Sunday, July 15, 2018

Saturday And Sunday....

A beautiful Saturday morning came a little early. It was a rough start to the night with Buddy and she was in a full dementia swing. Bless her, she acts as if she doesn't know where she is during these episodes...lots of meowing and lots of assurance from me. She finally settled in the bonus room and about thirty minutes later she came to her regular spot happy, just like normal. We got a late start into the night but she slept all night so there is that additional rest. Sometimes when I am awake like that I get concerned for the little kittens outside. Cali had them on the deck after dark where we played a little bit of laser light chase. This morning she and Mama Cat greeted me with their ever so patient waiting for breakfast...but no kiddos. Got food out for them and I have been busy with other things but I just saw Cali heading across the front yard and into the land of the fir trees. So maybe she moved her kittens...I don't know cause this feral world is hard to understand in how they raise their kittens. I never knew Cali and siblings at this young of age, they were older when Mama Cat began visiting.

Last night I tackled some weed eating because Mike the Mower Man didn't cut the grass this week. I trimmed some in the backyard and started making a path to the flowerbed out front but dang, that new weed eater is heavy with a 80 volt lithium battery in it. Had to trim in shifts and drank a huge bottle of Peligrino while cooling off. Pulled weeds as best I could and need to get a call into Nathan. The flowerbed in front of the house is being overtaken by grass and I don't have it in me to do that extensive amount of work. The front flowerbed hadn't been watered for several days and so after cooling off, I put a Dr Enuff in my back pocket and I was down there watering for a good thirty minutes. Everything looks a bit perkier this morning. Going into the yard I have started wearing tall rain boots mostly because of ticks but if perchance I did run into a slithering enemy...well, I don't even want to think about that. I do have a new respect for those who work in the landscaping industry...the key is being very young.

I experienced a first yesterday, I cried in the lobby of our post office. The mail I should have mailed on Thursday went out yesterday. Picked up our mail and there was a mailing envelope in the stack and it was from my friend Betty. Betty grew up in East TN and in Crossnore NC. Love posting pics from around here for her to see. I decided to open the envelope in the lobby because you know, walking back to my car is so far...not. Betty had read on my blog that I collect hymnals, just for the love of them. I like to think about the people who sang from them and many of the ones I have collected are worn well from use. I can't read a lick of music, so of the oldest hymns that didn't make the cut as time progressed are tunes unknown, well at least for me. Betty sent me a shape note hymnal that had been her aunts. She wrote out the background story of the legacy that I was holding in my hands. I started tearing up reading her note which also included a pic of her beautiful cat. Wow! What a kindness. I looked through the hymnal when I got home and read verses and choruses to songs I didn't know and sang along with the ones I do. What a pick me up in that thoughtful gift.

Well, I see Cali is back on the deck. Don't see kittens but that doesn't mean they're not there or maybe they're not. Our backyard is a haven but remembering that it is surrounded by nature...

Now it is late afternoon and still no sign of the kittens. I heard a noise last night and came downstairs to check but there wasn't any animals out there or at least in the light. Cali and Mama Cat are hanging around, which makes me wonder from my research if Mama Cat has a new batch of kittens nd she took care of her grand kids so her new batch isn't competing for food when the time comes. I can barely think about this all. Of course Cali looks all sad to me but then I read a lot into cat actions that don't mean a thing. Meanwhile Buddy has wanted out on the porch again, so yes, I am air conditioning the neighborhood. Well an interesting development. Maybe she has her kittens hidden from Mama Cat. This is the second time I've seen her go to the land of the firs. She saw me this time so I went back inside. This morning she took a curious route and would stop and sit for a bit, like a distraction as she went along the way. So, there is still hope. Mike the mower man showed up today to mow since he was running behind this week and said last week he saw the kittens on the back part of the property at Mary Joyce's home and when they heard him they ran lickity split over to our backyard. Of course last week there were three.

On my way home from picking up pie for tonight's fellowship and a quick trip to Publix, I saw the plant man that we bought our orange flame azaleas last year had plants for sale along the river road. I unloaded and rearranged groceries and put up cold stuff to head back and see what he had. Nicest man, and I bought several plants from him. One more flame azalea too.
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Sunday afternoon. BBQ sliders for lunch and I'm watching the recorded service from First Baptist Houston. Lisa is singing the title song of their new album, That's When Worship Begins. Love that song and I have been playing the album since downloading it from Itunes on Friday. And much to my surprise this afternoon, I saw the kitties. Think Cali had them hidden and she has them playing along the fence line, just like she used to. Maybe all the mowing and weed eating coupled with our clearing of ground cover was just too much chaos and noise.

Last night was fun up at the Shed at church. Delicious food and great friendships...and the view ain't bad either. I only came home with cokes, so that is good that all the pie was eaten. When I got home I did a few things around the kitchen and headed upstairs. Buddy wasn't too far behind and she fell asleep in the bonus room. She barely woke me up whenever she came to bed and she slept the rest of the night. Glory hallelujah! That means we both got some rest.

I met our new neighbors, well they aren't new but are finally living in the house above us. Seem very nice. Their daughter is getting her horse today and they have chickens and ducks. He's thinking about getting a cow or two.

I am feeling a nap coming on, so I bid you adieu!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

A Short Post....of Nothing in Particular

So, I didn't get everything done this afternoon like I had planned but that's okay. The day began with an eye Dr appointment and that means dilation of the eyes takes place. I dread that part of the visit every year. The drops burn and everything within you wants to squeeze your eyes tight but that only forces out the drops and the whole procedure begins in earnest again. At least the yellow dye they put in later isn't too bad. Yes, just one eye drop session with me answers the question, why don't you wear contacts...Nuh, said and experienced. Just a small change in my prescription and that is always welcomed news. With dilated eyes and sunglasses, I ran two errands and drove home. As I was unloading groceries Roy texted to let me know that my book club book had been delivered. There was no way I was going to walk down the road to the mailbox with dilated eyes, so back into the car, retrieved the book and then took a drive around the block.

Peggy had called while I was at the eye doctor, so I called her back and then she called me back. We had a great time catching up, hearing about her trip to Israel and all the other happenings of life. She saved me from what would have been a bad decision to get back out on the road with dilated eyes. It seemed best to take another day of rest, which has been most enjoyable.

It is fun to watch the next generation of the Feral Fam enjoying the tent of napping. This evening it has been the tent of playing. The two remaining kittens are out there now playing around with mom keeping a watchful eye on them and the sky. The little black and white kitten that was taken by a hawk which just makes me so sad thinking about it, strayed off from mom a lot and that last little trip...well, it wasn't good. This morning for a bit I thought the orange kitten might have been taken but he is here with his sibling. I don't think that Cali is the best of cat moms. The few times that Mama Cat is around, Cali acts like a kitten and wants to be near her mom only Mama Cat isn't having any of that. She wolfs food down and is gone...hissing and growling at her family all the way. I have learned way more than I ever thought I would know about feral cats and watching them. Well looky, looky...Cali just got in the tent with her kiddos. If this tent is rocking...don't bother knocking...cause there is a lot of wild playing going on and like every mom, she likes to have the kids wear themselves out before bedtime. Robby just got disciplined by his mom, big time. Those green eyes of hers can mean up something quick. She moved on out into the yard and the kids followed but it looks like they want to play behind the tent and she is having none of that.

Yesterday I got my haircut but we decided to wait till next month to get highlights. Had breakfast at Corner Kitchen and delicious as always. Did some shopping at the Southern Highland Craft Guild, looked around Williams Sonoma and then it was time for my appointment. I made a quick Target run and it might be the last one for a while. They were busy putting out school supplies. Kids don't go back to school around here until August 27th. Well, I might get in one more Target run before go time for supplies.

Tomorrow with no set schedule I can take it easy. Have a couple of things to take care of but for the most part it will be foot loose and fancy free. That means I can go to the post office at my leisure.


Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Ferals, Books, and Funnies

Something interesting with the Feral Fam this morning. Cali and two of her kittens were waiting on breakfast, with one of the kittens checking and rechecking the contents of the bowl...which was empty by the way. So, with Buddy being a little later for treat time, I went outside to get everyone fed and then welcomed by Buddy upon returning inside the house. A few treats and she was ready for porch time since the mornings have been cooler lately. As per usual I made a quick glance out the window to see progress and I watched a little kitten take the stance of aggression toward Mama Cat, his grandmother...who doesn't seem the least bit interested in that role. Mama Cat had just forced Cali from one of the bowls and Cali retreated as this is her role within the family. Her little baby boy stood up for his mom and Mama Cat, well, she left. That little orange cat seemed surprised and then made his way over to the bowl to eat some breakfast and soon his mom joined him. I think Cali lost her little black and white kitten to something the other night. She isn't using the deck or under it since the other night. She has found shelter for her little ones in a most unlikely place.

Buddy seemed to have a good night. The effects of the chill pill lingered on and thus we both got a good nights rest. We begin her new regimen today and hopefully this will give her some pain relief. Buddy has a few tremors every now and then and a little dementia. Hoping that along with the steroids, with the new regimen she can enjoy life a little longer. Buddy had one of those "I can't do this anymore" moments in the vet office yesterday when she tried to jump from the chair to the counter. She made it, barely but couldn't complete the jump. So Mira-lax in the water and probiotics and pain meds in her food...which gets complicated because she refuses to eat wet food. I took advantage of Buddy being upstairs to mix and cover her food with the above. Blends in well by color so hopefully this will help.

Yes, I know, my life seems to be dominated by cats this week, no most weeks. They come and go at will but expect to fed on time.



These two pics are many of the one Roy took up at Mt Mitchell a week ago on Sunday. A beautiful drive and a wondrous view along the Parkway and on top of Mt Mitchell. Watching fog roll along across the roads and through the meadows is enchanting and mesmerizing. Now, if the fog was rolling in and settling, we would have cut the drive short and turned around. You don't mess with fog in higher elevations. Not being a chicken but when lifelong residents of this area tell you they don't mess with it that tells you something. 

Got home from book club and we had a lively discussion and a great time. We have a new member so that's always fun. We read the book American Pie and our next book is Delicious! I came home to find Cali and her two kittens playing on the deck. MJ who hasn't been around for weeks is here, lying on the grill cover, sleeping unless something wakes him up. He used to do that as a kitten. 

Tomorrow is haircut and highlights. I might take a drive through the Biltmore Estate just to take in all the beauty after the appointment. You know, the beauty on the Estate...not my hair. 

I still can't believe I left my phone on my car instead of going through my usual routine yesterday. I am so thankful for the man and his son for finding it and waiting for the owner to call...that would be me. He might get a job out of the encounter though, cause the new member needs a roofer after getting the raccoons out of her attic. So today, you better believe I did the routine to remember to have everything with me when leaving the house. 

I will leave this post with this little funny. As I have written before my eyeglasses are my lifeline cause my vision is iffy at best. So last night, with Buddy in my thoughts when I got up to uh...let's see...use the necessitarium I thought Buddy was lying on the rug in front of the sink, so before washing my hands I bend down to pet her only it was a turquoise wash cloth...Buddy was deep in her blanket.  Don't worry, eye exam is Thursday. Not as bad as when I put toothpaste up my nose when I thought I was using nose spray in the middle of the night and when I looked up in the middle of the night and thought there was a bat on ceiling when it was just the A/C vent. Life is never dull. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Phone Home...No Can Do

The day began very early and most Sundays are early days but this morning was especially because we needed to get to Charlotte. We left just as the sun was coming up and the drive eastward which is always beautiful was accentuated by a stunning sunrise through clouds and mist and fog. It is difficult to focus on the road when the scenery beckons to look....no gaze and the one who is driving cannot afford to take their eyes off of I 40.

Thankfully, the appointment for auto butler at the Ford dealership has been rescheduled. I was feeling a tad stressed over all the things going on this week. With appointments and such happening in the next few months I asked for a September appointment and just received confirmation that it has been rescheduled for then.

It is looking like the original Feral Fam might have finally broken ranks. MJ has flown the coup since he recovered from a fight where he experienced what looks to be the losing end of the fight. Camo, that stocky girl, hasn't been around either and there is evidence she has moved on. Mama Cat shows up once in a while for a quick meal. Cali, well, she has remained here....with her three kittens. Yes, Roy and I are grandparents. I haven't mentioned them but several weeks ago, early one morning I caught a glance of them as the three played on the deck and ground covered rocks, just like their mom and her siblings did...not that long ago. Orange kitten, probably Dead Beat Dad played a part, a black and white kitten, either MJ or the old beat up black and white cat and a black/white/ calico kitten... Orange cats are usually males and the other two, haven't got a clue yet but I do have names for them and they are names that can work either for male or female. Robbie, Ronnie and Riley. Last night we couldn't get anything done because we watched the antics of these kittens as they play and explore. Cali has acted like she hasn't felt well and since I have become the mistress of the mixed drink...for cats...adding Mira-lax to their liquids to help with that age old problem for man and beast. Buddy has done better since we began lacing her water with the stuff. Good grief, I have just given the care and constipation report instead of a death and diarrhea report. Cali has seemed a bit more spritely as they say this morning. She is probably thrilled with sunshine instead of rain. Yesterday, turned out to be a rainy day and the forecast had called for lower temps but no rain. It is true that I have fallen in love with these cats who happened upon the premises in November. Cali's kittens are much younger than she was when she showed up and Mama Cat needed help getting them through the winter. Cali keeps getting closer and closer to me but will not let me pet her. If she is hungry she comes running around the corner of the garage and greets me with meows that sound a little impatient. Sometimes she comes when I call her, not always though.

Roy made biscuits for breakfast yesterday and they were delicious! We eased into the morning and then took clothes to the Salvation Army and stopped in at The Twisted Laurel for lunch. Then onward to Publix, in the rain and then home...in the rain. Roy took a nap once we got home because he is still recovering from all the yard work he has done and even with all that work, made a tiny dent in all the flora and fauna that covers, no takes over everything here if left to its own devices.
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Well, it is Monday evening and I am exhausted. Now the decision to reschedule Auto Butler till September has really paid off. So tomorrow instead of fighting early morning traffic to the dealership I am hoping to sleep in. Taylor and I are back to our normal hour on Mondays again. Came home and Inez came over to help me with Buddy. She has to have a chill pill before seeing the vet. Supposed to create less stress on the animal...uh yeah, there at the office...getting it down her at home provides stress for everyone. Finally with the pill down her throat I was able to relax a bit before taking her to the vet. Then I did something stupid, I ventured from my regular routine of getting ready and realized about half way to the vet I didn't have my phone with me. I remember the last thing I looked at and felt I had put the phone down in the house. Upon our return...no phone. So I called my number looking for the sound but I heard a man's voice. He was saying I hope you are the owner of this phone because my son and I found it. Yes, I had placed the phone on the car and it had slid off onto the road. We decided to meet at the Moose Cafe parking lot. Nicest man, owns a roofing business. Not a bit of damage to my phone so the protective cover works. Wow! I was so thrilled that my phone fell into the hands of a honest person...through the course of conversation he and his family go to Biltmore Baptist and I told him I go to Newfound.

Buddy is facing some tough challenges that come to all of God's creatures when the aging process is happening. She is beginning to have some neurological issues and you can see some tremors and shaking. A little dementia has set in and she is probably in more pain than she lets on. Dr says dogs are so much better at letting us know a problem. She is doing ok but now will have to take some extra meds that are mainly going to slow her down even more. Hopefully, she takes after her human mom and responds to meds. Buddy has become a cranky old lady cat which isn't as bad as being a hangry cat. I felt like the Dr was preparing me for the inevitable decision that is to come when it comes to pain and quality of life. But, I can't let myself go down that road just yet.

I've got to read my book for tomorrow...so...where did I put my phone?


Friday, July 6, 2018

Finishing Up For Download To Happen

We fought through hard rain and lots of lightning and thunder in TN this afternoon. Our original plan was to be the heck out of Dodge before 3:00 but extended time in Academy threw our schedule out of whack, thus we drove through the rain behind a very, very slow driver...slower than safety. Once we got around them I used the white line on the side of the road to make our way but in the storm we discovered that our windshield wipers gauge the rain to how fast or slow they go. Wow! That is so helpful. We knew when the windshield wipers come on, the automatic lights come on which is wonderful because both TN and NC require headlights on in any amount, whether it be little or a lot, of rain. Once we were on the freeway and headed home, we beat the rain. We were safe inside when the rain and lightning passed over us. While it was raining Nathan stopped by to pick up yard trash from the July 4th shredding of ground cover that is taking over the whole backyard at a rapid pace. Leicester Lawn and Landscape is on the calendar to come and clear the land but we had a patch that needed attention immediately, so Roy and his arsenal of hedge trimmers, chain saw and new weed eater attacked on the early morning of independence. Several mimosa trees were attended to as well as fir tree overhang from the neighbors. He also trimmed the holly that impeded us. There was lots and lots of stuff all over the deck. We managed to bag some of it up for a later trip to the dump. Another casualty was the old rocking chair that Kate left us, more decorative than useful. The ants had taken over the chair and was in the midst of a building campaign. Hacksaw Roy took that apart in no time and was added to the pile of  trash. We realized that we had rid the yard of more than what we could handle, so we called Nathan and he came today and picked up the remainder of the stuff. We realized on the morning of the 4th that we would need to change our plans for the day and keep working around the house since there were several things on the to do list to be tackled. With that dedication we were able to get so much taken care of.

Roy grilled our steaks later that evening and we sat on our front porch watching our neighbors in the distance shoot off some beautiful fireworks and we are able to see Asheville's firework show from our porch as well. We were treated to and Buddy especially loved watching the fireflies that came near. She spent the greater part of the evening running about close to the screen.

On Monday we made the Costco run to Spartenburg and then had lunch at Longhorn Steak House. On the way home we stopped by our favorite peach orchard and got a half bushel of peaches. When we got home we had all the stuff to put up and I needed a short nap. We ran over to see friends and took some peaches with us. I mean who doesn't love peaches? Tuesday we were off again on a mountain adventure to the Moses Cone House near Boone and Blowing Rock. We didn't do GFM this trip, just some lovely driving along the parkway but we did go to Boone and everyone and their cousin was in town. It was crowded just like in March when Lisa and I were there to go to LPL with Beth Moore. We both got a little sun on us with the top down cruising through the mountains but on the ride home we raised the roof cause heading into that western sun was a tad warm.

Roy just told me he would download his pics when I get off the computer, so I am getting off now.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Just Another Day In The Mountains...We Are Blessed!

So many last minute things are awaiting my attention but most mornings before getting started into the day I sit down, take a few moments of quiet and write. Sometimes it is a blog post, sometimes a journal entry and other times just a moment to remember or wonder as I write. With a usually short attention span nothing keeps my attention long but writing, that is another story. Monablog has been going strong or at least somewhat strong here of late, for eleven years. There is such joy to be found sharing a funny happening or maybe even something embarrassing. This blog has been a godsend in those hard days beginning in 2012 with my father and accidentally kept a record of the experiences. In 2008 when I first was diagnosed with my heart issues coming from the virus that attacked my heart and got this whole journey started, many of the important details that time diminished are there on the ol' blog. Earlier in the year I went back and read those posts and much to my joy I re-read the details and miracles that happened in that span of time. There were times I wrote about "church world" and  writing to understand what the heck was going on. Oh and then there are posts that have been written that will never see the light of day, but what a catharsis on various subjects and feelings. Roy was good counsel with he'd advise to wait twenty four hours before posting or make the post a little lighter and on a humorous side...and always take the high road because it is less crowded up there. So this morning with stuff to do I sit here in the chair and write, because it fills my spirit and gives a umph to the day. So much that needs attention, yet it feels right to sit here and type out a few words. I'd rather do this than have longer time in a small town I'm stopping in later on in the day.
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Good Sunday evening! After a beautiful day of sunshine we've had a few evening showers which is wonderful because we don't have to water the flowers. I'm drinking a smoothie and settling in for the evening. On Friday I did get the later start and gave myself enough shopping time as well as supper time. Ate at the new pizza place and it was delicious! Headed over to Charlotte and checked into the hotel. I worked on the last few things on the Sunday School lesson for Sunday morning and read some of my book club book. Roy's flight got in on time and that was good because it was a late flight. On Saturday morning we decided to eat at the CB in Morganton and then we made a quick stop in The Weathered Home shop. We came on home, checked on Buddy and then ran a few errands.

This morning we went to Sunday School and then left afterwards because we wanted to hit the road and go to Mt Mitchell. We ate a quick bite here at the house and then jumped into Mustang Sam and headed that way. What a delightful drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and through Craggy Gardens. We had never been on that part of the parkway. We went onto Mt Mitchell where we climbed up the path to the observation area. I did not have any problem with stamina or leg strength going to the top but I did have to keep a watch on my heart rate. Roy was taking a lot of pics and I hope he downloads them soon. We decided to come back the way we came so that Roy could get some tunnel pics. We treated ourselves to ice cream when we got closer to home. Such a fun afternoon, beautiful and so happy to remember that all things are created by and through and for Him.

Roy has been doing a little work and I have been doing a little resting. I think all the cats in our lives are happy this evening with full tummies or have been given a lot of treats. Buddy is already down fo the count. I am not too far behind her. What a fabulous day! We are so fortunate to be in the middle of this great mountain area with our senses filled to the brim with beauty.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Road Trips, Real and Imaginary

At our book club meeting the other night we were asked this question, "what would we travel or road trip across country to experience? We are reading a book about a journalist turned food critic/writer making her way to NYC from San Francisco on the back roads to experience pie. We read about her initial journey with a friend, the interlude as she writes and works in NYC and now we are reading about her second jaunt to find out why people like pie, all the ways people make them and just the experience of meeting people through this story. Our answers were various and off the top of my head I responded produce stands...not farmers markets but stands along the side of the road and guess that would mean back roads cause produce stands unless owned by an orchard aren't usually found along the side of an interstate highway. They asked about my favorite produce stands in Asheville and I couldn't answer that because all the produce stands I love are away from Asheville and some in nearby states. If I could work it in while traveling back roads I would visit independent bookstores too. Now there is some time well spent.

With all our rain and storms this week some of my adventures have been sidelined and probably that's for the good because there are those last minute things that need to be taken care of around here. It has been good for SequishShawn to get some road time in because this is the season and the reason for a convertible and Mustang Sam makes those back roads rip roaring fun. The drive type can be set for normal, sport, track or comfortable. Right now the setting is sport which makes the switchbacks and winding roads a pleasure to drive. Added benefit the fragrances that fill the senses, thank you Jon Denver, except when those fragrances be skunk, sewer or bad smelling livestock.

During the night in the haze of sleep the sound of distant rumbling roused me from sleep. The sound of storms in the distance soon became storms in the here and now. A couple thunder boomers were a little too close for comfort. Those only make Buddy nervous and she leaves. Many times it needs to be pondered, should I follow her? Does she know something I don't know? Her mindset is probably every cat for themselves. I wondered about the Feral Fam in the storms and hoped their abode was staying dry. This morning with it still raining I wasn't really looking for them but a familiar sound got my attention while enjoying that first cup of coffee, it was Camo and Cali sitting on the back doormat, making noise to draw my attention. Feeding of the Feral Fam was a full house with mother and son keeping up a constant hissing and growling at one another. Cali came into the garage and sat while food prep took place...it makes me wonder if she feels more of an affinity with me than with her family. Probably not, just taking the chance for a few minutes of dry. She is the least afraid of me and the last one to vacate a bowl when I draw near. 

Once the rain stopped it was off to the dealership to get Mustang Sam's license plate. They put it on him and off we went to parts known and unknown to do a few errands and enjoy the cooler temps from all the rain. Most everything has been unloaded, just a few more things but maybe that can wait till tomorrow. Got the kitchen cleaned up and all the cats of the near and far world fed or treated. Had a long fun conversation with Lisa P and now waiting for Roy to get home after a retirement dinner for a co-worker...or is that former co-worker?

Tomorrow is supposed to be a drier day. Of course with the evaporation rate here by Sunday we will be looking at the sky and clouds trying to detect if any of the wet stuff will come our way. I find myself immensely  satisfied and happy. God is so good!

Nancy's Monablog