Monday, September 29, 2014

Starting Out on a Monday

Today's must be done?  Well, it would be doing the CBS homework for discussion on Wednesday but I haven't been totally inactive on it, I have read Luke 2 several times this weekend in preparation to answer the questions.  This morning while reading the chapter again, something wonderful jumped out at me.  No not Buddy, well yes Buddy, but she is not what I am talking about.  I never noticed that  when the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds, that the sign for them to know they had found the Messiah was so simple yet unknowingly to them and for all the world, so profound.  You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.  From God's view, this is a huge sign, His only Son, come to earth to redeem us but a sign simple enough for the shepherds to see and share with others.  Sometimes when we see something so unbelievable we start to question and doubt, did we really see that?  But a baby in a doubts, no questions...just the good news that God had come down to dwell with mankind and not only to dwell but to save and redeem.  I loved that Mary treasured and pondered these things and thought of them often and our commentary suggests that Luke "interviewed" her before writing his account.  He got the scoop on Mary's heart and emotions on the birth of Jesus and he gives us that insight that the other Gospel writers didn't.

Yesterday, it was fabulous and fun.  Love the multi-gen Sunday's.  How special it is to worship God with the worship leaders being children, youth and adults.  Wow!  And we heard a powerful sermon from Pastor Gregg as we begin chapter 2 of Ephesians.  Since Roy stayed home to finish up our taxes, I texted Dena on Saturday to see if she wanted to go out to lunch after church and it all turned out so well that we had a Sunday where we could ride into church together.  That meant I would stay for Life Bible Study, which is has become not the usual for Roy and me.  I haven't been in Dayspring since maybe January or February.  Being out of class for that long one sees unfamiliar faces but yet you get caught up with those familiar to you, your longtime classmates and friends.  With the good comes the indifferent sometimes and I was reminded yesterday afresh why I had to drop off from attending Sunday School.  Nevertheless, it was a good lesson.  Next stop Molina's.  Love their salsa! I have been craving really good Tex Mex and Molina's fills the bill.  We had a great server and even got to sit at the table we like...and we spent lunch laughing and catching up.  Next stop, The Amish Craftsman.  While it is a little too soon to officially place my order, I wanted to get it all sorted through so that when we know the scheduling of moving some of our furniture, the timing of the things we ordered from them coincides with the mover's schedule.  Our last stop of the day before returning to Rancho De Five, The Fresh Market.  Love, love, love that store!  I'm thrilled that The Fresh Market's beginnings are in North Carolina and there is a Fresh Market not too far away from our new home.

On our trip in August, I bought a few books, surprise, in Blue Ridge, GA.  This weekend I began skimming one of the books, Creative is a Verb.  She has great pictures and great quotes.  I love me some quotes!  The author goes a little deeper in thought than most books in this genre.  Her thoughts on Yes or No, Not I'll Try.  I don't believe this woman is a believer but she writes beautifully on landing on and living in the land of I'll try, how living in that area steals away so much joy and living from us.  Then this morning I read Leadership Freak's article on Nuke Plan "B" and it reinforced the ideas from the book.  I need to give some attention to this and do a little more research.  It is very easy for me to say no and I have been learning to say yes to more things, but am I lying to myself and keeping away from adventure by resorting to the I'll try way of living?  Or the we will see or the let me think about it way of thinking.

I had a really nice surprise waiting for me on my phone.  The pastor from the church we attended in NC called and left us such an uplifting message.  I love the personal touch we have experienced as we have visited there.  They are doing an outstanding job of ministering to young families with children and the fruit of their love is a children's ministry running out of room.  This is a rural church in the land of Baptist churches on just about every corner and by way.  On a smaller scale it reminds me of the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace we experience in our services at First.  I love how First is reaching out to major unchurched cities, but there is such a need for partnership in rural communities where funds are limited but the spirit and the body are so willing to do the work.   Before going for my month sabbatical from Houston heat, I made a list of churches to visit in the area.  If they had a website, more than WMU for women's ministry and a heart for the lost, those churches were put on the short list...I never went past my first choice once I got there.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

On My Mind

Having a lazy Saturday is always welcomed.  Roy went to Bible study this morning and then ran to the grocery store for a few things.  Meanwhile at home I was doing laundry and going through drawers gathering clothes to take to KCM.  As the summer season ends, those clothes that I didn't wear or give a thought to go out the door.  There is a little more incentive this season because of the whole NC home thing.  As we decide what furniture will be moved up there and as we consider where it will be used, that helps the motivation to sort and send.  Seems to be on my mind a lot...what will be moved.

As dear readers of Monablog know, I am not a craft type person.  I do my artful journalling thing but I don't consider it a craft and besides I'm not good at it anyway.  So I picked up a magazine on my trip that has a craft thing that seems simple enough, simple enough even for this all thumbs person.  We were heading over to Hobby Lobby to have a couple of prints framed, so we picked up a new glue gun and a hole punch while we were there.  Then we made a trip over to Katy Hardware to get the other supplies.  I loved that Roy took the magazine in with us and read each item to the man that was helping us.  The man helping was an older gentleman and he was curious what I needed welding rods for, so we showed him the magazine.   As we finished picking up the last few items Roy read the last item on the list.  He asked, where do you keep your twill ribbon.  Both were a little puzzled thinking ah is that in plumbing or what?  I told them, I will find that at a fabric store or Hobby Lobby.  It must have been a slow afternoon there because the staff wanted to see and hear about everything.  Roy and I went to Junk Street Market and KT Antiques while we were that close by.

The birds seem rather pleased to have the person home that keeps the feeder filled.  We even have a blue jay hanging out with the doves and mockingbirds.  Yep, another bully at the feeder.  Some of these doves have been a little aggressive.  The mockingbirds were putting on an aerial show this morning which was quite enjoyable to watch while drinking coffee.

Roy is slowly but surely going through all the paperwork that has been requested.  We just have a couple of more things to send in on Monday.  We have our insurance squared away now after having to change to State Farm.  We couldn't find any Farmer's Insurance agents in the area.   The seller and I have had some lovely email conversations this week.  She is generously leaving us some of her things and she has also given us an opportunity to purchase several of her things.  We have discovered our mutual taste in artists from the area.   She also told me about the bison and camel farm on Ridgeview Road.  The view from that road is spectacular....and we have been too busy looking at the mountains to notice the 15 camels and 230 bison.   She also told me about a donkey farm in the area.  Lots and lots to take pictures of.

After lunch yesterday we headed over to Lowe's to pick up some paint cards.  We want to have the bonus room painted a soft gray and we also wanted to compare yellows for the other rooms in case we need to do more than just touch up.  Roy and I say we have North Carolina on the mind when we make a mistake or forget something.  

After the Thursday box debacle and beating myself up over taking the sentimental bait, I am doing much better.  I did the whole Biblical thing like David did and I encouraged myself in The Lord.  Again it wasn't anger at my father but anger at me for being blindsided.  So thankful that God is a loving Heavenly Father.   I have a feeling that some of those boxes had never been unpacked after my parents moved back from Georgetown.  The boxes were so old and many had been used by us when we moved into the condo in 1993.

Tonight I can't help but have the goodness and kindness of God on my mind.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Isn't That Great!

When I remember my mom, I recall so many happy and good times.  She was a baker and giver of cakes, breads, and cookies.  She was known and loved for cards she sent, buying them long before a celebration happened.  Her gardens, flowers and yards felt just like a park.  A sense of calm reigned in her peaceful landscaping.  My mom had a natural sense of humor and a spark of whimsy.  I loved her creations that she sewed together to make nonsensical hearts or dolls.  She made Tiff, our dog, beautiful coats to keep her warm on her winter walks.  Tiff loved those coats and didn't want me to take them off of her when we came back in from a brisk, cold walk outdoors.   She was a quiet woman, with a gentle spirit.  She loved us and found the way to love us like she wanted to without drawing the attention or ire of my father too many times, because he didn't want her attention to be drawn to anyone else but him.  In her life she had given me her love and anything else she had to give materially wasn't a great concern to me because she had given and loved us to the best of her ability in a horrible situation and when she was caught or suspected of treating me like a beloved child, she incurred the attention of a cold hearted, mean spirited man.

So then came the boxes.  The first I heard of these boxes was from Roy who had been left a phone message from my father and maybe then contacted by my brother.  I could not imagine what these boxes would contain because when my parents moved to Georgetown, I had gone through all my childhood boxes and discarded or given away most everything.  After my mother passed away and when my father was still talking to me, he had given me "her things and her treasured possessions."  He had gone through her closet and drawers and in two weeks after her death everything was gone to Salvation Army So, I was puzzled at the contents of 6-8 boxes...for me.  Roy and I talked about them, the logistics of getting them, the emotional toll, the danger of them and came to the conclusion, we didn't want them.  He could give them to Salvation Army like he threatened.  And I thought, that is that.  Until a couple of weeks ago when the last person in my father's posse volunteered to deliver them to me.  We met yesterday at West Oaks Mall.  The thought crossed my mind, will we attract attention with moving boxes from a BMW into Sequishia?   Apparently not because I saw two other instances of boxes being moved from car to car in the parking lot.

So the boxes came home and oh the memories these boxes contain....a nylon belt/clasp from a camera bag, a blue belt, packages of elastic, Velcro, knee patches for worn out jeans, used up Glade candles, batting for quilts, pieces of felt, and embroidery thread that disintegrated by being touched.  Oh but there is more memories in those eight boxes, florist vases, Christmas seals from 2005, Christmas gift tags, gift bags, a pillow with all the stuffing coming out, empty jewelry boxes with the cotton torn apart, a large piece of coarse  fabric, a pin cushion, and an old trim line phone with the ear piece crusted over in ear wax. Oh the joy and happiness that I felt going through the boxes and dumping everything straight into the trash can.  Bug infested tablecloths and napkins and Christmas mugs encrusted with bug feces...all into the trash.  Cards sent by us and Doug's family....thrown away...they gone.  And who couldn't use another tote bag from trade shows?  Well, me...disposed of.  Most everything in those boxes that made the long journey to our home, had a short journey into the garbage can.  Three pound weights and wrist sweatbands...boom!  Gone!  At the end all that remains with me is, copies of birth certificates, immunization records, my mother's SS card, their wedding license, my mother's baptism certificate,a few pictures, three Christmas glasses, two salad bowls, and a swan planter in a pear tree.  I saved for Erin the Barbie bed made by my mom complete with comforter, sheets, pillows and cardboard constructed bed frame and for my brother, his boy doll from Aunt Goldie and a stuffed animal from childhood.

Now you might be asking, why did you accept the boxes?  Well, my father's friend mentioned the decorative plates that had been my Grandma B's and had been passed down to my mom and promised to me.  My father told her they were in the boxes. Just these plates from the dime store that my grandmother had worked at, bringing home a little bit of extra money for the family in bleak times.  Her splurge was to buy a nickel or dime priced plate every month.  I think my mother liked them because it was a bright and treasured memory of her mother trying to do something special for her much loved only daughter.  That was the hook.  I had forgotten about those plates that graced the walls in my parent's home.  And there you have it, I took the bait.  The only possessions that would entice my interest.

Yesterday afternoon, it broke me.  These boxes along with the conversations in the past weeks with this friend of my father's, who told me things I already knew and heard from my father.  But, it was the cold blooded way he told this friend, how he had connived, planned and put into motion his plan to kill my spirit and ruin me for anything else but to be of service to him.  This plan went into place when I turned five.  I cried and I was angry yesterday.  Not angry at my father because he is being consistent in who he has been and ever more will continue to be.  I am angry at myself for being swayed by those plates...plates I haven't seen in years, plates I had not remembered in the recent past and that had been promised to me by my mother.  Those boxes full of trash, leftovers and unwanted things are just a reminder that this has been and ever more continue to be my father's heart toward me.  I have pretty much insulated myself from experiencing those reminders throughout the years but I walked right into the trap set for me.  I'm thinking of so many Psalms written by David concerning Saul's deadly intent and pursuit of him and finding great comfort and solace in God's Word.

Today, I am experiencing those compassions and new mercies that are new every morning.  I am grateful and thankful for a wonderful, loving husband and he even brought me home a piece of coconut cake to cheer me up last night.  I am grateful for encouraging friends who have spoken words of healing into my life in the past but most especially yesterday.  Dang it, we will have a beautiful home in God's country!  I'm going to go all Ellie Mae Clampett on you and say Whooooo Doggies!  The Lord is good!!!  He restores the years that the locust devoured.  He restores my soul.  In spite of my earthly father and in spite of all the years it took for me to finally trust Him as  a good Father, God is more than enough and better than any earthly father, even those really good earthly fathers.  I will ever be grateful and thankful for Cheryl Simmons, the best therapist ever, who taught me the ways and tools to stay out of the pit.  She saved my life!

One of the best things that Cheryl ever taught me was, "Isn't that great!" as a response to irrational and angry accusations...I was remiss in remembering to use that phrase....

Others-we have boxes for you from your father.

Me- Isn't that great that he has boxed everything up?  Isn't that great it is all ready to go to Salvation Army?

There will not be a next time, but I will remember next time.  Isn't that great!  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

From Sunrise to Sunrise

This morning's sunrise has been absolutely beautiful!  All the clouds, pink tint and of course the big yellow ball itself fills one with awe over the handiwork of the Creator.  It was enjoyable to sit here and watch the sky change minute to minute, from glory to glory.

I had the strangest experience yesterday...  No really, not hyperbole.  I met with one of the designers that helped me with our little house on the prairie.  We were discussing what compasses a farmhouse look that is modern and not too camp in the way of furnishings and art.  She brought up the picture that I wrote about last year and if I labeled my posts, I could pull up a link but since I don't you'll just have to believe me.  I never really liked the picture and even after hanging it sideways, which I liked better, it went bye bye to another home, sold in last year's garage sale.   She asked me why I didn't like it....and this is where the strange experience I began to answer her, a picture flashed in my brain...a from my growing up had some of the same elements to the one I had never liked...only the one we had was abstract, my parents picture hadn't anything abstract about it.  In that flash, I knew why but wasn't going to say it out loud but some of my darkest days took place in the room where that picture was.  I have not ever, even one time, ever in my adult, move away from home life, ever thought about that picture...and there was that momentary flash revealing the deep, reason I had never liked that picture bought for our living room.  It felt like one of those TV montages.

This morning I had a check up with Dr. Carol Geer, my dentist.  All is well and that is swell.  We are at a good stopping point until next year.  Several months ago we had discussed going on ahead with some procedures, but my mouth and wallet say thank you for the break.

It is a good, no, great thing that Roy keeps up with the paperwork around here.  We are slowly but surely sending in all the stuff requested and he takes it all in stride while I freak out a bit.

Twenty four hours later and I find myself watching the beginning of the sunrise. The hue is bluer than yesterday with pink splashed all across the eastern sky.  The clouds are in layers making the view of them just that much more delightful to watch the minute by minute change. It is an early morning, with lots to do today.  Sitting here this morning with my mind filled with so much and my heart filled even more with gratefulness to God.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This Is the Time Mary and Zechariah Must Sing....and me Too!

My mother wasn't a fan of musicals or musical theater.  I heard her say so many times, they are telling a perfectly good story and then someone has to go and ruin it all by singing and telling us the same thing but now musically.  Oklahoma was her least favorite musical and I liked to sing songs from it to aggravate and tease her.  Hmm..., maybe it wasn't the musical but my singing.  This weekend while doing Luke homework I discovered maybe for the first time that musicals are Biblically based since Elizabeth and Mary are talking and then filled with so much gladness, Mary bursts into song.  The other new thing is that most would have looked at Elizabeth's pregnancy as the true miracle, being old and what not...and it was a miracle but the birth of a Savior, to a young virgin girl is the greatest miracle and gift, even though through natural eyes Mary's pregnancy looks to be more like a disgrace.  Don't you know all the gossips at church were having a hey day talking about Elizabeth and Mary, of course disguised as a prayer request.  There is usually one in every temple or church group that wants to be the ONE in the know and that person usually is the dispenser of news, both good and gossip.   They are the ones that tell you something that was told to them in confidence and then says after disclosure, I am sure_____________ wouldn't mind you knowing.   Uh, if they didn't mind me knowing, they would have told me....duh!!!!  The value of having someone in your life that does that is for those occasions when you want to get some news out but don't feel like making a million phone calls, texts or you tell this person and they will single handily do the work for you.  But ALWAYS remember, do not disclose anything you want held in confidence.

We got the appraisal report back today and it's all looking good.  Roy and I have been discussing the pros and cons of keeping this house.  We are going to give it at least a year to see how much time I will really spend in Rancho De Five verses NC before making a decision.  Roy is working on the spread sheets to compare apartment living close to the office verses what expenses we have here.  We were happy to have paid off this house in April of this year.  At the time Roy felt the urging of the HS to pay off our house about a year ago, we naturally thought of all the negatives that could happen instead of a blessing while we paid it down.  So Roy will be comparing house expenses verses rent and general expenses.  He thinks we could save about $500.00 doing this.  Although I don't know if he factored in SW flights.  He said spread sheet and I happily went about thinking of fun stuff and nodding every so often and saying, uh huh, yes, oh sounds good.  So now I am rethinking furniture and actually thinking now of moving more furniture from here to there, especially the pieces from Amish Craftsman.   It will also depend on getting a generator up there.  Roy will be in NC a lot, for which I am thankful for but  I am torn of course because I love and will miss so many friends but hopefully, friends will be enticed to come up and see me sometime.    Moving also puts distance between my father and his false accusations and us which is a huge positive. Distance won't be a factor of being involved at a church.  Oh, a negative, I will miss, MISS choir, even though I haven't been able health-wise to participate in quite a while.  Since we will be on the east coast, when the webcast starts we will be in Sunday School.  Guess I will have to do long term what I did the month I was the choir and orchestra CD's over and over and over again and hope for more serving in three services on Sunday kinds of days.  Of course all of this is in the think through stage and we aren't rushing a decision.

As I continued with my homework I now know that Zechariah also bursts forth into song after saying a few words from his angel imposed silence.  Really, when it gets down to it, you can't help but burst into song when you give thanks and recount the blessings and promises of God.  Why, I feel like breaking into song right now....Aren't you glad this isn't a podcast?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

We're Having Fun

There isn't a shortage of old barns in the area where our home is located, and for that matter there is not shortage of Baptist Churches either.  I think Roy grew a little weary from me asking him to take more pictures of barns and churches.  Guess it is all that long ago training of bringing the tithes to the storehouse and also bringing your first fruits.  Although, I don't think I have ever seen anyone bring their first fruits or first born livestock to church...guess that's why there are barns and churches.  When I was a child I misunderstood the term tithes.  I thought the preacher was saying ties.  I was a little confused why the church needed so many ties and I knew my mom didn't own ties, so how could she give?  What the heck, how could I give?

All our inspections have taken place and all the results are good.  So thankful for that.  There are a few things that need to be addressed but nothing major.  This past week we have been discussing our strategy.  We have discussed waiting until March to begin any major work because I am not a fan of the kitchen tile and we have thought about replacing the living room and kitchen's flooring with hardwood that matches the rest of the downstairs.  New to the discussion is not addressing these things right now and look more toward getting our home furnished and ready.  This house does not have the backup propane forced air heater in case of loss of power, so we are looking into having a propane generator and converting the wood fireplace into a gas log fireplace...of course being from Texas, we think natural gas but it would be propane.  It's a new learning curve.  We have gone and looked at several options we are considering for the bonus room.  I like the bright and sunny feeling of the yellow throughout the house, so we will definitely be keeping that but we are considering the bonus room to be done in hues of grays and blues since that is going to be Roy's man cave.  Today I ordered dishes which is nothing new, but ordered more of  the same pattern we use here but I am kind of fond of it.  Some of the bedding has been ordered and some of it has already been delivered.  I'm keeping everything unopened so things will travel better when we go up that way.

Last night as we came home from having dinner with Emily and David, Roy said...can you believe it?  We are buying a house in NC!  I don't think either of us even ever thought we would be doing this at our age but it is doing things like this that keep you young and on your toes.  Using a lot of brain power to think and rethink decisions and we are having a lot of fun doing this.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting All Kind of Weird Up in Here

It is really all about the weirdness right now.  Well, today at least.  One, I am an idiot when it comes to things like smart phones and the like.  I could not understand why in the world, even with my ringer on, calls were not coming through.  This has been going on since returning home.  Yet, I could not understand what the little half moon thing was on the top of my screen along with battery etc...  So, I began to search my settings and yes, the little half moon thing means I have Do Not Disturb turned on.  I used it in NC because I kept my phone by the bed at night and not wanting to hear the vibration if an email or text came through, I put the silence thing on...only I didn't read that when you do that, nothing comes through when your phone is locked.  Ah yes, Sherlock...thus the name for the setting, Do Not Disturb.  I am now getting disturbed, by turning off the feature, not me personally.

Today at the Kroger it must have been take your spouse to the grocery store and argue in public day. The older couple that pretty much had the banana section on lock down while the clerk restocked bananas were downright funny in their fighting words to one another.  Their goal, was to use their basket and their wide, wide bodies to blockade anyone else from getting near the bananas.  While they stood guard, they were a fussing and a fighting and a feuding with one another....just then an older lady made a move toward the bananas and she was rebuffed...rebuffed I tells ya.  They told her they were there first and no one, NO ONE was getting first choice of the newly displayed bananas before them.  It is then when I decided to make my stealth move to procure a couple of bananas on their watch.  They did not factor in someone with long arms who could reach from behind and pick up a bunch.of bananas.  Thus, I made my move, looked them right in the eyes and said, 'yonk!'  Oh the mister was mad and he reproved his wife because I got a bunch on her side of the perimeter.  I moved on over to the salad section, with the gentleman in pursuit of me...and when I turned around I kindly told him to look, there was a breach in sector 11 and his right flank was exposed.  He looked down at his too short of not down there, thank goodness, no people are free to pick bananas when you abandoned your post.  He waddled back over, but it was too late...he and the wife did not get first pick.

The coffee aisle was a war zone of words as well.  People, please have your choice of flavored coffees discussed with your spouse before getting to the store.  When one spouse is tired of French Vanilla don't throw the coffee so hard into your cart.  I saw several other instances of husband/wife grocery store upheaval on other aisles and in other sections of the store.

With all this discord in the air, that's what must have made me nervous.  Yes, there on the water aisle I accidentally knocked a bottle of sparkling water off the shelf.  It clipped the edge of the shelving on the way to the floor which meant, the cap was partially cut off and when the bottle hit the floor, it was as if a fountain was flowing as the water shot up into the air.  It was all over the floor and all over me.  I went to look for someone to tell and the assistant manager just happened to be walking by.  I told her what happened and the mess I had made.  We walked over to a register where she promptly got on the microphone asking Richard to come with a mop to the water aisle.  I begged her to let me get on the mic and say we need a cleanup on aisle 3, clean up on aisle 3.  She told me I wasn't authorized and the water was not on aisle 3.  She smiled but I think she was ready for me to complete my purchases and leave the store without anymore incidents.  Jokingly I told her I was going to go over to the glassware/house-ware  section of the store.  A nervous tick motion seemed to take over one eye and that's when I made her day...I told her, I will pay for my groceries and maybe I should go do some 'damage' at HEB.  A huge smile and laugh overtook the nervous tick of her eye.

I had a momentary flashback of Murray's Grocery Store just across from my dorm at SWTSU.  Ma and Pa Murray ran the store and they were all kind of fun to aggravate.  Oh to hear, price check at register 2 once again from Ma Murray.

It was an all kind of weird day.

Nancy's Monablog