Saturday, October 22, 2016

He's A Way Maker

Today old people writing checks at the grocery store and white trucks and cars have been the bane of my afternoon existence. After hearing from the cardiologist's office, I was free to roam about the country but really only needed to roam to the grocery store. Just as I pulled out of the garage, a light rain began and light rain is welcomed but a nice steady rain would be wonderful. I just needed a few things at the store but with Ingle's new improvements, it seems check writers and cashiers are not on the same page. So to make the time go by quicker, I decided to be helpful to the man behind me in line who was using a motorized cart, which as Monablog readers know are my second arch nemesis after minivans. I think checking out took longer than the whole shopping trip. So Ingle's has added to their take out options to compete with Publix which will be opening across the street. I tried the orange chicken today...not Fu Garden good but very tasty and will be a repeat. Anyway, on the trip to and from the grocery store, white trucks and one white car pulled out dangerously close in front of me. For a nano second, they moved up on the arch nemesis list and replaced minivans.

I love that Peggy brings her camera just about most places she goes. She gets great shots and perspectives. I only carry my phone with me, so many times the shots I want to capture just have to be captured in my heart and mind. Today was one of those days because the sky was winter gray, with creases of foreboding streaks of silver and black mixed throughout the sky. It is darker than when it looks like rain on the mountains, no it is winter sky announcing cold temps and wind. The wind is blowing rather hard and we are under a wind advisory until 6:00 pm. I'm taking pics of the changing leaves and foliage. Just the other day the red bud tree and plumb trees were in full green foliage. With the wind, those leafs have blown to the ground. It happens so quickly, especially the plumb trees.

This morning was spent in prayer and on the phone with doctor offices. My GP had already sent me an appointment time in my patient portal for my pre-surgery check up. She is either leaving the practice of medicine altogether or she is just leaving the Methodist Hospital System in late November. This was her first available appointment which is after joint camp but not too distanced. I also got the right person to talk to at the cardiologist. Funny, in July when I was there for my checkup, the receptionist and I talked about the yogurt she was eating. This same receptionist in the past has canceled appointments by mistake or taken messages and it has taken a lot of tenacity to finally get a call back. Before she put me on hold I told her I had tried some of the yogurt she was eating that day in July and thanked her for introducing me to that flavor. Do you know I got connected with the right person and without too much of a wait. Oh yogurt, what a great subject matter. I talked with the nurse who does clearance for surgery. She asked if my GP could do my EKG along with the lab work because that would expedite the process since there weren't any available appointments in my time frame. She also assured me if I needed an echo, those were not difficult to schedule. She called me back a little before noon to let me know she was faxing back an approved for surgery clearance to my orthopedist. Wow, what a difference 24 hours makes. Yesterday afternoon, I was reacting to the misunderstanding of my part in the process and felt ill and shaky. I went over to Vivian's just to visit and de-stress on her famous back porch and it did the trick. Then, I asked FB friends to pray for this situation and just like we learned in Sunday School a couple of weeks ago, I laid out all the papers and information just like Hezekiah did and handed it all over to the Lord. "For I cried out to him for help praising him as I spoke." Psalm 66:11

I'll touch base with the ortho doctor office on Monday or Tuesday. I'll continue to gather and pack things. I was talking to a Houston friend last night and I told her it is like I have to pack for three seasons, warm, cool and then prepare for a possible blast of cold. I'm packing for rehab and extended home time but also need to pack for before and then way after on surgery. I'm having trouble finding a couple of shirts I like, so I will search again.

Hopefully this next week will not hold the stress of these past few days and my adrenaline can be replenished. I had come to the point yesterday morning that if surgery had to be postponed, I was just fine with that, but so happy when the pieces fell together and God made a way when there seemed to be no way.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Before Another Day

This morning's sunrise was majestic and colorful. The golden beams of light were just kind of topping the trees while the rest of the sky found itself in hues of pink and fluffs of fog. I took a few pictures, began editing them and when my view returned to the sky, it was like when the fog comes rolling in, when the fog comes rolling in... Now the little valley in front of the house is filled with gray, cool fog, covering up familiar landmarks but it shouldn't be too long before it all clears off.

Yesterday Dani and Scott stopped in on their way into Asheville. It was so good to see them and to catch up. We had lunch at Stony Knob, took a quick drive into Marshall and then they needed to get on their way.

My brother has started me off on a mystery. He told me a family story I had never heard that surprised us both. With most of the ones who might know some facts of the story have gone on and the few remaining unable to remember details, there was a vast plain to cover to find any details. Late Tuesday evening I began researching, trying to find information without joining Ancestry...that's what I am trying to do for now because I want the free trial during my recovery. I was able to find a few things but the most exciting is we now have a name. My friend Kelly is the genealogy research expert and she is helping me find a few things because I have hit a dead end...literally...looking for an obit.

My plans for the day just changed and that is alright by me. Jan was coming by this morning to clean the house but due to an unforeseen change in her plans we have rescheduled for next week. That works well for me since company and visitors are gone and the house relatively clean, I can start working in earnest on packing and taking care of things on the to do list. I would love to have all that taken care of by the weekend so I can enjoy next week to the fullest.

I always enjoy my Texas friends stopping in but when they leave I am left with the realization that I am going back to hectic, chaos, frantic, crowded, beige, and flat Texas. Then I remember that right now Roy and Buddy are there and friends. More importantly, I know God is there. If I had half a chance to backout of knee replacements, I think I might take up the opportunity but it will be in the long run, after a time of pain and endurance, be the best.
Now it is Friday morning. The temps have turned cool and crisp for the next several days. We got a miniscule amount of rain last night but every little bit helps. No fog rolling in, just low gray clouds that brighten the sunrise. I am waiting for doctor offices to open and get started on the day. I have to get clearance from my cardiologist and from my GP before I go to joint camp. I think we had a bit of miscommunication between me and the orthopedic's office. She told me in September it was all a go, so I thought it meant clearance but alas no. Yesterday, I was frantic with this news and prepared a bit to leave for Texas earlier than planned if I need to. Roy and I have prayed and we have asked friends to pray and agree with us. This morning I am more settled and prepared to postpone surgery if it gets too hectic. But I have asked the Lord to make clearance or timely appointments. I love how my FB friends have reminded me He has gone ahead of me.

Once again in Katy Roy has had to deal with smoke alarm issues. What is it about us that smoke alarms go off for no reason at all. It was the same alarm that had a compromised sensor that caused the problems. Once again, Roy had to call 911, because that is procedure. I asked him if they took his picture and phone number to put on the wall, do not respond to this guy and his smoke alarm sensors. Haha!

Well, I will wrap up this post before it goes into another day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's All How You Look At It

The colors of fall are popping right now. I took a little jaunt up to Tennessee and you jaunt on roads in higher elevations. I might be a little prejudice but the North Carolina colors seemed just a tad brighter than those in Tennessee. Before I could jaunt, I had to clean out the trash can because a sack full of garbage had been emptied into the can, sans the bag. So I had the fun and disgusting job of putting all the gunky trash by hand into the bag. The joy of coffee grounds, banana peels, apple cores, and such transferred back into the bag...let's just say I am glad I caught it before it got "ripe." Then I ran an errand for Bill that didn't go quite as smoothly as hoped, but errand completed, After that, I made a quick stop at Barnes and Noble and they had the magazine and several other fun things I had been looking for. I was finally able to head out on my jaunt and the colors of the trees were spectacular! It made up for the repugnant garbage can clean up. The produce stand I like over there in Tennessee is only open till tomorrow and then they are closing down for the season. Slim pickings there but I made another stop at a stand just a bit down the road and found some Arkansas Black apples that looked really good, so a few came home with me. I detoured home via Wolf Laurel and Mars Hill. The river road is so beautiful now, so that was the way I came home.

Well, I have put up the cushions from the firepit and chairs for the season. The tarp we used last year has seen better days, so that is another thing added to my list of to do's. I did get some leaves swept up and I took down the extra lights we had around the railing. The lights have seen better days too, so they will be thrown away. I have enjoyed watching the birds as I worked since they were oblivious to me until the last minute. I had a dove zeroing in on my head and it averted at the last second. Whew!

When I got home in March I put up a suitcase filled with winter things. I decided I could just take them out of the suitcase as I went along but now a lot of that stuff needs to come out of the suitcase, so it can go back in the suitcase. I have found the pants and jacket I have been searching for. Nancy, my sister in law, called me this yesterday to check in with me and to coordinate plans later in the year. She had her right knee replaced in December of last year and she is also a nurse. So, she was giving me a lot of helpful hints and questions for the doctor and staff at joint camp. She attended a camp before she had her surgery in Nashville.

Our friends Dani and Scott are nearby and will be stopping by on Wednesday. It will be so fun to visit with them and I think we are going to have lunch in Weaverville.

Roy is trying to get his CLE hours in for the year and has a great chance of getting his ethics hours in one sitting. He is trying to do all the in person seminars and that will leave online courses to finish out the hours he needs and he plans to do that while I am recovering.

The sunsets have been so beautiful of late. With all the clouds and the brilliant blue skies, combining as the sun sets below the mountains have made some picture worthy sets. Although, I haven't taken pictures of many, just trying to remember them for a time in the future when I am in flat, beige, rancho de five.

Doug and I talked yesterday and today. We are like detectives trying to figure out a family mystery.

So, back to normal around here, laundry and the like...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Nap Is Calling And I Must Go

It's quiet here at the Ander House or The Red Roof Inn or even The Dew Drop Inn. Just the sound of the dishwasher and it's cycles disturb the tranquility. Peggy and crew left early for The Biltmore, Glad she woke me up, cause I might still be asleep. I got up and began getting ready for Sunday School and didn't plan to stay for church this day cause I be tired, but I am tired due to fun and laughter.

Bill and Peggy got in Thursday and John and Sherry on Friday. While Peggy and I worked on our Mildred and Gertrude lines, Bill went to the airport to pick them up. We tried to do a meet up at Sky Top Orchard, but three million of our best friends were already there and no one was surrendering a parking place... We flipped plans and headed over to Waynesville for lunch and then up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had made that drive on Wednesday just to check the color and wow, on Friday it seemed as if everything popped out overnight. This has been a late leaf change season due to drought and heat.  Saturday they went to Little Switzerland and several other places and returned home to gather up our things for the program, go over the lines and relax for a bit.

The Ladies Loving Laughter event was a hit! The tables were decorated beautifully in fall themes. The food was out of this world good and the desserts...they were from a galaxy far far away...dare I say they were heavenly? Our part of the program turned out well and we had a ton of fun and of course I just know my friends here learned all kinds of new ways to budget for the holidays and for ministry. Meanwhile, Roy had traveled to Baton Rouge to go to the LSU game. The President of his company offered him tickets that were really, really good! His friend that was to go with him had a last minute crisis and so Roy headed out by himself, early. He found parking which is hard to come by on game day and spent the afternoon on campus enjoying the festivities. His tickets were in the club, so he had complementary food and drink, which included ice cream. He was one happy LSU Tiger alumni. He had hotel reservations in Lafayette but with traffic closures and all those happy fans, he nearly had to go to Hammond before getting back to heading west. I talked with him this morning and he was so happy he went. I'm happy because he bought me a t-shirt and a LSU moleskin notebook. He just texted me he was at Buc-ees, so he is almost home.

We were sent home with to go portions from supper last night. Yum! I had tortilla soup and had the spice cake Brenda made. The tortilla soup recipe is the one I make and Judy W nailed it! It made for a very delicious lunch. I'm thinking of taking a nap here in a minute. Actually, it feels like my body is demanding me to take a nap. I keep seeing things I should do, so maybe that's why I need to close my eyes.

Mentally, I am checking things off the list that happen before I return to Texas. While I am checking off things, my mind is waging arguments against me because I'd rather stay here but I reason with it, with facts of the matter. Meanwhile, I'm trying my best to keep all things heart related in perspective so that I go into this next season as good as I can possibly get. Tuesday, I check in with the Orthopedic office to see what remains to take care of and get my last minute instructions before joint camp. I hope to rehab well and fast.

Sunday morning drives to church is one of my favorite drives, even though I go that way several times a week. On Sundays it seems there is something new and different to appreciate. Today the clouds veiled the mountains thinly, but you could see the outlines of the mountains coming through the mist. This morning I noticed the change in the trees and bushes in the backyard as we come closer and closer to the last days of fall colors and into the silvers and grays of winter.

Well, the nap is calling and I must go.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday Morning, Not The Store...The Actual Day

This is a total ease into the day kind of morning. Yesterday was busy and so much fun and I think I am a little overdrawn on my energy supply but it will get replenished. I would have been more overdrawn if it wasn't for fabulous friends who jump in to help, without me even asking. Vivian and Brenda to the rescue in so many ways and I am so thankful for them, not because they rescue me but the love and kindness that dwells deeply within their spirit and cannot help but overflow into other's lives. Just how God designed us to be.

Sunday afternoon Brenda came over to help me with cookies for Mildred and Gertrude. The tried and true way that Peggy and I have made them over the years has been using Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Guess Pillsbury has changed up the recipe a bit because tried and true did not work. All the cookies looked alike, a blob of various sizes. Oh my...Brenda went back to her home and brought the ingredients and recipe to make the cookies, because you know I didn't have half the stuff that was needed. We made the Nativity cookies out of her delicious Christmas cookie recipe.

Vivian knows that baking and cooking are not my best things and how overwhelmed I can feel with it all. She asked if she could make the salad for me and then offered to make the guacamole too. That kind gesture freed me up to finish up last minute cleaning details and to concentrate solely on the main dish...which turned out well, although my chili gravy was another story. Think I am giving up on it.

Sunday evening after Brenda left I sat here and cried, not sad tears but joyful tears. I am so thankful for being a recipient of such wonderful friends. I cried those same tears last night after everyone left. There were ten of us last night working on the cookies and we had a blast! Laughing and having fun. It reminded me of the time the BRD's helped us decorate cookies at one of our dinners that included a fried chicken cook off. I mean really, what a great combination.

Now things around here are quiet, but it won't be for long, the Bains and Bryants will be here at the end of the week. Thankfully, I have just a few little things to take care of for their visit...well, a grocery store trip which isn't a little thing but it will be easy. The temps are fallish and I will be heading out the door to enjoy some autumn scenes and temps. The leaves are very late this year in changing color but it is still so beautiful. Yesterday, I read Psalm 16 and it was just the right Psalm at the right time. "The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me."

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Whirlwinds and Countdowns

It has been a whirlwind the past two days. I drove to Charlotte late Thursday afternoon to pick up Roy. His was a late flight so we had made reservations at the hotel and I am so glad we did because little did we know about Hurricane Matthew when we made these plans several months ago. The hotel and all of the ones surrounding it were full of people who evacuated from South Carolina. I read that most of Charleston is in Asheville. Roy's flight was a little early and the hotel bus picked him up and brought him to the hotel. We were up early Friday and made our way home to do the things Roy could do. We got a lot of outside stuff taken care of as well as a few indoor chores. We worked hard with little breaks and went to bed at 8:00 pm so that we could be up at 2:00 am to be on the road by 3:00 am. Buddy made the trip back with Roy so we had to get the chill pill down her, three tries, and get her situated in her travel bag. The trip to Charlotte had quite a good bit of rain but my drive back was easier because I was driving ahead of the worst of the weather. To keep my concentration on the road, I said both my lines and Gertrude's lines as practice. It be dark out on the roads.I contemplated driving through Granny's Biscuit House when I filled up SequishShawn but opted to come on home and have breakfast here. It seemed a little too empty and quiet when I came in the door.

So here it is a Saturday, with overcast skies. Perfect background for a reading day but work calls. I just have a few major things left to do and I needed to wait until Buddy left for Texas. I will get cracking on that stuff soon enough. I'm contemplating a short nap. My eyes are tired from early morning rising and heavy road concentration.

On Thursday I decided to make a Barnes and Noble run and a Whole Foods stop before heading on over to Charlotte by the way of Morganstown for dinner at the Cracker Barrel. Like always I waited till the last minute to pack as not to upset Buddy, but she caught me and I hurried the process and did something I have never done before, I forgot to pack undergarments, well undergarment. Me, the one who overpacks everything, forgot. And in the process of bringing the suitcase down the stairs I heard a noise, not an alarm so much as a warning sound. I wondered if it was coming from the neighbors or was it some kind of warning in the upstairs. I know this, I cannot leave until I know the origin of the sound. It kind of came and went and then it dawned on me, that maybe the sound was coming out of my suitcase. It was! In the clanging and banging of getting the suitcase down the stairs, something had hit the button on the electric toothbrush and it was the sound of it vibrating against different things causing the come and go sound. After our smoke alarm debacle, we are not people who should be trusted with buttons. Thankfully, I arrived at the hotel before dark and realized this was the most crowded I had ever seen it...and well, it was filled with people from South Carolina.

The animal kingdom is alive and well in our backyard. The small groundhog was out today eating the remains of a sunflower, squirrels, chipmunks and birds are plentiful. The wind has picked up quite a bit and it is truly making me wonderstruck watching those birds fly so quickly and turn on a dime in the air.

I have finally had the chance to clean off my desk this afternoon. Just need to dust. I have a script to look at and a book that is hard to put down. I have tons of stuff to do upstairs, but I'm not quite ready to get that busy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I'm Nancy Mon and I Approve This Message...on Pollentics

Oh October 5th, you are such a beautiful morning! Our little cool snap has sent the hummingbirds on their migration, so the hummingbird feeder will be taken down, cleaned and put up today. Mike the mower man must have fixed his lawnmower because when I returned home yesterday, the grass had been cut and the weeds, weed eated.

Got the nicest surprise last night! I was reading and the phone rang. Thought it would be Roy cause it is the normal commute time phone call. It was Lisa P. We text all the time but it has been a couple of weeks since we talked. Two and a half hours later, we had covered all the bases, even though the Astros didn't make the playoffs. What a nice way to spend an early part of the evening catching up with and making plans with Lisa P. I have about a week and a half to play before my surgery. There is Mexican food to be consumed and fun to be had.

Yesterday was also fun because we did the extendomatic birthday celebration for Gale, Sunday School teacher extraordinaire! Brenda and I met Gale and Judy at the Ingle's parking lot and headed over to The Blue Rooster for an early lunch. It was Gale's and Judy's first visit and they liked no loved it. We were able to sit in Laura's section, so that made lunch even more fun. We were kind of on a schedule so we had time to pick one place to go after lunch and we kept in mind there was road work on I 40 going back into Asheville that had traffic backed up for miles. We chose the Main Street Mercantile because they have such cute things and because it is right off NC 276 which is the backway to get home. Yes, I felt just like a local cause I knew how to get us back without using the freeway. The Main Street Mercantile was a hit too.

Roy has this new obsession with smells, fragrances, and mostly pollen. He has never been sensitive before and just kind of breezed through life without even noticing smells, fragrances and mostly pollen. Occasionally, he would have a reaction to perfume I wore and even one time as I tried out a new fragrance from a sample, he reacted with the words, "what stinks?" when I came to bed. Yea, all that sweet talk from Roy will get you every time. I think this sensitivity to smells obsession began in 2014 when we looked at a house in Canton and our real estate agent Brian drove us past the papermill there. That put the kibosh on that house, even though I don't think we were that interested in it. The compelling factor of the house was the fact the older couple selling had put in many upgrades when they built and the market could not absorb those costs. You were getting a lot of bang for your buck but there was that papermill close by in Canton. In this season of politics and the mendacity of the candidates, I am going to be more concerned with Roy's obsession and be interested in pollentics. Instead of dismissing his concerns for pollen in the house, I am going to be a representative of the house and support this war on pollen. He swears he can perceive pollen at micro measurements. He is constantly washing blankets and such because a bit of pollen dropped off him when he came into the house after riding his bike. We have air purifiers and Katy has a dehumidifier as well. No longer do cheap air filters do the job, we have upgraded to allergen catching filters. I am training myself to never mention smells, fragrances or mostly pollen in Roy's company because it sets off his sensitizer and we are into the land of pollentics before you know it. When we returned to Katy this summer and the fire alarms were sounding off the warning in our home, he smelled fire, he smelled something burning and when the fire dept showed up and did the search, it was a sensor in one of the alarms that had gone bad. Pollentics will do that to you...make you believe something that isn't really there. I will have to put my foot down if he decides to turn the laundry room into a decontamination unit, I'm thinking of something out Monsters Inc. So look out mold spores, oak pollen, ragweed, and tree pollen.  Look out leaf mold. We are on point! We are on march! Our goal in pollentics is to wipe out all allergens and the lingering effects for now and for later generations. Cleaner air for cleaner homes, a chicken in every pot and an air purifier in every home. No more Febreze use. Glade will be used only as a scenic description of trees. I'm Nancy Mon and I approve this message.

Nancy's Monablog