Life Part Two

The adventures of Fay and Bob as they move beyond the 9 to 5 life

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Greenville homeless and affordable housing and more

Had an very interesting day yesterday at my monthly Greenville Senior Leaders class.   This month we learned about housing.   While each presentation has a focus on seniors each topic covers much more than that.   The morning was spent learning about the issues around homeless people, the agencies trying to help and plans to improve the situation.  Greenville is somewhat unusual in the amount of cooperation the agencies have and in uniting to give the same story of what is needed in the community.  There are around 1000 homeless in shelters in the city and at any time 81% are in shelters and that is a high rate.   There are plans in place so no one will be left out doors when the temperature gets below 40.  Lack of mental health treatment and not enough public transportation and lack of child care are three huge problems that need to be fixed.

After that we got an overview on the situation with affordable housing from a city, state and federal view.  There is a huge shortage of affordable housing and the gentrification of many neighborhoods is making it even worse.  Again not enough public transportation is a barrier to getting jobs.  Federal money has been significantly reduced.   I came away from this with a huge amount of gratitude that I have not been homeless and don’t need affordable housing.

The afternoon was focused on our homes.   Do we age in place and stay in our home or move?   Lots of issues to consider and an appreciation that what works at 65 probably wont work at 85.   Real Estate offices are having special departments to specially train agents on the special circumstances of seniors.  Advice is don’t wait too long!   Moving won’t get easier.   Guess what, transportation for seniors is also a huge issue.   We will be spending one whole day on transportation.

Then a presentation that explained independent living, assisted living, memory care, medical care and how much all that costs.

Finally we received a book on decluttering our home.  Have to read that soon. Sure gave Bob and I a lot to think about and work on.   This is such a great program.


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K9 Dogs, Friends, Mountains, Hair and more

A couple weeks ago Bob and I went to a Greenville Newcomers program featuring K9 Dogs and their handlers.   What an impressive pair each are!    They initially train together for 600 hours.   The dogs come from pure blood lines in Germany.   The attentive behavior of the dogs is so impressive.  I’m so glad I got to learn about this service.   K9 Program is funded through drug money that is seized at crime scenes.
K9 Dogs  Roper Mt 008  Roper Mt 012

On Wednesday we made a drive up to Maggie Valley, about 1 1/2 hours away, but we were at least a week early for peak colors.   We will explore Caesar Head and Hendersonville in the next couple weeks.  Darn.

Our friends Kathy and Tom just returned from Vietnam where they visited their son and new grand daughter.   We watched their house and so they took us out for dinner and we had a very nice visit and got to see some more photos of that beautiful baby girl.  Tom’s brother was killed in Vietnam and he shared with me the stories and documentation of what that journey has been like and the book his sister in law wrote about that experience.   Very moving things to read.  The book is called “Those Who Remain: Remembrance and Reunion After War” by Ruth W. Crocker.

Furman University is going to be doing Hair, the Rock Musical and so we went to an introductory program on why Hair was so important to the musical theater world along with Showboat and Oklahoma.   All new information to us.   I hadn’t realized how many musicals we have seen over the years both live theater and movies until we started discussing them.

Appalachian History class covered Dark Corner, which I knew quite a bit about, but great new details on how the moonshine delivery and the tax collectors led to NASCAR.  Hint, it all has to do with making that old Ford car improved to outrun the tax collectors.

A second Appalachian History class covered the life of the Cherokee here in the Upstate.  The story of the Trail of Tears/Indian Removal Act sounds even more horrible every time I hear it.  How could we have done that?

Last but not least, my Senior Leadership program this month was on Advocacy.   We heard from Senior Action, the main program here in Greenville, Silver Haired Legislators, AARP, SC Office on Aging, and city, county and state representatives.   The good news is there are many, many services available to seniors in the Upstate and many are not based on financial need.   The bad news is that we still need more.  I feel like I am slowly becoming a resource for my friends as they age.  Transportation, housing, medical and financial issues will be discussed in future months.  To say that my brain was full at the end of the day is an understatement.   I just had time for a short nap and then we were off to Greenville Newcomers Cocktails R Us gathering!

As always, a couple very busy weeks.  That meant I didn’t get to do water aerobics very much but will be there today.

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Drones and more

Another busy week for Fay and Bob and STEAM Tech Teams

Our friend Kevin at Coumputer Source has loaned us a Makerbot Replicator 5, the new model, to take to Columbia for the STEM Summit.   What an easy to use printer with beautiful print quality.  Good thing to play with on this dreary wet day.

Monday night we went to the open house at Southside High School. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has adopted this school and has ask STEAM Tech Teams to be a part of a couple of their lunch time sessions. Not a lot of people there but those that were seemed interested in the drones and the hand. We were part of the NSBE exhibit along with about 15 other exhibits. Enjoyed getting to know Ken Carter better.

Bob and his 3 junior students at Dorman HS got great news this week. The boys gave a presentation to administration to get funding for some small drones and a big drone. They were able to answer the many questions the principal had and were granted the money. But here is what is really special, the administrators had decided before the presentation that they would only fund the small drones. After they heard the presentation they changed their mind! To say we are proud of these students would be an understatement. The school also wants Bob to consider doing another group of students to print and build a drone next term. We will have some great stories coming up on how the students will be using the drone for events at their school. Bob worked hard to have the boys research lots of things like laws, liability issues, policies and it paid off. I’m really proud of him. Of course, Fay provided some valuable research to get things going so it was a team effort. Here is a link to the big drone they want to get.

DJI Phantom 3 Drone –
Easy to Fly: An intelligent flight system automatically keeps your Phantom 3 Standard in the air and under your control.
Amazing Im
ages: Take stunning 2.7K HD videos and 12 Megapixel photos with the integrated aerial camera.
Stable Footage: DJI’s advanced gimbal stabilization technology gives you movie-quality results no matter how you fly.
Enjoy the View: A live video feed gives you a 720p HD real-time view of what your camera sees right on your mobile device.
Peace of Mind: Fly up to 25 minutes on a single charge, and the Intelligent Flight Battery will automatically remind you when power is running low.

I continue to work with my student on her 3D printed hand but get lots of help from Bernie and Reid who know how to do lots of things I don’t know about. She is excited about coming to help as a volunteer at Roper Mt. Science Center next Saturday.

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Hanging out with the Millennials

A great week spending time with those younger than us.

Bob and I each had our second interview with the Furman students who are in a class studying aging.   This week the questions were about our experience and perceptions of health issue.   Good interviews and getting to know the students better.

Yesterday Bob went out to Dorman to work with his three junior boys on drones.   He has them researching the rules and laws of drone flying and also they get to improve their flying skills on his two quadcopters.  He says they get REALLY excited doing their flying.   In early October Bob has Upstate Aerial coming out to demonstrate large drones at the track.  They do commercial aerial photography with their drones. Pretty exciting.

While he was doing that I was in Travelers Rest for the first 3D printing club at the middle school with 16 seventh and eighth graders.   I did show and tell, history and future of 3D printing, materials and answered LOTS of good questions.   I think I helped the teacher quite a bit.

Today a very interesting meeting with Jessica.   It’s been 43 years since I graduated from Mankato State and she is a fellow graduate that contacted me and moved to Greenville a few months ago. Only alumni that has ever contacted me, if you don’t count the ones that want money!   Turns out in her new job she needs to redo the company website and asked me for my advice.   What a small world.   She is a very articulate, personable, bright and ambitious young lady.   It was a great pleasure to spend a couple hours with her today teaching her the web development program

I have great hope for our future if there are lots more people as talented as these are.

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Sabrina knows when her humans need a hug

Sabrina, the cat, sleeps with us most nights down at the foot of the bed.  She also sometimes curls up behind my knee.  Once in awhile she will wake up and want to play and then comes and sits on my shoulder and purrs loudly and taps my nose with her paw.

Bob and I usually sleep very well however about a week ago I woke up and just couldn’t go back to sleep.   Sabrina came and curled up in my arm so I could pet her soft fur.   Doing that always is calming to me.   A couple nights ago Bob had the same thing happen.   He was restless and sure enough Sabrina came and cuddled up in his arm.   It’s like she knows we need a little attention.   Love my kitties.008 IMG_1875

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Redbone and Melungeon, two new words and community involvement

My first Greenville Senior Leaders all day session was on getting to know Greenville better.  Several speakers including the Greenville’s Mayor Knox.   Since I have studied Greenville history quite a bit there wasn’t a lot new but an excellent refresher course so I remember things to tell our company Sue and Bob.   Getting to know some of the other 33 people in the class.

Furman University has a class for students that studies aging.   The students need to interview seniors several times over the term and write papers about how the people they interview are or are not like the idea they have of senior citizens and what their text book and teacher talks about.   Bob and I have each had our first interview with two different students.   Really interesting.  I don’t think we are what the expected.  Have our second interview with them Thursday afternoon.

I attended Greenville Women Giving kick off event with my new friend Malinda.   Hundreds of people there to kick off their 10th year.  Darla Moore along with the Mayor were the keynote speakers.   What a fantastic group of women who have given $3.6 million dollars to the community.  Darla Moore is a philanthropist who has given millions to SC.  She was a very entertaining and informative speaker. 

My friend Denise invited me to go to her Travelers Rest Garden Club tea party at the Kilgore Lewis house.   Another sweet group of women who made me feel very welcome.   We even had cookies and little finger sandwiches in the shape if tea pots.  It was like going back to the best of the 1950’s.

Bob and I have been going to the Sat. night free concerts in Travelers Rest.  Dinner from one of the good food trucks so no cooking and fantastic music.   Last week it was rock blue grass.  Always see several people we know.

Thursday night we went to North Greenville University and saw Steel Magnolias play.   They have a really good line up this year including Into the Woods.   Furman University will be doing Hair in Oct. so can’t wait to see that.  They also have a great program for the year and we get season tickets for this theater.

Our STEAM Tech Teams has started working with Northwest Middle School here in Travelers Rest and we are very excited about that relationship.

School classes have started at OLLI.   This term we are taking Another Appalachian history course.   Learned two new words – Redbone people and Melungeon people.

The Redbone people came from SC and moved to Tennessee in the early 1800’s.  While not so much in South Carolina they certainly are in other areas of the Appalachian states.   They are a very light skinned multi racial people . Some very interesting things happen socially and politically with this combination in the south.

From Wikipedia:   Melungeon (/məˈlʌnən/ mə-LUN-jən) is a term traditionally applied to one of numerous “tri-racial isolate” groups of the Southeastern United States. Historically, Melungeons were associated with the Cumberland Gap area of central Appalachia, which includes portions of East Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, and eastern Kentucky. Tri-racial describes populations thought to be of mixed European, African and Native American ancestry. Although there is no consensus on how many such groups exist, estimates range as high as 200.[1][2] Melungeons were often referred to by other settlers as of Portuguese or Native American origin.

Lots of interesting things that happen for taxation, slavery, voting, census gathering data with these light skinned people.   Read the Wikipedia full article to get more information on the group.   It brought up lots of issues I have not read about before.

Also had an opportunity to go to Greenville Tech Culinary School for a Russian luncheon with friends Denise and Dave.  YUM!  Here is the menu:

Smoked Fish on a Yukon Gold Potato Blini with Pickled Red Onions and Baby Arugula

Beet Borscht with Horseradish Cream and Dill Oil

Roast Pork with Caramelized Apple Sausage Kasha and Mushroom Casserole With Spring Asparagus
Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Rhubarb and Apple Strudel Served with Whipped Cream, Honey and Cider Reduction

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Still lots going on for STEAM Tech Teams

In September STEAM Tech Teams has gone to:
– J.L. Mann New Tech to talk to students about doing a service project for their school around the eNABLE hand.  This is a school within a school focused on STEAM programs.
– Started mentoring 4 very talented seniors at Dorman High School in Spartenburg on drones and the eNABLE hand. This will go on all semester. Bob is having so much fun working with his group on the Quadcopters.
– Gave a presentation to the business supporters of Upstate STEM Collaborative
– Started working with Northwest Middle School here in Travelers Rest. We will be teaching the teacher how to use her new printer and then working with the students in the 3D printer club which meets every other Friday afternoon.
– I also was a guest of my friend Malinda to attend the Greenville Women’s Giving kick off event. A VERY impressive group of women.

In October we will be attending the two day STEM Summit in Columbia, be at the 2nd Sat. Roper Mountain event on Star Wars and have a Lunch and Learn presentation to the OLLI students. We also have to continue our work with Gettys Middle School in Easley to finish construction of an arm for their Assistant Principal. Should be fun.


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