Saturday, October 3, 2015

Friends Came to Town....Part 2

Well, tomorrow came and went and so did another day but not to despair I am up early on a Saturday morning. It is still dark outside and I have to admit I usually don't see this early of mornings but I had a very good reason to get up. Now, if I could only get going.

We are on the cusp of an epic rain event. So thankful that Joaquin took a jag to the east because I don't know how much more rain our area can take. Guess, we will find out today. These past few days have been gentle rain days with nothing extremely heavy. We are so thankful that we got those trees removed whose shadows ominously draped our home.  The rain is beginning to pick up a bit from the drizzle now to a shower. Thankful we still have power when many are losing theirs. This time next month the generator will be up and functional, so I won't need to consider power loss unless we are low on propane.

Let's see, I think I last left off telling about our trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We just about got to Mt Pisgah Inn but I turned too soon into a parking area for hiking. The weather was getting worse the higher up we went. More fog and rain. Since we only had about an hour or so of daylight left I made the decision to come on down from the mountain because on our return we would be on the side of the road where one could easily drive off the edge in the dark, rain and fog. On Monday we started in Waynesville and worked our way down 276 to Brevard and onto The Pretty Place.  It is a beautiful drive but a long one but it is always worth it to see The Pretty Place.  On the way back we punted our thought of a return to the Blue Ridge Parkway and instead stopped at the Mud Dabber Pottery Shop and then onto Brevard College where we saw several white squirrels. Peggy got some great shots with her camera.  We made a return to the Moose Cafe but our friend Robin wasn't working that night. Tuesday morning we out the door and on our way to GSP for them to catch their flight. We had a great time and these wonderful friends helped me so much around the house before leaving. Not only that but they showered me with lots of gifts and lunches.

Yesterday, Roy and I traded in our Camry and brought home Sequishawn the Tundra. We were told it would take 30 minutes top to take care of paperwork.  Ha ha, it is to laugh. Roy believed them, I did not. Our NC insurance agent dropped the ball on getting paperwork to the dealership. Also, Roy did not bring the title to the car with him. I asked him about that but he said we would not need a copy with us. Ha! It is to laugh once again. Anyway, it all worked out and we celebrated by eating lunch at the Moose Cafe. We spent the rest of the afternoon working around here. Roy installed a new shower head, I helped him clean the filter for the well...I had to go back to the wheat straw area and I was very careful with the stairs and the walk. I got as close to the crawl space as I ever want to get. Two difficult light bulb change outs and a few other things as we knocked out project after project. One project we didn't think about was Sequishawn fitting into the garage. He does, but we had to rearrange things to make that happen. It was for the good cause we got some things cleaned out and rearranged.

I better go watch the rain hit my window for a bit. Since we have not had a lot of rain since moving here it is getting used to the rain noises as well.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friends Came to Town

The mist from rain overhangs the mountains in a gray mystery. The fog doesn't encompass the usual close view of the barn, cows, trees and road. Yesterday morning the sun teased us a bit with a brief appearance, showing its rays and beams through the clouds, but it was just that, a tease, a glimmer.
We greeted the colors of the season through a filter of rain which made some lovely pictures. Nevertheless, we were not disheartened, we continued on our way with a slight adjustment here and there.

Peggy, Kathleen and Debbie arrived Thursday afternoon at GPS and they were a sight for sore eyes. I welcomed them with open arms and heart...and yes, an open back door to put away luggage. Our schedule open for discussion, time ready to be mapped out and the beautiful land of WNC to be seen and experienced. Our first stop was Sky Top Orchards. I think I was giddy with their arrival and they were still hopped up on travel because we bought way too much at Sky Top, but boy was it fun! They were able to explore the orchards for a bit and then we settled in for some apple related shopping, including one big ol' pumpkin. Since The Wrinkled Egg had also been such a hit when Vivian, Velda, Inez and I went, I felt it was the right thing to do to introduce my Houston friends to this treasure. Loved it and the store next door was open. It was closed when V, V and I went there. Girls, we need to make a return trip. All locally made jewelry, pens and other eclectic goodies. Onward to Moose Cafe where we met Robin, our server. Roy and I have had her before and he charmed her something good, cause she is a little rough around the edges. We had a great time visiting and laughing with her and when Peggy asked if she went to church, we got a comical answer that really isn't that funny when you realize she just threw out about three church words she knew in her explanation...she told us I love God and I worship the Bible. Maybe she just got the two words mixed but she went on to explain about her nephew she kept and he wasn't potty trained yet, three years old, but she was going to get there to church one day. Thankfully, Moose Cafe was a hit with the girls and we made our way back to our home in the mountains, in a valley, on a hill.

Friday was rainy Biltmore Day complete with a late lunch at the Stable Cafe. We went to Antler Hill Village where Peggy tried to persuade an off duty shuttle driver to take us all on a tour on the other side of the Estate...didn't matter that it was almost dark, but he wasn't even almost persuaded. He was a lot of fun. We visited the creamery and the shops and had a wonderful time.

Saturday, we drove out to The Farmer's Daughter, a hit, and then a quick walk through the Amish store. We then made our way to Marshall for the art fair on the island. Lots and lots of hippies but a few good finds. I know we did other stuff but I can't remember what we did or I have the days mixed up in my brain. I think we went to the Farmer's Market...and then drove around here to see some beautiful sights. We stopped at CVS to pick up a prescription for me and cold meds for Peggy and then drove across to the convenience market to pick up some chips for our dinner of Peach Salsa. On the way home Kathleen told me that a truck had been following us from the store. That happens a lot because the roads we were on are main connector roads, but when he turned off his lights to follow us for a while, we all got a little nervous. My plan was to drive to the fire station but we called Vivian and our super hero Bill and they told us to turn around and come to their house. Before we could turn around, the truck disappeared by turning off, but we went on to their house. We got the warmest welcome anyone who is frightened can receive, Bill outside with a huge spotlight and armed for the occasion. The silver lining was Debbie and Kathleen getting to meet Vivian. We had a wonderful time visiting and then we left to get home to eat our nutritious aforementioned dinner choice.  

Sunday, of course we went to SS and church. My friends loved my SS class and I think my SS class loved them right back. Our pastor is a huge fan of NASCAR and so is Debbie. Along with Inez they had some fun discussions about cars or racing or something. Church was good and then we came home changed clothes and went to Tommy's. It was wonderful and we got to meet the owner and Kathleen and Peggy charmed her with their recent visit to Greece. We stopped at Sanctuary of Stuff before going on to the Southern Art Guild Folk Art Center and our drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway.  I will stop here and continue with part 2 tomorrow.

I think Buddy is happy to have me to herself. She has successfully ignored me since I arrived home.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Now a Word From the Halt but Not The Lame

Good morning from your halt and lame person but so happy that I feel better than I did yesterday. My fragrance choice of the weekend were essential oils mixed with a hint of Icy Hot. Mmmm....divine fragrance that can't be beat. Thankfully, it is working and that will probably be the fragrance of Monday as well. The fragrance of 2015 with the oils and the fragrance of my athletic days all rolled into one.

It is an overcast morning, kind of rare here of late. It is cooler today but the look is a primer for the days ahead of fall and winter. Two of my favorite seasons. Fall just because you get to say autumnal more than usual and winter has its own beauty when the trees and vegetation are in dormancy. The view opens wider and more specifically when you are able to see through the trees to find details you have missed in spring in summer. In winter when we see color we focus on it in contrast to the gray surroundings. I love having a more intense vision of God's creation. It seems more personal and not as overwhelming as brilliant colors in varieties of green which of course is beautiful. Can you tell I am excited that this year I get to experience four distinct seasons! I am truly grateful for Roy's generosity and sacrifice to let me have this experience.

Last night I made the decision that pushing and placing a trash bin by the side of the road did not appeal at all to the halt and lame, So, trash bag city and two bags of recyclables were put into the car and I drove down to deposit said trash. The normally busy road was rather quiet and serene, so I didn't have rush and then hold onto the mailboxes as the cars and trucks rush by. The sky was brilliant with sun streaks beaming through the clouds, so it occurred to me that a drive along roads with a sunset view seemed to be in order. Oh my, it was a Psalm 8 kind of ride where you turn down the radio and take in the majesty and glory of the Lord.

It is now Tuesday evening and I have upgraded my condition to halt. I did get out today where as I stayed home all day yesterday taking care of little things that need to be done before friends come on Thursday. I have a couple of big things left to do but that can wait till tomorrow. I took some big boxes to the dump, picked up the mail and the mother lode of magazines that just arrived. Stopped in at WalMart and then had a late lunch at Tommy's. Since then I have returned home, fed the birds, watered the birds and kept an eye out for the black and white cat. I have also been working in the kitchen, not cooking, but rearranging things.

I am really tired because for two mornings in a row Buddy has been bright and chipper at 4:00 am. It takes me a while to go back to sleep and this morning I toyed with the idea of just getting up but hey I didn't want to set a precedent and Buddy start believing that this strategy of hers will work. She is not a big throw up cat like most but she did leave me a little gift this morning in the hallway.  That will wake one up wet gooey food. Oh Buddy is on the lookout for falling leaves now, She totally missed the bunny and then the squirrel drinking out of the bird bath.

There is so much more that I could blog about right now but work is calling me and I don't always respond to the call...but you know company is a coming.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

It Was.......

I'm kind of having a Dickensian moment this morning, feeling that it is the best of times and the worst of times. Best of times because LSU beat Auburn soundly yesterday and Ole Miss beat Alabama in the wee hours of the morning. I didn't stay up to watch all the game but I did check the score around 4:00 am when Buddy woke me up and neither one of us could get comfortable to go back to sleep. The worst of times happened last night as I was carrying some stuff out of the bonus room and tripped over the recumbent bike and I dropped, rolled, covered myself into the gray chair. Cue Carol King singing I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet.  You would think the chair would have cushioned my fall and it did somewhat. My shoulders, knees and left hip are really sore this morning. My toes and feet hurt from the fall as well. It hurts to sit for very long at a time thus I have decided not to go to church this morning. I feel like a truck ran over me and also have that hungover feeling. Sparkling water and Diet Coke were my drinks of choice last night. This week I have found myself in a catch 22 situation by feeling so much better my brain overrides my body and thinks I can do stuff like I always did...then reality hits, the ground and the chair. I do think I will make my after church Target run a little earlier than planned today. The heated seat in the car will feel oh so very good.

Friday night I wrestled with a fancy smancy heat lamp for the front porch. There was nothing at all simple about the assembly. Also the underneath part of the lamp's bottom had cracked in shipment which by the end of assembly, the sand to add weight to the lamp was all over the front porch. I am so glad I put the lamp together out there. I have a call into the manufacturer to see if I can get a replacement for the bottom of the lamp. At this point I do not want to un-assemble and ship it back.  My luck with online ordering of lamps has been abysmal thus no more ordering lamps online.

For the third day in a row I changed my original plans for the day and for three days I have been happy with those changes. Yesterday, afternoon I decided to get out for a bit and take a drive. Many times these drives are mainly to talk with the Lord about things I am puzzled with or having a lack of faith over. No, yesterday was just to get out and appreciate the beginning of the turning of the leaves. There is a fiery red hue throughout the landscape.  I took the river road to Marshall and then spent some time on the island just taking in the beauty and mountain sounds. Then, since I wasn't too sure about a back way home, I drove back on the river road over to Bear Creek road and drove to Redmon Baptist Church, took a few pictures and came back home for the second attempt at making cheese enchiladas like Tony's or Los Tios. The enchiladas were better but my chili gravy wasn't as good as my first try. So taking all that in stride, the third time has to be the charm.

The past mornings right before waking I have had two vivid dreams. They are probably all vivid but I don't remember them. But these dreams were rather close to the truth and came from the deep recesses. It's weird that long ago fears and difficult situations that haven't had a conscience thought in so long can come right back to the forefront of the mind. Both mornings someone on FB has quoted the Lamentations verse about God's mercies being new every morning. There is all kinds of junk on FB but I love how God can use anything to His glory. Both mornings that verse nipped my temptation to give more thought to the things in the dreams than they deserved. One dream was a dental dream. Ugh! The other had to do with a difficult person who has long been out of my life and no it wasn't my father. Oh my goodness, just read the verse on Twitter this morning. Guess, I need to meditate and take in all the richness of that verse.

Last week in Sunday School we talked about how God put us over the land and be good stewards of the land and animals. I feel like I have been living that out this week in keeping peace in the backyard. A black and white cat has showed up regularly looking for a bird in the thrill of the hunt. At first I thought maybe he was a stray but after trying to give it some food and it wasn't interested I realized it is probably a neighborhood cat doing what cats like to do. He is friendly enough to me. Comes up and greets me each time I see it outside. Sadly, he just has one eye that works. But, not thinking I am like God but my feelings toward the cat is, any chipmunk or squirrel is fair game but you must not eat of the birds. The cardinals are back with some of their young and there is also a young cardinal couple that has joined the lunch bunch here in the backyard. I just looked out the window and saw the biggest blue jay I have ever seen. Those birds are mean and maybe it has been sent for sentry duty here at the Ander House.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Another Fun Day in the Mountains

Things are quiet this morning. Buddy was a little rowdy this morning but of course now I am fully awake and she is blissfully napping in the sunny window. I woke up with a sore throat which is my immune systems way of telling me to take it easy. So, that is what I plan to do this morning which means I will try to finish up a few projects around here before even thinking about a couple of errands I need to run.

I had such a fun day with Vivian, Velda and Inez in East Flat Rock yesterday. Another great day of BBQ, shopping and apple orcharding. Last August I went to East Flat Rock to see the Carl Sandburg home but when I saw the sign leading up to the house, snakes live here...I turned around. My gimpy knee was acting worse than usual, so I didn't want to take any chances. I remember the scenery being so vibrant and all that came back to me yesterday as we pulled onto the back roads. We all agreed that it is a must re-visit and I think it will be a great place to take friends who come and visit. Only the apple orchards are open in the fall thus we wouldn't be getting any apple cider donuts, but that's okay. The Wrinkled Egg was such a fun place too. Great little shop with all kinds of things for all kinds of interests. Lots of neat jewelry, clothes, art, and of course my personal fav journals. I did buy a cute Wrinkled Egg t-shirt because I need another t-shirt. You know to go with the sweatshirt I bought last week...that I really needed.

Last evening the black and white cat was back seeking whom it could devour. He was hiding in the bushes and I thought, since noise doesn't scare him off, I will go outside and check it out. He came running to me and rubbed around my legs. I petted him and then turned to go back into the garage and he ran ahead of me. I did at least get a hold of him before he could find a hiding place in there. He let me carry him but he wasn't too happy about it. He felt so thin. I told Roy last night this might be the addition we need, an outdoor cat to keep the chipmunks at bay. If I see him again I might bring out some food but I am not going to get emotionally attached, famous last words of declaration. I think he is the neighbor's cat but I'm not too sure if he is or not. What got my attention to his presence last night was the sound of this; is what is sounds like when a dove flies...into a window.  Didn't kill it but it was rather stunned.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Last Step is a Dozy or Dooozy

I think over the years the cartoons I watched and loved as a child, Bugs Bunny etc, have scripted many an awkward moment and yesterday was not an exception. I had gone to Lowe's to pick up a few things and wandered through the garden dept. They have lots of trees and shrubs to be planted in the fall if so desired. As I contemplated what we could put along the property line in the backyard I came across wheat straw. Just what we needed to put in the corner part of the yard where the trees make it difficult for grass to grow, so thus the wheat straw covers the red dirt and makes for a better look. It comes in bales, so I bought two. Well, my plan of cutting the twine that held it together and spreading it over the area from the deck didn't work as planned since most of the wheat straw fell in a huge clump right by the deck. I carried what I had left in my hands and started down the stairs off the deck, but since I couldn't really see the steps I misjudged. There really was still a step to go and before I knew it I was falling. Old volleyball instincts kicked in and I landed in the best position possible. First thing I thought of after checking that everything was in working condition, I remembered the old Daffy Duck line, "watch that last step, it's a dozy." I figured while I was down there on the ground to distribute the wheat straw a little better then realized I should take it easy. Thus, I still have a bale to go. I did go down to the road to pick up the garbage can. And with that chore done, I rested for a bit and tried to work on homework. I have gotten so used to Community Bible Study style in homework that I am having a little difficulty keeping focused on the questions since there is so much reading in between the questions. I may resort to my old ways of hearing the teaching time but not doing homework. My ADD kicked in big time but I will give it a go again today.

So with all the cool temps it just seemed like Taco Soup weather. I picked up all the ingredients because you know I do not keep a stocked pantry. While checking out the bagger guy asked if I was making chili. Nope, taco soup. Neither he nor the checker out lady had ever heard of taco soup. It turned out pretty good for the first taco soup of the season. Love the fragrance of it in the house when it is simmering and feeling the cool breeze through the windows...that's what it is all about on cool nights.

I finished reading The Nazi Officers Wife last week. It is kind of out of my reading genre of the south but in context with my viewing of the American Hero Channel. It is the true story of a Jewish woman's survival of the Holocaust. One thing she said has not left my mind, but she talked about the lack of kindness during those times and when a kindness was extended, it was amplified in the noticing and not ever taken for granted.  Years later she read of the leaders fears of compassion being extended toward the Jews and trying to take every opportunity or feeling away so that people would be complacent and apathetic to kindness but strong in blind unity that the government was taking care of them, thus they could excuse, in their minds, the spin and propaganda that the Jewish people were the source of the country's problem. In her experiences and as she survives, she remembers the kindness extended to her and tries to extend those kindnesses back to those who helped her. I don't know but kindness many times is in short supply these days, probably most days. It's not the "topic or theme" of the church right now...telling our stories seems to be the fad. I'm just thankful we got past the Starbucks theme of church thinking and actions. Hopefully, kindness will make a comeback and not only kindness extended to those in other cities but to those in our own congregations.

The day awaits and I am already behind. I woke up in the middle of the night and decided to scrap the original plans for the day which involved a trip into Asheville. The day may hold a return to the backyard with the remaining wheat straw or it might not. I do know the day holds doing some laundry.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Didn't Blog But I Did Write

I took a long weekend off from blogging but I didn't take the weekend off from writing. The weekend unfolded so beautifully with wonderful finds both of the natural and of the spiritual. The weekend began with and continues in the feeling of fall. As I write the temps are in the 40's this morning. It is also very foggy and that is something else I learned about this weekend. You count the August morning fogs and that is how many snows you'll get in winter. It seems like we had a lot of foggy mornings. Note to self, count the August fogs next year. Also the color of woolly worms can tell you what kind of winter it will be this season. I don't know if I have seen a woolly worm or not but I am told they are everywhere in the fall. I better Google woolly worm.

Friday morning was hair cutting appointment day. I like the direction Christine is taking my hair but I need to tell her I do not like my bangs being this short. We were in the midst of conversation and I did not pay attention. On my last visit I gave her a Flow magazine. It is a magazine for paper lovers and I do love me some paper and cards. When I was at the bookstore I picked up two copies really not knowing why, but just followed that lead. I was hesitant to give it to Christine because along with paper and cards there are articles and this one leaned kind of heavy toward new age stuff but I gave it to her anyway trusting it would be okay. One of the first things she said to me was how much she loved the magazine and how she was using it to encourage her children. She asked me on this visit if I meditated and I was able to share with her that I did but not in the eastern religion way, but I meditate on God's Word. That opened the conversation up to tell her the Good News and by the length of our conversation and the depth, we will talk again. She is searching and she wants something or really the Someone for not only she and husband but her children. Thinking back I am so thankful that I didn't fly off the handle because of all the mess ups on their part when I first started going to the salon. It is hip and trendy and this little old lady who still owns her own hips and kind of know what is trendy now has a field white unto harvest in front of her. And if the price for her to coming to know Jesus is too short of bangs, then I happily sacrifice them for the sake of the Gospel but I will be ever vigilant on the next visit.

There was a little bit of time before La Cantina opened for lunch so I walked down to the Southern Art Craft Guild and did a little window shopping. Next door though was my haven...a t-shirt and hoodie store with all things Asheville. I may or may not have bought a sweatshirt while there because Lord knows, I need another sweatshirt. Since I didn't resist temptation in there I knew better than to go to the ultimate paper store nearby. After my delicious lunch I headed over to The Screened Porch to walk about and check things out. Again I had that inclination to go and I am so thrilled with what came home with me. There are several booths there that are just fabulous and attract me because I love me a good rustic metal look along with old wooden crates and such. There in that corner booth that holds a treasure trove of delightful rustic objects stood the table I knew would fit perfectly in the kitchen as an island. Old re-purposed wood and a galvanized metal top that is taller than a normal table and more square than rectangle.  The cost was fabulous too, $125.00. A couple of old hymnals came home too. It was a great day at The Screened Porch.

Since it was a beautiful day, I drove through the Biltmore Estate. The gardens are bursting with color and the summer crowds have dissipated and it is too early for the fall crowds to invade. I stopped in at the garden center and got some wonderful gardening/tree advice. While at the garden center, I got to meet the potter whose work is sold there at the Estate. She is married to a vice president at Biltmore and they live on the estate. She took some of the seeds from last years sunflowers and used them in her pottery. I bought several pieces as gifts although one piece may have to stay local. Word was the Mercantile in Antler Hill Village had a better selection, so I headed that way. The drive home was so peaceful and the table wasn't too hard to maneuver by myself into the kitchen and it looks like it belongs here.

Saturday morning the Women's Ministry had Breakfast on the Porch. There was a good turn out even on a Beth Moore simulcast Saturday.  Lois has a huge front porch with gorgeous views. Her road is right behind the camel and bison farm that is so fun to drive by. She said that one morning her neighbor had a camel coming up her driveway. The food was delicious and we all had a great time sitting on the porch laughing and talking. There really is something redemptive about porch sitting whether it be alone or with others. When I got home I made the executive decision to drive over to Waynesville, stop at Barbers Orchard, go to Robin Blu and to try out Haywood Smokehouse which advertises Texas Brisket. They did not disappoint. I love pulled pork BBQ but sometimes you just need what you were raised on. I got to enjoy a second brisket lunch yesterday eating my leftovers after church.

For the second week in a row Sunday School quarterly blowing me away.

Last night after returning home from choir I just sat here overwhelmed, in the good way, by the kindness of goodness of God to me. I am blessed! It is good to have long time friends, notice I didn't say old, and it is good to have new friends that feel like long time friends. In just a short while I will get to introduce long time friends to new friends and vice versa. I am blessed with friends who text you out of the blue just to tell you that they miss you and then you get to have a great text message visit, thank you CourtneyS. I love God's timing last week with Peggy. The trifecta texting with Lisa P as she is in Cali for a WOF event and time with friends...and of course I had to text her I Love the Lord photo from the radio. We do but I love that song! Now just looking forward to the 21st day of September...cause do you remember?

Nancy's Monablog