Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Stuff

One year ago tomorrow is when Buddy, who began as a boy cat, and by New Years she was a girl cat, came into our lives. She is taking advantage of my lap this evening as I have been engrossed in a good book. Buddy was little bitty a year ago. She came with a green pipe cleaner as her toy. She slept with us that night and I awoke to her making a boom boom on our bedspread. I got up as any good mom is wont to do and cleaned up the mess. When Buddy was little she would curl up under my chin at night. Now she doesn't sleep with us nearly as much and usually when she graces us with her night presence, she is at the end of the bed. During the day, she follows me around and sits just a few feet away from me. If I get a chance to sleep in, Roy will close our bedroom door and make sure Buddy is with him. She is patient for a while and then she begins jumping on the door trying to get to the door knob to open the door. She's not been successful yet, but I think the day is coming. This weekend Buddy discovered she is able to get to the top of one of our bookcases, so I had to move a chair not to give her such an easy launching pad. I did discover something this week while I have been out sick. If I use my speaker phone to listen to messages, she is beside me in no time flat. Don't know what it is that draws her, but it was a good tool when I needed to sleep and she was occupied with trying to keep me awake.

Friday, I did one of my favorite things. Went to The Nord for a massage. Of late I have been doing the hour and a half massage, but I get restless and want to move. I don't stay still for very long. I was especially ancy yesterday and I think that is why Stacy went to reflexology on my feet. She gave me an unscientific analysis of the stress level of my life right now. Through the roof and even though I feel like I have taken each bit of news and setbacks with a degree of calm, I must be internalizing everything. That has not been my previous choice of how I dealt with stress. Afterwards she went over to the chair in the corner and told me what she thought. I always know when we are going to have a serious discussion cause that is the only time she goes over to the chair. Went to the Bistro for a salad afterwards, then came on home.

Last week I bought a book for Roy, "It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium" which is the true story of John Ed Bradley. He played for LSU and is now a writer. I started the book this afternoon and it has been difficult for me to put down. His experiences of transitioning to regular life after being a football star since high school is thought provoking yet such a difficult journey. I cry at football games, well college games. I have always thought about seniors who are playing their last year and really for most of them, that is it. These young men will never experience anything like this for the rest of their lives and that is the good along with the bad.

I wanted to go to my parents today, but with my lingering cough I knew I could not. My mom would talk herself into having my cold and be sick by tomorrow. That isn't really fair to my dad. She is taking her medicine and has felt pretty good. She had some kind of a set back on Sunday at church that she still seems upset over. She asked me this week if I remembered how she would always rearrange my stuffed animals in my room and when I came home from school I had the best laugh at where I would find them. I told her I came by that streak of humor naturally from her. After college and even after I was married, I would go over to their house and rearrange things. I would tape down the receiver button on the phone so that when they would pick it up to answer it, the phone would keep ringing. One of my favorite things was to hide this small oval antique picture of Jesus around their house. Once I hung the picture inside a lampshade in the living room knowing that the only time my parents went in there is for company. Sure enough one night my mom had her Sunday School class over for a fellowship. They had eaten and my mom was leading them into the living room for their meeting and when she turned on the light she exclaimed, "I just found Jesus." I put that picture everywhere. Once I went to hide the picture which normally hung in the hall and as I grabbed it to hide it somewhere, I didn't get too far. My mom had tied the picture to the nail with a note saying Jesus liked hanging out in the hall.

Tonight Roy and I had an autumnal dinner, honey baked ham, sweet potatoes (made by the fine folks at Rice Epicurean) and shoe peg corn. For lunch I had the Lean Cuisine Butternut Squash filled pasta. It rocks the Casbah! If you haven't tried it, you should. On Monday I am doing another adventure with crockery cooking. I am going to make Kelly's roast recipe. Only I forgot to buy the liquid ingredient for So tonight, Roy walked down to the corner Gulp and Go and bought a beer for the roast. Got to love a man who will take the chance of getting caught with a beer in a brown paper bag. Heck, he is giddy just thinking that I am going to cook again on Monday.

Seems like there other things I wanted to write about, but I don't remember right now what they were. So have a good rest of the weekend...and here is to cooler temps soon!

Friday, September 28, 2007

And Now for the Hunting and Fishing Report

If you go to Lake Sommerville this morning crappie and bream are running. The Texas City Dyke (this is a place, not a woman) reports that specks are running and there is some top water action. Others along the coastline are reporting that the water is still too warm for fish to come in too close to shore, but there is some good fishing underneath the birds.

I finally decided to see the men who wake me up Thursday-Sunday mornings with the fishing and hunting report on sports radio 610. I decided to look them up because one of them is retiring October 21 and I have been waking up to these reports for years. I listened before Capt Wayne and Capt Benny, I listened when it was Bob Stevenson and his son giving the reports. What is unusual is I have no interest what so ever in fishing and hunting, but I love hearing all these men and some women call in with reports and knowing the options of contacting them for their Guide services.

There has been so much I have learned through the years from all these morning wake-ups. I have wondered if anyone else notices that Capt Wayne monopolizes the whole conversation. He interrupts and cuts people off, not in a mean way, but in a "I have been doing this type of thing much longer than you" kind of way. After all these years of listening to him I know who he loves talking with and the few that get on his nerves, namely the guide from the Woodlands. With the tremendous growth in the Woodlands of shopping centers, I would think the only guide needed there would be a shopping docent, who just like a fishing guide takes you to all the secret fishing places, the shopping guide knows all the secret places to get a good deal. Never tried any but from the morning show I've been told that crappie is some good eating. Somehow I cannot bring myself to eat any fish that has those first 4 letters. Capt Benny still competes in fishing tournaments all through the South. Capt Wayne will tell you that the tournament life is really for the young, but Capt Benny got a later start in the outdoor world. He was a church music minister for many years. In those early morning dozes in and out of sleep I have sympathized with Capt Wayne when his daughter in law died of cancer and when he had a heart attack and was out of commission for several months. The outdoor folks stay true to their own and do fund raisers for their own when there isn't enough insurance or money to cover medical needs. These have been some fine people to be associated with through the radio.

I know that when the wind is from the Southeast, it is favorable fishing in the bay and the Gulf. I know that this is the time to get your deer camp ready and that bow hunting will begin in October. These sportsmen are trying to pass on this time honored way of living to children and teenagers. At least once a month a sporting club hosts something to get children outdoors. I think this is commendable.

All these years I have listened in the dark hours before being truly awake and have thought what these two men must look like. I pictured rugged outdoorsy types past their prime, but still with that hint of Old Spice manliness. So this morning I went to sports radio 610 and looked them up. They are exactly like I pictured them to be.

That is Benny on the left and Wayne on the right. I don't know the names of the fish or the deer.

Why am I telling you this? I have no clue, but it does make me think that maybe to some people I live out my life with Christ like these radio guys live out the sporting life for me. Has my interest, but have no desire to give it a try. People around me know some interesting facts and facets of the Christian life from me, but maybe the way I live out the WAY is not at all interesting for them to experience themselves. Many call living out Christ's life as missional or intentional or authentic. I calls it all that. There in is my desire to live in walk out life in His great strength and power. When we stifle all that God wants to do or only believe God in to the level that we understand, according to Roy, is like going hunting without a gun. Spiritually I am on empty, but the low fuel light hasn't come on yet. Today I ask the Lord to fill me up with His presence and now metaphorically as I am in the world today, may I be hunting with a gun, with the power of almighty God living in and overflowing through me. May my life be more than interesting, may it bring desire to those I am in contact with to be introduced and experience this wonderful Savior and Friend, Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

More Thoughts on Fall

Let me say thank you to all who have suggested different ways to bring Fallish weather to Houston. UloveBeth is making the huge sacrifice by not shaving her legs. Something I had not thought about doing to try and usher in Fall.

I think I have found a way to be Fallish, get the bug that is going around. My allergies have been acting up something fierce the past few days. Took meds and drank plenty of fluid, but last night in Bible study I could not get warm. I was shivering and was so happy to walk out in the heat and humidity afterwards. Roy came out to the car to meet me and carry in my messenger bag, Vera Bradley and very cute. He felt my head and told me I had a fever. So, I have slept most of the day except for when I got up to drink plenty of fluids and then get up to deposit the plenty of fluids. Buddy slept at my side most of the day, which she isn't too wont to do and of course I began thinking about the cat in the nursing home that lies down beside a person getting ready to die. These were not comforting thoughts, but what the heck, she was lying still and not on the prowl keeping me awake.


These are the beautiful roses that Roy sent me for our 30th Wedding Anniversary.

Thought I would give you an update about my little tree that I wrote about several months ago. I took this picture and the next day most of the leaves had been stripped off. I noticed yesterday when I left for work that little leaves were beginning to grow. Ya got to love a tree that keeps on trying to grow.

The Marie Calendar's Chicken and Dumplings were really good. I added a can of peas to the mix cause I like a lot of veggies in my dumplings. I noticed that the Kroger has Marie Calendar's Crock Pot dinners on sale this week. I might need to try another one. Now, I am not trying to freak you out Courtney by cooking and commenting on cooking. No, it is not one of the 7 signs or a sign of the Apocalypse... Roy must have thought it was a one time deal, he put the Wassail Warmer back in it's box and put it up in the closet. I may have to take him to the ER if I ask him to pull it out of the closet again next week.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Giving it Everything I've Got

I am so in the mood for Fall. I am trying with everything I've got. Tonight I made the supreme sacrifice and I used a crock pot for the first time in 29 years. Well, I have used my new one to keep Wassail warm at Christmas. That doesn't count. Friday I bought a frozen Marie Calendars Chicken and Dumplings for the crock pot. I told Roy last night, we are having dinner at home. He nearly fell over. He volunteered to get a crock pot out...he was leaning toward Harvest Gold when I asked him to get the new one out. He refereed to it as the Wassail Warmer. That's just sad. Anyway, he cleaned it up and this morning I followed the directions for C&D. It was then I realized I had not bought milk for the last stage of the cooking. After work I braved the Houston traffic and went to the grocery store for milk. Yes, I know there is a Stop and Go or a Go and Blow or whatever the convenience store is called at the end of the street, but Roy never trusts milk from a convenience market. Right there I did two good things...sacrifice time to get over to the play grocery store and submit to my husband's wishes for fresh store bought milk.

I am giving it all I've got. I wore long pants today...but I wore sandals. We made chili last week. We ate at Goode Company know all the things that you want to do in the fall. If we had a yard, I would pretend rake leaves. Still, it is in the 90's. Tomorrow I am going to wear socks. That should help usher in the cool temps, the falling leaves and generosity of good will that Fall seems to bring.

Starbucks is serving Pumpkin Lattes. If you go to Tuesday night Bible study, it is calendared as Living Proof Fall Bible Study on the church calendar. I am aching to wear all the brown hues and accessorize with hints of paprika in a scarf. We will soon be singing Thanksgiving Hymns wearing our hot pink capris and white linen shirts if it doesn't come soon. For some reason I want fall more than ever. I am waiting for that morning when I walk outside and I am blasted with a cool breeze.

Come quickly Fall, please come. My next step of faith is to wear my new wool jacket. Of course when they carry my limp body out of my office because it is the hottest office in the church, you will know I gave it everything, I gave it my all. When I am covered in a heat rash and suffering from a heat stroke know I did it all in the name of Fall. Carole King wrote it best and James Taylor sang it...Winter, spring, summer or fall, all you have to do is call. And I'll be've got a friend...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

A Trip to Jerusalem on the Bayou

My father was transferred to Houston when I was 4 years old. We lived in West University for the first year we were in Houston, but the call of the suburbs beckoned my parents. In hindsight they should have stuck around West U. After months of looking for a home, my parents bought a home in Westbury. Growing up those of us who lived in the Meyerland, Westbury, and Bellaire lovingly called that part of Houston Jerusalem on the Bayou because of the large Jewish population. Growing up I had many Jewish friends and I am thankful for the education I received by experiencing Jewish traditions and family life. Yesterday, it served me well as I was a docent and travel guide for Dena as we toured various neighborhoods on Yom Kipper. We were really in search of booths, the little huts that are built for the Festival of Tabernacles. Since we were touring on a Saturday afternoon while the Day of Atonement was still being observed, I kind of felt like we would not observe any booths because of the Sabbath.

One of our first destinations was over in Northfield. There is an orthodox synagogue in the neighborhood. We might have seen the framework of a booth in front of one home, but no other sightings of a tabernacle. We did see several Orthodox Jews walking to their "end of the day" service. The women were dressed in white with large white coverings on their heads. The men wore black with white shirts. Northfield is a subdivision of beautiful homes surrounded by urban blight, hopelessness and a restless energy that develops into crime much of the time. If there is a shooting, stabbing or a police chase most often the surrounding apartment complexes will be the setting of the news report. Why am I so familiar knowing this fact, because in 1979 we bought a townhouse in Southfield just across Fondren. When we moved into that area it was full of promise and a good place to live and raise a family. We bought a 3 bedroom townhouse. We loved our little place. We had a small backyard and I made one half of it a huge flowerbed. Off the patio on the other side Roy had put in a wooden swing for us to sit on and enjoy the evenings. We put flowerbeds in the front yard and planted two trees praying for their quick growth to shield the front of our home from the blazing sun in the afternoons. We began making that townhouse into our home. Several of the shopping centers had stores that were venturing into suburbia and we felt like our townhouse would escalate in price and we would sell at a profit. That is until the early 80's when the oil bust hit. The condos around us became apartment complexes and the promise of commerence began leaving when buying power diminished. What had been such a nice place to live had turned into a crime infested community. That became one scary place to live. By the grace of God we slept through a drug bust and shooting at the end of our street one night and our home was never broken into like so many others in the area. The last year we lived there, I don't know really how much I slept. Somehow I thought if I stayed awake all night, nothing bad could happen to us. Roy was in law school, so he was gone all day and well into the night. He didn't witness the obvious changes that were going on around us. A large crowd one night stormed over the fence of our area pool and someone was shot. A police chase came down our street and a loaded gun was thrown into our yard. When the gun hit the sidewalk bullets splayed all through our yard. All the while I told Roy we needed to move and I was getting us in the ready position. He didn't believe me until one afternoon coming home from work I drove up to our mailbox to get our mail. I had seen two young men walking down the street and was mindful of their presence. I rolled down the window and reached into the mailbox when I heard something hit the back of my car. I figured these two young men were going to car jack me and wanted me to turn to look and since I kept my wits and head about me, when the one kid reached in the car and was trying to strangle me with the seat belt, I gunned the car and nearly ripped his arm out of socket. I went straight over to my parents not wanting to go into my own home. That incident finally got Roy's attention. He could not dismiss the huge welt across my neck from the edge of the seat belt.

Since moving 14 years ago, I have not been over there very much. We rented the place to a couple of families through the years and finally were able to sell the thing in 2004. I think Dena knew I was nervous as we were in the area, my goodness there was a lot of the street to be nervous about, but my insides were racing...probably a little post traumatic stress disorder going on. We did drive by the townhouse and it was so sad. No one is living it in, the front yard haggard and unkempt, and mold all over the brick exterior. The whole area looked worn out and ready for a bulldozer. This neighborhood is a picture of what poverty and hopelessness will do. The atmosphere felt oppressive and dark.

We finally headed toward the Meyerland area, but not without a stop at Belden's. One of the best grocery stores around and caters to heavily Jewish population. Since Dena has been teaching on the I Am statements of Christ based on a book by Jennifer Kennedy Dean, and her lesson was a review which included the Feast of Tabernacles, we decided to go in and see if we could find some goodies for Sunday School this morning. We were not disappointed in the Honey Cake with Almonds and Challah bread. It was a great field trip. We returned to Dena's apartment where I had left my car and decided we needed to sample the honey cake. Oh my, it was slap ya mama good. I believe we both had two small slices.

When I returned home, I got out a book we have on Jewish feasts and festival days. It said that when the Day of Atonement was over at sundown, the people celebrated God's faithfulness and goodness by having something sweet, usually Challah or Honey Cake. Keep in mind, neither Dena or I fasted yesterday. We chowed down before our tour of Jerusalem on the Bayou at Cheddar's. I had never eaten there before but Dena knew of it because of the Cheddar's in College Station. Definitely need a trip back to try the chicken pot pie. I almost got it thinking again I can call fall forth by my food choices and wearing fallish outfits. It is not working, but I refuse to give up. But I digress, I was telling you all about eating the honey cake. What a poignant way to end that time with Dena and a celebratory way to begin the week of celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles. That trip is my own story of personal deliverance... God and only God got us out of Fondren Southwest. It was His timing we found our condo that we live in now. It is God's great grace that we were able to sell the townhouse as is, without inspection to people who purchase property to lease to immigrants coming into the U.S. It was God's timing I was out of town and Roy didn't have my concerns to weigh him down through the twist and turns of the closing. Last night it was good to have a little something sweet to celebrate all of that and the richness Roy and I have experienced in the years since then.

This morning Dena's lesson and wrap up of the study was fabulous. Our Sunday School room was filled with palm fronds, fruit, a ram's horn, kosher food and unfermented wine (grape juice). We gave testimony of God's truth and faithfulness...His goodness and kindness toward us. He is I AM. The Name above everything that is named. He is Jesus, my Lord and Savior, my Sheperd, Light and Living Water, the Gate and True Vine. He is the resurrection and the Life.

Hosana! Think I will go have a little leftover honey cake.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Gots Me a Word This Morning

I had made up my mind last night I would not post this morning on my blog. The past two weeks have been extremely full and I need the morning to catch up. But, I had to post. A sista shares with a sista. We tell each other when the shoe racks go up in The Nord, we pass on discounts and coupons, we tell each other about deep discounts at stores and we tell each other about new places to eat. We tells it all. So, it is imperative for me to share.

Last night I was looking through the new Radiant magazine and I saw a reference to a verse. This morning I decided to read the whole verse. I opened my Bible to the unlikely chapter of Proverbs 31. It's not that I don't want to be a Proverbs 31 woman, it is just when I read it, I feel like the journey to that prize is just too dang stinkin' hard. This morning I begrudgingly opened to the book of Proverbs so that I could beat myself up with my failings when I saw it... there it was in all it's glory of black ink on white paper...vs 14- "she is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar." Girls, take out is biblical!!!! And multiple trips look to be biblical as well... she is like the merchant SHIPS. Ships is plural...or in my case very descriptive of my physical shape right now. I think being overweight would be too much of a stretch to attach biblical on it... I am carrying too much cargo on my stern and in my aft.

Well, there you go...Nsight with Nancy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

This and That From the Week

It feels good to be home. No, I haven't really been anywhere but away. There has been so much going on. Roy and I ate dinner at home, chili. I am hoping that by doing fall things by faith, fall will arrive sooner and I am not talking about the calendar date of Sunday, but fall in the temperatures. This week in the mornings and evenings the hint of fall to come is in the air. I lurve the fall what little we get here.

On Monday I had an appointment with Cheryl. Cheryl saved my life several years ago or at least she helped me move through one of the most difficult times of my life and to me that is worthy of saying saved. I love how she continues working forward thinking in me. She gives me intriguing topics and thoughts to work through until my next visit.

Monday evening's book club was extremely fun and challenging. What a diverse group of women. Cris gave a description of what she hoped the group would develop into...not just lovers of books and reading, lovers of friendships and all the possibilities of fellowship and a group that would meet together through the years. Actually Cris is doing something that I have thought of doing and never could figure out how to accomplish it. Cris is a genius! Of course a book group, that is brilliant. She has brought together her friends from every area of her life, neighborhood friends, tennis friends, church friends, work friends, and friends from back in the day. On my way home through the monied streets of River Oaks, many thoughts were going through my mind. It hasn't been since my tennis days to be around people different than myself. Although I consider myself well read, it is in Christian and Southern worlds or in business books that I camp out and I suddenly felt like my choice of reading is inadequate. Next month we are reading The Glass Castle. It is a memoir.

CourtneyS and I had lunch at Pizza Inn today. It has been awhile since we have been there. As usual the pizza and salad were awesome. The Pizza Inn is run and staffed by good people.

Peggy sent me a devotion by Charles Swindoll. I have made a copy of it and plan to keep it by me in the coming weeks. How do we live our life? Even Cheryl mentioned how good of a story would my life make right now. And in the book In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day, the author asks that same question. Am I too busy in the midst of stuff to take time to investigate the burning bushes in my life. It is only when Moses investigated the burning bush that God began to speak. Pondering place for me right now.

Tomorrow morning Malcolm Pierre is having a biopsy. Malcolm is married to Lisa P. If you think of them and Josef and Kamri lift them to the Father. Lisa has blogged about this journey.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

More of the Fun Same oh same oh

I just got in from the Astros game. Peggy and Bill have season tickets and I forgot how good their seats are. If I hadn't been so busy talking with Peggy I could have caught a foul ball. I mean that thing was right above me head only by about a few inches. It landed in the seat right behind me. Then we went right back to our conversation. Once again we had a couple several rows in front of us who were gaga over each other. Not train wreck worthy watching though. Peggy and I left at the 7th inning stretch after enjoying a wonderful dinner of peanuts and frozen lemonade.

Monday night I went to my first Book Club meeting. It was a blast! We met in a home in River Oaks. It is a home I have noticed so many times during the Christmas season and now I know what it looks like on the inside. We read a book by Amy Tan that really no one really liked. There were new friends to meet, friends from tennis and a friend from jr high and a friend from high school.

Tuesday night Bible study rocks! Here is a little shout out to Missy from the OKC. Hi Missy!

Roy's speech went very well in New Orleans. Next year the conference is in Chicago...Yahoo!!! I'll be there. With all the talk about crock pots and cooking, I thought I would have a little fun. So, Roy and I were talking and I said...I've been thinking about when we were first married and the stuff we used to do. Roy perked up...yes???? I said remember Sunday afternoons....Yes!!!! Do you remember how we watched some of the football games on the weekends on TV....YES!!! I said, well, I think it is time to revisit the past... YES????!!!!!! I am going to make dinner in a crock pot! Oh....then Roy just started laughing...he said....Nancy, you are way too funny. I love that he loves me, even when I tease him after a time intensive trip to New Orleans.

Roy and I are watching The Trouble with Angels. So, I better run for now. I have to be on time in the morning, I traded with Jason. He is picking up the Starbucks for a meeting and I am doing morning check in.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Nunsense and Nonsense

Last year Roy and I began to support financially Sisters of the Living Word. They just happen to be nuns in the Chicago area. We get a quarterly newsletter updating their ministries, lives and celebratory events.

I have always been fascinated with nuns. In their habits they seemed magical and mysterious. Of course my only working knowledge of nundom is from movies and TV shows. The nuns I saw in the Sound of Music, Where Angels Go Trouble Follows, The Trouble with Angels and the Flying Nun seemed kind but strict. Wise and loving. Roy has advised me that I have romanticized the view of their calling. Growing up Catholic and being in parochial school until the 9 grade, Roy paints a different picture completely. He bears some emotional scars, but his older brothers bear actual physical scars. Scars or not, he came into high school with a strong educational footing and thus he can thank the nuns of his early years that the following initials are found after his name, CPA, CIA (auditor not spy), APA, JD, MBA, and SCCEP. I have probably forgotten some accreditation. The only thing I have at the end of my name is empty space. I went to public school.

Several years ago we were invited to attend a concert that happened to be at a convent on the East side of town. We were with a group of Baptist friends and again all but Roy were taken in with the beauty, tradition and mystery of candles and saints of the Catholic church. In this huge crowd of people milling about, searching for their seats or standing dead still and silent taking in the beauty of the chapel there did not seem to be one usher in sight and it was a ticketed event. Yet there was order. People were finiding their seats without too much panic or bother. There seemed to be some invisible usher.

Roy knowing our groups fascination with the whole evening began bringing and introducing nuns to us. We had so many questions and each nuns visit with us, interesting and enlightening.
The acoustics in the chapel were superb and we enjoyed every harmonized, diphthonged, and dissonant note being extracted and presented from these trained voices. Afterwards as friends are wont to do, we let the crowd saunter out while we continued our conversations from before the concert. Everyone wanted to know how Roy could spot and pick out the nuns in the crowd. There wasn't anything appearance wise for them to stand out. He said for him it was easy, he knew from their posture and gestures. He explained that spending the formative years of ones life with nuns makes an indelible impression. Roy said nuns point differently than anyone else in the universe.

On my way to church several Sundays ago, my mind, prayers and thoughts were given to the thought of seeing God's direction in my life. The decisions I have to make in the next several months are critical and I didn't want to miss the providence of God. That particular Sunday morning I was looking through the newsletter from the good Sisters in Chicago and in my brief ride in to church God used the story that I just shared with you. I know if I am spending time with Him I will know His direction in the midst of the crowdiness of my my life. I will see His posture and gestures to know this is the direction or this is the way. I want to be able to know and follow His index finger pointing out this way. I want to be able to pick out God in the crowd of work, the crowd in my head, the crowd of decisions...yes send in the crowd...they're already here.... (you know send in the clowns...) To SEE GOD in:

  • I am way too busy at work, but I need to see Him giving the direction.
  • My mom was diagnosed with Alzheimer's this week. We need to see God's guidance as we traverse this unknown road.
  • My brother's health issues now has a name, ITP. It is an autoimmune disease where his body is attacking itself. His body thinks his blood platelets are foreign objects and is set on destroying them.
  • Roy needs to hire more people for his dept so his life is not consumed by work. He needs to see God's hand.
  • I have friends who are facing health challenges of family members. To recognize God's voice is a much needed thing.

Last night I was skimming a book I've read before, The Resilient Life. The author addresses the importance of not missing out on life in the calm and restful seasons. And certainly living a full life during major challenges and difficulties, don't miss out on God's life in the midst of those events. The author stresses the importance remaining generous, investing in the lives of others, loving God, letting others invest in you... Take time to enjoy little things...make time for those things that nourish your soul. Even in the difficulties we have to take in nourishment or we just burn and flame out doing the critical and in everything else going through the motions.

Tomorrow, I have an appointment with Cheryl. We are going to go over the results of my Birkman test. The results were not surprising for me, but it is good for me to see them on paper. Probably one of the more interesting facets of the test was what is shown as usual behavior (response outwardly) and what is going on inwardly. That graph was eye opening.

I started talking about nunsense and now I will write a few things of nonsense

  • I think Christine Mangrum is one of the funniest people and I wish I spent more time with her.
  • I love that I tagged Sharon and she did it. Thanks!
  • I bought a crock pot cookbook last night because of Amanda's blog on Ode to a Crock Pot
  • My soul cries out with CourtneyS for some fall weather
  • Becky's Bridal shower was so much fun and actually doing lines from Greater Tuna with Emily Skaggs was the best
  • Tomorrow night will be my first time to attend the book club I have been invited to join. I will get to see some friends from tennis and make new friends. The fact that most of these women live in River Oaks is always intimidating to me. When I played tennis I said my ministry was to the up and outers...those who trust in money and privilege...looks like God has put me right back in there with them. I am in their world but not of their world.

Well, I better move on with my day. Roy is studying for his lesson tonight. I need to do a few things around here before going up to church and making sure it is all good for Cafe Ascend this evening.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I've Been Tagged

The Rules:
1. I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.
2. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose people to get tagged and list their names.
5. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog

Michelle tagged me and although I have left comments on other's blogs with facts and habits about myself, I will now do this officially on my blog.

  1. My right hand has to touch the outside of a plane when I am boarding. I have no clue why this started, but I do it each time.
  2. I always wear blue panties when Peggy and I do Mildred and Gertrude.
  3. I never let my arms or legs hang off the bed. This stems from an early childhood experience. We were at the Lincoln Museum in Springfield, Illinois and I saw a big picture of Mary Todd Lincoln. I told my mom that Mary Todd was ugly and my mom responded it wasn't nice to speak ill of the dead. From that statement I concluded that there weren't monsters under my bed, but Mary Todd Lincoln. I know she is not there now because she was a large woman and there isn't any room under our bed, yet I still don't hang my arms and legs off the bed. Now it is due to the fact that Buddy, our cat, will attack them.
  4. I have to be in the car and have the seat belt fastened before the fasten seat belt light starts flashing and dinging.
  5. I was an oil and gas auditor for an independent consulting service.
  6. I have taken MANY gourmet cooking courses and know how to make gourmet dishes and know all the proper presentation of said dishes. Of course I now tell Roy I suffered domestic amnesia sometime in 1989. I have never recovered. The kitchen is where the most accidents happen in the home. I stay out of it for my own safety and for those of my loved ones.
  7. In the early 80's I taught aerobics at The Shape Shoppe in SW Houston.
  8. The number 8 is my all time favorite number.

So I am tagging Jessica, Sharon, Dana, Pamela, and Lisa P

Gross Me Out at the Ballgame

Last night was HFBC night at the Astros. We knew what kind of night we were in for when we hadn't even taken our seats and the Cubs were ahead 4-0. Dena, Emily and I were standing in the hot dog line during the first inning scoring frenzy.

Things looked up because we shared a row with the Mangrums and The Sanders. Michelle and I are doing a duo blog on the evening. So please check her blog for her take on the evening. I think you will be pleasantly entertained.

After a bit, Emily and I traded seats so I could visit with Michelle and Christine. We were having a blast getting caught up and laughing when Christine nudged Michelle and then directed me to look at the row in front of us to the left. There was a couple and as my friend Beth Rees and I used to say when we worked at AstroWorld, they were truly in love. We said that because usually we were witnessing a public grope fest. When the Astros gave us lemons, this couple gave us lemonade. They were the most entertaining aspect of the game. Oh, this wasn't some crazy hormone raging teenagers, it was a couple probably in their late 20's or early 30's. Come to think of it we never really saw the woman respond to any of his gropes... Public grope? Just say nope. He had a body builder type body...very muscular arms, but his fingers moved under her shirt and into her skirt like a nimble fingered musician. If that had been me I would have been laughing so hard because I am so ticklish. Even Jonathan and Zach were laughing and then Dena, who was the closest to them, got really tickled. No, he wasn't groping Dena, I mean laughing kind of tickled. We thought we had seen the funniest part of the evening when he received a phone call. Instead of holding the phone in his left hand, he held it in his right hand and had his arm extended and up like someone showing off their biceps. His elbow was right in her face. She moved around his elbow several times so she could watch the game, but he never took the hint, he kept it right there.
We all went back to our individual conversations and occasionally looking at the field to see why there was cheering. Dena and I decided we would leave at the bottom of the 7th inning and bottom is going to be an operative word here. So, it was the 7th inning stretch and we are all singing Take Me Out to the Ballgame and none of us opted for the stretch, we remained seated although singing. Guy in front of us still on phone but since girl has stood up to sing, he now has his phone in his left hand. So while she is belting out the happened. Dena and I saw the move, he reached up toward her rear end and...warning this might be two words you don't want to read.... he reached toward her rear end and pinched her on her butt crack. His hand was like the parting of the Red Sea. I looked at Dena to see if she had seen the move. Her expression told me she had been a witness. So like Mary and Other Mary we had to tell the disciples (Sanders and Mangrums) what we had just seen. We all just started laughing... in shock, but laughing. Christine said it right when she said they were like a train wreck, you couldn't quit watching.
So in honor of that couple please sing with me to the tune of Take Me Out...
Gross me out at the ballgame. Please just get a room.
We were taken aback, when you pinched her butt crack.
She could sing:
Grope me up at the ballgame...
Well, you get the idea.
Oh, Pastor Gregg threw out the first pitch, Astros lost, and we saw HFBC friends. That was about all the happenings at the ol' ballgame!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Remembering 9/11

Today I received a beautiful arrangement of red roses from Roy. He said he didn't forget when he got out of the car Saturday and he didn't. I found an anniversary card Sunday afternoon hidden in the cat food and what a sweet card it is. On top of everything it is funny.

This morning while getting ready for work, I thought about the past 6 years. For those of you who don't know our story briefly it is this, we were set to go to New York City. Roy had a conference to attend and his company was footing the complete bill for me to go along. We were encouraged to go see plays, see the sights and enjoy our 24th wedding anniversary. Really, how often does a offer like that come along? Here is the snag, I didn't have any peace about going to NYC. I told Roy my misgivings about the trip and he said well maybe you aren't to go, so I will go ahead and make plans to attend the conference. An hour hadn't gone by when I called Roy and told him I have no peace for you to go either. He listened to me and dropped all plans for the conference and NYC. We did not give it another thought until the morning of September 11, 2001.

Of course I had a tennis game scheduled at 10:30 and I sat at the table eating breakfast and watching The Today Show. Matt Lauer announced that a plane had flown into one of the towers at the World Trade Center. Mentally, I pictured a small plane like in the movie King Kong. As I sat there in my crisp white polo shirt and a pink tennis skirt, pink because the team we were playing against said no one could win a match wearing pink, and the dreadful, horrible news began to sink in, the planes were airliners. I called my partner and said, I don't think I want to play today, I can't stop watching everything happening in NYC. She said, we have to show up or we get charged for the court. That seemed rather insignificant at the moment.

I begrudgingly went to the UClub to play tennis and we were playing on the "show" court. The TV could be seen from that court and I couldn't justify playing tennis while the world seemed to be spinning out of control. It wasn't that I was going to leave right after the match because we had our team drill. Was I the only one who couldn't concentrate? I mean I had seen all the big events on TV with my tennis friends, the bombing in OKC and the verdict of the OJ trial. Guess it was meant to be to watch life pass by on the courts. We received word in the middle of our drill The Galleria was being evacuated. There seemed to be the threat the Williams Tower was a target. There was a mass exodus in a small amount of time. It was crazy driving home, everyone was freaking out.

I had just arrived home when Roy came through the door. Everyone was sent home from the office. We stood there glued to the coverage and I said to Roy, weren't we supposed to be there right now for your conference? Roy assured me the conference was later in the month. Not knowing what to do, Roy said we should go to the grocery store. Who knows what is happening. I wondered if how I felt was how people had felt when they heard about the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Several days later Roy came home and showed me an email. The color was drained from his face. Everyone involved at the Risk Waters Conference had not been heard from, this included attendees, trade show participants and the employees of Risk Waters. You see, the morning of the 11th all the participants of the conference that Roy was to attend were in Windows on the World in the top of one of the World Trade Center towers. For sure Roy would have died that morning. Me, I have not a clue, it would have depended on what hotel we stayed in.

In the past years before 2001 I had been offered these once in a lifetime trips. I was invited to go to Rockport, TX for a fabulous long weekend of tennis and fun...wouldn't cost me a thing. I said I would love to go and then I had no peace about the trip. I reluctantly declined the invitation. On the way to Rockport, my friends were involved in a horrible accident. The officers told them if one more person had been in the Suburban, the weight distribution would have caused it to flip. I was also invited to go see the French Open and then stay for a week in a friend's condo on Lake Constance. Minimal cost for the trip of a lifetime. My plans were in full gear when the familiar sense of no peace came on me again. I regretfully said no, it isn't in the plans for me to go. It wasn't a week into their trip that Roy was laid off... There were several more opportunities that came my way and I said peace. God was giving me practice to know when to say no and when the time came for the NYC, I obeyed that leading of the Spirit.

What a wake up call to us. I knew that there had to be much more to life than playing tennis 5 days a week, several times a day, eating ladies lunch and then shopping until it was time to go home. My life had to have more meaning than living as a dilettante.

That began the journey to where I find myself today and where Roy finds himself. We loved God and we were serving Him before 9/11. We had relationship with Him before 9/11, but not like now. I can still tear up when I see 9/11 documentaries or hearing the stories of that day. I came so close to losing Roy.

When I saw those red roses today and remembered Roy's words to me upon getting out of the car, Happy Anniversary and I didn't forget you. My heart overflowed with a good theme, praises to my King of Kings. He gave us another chance, another opportunity to find His purpose for life. Before then, I only thought God had created me to be good in sports. I determined my course in life in sports, played softball, then more USVBA volleyball, which eased into tennis. I thought my last goal in life was to learn how to play golf and I had just began that transition.

Believe me, if you are still on this earth God has more for you to do. Don't have any idea of what that might be? Keep praying and seeking, keep giving your life away. Serve one another. Do little things to bless people. Follow the passion that God has placed in your heart. I always end my personal thoughts with the reminder of what God placed in my heart 6 years ago. I wanted to get out of tennis, but had no idea to what. I read John 21. Jesus has just defeated hell and the devil and Jesus has not ascended to the right hand of the throne of God as of what do you find Him doing in the in between times? Serving the boys some breakfast. Frying up fish. The Lord asked me, can you fry up some fish until you know the next move? I said yes Sir! Now when I find myself in transitional times, that's what I do, fry up fish, serve right where I am, bless someone... it is amazing how God shows you the next direction while you're serving someone "breakfast."

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Sunday Conversation with Peggy

Finally, Peggy and I were in Sunday School together on the same Sunday. Between her busy "Bain Bed and Breakfast" schedule this summer and well, I think I was there mostly...anyway finally, we were together in Sunday School. This was also the Sunday to change tables. Periodically on some unknown schedule we switch tables, therefore giving an opportunity to make new friends, but keep the old or something to that effect. You know it is a good system and it gets you out of your comfort zone, but neither Peggy nor I are fans of the whole thing. This morning as we were checking out the options of where we would land, Darlene told us we could sit at the back table and form our own group. Either she was being really, really nice or really really sarcastic. I am choosing that she was being nice. It is not that we are trying to be snobby but Peggy and I have ADD and if someones quirks distract us, we are as good as gone mentally for the rest of the class. There is one lady, very sweet, but Peggy has been stuck at a table twice with her. She comments all through the lesson. A statement or fact is made and if details weren't given she shares with the table while the teacher is talking. We wanted to steer clear of her. There is one lady in the class whose table I have been at and she doesn't like me. It is so obvious how she feels about me, I can take her or leave her, but I don't think it is right of me to inflict me onto her or her table. So we finally got to sit together in Sunday School.

So here is some of our conversations this morning

In the hall after the service

P- who was that? She said she wanted to show me something and then she couldn't find what she was looking for.

N- you know her. That is _________. She's been here forever... she was at the manger when Jesus was she was the last person who got a room, so she is why there was no room at the inn.

P-I have no clue who she is.

In Sunday School

Dena- (teacher and resident lurker on my blog) give me word problems. I love reasoning those out.

P- you're weird!

D- Well, I have always said I was a nerd.

N- who cares about a train leaving Seattle?

P- who cares about tomatoes costing 4.20?

N- Just buy the things and worry about all that dividing it out between people later. (note to self-become friends with those who don't like tomatoes, thus the need for solving word problems resolved)

Leaving Sunday School and walking to the parking lot together

N-I got a call from ______on Friday about prayer. Don't they know if prayer is involved, I don't want to have anything to do with it. (inside joke)

P-Who is that?

N- you know her, she is married to _______.

P- how can I be a member of a church for so long and not know these people? I have to go to Nordstrom's for some facial stuff.

N- I am going there for lunch. Want to eat with me?

P- can't have to go to this girls grandpa's party and take pictures.

Cell call from Peggy

P-that white truck nearly took you out. Did you see it coming?

N-it wasn't a truck it was a mini van and I only saw it at the last minute.

P-did you cuss?

N-nearly, but you know mini vans always make me cuss. ( I hate mini vans whether I am in one or behind or beside one. People drive them like they are buses)

P-they are usually filled with a bunch of screaming children and the mom can't concentrate.

In the Nord Parking Lot

P- Millie, where are you?

N- I am over here beside your car.

P-I was right behind you, I saw you turn into the garage, but how did you park so quickly?

N- I was checking for parking on the first level, then just went up a level.

P- it is shorter than the way I came.

N-I don't like going through the rug rat Macy's parking area.

For some reason as I sat here this afternoon and thinking about some of our bizarre, but typical conversations I wanted to share today's with you. I love our conversations, they are all over the map. Sometimes when we changed subjects, we make the sound of a car swerving. And if we loose our train of thought which left Seattle at 2:00pm going 56 miles per hour, we always make our way back at sometime in the day to complete what we began.

We have made some unique promises to each other.
  • If one of us starts wearing double knit and SAS shoes, there will be a definite intervention

  • No complaining...well at least not to others.

  • We have each other's back
  • We want to live on the same floor at The Forum, but we want our own apartments

Peggy has a great sense of adventure and I have had more of them because of her. It is not the possessions we acquire but the adventures to be had and lived. We have laughed together and here of late because of situations beyond our control in loved ones lives, we have cried together...and prayed for one another to get through everything without saying things we would regret later. I cannot imagine what my life would be like if Peggy had never been a part of it. I would have had a lot less fun and I wouldn't have the greater understanding of loyalty and steadfastness that she lives out daily.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Once upon a time, way back in the day....

Lupe Tortilla Rocks!!!! I am ahead of myself, but I couldn't start off this post with anything else but that statement.

Right now I am thinking back 30 years ago tonight. Family in from out of town and friends gathered to celebrate and rehearse for our wedding the next evening. Tomorrow is our 30 anniversary. The time has gone so quickly. On the way to Hobby this morning, we drove by the Pennzoil Building. That is where Roy and I met. He worked in Audit and I worked in the Treasury Dept. My roommate introduced us and we in turn introduced Debbie to her husband several years down the road. Roy was 25 and I had just turned 23 when we were married. Clearly we are the poster children for opposites attract. Roy is studious, serious, goal oriented and task driven. I can exhibit some of those traits, but they have been acquired and practiced. Roy is not a macho man in the sense that one thinks macho. He won't get up in your face, he isn't angered easily and he doesn't feel the need to be right or rather he doesn't feel the need to lord it over someone that he is right. Roy is macho, but in spiritual way. He gets up at 5:00 am and covers me with pray. He does prayer battle for me. Roy brings me to God's throne everyday and asks for God's favor and blessing over my life. One of Roy's core beliefs is, what blesses me will bless him. I have to tell you I love him so much! He told me today at the airport before he unloaded his luggage, Happy Anniversary and I haven't forgotten you. So that means there is a surprise ahead, but I don't know when or where.

After leaving hubby at Hobby, I was off to meet Lisa. We met up at her exit and I followed her down the freeway and through the back roads to get to Lupe's Tortilla on Bay Area Blvd. Ya have to love the cell phone at times like this, we talked all the way there, then hung up, got out of our cars and we hadn't missed a beat in our convo. We were blessed by the chips and salsa, we were blessed by our waiter Israel, I was blessed with the green chicken enchiladas and Lisa was blessed and highly favored with the jalapeno and cilantro chicken...we were blessed going in and more than blessed coming out of the place. Dang, it was GOOD! Lisa and I rose up and called Lupe blessed. The last time I had eaten at Lupe's was my last day of being 49. It ain't right that I haven't been back and plan to rectify that for the future. Since there is a Border's Bookstore right across the way and me with a coupon burning a hole in my purse, we set off on the scary journey of trying to get across the street. The traffic was horrible. So Lisa very carefully pulls into the right lane, carefully giving thought of how to maneuver over and help me navigate that path as well. Y'all, I pulled out and got across the lanes and onto the other side in nothing flat. I called Lisa and she is looking at me from the other side of the street. She is screaming how did you get over there? How did you do that? I waited for her outside of Borders. It was a good shopping experience for me and I used the coupon. We said our goodbyes and I headed back into town, only I decided to go a different way. Did OK until I made a turn onto the Fort Bend Toll Road thinking it would hit the Westpark...nah, but I did enjoy seeing parts of Houston that had been open fields when I was growing up. I even passed an Oldsmobile Toranado on the way. I hadn't seen one of those for over 25 years. That is the make of car that Roy owned when we were first married. I called it a Tornado cause it blew through our money with all the repairs that car needed.

Just talked to Roy and he is safely ensconced in his hotel room. He said he has already been on Canal and Bourbon streets and has had enough. He is going to eat in the hotel tonight. Buddy and I are in for the evening as well. Have a good book and several interesting magazine articles to peruse. Tonight 30 years later is a lot less exciting, but oh so much more satisfying. 30 years later we love each other more than we did back in the day. We have had many joys, lots of happiness, cried some tears, walked through difficult stretches. There were times we couldn't stand each other and grateful for more times when we couldn't get enough of each other. Knowing him has made me a much better person, he loved the rough edges right off to smooth. His sweet and gentle ways have become my ways and he thinks I am funny, smart, beautiful and this part is so good, he has loved me when I was thin, loves me when I am pleasingly plump, and has loved me when my figure has been somewhere in between.

Happy Anniversary Eve, Roy! May our best years be ahead.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Shake, Transition, Roll

This short work week has felt like two weeks. The launch of Midlink went very well, better than expected, yet still with a few flaws that can be adjusted and tweaked by next Wednesday. Taking a vacation beforehand was critical to navigating the unknown and the more treacherous known.

In between all the busyness of work and life, there were a few chances for me to grab a little reading time. I came across an article about shaking up your thought patterns. This technical business article, heavy on technical, is written to help us keep our brains from the preferred comfortable patterns of learning and processing information. Basically don't always accept the status quo, shake things up a little. I skimmed the technical part because my brain has been trained to glance over anything that looks mathematical or has to do with words that look mathematical. The article encourages the asking of subjective questions to staff and co-workers. The questions in themselves are innocuous at first, but open up the opportunity for creative treasures to burst forth with energy. As I read through the questions and realized for me to answer them would take much more thought and reflection because my brain hadn't answered questions like this for a long time. Again simple questions that hold a wealth of truth. I think the reason why there isn't always a lot of discussion when situations are open to discussion is fear. People seem afraid of answering any type of subjective questions in deference to the fact the one usually asking the question holds the key of longevity of employment. There are those who have certainly kept their brains in shape in this area and given the opportunity, they smother others participation with obtuse and verbose comments. Certainly, these are factors. In our staff meeting Tuesday, our Pastor related the difficulties of the new, but the positive end results of investing the time and travel through the twist and turns of adjustment. His volunteer research team read commentaries and other resources. Their ability to take 500 pages and then produce the main thoughts and facts into 5 pages is huge in freeing up Gregg to study, pray and let God show him new and creative ways to teach the congregation.

The article wants to be edgy and jump into the trend of life and business coaching. There is nothing new under the sun, Romans 12:2- renewing the mind. God created our brains, He know how the channels are formed and the brains propensity to routine... and God prompted Paul to write, "but be transformed (changed) by the (entire) renewal of your mind (by its new ideals and its new attitude), so that you may prove (for yourselves) what is good, and acceptable and the perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect (in His sight for you.) Amplified version...

Transformation and transitional times are to me are the most difficult times. There is a lot of waiting involved, nothing seems routine and comfortable. The best picture is moving from one place to another. There is a transitional time when neither place is home...there is still stuff to be sorted through and moved to the new place. In the new place is all the familiars of life we've moved over, but they're not in the right or new spot we want them. We are so drawn to the new that we don't really want to go back to the old and clear it out cleanly and neatly.

So there is where I am right now and probably where most of us find ourselves the majority of time in transition.... I don't know how or what it looks like, but during this season of transition for me, I am going to shake it up a little...not let my brain lead me in the safe and familiar ways of processing... Gonna renew my mind with the Word and ask the Creator of Heaven and Earth to hover over the chaos of my life that seems without shape and void and create in me something so beautiful, He can step back and say, it is good.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

A Quick Pic

Lisa P sent this picture of Roy that she took when we all went to the game. You will notice that Roy would not put his neck up into the uniform because he did not know whose neck had been there previously.

If you look at the picture with your head tilted to the left it looks like Roy is the front end of a bull. Which is much better than being the rear end of a cow or bull.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Things That are Making me Laugh

I have laughed so hard this afternoon and I hope the laughter continues. Everything is cracking me up and with good reason. First click on this link, this is a friend of Laurie Mounce. She has a scene from SNL that will totally crack you cracked up the actors playing the parts so much so that they struggled to deliver their lines.

Dana and Linda are cracking me up with their comments asking if I have enrolled in the Master's program at Southwestern Seminary because I went all domestic this weekend with the cleaning up clutter and the Dyson. I don't need no stinkin diploma. No, isn't it amazing, I made those decisions without taking one course, but I will admit going through the Hebrew alphabet while vacuuming. You see dear ones, if I had begun my course work, I would bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan and never, never, never let Roy forget he's a man (by asking him to take out the trash...tee hee) cause I'm a woman...w-o-m-a-n, I'll say it I won't I am tired of trying to remember the lyrics to that song.

One of my projects this afternoon was cleaning out the bathroom cabinet underneath the sink. It is the catch all of, who knows where this belongs...I will just throw it in here. Buddy was my able helper. In the very back and far recess of the cabinet, there was something in need of disposal, not a dead mouse or roach, but feminine products that I no longer need. Uh, for the men, it wasn't out of date Ajax or anything like that, it was regular things and oh some were super. I even disposed some accouterments that had wings. Accouterments is what Peggy and I have called those products since our days as sponsors at Camp Houston. Side story, this is when Peggy and I were first friends. You can mark it down in a Sharpie, but camp brings the...not the best, but in the words of an old song, "there is a river that flows from deep within" out in almost every young woman during that week at camp. "Aunt" Flo or "Grandma" as Peggy and I affectionately called it, would visit. You would know by the deer in the headlight look as they asked me to go into town and buy accouterments for them. They sheepishly could not tell you what brand or kind they wanted but would write the request on a piece of paper... Always with wings, extra light, and Ranch Dressing on the side... As sponsors, we would have to be the bearer of bad news, uh we are in Leaky, TX, they don't have choices, they have one product in each form. My first year as a sponsor this totally took me by surprise and by the next year I was an old pro buying and bringing every type of product on the shelf for those moments of our lives. Peggy and I were so intrigued by the whole process that we went to the Word to find our answers. Where else to look but Leviticus. As a teenager, Leviticus got me through boring Sunday night church, but I digress. Peggy and I found out that during that not so fresh time, the women would go outside of the city and sit on straw. Really, that is pretty gross, but I think the Lord knew women just needed some time alone and since they were unclean, they got it. Instead of saying, I've got a headache, biblical women probably ran out of the tent yelling, "on the straw, got to run." So from that time forward until surgery rendered Peggy and I straw less, we always said, we were on the straw. One year because Peggy and I are such biblical scholars, I took a Playtex product box and cut out two doves for her to take to Johnny as an offering to show her time was over. That has been 20 years ago and she came across those Playtex doves as she was cleaning out her crime lab. She gave one to me and kept the other. I use mine as a bookmark in my Amplified Bible. I get a lot of looks...

Back to what is making me laugh this afternoon:

  • Buddy - She has discovered all my stuffed sheep on top of a bookcase and she has figured out how to get them down one by one and she makes a trail with them. There are sheep strewn from our bedroom, down the hall, in the living room, to the front door and several are now in grazing position at her food and water bowl. Buddy is a shepherd, she is leading them to still water. I have been trying to catch her doing this. I was trying to sneak a peek at her and she caught me. She ran toward me meowing like, "Mom, leave me alone. Can't I do anything?"

She also discovered I had put up the throw that I bought at SPA Nord away. It is so soft and she loves to kneed it, but the problem being, with all the kneading, bits and pieces of it comes off. So, if I am going to have a throw for those tepid days in December, I had to put it up. For now I have it in a large shopping bag that I thought I had hidden from her. It wasn't too long ago I heard the rhythmic sound of a bag bring crunched. She had found it. I moved the bag and heard the sound of the crunching bag. So I took the bag and hung it on a hook at the top of my closet door. She is now sitting back there trying to figure out how to get that bag down. When I think I hear something, I get up to check on her. The pads in cats paws are sensitive to vibration and they memorize the vibration of your walk. So that by the time I get back to the bedroom she is sitting at the door looking at me like, hey, I'm not doing anything.

This morning at church I filled in at the door as a greeter until someone came along to help Laurie Mounce. It was really kind of fun greeting people and laughing with Laurie in between the greets. CP came up to me all a dither...she was wearing the Team Kid t-shirt with a denim skirt and I might add panty hose... puh lease...anyway, she wanted me to report to Jason that she had worn the t shirt like he had asked to help advertise for Team Kid. That cracked me up. By watching what she wears, you can know what is on her calendar. The black suit-either a funeral or a meeting with the Pastor, floral skirt with sweater set-meeting with someone important, but not as important as the Pastor. The constant- panty hose it is not respecter of persons.

Remembering Dana laughing at the Writing Workshop has caused me to laugh this afternoon.

I know this won't come as a surprise, but I am easily amused and easily entertained. With this in mind, I need to quit bringing my Mickey Mouse pen with me to meetings and to church. It is so much fun for me, but probably very distracting to others.

Think I will go to You Tube and watch some more old SNL and SCTV sketches.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

My Most Domestic Post So Far

Well, there she is. Roy and I bought a yellow Dyson last night. I thought Roy might choke over the price, but he was the one asking the most questions and trying out all the different models. Amanda had given me the first suggestion of the Dyson purple model, but after Roy's extensive testing he thought the yellow would be just fine. All I can say is WOW! I cannot believe the amount of dust and dirt this baby picks up. Thank you Amanda and Jaclyn for steering us in the right direction.
This evening Roy and I went to The Nord to get the pants I bought him during the Anniversary Sale cuffed and hemmed. We ate at The Bistro first and I had worked up quite an appetite with all the work I did around here today. I had the crab bisque and crab stack and Roy had the turkey and rice soup with the black forest sandwich. I was hopping to snag some fries off his plate but then he went all healthy and replaced the fries with fruit. Oh well... After we had finished in the men's dept at The Nord, we went to Dillard's and found a blue blazer for Roy. He doesn't always have the occasion to wear suits or blazers, but now he is totally prepared for such a time. We were going to do more shopping but Roy is finishing up Revelation in his Sunday School class and he thought maybe he should get home and study.
With all the college football on this weekend, it reminds me that fall isn't too far off, well in other parts of the country, but the football brings me hope of the days ahead. I love CourtneyS post on the anticipation of fall. It is my favorite time of year and soon the Bistro will be making Butternut Squash Soup and Ginger Carrot Soup. Fall food is fun and it is about the only time of year I will cook. I make a mean Tortilla Soup and I make a huge stock pot full and then freeze it in individual servings. If you want the recipe, just let me know and I will post it. It is a chicken broth based soup.
Yesterday Dena and I went to Harvest Church to hear Kirby Jon Caldwell and John Maxwell. I came home full. I love how Kirby Jon's topic was Economic Development for the church, but he would start preaching and have to stop himself, because it was a lecture type setting. There were business people in attendance and I hope the Word penetrated their hearts if they do not know Jesus. I took tons of notes, bought three John Maxwell books, and the DVD of Kirby Jon's talk. Last night at dinner I told Roy everything I had heard and he already has plans of putting so much of what I shared to work in his office. Probably in later posts I will go into detail and share with you all what I learned.
Today, I had my iPod on while doing all my cleaning. I was in my bathroom, mopping the floor and doing a deep cleaning on the counter top. I was listening to Richard Smallwood and Vision. Had a great moving beat that kept me moving on. Since I had only downloaded the album several days ago, I had not had a chance to listen to it all. Right there in the middle of cleaning and sweating like a Houston sweater, the song, 'I Love the Lord' began. It is the song that Whitney Houston sang in the Preacher's Wife. The words to that song melt my heart and I stopped right in the middle of swabbing and began sobbing. I stood there in the bathroom my arms lifted up in surrender and I sang along. I am sure my neighbors thought someone was ill cause remember, I have on an iPod. My singing scared the cat. She was no where to be found when I opened my eyes as the last note faded. It doesn't get any better than that, cleaning to beat the band and the sudden stop for worship. I dried my eyes and continued on not more energized, but as always so thankful for the Lord and His great love.
As we left for The Nord tonight, we detoured to the church. I needed to get Option Sheets out for September. I had Roy bring a box up to my office and on Tuesday I am sending out an email that I have a box of candle sticks, candle holders, throw pillows, and decorations free for the taking.
Seems like I had more to tell, but this will have to be it for now. There are several books calling out to me. Have a wonderful Sunday and a safe Labor Day Monday.