Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Fleeing From the Land of Entitlement

Sunny and beautiful Monday, how thrilling it is to be a part of this day.  I am coming into the day a little battle scarred and weary but thankful for a good recovery.  This weekend I went beyond my parameters on both Saturday and Sunday and I also took a trip to the land of entitlement.  Both Sequisha and I made it out of there with nary a scratch but it was a good reminder once again, I feel good because for the most part I live within the parameters set for me.

Since Roy could not work on his laptop at the car dealership Saturday morning when he took Sequisha in for her maintenance checkup and LSU was playing Saturday night, so he stayed home from church Sunday morning to get some work taken care of.  So I went solo to church and not really planning on staying for Life Bible Study but I checked the hours of Pottery Barn and saw they opened at noon on Sundays.  So, I went but left early from LBS.  Holding to the near and dear tradition of also being late for LBS with Peggy, we had such fun in the hallway meeting, greeting and talking with friends.  Late for Sunday School but on time for the lesson.

So this week is the shopping card week and the parking lot in front of PB was packed!  By the grace of God I was in the right place at the right time for a parking space and by the grace of God an associate at Pottery Barn Kids found me.  NO, there isn't any announcement for the visit other than we are going with the corner unit/twin beds for Roy's man cave at PBK.  LL Bean makes daybed covering out of sunbrella material which makes it durable for use as a couch.  At first Roy didn't want anything in that room for sleeping but I convinced him when my girlfriends come to visit, we could use the extra sleeping room.  Ordering didn't take anytime and I was off to PB with a quick stop into Anthropologie thrown in.  Once again, I didn't wait for an associate at PB, one greeted me at the door. She was a newbie but that was unknown at the door.  It was an exhausting and long drawn out experience but scanning the customers there at PB, I probably would be the most patient and forgiving of missteps and do-overs.  That's not because I am a patient person, rather it is the reminder of first and new days in jobs over the years and the kindness extended to me by people I was helping. As the process took about an hour, some of the most entitled people and rude people approached the  cash wrap and demanded to helped then or more importantly right now...the fact that all the associates were helping customers be danged!  Yes, pushing return merchandise closer and closer to the register is the mature and right thing to do.  Standing under the hot track lighting for over an hour put me outside the parameters.  Thus, I probably looked like a crazed older lady sweating and trying to get her knees to unlock when leaving the store.  In fact I was prepared to answer if asked anything while exiting that I was merely practicing for my costume for Halloween, Frankensweat.  In the parking lot there were a few arguments going on with the police hired to control egress and access to the lot.  I left quickly to begin the trip back to Rancho De Five where my darling hubs had BBQ ready for lunch.

So now it is Tuesday morning, the real morning not the store, and I made a foray into land of entitlement part 2 yesterday.  Sunday afternoon the confirmation for the bed frame I ordered to go with the head and foot board hit the inbox with the date of delivery for 10/30/14 at our home in NC.  No, no, no...This is supposed to be delivered with the bed!  A call to customer service ensued only to find out it was too soon to change the order and it would be 24 hours before being able to do anything about it.  Since I was meeting Cassi at Escalante's  in Town and Country, I decided to make a quick trip into the PB there after lunch to ask for the best way possible to resolve the delivery.  Having dealt with PB before when it comes to purchases made at other PB stores, I was there only for an opinion.  Which I made clear when I first began the conversation with the associate that drew the short straw to help me.  She asked several demeaning questions to which I was soooooo tempted to combat with a witty, yet cutting retort but a soft answer turns away wrath.  If I responded in kind, it only makes the conversation escalate into higher pitches which makes us bitches.  With the kindly help I immediately went out to Sequisha and canceled the bed frame order and I will re-order closer to the bed's delivery date.  Then I pulled up my big girl panties and went into Williams Sonoma, another refuge for the entitled cook.  No need to go into details but I was clearly happy to leave that land after making purchases.

Today, is a stay at home day for sure!  I've got to get back into my parameters, keep my heart in rhythm and rest my weary knees.  Just a week or so ago, I had decided as much as it depended on choices, that going back to the cult of Pottery Barn would not be an option but alas, they had just what we are looking for furnishing wise and there is a desk that has my attention for the living room...so much for that vow but even though I was at Williams Sonoma yesterday, it was to buy a gift and get holiday scented lotion and soap.  I will not fall into the trap of, I just know when we move to Cinco Ranch or now Asheville, I will want to cook so much more.  Because I just gave away purchases from that time of false thinking.  

Sunday, October 26, 2014


Today, once again I was reminded it is best when I stay in my parameters.  Although, I didn't think beforehand I was stepping outside the boundaries.  Dena and I went to the craft fair at the Equestrian Center today.  This is one show I have been to several times and have always thought it was one of the best ones out there...until today.  We so hope for cool days here in October but truthfully it was too hot to have the show in the arena with little to no air circulating except for a few fans here and there.  Since this is in the arena carpet has been laid down over the uneven sand floor which added to difficulties if you have bad knees or backs.  Lots of slow walking people, us included, in tight, uneven, hot space is a recipe for disaster.  It did not take long for the heat to begin its work and as sweat dripped off my hair and neck, the beginnings of a heart going out of rhythm began.  Fortunately this began just as Dena was wrapping up her shopping and we both agreed the time had come to leave and eat lunch.  It could have been the heat but this year the show seemed redundant with so many booths looking alike with the same merchandise whether it was Christmas or jewelry or clothes.  One booth in particular really was grinding because as people passed by the lady sitting at the front of their space rang a doorbell.  Constantly...yea, that will bring me in, a constant ringing of a doorbell.  Dena found a few nice things and probably if we weren't planning on moving a large portion of possessions to NC, I would have been a little more involved in the shopping aspect but there always in the back of my mind is, that will just be another thing to move.

Second time this week to eat at Jimmy Changas.  It was just as delicious as the first time.  The place was packed but the service was great.  They have some of the best queso around.  After lunch we headed over to the Ace Hardware store on Mason.  I have never been to that Ace Hardware and now I can see why everyone loves it!  Yes, I found a purse there.  We had gone to Ace for light bulbs and when we got back to Dena's where  I spotted her for safety on a ladder while she climbed up and down the ladder.

What a great win for LSU!  I did my part by not watching the fourth quarter because every time I watched there was an interception or fumble.  I got my news from Twitter and interpreting Roy's yells and disappointed groans.  But smash mouth football came through with a victory for the Tigers in Death Valley.

Friday, October 24, 2014

This Listing is No Longer Available

How fun was it to find this notification on Realtor.com and one like it on Zillow this morning?  My friends, oh yes, it was fun.  Now it really, really feels official in an official and public way.

The past few days have been quite social.  On Wednesday I got to visit with long time friends. Visiting with CourtneyS, no make that laughing with CourtneyS was so much fun and a much needed catch up.  We have shared many a good time, many a good memory and we have walked with one another in difficult days.  She is one of those friends you are able to pick up where you last left off because we don't get to see each other as often now.  We also have bonded over office supplies and the need for a good journal...or in my case mega journals.  To be able to grab a little visit on a MidLink Wednesday was truly a gift...I remember all too well those hectic Wednesday afternoons.

Wednesday evening Dena joined us at Red River for a celebratory "we bought a house dinner."  Fried shrimp seemed to say congrats.  Roy and I love having dinner with Dena.  Always a good time and she and Roy can talk office "shop" while I amuse myself with a salt shaker or a fork.  I really miss that little animated space alien on my long time ago phone.  His antics kept my interest.

Thursday morning, Bible study.  Our core group is beginning to bond but I am not used to it taking this long of time.  We have lots of women in our group with wonderful insights and stories of the Gospel in their lives and we are a good mix age-wise.  Peggy and I went to lunch afterwards because it seems like we have not sat down and talked in the longest while.  We went to Jimmy Changa's around noon and left a little after 3:00.  It was really nice that we were in the last booth in the room so we had no distractions except the ADD ones we make ourselves.  But really they are more like a turn in the road rather than distractions and at some point we will come back to the subject during the conversation.  The chili con queso was fab.u.lous!!!!  I am so excited that their annual girl's trip will be coming North Carolina way next year! Peggy is welcomed to come anytime.  As much as she doesn't ever want to be a mentor, she has been a great example to me of using what God has given you to bless others and have fun at the same time.

Able and crew worked longer here on the lawn and shrubs than any time I can remember in the recent past.  The flowerbeds look so good weeded.  This weekend Roy and I need to put out some more mulch and some garden soil.

I have been busy today with projects, like getting our Thanksgiving/Christmas dishes packed up once it comes time to head toward NC on one of many trips taking things but there before we move quite a bit of furniture from here to there. I've also spent time going through bookcases.

The other night right before turning in, I looked out the front door.  I hardly ever do that and much to my surprise there was a big box in front of our gate.  It was so close to the gate I couldn't open it to see how heavy the box was.  I hated to do it, but I woke up Roy because a big ol' box like that might be too tempting for a crime of opportunity.  We got out through the garage and I don't believe he was fully awake, for one thing he hadn't put on his glasses and the other clue was he was pushing the hand truck around not in a straight path.  He was a little woozy.  We rearranged some things and put the box in the garage.  It is a chair I ordered that is going to look so cute in one of the bedrooms.  It was on Joss and Main, so you have to order things when you see them because they might not be offered again.  The casita bedroom just might have to become a storage room for a few months.

Guess it is back to work, but I have a little spring in my step because....this listing is no longer available!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

From the Prairies to the Mountains

It is finished, the process is over...it is finished there will now be the store. Now to go to the Nord. It's actually official, the transaction has been recorded, wire transfers complete, checks have been cut and we are now owners of two homes...officially.  Whew, what a process and even yesterday after signing here, here and here and initialing here, here and here with a few scattered date this here I was cautiously optimistic that every i had been dotted and every t crossed.  This morning Roy received an email asking once again to provide the account statement that showed where the money was transferred from, so I guess they were saying show me the money!  He faxed it to the attorney's office and we received written confirmation and then phone confirmation that the house is ours and well I guess the banks as well.

Honestly, the past month and a half time-wise has seemed like an eternity.  I think adding to the seemingly slowness of the days has been all the twist and turns in the process in the paperwork.  Appraisal, inspections and such were done so quickly and with good reports.  Then the whole tax ID theft and fraud slowed the process and almost made it come to a halt instead of a pause, then thankfully, resume speed.  We asked for two due diligence extensions and the seller graciously extended that to us.  We had to totally change over our insurance provider in order to take advantage of discounts by bundling policies.  It seems this past month has been extremely busy for Roy at the office and I have been dealing with a small heart issue that has been more of a nuisance than of great concern.  Those middle of the night out of rhythm issues....isn't there an El DeBarge song with similar lyrics?  Oh yes, it is the rhythm of the night.   Stress related although I have remained calm during the whole house process...maybe the stress was due to dealing with fear.  And then putting fear in its proper place.  Also, the cold medicine I took contributed to the events too.

God Bless America, land that I love....From the prairie to the mountains...  Well that is how we have to sing it because we are going from the flat prairie lands of Rancho De Five to the mountains of Western North Carolina.  Talk about extremes, but we are perfectly happy with that.  So now I can write of other things but I will still write about the adventure and timing of beginning on a new journey.  I have not written of this and I won't now but I sense that God is confirming what He has put into my heart to serve Him on this new adventure and chapter of life.  I am energized and excited about it and will continue to use the days ahead for clarity, wisdom and service as we pray and lay the foundation.  During the time in August I saw with new eyes how I have lost the vision of my calling both by circumstances and by the opinions and decisions of others that are beyond my control.  I want this season of life to be marked and known as my Psalm 92:12-15 time.

Yesterday, after I dropped Roy off at his office downtown, I headed over to church with a gift for some friends.  While there, I dropped in the Education or Ministries Suite or whatever name it is called today, the growing room...the greenhouse....I dropped in where I used to work with seeing CourtneyS specifically.  I learned that my name had been bantered around earlier in the day...in a good way, thank you very much.  Ah the legacy of laughter...  On the way out I saw Pastor Gregg and Stephen Smith in the narthex, vestibule, lobby, connection point...welcome center...the room with the comfy chairs.  It was great visiting with them for just a few minutes.  This also was my first opportunity to see the water wall and cross up close.  Beautiful!

This morning as I looked over my homework the thought came to me, Jesus called us to be fishers of men and women, not fishers for information.  Lots of fishing going on these days in both categories but the fishing for info has me amused.  If you have a question about this house deal, ask me.  But I will offer this info, Roy and I have grown even closer through this process and fun of looking for a house.  We are not getting a divorce, we are more in love today than yesterday....but that is until tomorrow....  Oh the old ADD song wise is all over the place tonight.

There is more to write, but my eye lids are drooping more than usual, so I will sign off for now.  But I will leave you with a song, yes another one.... our house is a very, very fine house....with two cats in the yard, life used to be so hard.  But everything is easy cause of you....la la la la la la, la la la la....

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Worlds Colliding...Worlds Coinciding

It was bound to happen and this morning it did.  Roy had just left for the office and Buddy had cuddled up on my arm.  My plans were to grab a little extra sleep before getting up.  Buddy rarely sleeps with her face toward mine.  I have read it is a great sign of affection and love when a cat puts their rear end toward you.  I'm sure  there are still studies right now of having a rear end in your face when people stow their carry on in the storage bin above the seats on an airline.  Think we are safe to assume there is no love or affection in that, only the high possibility of someone, usually a man, fluffing in your face.  Back to Buddy...anyway this morning she decided to sleep with her face close to mine.  Cue a little Roberta Flack...the first time ever I saw your face....  Anyway, just as Buddy edged closer to me, her whisker went perfectly inside my nostril and you can imagine the scene...screaming, throwing off covers, getting tangled up in said covers, grabbing my glasses and a tickle inside my nose that I can still feel.  I scared Buddy and she was running around the bed and concluded her fearful time with a perfect 10 dismount onto the floor.  The Russian judge gave her an eight.  So where was this Russian judge, sitting with Roberta Flack.  Is someone's ADD all over the place this morning?  Hmmmm.....maybe.  With all the excitement the thought of sleeping longer wasn't a viable option anymore.  Funny, how dreams and actual happenings can synchronize.  In my dream, I was auditing a class at Rice University and was quite an avid student.  The professor had just mentioned that I might qualify for admittance to the university and challenged me to be low key and unemotional in the pursuit of this and it was just at that moment whisker penetration to the nostril cavity commenced in real life.  I feel certain I am not going to be admitted to the university now after that display.  I am trying to remember what area of study I was so good in from the dream.

We've added a little mix to the bird feeder.  This week we put sunflower seeds, already shelled, in the feeder and it is a bird free for all feeding frenzy.  The mockingbirds have taken over which makes the doves watch and eat a little faster because no one knows when the mockingbirds are going to dive bomb the area.

This week in CBS we are in Luke 5.  Luke 5 is in my top ten favorite chapters of the Bible.  The stories in that chapter are so foundational and Dr. Luke gives good details in each one of them.  There are several questions discussing the phrase fear not or don't be afraid.  So far we have seen angels say this and now Jesus in the book of Luke.  So after loving the homework, I got the opportunity to put what I had just studied into action in the fear and chaos of change verses resting in God's timing and kindness.  We hit another snag in the home buying process over a little, tiny sliver of property and trying to define who owns it and does it change the appraisal value which means all the paperwork will have to be reworked and a new filing thus delaying closing.  That opens the door for the seller to renege on selling, we lose $3000.00 and begin a new process of looking for a NC home.  That 'fear' lingered a bit in the air and I had to decide how I was going to respond; shut down in fear or chose joy and continue on with the day.  Good thing we had just studied Luke 4 and using the Word in those trying times.  So I prayed and asked several friends to pray with us.  Oh my, never doubt an encouraging response and word...I was so encouraged and lifted in spirit reading the faith filled words  they wrote.  Thus, I went about the day doing what I had planned which almost all revolved around preparation for getting the Alex home.  Yesterday morning in my Bible reading, this verse caught my attention, "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways over flow with abundance." Psalm 65:11

Funny just like dreams and real life interactions, so do blog writing and emails coincide.  Just got more news... it is a process...it is a hard pathway...but Psalm 66:11 comes in, "For I cried out to him for help, praising him as I spoke."  Which reminds me of Eph 6:18, "pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion."  If the Lord brings us to mind today, we'd appreciate the prayers.  

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NC and Kindness on the Brain

 Guess it is hard to tell but I have North Carolina on the brain.  OK, it is not that hard to tell.  The above picture is right outside of Marshall.  The chimney is all that remains of a long ago house fire.  Here lately, anytime either on of us does something dumb or don't seem totally engaged in what we are doing, we accuse one another of having North Carolina brain.  I think I have it worse than Roy.
 The above picture is from Mars Hill College in Mars Hill.  They are not affiliated with the church in Seattle.  Cute campus right in the middle of the town.
Of course the September sunflowers at the Biltmore are beautiful.  

There isn't a shortage of old barns either.  The scenery around our home makes you want to stop every few feet to get another picture.  Almost every road to Asheville is gorgeous!  The interstate isn't a bad view either.

This morning Roy left early because it is his turn to fix breakfast for the men's Bible study.  Buddy and I stayed a few more moments in bed and once again my thoughts turn toward the kindness of God.  This morning some of the strangest memories came to mind and after thinking through each one at the end I could see God's kindness has been all over my life.  Even in the worst of times and I wasn't thinking of bad times this morning, the evidence is there of His kindness.  I don't think until this summer I have really ever thought about kindness whether it be God's or other people's.  Throughout life kindness has had other names, nice, love, dare I even say it, sweet.  If you are one who tends to reflect back on life and those reflections soon turn into bitterness over life dealings, think through them again but look for God's kindness.  It is there.

Even with those stupid boxes from my father had God's kindness in them.  Not in the junk or leftovers or in the pure trash contained therein, not in the few pictures but in God's kindness He used them to tie up a lot of loose ends and has answered a few of the remaining questions.  He has given me new eyes to see the life my mother was forced into all those years. Like I have written before, all the bitterness and why me has long gone into a sea of forgiveness, yet knowing there is a rip tide in those waters...that can easily draw one back in, I stay away.  This too is a kindness from God, being set free and wrapping things up before moving on into this next season of life.

Last night we met our friends David and Emily for dinner and then went back to their house for dessert.  We had such a great time with them.  It was an early evening for us because Roy needed to get back home to continue on some projects from the office.  He is trying to do some of it everyday so Sunday doesn't end up being one of those work all day kind of things.

This looks to be a beautiful day.  Go into it experiencing kindness.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

We've Been Approved!

Yesterday, at 2:20 pm I was working on the pantry when the phone rang.  It was Roy, he asked me what I was doing and then just had a general conversation about his arrival home later than sooner.  Before he hung up he asks if I am sitting down?  No, but he told me I should and that's when he told me we had been approved, the house was to be ours.  I was stunned and silent with deep joy, not that I didn't think we wouldn't get the house but these days a misplaced comma seems to be able to deter you from getting a mortgage. Well, ID theft is more than a comma, but we are so glad to have that settled enough to get approval. When we got off the phone, there were no fist pumps or jumping up and down...but grateful thanks to the Lord for His blessings and wisdom going through the process.  Thankfulness for a home that we absolutely love and didn't even think we would come back to Rancho De Five with an offer accepted when we left in September.  A little farmhouse, not on a farm, but in the rolling pastoral valley with long range mountain views in the distance.  Feels like the country, but close to Weaverville and just about 23 minutes into downtown Asheville.   Closing looks to be next Wednesday.

So I have found a couple of new shows to watch, Southern Justice and Smoky Mountain Money. Southern justice takes place closer to the Tenn/NC/Virginia border areas.  The counties are more northeast from where our home is.  One thing for sure, there are a lot of places to hide on the dark back roads of the mountains.  So glad for that street light on our road in front of the house.  Then Smoky Mountain Money is about ginseng hunters and believe me, I do not want to be back in the mountains hiking...ever....or digging for ginseng.

After we close comes the busy season for me.  Roy has been in the midst of all the prep and closing paperwork and I will need to see about movers taking some of our furniture that way and if we order furniture here and have it delivered and then take it up there.  I know Roy and I will make several trips up there before spring.  It is overwhelming to think of the months ahead, but overwhelming in a good way.

Nancy's Monablog