Monday, June 17, 2019

Porches, Punky, Precocious....

The ubiquitous of scenary here is little churches everywhere. They are mostly Baptist, Southern Baptist, but other affiliations of Baptist churches are represented. After Baptist churches, it seems like Methodist is in second place. Over near Roan Mountain most of those Baptist churches are Free Will Baptists, with a few primitive Baptists thrown in to vintage it up. That first month I visited here the number of churches dotting the landscape surprised me. I have written before about a little Baptist Church I pass several times a week and sometimes on Sunday mornings. The name used to be a bona fide churchy big word church that only someone who has attended church most of their life or at least VBS would know. It must not have worked for them because sometime late last year, the name changed along with a once a month sing a long added to the sign. A new start, a new beginning...only and sadly, the sign has changed, no more Wednesday or Sunday night services. Now granted, the most trucks, cause it was only trucks in the gravel parking lot has been four, but mostly three. And driving by after service, usually, there were three men standing outside the front door talking. The grassy area around the gravel hasn't been mowed in quite a while and I am wondering if the three gave up. I read a book several years ago whose title and author escapes me, but it was written by a man who put forth the question, what if one Sunday women stayed home from church? How would the church house react? This little church in dichotomy is most interesting.

This back porch has added such a dimension to nature. Since Punky brought her kittens down to the backyard because of all the rain, I am experiencing cat life up close and personal. None of the other cats brought their kittens down so soon. These are not weaned but Cali and Camo brought kittens to the back when they were six weeks old. Mike the Mower Man was here today and our neighbor was mowing the gravel road at the same time. Punky kept an ear to the sound and when she felt it was in her kittens best interest, she meowed but it was a meow...but she called for them in a low, purr, cat sound, nothing I've never heard. Not chirping like at the birds nor was a pure purr, and three out of the four obeyed her immediately. Of course there has to be the one who saunters toward mom but all it took was for Punky to stand up and that kitten came a running. After all the lawn noise Punky gathered up the troops but she was one short...so she went looking for that kitten. I have said several times I didn't think Punky was a very good mother, but I take that back after watching her this afternoon. Wow! She has them or had them, they move around so much, under the grill. Yes, the playroom of all the previous kittens. They love playing under and then later when they are able to jump to the top of it, sit there like kings and queens of the world.
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A new week, a new day. The reports of rain I believe are fading but maybe this afternoon we will get some. If not, it will be a early evening of watering all the flower beds. We had a glimmer of hope for rain yesterday but it went north of us. I got a few more plants put into flower pots in the anticipation but alas...nothing. We didn't have choir last night so yesterday after church was a great opportunity just to relax, nap and read...  My only responsibility of the afternoon, getting the trash can down to the road.

On Saturday a good bunch of friends drove over to TN to go to The Farmer's Daughter for lunch. I took the Mustang because the Kroger at Johnson City was calling out my name afterwards. They carry the cat food that Buddy will eat right now. Ann D rode with me to the restaurant and we had a blast talking and singing to Earth, Wind and Fire....oh and maybe a little Gladys Knight thrown in for good measure. By passing the Academy which is a new habit for me, I went straight to Barnes and Noble...a life long love and addiction to books. The three magazines I've been looking for all happened to be there and I had coupons. It was a great day to shop for books and magazines. If I had time, I was thinking of driving over to Roan Mountain but the tireds were taking over and the best use of time would be to return home, rest a bit and then finish up studying for the Sunday School lesson. There was so much to cover and in retrospect, maybe I should have zeroed in on two or three main points but all the background info was so important to the major points. Then, our new pastor's wife, Kelly, came into our class yesterday. So, I was a little nervous and more scattered than usual. She seems to have a great sense of humor and to be lots of fun. I never got a dour look from her, so whew, that's good. And on a side note, I love God's Word! How many times have we all studied or heard about Samuel and Saul? Each time, something new pops out to ponder.

These kittens of Punky are so fun to watch. Seems like they have grown so much in a week. She still hasn't introduced them to food other than what she provides. Punky hides under a burning bush shrub and watches the four play. I haven't been successful in getting the four of them with faces facing toward the camera so the three gray and white kittens are difficult to tell apart. Two of them I know their faces but the third one is content to do its own thing much of the time. Anyway, name contemplation is on hold until I can tell them apart. And by casual observation, I think there are two males...so far in the count. Each little family group brings different dynamics to observe. The other kittens in the past, have always played in and around the big rocks in the backyard but these kittens, until they are all too big to do this, have found a little, shall we say, a cleft in a rock, that is where they escape to when danger seems imminent or just me on the porch. When they have stayed in there too long, Punky comes over, looks into the cleft and calls them outside. But it looks like they nap and maybe even sleep there at night. Mama Cat still shows but not as often. Ever since Strawyer has become the alpha male, he is a pest to the female cats...When Strawyer is approaching her...by the way his grandmother.... for, uh, let's see...attention, Mama Cat is not interested and gives him a couple swipes to the head. He was stalking her last night up on the gravel road and before she made the turn to wherever she lives, she came back to him and gave him a little "what for." We are going on two weeks without Mr Meany and for this I am thankful. He was a slick one, wooing in the innocent and then biting them or taking a few swipes. He was a stray because he wasn't afraid of people. I warned the construction crew about him.... Camo is hit and miss. We don't see her for days and then out of the blue she shows up.

Buddy loves the back porch and she has made it her own, of course that is not a surprise. She still wants out on the front porch in the mornings, probably because of how sunny it is, but the afternoons and evenings, back porch is preferred. I got the ladders out that we bought for flowerpots and so far I have done two. Still deciding if I'll put a shelf between them. Then, the small green ladder from Maggie Valley, might end up outside instead of on the porch. I'll just have to see how things go as we finish up the details of the porch.







Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Theme Was Rain.....

The theme, rain. The blessing, we needed rain. Another blessing, we have had intervals in between moderate to heavy showers. The gratitude comes from hearing that our weekend of rain will taper off and blue skies are ahead beginning tomorrow, oh and the highs in the 70's. All the new plants are a little more established now with the rain and then before all the water evaporates, it is time to finish up planting. Oh maybe I will throw in a little weed pulling...emphasis...on little.

We are thrilled that the porch that began in March came to completion on June 6th. It turned out beautifully. Over the weekend I began pulling out the things that have been collecting dust in the garage that we picked out for the porch during the last two years as we waited on Bruce's busy schedule. In that time preferences of color changed constantly but the design never wavered. This wouldn't be a white wicker themed porch. White wicker, really any color of wicker furniture is beautiful but since I like metal furniture, this was the never changing direction we would go. Now, I did capitulate when we found chairs that would fit in perfectly because they don't take up a lot of space but they aren't that southern look. So this weekend, I put together a day bed, the chairs and a table that came with the chairs....oh, and a decorative piece I found at the Biltmore Garden Shop, that they had taken apart. Now that thing was a bugger. After all the furniture assemblage we need to invest in better wrenches but the likelihood that we will be putting more furniture together is slim. We had put together this three year plan for remodeling, but since we had the two years in between, it looks like we will take a break in the plan because I don't know if I am up to a master bathroom remodel. I read an article that said the walk in bathtub thingy advertised on TV to senior citizens has become a "must" for the millennial. You know, it is so tempting but me thinks it is still an old person look to a home. We would want the whole bathroom gutted, new tile and cabinetry. That would include maybe the hallway bathroom too but just tile and new cabinet.

The porch is considered finished because this morning all the building scraps and materials were loaded onto the back of a truck and a little later, the porta john was picked up. It was a clear morning so it was an optimal time to get this done before the now, steady rain has hit our area.

So, the theme of getting some stuff done today is taking a backseat. With Bruce and crew here and then with a couple other distractions, the list of things to take care of today, isn't be checked off. Also, the usual schedule for studying to teach on Sunday will be accelerated this week because of Saturday plans. So, I am far behind with an iffy beginning.
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Theme today, cool temps and sunny. It has been such an enjoyable day to run errands and work outside. Of course coming in and resting on the back porch was needed. I brought home a wine cooler refrigerator to use for drinks on the back porch. It is tall and it holds 18 drinks, so I loaded it up with vitamin water and diet root beer. Tomorrow I will add some Topo Chico.

I'm going to wrap this up and post it. The theme was rain but today that theme didn't hold water.

Monday, June 3, 2019

Phenomenal and Extraordinary

This week I kind of stumbled across an article that caught my interest, "Why No One is Interested In Your Travels." It is written by Jonathan Look, Jr. He has retired and he and his female partner are always in search of exotic travels where he can experience a sense of adventure and not be a part of cookie cutter suburbia. He noted a paper written by Harvard Psychologists titled "The Unforeseen Costs of Extraordinary Experience." It is not jealousy that make people glaze over when people tell of these exotic and unusual adventures, it is lack of the ordinary in the stories told after trips of a lifetime, or two. The paper goes on to state that those telling the extraordinary experience are not always gifted story tellers either giving too many details or not enough.

I used a little of this extraordinary experience in the Sunday School lesson I taught this morning where we mainly looked at Hannah. Now there is someone who had an extraordinary experience and it has translated well, even to us today. The communicator and writer tells her story beautifully. Truthfully, Hannah and her story has been one that I have stayed away from since she is a popular Mother's Day topic for sermons and she seems to be the patron saint of infertility. More so than Sarah or Sampson's mom, cause we are told the story of how she walked away from the year after year taunts of Peninnah at Shiloh and went into the Tabernacle to pray, all the while being accused by Eli of being drunk and having to hold it together while her husband, well meaning in his questions to her and then concluding she should think he would be better than having ten sons. This week it really have been a joy to get to know Hannah better, in fact since Judy and I are helping relieve our teacher Gale this summer since she has a family wedding consuming much of her time, I was able to split the lesson and use the Eli/Samuel portion it in next week's lesson.

It feels like I am living extraordinary experience  these days in the mountains of North Carolina. Just like the article some want to hear of the travels and experiences and others don't but I write on anyway because these days are ones I want to remember. The choice is theirs, to read or not to read...that's not even the question. Being here has been so healing, in all the realms whether it is physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. Of course there are other factors contributing to this well being, but it feels like this should be written in broad brush strokes.

I went old school studying for the lesson on Sunday by looking at some of FB Meyer's writings. Still relate-able today but had to look up some of the obscure words that didn't make it into the 21st century regular vocabulary.
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This June day will be remarkable in that it will only reach into the high 70's today. This morning it was 57 degrees while I enjoyed a cup of coffee on the front porch. Buddy was pretty happy about it as well. The cooler temps has made errand running rather pleasant. I thought I had more potting soil than I did, so back to Lowe's tomorrow to finish up the project. A couple of weeks ago while in CVS they reserved some of the new shingles shots for me and today it was the first thing to do while out and about. No waiting and shot number one and I'm good to go. The next shot needs to come in the next four t six months. Feeling shingle protected it was back to Tractor Supply and they had the bird seed back in stock. Oh happy day. Then the dreaded Walmart to pick up some more plastic bottles of Topo Chico. They are so refreshing when I am on gardener duty. Also, I don't know if they will be affected by the tariff dealy thingy. Across the way to Lowe's for supplies and they had some beautiful zinnias, which might be my favorite flower.

The work on the back porch is coming along today. All the screen is in and both of the storm doors have been hung. Just waiting for whoever finishes staining it. The feral cats are confused but Buddy took several trip around the edge of the porch and meowed her approval.

Yep, it has been and is a extraordinary experience.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Thankful, Grateful, Blessed

It looks like we might have received a little bit of rain last night or early this morning. Yes, Lord! Just a month or so ago we were setting rain records, well the records changing of late are heat related. Last evening was flowerbed watering time and although it takes most of the early evening to get everything taken care of, the beauty of these flowers and shrubs are worth it. The geranium spray from Thistle Farms seems to be working on repelling bugs when I spray it on me and I can see why, not too fond of the fragrance and it just adds to the sweaty fragrance of working outdoors. Reminds one of the verse in the Bible concerning Lazarus...he stinketh.

We are in the fun beginnings of the most wonderful time of the year, produce season time. Yesterday, it seemed like a good idea to eat breakfast out on the way to Strawberry Hill to pick up strawberries and whatever other fruitish offerings they had. There were several choices but when one has a Barnes and Noble coupon burning in their wallet, one makes the decision based on closeness of the bookstore. It made the choice easy, Another Broken Egg. I usually order the bananas foster pancakes because they are the bomb diggity, but constraint ruled and it was just regular pancakes with sides of eggs and bacon. Usually when one is dining alone you are seated in the back or in a corner, except yesterday, the hostess sat me in the middle of a dining section with no other breakfast consumers. They were all located in other sections of the restaurant. It was a bit daunting to be featured in the middle of the main area. It took longer than usual to order but finally someone came over and took care of that. If they had left me alone too much longer I might have stood next to the table, grabbing the back of the chair for support and sing, "the cheese stands alone, the cheese stands alone, hi ho the dairyo, the cheese stands alone." Eating alone is a regular part of life these days but yesterday was a bit of a trip. The only cure for a breakfast blip is to hasten quickly to the bookstore. In this world of Amazon Prime it feels as if Barnes and Noble is putting a good faith effort into customer service and experience. Greeted and asked several times if they could help me find anything. Nope, just a browser who has a systematic approach to going through the store. I left with three books, like I need three more books, but this is going to be the summer of reading. It is also the summer of the denim shirt cause I don't want to ponder too much on what to wear. You are so thankful when a drive south on I-26 is uneventful and the roads are clear. Yesterday's drive was a thankful drive. The past few days my heart has overflowed with a good theme...a praise to the God of my life. Ps 45:1 The whole beauty of this part of the country demonstrates majestically artistic and creativeness of God. The flowers that grow wild alongside the roads to the flowers planted by the fine folks at NCDOT, the bluest sky, and of course one cannot forget to mention the mountains silhouette against that sky. The innumerable shades of green in the trees. The creeks and rivers and streams...even the little mud holes that dot the landscapes on farms are just so marvelous in context of the landscape. With the abundance of rain early on, lots of hay is being baled so tractors are on the roads going to cut hay and trucks and trailers are filled with those big round bales. Don't mind this kind of traffic jam at all. I love seeing all of this and experiencing life so differently from any other time here on earth. The running conversations with the Lord seem more vibrant on the road than from a comfortable chair in the house or on the porch. Well, once again I digress but it was a good bunny trial. Think I will begin a new paragraph just cause this one is getting so long.

Strawberry Hill was busy but not so much as to be discouraged by so many people. The staff were putting out new buckets of strawberries when I arrived. The cucumbers looked good as well as the tomatoes. Peaches are on the scene now and the are the cling variety but I tried a new variety to me at least, of peach. It's good. All the tractors and farm equipment dotted the scene in a distance and even got to see up close and personal some of the biggest, takes almost both lanes wide farm apparatus.

On the drive home I considered a few detours but with fresh fruit and veggies, even in coolers, kept me on the straight and narrow of going home, with only a few drop offs of fruit to friends along the way. The backyard was buzzing with screen track and siding going up on the porch. Parking is a premium on the driveway... Only staying long enough to take care of the produce bounty and a little trip to the necessitarium.  Then off to Weaverville for banking and grocery shopping...with a little trip to Tractor Supply thrown in to check on birdseed. They were out of the kind the birds seem to like but told me to check back in today or tomorrow. Home again where I nearly went off the side of the driveway trying to back in around the trucks. I have never seen on the backup camera the whole car outlined in red and alarms going off. Shawn, the siding guy, was kind enough to straighten his truck so I could do the safe parking in front of our truck. Whew, adventure for sure.

Here we have arrived where the post began, talking about watering plants because that was the evening activity. It was a welcomed diversion when Inez dropped by for a few minutes of sitting in lawn chairs and visiting. I love how the colors in the garden change over the weeks as flowers bloom and then step to the side for the next round of color from other plants. At the front bird feeder I have seen gold finch, house wrens, blue birds (meal worms in the seed mix,) cardinals, indigo blue, mockingbirds and doves...oh yes and all the little birds, wrens and chickadees. Butterflies are showing up too especially since there are several new plants added this year to attract them. Yep, thankful, grateful and blessed...but now I needs to be about preparing a Sunday School lesson...just need to get it in written form.


Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Feral Cat Catch Up

We are following the advice of all the weather forecasters which is find a cool space and stay there. Some are heading up higher in the mountains to Mt Mitchell but today's cool spot is here at home where I am navigating several million loads of laundry...excuse the hyperbole. Maybe it is just thousands of loads of laundry. Also in my spare time I am scratching at my mosquito bites. Usually, I don't get bit often but I must be more sugary sweet than in years past. The heat is affecting the little troupe of ferals. They are looking for someplace cool and alternate from under the porch to the porch to under the front porch. I fed them this morning and Mr Meany took another swipe at me as I fixed the food. This time I shoved him back a little. He seems to be getting more aggressive which concerns me some. Mama Cat took him on in a minor scuff after his aggressive behavior toward me and it's not exactly like she is on my side, cause she has that mournful, pitiful, hungry face that greets us most mornings but when I come out to put their bowls in the back, she hisses. Oh the love of passive aggressive cats. Punky hisses too but only after the most pitiful and mournful cry. Strawyer, well, he keeps his meows short and sweet. Punky has regained her girlish figure which means she is very attractive to the males out back. One of them attempted a salacious rendezvous when she wasn't in the mood and pretty much made it a vain attempt as she wouldn't, as they say in the cat world, present. Punky looked up at me with eyes that spoke a general dissatisfaction with the attention when clearly all she wanted to do was take a nap and I told her every woman in the world has made that face at one time or another whether she be cat, dog, horse or human. I think the sadness that overtakes their eyes in the course of growing up makes me sad. You can tell when the spirit of a rambunctious kitten as been engulfed with the complexities of ♬ ah, ah, ah, ah...stayin' alive, stayin' alive.♪ The recent sighting of Camo yesterday confirmed she is still hanging in there. She lives up on the mountain, over by the church now, but drops in for food every now and again. A few minutes ago Punky sat on the porch with her back to me...she looks so much like Riley when I see her from the back. Yesterday, I had a brief thought concerning Riley that maybe someone over in the next holler past the ravine might have trapped her and might be giving her the good life. The chances of that are very slim, though. But until I know differently, there is that glimmer of hope.

With the heat the little ferals are interested in the garage. While it might feel cool in the mornings and evenings, it is hot as blue blazes in the middle of the day. Both Punky and Strawyer, together or alone, will migrate back to the corner where Riley migrated all those months ago. That corner is where Riley stayed for the first week in the garage only coming out for meals and treats and sometimes to let me pet and rub her head. Roy said maybe they smell her scent but from what I have read, after a series of days, cats will forget that familiar scent and it becomes a part of the unknown. The other draw besides the garage, is the front flowerbed. With it being newly mulched, there is fun galore, once again a good stripper name, as they chase each other, hunt and then potty in that expansive flowerbed. Play got so exuberant yesterday morning, that they knocked down one of the little chairs that holds flowers. Being too tired last night I waited till this morning to right the chair and do a little watering before the heat of the day. It makes the heat that much more bearable when there are cool mornings and not as hot evenings.

With work starting again on the back porch the ferals have sought shelter in other places. It looks like Strawyer is expanding his world and goes out a little farther and I wouldn't be surprised if he finds a territory to call his own. He is coming into his male-dom, so to speak. He has started to see that he can move Mama Cat from her bowl and just a few weeks ago she would have hissed and spat at him. He comes over, nudges her with his head as he eats and she moves to find the next bowl. Strawyer looks like he is biding his time in overtaking Mr Meany. He is big like his father, Dead Beat Dad but Strawyer has the sweetest personality. He is the only cat out of this bunch who has never hissed at me. He lets me get closer to him but never pet him. His little, short meow warms my heart. Punky whines and then hisses and whines some more. She has just about outgrown playing laser light on the porch and the timing is perfect with screens coming next. At dusk she is sitting out there waiting for that little red light. She doesn't chase it as much now but yet she is still mesmerized. I did think for a little bit last week that maybe her kittens were still alive...but I don't think they made it but wouldn't be surprised if I saw a little one. I do believe if given the chance Mr Meany would kill them. I think he got to Riley's kittens.

Camo made a brief appearance yesterday. She also worked over Mr Meany, so she has come up a few more notches. He was getting very aggressive toward her after being worked over and since it was so convenient to spray him with the water hose because I just happened to be watering flowers, I did. Cool his jets so to speak.

So, this is the feral/stray catch up.




Monday, May 27, 2019

All in All...A Good Time Was Had

Since last Friday we have been on the run with things to do and things to see. Yesterday, even with being on the go, we got a lot of things taken care of in anticipation of our porch being finished...Roy thinks it will be around Christmas...ha, I hope it is finished before July 4th. We are waiting on the siding to be installed. This process has taken longer than either of us anticipated and we had timed everything for this week for our part of the project. Yesterday afternoon and early evening we put together several items and now those items are in the house and all the cardboard and filler is in the trash or in the truck to go to the dump this morning. Mustang Sam has an appointment at the Ford dealership at noon and the A/C people will be here this afternoon doing the summer checkup.

Our area is getting ready for some of our warmest temps, even having the possibility for record breaking temps. Tuesday was really warm and with us going to Blowing Rock, GFM and Roan Mountain we both got a little to a lot of sun. Yesterday, the morning temps were cool and it was even cooler in SC which seemed kind of strange. As we worked on assemblage we had a great breeze that turned into a bit of wind as it turned to the early evening.

Roy finally got to go up to the Cataloochee. The road is winding, narrow and rough...oh and the view of the height of the mountain is breathtaking in more ways than one. Cuman and Inez took us up there and we had a delightful time. Butterflies were plenteous but the elk didn't show. That is such a majestic sight of all those elk but we will have to wait for another opportunity most likely in the fall. Cuman and Inez introduced us to a wonderful drive in/restaurant. The food was comfort food in the style of the 50's and 60's. We loved it! We plan to go back in the future.
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It's Monday and last week went by so quickly. It is a little quiet around the house this morning. Last week was a full, busy and fun week. We got a lot of stuff done and we got to do a lot of fun stuff. WNC has so much to see and to do and we haven't even scratched the surface. I will include TN in the mix too. We stopped at the TN welcome center a couple of Saturdays ago and the man working the desk was very helpful with some information about day trips in the eastern part of the state. We also rejoiced we were all brothers and sisters in Christ. That came up in the conversation about the two Presbyterian churches near The Farmer's Daughter that split in the 1800's over pastors being paid or not. The two churches are about fifty feet apart and they are still meeting separately.

The discovery of the Roan Mountain area has been an additional joy for our day trips. We found a great plant place and strawberry jam. It is only about 35 minutes from GFM makes it very appealing as well. It is such a beautiful area. Roy got to taste and see Ole Guacamole's in Johnson City while here. They were understaffed and over busy, the chili con queso was a little thin but he liked the food. We put together furniture and things for the eternally not finished back porch...no arguments. We  have a record going here people. We planted plants, we watered plants and discussed future plans...I mean plants. We ate out, we ate at home. We laughed and we had great conversations. Roy made the trip without too much upper respiratory stuff and hung on to go home with less coughing. This junk has been dogging him since Christmas. We had a very good time....longer than most days here but went by too quickly.




Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Few Days, A Few Thoughts

There are so many things that need to be done but yet, here I sit at the computer for just a few moments. It is almost like a vitamin taken daily for the time to be etched out for writing, whether it be blog or journal or otherwise.

Mother's Day was uneventful for me...none of the cats or birds wished me well, ha! Well, Buddy threw up and left me that gift but she has given that gift before. Most cats do. Thought ahead and had bought orange chicken on Friday for Sunday lunch. Sometimes in the days preceding Mother's Day, when wished to have a happy one, I just say thank you cause if I say, "I'm not a mom" it makes the person with the cheery greeting uncomfortable. It is not a hard day for me and it really never has been except for the first Mother's Day without my mom. It was an eventful Mother's Day because it was our new Pastor's first Sunday. He did well and covered all the Mother's Day bases. I think we are all excited to experience serving the Lord with our new pastor.

It is wonderful to see the sun and bright blue sky after a rainy and overcast weekend. We didn't get any measurable rain since Saturday until Sunday evening. A few good showers with a little thunder now and then. Two more plants that needed planting were put out in the backyard. Not too big and they draw hummingbirds. Finished that up, got the garbage down to the road and went around the block, well a rural block, to blow out the fruit flies...yes with produce stand season comes, fruit flies and stink bugs. Small price to pay for the glorious season of the stand. I had put the top down on Mustang Sam to take the bags down and timed everything just right cause there were a few droplets falling from the sky but it wasn't until pulling into the garage that the heavens opened and declared the glory of God.
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It is now Tuesday and the day started early. Well, the day actually blended in with the night because around 1:00 am something moved some lumber on the back porch that made a loud noise...so wide awake, a restless Buddy and hard to settle down....there wasn't a whole lot of sleeping going on. Today was that trip to Hendersonville to go to the Dr...not just any Dr but Andy Morris. It was a good appointment with everything looking good. He is going to schedule a scan, but I don't know what kind to check on the bone lesion the radiologist found last year. Had five different tests to rule things out last year and I have been feeling the best I have in a long time, it is just a safe and good thing to do.  Afterwards I thought about going to Strawberry Hill or Southern Chicks, but opted to celebrate with Jack in the Box tacos. Don't get them very often and they are just so good...even better, no spillage while eating them and driving. Made a quick stop at Biltmore Park and then on the way back home. Once Buddy was greeted, treated and released to the front porch, I took a very little nap. Then I began to do my work around here and plant the day lilies I picked up at Lowe's. So now the edge of the driveway has day lilies lining it. Yellow, orange, burgundy and a yellow/purple blend. They had roses on sale and finally saw the pink like we planted last year, so got that all ready to go.
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Yea, the crew is here working this morning. We know they have other projects going on but we haven't seen too much of them around here and being the plan ahead person, well I am a planner on this kind of stuff, the garage is getting a little more crowded with things for the back porch.

I feel like Paul in that Roy is bringing the books and parchments with him. Okay not parchments, but a couple of books that I can now use again, having the wonderful privilege of teaching Sunday School. He is also bringing a couple of items that I can't find around here but he has a plentiful treasure store to pick from, think taco seasoning Texas style.

Looks like the financial scandal in the Buncombe government is wrapping up. The beloved county manager and a few others had been skimming money by fraudulent means for several years. Mainly it was insurance fraud, illegal credit cards being issued and contractor kickbacks. Everything came to light when she unexpectedly retired in 2017. It was announced yesterday that an audit of 2018, costing around $340,000.00 showed no fraudulent activity. The audit improved procedures and the like bringing the county into the 21st century. It is interesting to read this because being married to a Certified Internal Auditor, who placed in the top five in the world the year he took the test and still holds the record of highest score in the Houston area, hearing from him over the years when something like this happens sticks with me and I find it so interesting. Not the numbers or math part but the mindset and plans that went into the deception. After she retired, she moved to TN but that wasn't far enough. The feds are involved and she entered to a plea agreement in January although she hasn't been sentenced yet. The county is trying to recover the fraudulently obtained money.   Roy and I met at Pennzoil and I worked in treasury, he worked in internal audit. He wrote me up that when I had finished running checks through the signature machine, I did not clean the signature plate once the job was finished. Anyone for a small period of time could use the residual ink to fraudulently sign a check....gee, never even thought about that. Unlike fouls in basketball, I was and still am a horrible basketball player, I didn't take the write up personally and we dated and then got married. Hmm...I wonder if that was an audit exception. There are so many practicalities to auditing more so than just numbers. I remember telling the minister I worked for, who was on the leadership team at church, that they shouldn't all ride together in the same car when they went out for their leadership meetings. One wreck could have erased the entire leadership of the church. He laughed at my suggestion but I thought dang, so many times churches want to use a business world of governance, when church governance rules didn't apply, why wouldn't they want to do what every big business in the world does...the top leadership of teams don't fly on the same plane or don't ride all together in the same car. The county manager had worked for the county since 1994 and had brought a lot of good to Buncombe but sadly, she brought the bad too... The cost of the audit is the talk of the news and Twitter last night and this morning but a lot of improved procedures came about with the cost and maybe that insures, at least for a while. Many are upset with the cost or the need of the audit but at least now they kind of know where they stand.

Ah, the sound of progress as the ceiling is being put in on the porch. Mr Meany was flirting with Buddy on the front porch, so I brought her inside. He is no good, Mr Meany.



Nancy's Monablog