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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Life Back on the Prairie

It is one of those mornings where if I squint just right and look to the right of the outdoor fireplace I can imagine myself viewing mountains and fog and it kind of feels like I am in North Carolina.  Even the clouds are cooperating with the whole scene.  Today is inspection day at the home we are buying.  Tomorrow is appraisal day.  But back here in Rancho De Five a beautiful sunrise is spreading across the sky.

Sunday, in the cool of the evening, Roy and I dead-headed roses.  We had kept up with the side yard roses but not those in the back.   We made a pretty good dent in getting them trimmed but need to go back out and do some touch up trimming.  We went to First on Sunday morning.  The worship music was over the top good and the choir special filled my heart with thanksgiving.  This is the first week I have heard the news series in Ephesians and the emphasis was on prayer and how to pray for one another.  But I kind of laugh with the emphasis of prayer and its importance, yet prayer is used to bring out the table, chair, notes, Bible and lap top for Gregg before the sermon.  You don't see that happening on the web cast, just the field of blue during the prayer.  Doesn't make me mad and I'm not legalistic about it, just kind of ironic.

After church we ate at Goode Company BBQ.  It has been a long time to taste some of the best sauce ever made.  Then we headed over to Barnes and Noble and eureka, I found the current issue of the magazine I love from the Netherlands.  Since subscriptions aren't available in the US yet, it is gold when you find one.  I found issue 5 in Asheville and now have issue 6.  It was a good foreign magazine day because the newest issue of a UK magazine was right there on the second row.  Roy found train and tractor books, so we left the bookstore happy with our purchases.  Then we made a quick run by The Fresh Market and picked up dinners for the coming week.

Yesterday I received an email asking if I could sub this week for one of the core group leaders at CBS and I am delighted to do so.  I have always loved the Tuesday leadership council discussion of the homework.  So thought provoking and love to hear all the answers and insights.  Luke looks to be as good as the Genesis study last year.  They gave us a completely different take on Luke and his orderly and interesting way he wrote this letter to Theophilus.  After that time I ran over to Whole Foods and did a quick look see through World Market.  I got a couple of ideas for the Alex home from the West Elm catalog and wanted to see if anything could be replicated on a more penurious scale.

We received the inspection report, nothing earth shattering or deal breaking.  Whew!  Now we need the wisdom to approach the seller on a few of the things that we feel must be addressed and again, thankfully, they are not huge problems.  We will get the ray-don and well inspections later this week but today is the appraisal.

I keep going back to the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth that we looked into this week in our homework.  This next observation is nothing new but the newness comes in looking at this scripture with new eyes and heart.  By doing a miracle in their lives and taking away the disgrace of not having children for Elizabeth, God blessed them.  But He has a big picture blessing from this kindness He extended to Elizabeth.  Her son prepared the way for His Son and turned the Israelite's hearts to hear and listen.  Of course that kindness to Elizabeth has had ripple effects throughout the centuries and today believers are still reaping the blessing and really non-believers too....they just don't know it yet.  In turn, this summer of seeing God's Kindness  naturally turned to wondering about His kindness' that I have received how will they multiply and bless others,  You can think about that in your own life.

The skies have cleared and the view is truly Rancho De Five.  Love those mountain views but I love the view out here on the prairie as well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

God's Kindness-Part 2

The theme of my month in North Carolina soon presented itself to me in the quiet, misty and fog filled mornings...the kindness of God.  This theme wasn't a blip on the radar before leaving on August 3rd.  Mostly likely the theme in mind was more like, a time away, a time to relax and renew...basically the things we were looking for as a return on the investment of this time and money but God....He had a better plan and theme.  Yes, I relaxed, enjoyed the cooler weather and my spirit renewed but it was obvious by the first day alone after Roy, Erin and Nancy had left, that God had His kindness in mind for the trip.

On Friday, I began looking at the homework for our study of Luke in CBS and while reading the first chapter the words of Elizabeth jumped off the page in verse 25, 'how kind the Lord is!"

Saturday morning I read an article on a blog, How to Deal With a Narcissist.  It was a random article and it was a random action to actually read it, but in the midst of Saturday, I soon came to know it was the kindness of God.

 Narcissists are masters at manipulation. They are often intelligent and charming when you first meet them. In the beginning, you hold them to such high esteem (of course to which they are fully aware) and they love to bask in your adulation.
But once you catch on to their tactics, and question behavior that is opposite of their once-charming selves, they become deeply threatened. They will then paint themselves as a victim and you as their aggressor, and expertly blame you for the relationship's demise, and all other misfortunes in their life....the Narcissistic Vortex.
You must remember, this vortex is a trap. By replying to him (no matter how negative), it feeds his narcissistic supply -- a.k.a, his false sense of self that he is better than you (or anyone else for that matter).  You will never change his mind. You will never get him to see your side of things. As long as you attempt to do so, you will forever be stuck in his vortex and unable to move on.
Learning how to deal with a narcissist can't be accomplished by reading just this one blog. It takes skill, practice, reading books on the subject and perhaps coaching or therapy. Whatever you do, don't try to learn this alone.
Saturday afternoon I talked to the last person in my father's posse.  He has run off everyone with his accusations and imagined conspiracy theories aimed at him by them.  She has volunteered to get the boxes he has for me and to bring them over.  At one time she believed all his lies and stories but after conversations with my brother, she knows now not to believe everything my father says and swears as truth.   As we talked and as she expressed hope for reconciliation, the words from that morning's reading tempered my replies because nothing will change, he will continue accusations and the fact is, he has lied to himself so many times through the years,  he is unable to distinguish truth and fact from his wild, made up fantasies of stealing and taking. In fact she is not really sure there are people who have bought his house and this is another ruse to keep living in his home when it really isn't safe for him to do so.  These past few years when APS or the police call, I thought his accusations and lies were cyclical but she said he accuses me of theft or deception every day that she sees or speaks with him.  Funny, she said she has found everything that he has ever accused me of taking, so then his accusations are, I come over and move his things.  Nancy, what do you do in your spare time?  Oh, I love to drive forty miles one way everyday to move pencils and pens and turn on water at my father's house.  REALLY!!!!  He is unable to see how ridiculous it all is.  
God's kindness on Saturday was reading a random article I saw on Twitter, helping me form my replies in love and truth and remembering wise words from my therapist, that I am not willing to go back to the trap of his narcissistic vortex.  The conclusion from this blog I read on Saturday on how to deal with a narcissist is to limit contact and communication and thus this has been the result.  And that my friends has been God's kindness

Friday, September 12, 2014

It Feels Like Bible Study

Even though the temps remind us that the calendar is lying to us, it began to feel like fall yesterday.  It began to feel like fall because Community Bible Study began.  After being a core group facilitator for two years it felt kind of strange actually arriving at 9:30.  The lobby of the church looked like an airport waiting area with all the hugs and greetings and smiles.  Everyone excitedly asking about summers and the latest news.  Finally they were able to corral us into the sanctuary so that the 2014-2015 study of Luke could begin.  I think each group is at capacity with 16.  My core group leader is new this year but she did a fantastic job.  I think our group will have great discussion because we had great fun and laughs during our first day of Bible study introductions to each other.  This is the first year that Peggy and I have been separated and it will be just fine, but we like to give the leadership a hard time about it.  Lots of friends were split up this year to be able to share the love....

After Bible study Bev, Eileen and I went to lunch.  Eileen usually has someplace she has to be on Thursdays after Bible study, but her schedule was open and we had one of our traditional short lunches and left the restaurant about 2:00ish.

I wonder if my birds here are mad at me because I was hanging out with other birds while I was gone?  Uh right, uh no, no one fed the birds while I was gone, so they are slowly but surely coming back.  I wonder if the cows here are mad at me because....oh wait, there are no cows around here. Since we are supposed to have some few hours of pleasant weather this weekend, hopefully some roses can be dead headed around here.  

Last night Roy and I went to dinner at 3 Olives since we had dinner at Luby's on Tuesday, anniversary, and Burger King, official contract day, on Wednesday.  We had a great time together and a great dinner.  Usually, I am not much of a fan for live music when you are trying to talk, but the group they had last night didn't blast you but enhanced the atmosphere.  Then we went to Target and Radio Shack since we have to keep our cool factor intact.

This weekend I will bring out the fall decor.  Last year it came out on Labor Day.  It is my most favorite time of year!  And next year, it will not only be a favorite thought, it will be an actuality of experience.

My hair is the longest it has been in forever and I am looking forward to my haircut today with Stevie.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's Official!

Because Roy and I are so cool, we ate dinner at Luby's last night...and it just happened to be on our anniversary.  Our 37th anniversary and I believe cafeteria food is what you give for that anniversary.  Actually, we celebrated while we were in NC and ate at a really nice restaurant.  With everything going on with the house, we kind of knew we would be occupied this week getting everything lined up paperwork wise.  Sure enough, we or rather should I say Roy has been extremely focused on this, while I have been consulting magazines for ideas.  Hey, we both are doing what we do best.  You do not want me reading a contract!

This morning, we are officially under contract with the closing slated for October 15th.  We are planning on going up that way around Thanksgiving, to talk to some flooring, painting, plumbing and whatever else guys.  We want to get on the schedule so that when the really cold weather is over, they can hit the ground running or painting or plumbing....  Hopefully one of the first things will be having the front porch screened in.

Tomorrow we start CBS.  They have separated Peggy and me.  Sniff, so sad.  Looks like they have separated several friends who like to do Bible study together...  Not being a facilitator this year, I can be rebellious.  :)    I am looking forward to studying the book of Luke.

Things are getting back to normal.  It was nice coming home with almost all clean clothes.  I have gone through the mail and have a stack of magazines to read.  Now that I am thinking of how we want to do our home, I am more interested in home magazines.  I think we are going to keep the farmhouse feel like the owner has done.  No HOA!  One thing we will do is have some swings built for the yard.  Unless we walk to the top of the hill where our street ends, we really won't be privy to sunset watching but I hear the view for the sunrises are fantastic.  This may make me a morning person after all.    I'm trying to get everything put away so it is easier for Chris to clean tomorrow.   I think our guest room may become a staging area for our move.  I found some silverware and a few other kitchen items on clearance at Home Goods.

Well, enough blogging for one day.  Got to move on and finish up strong....or look at another magazine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nothing Could Be Finer...Happy Anniversary!

We met working at Pennzoil.  He being an auditor and I being a....I don't know what my job titles were but I worked in Treasury.  We first met at a weekly Bible study at work.  My roommate wanted to introduce us but God beat her to the punch.  He left for Brussels and worked there for six weeks and upon returning he took me to lunch at Charlies 517 just like he had suggested before leaving the country for six weeks.  It was indifference at first sight.  At that lunch he sat across from me with his arms folded and asked me a million questions, like I was on a job interview.  I answered them with a bit of wit, humor and sarcasm, you know me being me, just keeping it real.  When we returned to the office he felt I was the shallowest person he had ever met and my thoughts concerning him leaned heavily toward his arrogance.  No harm, no foul, I got to eat at Charlies 517 which was quite all the trendy rage back in the day.  Yet, as disastrous as that lunch had been, we found ourselves visiting whenever he came to the nineteenth floor.  He asked me out for a date to a concert and I let him know I already had a date for it.  I saw him from a distance there at the concert....and asked him at work if he owned a white suit just making conversation to let him know I saw him.  Now let me remind readers who have only read about the 70's, it was a time of upheaval and unrest.  Men wore leisure suits and they broke with tradition branching out into pastels and whites in the dress suit apparel.   Thankfully, most survived.  Anyway, he thought I was asking that question because I was planning our wedding.  Uh, no Mr. Jump from 0 to 60 miles an hour in conclusions.  He asked me out again and I changed my plans to go out with him and we had a blast and as they say, the rest is history.  Roy is totally different away from his work mindset and he is still that way today.  Remembering the day being told I was to have my first cardioversion and I called Roy at work.  Instead of the compassion and assurance I so desperately desired, he is asking me do I have a living will?  Do I have a medical power of attorney?  Guess it was the crying that jolted him into kind and loving, not work focused mindset of Roy.   We started dating in October, engaged in January and married in September and we lived happily ever after.

We found out that living happily ever after was ruined because we got married.  I still marvel at the Lord's kindness that people can stay married for years and years and years.  Because I think sometimes we do our best to unravel that plan, not intentionally, maybe sometimes, but just out of the fact that besides the two shall become one thing that takes some time...not talking about the obvious of the two shall become one, but it does seem to work itself into the equation naturally....but two people bringing in two sets of luggage and most of the time opposites attract.  So there is all that opposite stuff that we loved while dating but seems to get on one's nerves the moment after you say I do.

Early on we decided to set some guidelines to help us when we were more angry or hurt than full of love and forgiveness....oh and patience.  We stopped blaming our childhoods and focused on the now and future of our behavior.  We wanted to go beyond what we experienced and saw and knew from our early years of life.  We opted to never to go  to bed mad at one another, never saying "divorce" in the throes of disagreeing and remembering we love one another...that the other person is not the enemy.  I would remind Roy, the Bible say he who finds a wife, finds a good thing and OBTAINS favor from the Lord, meaning he was getting a lot more blessing and favor from God just because he had a wife.

That little spark of love that was in our hearts at the beginning has become a fire like Disco Inferno, bet you thought I would make a musical reference to the song Pass It On because of the spark thing and I just might if given the time.

Today we celebrate 37 years of being married, being in love and being in like with one another.  We love each other more today than we did on this day 37 years ago.  We have more laughs and fun, more patience and forgiveness.  We have survived many events in our lives, disappointment, fear, danger, lack, prosperity, sorrow, joy, obstacles, great fun, health scares, and in it all we have learned that if God be for us, who can be against us...even sometimes when it is us that is against us.

If you can't tell it by now, I love him so much!!!  I am blessed and want to be that blessing back to him.  It is the fun of the little things, the joy of life, the mundane, the absolute vodka...just testing to see if you are still with me on this one, but the absolute love of a husband, the best gift from God, ever bestowed to me.  Happy Anniversary!  Here's to thirty seven more years together, some of which will be in North Carolina...nothing could be finer than to be in the morning, I mean spring time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

We're Back.......

We are back!  Houston pulled out all the stops in welcoming me back from God's country, rain, humidity and heat.  It's kind of like Houston was saying to me, leave again and there is more where this came from.  I'm taking my chances though.

We came back but not empty handed.  The back of Sequisha proved that to be true but not in the back of Sequisha but in our hearts and cramped fingers from paperwork, we came back with a house under contract.  The whole home adventure ran the range of emotions.  Our first full day we looked at seven houses and the next day we looked at three or four, I don't quite remember.  During the weeks I was there by myself, I would go out and do drive bys of houses that looked interesting from Zillow.  I was able to rule out a bunch so Brian and I didn't waste time.  I have learned a lot about North Carolina real estate in the past few months.  A major accomplishment was learning to drive the back roads and I'm still learning about treacherous driveways.  Funny, in April when all this began in earnest, I was looking at Burnsville, Mars Hill, Marshall, Waynesville, Swannanoa, Black Mountain and Hendersonville.  We found our home about a mile from the cottage on the farm where I was staying.  We started at condos with more of a vacation feel and quickly realized that our search was more about a single family dwelling and a home to retire to on down the road.  It was a fun adventure for sure.  I had looked at the home we have under contract and loved it, but I wasn't too sure that Roy would, so I guarded my heart and put it on the back burner.  When Roy came back last week, Brian scheduled it for us...and Roy liked it.  He did all the outside looks while I sat inside with visions of furniture dancing in my head.  The house had the top three requirements, view, room for guests and a man cave for Roy, or in this case a bonus man room for Roy...since there isn't any basement.  (So glad I waved my no crawl space requirement)  So basically, we have a home with a view, four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a bonus room, family room, dining room, living room, kitchen, eat in kitchen, front porch, soon to be screened in, and a landscaped back deck/patio.  We just need to get a few things done and then start looking at furniture so we can have guests once we start using the house which will not be until late spring at my best guess.

I have spent most of the morning putting things up.  I am now going through all the bags I brought home.  It's like I totally forgot things we bought in Blue Ridge.  So finding those has been a nice surprise.  It feels funny that I was gone for over a month but I am getting back into the rhythm of Rancho De Five life.  

Nancy's Monablog