Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do You Remember?

Buddy is on the front porch checking out the birds or sleeping through the antics of birds and bunnies in the yard. She has come in several times and sat on my lap...till the call of the wild stirred her from purring slumber. I wish the call of nature would get through to her and that today she can, uh, take care of business. She is acting normal in everything but that. I will call the vet office in a little bit because she might have to have help in getting everything up and running again.

Just talked to Roy and he will be heading back from Ruston in a little bit. He and two coworkers have been at Louisiana Tech recruiting in the accounting dept. They'll go back next week for career day and schedule interviews with candidates they would like to talk with. Roy doesn't talk much and he was so hoarse last night from all day conversations and presentations.

Yesterday, I got out to run some errands. It is that time of year for buying candy for our church's fall festival. That is always fun. So a Target run was in order. Somehow, I came home with much more than candy yesterday. I also stopped in at Home Goods and at Barnes and Noble to get my free Starbucks drink for the month of September. My choice, lemonade ice tea. It was a very warm day.

Today I watched two funerals online. Both people servants of the Lord and they both have left a legacy. This is the third funeral I have watched online this week.

The good news is that today Buddy did her business and I could not be happier about that. The Dr had told me to call her if Buddy didn't begin eating and doing her business. So, eating began yesterday and business was taken care of today. So now I will remember that it was the 21st of September...a little Earth, Wind and Fire for the day. Roy and crew were on their way back home when I texted him the good news. Since he was driving, he had John read the text to him. They had a good laugh and when a friend from the office called him with a serious question Roy greeted him with the salutations of, Buddy pooped. His co-worker had no idea what any of that was about.

I read a really great blog yesterday or maybe it was a newsletter, I don't remember. What I do know is it spoke to me in this season of life. How appropriate for this last day of summer. This would not be how I would choose it just like I wouldn't have chosen heart issues that began a huge restorative work in me nine years ago. I also think the Lord is using this season with Buddy to refine me. It has been good to slow down even more and to ponder. I wrote about this a little the other day and the words still don't come easily trying to mush through emotions but I know I will come through this. I have the wonderful therapist Cheryl Simmons to thank for that all those years ago and all the hard work we did then. Eugene Peterson's newest book is also a wonderful guide in scriptures as I adjust. I think the thought of maybe loosing Buddy tied in because that little gray kitty had a huge role in my getting well. Buddy is not out of the woods and neither am I, but we are both close to wrapping this season up. Health issues are becoming good health again. Back to my workouts too. I should have noticed in April when I broke a tooth that maybe heart things would follow along cause that is how stuff began back when.

So today I'm feeling the Earth Wind and Fire...remembering the 21st day of September.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Holding Onto Hope

The trees are beginning to change color. Mainly yellows but a few red and orange leaves peek through. Although it feels like the last gasp of summer, there is a feel to the air, that the temps are going to be changing soon. We were spoiled last week with October like temps but our area is back into the 80's which if fall in Houston but here...still feeling like summer. There is a wild onion fragrance in the air and it mingles in with the fragrance of fresh hay and grass being cut. The mowers have been working the roads around here and the huge heavy equipment to cut down small trees that sprout up overnight along the bigger highways are working at a faster pace because fall then winter will soon appear. A parcel of land nearby the post office was cleared out this summer. Wooden stakes and yellow and orange construction tape dotted the land. Then in just a few weeks time it seemed, that cleared land was once again overgrown and unrecognizable as having previously been cleared. A couple of weeks ago, they must have cleared it again, everything cut back. Seems to be a lot of activity along the river road of houses being renovated and property for sale. Houses aren't on the market too long these days and it makes me wonder when I look on Zillow or what's the matter with houses that drop their price on a regular basis, even if it is just $100.00. Knowing what I know now about the area, I think some of these houses are surrounded by sketchy neighbors or areas. Shocks of shocks, some of these homes are so overpriced to begin with especially if one needs to tear out all the 1960's touches. While we were looking for a home to buy I saw some of the wildest colors and wallpaper. Thankfully this home and the home we put an offer on didn't have any wild colors or wallpaper that needed to be replaced.

The vet called this morning concerning Buddy's blood and lab work. All in all it was a pretty good report. Not diabetic, no kidney problems have shown up but she needs to eat something. The Dr said even though she did a good amount of, uh, business, yesterday, she needs to do more "business" before Buddy is considered out of the woods. Buddy has drank a lot of water and nibbled at some treats but not interested in her food. She is such a finicky eater. She doesn't like wet food or soft treats. She will play a little and I am trying to have her do that to maybe help her out. I know when I would have knee surgery and come back to tennis I would remember the pain when I moved a certain way on my knees. It took a while to convince myself that the pain wasn't going to be there like before. Even with the knee replacements last year, in rehab I thought the same thing. The pain was surgical pain and when that was more night, no more pain. I am too much of a realist though to think that Buddy is going to go back to the cat she was. In cat years she is 64. There is still a hint of sadness in my spirit that these days are few and need to be cherished and enjoyed with her. I hope my spirit is wrong on this one but as Roy said, we have been given more days with her and that is a gift.

There is a ton of stuff I need to get done but writing these past few days has been so therapeutic. There are several ideas running through my mind and I have put those to paper, yes really wrote them out, not on the computer. Another coping mechanism is reading. Every once in a while a book review grabs me and grabs me out of the usual genre that I find myself reading. So this morning there was a review on a book about Bette Davis, written by her ten year assistant who worked for her until Bette passed away. So, after reading the review, it was off to the Google and there I read several interesting articles about her life, about her tumultuous life. Much of that tumult was self induced and because of these wild, dramatic mood swings, she was persona non grata  in many places around Hollywood including studios. I watched a few episodes of Feud, the story between she and Joan Crawford and a Vanity Fair article this morning gave a little more background to that story.
As per Monablog habit, many times one days post goes into the next day. It was a rough night and I was so happy to see the morning's light and have Buddy still with us. She took a downhill journey yesterday afternoon and evening. So weak, won't eat, hasn't pooped, has some tremors and being strange. She couldn't be found in familiar places. Her reactions and actions were not Buddy-like. Last night on TCM Good Morning Miss Dove was on. I remember reading that book in my grandmother's Reader Digest Condensed book one summer. Then I saw the movie years later. So it set a nostalgic tone for me while watching. When it was over I went to our bedroom and Buddy was sitting in the spot where she sleeps on our bed. It was like she was waiting for me. She has NEVER EVER done this. I thought she knows...her time is limited...she laid her head down immediately on my arm, which NEVER happens and I sobbed. She had those little tremors going on which doesn't seem like it is a good thing. But then during the night she did something she hasn't done since last Thursday, she got up and left. She did this several times during the night and I chose on the side of hope that this was a good thing and not a she's going to hide thing....  This morning, she was not by my side. She didn't come greet me like she normally does in the mornings when she hears me stirring. While coming down the stairs I heard a little weak meow. As I came toward her she moved into the kitchen, where her food and water reside for her dining pleasure. She had eaten half the food in her dish. PTL! Hurriedly, I made my way to her litter box hoping to find poop, not yet but I have hope. She has asked for treats and she is back to drinking a lot of water.

I felt good about her prospects today so I even left for a bit to run a couple of errands. Now it is evening and she still hasn't done her business, but I am holding hope.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Loving That Little Gray Kitty

Throughout this morning I have thought, wow, this time yesterday.... Glad to be twenty four hours away from yesterday. Yesterday began around 4:00 am when Buddy woke me up...she was in pain and she had trouble with her back legs. We came downstairs and she laid so quietly on my lap while I cried, no sobbed. The whole weak back leg thing reminded me of our dog Tiff's last day on earth and I began to think that this would be Buddy's. The crying must have bothered her because she slowly took the steps upstairs and hid. When she hid, that made my sobbing more intense. This was not good and I waited to call the vet once their office opened. Meanwhile, I found her hiding spot and I began to get cleaned up and ready for the morning ahead. The time passed slowly...I found myself out on the front porch praying and thinking while watching the fog gently roll away.

This whole adventure began Friday night when I gave Buddy a stool softener that leaked a bit into her mouth instead of going down her throat. This caused her to foam at the mouth and run. She ran into the bathroom and I was able to clean her up a bit as she settled down. Buddy was not happy and neither was I. Early, middle of the night early, Buddy woke me up. She threw up several times. There was a bit of a tremor going on but she settled and then slept most of the day Saturday. She didn't eat much but she was drinking water and went to the litter box once. Sunday, she seemed a bit better. I could tell because when I carried her and put her someplace, she didn't stay there but moved. Then came 4:00 am Monday morning.

I was beating myself up emotionally over the whole Friday night incident. Out there on the porch I felt I heard the gentle whisper that things would be fine. I couldn't see how that was even possible. I texted Roy and then cried on the phone when we talked. I texted Peggy and Lisa asking them to pray for our situation here. Finally, 7:30 came and I called the vet. You see I had vacillated on whether to call our regular vet or try someplace new. Buddy has been having issues for over a year and most visits, if she takes a swipe at them, they are done with her. Yet, a new vet might not be so quick to help her....I felt in my heart that I should call our regular office and pray that we see the right vet for Buddy. The Lord answered that prayer.

So I told the office the situation, through tears. I am ready to whisk Buddy up and get there as soon as possible. They had an opening at 9:30. Two hours more to wait. Because of the dense fog I left a little earlier than normal. Good thing because we were slowed down by a tractor on the road and then a truck pulling a loaded down trailer.  It was the quietest ride with Buddy ever.

We were called back to the little waiting room and the tech asked questions about Buddy etc. The Dr came in and from the get go, she was proactive on getting some answers. She looked at Buddy's records and stated this had been going on without any real progress. I told her I had not given Buddy a chill pill cause it felt like that would be too stressful on her. They made their first attempt to touch Buddy, strike one...she said we are going to have to sedate her to do anything and I agreed. I might have suggested a nail trim and maybe a few weeks early on her shots so that another stressful visit wouldn't be in order. The Dr agreed. So the reinforcements came to hold Buddy down and the good Doc got that shot in the first attempt. After a little wait she returned with Buddy's x-rays. Quite a bit of arthritis especially in her left hip which is causing lower back pain and it is painful for her to poop. So she is holding onto it as long as possible. They said when they got her ready for the exam, she pooped big time but still had trapped gas which caused the throw ups. The Dr explained the course of treatment and then told me to go run some errands and return around noon to pick her up. They were going to do blood work and let her wake up before releasing her.

I made a quick trip to the grocery store and home. I kept Roy in the loop, Peggy and Lisa kept me entertained with texts. That helped. On the way back to pick up Buddy, just down the road a small fawn had run onto the road and had been hit. Several people stopped to move it and I lost it once again, tears. Buddy received a huge amount of steroids and will have to have a shot every six weeks or so. Another option is to give her steroids in a liquid dose here at home. The steroids need to do their work because this is the only option to help her have a comfortable life.

Buddy so glad to home went upstairs directly and fell asleep. I did likewise.

Buddy is slowly but surely returning to the land of the living. I re-introduced her to water and food last night. She's not much interested in the food just the water and treats. The Dr should call today with the results of lab work to rule out pancreatitis and something else that I don't even know how to spell or say. Buddy, well she
pretty much didn't want to have anything to do with me yesterday but thankfully she timed it perfectly after I had fallen to sleep, to join me, sleeping on my arm just like the past few days hadn't even happened.

I know this post is long but I will wrap it up with this....that Friday night incident that I felt had been such a mistake and that I was so mad at myself over...if it hadn't happened...I think it would have been too late. This sped up the timeline and as Roy said last night bought us some more time with her. I tell y'all...I love that little gray kitty!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

No Box Living For Me, Please

The foggiest of foggy days is happening in our area. When you glance out the window upon first waking up and all you see if fog, dense know it will hang around a little longer than most early morning fog. I like watching the familiar trees, houses and scenes reappear slowly but surely in such a haze. We can hear the birds, we just can't see them.

Our long time pastor of Houston's First Baptist Church, Brother John's wife passed away this week. The outpouring of memories on FB to the family are heart-felt and deep. Oh and numerous... The memories almost down to each one remembers her laugh and how she could light up a room upon entering it. So many have shared their recent Celebration memory. The end scene of Jesus resurrected and welcoming all those dressed in they come running to him. And so many wrote about the expression on Uldine's face as she truly lived out her part as she had in life, running to Him in full worship. My path didn't cross hers many times during the years but she did ask Peggy and I to be a part of an evening extra skit for a church women's retreat. I think that is where our parody of Love Lifted Me came from...I don't remember but I do remember we had fun. So many times we read or hear people use very measured words for one who has just passed away. Trying to say something nice or trying to overlook a quirk that got on everyone's nerves but not so with Uldine. The feelings of people expressed are just the truth and not the truth as they are trying to convey. She touched so many lives with kindness.

I know this will make everyone jealous, but I went to the dump yesterday with several flattened cardboard boxes and two bags of filler from said boxes. This year I have tried to cut back on my ordering thus cutting back on the disposal of cardboard in an ecological way. But there was a few weeks when the sales were too good especially things for the home that just couldn't be resisted.

This morning I read the last in a series of blog articles on the different seasons women find themselves in. This has been a good read because the seasons named weren't the usual ones we see in this kind of series and each of the women, both young and not so young, gave great contemplation to the subject they were given. Today's post on stewarding what God has given you in this season, was exceptional. It didn't go the predictable path. Now is there is something that gets my admiration, when one chooses not to do the predictable thing. I have spent a majority of life trying not to walk the predictable. Although, there are many things predictable about me. We all have that but mainly when others are trying to put us in a box, so that they can understand or manipulate their interactions with us...the size of the box has to change, cause I'm not going in the one you've prepared. These past few months as I have wrangled with a few emotions and thoughts and plans, I have realized the first five years of life and the last five years are the seasons that I experienced the least amount of being manipulated and fighting so hard against it. Now it has brought about a hyper sense of that when it feels like someone or something is trying to extract a response that is not organic or generated out of my free will. The fear of being dominated and cajoled into an image that is not me is absolutely terrifying. Thus one of the constant themes of this life, don't fence me in, don't try to make me into something I'm not and don't try to define me by a box. It is funny that throughout the weeks of out patient therapy this year, the PT said almost every time, don't over think this. But, after working with Taylor these past months, the overthinking came in out patient therapy because it didn't feel like all the information and the cause and effects hadn't been was's from the book of's what everybody does...but the lack of background info triggered the overthinking on my part. So maybe this season...see I didn't forget the beginning of this long one of eradicating overthinking...refining responses...walking in love and kindness...and yes, not fitting or adjusting to any box kind of living.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fall Back To Summer And Strange Dreams

Another coolish beginning of the day. Sun is out and all about is bright with the changing colors of the soon to be fall season. The trees of our far down the road neighbor are the first to display the changes in the fall and in the spring. This year more of his trees are showing signs of fall instead of the one tree that in the past few years announced the end of summer. They all are joining in that chorus.

One closet has been worked on and others are awaiting and wait they will cause today holds more than closet cleaning. I did get more things ready to take to Salvation Army. And two flannel shirts that I bought at a deep discount at the end of winter are hanging in my closet ready for another burst of cool temps. Our nights remain in the 50's but the days ahead hold 70's and 80's.

I see another friend is starting a blog and like most blogs will probably be abandoned in a short time. The season of writing to be discovered, well writing a blog, has moved on. It is best to be tweetable in 140 characters or less these days if one is looking for discovery. And the mystery factor of why the blog is being written is for tomorrow's reading. I don't know if that is a design to build up readership in the short term or what. Like I have written before, I write this blog for me but if others enjoy it, for this I am thankful. Writing is an outlet and something I enjoy. Believe me, there is nothing I stay at for long, short attention span, but Monablog is ten years old. I don't write as often as in the beginning but some of that is due to a better control of a filter on my thoughts and things don't get put out there like back in the day. Don't have too many ponies in the show anymore but I still observe a lot of situations that I wish to heaven I could write about, give an opinion and then add grow up to the end...but you know, filter. No, I did not write this for you to tune in tomorrow to see what I am observing and giving thought to.
Well, it is tomorrow. I had a few errands to take care of in Weaverville and then in Woodfin. Seems like there should be a ville on the end of Woodfin since so many towns and cities in this area are a ville. Once home all the cold stuff got put away and then these happy feet were prone to wander, so wander I did. It was feeling like a Blue Rooster fried chicken type of day, so that's where I went for a late lunch. Delicious as always. Wasn't feeling like an orchard stop but did go to Belk and then to Blue Ridge Books. I have had some books to bring them for the longest time and finally remembered. They have a used books section. Since I was giving them the books and not wanting any credit they took them. They are in the process of moving over to the Hazelwood area. That makes me really happy because Blue Ridge is one of my favorite bookstores but it is difficult to get to and parking limited. I perused the store then headed over to Mast. Fortunately, a truck pulled out of a prime parking space and I was there for that moment of claiming it for SequishShawn. Waynesville gets rain when no one else around the area does. It seems more times than not, it rains on me in Waynesville.

For the rest of the evening I read and relaxed. Knew I needed to go to sleep early cause the gutter man could be here at 8:00 am. Of course, he didn't come at 8:00 and I am still waiting and I am feeling a nap coming on for this afternoon.

I woke up this morning laughing because I had a similar dream to one my mother had years ago. This is one of my favorite stories my mom told on herself. In real life my mom was pretty darn funny but she tended toward the introvert side of life. She didn't like being called upon in Sunday School favoring answering or reading when it was her choice. She had a dream she was in Sunday School and her teacher asked her if she knew where they had left off reading a verse from the Bible. In her dream she responded, how in the hell would I know?! Now that is humorous because she didn't cuss. Once she called me a jackass and it broke my heart. I probably was acting like a jackass but when you are 15 why would you want to take your younger brother to AstroWorld while being with your friends?  My dream fortunately, didn't take place in church but I was with friends. When asked a question I responded back in part by using the f word. In my dream I was mortified that I had responded with such a word but my friends acted like I used that word in conversation all the time. In the dream they told me, everybody uses the word, we just don't like everyone to know. What? In my defense I didn't eat anything weird before going to bed last night.

Well, the gutter guy is here and starting to work. Buddy has gone upstairs to continue her nap in peace and quiet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Which Way Does The Wind Blow?

The past few mornings the view from the front porch our home has been quite breathtaking. The combination of fog, shadows and sun, with some of the trees in the distance beginning to change to fall colors makes me stop and take in the loveliness of creation. This morning the skies to the west are a bit ominous with the last remaining bits of Irma in the area. No school today due to downed power lines, trees down and the last little bit of wind. Our area did not experience a full brunt or even much of a side hug from Irma but most of the overcast day contained light to steady rain. I had put up all things that could become flying objects in a gust of wind. The birds seemed a little confused only being able to find one feeder and one birdbath with water. The squirrels are totally disoriented because their play area no longer has furniture for them to chew or relax on. With our plans to have the back deck rebuilt, covered and screened in, we no longer had real use for our fire pit group and we found a great home for that set and our backyard swing to go to. We don't have the plans drawn up for the back as of yet but this helps with storage and not having to give up precious real estate in the garage for cushion storage this winter.

I finally broke down last night and turned on the heater. It was so cold in the house. Now that is an unusual statement from me because I am hardly ever cold. It took the edge off and this morning the downstairs is warming up cause I turned on the heater down here. Cinnamon coffee is helping take the edge off too.

Almost every September 11th on the good ol' Monablog, I share the story of two different years where the miraculous happened. Days that held life changing moments and appreciation. Yesterday was no different, I remembered and gave thanks.

The wind we were supposed to get yesterday has seemed to show up today. I just went outside to feed the birds and add back the other feeder and birdbath. It is more protected from the wind back there so I haven't felt like I could return everything in the front yard yet. Lots of wind whipping through the trees. Alert after alert comes through texts of trees and power lines down around the area. I still haven't perfected knowing where streets and roads are but I am getting better in that knowledge. This morning I told Roy it felt like a stick close to home kind of day with all the wind, downed trees and power lines.

To keep combating the chill, I made some decaf coffee. That is not a usual thing for me to do. I still think the blood transfusions I received with bilateral knee replacements were from a petite, freezing, decaf drinking kind of gal.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Going For More, Happy 40th Anniversary Sweetie

Forty years ago today, wow that makes me feel old writing this, Roy and I were married. We met at Pennzoil, he worked in audit and I in treasury. He asked if we could go out to lunch when he returned from his trip to Brussels. So six weeks later we went out for lunch and he took me to Charlie's 517. That was a fancy restaurant back in the day. Lunch that day didn't go as planned as he found me to be the shallowest  person he'd ever met and I found him the most arrogant. It came as a surprise when he asked me out for a date to a concert and I told him I already had a date for that concert. He asked me out again and I had plans with family welcoming a much beloved pastor of my grandparents for dinner but I nixed doing that and went out with Roy instead. My life was forever changed from that moment. We fell in love.

Because he was scheduled for another long business trip to Brussels, we set the date for our wedding to September instead of May as we originally planned. So on September 9th, two total opposites got married and lived happily ever after....well...that wouldn't totally be true cause we argued a lot, disagreed a lot but through all that ticky tacky we continued to love each other. I don't know how people who don't know the Lord make it cause marriage is hard, especially in the beginning. Most couples, like us, come into the deal with our own matching sets of baggage and by hard work, love and prayer, through the years hopefully all that baggage can be discarded and maybe all that you have left is a small carry on and a personal bag.

We have walked through wonderful and carefree times and difficult, chaotic times. Times of abundance and times of managing resources. We have made some dumb decisions and we have made good decisions.

Last night after I got home from a choir party, we talked for the longest time. About all kinds of things, from trivial to pressing issues..i.e. Irma... We laughed and cracked each other up. We made plans for the coming weeks. He asked about concerns I have and then we prayed. I love him so much!

Yep, forty years ago today neither one of us knew exactly what we were doing...but today, forty years later I'm glad we began this wild adventure together...and not that we exactly know what we are doing still but we have the best companion/spouse for the rest of our journey together.

Nancy's Monablog