Monday, August 21, 2017

Good Eclipse Morning!

Good Eclipse Morning! Already the alerts are rolling in keeping our area informed on traffic. There are a whole lot of extra people around here. There are reports that some of the small towns in the total eclipse zone, while enjoying the financial harvest, might not be enjoying the onslaught of people and their demands. I have two here during this eclipse season and they are a joy to host, my brother and Dena.

Dena arrived on Wednesday and we did what fried chicken loving people do, we headed over to The Blue Rooster after picking her up in Charlotte. We have had a blast doing and going and being. It is so relaxing in the evenings sharing the front porch with friends and family. Thursday we had a change in our plans because of the high threat of rain in the higher elevations. We went to Marshall, Burnsville and Hot Springs. Friday we had a leisurely breakfast and made a trip out to Barber's Orchard and Duckett Produce.

On Saturday, Doug arrived on time just as he said he would. It didn't take us long to get moving out the door to go to the Leicester Studio Tour. First stop, Addison Vineyards because that is where the blacksmith shows his wares. Oh my goodness, his work never disappoints and we all made purchases with him. We went inside the wine tasting building to see the other artist displaying their work. We made our way toward the Big Sandy Mush where the man who makes brooms has his workshop in an old general store. While out that way we stopped at the pottery guy's studio and the wood working studio. The wood one was a little disappointing. We decided lunch was in order so we stopped at one of the sponsoring restaurants and it was closed until further notice. That doesn't bode well for its future. Dena had never eaten at Stoney Knob but Doug had before and liked it. So, it was Weaverville for lunch. Delicious as always and then it was back at it on the tour where we made stops at several other places. Exhausted from laughing and shopping, we came back to the house. Retired to the front porch and enjoyed snacks for supper.

Dena and I went to Sunday School and Doug joined us for church. The ladies in our class love Dena and so we all got caught up with one another. Our Sunday School class is aptly named, The Joy Class. We certainly are filled with joy and enthusiasm. Our pastor is teaching a mini series and stopped in our class to strongly encourage us to stay for his sermon. He looked at me the whole time which didn't bother me at all because I am probably the most guilty of not staying for the service or leaving early before the preaching. But, these last few weeks my absences have been health related. Even with the new A/C it is so hot in the worship center. I was sweating like a pig, although pigs don't sweat, in the choir loft yesterday and the beginning of that light-headed feeling slowly encroached my well being. Doug, Dena and I had made plans to stay for the service yesterday, so being there wasn't as a result of a personal exhortation. Some Sundays I have to choose coming home and tuning into the webcast of First Baptist Houston as my church service. This is all a part of changes I am having to make to keep out of afib which has the risk of a stroke always involved. After church we came home, changed our clothes and headed over to The Fireplace Restaurant for lunch, It did not disappoint! Then onward to The Biltmore Estate where we took in the beauty that envelopes one there. We stopped in at the Inn for a glass of iced tea on the Veranda to conclude our afternoon.

Once we got home it is back onto the porch. Brenda called and asked if she could come over. Of course! She came bearing gifts of jalapeno poppers, a salty candy treat and a birthday cake for Dena. It was all good! And we were blessed that she was able to stay a bit and visit. More laughter that of course ensured a good night's rest, well that and all the fat calories we consumed.

There are details of our days that I will come back to when they have returned to their homes. We have had so much fun!

Today, we are sticking close to home because of all the eclipse traffic. I better get moving and onto the store. We are grilling steaks tonight.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Early to Bed, No Sleep And Early To Rise Makes One Tired

There is a beautiful stone church off of I 40. It seems like it should be an Episcopal church by the architecture but when I found myself at that exit several weeks ago I was surprised to find that it is a Baptist Church. This morning as I took a different route to The Fresh Market there was another stone church and yes, this time, it was an Episcopal church with a red door. I went to the website and read that the church was built in 1905 and then I explored the pictures of the interior and the stained glass , wooden pews and stones creates a warm worship space. From the pictures on their website it must have a pumpkin patch in the fall. I'll have to keep a watch for that and maybe a Christmas program. I would love to go inside that church. These stone churches remind me of Gail Godwin, one of my favorite southern authors because several of her novels take place in just such a type of church and score the stories take place in the mountains of NC.

It has been a morning. It began with very little sleep and a short night. The alarm for 5:30 am was just too early. I got up and ready to be at the Toyota dealership at 7:30 to have SequishShawn's 5000 mile service appointment. Since the dealership has been bought by another owner, I am not as pleased with the service appointments. Last time they said I declined fuel injector cleaning and how can one decline if one is never told. I would have said yes. They wanted to do the bumper work that is a recall today but I didn't have the extra time to give. I really don't know if they did the 21 point or 18 point inspection cause I got a lot less paperwork and just the word that everything checked out ok. It feels like they didn't do all they said they did...who knows but as much as I love my truck I might find a different vehicle or maybe go to the Toyota dealership in Johnson City. It looks like they have cut back on service reps as well. I think Phillip, the rep I liked so well, didn't make the transition.

So I stopped at The Fresh Market and they are changing the recipe for their tuna fish salad. I went there specifically for the tuna salad because I like it so well. Disappointed, I put up the cart and headed toward Weaverville to go to the bank. Then a breakfast burrito from Sonic and on home.

Right by the Post Office a large gaggle of geese were gathered on the lawn but one of those geese had been hit by a car and laid out on the road dead with blood everywhere. The other geese seemed to be preoccupied with food and not so much as a goodbye to their feathered friend. I was still thinking of that poor goose while going down the stone steps to put some birdseed in the feeder. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a snake. So still...I thought it might be dead but I ran back up the stairs as quickly as I could carry myself. It was not dead and I think maybe I have found his little hidey hole. That is for another day....

This morning on the way to the dealership I saw three dear, a mama and two babies. Beautiful in looks and in motion. Today I have seen all my Bunny Foo Foos. From granny all the way down to newest baby bunny foo foo. I watched baby scare away cardinals and then saw teenage bunny, chase off baby...just like what had happened to it several weeks ago by a bigger bunny.

My dentist called this morning with the news they need to do some work on an old implant before they can do the surgery. He is hoping to contour the crown and not have to put on a new one. But, if he does, dental surgery is postponed until that gets taken care of. So I go early in the morning to see him which kind of changes up morning plans, but that's okay. It is good to be flexible and it is good to be able to see a dentist on such short notice.

I made a second batch of green sauce and I think it is pretty good. Trying to be kind to the dentist and not have too bad of breath. I also worked on a gallon of blackberries brought to me by Inez last night. I didn't hear her knocking at the porch door so she came around back and knocked. Scared Buddy off upstairs but she returned rather quickly.

For a day that began with me feeling overwhelmed, scared (snake) and tired...I worked in the kitchen..the day has ended on a rather nice note.

Monday, August 14, 2017

What's Not To Love About Ninfa's Green Sauce

It is looking like the rain and storms are passing by us. I would take rain but not a fan of the storms. As the skies darken I am mesmerized by all that is going on in the backyard. I don't get much done when there is so much to take in. There must be at least 8-10 young cardinals in and around the trees. The hummingbirds are busy coming to their feeder but good grief, they are territorial and chase off any bird that dare come and drink of the nectar. Well, here comes the rain after all. It was brief but at least some rain. Although I am thinking I will need to go out and reapply Vick's Vapo Rub to the pole that holds the bird feeders. This could be the deterrent I have been looking for. I put the Mentholatum all over and applied a thick coating. It has been interesting to see the squirrels jump onto the pole and jump off just as quickly. Then work at getting the rub and the fragrance off. We will see how this develops.
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Good foggy morning. The birds are out and Buddy is on the front porch...mostly. It is one of those mornings where she is in and out. I have my breakfast and will need to get ready to go to workout with Taylor. This is my last workout for a while because of my schedule. I had considered cancelling today's session but I need to get in and do some work since I am once again playing regain stamina.

As it goes on many Saturday nights, I had a horrible night trying to sleep. Buddy would not settle and those times she tried, she was back up and gone for a bit. Finally around 4:00 am she was able to settle and go to sleep which meant the same for me. I don't think she was feeling good but has seemed to snap out of that once Sunday arrived. I contemplated the thought of having a sabbatical Sunday but decided to get up and get ready. I woke up with a sore throat which is a sign unto me I have been pushing it and the good ol' immune system is telling me to slow down. I went to Sunday School but not church. Came home, rested and ate a salad. Then I made a quick run to the store to pick up a few things I had ordered. Rested upon returning and then went over to Vivian's to give her birthday giftings. I also came home with giftings, supper for today, green beans and some homemade peach ice cream. Also, I took her some Ninfa's green sauce I made on Saturday and I think I made a green sauce convert.

Brenda called later in the early evening to see if she could bring back the dolly we had put the trunk on to take to her home. Sure thing, come on over. She brought some homemade cookies and I shared green sauce. Another convert!

Inez just dropped by with some berries and some peppers. I'm eating green beans made by the one and only Vivian. They are heirloom green beans and they are really, really good! Gave some green sauce to Inez and yes, another convert. I am happy to make something for my friends that they've never had before and they like it. What's not to love about Ninfa's green sauce?


Saturday, August 12, 2017

The Happenings Of The Week

Having the front porch screened in has made a change in our morning routine. It used to be that Buddy wanted me downstairs to be the supplier of treats to start the day. Now, when she rushes past me on the stairs her destination is the front door, not the kitchen. She goes out for a bit and then wants her treat. Most mornings after porch time and treats, she wants to spend some pre-nap time on my lap. This morning I made the huge strategic mistake of not having my coffee mug there by the chair. But that's love, sacrificing the morning joe for a happy kitty cat. She is back to her bird watching and I'm happily drinking my first cup of coffee. All is well, all is peaceful for this morning.

I am working on all the little last minute things that need to be done before Dena arrives on Wednesday and Doug on Saturday morning. Part of that is working on getting my stacks of books and magazines down to a manageable level. I do not consider stacks of books clutter but decor'.

This next paragraph will date me but I felt like, once again, living a Seinfeld episode. Lifeway did the reveal of Living Proof Live events for 2018. One of the event locations is in Boone. So I thought, that would be fun to attend there in that mountain town and decided to buy two tickets and if for some reason I couldn't go, I could gift them to someone. Well, that plan came to a screeching halt when I could not remember my password or user name from when I bought tickets in 2008...LP in San Antonio. So I went through the list of user names and passwords that I am prone to use...no dice. Now usually, the website asks for your email and they send a link for you to reset your password. No....at Lifeway, you have to call Customer Service to get that info. Well, I was not going to call Lifeway...and that is where it got a little Seinfeld like...remembering the episode where Alec Berg, great John Houseman name, gave Jerry tickets to the hockey game and tells Jerry he might be able to give him tickets for another game...think these were playoff tickets. Kramer asks Jerry if he has called Alec for the day after thank you for the tickets and Jerry says, I thanked him when he gave them to me...that should be enough. So, when I was talking to Lisa P on the phone I told her the whole password/user name debacle of 2017 and said in my best high pitched voice, a little Seinfeldish, "I'm not calling Lifeway!" I then told Lisa P that I had tried using Roy's name and different user names, no dice. In a conversation with Roy he mentioned that Living Proof would be in Boone next year and he thought I should get tickets and go. I told him that the Baptist Book Store, Lifeway, was not in the 21st century in resetting passwords and again, in a high pitched Jerry voice told him, I am not calling Lifeway! Well my friends, just like Jerry I ended up making the call, only my story line turns out better than his, sitting in the nosebleed seats for the game. No wait time and the nicest woman helped me rediscover my password after answering a few questions to establish, that I am who I say I am. I asked if she would stay on the line while I tried logging in...first attempt, nothing...asked on capitalization, and proceeded for a second attempt...and as George Castanza would say, I was in, baby! Now, before I actually made the call, I procured a hotel room in Boone. Cause tickets for a LPM event with no hotel room would not be good. Success! Two tickets purchased for cold, cold Boone in the later part of winter. I am positive though, I'll get to wear boots, stylish flannel shirts and jeans to the conference.

You can hear the funniest or the strangest things in grocery store parking lots. On Thursday I had just pulled into the Publix lot parking space when...of course...a mini van pulls in beside me and parks. I was heading into the store when I remembered my gym lock was in my pocket, so I went back to the truck to put it into its spot and at that same time the mini van people had finally removed themselves from their vehicle. It wasn't a young mom with thousands of children, no it was an elderly couple, an elderly couple that weren't happy with one another. They stood behind my truck and argued. I felt like it was being between a rock and a hard place...trying to go into the store without passing this unhappy couple. I didn't want to be one of those she was at the wrong place at the wrong time kind of things. Yet, I could not just stand there and act like I can't hear a word they are saying...because they were using their outside voices. Bottom line, they were arguing over the fact he drove too slow and although she didn't use a bus reference, I could have given that to her but you know, being at the wrong place at the wrong type thing. She ended their whole "conversation" reminding him that buying a mini van had been one of the worst decisions they had ever made and she wanted to get rid of it and have a fun car. I was never so proud of a moment....I almost wanted to fist pump her...they moved on into the store. I too made my way in but seriously considered high fiving her if we found ourselves on the same aisle.

And I am retaining the title of Crazy Squirrel Lady of Buncombe County. My supply of bad lemons and limes is exhausted, so I have gone to chunking ice at the squirrels that jump into the bird feeders. I also may or may not have used expired Pam spray on the pole that holds the bird feeders.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Thursday But It Feels Like A Wednesday

We enjoyed a lovely summer day yesterday. Cool enough for opening windows and letting the breeze in. I went out early but not early enough to put the picket fencing around half of the sunflowers. The bees had already staked their claim to those flowers and the buzzing so close to my head, deterred my work. I went to The Google to see if and when bees take a break. They are the hardest working insects in the business...well, maybe ants work harder, I'm not sure. Google assured me that cool mornings and evenings are not bees favorite times to pollinate. Last night I was able to finish unrolling the fencing and get it around the sunflowers to hold them up better.

Before getting out and about for the day I received a text that my new glasses were ready. So a little change in plans and over to Weaverville to pick them up. My prescription had significant changes after holding steady for several years. My eyes are adjusting and this morning I realized how hard they worked yesterday with new glasses. Gee, I see things much better too! These glasses are lighter than the last pair but once I get adjusted I think I will have new lenses put in the frames from last year. I still like them a lot and hadn't planned on getting new glasses.

With new vision I headed over to Walmart and make the dreaded Walmart trip. I have to admit this time it wasn't too bad. They have rearranged the store, updated the checkout lanes and with school just a couple of weeks away up here, it wasn't too crowded. I got what I went for and maybe a few more things that just jumped into the cart. The plan was to make a Lowe's stop but I decided to make that trip on another day and came on home for lunch. I realized too those purple hull peas were not going to shell themselves, so yesterday I sat out on the front porch with two big enamel bowls and shelled purple hull peas. Feeling kind of domestic, I cooked those babies up with some onion and ham all afternoon. Then went on and finished up the blackberries for freezing.

We've had a bit of rain. I was able to get over to the Post Office. Picked up a package from Peggy and it is a beautiful bird feeder. Now, I am trying to decide if I will hang it now or will I wait for next year when we redo the back deck and make it more of a screened in porch. I have been contemplating a quick run over to Duckett's before heavier rain is supposed to move in later this afternoon. If I don't go today I'll hang around here and get things ready for upcoming guests.


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

A Tuesday

Just by happenstance, I read an email sent out by Margaret Feinberg this morning. She writes books and Bible studies for Lifeway and one of my all time favorite reads has been Scouting The Divine. Margaret took a year to look with shepherd's eyes, beekeeper eyes and vintner eyes spending time with people who raised sheep, kept bees and had vineyards. One of the most interesting books I have read. In the great book purge of 2011, that book went to a new home but since we live in an agrarian community now, I have a vested interest. So before knee replacement surgery last year I bought the book and the workbook and like how many good intentions go, I did not do any of the work in the workbook. But I think that good intention was just too soon for its time. I didn't realize that I'd be so tired from working so hard with therapy so all the books I planned to read didn't get read. Nap time called out to me a lot and so did early bedtime.

Last night I made my first steak in a cast iron skillet and it was good! Of course steak rub from Taste of Texas makes everything taste great. I cooked the steak on a cast iron grill pan so not only was it tasty but it looked good. Add a few sliced tomatoes and call it supper.

So I saw Taylor yesterday morning for my first workout post cardioversion. Because his DMS machine that I love so much has an electrical current aspect to it, for right now, no more DMS while my heart settles back into normalcy. We are looking at everything that contributed to these recent flare ups, but probably the real culprits are the usual suspects, heat and stress. It felt good to workout again and as predicted, my arms and shoulders are a little sore from the TRX work.

We are experiencing some rainy days with the rain tapering off today. The flowers and trees are certainly happy for the thirst quenching drink. As a bird nerd, I had a delightful time with a singing sparrow yesterday. It sang among the forsythias and I on the front porch with the bird call app. The cardinals are getting their colors now and I hope they remain around here. I have gotten use to seeing them so often in the backyard. Last night baby bunny foo foo came down into the yard. I was so happy to see it because I had missed its morning visits and as I have written before I get too emotionally involved with these animals. There is a cow across the way with a slight limp and I am keeping my eye on her.

After a couple of errands and dropping off a trunk, I am home. A little tired but not too much. Thinking it will be a salad kind of night and fruit for dessert. The sun has come out. I began a little fence project this morning but will have to continue this evening or in the morning. Have to find times when the bees aren't buzzing around the flowers.

I just saw on Twitter that Glenn Campbell passed away today. In junior high I was friends with his niece and she made such an impression on me I cannot even remember her name. She was nice...actually I think we shared a friendship with a mutual friend and that's how I knew her. He had such a beautiful voice.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

A Good Birthday

Yesterday morning I got the sweetest birthday gift. With eyes filled with wonder and awe I watched a new crop of little baby bunny foo foo's frolic and play in the tall grass near the gravel road. It was a special moment. With an errand to run in Tennessee I was up early and trying to get out of the house by 8:30 am but it was closer to 9:00. The Amish store had received blackberries from Michigan and they were available as first come first served. It is a beautiful drive and I enjoyed the trip. Once I got there I got the blackberries and a few other things, then hit the road to head toward home. Filled up with some cheaper gasoline in Tennessee while there too. I made a quick stop at home, put up the blackberries, and let Buddy sit on my lap for a few minutes. Then it was off to Waynesville. Because of construction I chose the Canton way with a stop at Duckett's. They had purple hull peas which makes me especially happy. I had missed the first day opening at Barber's and I needed my first mixed drink of the season....an apple and peach slushie. Bought some corn on the cob as well as a few apple cider donuts. I headed toward Hazelwood district and went to a couple of shops there and then headed to downtown Waynesville. Thankfully, a close parking spot opened up just as I turned the corner, so I was able to get in and out of Mast General Store. The last stop was Main Street Mercantile and I did a quick look see and began my way home. Once again took the longer but more scenic way home. Off and on during the day friends called to wish me a happy birthday and it was fun checking on FB to see greetings.

When I got home I opened my very fun gift and card from Lisa P. Roy called and we got caught up on the day's activities. Then I talked with Dena and then Brenda came over. She and some of her family had gone to the Burnsville Craft Show and when she got home she made me a cake. A delicious strawberry cake. After Brenda left Roy and I once again caught up but I was so dang tired from such a fun, full day....I watched a little TV and then fell asleep till 1:00 am. Buddy was being a little pesty and it seemed she didn't feel well. So up and downstairs to check the litter box, and since I was checking it...I might as well take care of it. Came back upstairs to a feisty Buddy...but she calmed down finally and we were able to get back to the business of rest.

Morning came early and I had a brunch to attend for our new mentoring ministry at church. We had delicious food and a great time. I especially loved hearing the stories from Karen's mom. She needs to record these stories, as a preacher's wife in the mountains of North Carolina...a traveling pastor for the Methodist Church. Great stories of another time but the same great God who though times change, He never changes.

After brunch I headed over to The Fresh Market for a few things and then returned home. I have tons of things to do but a nap is calling my name. Then I take care of veggies and fruit.

Heart beat is holding its own and staying in rhythm. I cancelled with Taylor yesterday for the chance to ease back into workout things. Thankful stamina is returning. I'm taking each day in step working toward the goal of being back in full tilt. I am still feeling the effect of two weeks of afib and flutter. As the nurse at the hospital said as my heart rate bounced around so fast and so quickly, she said her heart is in afib on crack. Wow, glad to be back to the regular syncopation.

Nancy's Monablog