Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Checking In On A Tuesday

Fragrances can take you back to a moment of time. There are some days the air outside has a fragrance that takes me back to my grandmother's home, her garden full of flowers and her fruit trees blossoming. Then there are those fragrances that remind you of school days or a how the dentist or doctor office smelled. The fragrance that caught me by surprise yesterday was in church. The stirring of people and in that little stirring I sniffed in a cigar smoke sweetness mixed in with Ralph Lauren fragrance kind of scent. At first I couldn't remember where or when I had known that aroma and then it came to me, the bouquet was the fragrance of a friend's home. A friend from the long ago days of tennis. Her husband smoked a good cigar brand and their home had an earthy, woodsy, almost masculine air to it. I loved it! I tried to emulate the same fragrance in our home, you know without one of us having to smoke a cigar. Ralph Lauren did make a home fragrance spray that was reminiscent of what I wanted and it was my goal to spray and saturate rugs, throws, furniture...anything that would encapsulate that aroma and become synonymous with our home. There was even a beryl wood candle that came close to replicating my friend's home. After a while I gave up, Ralph quit making the home fragrance spray and the candle scent was discontinued as well. I didn't give it another thought until yesterday in church when I remembered bouquet. Yep, I was sitting at my friend's kitchen table talking and dare say gossiping about tennis or whatever filled our conversations. About the time she turned 46 she decided she was through with the tennis portion of her life and it seems like she and her husband got involved in raising horses or something. The last time I saw her was at a mutual tennis friend's husband's funeral. Well, they were all good friends outside of tennis. She seemed incensed, no there wasn't any seemed about it...at my presence there at the service. I sat with tennis friends and had come out of the deep respect I had for Jane. My friend's callousness caught me by surprise, but in hindsight it shouldn't have. Her life had been made up of going from thing to thing, interest to interest. She had a room full of things or hobbies she had started and never completed. I was in that tennis portion of life and I'm sure my presence there only reminded her of a time long ago, when she left the courts and not on top of the game I might add. I was hurt by her callousness since we had been good friends at one time. That is the last time I saw her. Heard from friends they sold there home in Memorial and moved to Cypress with the intention of moving to Colorado one day. Who knows? But that fragrant reminder of days of yore when a lot of things meant so much to me then, don't even register on the radar now.
It is now Tuesday evening. This morning Roy told me there had been a two alarm fire near the apartments we lived in when we were first married. off Winrock and Ella Lee. I went to Twitter to check the news and sure enough just down the street from where we lived, the fire had done its damage. I have to say that was the most fun apartment we lived in. Our bedroom window faced Ella Lee and when we had parties, which seemed like every weekend, those who got there early or on time would gather at that window and as our friends walked on the sidewalk to get to our place, we would chunk cookies down on them. Each week I would buy the cheapest cookies possible all for throwing out the window. Sadly, people were always on time and the opportunity to throw cookies out the window weren't as frequent. This apartment was huge and had lots of storage. In fact, I think we had more square footage than our first home in that apartment. Nothing like having a unique greeting to one's home.

Mike the Mower Man was here today and we talked a little about future plans around here and projects for him in the winter to do. He brought up that ugly word, snake. You see, I have not seen a snake this summer and I was beginning to believe that it would stay that way. No, he had to tell me that he saw a garden snake eating a frog on the other side of the deck. I don't know what it is about our deck but I do believe it is the underground railroad for small animals, snakes and birds. Happily, I left and headed over to Waynesville to do some antique shopping and maybe pick up some gala apples. On said journey the phone rang but I didn't recognize the names...but they had to be in my phone to have their names displayed. When I got to the antique store, there was a text message....oh yes, my next door neighbors. Ben was letting me know their dogs had cornered a big black rat snake in their yard and he felt sure it had sought cover over in our yard. Great! Ben also added that he had encountered one of those big black rat snakes over the weekend while working on installing stereo wires into his home. There underneath his house...well, let's just say if that had been me, it would have been my final resting place. He told me you usually see three snakes a summer. I am counting on hearing about snakes as being the same as seeing. So now I have to walk a little more gingerly and much more aware when outside. While over in the Waynesville area, I stopped to pick up some brisket to go. Yep I had a delicious dinner of brisket, Goode Company BBQ sauce, baked beans and sliced tomatoes.

Well, that's about all for now.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Adventure and Dreams Await

This has been a quiet afternoon only being interrupted by a Buddy meow now and then. It is the kind of afternoon I have needed even with having one of the best Saturday night sleeps I have had in a long time. I made cornbread and red beans and rice for lunch but not as soon as I got home from church. No, I came in and rested a bit before fixing lunch. It has almost taken a month and a half for my body to recover from the heat of Houston in the two week visit this summer and then going through the hottest summer here, ever! Which doesn't even compare to Houston but nevertheless, heat is not kind to me. It has rained several times but nothing heavy. I am extremely thankful this afternoon.

I am so excited to be a part of the launch team for Mark Batterson's new book Chase the Lion. Just like with Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson, I didn't think I would get picked because of my age but on the application they asked a little bit about you and since Mark's books, like I know him personally and call him Mark, but you know....anyway he writes and teaches on dream big or having a God sized dream...that only God can do. Until the book is delivered, they have posted the first two chapters for us to read. I have been reading and re-reading those chapters online and should print them out because I need to highlight just about every sentence. Yes, I know I can highlight on line but it isn't the same to me. This morning before church and after reading the Sunday School lesson, I pulled out the much loved, underlined, written in book of Walking on Water by Madeline L'Engle. Her words so encouraging just like I find Mark Batterson's to be. One quote from his new book I like is, "The best way to discover your dream is to help other people accomplish theirs." That is a good word because for many years I couldn't tell you what my God sized dream was but I could see and help others with their dreams. On the application I wrote that I was on the adventure of a lifetime. In fact today on the this day thingy on FB, it reminded me that we had put an offer in on a house close to Balsam Mountain and we felt there were other offers as well. I liked the house okay, it was a great house in terms of liveability and for guests but the view, while good, wasn't the one I was really looking for. On the day before we put in the offer our real estate agent and I had visited the house that we now own....yep there in the details, the people on Balsam Mountain accepted another offer and we began the process of turning in an offer on this house and like it is said, the rest is history. Peggy has always teased me that I didn't ever do adventure in life but our definitions of adventure are different. Like coming back from the dead with my heart, well that was an adventure for sure. I think moving to an area of the country that you have fallen in love with over twelve years of vacationing there and moving knowing only one or two people is quite the adventure in my book. I learned a lot by walking with a friend in the adventures and dreams of her life several years ago and I began to understand, not from having a mission statement or purpose statement, but from seeing how God plants a dream in your heart and how it comes to pass. Moving here of course is a dream come true but the God sized dream that we have, mainly I have, is to go even further and help others have time away from stress and the rat race and all the things that take our attention. Another quote from Chasing the Lion I like is this, "A God-sized dream will always be beyond your ability, beyond your resources, Unless God does it, it cannot be done! But that's how God gets the glory."

So a part of the happiness of late is our new roof that will be installed in the next couple of weeks. A red roof, but not a Red Roof Inn. There were three colors of red, although my first choice started out being a gray/silver but how fun is it to have a red metal roof? Well, I am thinking quite fun. So I have been sharing and showing our choice when given an opportunity cause, I am dang excited about this. When I was a kid, I had a friend who talked about visiting her friend Go Go with the red front door. She never ever called her just Go Go, it was always the whole title because this friend thought it was exciting that she had a friend with a red front door. Josh mentioned shutters if we wanted them in the same color but I need to find out if we can get paint not for shutters but for our front door, which by the way is red, but I want to make sure it matches the roof.

Good Monday Morning! I slept in just a bit. When I went to sleep I wasn't feeling a 100%. Maybe too many naps yesterday. Anyway, it is a beautiful Monday morning. This week promises to hold less humidity and lower temps. Welcome...the end of summer! I saw the red leaves in Biltmore Village along the sidewalks and some of the professional photographers who spend time up on the Parkway have been noting the red leaves strewn here and there as well. With the rain yesterday the clouds were low on the mountains and filling in the valleys. I had to stop and take pictures before going into choir.

I bought into Olympic watching rather late and now I'm glad that I will not be tempted to stay up rather late watching everything. Well, now the day has officially begun, Buddy has come downstairs. Guess my next order of the day is getting her some treats.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Studio Tours, Closets, and Weather

It's funny how just a little something can bring back memories from long ago, thoughts of a time when clearly I was treading water figuratively, just keeping my head above the emotional fray and trying to find some direction for my life. The thing that jogged my thoughts this morning were a few pictures on FB of the renovation and remodeling of South Main Baptist Church in Houston. The pictures showed the new details around the columns and decorative aspects of the sanctuary. I never attended South Main but they were on the cutting edge for the times of doing ministry for teenagers and several times my friends and I would go there on Friday nights to hear music groups or hear someone speak. The Baptist Book Store, that is what Lifeway was called back in the day, was right next door to the church. I spent many a Saturday afternoon perusing the store. My most poignant memory is Christmas 1972. With money I had saved and with Christmas money from my grandparents, I went to the Baptist Book Store to buy an Amplified Bible, a genuine real leather one. My preference was burgundy but I would take any other color if that wasn't available. My heart sank because the price of the Bible had gone up and I had the exact amount of cash for the Bible I had priced at Thanksgiving. The lady helping me knew my disappointment and offered an Amplified Bible that had a defect of light printing on two pages...in Jeremiah. She offered me that one at the old price and I gladly paid for it and took that Bible home. That particular Bible got me through a world of challenges, joys, and disappointments. This morning I am remembering a church who cared about teenagers and a lady who was used by God to once again show me, He is in the details of our lives. Oh the Bible with two pages of light printing, it was burgundy.

Since we did a brief look at Ecclesiastes in Sunday School, I am again reading through the chapters. Some find Ecclesiastes depressing, I don't. Guess you could say I'm a realist with playful tendencies. The book really tells it like it is, chasing the wind and vanity and the like, but there is a great amount of hope involved too.

Ecclesiastes 5:16-20New Living Translation (NLT)

16 And this, too, is a very serious problem. People leave this world no better off than when they came. All their hard work is for nothing—like working for the wind. 17 Throughout their lives, they live under a cloud—frustrated, discouraged, and angry.
19 And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. 20 God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

 Verse 17 reminds me of my father..worked hard, chased the wind and thinks he can take what he gathered with him yet the truth is he has lived his life under a cloud, frustrated, discouraged and angry. Never enough, not good enough when it came to just about everything and thus he spent many a day, week and month sabotaging things worth celebrating or living for. As a saboteur circumstances turned out the way he planned that way, he was never disappointed yet he threw everyone else into chaos and upheaval. But I love verse 20, God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past. My past is just that the past and there was a brooding day but verse 19 plays in so well, enjoy your work, your lot in life because this is a gift from God. I am certainly enjoying life and brooding rarely happens.
It is now Saturday afternoon. It has been a full and fun day. Yesterday, I began cleaning out one closet which led to two closets and eventually the pantry. Funny how that works. The original closet, well, it still needs some work and most probably I will get to that a little later. Since I am still staying away from the trash can excursion down the driveway with the bin and would rather just carry a big bag, a trip to the landfill was in order. $3.00 well spent. I also went to the Post Office, then picked up meds from the pharmacy and got an ice cream cone from the DQ as my reward.

This morning I got up to be ready early to get out to Addison Vineyards to see the blacksmith whose work I love. This is the weekend of the Leicester Studio Tour. It was a good thing I arrived early because he only had one door knocker and I claimed it. Last year on this same studio tour thing I bought a couple of pieces of his work and regretted not getting the door knocker...saw him at a Christmas show and he didn't have any. His work has become very popular in these parts and beyond. There were other artists in the winery tasting room, very talented. Then out to see the Appalachian broom maker at his studio. Bought one from him last year but didn't really see anything that caught my eye this time. Lunched at Turkey Creek and hit a few other stops and made it home just as the heavens opened with a nice rainfall. Rain cooled air and it is 79 outside. That rain made perfect short napping weather. Now the sun is out and the hummingbirds are defending their territory from one another. There are more now, guess word is out there is some good eats to be had.

And just like weather in Texas the sun is covered by clouds and we might get more rain. It never rains here...well, it does but not like everywhere else.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Catch Up Time

According to the weather gurus our hottest days are behind and we can turn toward fall. This has been a rather warm summer for the area with high 80's and low 90's. I know Houston friends are thinking well, those temps are our spring temps but on the fifteen day outlook low 80's are the highs. Even one local weather guy says next week will be open windows at night worthy. I've noticed a few brown leaves and some of the annual flowers are beginning to fade out.

I did exactly as I had planned yesterday, lots of reading, some writing and a little working on projects. Those are good days. Quiet and serene with a little rain and a little bit of thunder thrown in for good measure. There was a little something added to the day. I was sitting here reading just after having a delicious sandwich, a tomato sandwich and as I read a small fruit fly was being a nuisance. Engrossed in my book and not paying attention, I breathed in that fruit fly...didn't swallow it but breathed it in. I got up so fast out of this chair...jumping about and blowing my nose with such focus and intensity. Eureka, fruit fly was extracted and I was rather happy with that development. Reminded me of that old song...of course with words changed, " I know an old lady who breathed in a fruit fly. I don't know why she breathed in the fly...but it died."

It is now early evening. Brenda and I went to the funeral today of Tony Lewis. I did not know him but know his wife. The funeral home was packed out, people standing in the halls and we were with a group sitting in the back rooms watching the service on TV. Such a good, low key service. Two friends spoke, several songs and the minister the church the daughter goes to did the service. People from all walks of life were there. Coming from a background of presentation over real I so enjoy the simple ways of presenting someone's life.

Now it is early Thursday evening. It was an early morning as I went to Biltmore Village early enough to find a parking spot. Then I had breakfast at Corner Kitchen. That place was hopping for a Thursday morning. Got my hair cut and made a little trip to The Screen Door and I found something that needed to come home with me. I'm still trying to determine where this little industrial table will go. I found it at one of my favorite booths. The guy has really interesting things and they are priced well. Good thing I came on home because Josh came by early. His company is installing out new roof. We are getting a metal roof in a dark red color. The bright red was too red and the barn red was too orange and a little bit too much UT for us...that's University of Texas not Tennessee. The metal should be delivered next Thursday or Friday with the work beginning after that.

Since Josh had come early in order to beat the storm, I was able to get some errands ran in the rain but it was finished by the time I got through. I put up groceries and then settled in for a quick but much needed nap.

I saw some red leaves on the ground in Biltmore Village so maybe we are making that turn toward fall. Next week is supposed to be cooler and less humid. Well, little miss priss is up from her nap. She is knocking my phone and mouse off the arm of the chair. She is demanding attention and I better give her some.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Reflections on a Tuesday

Oh welcome Tuesday morning...no fog and the butterflies are out in force in our backyard. I don't think we had as many butterflies last year. The sight of all those butterflies both large and small stop me in my tracks every time. Then add the hummingbirds with their element of territory...makes it all worthwhile to stop and see.

I had a very fun Monday. Brenda and I went to lunch at The Blue Rooster and then we made a stop in the Hazelwood area. She loved Robin Blu and who wouldn't? It is such a fun shop. Since we were out that way we stopped in at Barber's Orchard. They had Ginger Gold and MacIntosh apples and lots of other produce. Since Brenda had just canned a ton of green beans and corn, I asked her is she needed more or more squash. Uh, no...she is done canning for the season. She told me about a few antique shops that I didn't know about...so we will make a return trip. During the six months that Barber's is open, a trip to Waynesville never seems long. Besides, the road getting there is one of my favorites.

Upon returning home, I took a short nap and then headed over to church for a women's ministry meeting. I could not find the unlocked door and interrupted prayer time but at last we connected and Tonya and Karen led me to the open door. Great meeting and planning for the rest of the year and looking ahead to next year. We have many good opportunities in the days ahead for service projects and ways to love our community and the women in our church. Since Sunday I keep thinking of and praying for a woman in our community whose husband passed away unexpectedly Saturday. In the past fourteen months her son and father passed away as well. She had a great little antique store but had closed it down...I don't think the junkin' brought her much joy anymore. If you think of this lady would you lift her up in prayer?

This is one of those days where nothing is scheduled and I can or decide not to work on a couple of projects. There is always something to keep me busy around here. This morning I slept in just a tad and thought that on this day in several months, it will be the day after my knee replacements and I am making an effort to remember today for the days ahead, where I watched butterflies and birds, listened to the songs of nature and enjoyed the beauty of the earth and God's creation.

One thing I have done is bring in the enamel table that was on the front porch. It is such a cute table and the elements are starting to affect it. I thought it might fit in our bedroom but no dice. I did find a place for it in the front bedroom at least for now. I will see how it goes. It will be a great place to sit and write...not that there aren't so many places now. Almost every room has a desk. Oh look, it is starting to rain a little and the mower man for the people above us is working rather quickly to get the section done right behind us.

It is almost impossible to type because I have a cat tail across the keys. Buddy always likes to be involved.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Battle Roy-Al In The Backyard

Ladies and Gentlemen! I would like to welcome you to the Sunday Afternoon Battle Roy-al featuring two hummingbirds, a variety of birds and butterflies. In the backyard we have champion fighters and a few bullies. Even a peace loving dove has gone to the bully side. Right now, the hummingbirds are taking on all comers. A female cardinal has accepted the challenge and at last glance she has gained ground in getting access to the bird feeder that in all actuality, hummingbirds shouldn't care about cause they are all about that sugar water baby! The hummingbirds sit on top of the shepherd hook and it is as if they are preening while waiting on the next bird or butterfly come lately. There is plenty for everyone but they'd rather expend energy chasing each other around, through the air with the greatest of ease instead of loading up on energy. And I only thought the cardinals were quick in the air with those brilliant red flashes of color. My lunch was quite entertaining. I'm so glad we didn't put a TV downstairs. The bunny and chipmunk have stopped by as well but they don't seem to notice all the activity in the sky. No, they have their noses to the ground eating great bird seed that I scattered away from the house for them.

Yesterday didn't turn into the day I had planned. A pottery maker in Madison County is opening up a retail location in Asheville. They were having a sale of older work and some seconds, priced to go. I wasn't all that interested in the pottery but more so seeing their studio and how they work. Many times the studios are located in areas of limited access. So the plan was to get up, get ready and get out by 10:30. But...Friday night was not a good sleep night and I was so tired Saturday morning. I didn't get that early start and after a few phone calls it was looking more like an early afternoon jaunt. While I was on the phone with Brenda, the fire alarm goes off...then stops. A few minutes later it goes off again...then stops. I texted Vivian and she would send Bill over when he got back home. I checked the fire alarms upstairs, all the lights were burning green. They only fire alarm that Roy and I hadn't messed with is the one downstairs because I didn't think there was a battery in it. Bill checked it out and the battery still good. While I was waiting for Bill and cautiously doing things here at the house I went to The Google to see what might cause the alarm to go off when the cause isn't batteries. Dust...well, now..wait a minute...ok it could be dust or little bitty spiders...ugh, think I will go with the dust excuse that can cause the alarm to sound. I also found out in my research that smoke alarms need to be changed out every ten years. Bill then confirmed that and said if I go get the smoke alarms, he will install them for us this week. Now that's an offer I can't refuse. I decided I should just stick around home and so I did a little house cleaning and such but enjoyed reading and watching the birds also.

Last night was not a good night for sleep either. I had a minor health issue in the night and once I settled back in and got Buddy settled down, I was able to fall asleep but morning came early. I fell back asleep and I almost overslept Sunday School. Yikes! I was able to get ready and out the door and arrived before class started, even though Inez and I found the door shut. I suggested we kick the door in but level heads prevailed and Inez just opened the door. We were in the book of Ecclesiastes today. Lots to cover and so interesting.

In Monablog fashion it is now Monday afternoon. Had such a fun day with Brenda taking her to the Blue Rooster for her first visit. I'll have to write about that another day.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

A Few Friday Things

This is a totally easing into the day morning. I have nothing concrete on the schedule except a few things that I would like to take care of and if it happens today, great and if not...great. I stayed up again to watch the Olympics. Swimming is deceptively powerful. It looks so easy via the camera to glide through the beautiful blue or sometimes green water but even though your eyes are relaying that your brain knows better, that there is a lot of hard work involved. Gymnastics, I have appreciated since childhood but also knowing that tall girls are not cut out for that amount of tumbling. Better to watch volleyball or basketball if one is a tall girl for inspiration. Last night toward the end of Simone Biles floor exercise the power went off...no need to fear, we have a generator that kicks in but it was a short burst outage and everything came back on but you know the TV is messed up from that. So you are waiting for the modem to kick back in. Saving grace was the fact I knew the outcome and I knew I could catch it on Twitter a little later.

I sat out on the porch till around 9:00 last night. A great breeze and the cows were quite entertaining. I had sliced up some cantaloupe which was quite sweet and refreshing. It doesn't take long to appreciate fruits and veggies that haven't traveled that far from where they were grown. I am ruined for store bought apples and peaches. The Amish store is offering the ability to buy concord grapes from New York. It is tempting but they are seeded grapes. Yes, it has come to this, I am too lazy to pick out seeds from fruit. Thank you seedless watermelon for spoiling me.  Why when I was a little girl, we ate seeded grapes and watermelon while we walked three miles in the snow to school, even in the summer.

It is now evening and the day turned out differently than planned. I've been on a major clearing out of things, so I decided to take a couple of bags of trash to the landfill and not wait until the regular pick up. It was three dollars well spent. Now mind you, yesterday I was dressed really nice but today I am in work clothes and work makeup which means very little makeup. Uh, for those whose minds go to Smutville, I had on the regular amount of clothes. Anyway, I ventured over to the mall. I don't really like the mall but I needed to check on a magazine at Barnes and Noble. It's not on display yet but the walk is rather short to Belk's, so I went there. Found a lot of 50% off things, with a 20% off coupon. Then I went back to Barnes and got two books I have been thinking about purchasing. I made a quick trip across the street to Whole Foods. They had peeled sliced oranges and at a really good price. Yes, I just a few paragraphs ago owned up to not liking seeded fruit but when you can find sliced oranges I don't care how much of a dilettante it makes you, it is a must purchase situation. Then I came on home.

Roy has this fancy dinner thing tonight and when this whole thing began, it was formal dress but with all the heat and humidity, the latest update changed to business casual. He is wearing gray slacks and a blazer with a tie in a jacket pocket just in case.

Last Saturday Roy met his brother Mike and Mike's wife Deborah for lunch in the Woodlands. They were in town for a wedding. Sounds like the Woodlands is a whole 'nother world when it comes to parking, kind of like City Centre. Roy had a nice visit with them. Deborah was telling Roy that I should take magnesium and the good news is I already take it. Once all this stuff started you better believe I did research to figure out how I might be able to help myself. Now that I know I will be having knee replacements, my knees have been acting up a little more than usual. I am taking this as a sign unto me that getting this done is the right decision.

I have settled in for the evening. Have lots of things to read and projects on the schedule.

Nancy's Monablog