Sunday, March 1, 2015

That Good Old Baylor Line

Two years ago today, March 1, 2013 became a life changing day.  After five years of tests, meds, and changes, this day two years ago brought peace and calm to my heart from a procedure called an ablation.  The procedure was successful and I had new life, energy and a calmness I had never experienced before.  

March 1, 2015 is a life changing day as well.  The celebration of my personal, long time journey completed a wonderful weekend when by decree I became an Alumni By Choice of Baylor University.  An adoption into the family of Baylor Bears, I can now proclaim Sic Em Bears not as a wanna be but as a truly adopted bear.  

This has been such an exciting weekend!  Now after watching the season finale of Downton Abbey and as the house has settled into quiet, I can ponder the wonderful memories of this time.  I have shed more tears in the past week than anytime in recent memory.  Tears of joy.  A long time dream that I had put to bed so many years ago became reality on Saturday.  Of course I know it is not a degree, but the decree came in a rather nice leather folder with a fancy looking piece of paper.  Didn't have to write a thesis, solve trig formulas or write a paper on what I did this summer and I know this ain't going to open the door for career opportunities, but it opens the door the significance  of new beginnings and closes the door on a too sad story that tried to define my life for many years.  

I am so thankful for my friend Peggy who took the time to write a glowing review of my life where it concerned Baylor to nominate me for ABC.  My acceptance letter came in July and I just didn't know if I would make it to February 28th but thankfully, I did.  

Bill, Peggy, Roy and I began our adventure early on Saturday morning, leaving for Jerusalem on the Brazos at 8:00 am.  Sanguine Peggy and I actually built in time in case of traffic or weather.  We arrived early enough to drive around the campus to see the new football stadium and classic Baylor architecture of the new buildings on campus.  We cruised the older sections as well and I remembered staying with friends in Russell, Collins and Memorial.  Bill suggested we go to the Armstrong Barrett Browning Library.  I hadn't been in it since high school.  Truly one of my favorites on campus.  

The luncheon was in the Student Union Building on the second floor in the drawing room.  Lovely, and well done.  Lunch included the usual and ubiquitous chicken and green beans of every Baptist banquet known throughout Southern Baptist history but it was really good!  The speakers were interesting and informative and the last one very funny.  When it came time for the presentation we went forward by groups of 9.  I was number 39 and as we walked across the stage, first shaking hands with Judge Star and the Chancellor, a little bio of why we were nominated was read.  When I stepped off that stage, I began to tear up and thus hoping my trip back to my seat would be uneventful.  At then end we sang That Good Old Baylor Line and ended with the Sic Em Bears...I began to cry again.  
Roy had kind of given me a hard time about this whole thing.  He didn't understand it, why it meant so much to me.  When I returned to my chair after receiving my decree, he looked at me with big ol' tears in his eyes and said to me, this really is special.  I had no I want to be an ABC.  Later on he told me, I have three degrees and not one of them was as nice or as meaningful as this program today.  

After the luncheon, we headed over to watch the men's basketball team defeat West Virginia.  Such fun and energy!  And we had really good seats.  

 Several weeks ago Peggy and Dena suggested we have lunch on Sunday March 1 to celebrate.  Those sneaky two surprised me with a celebration luncheon with some of my dearest friends of every tribe of former Southwest Conference schools and one Lancer of CBU...   I was shocked and so overwhelmed by the kindness of my two friends planning this and for such dear friends to be there to fling our gold and green.  Lunch was delicious, served family style and the chicken picata made the meal sanctified as a Baptist gathering.  Although one could say the margarita and pina colata jelly beans sanctified it as a Baptist gathering too.

I am so glad that God gifted my life with these two friends.  They make life fun and adventurous, deeply spiritual.  Each one of these friends has impacted and changed my life for the better.  They've encouraged, listened, laughed and talked me out of some stupid decisions.  Peggy said, we are not giving you a going away party, because you are leaving you should give us a party.  Of course not missing a beat I promised her when these friends come up to NC, I will throw them a party.

This new Bear is truly blessed!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Leadership, Team and Birthdays

There is so much talk about leadership today.  Some of it is helpful and useful and a lot of the theme of leadership is just that talk.  After a while, listening to someone tell you time after time that they are a leader, anything else they say...which might be really good becomes just like Charlie Brown's teacher or something said by Debbie Downer.  Yea, you so have my attention...uh did your spidey, I mean leadershipy senses tell you that I mean opposite of that?

We don't refer to ourselves as a team either mainly because one of us would always be on academic suspension or conduct detrimental to the team.  Besides, we would rather be thought of as a family.  But I guess team is the term used when someone needs to make sure that others know they are the leader of the team, band, club or I guess family.

That's what I love about Roy.  He, for a lack of a better term, is a great leader but instead of reminding me verbally, he lives it out everyday.  Some think he is a push-over and that I can run a muck  over his thoughts and decisions.  Nope, not even close.  He asks for my input and likes to hear my take on decisions and such.  He is secure enough as a man to have input and ideas, my goodness gracious from his wife of all things and he is steady, thoughtful and very protective.  All things I like in a hubby.  The way he lives life makes me want to live his way, well except for all that math and excel stuff, but you get the picture.  If you refer to your family as a team, good for y'all.  It's just not our preference.

So today is Roy's birthday.  He loved his card from me and it really was perfect for this season in life.  It had all the good stuff you want to say about your hubs and a bonus for us, the word amazing was included on the inside message which means I added another amazing because Roy really is amazing, amazing.

Today, I have been going through my shoes and I'm excited to have found several pairs I bought at the end of the season last summer, so I am good to go.  All the heels are heading to KCM cause my knees and sense of balance are not what they used to be.  The lamps ordered for our bedroom came in yesterday and they look to be a good match.  Purposely we picked lamps that will work here or there, but the new ones are packed and ready for moving.  The guest bedroom is running out of storage room but there isn't really too much left for packing with the exception of books.  Thankfully, we can put those boxes in Roy's study and I don't plan to work on those until later.

Last night Dena and I grabbed some dinner and much needed catch up time.  My goodness, the conversations kept on rolling.

Roy is on his way home and we are going out for his birthday... like not a real celebration place, we will do that next week.  Oh, you know Mexican food or Luby's are always considerations.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankfully, I Acted Right in Line at the Target

I did something this morning that I haven't done in a long, I didn't cook breakfast, well a breakfast of pancakes or eggs or bacon, nope I made a Land of Sugar run to get a haircut.  I haven't had to do that for awhile because Emmanuel opened a Katy location, but Stevie is out of the salon tomorrow, so we switched me over to Land of Sugar today.  I got out and about early because it is a Chris day, so a quick breakfast at Black Walnut and then I hit the road to run a few errands before the appointment.  Golly gee whiz, I had not been on 99 since they made it a toll road with entrances and exits and I was pretty happy about the whole trip.  First to Super Target.  We have one here, but this Target always seems to have what I am looking for.  Like motion detector lights.  So helpful at night for this wandering one, but at the same time Buddy likes walking by them and turning them on, repeatedly much to the chagrin of Roy.  Also some remote control light dealies.  With everything on my list taken care of, I headed over to the checkout area.  Two, yes two whole lanes open for the whole store.  So, there was a little bit of a line.  The lady in front of me had cornered the market on sweatshirts and they happen to be the brand that I we got to talking and I shared I cleared out the Academy of those very same sweatshirts when they went on sale.  That was the quickest part of the line because she was a bargain shopper and not that there is anything wrong with that, but if a clearance item wasn't ringing up correctly, the whole process stopped as they checked each and every sweatshirt or binder, not bras but three ring binders.  I'm sorry but I have been laughing for five minutes over binder.  That is what my nieces called bras way back in the day.  And the discount triple check was for 9 cents or 5 cents...I almost reached in my purse and handed the lady a dollar but you know we had that conversation about favorite sweatshirts.  Finally, when two items were found not to be discounted and she felt quite sure they were, she opted to look later in the store for proof.  At least my phone worked in that Target so I was able to check email.  There wasn't a flaw to my checkout, so boom, out to the car where I found out that the black blankets we use to cover things in the back were not there.  Let's see?  Who took them out of the car and didn't put them back?  I believe it was my precious, darling husband.  Ugh!  Since there was still about forty five minutes till my hair appointment, I went over to the local Christian bookstore and looked about.  And who should come into the store right afterwards?  Yes, sweatshirt friend.  We laughed and told each other we were not stalking but believe me, I was so thankful I didn't go huffy puffy over the wait in line.  Oh, my, what a great encouragement to this lady would have that been?  I think I would have had to go all, I came over here to find the answer to life's questions and act like I was a seeker just to get out of bad behavior.  Thankfully, like I wrote, I didn't have to go to lying in the Christian bookstore to save face. Not that I would lie in the Christian bookstore...

Great time at Emmanuel and I stocked up on product.  Then a quick trip to Whole Foods.  I think that Whole Foods is better than ours.  That store is huge!   My tin ceiling tiles were framed and ready at Hobby Lobby, so I picked those up on the way home.  I also had a painting of some lambs framed and the price on the register didn't seem right.  Oh, now I have become the bargain shopper.  No, I knew she hadn't charged me for the lamb picture.  The clerk was taken back, she said no one every corrects a not enough price.  Really?  Cause Just As I Am was playing in the background...I didn't really notice that till I left.  Many think I don't look at receipts but I do and if I hadn't caught the mistake then, I would have gone back after looking at the receipt to pay...but then you get the sales clerk in trouble and you don't want to do that, but you don't want unpaid merchandise hanging in your home.  So, that was my adventures today and as always, it is wonderful to come home to a clean house.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Update

It is in the 30's and the sounds of lawnmowers fills the air.  Ah, Rancho De Five you truly are an enigma.  The look of winter with the sounds of summer.

As I wrote yesterday I knew getting angry in the parking lot at the bike store was going to come back and bite me and it did, oh around 1:00 am this morning.  The erratic, slushy beat of a heart out of rhythm.  Sometimes it is just irritating but last night was the kind of afib that keeps you away because of the loud pounding in the chest and also those brief thoughts of, if I fall asleep will I wake up in heaven?  I finally decided instead of thrashing about in the bed and Roy didn't stir one bit, I would get up and take the dreaded medicine that helps get the heart back in rhythm.  It did the job.  If there is any getting out of sync, mine usually happens at night.

In good Monablog fashion, it is now Wednesday morning.  Still cold and overcast, but no mowers on the green space.  I packed up things yesterday until I ran out of bubble wrap, so another trip to Costco is in order.  I would go today but Roy really likes making Costco runs, so I will leave that to him.  The moving company is bringing big boxes and wardrobe boxes later this week.

We have come to the program Fixer Upper on HGTV quite late but we have enjoyed watching the previous shows and getting caught up.  It has kind of taken over our previous must watch TV, House Hunters.  After watching several episodes, I realized that for our NC home, they would have opened up the kitchen into the family room and we did consider doing that.  But at the end of the day and this journey we decided that the NC home would be totally different than our home out here in Rancho De Five.  We enjoy the open concept but I am a nook person and the farmhouse feel of the Ander House, that's what we've decided to call it, just feels right.  Of course the feeling will be better once we get furniture and the like into it and also a back splash in the kitchen.  Oh yes, and getting us in there.  Back to Fixer Upper....It is interesting to see how they do things and design rooms, which probably worries Roy that I will see something new to do to the house.  I would like a stone fireplace instead of the marble one that is there now and we have plans to redo the master bathroom, replacing the bath tub and separate shower into one big walk in shower.  I hate to admit that for about a day I thought we should put in one of those walk in and sit down tubs.  Roy was totally against it but then on Fixer Upper, one of the homes had a "senior adult' bathroom and I came to my senses...uh, no, big shower is great.

Well, it is time to get to work and then I do believe some reading is calling out to me....I may answer the reading before the work.

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Make Everything Groovy

Well, I took a walk on the wild side today and bought something rather impulsively.  I'm actually kind of excited about this purchase and I will be kicking it old school on my manual typewriter.  Sometimes with the creative journaling I do and no that doesn't mean I embellish stories in my journal, well not all the time, but a typewriter font is so cool for some of that kind of work.  I know when I get to NC, I won't have a printer for a while and I'll be using a computer I don't really like.  We are waiting for Windows 10 because we do not like at all Windows 8.  So today, as I pack up boxes and look for something fun during my breaks, there was research to be done on manual typewriters.  Oh for a bit I considered buying an original but decided to order it from The Vermont Country Store because they stand behind their products.  So, yes that is the wild side from Rancho De Five.

Speaking of wild side, we picked up Roy's Terratrike at the bike shop...near the hood.  Roy had them put 24 inch wheels on his trek which enables him to ride on trails and grass without getting stuck.  It is very helpful out here by the lake and water feature with scores of children, adults, bikes and trikes on the trails and paths.  This will let Roy maneuver better around them.  When we dropped it off last weekend, it was done without incident but yesterday we had a little scare.  We were putting Roy's trek in the back of Sequisha and I had moved from the back door up to the side of the car to help guide the wheels into the proper place.  I could sense there was a car driving up slowly behind us and my street smarts kicked in, on full alert.  I am probably just a incident or reminder away from PTSD. As the car began to slow in the approach, I turned to see if there was anyone behind us to catch us unaware.  The two ladies in the car asked how fast Roy's trek would go.  That seemed kind of strange because the conversation did not begin with, I have been thinking about or we have seen these before, do you like it better than a regular bike?  Roy approached cautiously while I kept my finger on the alarm, not that it would do any good because no one ever pays attention to car alarms.  I kept my eyes peeled for any movement from any other side of the car and believe it or not, I was ready to take a bullet for Roy.  Roy was kind but abrupt to them and he turned back to arranging the trek in the back...that's when he rolled that thing over my fingers twice and the chain was rubbing against a white rolling cart we had purchased before going near the hood.  These past few years I have been calmer and slower to react because health-wise I cannot afford anger but in that moment of pain and stress of the situation, I reacted complete with a cuss word I'm not too proud about but there for a moment, angry, quick to react, mad Nancy appeared and both Roy and I believe that reaction that included some pent up feelings scared the be-jabbers out of the ladies in the car and their posse posed to rob us.  There in that moment I experienced the fear that became all too regular before we moved to the condo.  All those feelings from the attempted car jacking, the fear of being followed while I walked the dog and the summer of riots at the pool, shootings in the neighborhood and a loaded gun thrown onto our front yard flooded my being and took over emotions for that brief time.  I think at first Roy thought I was upset about him running over my fingers but then he knew.  I apologized to him and we returned home.  I returned home exhausted and took a nap and really for the rest of the evening I ensconced myself in Downton Abbey. Now when I get angry or stressed, blood vessels break because my circulation isn't good due to my heart overworking.  Only as I began to fall asleep that night did I put it all together, the quick anger.  I remember my therapist once told me anything that causes immediate anger is transference from something or someone in the past to the immediate.  In the moment I couldn't see that attacks and fear from my childhood, then to the years we lived in our townhouse, returned with a vengeance, in a moment.

One more wild side and then I will be done.  Around 3:00 am I heard water running.  Roy was in the shower, so I went to tell him it was 3:00 o'clock, he didn't need to be up yet.  Because he was stopped up with the temp change and because he said he stunk from trek riding, he needed to get up, shower, so he could breath.  He came right back to bed.  And then in about an hour and fifteen minutes, he was back up, taking another shower to get ready for the day.  I don't think he was sleep walking because he knows he did it, but for a good hour of sleep, he had to take care of things first.  And he wonders why I stay so tired?  Between he and Buddy, I think I am awake every two to three hours.

That's our wild side.  Stay tuned for dishwasher unloading, laundry, and other wild side activities...maybe a trip to Luby's.  We are wild things, we make your heart sing, we make everything groovy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just a Mirage With a Dream and a Study

Another one of those odd happenings this morning where life and dream intersect.  As per my usual habit, once Roy leaves for the office I turn on the radio which is set to KHCB.  Sometimes I'm awake and listen but most times, I sleep through Charles Stanley.  This morning I slept through Charles and only awakened when the PSA for Black History Month and this morning's story was Mahalia Jackson.  That is where life and dream happened.  I was dreaming that Roy was going to investigate a noise he heard in another part of the house and in the dream while waiting to see if anything was wrong, I timidly said, Roy?  I heard a deep sounding noise that began growing in strength and sound and I screamed waking myself up.  The noise?  The beginning of a song by Mahalia Jackson timed perfectly to the dream where Roy is needing my help.  My scream woke up Buddy, who is so brave, not...she jumped off the bed to tunnel underneath it to her fortress of napping.

Thursday evening when I came to bed, I forgot I left my boots right in the direct path of the bed.  I tripped and thankfully didn't wreck me or the nightstand.  Sadly, only Roy's sleep was wrecked because all the noise woke him up.

Thankfully, nothing eventful has happened this morning.  It is a quiet, peaceful morning.  Roy has Bible study and another co-worker's funeral to attend.  In between those two things, he has ethics continuing education for most of the morning downtown for his law continuing education requirements.  His law hours are harder to come by than his CPA hours since his office offers CPE courses at lunchtime to get their requirement in.

Our core group's discussion of Luke 15 was awesome.  I love the insights of the women in our group and we have a good mixture of young and let's say, more seasoned women.  In reality both brothers are far off from their father, the younger son in the distant land and the elder brother close in proximity but far away in heart.  My goodness, he is just out there in the field probably rehashing every wrong or insult he has imagined or believed but he misses nothing.  We learned through our homework that  when Jesus began speaking his group contained tax collectors, notorious sinners, Pharisees, and scribes.  The religious group probably didn't give much attention to the sheep and coin parable because they didn't associate with shepherds or women, but the last parable of the prodigal son got their direct attention.

Well, it is back to work packing up books and boxes.  I am on my last big box and now I know what boxes to get from the moving company.  Happily a lot of things are going to KCM.  I was delusional to think I had simplified...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Beautiful Wednesday

This has turned out to be one very beautiful day.  Getting in a little sunshine while running errands was rather nice.  I kind of thought the Kroger would be busier since this is Wednesday but it wasn't and I got the added bonus of running into my core group leader from CBS.  She and I must be on the same schedule since we have run into one another at CVS.  Since there aren't Kroger's nearby I am stocking up on cotton balls and Kroger Cherry baby aspirin.  It's not like Roy couldn't bring that kind of thing to me but that is one less item to be concerned about before flying.  So today, since I didn't want to look like a total freak I only bought five packages of the baby aspirin.  We have time to load up on each one of our trips.  This is why I have NC brain, it is remembering little things like this.

Yesterday was another day of packing boxes but really not that many.  I worked on homework and read a greater portion of the day.  While filling out change of addresses for several magazines, I came across articles that really needed to be read.  All the exciting places to see nearby.  One story was about route 276.  I drove part of that route from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Waynesville in August.  Oh my, such a beautiful back road.  I came across the Whistlestop Market in the article and it was to the Google cave to find out more.  Putting that on my things to do list.  Roy will love all the photo ops and I think I will like the scenery and country stores along the way.  I'm thinking we might want to have a freezer.  Oh my, I looked back on their FB page at all the fresh strawberries, blackberries and peaches.  I have also been researching antique stores and the adventures that await.

For Lent I am reading the book, The Crime of Living Cautiously by Luci Shaw.  If you asked Peggy she would tell you that I live too cautiously but if you asked Dena she would say many times I throw caution to the wind.  Funny, adventure looks different to each person.  On our trip Peggy told me she thought I lived in fear and it might look that way.  From experience I know pretty much how much and how far I can push myself before going beyond the parameters that the cardiologist has set for me.  So stress and getting hot are not the only hazards for my attempt at healthy living.  I have to keep in mind how hard my heart is working as well as it going out of rhythm, which exhausts me beyond words.  Adventure to me is moving to NC with only knowing a few people.  Adventure is learning to see things so familiar differently.  Adventure is taking in all the roads and mountains looking for nuances that might have been missed on other trips.  Adventure is learning the rhythm of life...I love this quote found in an old travel journal from an antique store purchase, "Every land has its own special rhythm and unless the traveler takes the time to learn the rhythm, he or she will remain an outsider there always." Juliette De Baircli Levy

I'm saddened to hear the news of the passing of Marie Miser.  Faithful through the years at Westbury Baptist.  I hadn't really thought about her for years but she was gracious and so kind.

Nancy's Monablog