Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Snow Is Falling, It's Not Sticking...It Is The First Full Day of Spring

It was a surreal moment today while snow flakes fell, huge flakes and when I got out of my truck at the grocery store, the fragrance of fresh cut grass came across me like a summer day, only it is the second day of spring and it is times a lot. Up until an hour ago, it wasn't sticking but it began to fall fast and furious so that accumulation took place. At that same precise moment of accumulation, I am talking with the hospital squaring everything away for my CAT Scan tomorrow. I liked the people I talked with today better than yesterday and I got better answers to my questions, although I did ask the stupid question yesterday so that might have tainted the responses I received.

The day began with no snow...then a little bit and since it was above freezing it felt relatively safe to drive over to Biltmore Village for a color and cut. Those white flakes came at the cars and trucks on the road exuberantly searching for a destination to land and melt. Although Biltmore Village had less traffic and people I kept my promise to Roy to park in the paid lot as not to encounter a rouge utility pole looking for a truck to scrape. On the way in Christine texted that she wouldn't be in the salon until 10:15 and that was fine with me because that gave the unexpected opportunity to have breakfast at Corner Kitchen. Finished up with the hair stuff and did a drive-by at the hospital to find where in the heck I was going tomorrow. Wasn't too sure at the time but the scheduler I talked with today gave some better visual information that helped me know just exactly where I need to be. In this phase of all the construction going on over there valet parking is free but truthfully, I would pay cause valet is the way to go...for sure!

So as earlier written I stopped at the grocery store on the way home, not for bread and milk...but for something a little sweet. The best thing to get for snow is a donut or two that way you have the knowledge that if you begin to crave something sweet, you have a donut and if you don't eat it, then you haven't wasted a lot of money. A fellow sojourner was there at the bakery case and we helped one another by holding open the glass door. She was heading back to the Starbucks line and I finished shopping. Other than cat food the rest of the purchases looked like I was feeding college students, pop corn, iced tea, blood orange Diet Coke...that is kind of like have a donut in the house...more for head knowledge than actual eating or drinking. The best purchase while Lisa was here, cheese straws from the Biltmore. They are very tasty.

And now another weather update, the sun is out, snow has slowed and it is not sticking again. And just like that it is overcast and looks like snow fog in the front and the snow at times falls like rain. At times it whirls about like a tornado. It has been an interesting afternoon's observation.

When I got home with the snow swirling about I checked on the food supply for the Feral Fam who after a day away are back...because it is cold outside. Fed them and the birds before leaving this morning and all the bowls were just about empty. Saw a little bit of Cali's back leg so being the kind compassionate care giver to them, I just about gave them room service by placing two bowls of food nearly under the house. If they do get out to the deck they have a picnic blanket to stand on while eating and it is under the little bit of coverage we have back there. Meanwhile at the bird feeder a small female gold finch kept bigger cardinals and mockingbirds at bay while she ate. That was a funny site to see. 

This morning as I walked over to Corner Kitchen I was thankful for so many things. The sidewalks are brick and mortar and uneven and sometimes hard to maneuver but I was so thankful for good knees and a better sense of balance while traversing the route to breakfast. This afternoon I decided to look at the patient portal and see the results of lab work and tests and the like...not too bad, could be better but since Taylor and I have been doing so much work on my left side strength wise, I wonder if some of those last year tests would be different now. Well, in preparation for tomorrow, holding a good thought that I'll be able to make it, I am drinking Topo Chico. I have had one punch jab these last few weeks for blood work and hope it is due to all the water I've been drinking and the minerals in Topo Chico.

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Statements To Mission and Mission Impossible

I joke often when the WiFi is spotty that the squirrels aren't spinning the wheel fast enough. Roy put in a booster for the WiFi and with that coverage has been better. Yesterday was the exception as I received a text from Brenda that was clearly written the night before and it came in around noon. Surely she would not be wishing me a good night that early. When I arrived home there was a message on the home phone that had been left on Sunday evening from Mission Hospital concerning my CTA appointment, which the cardiologist office told me was on the 26th but Mission was saying the appointment is on the 22nd. So strange because I checked my messages Sunday night and none had been received and I get email notification of home messages and had not received anything on that. That email will probably arrive today around 4:00.  This morning I called the radiology number and they confirmed yes, the appointment is on the 22nd. I asked a stupid question and brought myself up on continuing that line of questioning because of a discussion we had in Sunday School...I think this discussion came on the heels of prayer requests and not in our discussion on the second chapter of James. Several mentioned some of the questions that are now asked on forms at doctor offices and hospitals. Someone said be careful how you answer these because it will be used against you later. So I didn't want on my permanent medical record that I asked a stupid question and continued doing so on March 20th, the first day of spring...although technically, it won't be spring until 12:15. Just thinking about that reminded me of those long ago back in the day performance reviews at church. They asked about strengths and weaknesses. Roy told me never give them the ammo they need to fire or let you go on those weakness questions. So I would answer them like, "my weakness is that I forget my husband is not employed by the church and usually ask him to help me with events. My weakness is I bring work home with me when I should be spending time with my family. You can use those for your next review.

When Lisa was here we made a quick trip to The Fresh Market, home of gaunt older white women from Florida or New York who think that looking like a skeleton is attractive. Yesterday, it was all I could do to stifle a laugh thinking about our experience the week before in the parking lot. With a big truck and the memory of scraping the side of SequishShawn on a utility pole, my mission is to park where I can pull out with the least amount of hassle. I'm heading for the back row. At the same time there was a lady in an Explorer who was waiting for the optimum parking spot for her, close to the entrance. She waited patiently or maybe she just waited for the couple to load groceries in the trunk and head on out. Meanwhile I have backed into my parking spot and Lisa says, I wonder why that lady in the Explorer is opening her door? Timing is everything, so I looked over at the right time to catch the lady hacking up a loogie and spitting. Argh! It looked like an oyster. I feel like I need to be truthful and report she was not a gaunt older woman, she was older but not gaunt and she could spit like a sailor.

So after all the "will" talk on Sunday and my unrealistic fear that took up most of the afternoon, I decided to read about heart ablations and the progress that has been made since having one in 2013...ironic that in 2013 I had it done on the first day of March and this time on the second to last day of March. I am asking the Lord for as good or better results just like the last one which heat was used and this time cold will be used to stop the electrical issues going on. I keep telling Roy that it is harder for me this time because Dr. Seger isn't doing it and I had such a trust in his skills because of who he is in this part of the medical community but there were downsides to him too, so with that I press on, trusting the Lord and my cardiologist here. I think I miss the personal relationship with the Dr here. Dr Seger and I are about the same age, grew up in Houston and we hung out at a lot of the same places in our teenage years...yet never met but we always had a great time reminiscing about those long ago days of youth.

Mike the mower man was here today for the first mowing of the season and we are expecting spring snow tonight and throughout tomorrow. The front yard looks so green and pretty and it will look pretty tomorrow with snow. I did get a chance to clean out the wagon planter today because I believe it is the breeding ground for flies.

Buddy is watching for the Feral Fam but only Mama Cat has been here today. Lots of birds and a few squirrels too.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Weather, Long Church Services, Dead Geckos and Life

What had been predicted to be a rainy and cloudy day has been a day that began cool but warmed up quickly. The sunshine abundant, plants greening, leaves coming forth and I can finally see some red buds on the red bud tree. Makes one ready for spring and all the beauty that comes with it but word on the internet weather sites say we will have cold temps by the middle of the week and the possibility of some snow flurries. The birds are coming and going and Cali is hanging around just in case one of those birds is unaware. The rest of the Feral Fam are in parts unknown. Like I have written before I have given up on knowing the why and where and what of this Feral Fam. They were all together last night, even Dead Beat Dad but today only Cali is around. Hold the presses...Mama Cat was just here but not too excited about tonight's supper offerings.

Roy is doing one of his favorite things right now, he has gone to Costco. I told him my electric toothbrush is starting to misfire a bit, so that's all he needed to hear. Off to the Costco.

This has been a good day. I have accomplished some things and I have relaxed. My brother called and we had a great conversation...and got caught up. He makes me laugh, he is so witty and funny.
Well, it is Sunday evening. Got the trash down to the road along with recyclables. Our neighbors are mowing their yards and the fragrance of wild onion permeates the air. It feels like spring but the threat of snow on Wednesday looms. Today, was the first Sunday in a very long time that I have looked forward to Sunday School and church. Due to health reasons, I have stayed away from crowds during the cold and flu season but when I immersed myself into a crowd of 8000 while attending Living Proof last weekend in Boone, it seemed the right thing to get back in the regular habit of going to big church. I had heard the guest preacher was really good so into the service I went. The prayer time today was especially meaningful as the church prayed for the committee formed to search for an interim pastor. The worship music was so powerful and then came preaching. Great points, great thoughts...great encouragement. Then he got to his last point and that's when the wheels fell off. Once again we were held hostage by about eight more sermons being crammed into one and the circling of making that last point kind of was like the never ending story. He talked of foot washing and Exodus and John, several chapters continuing on his point of we are not left alone, Christ is with us. Then he called all the staff, deacons, Sunday School teachers, choir, and volunteers to the front of the church...where we prayed and then while going back to our seats I made the decision to pick up my bed I mean purse and Bible and just keep going out the door. My exodus was joined by other families and people  It was now 1:00 pm. This was my friend Brenda's first Sunday in Children's Church and she had them till after 1:00 pm. One of the first things I learned on staff at First Baptist was, respect your volunteers and their time. It seems the preacher should have been like Jesus if he is going to talk forever, ask for a child's lunch bag, pray and then provide lunch for all of us assembled there. Sometimes when you go too long, people forget your best points and illustrations due to weariness of the derriere. Somewhere between services so timed on the clock in Houston to long sermons in North Carolina has to be a happy medium. This will not detour my attendance but dang, I am going to start sitting nearer to an exit in these coming days.

So I drove away from church not weary in doing good but for sitting so long. It is not often that lack of movement affects my heart but it did today. My circulation took some time to get back to normal. I came home for a brief moment and in that small amount of time, I happened to run over a gecko in the garage. For truth's sake, I ran over half of it thus producing its organs splayed out on the concrete beside it. Heart...and an eye that popped out of its head. Blood...guts...ugh! I grabbed a shovel and flipped that dead lizard out onto the driveway and called out to the birds, Sunday dinner is ready! It was gross but it had to be done. I continued on with plans of going to the grocery store. Got that done and headed home, talking to Roy. I have been asking him for almost two years to complete our will. So today, after talking about regaining good circulation he tells me he is working on my part of our will. Wait! What? Why today? Does he know something I don't know? Does he think I won't survive the ablation I'll be having? Let's just cut to the chase and say, Roy was in work mode, so compassion is severely lacking. Already tired and no lunch yet, it was emotional and let us not forget the biology lesson gecko.
Now we are onto Monday afternoon. Taylor had his DMS machine back in working order and my shoulders were so happy to have the jackhammer back. We worked again on my left shoulder and then worked on the muscles in my left leg that like to bunch up with regular workout. It came to me last night that the nerve endings in my left outside thigh had come back to life last year after a four year absence of feeling. I think the nerves were damaged with the ablation in 2013. We have started working on those muscles and hopefully it won't take as long for them to recover and come back this time.

I made a quick trip to The Fresh Market after working out and also got the heart monitor in the mail to go back to the company that provides them. It was a happy send off for sure. The birds took care of the rest of the dead lizard and the Feral Fam come and go as they are wont to do. Just put out their supper for them with a few treats scattered around the steps.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Stop Signs, Delays, And Traffic Galore

There is a quietness tonight. There is also a fatigue but it is a good weariness from spending time with a dear, dear friend. All the fun and laughter, all the silliness and seriousness, all the later type nights and the get at it mornings...brought tremendous joy and emotional strength to this one. Now after a day on the road to take a friend to Charlotte with stops here and there along the way back, it is all settling in on me and I don't want to unload Target bags out of the truck. Forget emptying the dishwasher this evening too. It is the kind of night to sit here and ponder, then smile and ponder once again. There are some friends you share your heart with, often or rarely but you rest in the knowledge that your conversation is held as sacred and nothing is shared or  given as fodder to others.

We reminded ourselves today of our Saturday morning visit at the Starbucks in Boone. There is not a shortage of stop signs in Boone. We counted six or seven just at the payment window in the drive through. Then, making a turn to exit at a light...stop signs galore! OK, I have been mesmerized with the word galore here of late. Only in that the word galore has made a comeback and I just wasn't ready for it. It's a funny word. It seems like it would be used as a stripper's name, Donuts Galore, Delicious Galore....see, it is a good stripper name. I must start using galore more in sentences....nah! Just like that, I am over galore. We had to make an illegal back up to get over to the Publix parking lot where we encounter more stop signs...more than was needed. The kicker was, they had a no left turn sign but a left turn lane and light. Confusion galore!

Sometimes the flight from Charlotte to Asheville is almost as much as a flight from Texas to Charlotte. I don't mind, well sometimes I do, driving over to Charlotte. It's a beautiful drive and since I have been in this quiet season, it is a good drive for thinking. The South Park Mall and surrounding area, reminds me of Houston's Galleria area, is fun exploring although the Macy's could be better. The Barnes and Noble nearby is a good bookstore and of course The Nord is there. Yes, I have complained it is not as good as the Nord in the Galleria but last Thursday, lunch was delicious. Somehow, how did this happen, I am a level three fashion devotee with them which means more triple points days, more alterations, and all those special shopping events. Ah, it feels like the old days when the Nord was a bigger part of life. I don't plan on becoming a level four or five. That would be too much!
What a Friday! Worked out and then had an appointment with the cardiologist. We have everything scheduled for the ablation. Did lab work as well while I was there.  They also got the TEE scheduled as well as the CT of my heart. They are stricter here than in Houston on the recovery time so we will need to make adjustments for that.  It is always an adventure but the good news is I received the phone call letting me know that my heart monitor time is up. To turn everything off and get it bundled up and sent back to them. Gladly!

The Feral Fam has reunited but Mama Cat still keeps distance. New to the scene other than dead beat dad is a beat up, scratched up black and white male cat. Lisa and I saved him from a fight the other night and we felt like it was one of the best things we did. The huge black cat has moved on and who knows if the Feral Fam follows suite.

The Asheville Marathon is this weekend and the whole area around the Biltmore is jammed with traffic. Don't think I'll be going over that way any time this weekend. I came home the most convoluted way.

Since arriving home I have pretty much crashed but have found a second wind, so it is back to getting the work I started last night finished up. Looking forward to a good night sleep without a heart monitor going off in the night.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

A Brief Recap

It has been a week since my last post but I have been having too much fun and too little time to sit down and blog. We might have a snow day here where we just stay home and relax but it it gets above freezing and the sun does its job, we might be able to venture out. We had planned on going back to Waynesville today but that doesn't look likely. Maybe a little Weaverville shopping is at hand.

Lisa arrived last Thursday under a travel advisory but her flights were on time and I didn't encounter any ice getting to Charlotte. What a grand meeting in the horribly crowded arrival area but we survived and headed over to The Nord for lunch. Delicious! Then we went to the Billy Graham Library and paid our respects to Billy Graham. With that, we headed home with some beautiful handiwork of God keeping us enthralled.

Friday, we headed over to Boone for the Living Proof Live with Beth Moore. Lisa had texted our friend Kimberly to see if she could get us seats on the main floor and we headed out after stopping at Starbucks and getting drinks for the road. Off we went with our first stop in Valle Crusis at Over Yonder. We had a table right by the fireplace and the food was fantastic! We did a little look see through Mast and headed over to join 8000 of our new best friends in Boone. I don't know if Boone knew what hit them. We checked into our hotel and had a little down time before heading to the arena. With my main concern of parking, nothing has changed with me concerning that, we started out and after learning my lesson at the Amish Craft Fair last fall, I headed to event paid parking. Best $10.00 I spent that day and again on Saturday morning. She had just the spot for a big truck. It was freezing cold on Friday and we hurried along to get in line for the doors to open. Got in, and began looking for our seats. I was scanning the back part of the reserved section and Lisa says, well, here we are. Well, yes, we are here but I am looking for our seats..... Uh, we were on the front row. Man, we were texting Kimberly so fast to thank her and she said, I just had two seats reserved...the front row is the favor of God. Leg room and close to the action is awesome! Wow! The conference started with great praise and worship and then Beth began to teach. She was making a point when all the sudden she stopped and said, "I need a moment here. I am having a flashback to Tuesday night Bible study in Houston...two of my dearest friends are here." Then she asked if we had been there the whole time and we responded yes. Such a special moment for us. It felt good to be back under her teaching. It has been a good while for me and in hindsight I don't think I knew what I had by being able to go on Tuesday nights and hear Beth teach. Once I have time to settle in, I am going to review my notes because her topic was so timely and hit me right where I am. Saturday morning we got a quick hug and moment with her and just like that the conference was over and it was time to head back home. Lisa and I debated on going to Grandfather Mountain but we could see a low snow cloud was hanging over the bridge from the road. Decision made to go onto Newland and have a late lunch at The Italian Restaurant.

Sunday morning was church. Lisa sang with the choir and it was our pastors last Sunday with Newfound. He has accepted the pastor-ship at First Baptist Brevard. That was the strangest last Sunday with a pastor I have ever experienced. The feels of the service seemed to be that both the congregation and the pastor were ready to move on. Lisa and I stayed a bit visiting with Pastor Gene and his family, then went to The Fireplace for lunch...then the Fresh Market...and then I took a short nap. Brenda came over Sunday evening and we laughed and talked till almost 10:00 pm.

Monday, we both worked out with Taylor and then went to The Blue Rooster for lunch. With the threat of a snow storm looming over the area, we cut our time short and didn't do any of the shopping we had planned. We lazed around the whole afternoon and evening watching TCM.

Yesterday, we had 1:00 tea reservations at the Inn on Biltmore Estate. They have moved afternoon tea to the dining room. That was a brilliant decision on their part. I think that this menu was my favorite of all the teas I have experienced there. We shopped and we drove around the estate. What a treat to see so many baby lambs in near the birthing barn for the sheep. So cute and they came so close to the fence. We were out of the truck in a New York minute. Our day drew to an end there and so we stopped at Publix to get a few things and then headed home taking the scenic route. We were not disappointed. Got a close look at the elk at Carolina Bison. We stayed up late too. Such rebels!

It began snowing last night and this morning we awoke to a snow covered view and still had some heavy snow showers as the morning went on. The sun is out now melting the snow quickly. We've been watching MJ and Camo tear up the snow on the deck. Very entertaining. So, we watch the roads and weather to see how far we can venture out today.

That's a brief recap for now.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Dusting Of Snow...Then It's All Gone

Last night I watched Hunter Ward, amateur meteorologist, discuss on FB the chances of snow for our area overnight and the chance of it sticking...not much was his conclusion. So, off to sleep with plans for today as I finish up things before Lisa's visit. When I awoke this morning and looked across the hall into the front bedroom and out the window it looked like a heavy fog. Only until looking out the back window did I realize it wasn't fog but snow. Big huge flakes falling at a rapid pace. It is considered a dusting, maybe an inch or so and it is sticking. Hunter did a quick broadcast this morning and the guy who has been right more times than the professionals on TV was a little surprised by the snow sticking since February had been a warm month and the temps haven't consistently been in the freezing range. Nonetheless, it is beautiful when snow blankets the trees, shrubs and plants. The sound of snow is mesmerizing. Snow quiets life or at least the pace of life.

The snow morning is speaking to my spirit. This has been a quiet season of life and I've written about that previously but this is a good reminder that even though I sense the quiet season coming to an end, it is available in whatever time frame we find ourselves in. Patsy Clairmont on Twitter quoted Michael W. Smith, "Some of the most powerful times are when we're quiet."

Several months ago while in Charlotte, I stopped in at a Barnes and Noble. It wasn't a particularly profitable trip to the bookstore or so I thought at the time but I bought a small book. It was The Passion translation of Proverbs. This month I started reading this daily and wow, what a fresh translation...probably meant for those much younger than me but in the daily reading I am blessed.

Cali is by herself this morning and she is sitting under the rose bush, looking for birds. No, it doesn't matter that I risked life and limb taking food outside to the snow and I put down a blanket for her so her little paws would get some relief from the cold temps. Yesterday, I put out some treats for her and MJ. She came up to the treats with me standing about two feet away. Any movement on my part cause a little skittishness on hers but hopefully, I am making some headway to rescue her. The snow has started again in earnest but it should stop around 11:00 am.

I was able to get out to The Fresh Market this afternoon and make a stop at the post office. Flax now lets you order directly from them. They haven't done this previously and they sent the things I ordered to Katy. So, that package came today as well as some stuff from The Nord and Macy's.

This evening MJ and Cali are around, as well as Mama Cat. Camo is MIA but that is not unusual. Got them fed for this cold night ahead.

Hopefully it doesn't snow in the morning but it is fortunate that there are about three routes to take to Charlotte.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Soon We Shall Spring Forward

Two mornings in a row malfunctions with the heart monitor yesterday and this morning a wardrobe malfunction occurred, thankfully before leaving the house and going to church. Two friends in our Sunday School class hosted a brunch yesterday. Everything was beautiful and the food delicious. I grabbed the phone monitor and it was going off...I needed to change the patch and weak skin connection. Never have seen the change the patch notification on the phone because the patch is loose before that can happen. So with little time the patch came off easily and thanks to the washable crayola markers, I can mark right where the patch needs to go each time. Whew! This morning I decided to wear a skirt to church...don't wear dresses or skirts too often anymore. I had noticed last night that the waist seemed to feel a little loose but it wasn't too know a nice problem to have until this morning when I stood up from the recliner, the bottom of the skirt got stuck in chair and all the kings horses and all the kings men could make that waist tight again. Good thing I noticed or would have taken a tumble with a skirt at my feet. At first I thought I could fix it but it was beyond repair. It was a favorite skirt from back in the day and remember all too fondly the day I found it at the Nord. Roy asked if it could be not not really at all. For a quick moment it looked like a tardy arrival for church but alas on time, present and accounted for.
This morning after making my way downstairs and as Buddy followed me knowing our first stop is in the kitchen for the first of many morning treats. Started assembling breakfast items and the phone rang, it was Roy. He has a couple of people coming in this week for interviews and he wanted to go over the questions he was going to ask. Interview questions have certainly evolved since back in the day. You used to get the whole strength and weakness, what do you bring, what do you expect etc... Now there are questions thrown in that are curve balls or at least it would be for me. As we were talking about all of this, I saw her....Cali. It has been over three days since seeing her, which is not unusual in the patterns of life with the Feral Fam. Mama Cat was out there as well, but she has been coming around about once a day. As Roy and I finished our conversation, I was working my way outdoors and when I came into the backyard with a little milk to tide them over until food could be mixed for them, Cali came running down the incline of the yard meowing at me. She came close, not close enough to grab but she ran ahead  meowing as she went. New twist in our encounters. Left some milk in a bowl and by that time Roy needed to get on with his day and I had told him about Cali, so he knew. Fixed up a mixture of a few flavor chicken bits with crab gravy mixed in dry food. Mama Cat threw her authority around and Cali wouldn't approach the bowl, so back to the garage and mixed up some salmon shreds with dry food. The other day in Publix it seemed the cashier was a tad suspicious of the wet cat food purchase and asked how many cats do you have? One indoor and four ferals with a couple of dead beat dad cats, who I don't feed, they steal...but I digress. My answer satisfied his curiosity of whether I was eating cat food. Fair enough, because many times the grocery cart looks as if Roy and I are in college by the kind of food we are purchasing...mainly in the snack variety.

Our pastor announced his resignation a little over a week ago and he is going to pastor a church much closer to their home. I know they will welcome a much shorter commute. His last Sunday is coming up. Already people and committees are getting lined up for this transitional time. I love how God's church can do this right. God's calling never changes on our lives, but circumstances do. We are thankful for his leadership these past six and a half years and yet we look expectantly to who will be called to be the next pastor. The church that Roy attends in Katy is in this same process. Roy's church in Katy is trying to find their identity once again. They hired a firm to help them with this thus a church wide survey was sent via email asking questions to find the desired answers and giving the congregation an opportunity to express their thoughts and feelings. It is kind of a sad happening yet it looks to be filled with such hope and change of direction. About ten years ago this was a thriving church making a mark on Katy especially in the kindness they showed and used every opportunity opened to them to be a giving church to needs. They opened their doors to Community Bible Study, to use their facilities twice a week during the school year for leadership meetings and for Thursday Bible study. They served a free meal on Wednesday nights, which is not unusual for Baptist Churches and they usually charge, but this church is an evangelical Episcopal church. They served meals at their location but also took them to the homeless that didn't want to leave their spot for fear of it being taken or their things, meager as they might be, stolen. They had festivities for the neighborhood and they did them, say like Fall Festival on Halloween night for many other churches, later in the week to have an opportunity for more people to take part and for those who had worked those festivals to have the chance to attend one without responsibility. They helped so many with funeral expenses or medical expenses....but somewhere along the line, most of that stopped. Somewhere along the line the church lost its vision. Maybe the staff attended too many conferences by "big church" leaders and pastors  that didn't quite work with smaller churches because of the limitations of staff and infrastructure. Many of the  life classes or home groups began to rely too much upon video series and lost a personal touch. The sermons many times were sermons found on the internet and kind of repurposed for their particular congregation. Giving was down and some had found membership in another church formed by a previous pastor. Then the pastor said he was taking a sabbatical after enduring a huge personal loss, which everyone agreed would be restorative for him but before even taking the sabbatical, the pastor announced he was leaving. The pastor serving in the interim is not just showing up on Sunday to preach but he is involved in helping the church find its way while the search committee does its job. Roy and I have had many conversations over the happenings of the last six months at his church and can be diagrammed on a time line when the passion and vision was lost with the leadership and when important things for young families and their student ministry was delayed or not acted upon. I am so thankful these are not issues here. Every church has problems and issues, but they are not impossible because when the Lord is in it, the right path is revealed.

Spring forward will soon be upon us and although I hate loosing the hour and it takes a little time to adjust, having longer evenings will be splendid. We got new lights to hang on the front porch and I got those up this afternoon. Last year we used solar but this year we are using electric ones. The birds in the backyard are happy today with fresh food and water. Lots and lots of cardinals along with juncos, chickadees, house wrens, and song sparrows. I've seen a few robins here and there but they don't come to a bird feeder. I have a call into a landscaping company to talk with them about some flower beds and doing something with the area by the driveway and maybe do something down toward the front part of the property.

Cali and Camo have been hanging out in the back and Mama Cat who is just plain grumpy these days has taken a swipe or two at them if they get too close or do not observe pecking order. They need to finish up their supper cause a stray will come and clean it out later tonight.

Nancy's Monablog