We looked at some of the RVs but didn’t really look very much because we like the one we have and plan to keep it for the foreseeable future. We did drool over a couple of RVs that were in the $500,000 range. One was a 45 foot long motor home.

Saturday and Sunday we spent working in the basement getting things straightened out and a lot of stuff thrown away. I can’t think of anything else exciting that has happened but I should have time to keep up on the blog now.

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January 2018 update

Things have been a bit slow the first half of the year but I do have some exciting news. Scott and Jessica closed on a house on January 5. They have been living in a condo since they got married 5 years ago. We went over to see the house before they made an offer and it is quite nice. We are thrilled for them. They have begun to move some of there stuff but don’t have to be in a big hurry since they still have 3 months to go on the condo.

The countdown continues to my last day of work. It sure seems to be dragging. On Saturday, January 13, we went to the old Bunge office and bought a chair for Beth. They purchased all new desk chairs when we moved into the new building and they are selling the old chairs with all the proceeds going to charities. It is an ergonomic desk chair that we got for $50. A great deal. After we got back we went to the bank to talk to a financial planner. We both have 401k accounts that we will probably roll over to an IRA. We have a plan but can’t do much more until the funds start coming in.

We were invited to a ‘late’ holiday party at some friends house but it didn’t start until 3:00 so we stopped over at Scott and Jessica’s house to see it in the daytime. It looks as good in the daytime as it does at night. We left there and had lunch and then drove over to the motor home to start both it and the generator. We try to start them every two weeks. Then we headed to the party. Had a good time and stayed until about 6:00 and headed home. We were concerned about the weather since there was a possibility of snow. We did have some snow but not too bad. The weather here has been very cold and very inconsistent. Radical changes (50 degree swings) in temperature from day to day.

I was fortunate that I had Monday off for MLK day. Beth did have to work however. I was able to make good use of the day off and had the furnace inspected and tuned and also had a landscaping guy come out to discuss the yard. We need some work done on it. The outfit we had in 2017 did a crappy job. They are going to come back when the snow is off the ground and give us a quote on the various things that need to be done. I also had the furnace company out to give a quote on a new A/C unit. This one is probably about 30 years old and we just don’t think it will last much longer. They are going to come out Friday and replace the A/C unit.

Guess that about wraps it up. Oh, and the countdown continues. 15 more calendar days until I retire.

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Christmas was both quiet and busy for us. Beth was quite busy singing at church. She sang at both of the Sunday morning services (12/24/2017). Then she sang at a 3:00 pm Christmas eve service and a 7:00 pm Christmas eve service. Finally, she wrapped up the Christmas weekend with a 9:30 am Christmas morning service. We celebrated Christmas with Scott and Jess on Christmas day. It was just the four of us since April and the boys went to Indianapolis. Beth and I both had the entire week off. We spent Tuesday at home and then left Wednesday morning for Fort Wayne. Had a good drive with not much traffic. We had a good visit with Kelly and the kids. Of course, we did manage to eat at both Mr. Coney and Coney Island while we were in Fort Wayne. On Saturday, we went out for a visit with Ron and Thelma. Had a good visit with them and then headed over to Saint Peters church for the 5:00 pm Saturday evening service with Kelly and the kids. We got up Sunday morning and headed home. Made a quick stop in Indianapolis to pick up Ethan from his great- grandma’s house. We expected a lot of chatter on the way home but he fell asleep almost immediately and only woke up when we stopped at Costco in St. Peters to fill up with gas. After dropping Ethan off at April’s we made a couple of quick stops and headed home. April and the boys came over at 4:00 pm for Christmas. April gave us each a painting (April did both of them) that was special in both the content and the fact that she was the one that painted them.

Central Soya logo and a reproduction of a long ago Christmas decoration

The picture on the left is a reproduction of a poster that Beth and I acquired many years ago from a Marathon station in Poe IN. The details of the acquisition remain our secret.

I don’t believe I have given an update on the driveway. It has been poured and we expected that we would be able to park on it beginning the Tuesday after Christmas. However, the weather turned quite cold and we got some snow so the guy came out and covered everything with tarps. He has not, as of January 1, come back to remove the tarps. So we are still parking on the street. I’m going to call him tomorrow and find out how long before he comes back and gets the tarps.

And, one parting bit of information. I now only have 30 more days to work.

Until next time… Have a Happy and Healthy New Years.

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A few quick updates

I worked from home on Friday and the timing was good because they finally really began to work on the driveway. About two weeks ago they had punched a bunch of holes in the driveway but didn’t really do much else. Well yesterday, they made some real progress.

Looks like hail damage

And the work begins

Ready for concrete

The other update is that today was son Scott’s last day at Bunge. For the last two years it has been my pleasure to work with my son. He started as an intern an was then hired on as a regular employee. He was not looking for a different job but when was offered he really had no choice but to accept the offer. It was a good offer. Below is a picture of Scott at his desk on the first day in the new building. I will miss working with him.

Scott on first day at new building

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The countdown begins

Had a meeting with my manager today and talked about a date. I was trying to get the end of February but he was leaning towards the end of January. And, in this case it is really the company’s decision. So, I have a date. After January 31, 2018 I will be unemployed. I have not been unemployed since I started working at Central Soya on December 16, 1968. I really have mixed emotions about it. The package was really good (especially for me) but it took the decision and timing away from me. But, I’m sure after I get past that last day all will be good. That last day is bound to be emotional for me.

This did help us with our planning though since now we are going to plan on going to the FCRV Retiree Rally in Tallahassee FL in March. It will be our first one and from what I hear it is better than the regular FCRV Campvention. So, I now have 50 more calendar days until I retire. Taking out weekends and a couple of vacation days during the holidays and there are only 32 more work days remaining. Yipppeeee.

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Not even going to try to catch up

The best laid plans of mice and men… I don’t know the rest of this quote. But, you know what I am talking about.

We had a great summer of camping that included a trip to Lima OH for the FCRV campvention followed by a week in Fort Wayne. We managed to make all but one of the chapter campouts and both state campouts. We made two trips to Fort Wayne on back to back weekends. Each trip was for a wedding and both of the brides had the same first name. Our camping season ended in October with two Halloween campouts. The first was a club campout at Big Creek RV Park. The club decorated one of the campers and we won first place for scariest. The next weekend Beth and I were at Lost Valley Lake Resort and participated in the costume contest both as individuals and then as a “group”. We won first place for scariest in the “group” division. Had a lot of great fun.

In late September the company I work for presented about 330 employees in North American with a Voluntary Early Retirement Plan. The documentation was rather self explanatory but I waited a week and Beth and I sat in on a web conference where the plan was explained in great detail. I signed the form accepting the VERP and turned it in the next day. The VERP was perfect for me since I was planning to retire at the end of 2018 anyway and now I get to go out early but with a very nice separation package. The only downside is that I won’t make my 50 years. On December 16, 2018 I would have celebrated 50 years with Bunge (and it’s predecessors). The best comment on this came from daughter Kelly when she said “Just round up.” I have not received my separation date yet but the agreement states that they will let me know before December 31, 2017. I am hoping for the end of February. I would like to know because we would like to attend an FCRV Retiree Rally in Tallahassee FL in March but can’t really make plans until I have a definite separation date. I have been training a replacement for over a year but the training has picked up since the date has moved up.

Two weeks before Thanksgiving the company moved into a new building. It is a really nice building and I’m glad that I get to spend a few months in the new building before I retire. As the time passes I get more excited to find out exactly when I get to retire. After over 50 years of working it will sure be a big change.

Son Scott had been working for the same company but he gave his notice on Monday, December 4. He wasn’t really looking for anything different but was offered a job with quite a nice increase in pay so he accepted it.

Guess that is about it for now. When I get more details I’ll be sure to let you know.

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Nothing really to post

Other than celebrating Christmas in Missouri and Indiana there has really not been a great deal to post. I kept thinking that I needed to post something but than realized that I really didn’t have anything to say of interest. BUT, that will change soon. We will soon be entering the camping season and then there will be something to post. If anything exciting happens I’ll let you know.

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Halloween weekend and beyond

We spent Halloween weekend at LVL. We took Friday off but instead of going down Thursday night like would normally do we went down Friday morning. It was a nice leisurely drive. Normally we rush down after work and try to get set up before dark – especially this time of year. Maybe a taste of what retirement will be like. A friend of ours came in later on Friday afternoon. We had not seen him in almost three years. His girlfriend came down later and we sat and talked. Saturday morning we drove them around for a tour. He has a membership but had not been down for three years and she had never seen the place. We went to the Halloween costume contest. There were a lot of costumes but none that I felt were really outstanding. We went to their RV for lunch and then sat there and gave out candy. We estimate that we had about 400 trick or treaters before we ran out (after 40 minutes). The trick or treating went on for another 80 minutes.  Saturday evening we had them over to our camper for dinner and then talked some more. It was an enjoyable weekend. On Monday, which was actually Halloween, we were not able to give out candy because we had church. Pastor Bob’s sermon was done in the first person as Luther talking about his 95 theses, etc. Very interesting.

On November 4 we went down to LVL and winterized the camper. It was really nice weather and almost made us wonder why we were winterizing it. But we got it done and drove it home and parked it in storage. Sad day. The next day, Sunday, Beth had to get up to sing at both services. I met her along with April, Brian and the boys at church for a sausage dinner. It was quite good. Since Beth had already gone to church twice on Sunday she didn’t go Monday night but I picked up April and the boys and we went. Even though camping season is over we will still go to Monday night service. Tuesday morning I stopped to vote before I went to work. Normally at that time the lines are short but this time the lines were rather long but they got us through quickly. I stayed up until about 11:30 pm that night watching the election results. I was fairly certain that Mr. Trump had won before I went to bed. I woke up about 2:30 and looked at my phone and found out that he had indeed won the election (although some people are still not convinced.) Guess I will stop at this point and try to post about last weekend later. Almost caught up.

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A few updates for October

Well, I got behind again but I will try to hit the highlights. On October 8 we had Window World come out and put in a new entry door between the kitchen and garage and also a new sliding glass door in the basement. They did a great job on both. The kitchen door has been hard to close for over a year. I had tried to adjust it but just could not get it to fit correctly. In addition all the other doors on the first floor had been changed out to 6 panel doors and this one really needed to be changed also. The basement sliding glass door had a shattered pain on one of the inside pains. We had priced the cost of replacing the glass but that would be almost as much as a new door. Since I can work from home occasionally it works out well. We also scheduled a pest control outfit to come out and spray for spiders. We had seen some brown recluse in the basement and decided it was time. Since then we have not seen any. Time and money well spent.

On October 7 -9 we went down to LVL. This was again a bit of a working weekend. We spent most of the weekend waxing on the camper. We got the front done as well as all of the decals. But we did take time off for relaxing around the campfire.

October 13 – 16 we went on a chapter campout to Pin Oak Creek RV park. We went down on Thursday night. On Friday we drove into Union and ate lunch at the White Rose Cafe.  The sign on the window said “Landmark for 80+ years”. The food was good and the company was even better. On Saturday we drove over to a flea market just off I-44. Really didn’t see much we wanted although I did buy a Confederate flag. Not because I wanted or needed one but mostly because the liberals tell me I can’t have one. Saturday evening was trick or treating in the park. The whole group sat in a row and gave out candy. After the trick or treating we got together for a desert pitch in. I did spend some time off and on trying to put the tire monitoring system on the MH. But I found out that I needed valve stem extensions on the tire so I’ll try again next weekend.

October 21 – 23 we were back down at LVL. Friday night we went down to Gentry Hall. One of the members of the resort is a pianist and she played the score of Phantom of the Opera. It was quite enjoyable. There was just a bit of humor. Her husband would sit by her side and turn the page. He would then bend the next page just slightly to allow him to turn it easier when the time came. At one point he turned the page and she had to flip it back because he had turned two pages. I leaned over to Beth and whispered “He had ONE job…” She cracked up. On Saturday we went back to Gentry Hall for an Elvis Tribute Artist. He was good. Better on some songs than others. It cost us $2 per person but he sang for almost 2 hours straight without an intermission. Good, inexpensive entertainment. One song in particular was outstanding. He sang “My Way” and everyone was on their feet cheering. Sunday was a bit of a downer because all of the other campers in our group were winterizing their campers. Always sad to see the camping season end. I’ll finish up with one more post for October later this week.

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