Wednesday, November 22, 2017

A Little Mountain Catch Up

Thanksgiving Eve. We have worked around here all week getting the house ready for Christmas. We have installed lights, hung garland, wreaths and stars. A few things moved here and there and lots of tape to cover up all the cords running to and fro throughout the porch, deck and driveway. Truly it has been a lot of work but it has been fun. Inside, we have the tree up and decorated, battery operated candles in the windows. I've put things around the downstairs mainly. We have some storage bins to put up in the garage, which by the way has been newly de-garbaged as we took so much stuff to The Salvation Army today. We have been to Lowe's so many times in the last twenty four hours that we are on a first name basis with many and have become best friends with others. Buddy has not been a fan of the constant movement and changing of things. She's not very good with change, but then who is? Even in all this hustle and bustle there has been rest for Roy as he catches up with his programs on Netflix and Hulu.

So here is a little recap of the week so far.

Sunday evening....we had lots of wind and a hard downpour of rain yesterday and the morning began overcast and cold, but it has been certainly a very wonderful day. Roy and I played sabbatical today from church. He had such a busy week before getting in on Thursday night, late. Then we hit the ground running on Friday morning. Saturday was busy too and we realized we could not go to the LSU vs TN game as planned and still be able to get things done around here. Thankfully, we were able to give the tickets to friends and they sent pics of everything in creation blowing around and then the deluge that hit after halftime....

Roy made some of his famous gumbo for our lunch. He worked on his camera and I continued working on Christmas decorations. We discovered that our ladder had a warped leg and although he was able to pull some Christmas things out of the attic, we decided to wait until we get a new ladder for him to get the rest of the stuff down. It has been a little bit of a sentimental journey because my mom gave us Christmas ornaments every year and I have so many that she made for me. Then I found the Christmas stockings she had made us and the little one for our dog Tiff, which now is Buddy's stocking. Good thing Buddy can't read. I also have a little stocking she made me from fabric that were her dresses when she was a little girl. I had to sit a minute and compose myself.

We had such a good time at our church's Thanksgiving meal Sunday night. A veritable feast for sure! Our class was in charge of decorating and coordinating. Karon did such a beautiful job with the decorations and Judy W and Lois N were fabulous in the turkey, ham and gravy prep. Brenda and Marie did dressing and our teacher Gayle...well...she made the mashed potatoes. Then members brought side dishes and desserts. Oh my goodness, everything was so good! Roy brought his camera and took pics. It has been so fun looking through them this evening.

Monday we headed over to Micaville and then went onto Valle Crusis to have lunch at Over Yonder. The food there is so good. We stopped in at Mast General and then headed over to Grandfather Mountain. It was rather cool....no plain old cold on top of that mountain by the swinging bridge. We both went across but only one of us stopped to take pictures...no, it was not me. If there are very few people, I will go across, lots of people, ain't going to go. We could hear the cries of a child not wanting to go across...for a moment I thought it was Lisa P. No.....it wasn't her. The sun was rather blinding as we drove home but it made the mountains into such a beautiful silhouette.

There is so much we are thankful for, things easy to remember and then those things we have to dig a little to find our gratitude. I know I keep going back and looking at last year recovering from knee replacements. Last Thanksgiving was a hard and difficult day....and I am glad to be a year out. I am certainly hopeful that tomorrow, Thanksgiving this year, will prove to be a good day.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Our Little Corner Of The World

This has been an exciting twenty four hours. When we last left the girl with the Waste Pro problem it seemed like some resolve had begun. As I pulled onto my road to go on down to the main road, I saw this little glint of silver reflecting from across the street and down in the ditch. My friends the cows doing a neighborhood watch duty informed me the wear abouts of said trash can...yes, it had been thrown, rather emphatically, across the way, down in the ditch. I got out of the truck and waited for the traffic to die down a bit...and why did Nancy cross the road? Yes, to get to the other side. It was a miracle to have that few minutes of quiet and no traffic to get the trash can and bring it back. I finagled it into the backseat and headed back home with it and place it safely in the garage. Then it was second try to leave without a distraction. Monday will be interesting with Waste Pro to see if there is once again a problem with them picking up the trash. What an ordeal.

I made a quick stop at The Fresh Market and Target before heading on over to Charlotte, with a Cracker Barrel stop along the way. It was dusk when I hit the Queen City and my first stop after being in so much going home traffic was Barnes and Noble. Last time I was there I hit pay dirt with bookish finds, this time, not so much. I did use my free drink coupon for a lemonade ice tea and with that I headed over to Nordstrom thinking I would do some shopping and have dinner. It was such a disappointing experience. Nordstrom seemed to change when they took the pianos out of the stores. I had soup and pizza at the Marketplace Bistro. It is usually such a joy to eat in the Bistro, even in Charlotte, but poor service, dirty tables and all kinds of yelling going on in the kitchen. I looked in a lot of departments and not one person spoke to me. Everyone that worked there was on their phones. Didn't seem to be anyone in the shoe area either....and then when you can walk through the makeup and fragrance area and not be asked by at least two people if you need help....it was a miracle, not one person spoke to me about any products I might be interested in. I would have tried on shoes if I could have found someone to help. These days I really enjoy my Nord experience to be online. I got my private shopping experience invitation but it is still for Houston. I had thought about changing to Charlotte but nah, not worth it...oh the ten points per dollar spent is and I hope they offer that on other days besides the big Christmas shin dig they throw.

So Google Girl took me back to the hotel a very interesting way...I know know where all the exotic clubs are in Charlotte. Oh my....Happy to get to the hotel and settle in till Mr Precious Cargo arrived. There is a new system in place for pick ups at the airport and he said it is not any better than what they had before.

This morning we opted for brunch at CB and then made a stop at Publix for a few things. We got started on Christmas decorating and pulled out several trees and bigger type decorations. It felt good to make a small dent in the task ahead. We dropped off LSU vs Tenn tickets at Noel's and headed over to Turkey Creek Cafe for supper. Now, we are home. Buddy is sleeping, Roy is watching TV and I am writing this post and taking care of a few things in between paragraphs. I had my first sugar free Russian tea of the season and it tastes so good. It is a cool night and will be turning colder by Sunday.

I love our conversations in the car because the subject matter is all over the place. Helps my ADD. Anyway, we got to discussing the matters at hand in the world. I am really not a very political person but I watched all the cable news last night and I am glad it is not a habit. In our talking I said something to the effect of not being political and Roy disagreed with me, because he thinks my political is more about church matters and he is right on that. There are things that bother me tremendously. Then Roy said something brilliant, in my opinion anyway, he said we need to remember we are not to act like the disciples but to be more like Jesus. We act like the disciples all the time...that might not be a good thing. You know, not being in unity, not walking in love, taking pot shots, making sure everyone knows what we have done...of course for the Lord...talking only of ourselves, you know...falling short of the glory of God.

Well, before write too much and then have to apologize, I will stop....for now. Buddy has moved back onto the arm of the chair, Roy just came downstairs to check on me....it is all good in our little corner tonight.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not Worth It

So yesterday, I lost my composure just a bit knowing that I really cannot afford to do that. Over little things...nothing worth my health but I didn't "nip it in the bud" as Barney Fife used to say. We have never had a problem with Waste Pro until this week. With our neighbors we have about three to four trash cans waiting on the road every Monday morning. Only one trash can was emptied. I called on Tuesday and they said the truck was having problems on Monday, they would be out within twenty four hours to pick up the trash. Yesterday, the other trash can was empty, ours was still full. I called again, had to leave a message, then I filled out the email form and called again, this time answered by Haley. I should say rude Haley. She took the info and hung up on me. Y'all I was pretty steamed before talking to her but when I called, I was pleasant, not confrontational. Late yesterday afternoon Waste Pro called responding to the message I had left. We will see if the trash is picked up today. I could really use the trash can because I have been cleaning things out in the garage. This in itself is not loosing composure but then you couple it with, the attempted delivery of a package by the USPS. They leave packages here all the time, barely on the porch or against the garage door and sometimes they even cram a package into the mailbox which is hard to get out because I'm fighting the rim on the inside of the mailbox. Plus, living on a busy road, one doesn't always get a lot of time to work on removal of packages because you are dodging passing cars. This same USPS says Amazon packages have been delivered on the weekends, when they have not and show up on Monday or Tuesday. Amazon had texted about the attempted delivery. I went outside, no attempted delivery notice had been left. Great! Thirdly, I realized on Tuesday evening that not all my bags had made it home from Lowe's the week before. Missing bag contained Christmas lights and a few decorations. I knew the odds were against me, but I was going to Lowe's to see if anyone had turned in the bag....not hopeful at all....

Eureka! The bag had been turned in at customer service there at the Lowe's. It took a bit of the edge off my non composed emotions. Ran a couple of more errands but here's a funny thing in the midst of all this junk. On the way to Lowe's a small Dodge turquoise truck was in front of me, with only one tail light working and he had to be the slowest driver, ever...in the history of the world...hyperbole anyone? For the most part this doesn't bother me around here but read above paragraph to know why this was getting on my nerves. Here is the kicker, God has such a sense of humor. I turned he went onto wherever he was going. Do you know on my return trip home, yes once again he was in front of me. I thought if he turns onto the bridge over the French Broad, I am going to Marshall...cause there are a few things there I need to pick up. He turned, I drove onto Marshall. For the beauty of the earth calmed me down...but in Marshall there wasn't one parking space to be had, so I began the drive back. Roy called and I took the chance because he is in work mode, told him everything that was happening. He gave me back my own advice, pray and ask for favor with these people. Went to the post office, the package was there as well as another package I have been waiting on. The late afternoon call from Waste Pro at least assuaged my concern with the lack of trash pickup. Then of course the Lowe's miracle.

Years ago when I first saw my cardiologist, he asked me what is stressing you out? I jokingly responded, my hair. He said, your hair isn't worth dying over. I think about that most ti
mes when I get stressed over little things and medium to big things. Yep, especially since I had the freak episodes with afib this weekend. I take such precautions after they happen. Not worth it at all and if worse come to worse, we can take the bags to the landfill, cancel Waste Pro and I'll schedule in that weekly trip down the river road...

My therapist used to remind me that emotions take energy and because of my limited energy, I need to choose wisely when it came to emotions. Sometimes, she said this after I hadn't used my emotions and energy wisely and I would respond....well, it amused me, it was worth the expenditure. Even sometimes I had used that energy going to my fearless zone...which is not a good thing. Nothing yesterday was amusing or fearless...it was just dumb of me to do because I needed the energy to finish putting away fall decor and moving toward Christmas.

On a related seasonal note, the call I have been dreading came this morning...CourtneyS heard Merry Christmas Darling first this year....second year in a row. Note to self, must break streak...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Happy Kneeversary!

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of bilateral knee replacements. Excited to be one year out from a dramatic life changing procedure. Those three weeks, one in the hospital and two at the rehab hospital were some of the toughest and hardest weeks but I knew the end result would be worth the pain. Last week while going through a basket of books that accompanied me to Texas and back I found the small notebook they give you at the hospital to make notes and there in that little notebook, loved the use of lined brown kraft paper, was a list of times...and in a wobbly, sedated handwriting. I have no clue what I was keeping track of. In the hospital I had to have two units of blood and I still believe I got the blood of a petite woman who is always freezing because my core temp has not been the same since.

The other night looking through last years printed version of Monablog once again such an overwhelming sense of gratitude because the Lord answered my prayers of arranging to have the right people in place for the best recovery and to be like the little girl that Jesus raised from the dead. Believe me after all the years of struggling with knee pain, life seemed dead. He took her hand, she stood up and walked, people were amazed and then....give her something to eat. The food was really bad at Methodist Katy, but they started me out on solid food. None of this broth and Jello diet. Also, don't let people's opinions of your recovery written in the official notes determine the outcome. The hospital PT wrote me off the minute they stood me up and I fainted...see needed two units of blood reference. Her notes affected the future PT's attitudes. I am telling them I am motivated, very motivated and they are reading notes that might say otherwise. Even overcoming that situation was such a God thing because after reading the notes and talking with me, the interviewing PT person at the at rehab hospital placed me with the PT person who got all the tough recovery and unmotivated people. That was fortuitous for me because she believed me over the notes written about me and Jasmine and I hit it off from the first workout.
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At least I am consistent in that it seems to take a day or two to write a post these days. Buddy just came downstairs for her early morning snack and has headed back upstairs for another nap. I had thought about going several places today but opted to stick close around here. It's not like I don't have things to get done around here. Last night I made a huge dent into getting small Christmas items up in the house. In the midst of this I realized I did not come home with all my stuff I bought from Lowe's. Maybe someone turned the bag in but somehow I doubt it. At least I got home with most of the the things I bought.

So, happy kneeversary to my two knee replacements. So happy to be here rather than there last year. Once you get past the surgery pain it gets easier and just like so many told me, every three months you see marked improvement. I'm also happy to have found Taylor and he has helped me so much with functional fitness. My balance has improved as well as getting a natural walking gait back. And as a serendipity, my left shoulder soreness and pain is pretty much gone. Taylor knew exactly what was causing it and the stretches he helps me with has improved my rotator cuff immensely.

The day beckons and I am sure the birds out back would like a refill in the feeder.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fall Away With Christmas On The Horizon

The sun beaming through the front window is almost blinding when it hits the sheen of the hardwood floor this morning. Seems like in the summer the sun's beams are the most radiant from the stairway window. It is so wonderful to experience four seasons. It might have been the coldest night so far last night, well coldest for the fall season.

My workout with Taylor yesterday was very good and my muscles are telling me this morning that they might not be agreeing with my brains assessment. My triceps and shoulder muscles got quite a good workout on the TRX. My balance work seemed very improved too. So, I was a happy camper leaving workout and going to the grocery store. Since we've had cool temps this week it seemed like a taco soup kind of night. So, while I was there I got everything to make the soup. In fact, when I got home I immediately started fixing it so it would have a good amount of time to simmer. I used my new stock pot to make it in. I really got this big stock pot to make tortilla soup in which I will probably make sometime next week.

While I have the impetus to go through and clean out closets, I am going with it. My closet is looking about the neatest, well ever, here. Still some work to be done but the space is becoming more manageable. It is a small closet. The linen closet got a rework done as well.

Roy has CLE today, where he gets all his ethic requirements in. It will be quite the adventure with several events happening downtown today. His plan, park and walk the majority of the distance to the courthouse. Oh, I just found out he doesn't have to go to the courthouse, the Harvey rain kind of shut that down. CLE will be close to his office building.

I am glad that so many put positive things on Twitter because it helps with all the negative things going on in the world today. It seems odd so many are shocked by all this revealed bad and criminal behavior. I am not shocked but I am saddened over it. It is just not Hollywood or politics that has a corner on this behavior, it is across the board. We all have stories to tell, sadly this is the truth of abuse and/or harassment from family members or friends or strangers. I read something the other day written by a female seminary student and she discussed the men's ministry class she was taking...how the stereotypes of behavior justified what was being taught. Years ago while working in Married Young Adult Ministry while on staff, I remember a retreat we did. A well known couple in marriage ministry, whose name I can't even remember now, were the speakers. It was so clear that the woman had a greater spiritual understanding than her husband. There was a session where they divided the men and women and the husband to demonstrate a point to the men, had them laugh for a prolonged time knowing that his wife would come find out what was going on. (the room had those folding dividers in it so you could hear anything that was above a normal noise level)  I had to leave the session early to set up for the next thing and I found Roy sitting outside in the hall. Before I could even ask if everything was okay, he said, I cannot in good conscience listen to that man because he is really teaching on how to manipulate situations to get the end result you want and I don't believe a husband should manipulate his wife or a father his family. Wow! Yep, I got a keeper for sure. There are good men among us.
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Well, it is Tuesday morning and I was writing the above on Saturday. Originally, I had included a story about something that had happened to me while working at church and I let the blog sit until now because I had qualms about sharing...never said a name but I tried to make this person unrecognizable but it seems a daunting challenge. The story was just an aside to make the bigger point but for now it will remain dormant. I have saved what I wrote. This is not a stay tuned for big news paragraph or trying to increase readership on my blog because that doesn't matter to me. In the past when I tackled more edgy or dicey subject matter I had many responses that what had been written had been so helpful to another. So for now it stays in the draft file.

So Saturday, I went to the Open House  at a local store and had a blast. I was able to find locally made gifts that are so cute. Then I went to The Fresh Market. I forgot it was Thanksgiving meal sample day and the parking lot was almost full. I got what I came for and didn't sample a thing. It was such a beautiful day I decided to drive around a bit and ended up in Johnson City. I really do miss being living near an Academy.

I had a freak afib situation early Sunday morning. A really hard coughing jag put me into afib. I took the meds that have never worked before and this time they worked. Guess I caught it early enough but the hour and a half I was awake took a lot out of me. I made it for Sunday School but did want to chance another episode happening in the choir loft. It gets really hot up there even with new A/C.

Seems like a good day to work on getting more of the house ready for Christmas. So last night a bunch of fall decor got put into storage bags, ready to be put away in storage containers and then next week when Roy is off we can get the Christmas decorations up. I am one of the entree houses for our Women's Ministry Christmas Progressive Dinner.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Adventure Awaits...Or Adventure Can Wait

Good morning! The not usual sound of sirens awoke me this morning. Usual for Texas living, not so much around here. The view from the front bedroom today is one of my favorites in that the mist lies low in the valley but not covering the whole landscape. The neighbors trees are changing rapidly from faint autumnal colors to a vibrant display before they simply release themselves from the tree and fall to the ground. It is such a joy to experience an actual fall.

Yesterday, I decided to go to Micaville and visit the One of a Kind Gallery. It is one of my favorites. The goal, to buy Christmas gifts and I'll admit...I found something for me too. The drive was kind of a misty then rainy back to misty kind of drive. But...there was about a mile or two that was totally socked in and foggy. It was so dense and thick that the only guide to keep me going was watching the white line on the side of the road and hope that anyone ahead of me had turned on their lights. So thankful it was just a short span on the road. I stopped in downtown Burnsville on the way home to peruse a little antique shop I like and then going to what used to be an antique shop that had an enormous amount of books. The owner has downsized her space doing away with the antique portion and she has come to the decision to sell or just close down the store by the end of the year. The owners sister has a cute line of sheep cards that I have purchased over the years...I'll be sad to see them go. I happened to go there because at the previous antique shop mentioned in the above paragraph I found a Gail Godwin book as well as a signed copy of a Wilma Dykeman book. In the great book purge of 2011 I let several books written by Gail Godwin go and now I wish I hadn't done that. Funny, I had been talking to Peggy and had said I wasn't buying anymore books for a while. So, guess this has to be looked as a serendipity. I headed on to the jewelers to pick up watches that needed new batteries. Think about five had bit the dust over a good bit of time. Then I came on home to fix breakfast for a late lunch and I began going through books and sorting the keepers and the ones I'm sending onto good homes. I hate to admit that a basket of books and such that had gone and returned with me from last year to keep me entertained while recouping from bilateral knee replacements hadn't been touched since returning in February.

Yesterday marked the sixth anniversary of my mother's homegoing. Out of the pain and despair of Alzheimer's but I miss her. She would have loved NC and all the colors and plants and trees. Oh my goodness, she would have loved watching the birds in the backyard.

Last night while going through books I found my bound copy of Monablog 2016. I thumbed through it a bit and relived those rehabbing moments from November 15th and on. I didn't write too much but when there were moments that I was awake enough to do so, I had written those things that had made an impact. Those words of fear but knowing the Lord was with me and those moments of frustration that only encouraged me to keep working so hard. And reading and remembering those long dark nights....glad that is all behind me and I have enjoyed the joys of pain free knees.

Well the rest of the morning and afternoon have been spent on worthwhile projects. A closet is neater and the linen closet is better organized. There are several more bags of things ready for Salvation Army, if they are open after the remodel or the nearest charity. I had my first Sprite Zero with Cranberry today and we have officially entered the flannel sheet season.

Yep, last night I had great plans to get up and get going out of the house but I needed today after the fun and adventures of the open road yesterday. I have also stopped by the welcome center of NC recently and I have a few more places to visit...weather permitting before next spring...if not spring road adventures await.






Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Value Of Leaves And Flannel Shirts

On this rainy Tuesday morning with the background noise of traffic alerts messaged from my phone, the sound of distant thunder breaks through. I just heard a low rumbling of thunder but not five minutes ago, Buddy and I saw the light flash from lightning. Lightning that my weather alert just told me was about a mile away. The mist so heavy no discernible silhouettes of the mountains can be traced. The low valley fog covers everything. It is simply beautiful.

I am glad I took a quick pic of our maple tree the other morning because most of those red leaves are lying on the ground. When I took the trash can down to the road Sunday evening the fragrance of pine filled the air. The pine trees across the road are beginning to lose their needles or as it is called around the south, pine straw. The hint of pine straw invited me into remembering the Christmas season is not too far away. Thankfully, it did not throw me into a panic...Christmas coming soon. I am also glad that the fragrance of wild onions did not instill a sense of panic for me the day Mike the Mower Man cut the grass. Guess, the panic would have been overcooking a roast or something.  Our plumb trees and Bradford Pear Tree, which we should really have cut down according to gardeners in the area, is just now beginning the Baylor part of their season...where the leaves are both green and yellow. 

Last Wednesday on the way to get SequishShawn new shoes, a beautiful buck stood along the side of the road. Behind him, trees and before him, a large pasture of green, green grass. He wavered almost deciding to cross the road. Both the car coming towards me and I stopped to let this beautiful deer decide what to do. He chose to go back into the trees. Good choice...  One the Sunday that Beth was here we saw about five or six deer playing in the front yard of a home along the way. Such a special thing to see.

The Farmer's Almanac online today has an article, The Value of Leaves. Interesting because Roy and I had a conversation about leaves this past week. Yes, friends, our conversations are that edgy and real. He wants to bag up the leaves, I want to use them in flower beds and on the tier in the backyard. FA says use those leaves and even tells how to compost them for better usage. And that's where my brain kicks in and thinks, just another potential home for vermin...so no composting for me. Yesterday, I noticed yards covered to the exclusion of seeing grass with leaves and FA says too many leaves can smother your lawn. So basically, it seems like most things in life...it is all about moderation. It is also about burning yard waste as several fires were being watched with care, I hope, with people clearing all the limbs and leaves. These past few days of yellows and browns of the scenic landscape almost convinces me that these few days of autumn might be more spectacular than those coveted days of October color here in the lower elevations.

This past week was also monumental, at least for this child, in finding out how long 75% of propane in a tank lasts. Without even having to do math! Friday afternoon the generator guys came out to check on the generator, add oil, clean the elements and update the software. Who knew all those components are needed? Well, the generator guys. So that is when I asked about the propane to electrical factor after hearing that the propane tank is at 75%....which I have learned in propanage language is nearly capacity...that means that the electricity provided by generator could be used for two weeks. That there is some good news and news that I can use.

I have got to stop this cute flannel shirt obsession...maybe this spring. At Robin Blu yesterday they had the cutest flannel shirts but sized L/XL which usually means in the real world that is a medium. I was looked at it just for the cuteness sake. The clerk came up and made conversation about the shirt and I said this will not fit me...and she responded because you are so tall...I said no because I am so deep and wide. Oh no she exclaimed but I saved her by saying at least I am not as deep and wide as I used to be. So, when I went to Mast General Store afterwards, I found some of the cutest flannel shirts with good color combos and little details that make them different from farmer brown type flannel shirts...which I love wearing around the house. So yes, I bought two when back in the day I would have bought four. So as we bid a fond farewell to produce stand season, we welcome with open arms flannel shirt season.

Nancy's Monablog