Thursday, November 29, 2007

November 29, A Very Special Day

Oh how lovely it is to come home with just done pedi toes! It has been a while since my last pedicure and if I hadn't been going to Julia for so long, I would have been downright embarrassed over the condition of my feet and toes. I feel revived and ready to speak good news, cause we know how beautiful are the feet that bring good news.

I am reading Luke's account of all the happenings before, during and 8 days afterwards of Jesus' birth. I am seeing these verses in a whole new light. I am impressed at the all the multi tasking God did in those two chapters. I love that Luke tells his friend I am going to give you an orderly account of all the happenings. Luke would have been a great blogger. This morning I underlined every time God involves people in the story and orchestrating the grand moment of His Son's birth. There is a baby jumping for joy in the womb, there are shepherds joyful at the angels, Anna, Simeon, the neighbors, the people waiting outside the temple and when Jesus hits the scene it is amazement and joy. I have a friend who doesn't believe that God is in the small details of life. These two chapters are full of small details that makes into one huge, wonderful story and salvation for the world. I am wondering why Zackariah was unable to speak when he asked why, but when Mary ask how can this be, the angel answered her. Maybe it's because ol' Zach was doing his job and should have known better than to question an angel in the Holy of Holies. If you have any insight into this, I would appreciate it.

So tonight at The Nord, they are doing 4 days of VIP. You get 10 points for every dollar on your Nord or Nord debit card. I found two pairs of pants tonight that are long enough, but would be even better with the cuff let out. Free they did both pairs and I picked them up after my pedicure. I then stocked up on my hair products that I am running low on. I may need to make a return trip Sunday night, but it was a good trip all in all.

Another reason today is so monumental is this, at the end of my phone conversation with my dad, I told him I loved him like I mostly do and for the first time in my whole 53 years of living, he responded back with a mumbled I, but the love you came out clear as day. I am in shock. I sat at my desk and contemplated that whole event. It was something totally unexpected. He has never told me he loved me on his own volition. The two times it has happened before in my life he was forced to do so by my mother. When I used to think about when or if my dad ever told me that he loved me, I didn't picture it happening this way. I imagined much more emotion on my part, you know tears of joy and this feeling deep in my spirit of joy for the words I've longed to hear. But, I went on about my day. I did tell Roy and he said well that is a good thing and we went on with our conversation. Maybe I will have more emotion or reaction if I hear it again in the near future, who knows? I have a journal that I write just momentous events in and mostly the short sentences have been the miraculous or momentous events of others. Tonight I can write, my dad told me he loved me for the first time. Wow, I never thought I would ever write those words.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What is the Play Grocery Store and Other Thoughts

For those of you who don't know what the play grocery store is, it is Rice Epicurean. In fact, this is a picture of the one closest to our home and this store is where I find myself doing a lot of my shopping. I call it the play grocery store because so many times I go there and play. They carry items that other stores don't and their mark up is higher than Kroger's or Randall's (which I call Safeway). I went there and only bought bananas and yogurt, but over time we seem to shop there more, mainly cause it's easy and the short check out lines.
This is where I spend the most time and money, at the deli or prepared foods counter. I don't like to cook and these fine, fine people do. I just ate some King Ranch Chicken that I purchased yesterday, for dinner and it was so good! You get E points for every dollar you spend there and once you meet a level you can turn the points in for such fun things. Of course, I have only turned them in for Nordstrom gift cards, but the cards usually come with buy one dinner get one free at the Bistro. I usually buy all our office birthday cakes from there. The cakes are awesome. It is also the time of year where they do their hand painted cookies for Christmas and they are a big part of our Christmas now. Remember, I hate to bake or do much cooking. So, where I once started out playing and pretending I shopped all the time at Rice has become more than play for me in the past few years. I'd like to thank my cousin Becky for asking me about the name. I think I wrote about this a long time ago and since I don't label my posts, I thought it would be good to write about this once again.

Thank you Missy and Becky in your encouragement for me to write a book. I have no clue in the world what I would write about. The blog is really a source of strength and encouragement for me. I can come home so tired, but so energized after writing just a bit. In all the spiritual gift tests, what is your passion tests, what are you good at tests and all the blog quizzes I have taken should make me a certified professional test taker. But one thing all these tests reveal is, if you love and derive strength from something, it is your passion. Uh, I also feel this way about Diet Cokes, but I am not going to make Diet Coke or having the best Diet Coke ever a centerpiece of my life.

I love that some of the young women I work with think I am cool. I love that they come in my office and talk and laugh with me or at me... My point of view is, I am not very cool, but I am fluid (see The Finishing School post) and do not want to be stagnant. You see I think being cool is taking my laptop to Starbucks and writing my deep and profound feelings and thoughts while nursing a latte. I have never done the above. The whole reason we bought me a lap top this year is so that I could go places and write. I sit here at the dining room table and do most of my writing, except for the brief trips to my desk.

I have told you before that when I travel I think I am going to be someone other than the person I am at home. I pack lounging pajamas and the like thinking that as the day transpires into evening on my trip, I will come back to the hotel room, put on lounging pajamas and then proceed to lounge in style. The truth of the matter is, I get back to the room and fall onto the bed and take a nap. My best made plans of lounging thrown out the window. Although most hotel windows do not open.

Well, I better go and look my lines again. I have main thought memorized...oh and I want to watch A Charlie Brown Christmas. One more thing, I got to answer the phone snow on snow today when CourtneyS called. At least I got a first in since she beat me to Merry Christmas Darling this year.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Condo-Manium Part III

Taking a break from the quiet, slow day, I ran over to the Play Grocery store for bananas and whatever else needed to fall into the shopping cart. At the prepared foods counter I was able to say hi to my friend Delmar, but not able to visit with him. I wanted to thank him for helping me pick out a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. But, while browsing the display, did I see it, yes, King Ranch Chicken. There has been so much talk of it on LPM Blog I had to get some. Then cooling on the back counter was Beef Pot Pie. So I am very happy with those purchases and the fact their hand painted Thanksgiving cookies were half price, so a couple of those puppies landed in the cart as well. Oh and too good to pass up, caramel flavored coffee on sale. All this a few more things and a 5% off coupon to boot. It was a great day at the grocery store.

I got on the elevator here and could hardly get off on the first floor. There is a very sweet older woman who lives on the second floor and she always stands in front of the door, thus I cannot get off and she begins to crowd me trying to get in. There is another lady here that does this, but she is so cranky I usually get miffed with her over the whole impasse thing. On the way in from the store, I was greeted by one of my newer neighbors. I have one of those faces that look like someone else. So she stops me and asks me about my feet. I tell her they are fine. I think she is asking me this because I limp all the time from my hurting knees. I don't even notice I limp anymore, it has become a lifestyle. So this sweet neighbor begins to give me blessings...bless the Lord, your feet feel more bunions, no more pain. No more crutches and a life to be lived as a blessing. And with that, she is on her way to the dumpster with her trash. Now, I am not one to look a blessing in the mouth, but I kind of felt bad cause she has mistaken me for someone else, who is probably still on crutches and sweet neighbor will be puzzled at the setback. I wanted to say something, but the only words out of my mouth was thank you.

I am worried about my anorexic neighbor. I usually see her walking in the halls about 3-4 times a day. Maybe she is on vacation during the holidays. Once I was behind her at the play grocery store. She had like two things that seems to my recall, they were salad related. Of course I had a cart full of things. She looked at me with disbelief that two people would require this much food. She doesn't understand me and the play grocery store, it is all about fun and what they carry that other stores don't have.

There is a woman down the hall that if for some reason I would die, she would be here with a casserole for Roy just about the time my dead body would be gurneyed out of here. She tells me all the time how nice he looks and what a fine man he is. Uh, yea, I know these things. She then tells me in that left-handed way that he is too good for me and that she understands men. Last time I looked honey, you haven't dated anyone the whole 14 years we have lived down the hall from each other. In fact for several years, she just thought I was the sister or cousin or cleaning lady for all that matters. You got to love a man like Roy who has taken Joseph's biblical lead. If she holds the elevator for him and it's just him, he thanks her and then runs up the stairs to be in our door before she gets off the elevator. I have run into her twice in the last 24 hours, each time both of us wearing workout clothes. Yesterday, I was on my way to practice dancing with Peggy...and is comfortable clothes. So, she tells me both times, oh making a fresh start at working out? I would have told her yesterday, I was going to go dance with another woman, which she would never understand and be at the front door with a casserole wanting to console Roy over this development.

There is another single woman who lives on the second floor. She has retired from Exxon but she works contract for them from time to time. Unfortunately while she was younger she was too emotionally tied to her boss and his family and married to her job. When he retired and moved back north, she came to her senses that life and maybe even a chance at love had passed her by. She said she was experiencing post traumatic stress disorder from giving her best to her job and really never experiencing much of life. So for the past several years she has been on an on and off again workout routine. She joined a church and has done a little traveling with newly found friends. I am really happy for her not waiting too late to become a little more fluid and taking some chances at adventure. She is contemplating laser eye surgery. She wears glasses and anytime she talks to men, whether they are married or not, she takes off her glasses. She thinks she is more interesting sans glasses. I think she is giving herself eye wrinkles cause she is squinting the whole time. We don't see her as much anymore cause she is out doing new things and making new friends. To tell you the truth when I first met her, I didn't think she had it in her to adjust and make such dramatic changes.

Our Asian Pacific neighbors have gone back to...China for a short trip. It is a family with two grown children residing with the parents. Now it is usually a quiet place here, but the four of them fight like cats and dogs much of the time. We can hear them when we are in the kitchen, banging stuff and yelling. Or it could be this is their way of cooking. When we see the parents in the hall, they are so soft spoken we can barely hear them say hello.

Weird guy that lives down the hall is home for the holidays. It has been plenty cool and he is wearing these horribly short and tight nylon mesh shorts. Somebody needs to tell him to stop wearing those shorts. This looks like a job for casserole lady down the hall.

Well, that is the happenings around here. I really need to go memorize some lines, but I had this condo report rattling around me for a couple of days. Don't worry, once I get back into the work routine, I won't be blogging so much.

Thankgiving Re-Cap

Monday morning. I am glad I decided to tack one more day of vacation on the Thanksgiving holiday. It will be good to get back to work, but I needed today. I still can't decided if I am going to make it to the Nord this morning to return some shoes or if I will just stick around home and take in the slowness and quietness of the day.

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.
  • We ate at home and loved having the day not scheduled.
  • Lots of football, although the LSU loss was tough to take. Roy is a LSU graduate.
  • Roy and I got some of our projects done.
  • Roy and I got to spend a lot of time together, which doesn't happen often with our schedules.
  • We spent good times with friends
  • I didn't have to go near a mall and actually had some good online buys over the weekend.
  • Finished reading one book and almost finished with one I started on Thursday.
  • We went to Becky and Chris' wedding.
  • We attended a reception for a friend's daughter and husband. They were married in San Francisco in September.
  • Enjoyed a fun Sunday lunch with Dani and Scott and made a new acquittance of Janet.
  • Paid a deposit for an Alaskan cruise in June
  • We knew God's goodness and presence.

Each morning, Roy made coffee. I love to start a leisurely day that way. Roy makes it really strong, so there is a good jolt to begin the day. Buddy has loved having us home. Since it has been quite chilly, she has spent most of the nights snuggled up by my side. She only was banished one night. When we opened our bedroom door the next morning, she had brought several bags of her treats to the door. I don't know if she meant them for us or she wanted us to open the packages for her, but seeing her sitting amidst the treats was one funny sight.

I am so thankful for a husband who loves me and even Buddy. I am thankful for my friends. I am thankful for the chilly weather outside and a heater that works well on the inside. I am thankful for the extended time off and returning to a job I enjoy with people I love.

Quiet day at home seems to be winning at this moment.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Practice Makes Perfect-Yet another Conversation with Peggy

On Saturday morning, Peggy and I have a M&G at Foundry Methodist Church. So being the perfectionists that we are, not, we decided we should get in a little practice of our dance for Dancing with the Scars. This afternoon I went out to Peggy's and I arrived about 3:30 and it was about 5:00 when we began our dance practice. That is what I love about our friendship, it is so dad gum easy. We can go weeks without talking and we don't give it a second thought. When we are together, we sit together. Even if we have just spent a 1000 hours together, we are side by side. That is just what we do. So today, because our conversations have been hit or miss at church, we sat down and talked through life. There would be those who would be amazed at the depth of our conversations and the journeys we take walking through the depths of life. Peggy is a God given friend and gift. We have walked with each other in some of the toughest circumstances of life. Today, we were brave enough to ask the difficult questions and then encourage each other in the Lord. We are both good at performing and waltzing in and out of parties without the slightest hint of any sadness that permeates our lives. And because we can be such clowns, no one even thinks to ask anything beyond the social nicety's and to tell you the truth, if someone asked and we didn't really have a strong friendship with them, we would brush them off and go on performing with hearts breaking.

Now, I did not write the above for anyone to ask me what in the heck is going on in your life or go ask Peggy the happenings in hers. Enough is going on and each morning I have the new mercies of God to meet the challenges. I don't know how to deal with the giants that seem to be populating life right now, but God knows. He knows all about stuff and us.

Dance practice went well and we even changed a thing here and there. We wrote and dated our new instructions. Some of the more athletic stuff we used to do has been replaced with more of a fluidity of motion. Note to self, I need to find my knee brace before Saturday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

What Part of Thanksgiving Are You?

You Are The Stuffing

You're complicated and complex, yet all your pieces fit together.
People miss you if you're gone - but they're not sure why.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Finishing School

I read The Finishing School by Gail Godwin in 1985. Gail Godwin has been one of my favorite authors and her intelligence and ability go way past what I am always able to comprehend or understand. It has been my practice to re-read one or two of her books every few years. So, once again I come to The Finishing School a novel that I have underlined and studied throughout the years. I told someone last week, if you want to know something about who I am deep inside, this book give glimpses into my thought processes. The whole book does not pertain to me by any means. If you like depth to your fiction reading, anything by Gail Godwin has that. Published portions of her journaling in her early years reveal an interesting look. To look at her now, she has an eclectic learned look, but pictures of her 20's and 30's show the wild, adventuresome side of affairs, lost loves, and disappointments as she struggled to construct writings worthy of publishing. Since the early 90's her reading has taken on a spiritual aspect, including novels on the clergy, her search for God, and the comforting find of life lived with a few cats, a good man and a God to know and love.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is the following. If you know me well, you will know why I love it.

"There are two kinds of people she once decreed to me emphatically. One kind, you can tell just by looking at them at what point they congealed into their final selves. It might be a very nice self, but you know you can expect no more surprises from it. Whereas, the other kind keep moving, changing. With these people you can never say X stops here or Now I know all there is to know about Y. That doesn't mean they're unstable. Ah, no far from it. They are fluid. They keep moving forward and making new trysts with life, and the motion of it keeps them young. In my opinion, they are the only people who are still alive. You must constantly be on your guard, Justin, against congealing. Don't be lulled by your youth. Though middle age is the traditional danger point, I suspect that many a fourteen-year-old has congealed during the long history of this world. If you ever feel it coming, you must do something quickly."

Here is more great quotes:

"Money, lurks somewhere in the plot of everbody's life. Sometimes more than passion, I think."

"I have reached a time in my life when I need to be refreshed by the unexpected rather than consoled by the stately rhythms of what I know."

"What bothered me most about theses houses, what bothered me even more than their lack of history, was that they seemed designed to make everybody as alike as possible. And the people who lived in them seemed to conspire."

"You just have to distinguish between a dreary interim and the onset of jellification. However if you catch yourself becoming complacent, I'd say that was a bad sign. Or repeatedly choosing the old, familiar routine rather than rousing yourself and striking out for new territory, whether it's mental or emotional, or actually going somewhere new."

Well, I think this gives you a little picture into part of me. I hate being label or put in a box. If I think you have pidgin holed me, I will make a change faster than you'll know.

To get a better look into Gail Godwin, she has a website She would be one of the authors I would love to sit down with and visit. Although, I would need months of preparation to be able to participate somewhat in conversation with her. Another author I would love to visit with is Ellen Gilchrist. Her fiction is thought provoking as well, but in a different direction. Her intensity and layering in relationships is some outstanding reading. I played tennis with a friend whose mother was a bridge partner with Ellen's mother. I'd ask my friend to find out answers to my questions from her short stories and novels. While I am mentioning favorites of course there is Shirley Ann Grau, Ellen Douglas, Elizabeth Spenser, Augusta Trobaugh, and last but not least Anne Rivers Siddons.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vacation Monday

Monday, vacation, and it has been such a good day. I really didn't sleep in like I thought I would. Last night I had Cafe Ascend to take care of. By the time I had cleaned and returned to the kitchen all the dispensers, then returned the easels I borrowed to the music office and then put the pictures that Jack Potts had let us display for Cafe Ascend in my office, it was later than usual. Roy and I met several college students and some not so young marrieds last night at Cafe Ascend and this was their second visit to HFBC. What a second visit complete with confetti and streamer cannons.

The SPA Nord has been calling my name for quite some time. Stacy has a different work schedule and it conflicts with my work schedule. So, I haven't been to the SPA in about 2 months. 90 minutes later and I am feeling fine. Less tense and stressed. The oddest thing happened, when she was working on my lower back, I was so tight that when she dug deep into the muscle, my feet and toes moved reflexively. Strange sensation, but I believe I have been set free. And as one is want to do, I did some window shopping afterwards and found a pair of red leather gloves on sale.

Then I went to the play grocery store. Delmar and I have become good buddies as I come each week to pick up several options for dinner. We call each other by name. He was busy when I first pulled my cart up to the counter, but when he was free, he came over and took over my ordering from Caesar, who was doing a fine job, but he isn't Delmar. Delmar tells his co-workers, Nancy is here. And several of them said, "welcome back Nancy" and "Nancy are you back already?" I have finally arrived, I am known at the play grocery store. Delmar is the best and he lets you sample to see if you'll like what's being purchased.

When I got home the boots I ordered were here. Only thing, they are black and size 9.5. I ordered dark brown and size 11. Got on the phone with Eddie Bauer's and they are expediting them to me. You have to love customer service like that.

I plan to stay away from the malls for the rest of the week as well as grocery stores, well at least until Friday.

Tomorrow I am planning such much needed home time. That includes my projects I have given myself to get done this week as well as some long reading times. I bought a few more things for my Travel Journal and think I will go ahead and start it. I don't think I can wait until 2008.

Thanks for all the Dancing with the Stars help. I am putting the finishing touches on the script.

Also, thank you for all the comments about my dream. I am a huge believer in God speaking to us through them. There are those crazy, I ate too late before bed dreams and there are those where you KNOW God is getting your attention. Maybe I will blog about some of those dreams in the future, but Lauren anytime my Grandma Brownlow is in my dream, she has a message for me. I don't dream of her often, so I pay attention to when she shows up.

Annon... Thank you for your good word on having a gift to help people laugh. I really do treasure that gift and do not take it lightly. But I have missed some really good times cause I have been helping those who need help to have fun. Guess I will have to say this, because it goes along the lines of Dancing with the Scars...but I am sure there will be some scars in my crown... yes, I just did that. Remember, you don't have to wear a scar baby to be in my show... I will just one I will stop.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Last Night I Didn't Get to Sleep at All, No, No....

Last night I dreamed of Mandalay, is the first line from the movie Rebbecca. Last night I dreamed about my 1988 trip to Israel. Of course I know that my dreams were triggered from Dena's stories, pictures and observations from her recent trip to Israel and Jordan. She has just returned and last night to celebrate her return home we had Mexican food at Molina's. How appropriate to return to where we celebrated her imminent trip and as I said before, a friend sends off a friend on a long trip with some chips and salsa in her tummy.

I went to Israel with the choir of First Baptist in 1988. I don't know that I would have gone if I hadn't been talked into going by friends. Got to love friends that encourage you to step way out of the comfort zone. One of the main reasons I didn't really want to go was our little puppy Tiff. She had only lived with us a few months and at that point in time I think I was more sad about leaving her behind than Roy or family. I had the most interesting dream before leaving for Israel. I dreamed about my Grandma Brownlow. You know how dreams can be one minute something is happening and the next minute someone you went to first grade with makes a cameo appearance in the dream and then the dream continues? In this dream, I was with a group of people when my long dead Grandma walks right up to me. I am so thrilled to see her and want to hug and kiss her. She stops me and asks, do you want to know what heaven feels like? Of course I said yes and she took my hand. To this day 18 years later I remember how powerful and yet light, this sensation as it penetrated through me. It was warm and my chest felt like joy was going to spill right out of me. And she and I began floating and then flying. It was awesome, I didn't want the whole experience to end. She brought me back to the group, who in my dream could not see her, and said God sent me just to let you know what heaven feels like.

When I told my dream to my family and friends, the same thought Nancy going to die in Israel? Well, we know I didn't. I think that dream was one of those God dreams given as a gift from Him, not to worry.

Thinking through my trip to Jordan, Israel, back to Jordon and then on to Rome has always been overshadowed by how much I hated the time in Amman. It was poor follow through by the travel agent used by the choir that some of us came to Israel via this route. Looking back at my pictures last night, the people picked for the detour where those of us who are assumed to roll with the punches, that we will make the whole experience fun and exciting and won't complain. I don't mind being that kind of person, but it seems like I have missed out on a lot of fun by being the one to sit at a reception dinner with all the odd balls who have come that don't know anyone and I am there cause I can talk to a wall and make everyone laugh and feel welcomed. There are a lot of those times I would really like to be with my friends and not be the fun camp counselor.

In Israel I could never relax because each day was getting closer to going back to Amman and leaving there to Rome. But there in Israel I took a ton of pictures, went to every holy site mentioned or not mentioned in the Bible and thought that some huge spiritual experience would hit me. I was moved by some things but never had that whack in my spirit of anything that resembled or seemed holy. We were singing, touring, and visiting so many places. I was tired exhausted and then in the middle of the afternoon before returning to Amman, I missed Roy something awful. I just needed to hear his voice. So I made the expensive phone call and woke him up in the middle of the night. I was not disappointed cause even coming out of deep sleep, he made me feel good. He had traveled all over Europe before we married and he gave me this piece of advice, don't be the first or last in line at the airport. When in Amman, I did not follow that advice and am so glad I didn't.

Looking at Dena's pictures and then coming home to look at mine, I now remembered where we had been. Peggy and I look so young. Bill had dark hair. We were much skinner then and Andy wasn't paralyzed.

God's timing is always right. Last night, before the hour of going to sleep and then in my dreams, God brought some truths home to me that had laid dormant in me for 18 years from this trip. This morning when I awoke is the first time I have not looked at that trip with regret and a sense of loss. Maybe there will be stories for the blog another day or maybe the stories are meant for me to ponder in my heart.

This I know, welcoming Dena home and looking at my pictures from 1988 gave me renewed appreciation for the friendships that God has gifted me with. While Dena shared in class this morning from the journal she kept while in Israel, I didn't lament the fact that I hadn't kept one on my trip. Really, there would have been nothing to record other than we had to return to Jordan and go back through the Allenby Bridge and I was mad, scared and angry about the whole thing.

I may not remember where we were while there, but I have the photos to cherish of friends stilled embraced and treasured and friends who moved on and didn't give another thought.

While I am being long winded word wise, I will also remind myself of this. There cannot be enough said to encourage us to say kind thoughts or words of love and encouragement to those we cherish and love. This week the paper has had several articles on hand written letters and the importance of keeping that ancient tradition alive today. There is nothing so nice as to hold a letter from a friend who just happened to think of you and wanted to let you know. Even a phone call is great. I got one of those messages last night from CourtneyS and it made my evening to know she was somewhere and she thought of me. I have some Thanksgiving cards I bought and plan to send a few of those out with words of gratitude and appreciation to my loved ones and friends. Take the time to say some words that will let someone know you love and care. If this is difficult for you to do, start easy and simple and practice will make perfect.

Last night I dreamed of my trip to Israel. I hope I don't do that again tonight cause after those marvelous dreams, I could not go back to sleep. I was thinking them through and the richness that was there-in came alive and kept me awake.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Sickness, Committees, Bible Study, and Other Things

I am coming out on the other side of being in the throes of food poisoning. I am so glad it is 24 hours later. Drat that Taco Cabana breakfast taco! I had such big plans yesterday. Roy has been in Calgary this week and his flight got in right around noon. He was actually looking forward to this trip to the cold only to get out of the office for a bit. His work schedule has been relentless in eating up his time. So comes this brilliant idea to pick him up and then take him to Jasper's in the Woodlands for lunch. It was such a beautiful day that walking around the Town Center of the Woodlands would be a bonus. The hitch in these plans? Free breakfast taco around 9:00 am. About 10:30 the waves of nausea began to arrive. That general malaise of sickness overcoming me. I am strong willed, so I fought the feeling, not giving into it. I began praying asking the Lord to take this from me, at least let me get through lunch at Jasper's. God is so very faithful. On my way to pick up Roy and once I saw him I began to feel better. Got a great parking space and we were off to lunch. I knew something was wrong when NOTHING looked good to me on the menu. I opted for a salad and Roy got the special, beef tenderloin lasagna and instead of the salad he opted for their Bourbon creamed corn. The aroma of his lunch was about to do me in. I gulped down the lavender and nectarine ice tea. We walked around a bit after lunch and hit Border's. Roy was upstairs and I was downstairs practically laying out in a chair. I called him and said I needed to go home. On the way home I asked him to continually talk to me, to keep my mind occupied on anything but how I felt. Once or twice he wanted to tell about the wonderful dinners he had in Calgary...Nope, no food talk allowed. We pulled in and Roy ran ahead getting doors unlocked, elevators called and clearing the way for entrance by keeping Buddy occupied. He would be a great body guard. Anyway, I made it in and laid down for a bit when everything hit. This is where I will end this story except that when I finally hit 3 hours without visiting the porcelain throne about 3:00 am, I knew the tide had turned for me. Today has just been about regaining strength in between a lot of naps. I have to give props to Buddy, she has been so good. I think she knew something was wrong with me. She has napped right beside me or at my feet. She only once looked like she was threatening to pounce on my head. We were able to take a few pictures yesterday of all our intended fun.

This is totally where men and women are different. Roy didn't even know I was throwing up because I am really kind of quiet with this. I think most women are. When Roy is sick throwing up, he wants the world to know.

Wednesday night was a really late night at church. I take the minutes for the Committee on Committee. I still giggle when I say that name. Anyway, after all the solemness of praying and picking people for various committees, we began to get silly. Now mind you, I am just there to record, but you know I have to comment from time to time. Mix that with Jason and Emily cracking each other up and Sarah W, the soon to be married Laura and I laughing over in the corner of our table. I would hear Nate E laughing from across the table and he was the first to get many of my remarks. The business of the church is all in good order, but dang, we had some laughs while taking care of business.

I wasn't ready for Esther to end. This has been such an awesome study. The worship has been awesome and the Word has been brought with much power and has gone straight to my heart and life. I was able to get the audio CD's of Psalms of Ascent. I loved that study as well.

Dena called from Newark. She was still on the plane as they taxied into their gate. She sounds good and she said she was on overload in every way. It was a wonderful trip it sounds like. I can't wait till we get some time for her to download what she experienced. I am also going to use her pictures which I know she will label, for me to label my pictures from Israel/Jordan circa 1988.

Roy loved his short time in Calgary. We used to go there every other summer for his work. He needs to return and hopes that some of that time will be in the summer. You know I will be right there at his side (I know you will) on a midnight train to.... oops ADD again. Anyway, the man knows the way to my heart gift wise. He had limited time and since the dollar isn't as strong in Canada right now, he wasn't much in the mood to do any big time shopping. He did good though, he brought me a wonderful retro pen. The box says, life is too short not to have a fun pen. I couldn't agree more. He bought me a journal/notebook in the hotel gift shop and the freebie gift of a Canadian Enterprise calendar was the icing on the cake. Now I'll always know any Canadian holidays if asked.

If any of you have been recovering from the stomach bug or food poisoning, you'll know I need to get this wrapped up so I can take a nap. Roy and I are picking up Dena from the airport tonight, so I need to get some power naps in.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Holiday Foods

A week from tomorrow is Thanksgiving. It is so hard to believe that the day is almost here. Last year there was an article in the paper about how most people who eat well all year long splurge when it comes to the holidays and they don't want fusion or cutting edge trendy food, all that were surveyed wanted comfort food. That would be green bean casserole, all kinds of jello salad, and celery sticks filled with pimento cheese. Dressing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, corn souffle and rolls, cornbread or biscuits.

So what holiday food or foods are your favorites? And maybe tell why. I will get us started and I will say right off the bat, I loves it all. Sweet potatoes with pecans, cinnamon and brown sugar are a must for me. We will even have some tacky jello salad. Like the mandarin orange, powered orange jello, pineapple chunks, Cool Whip and Sour Cream salad. Mmmm...that is some good eating.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Some Monday Thoughts

I saw the strangest announcement in the paper yesterday. It seemed to be the type of announcement to be suited more toward the business section. Right there in the midst of wedding and engagements is a picture of this woman in the business pose of folded arms announcing her employment at Smith Barney in the Wealth Management division. I think that quite odd. Maybe the announcement belongs there because she is like too many; married to their jobs and whomever placed the announcement might have been sending that message. Roy took a whole different approach in that what better way to announce joining a firm, especially in the wealth management section, than to put it with wedding and engagement announcements. These are people who a spending a whole lot of legal tender.

Another interesting article is, 'fears of aging vary around the world.' Really, who would have thought? There are a lot of fears and numbers to sort through but what it all basically comes down to is, concern about Independence and mental sharpness, less about appearance. Yesterday, I went to the 9:10 traditional service and I found myself sitting in the back. Now, I enjoy both traditional and contemporary styles of music, so 9:10 was more connivance than anything preference music wise. I wore a little higher heel, so the creaky knees kicked in. I watched older men and women walk up and down the aisle and dang, if I didn't walk just like them. I hated that. After the service I ran into Malcolm and Lisa P. Lisa was talking with a woman who is so sweet and kind. I nearly walked right past them with my mind otherwise occupied. Lisa stops me and we all talk together for a few minutes. I showed Lisa my shoes and said, "these are the ones I bought in San Antonio, remember." Meaning when she and I were there in March we were at the Nord and I found 3 pairs of shoes on sale. The sweet and kind lady said oh yes San Antonio shoes are so comfortable. I knew then what she meant, but I wasn't going to say anything. But I got to thinking about that again today and when Lisa and I were talking, she asked did she mean SAS shoes? Yes! I may be 53 but I am not quite ready for the sensible and comfortable SAS shoes.

More mistakes on the make up side of life. I have a new facial scrub and I was really getting into using it yesterday. With all the vigorous scrubbing and with my eyes closed, somehow my little finger fit right up inside my nose. My nails are longer than usual and with the force of my scrubbing, my fingernail hit to the utmost top of the inside of my nose. If you don't think that doesn't hurt, you should try it. I was telling the girls at the office and one of them asked if I almost touched my brain. It would have to be much bigger than it is for me to touch it.

Buddy has discovered, much to our chagrin the counter tops in the kitchen. She has never been interested in them until this weekend. Roy has nearly soaked that cat to the bone squirting her to keep her off. Maybe this is payback for making her get her shots, who knows?

It won't be long until I am on vacation. Have books lined up ready to read. I need the break and will only have to work a few weeks until taking off for the holidays. Yesterday, at the play grocery store, I found something that was a nice surprise, Three Brother's Bakery Gingerbread Men. Score! I bought a half dozen and look forward to having a "man" after dinner...gingerbread man that is. Roy is in Canada tonight.

Well, guess I better heat up dinner and keep the squirt gun handy to keep Buddy away from the gingerbread men.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Saturday Stuff

It is Saturday...the day of catching up. I had an invite from Peggy to go to the Nutcracker Market today, but I turned her generous invitation down, why? Cause I have Saturday Stuff. I almost didn't know she had called because this morning when Roy was being so very helpful he knocked my phone under the bed. He was on a time crunch this morning to be ready to go to Bible study, help me a little and get the stuff into his truck for the Mission Training Center. While he was taking the sheets off the bed, that is when the phone went into deep dark hiding.

I thought later in the morning I better get my phone and it was no where to be found. To make it more difficult, it was on vibrate. I remember it being on my nightstand because I woke up in the middle of the night thinking my phone had rung. It was a familiar ring to a particular friend. Through blurry sleep filled and non glasses eyes, I saw that no one had called by looking at my phone. Back to sleep, only to wake up Roy and Buddy a little later calling out for Roy. He woke up immediately and asked me if I was OK. I told him ______ was being mean to me. Now if I were to put the man's name in there that was being mean to me in my dream and if you know him, it would be totally out of character for this gentleman to be mean. He is such a sweet and dear man. I attribute that dream to popcorn right before sleep last night.

When I finally found the phone, in that short amount of time I had received 4 phone calls. Note to self, that is how to be popular, lose the phone. One call had been from Fed Ex with a delivery at 9:00 am. I mean really, besides old people and task oriented people, who is ready to take delivery of a package that early in the morning on a Saturday?

In between my Saturday stuff of cleaning up the condo and running errands, I have been on the computer ordering Christmas gifts and some fun stuff for well, me. When there is free shipping, I am all about home delivery. Ebubbles delivered a package yesterday. One item can be gift wrapped for free. When you are having a down in the dumps day, instant happiness, opening up a wrapped package. They pack everything so neatly with colored tissue paper. That is one fun box to open. I also like ordering online from Sephora. They have a order 50.00 and the shipping is free deal going on right now. And they include the coolest cloth bag that you don't get in the stores. Usually it is black, but this month it is silver. After several counter debacles sometimes it is best for me to order online. Last year, I bought some Laura Mercier and a gift came with purchase. The tube said blush, so I used it as blush and really liked it and how easy it was to apply. So, I go to The Nord to buy more and they have no clue of what I am talking about. It dawns on the woman helping me they have a lip gloss called blush. Surely I wasn't using it as blush. I blushed as I replied, yes. Right then and there she scheduled me for a make over session.

On Wednesday night I went to the Bobbi Brown counter. I had seen this eye shadow, glimmery and sparkly for the holiday season. I am asking the woman who is helping me all types of questions. Can I wear it during the day? Is this just for night? She informs me she is wearing it right now. I say well close your eyes and show me. She gives me a look like I am crazy. She adjusts a light, closes her eyes and turns her face to show me how glimmery it is on her cheeks. OK, the stuff I wanted was blush, not eye shadow. I made the excuse that I was just looking and moved on embarrassed. What was she thinking? I asked her to close her eyes!!! If she is a blogger I am sure my request has made it in a post.

If you ever look at me and think I have it all together, then you are all together wrong. Oh, is that is chiastic structure? No, it is more like a chaotic structure.

I am the person who went about on my on the job banking business in an outfit that I thought looked really, really good on me. I noticed people staring at me and apparently I looked as good as I thought I did in it. I sashayed throughout the bank with a confident yet fake monied and I look so good walk. Only to be told by a good looking man that I had a leg of pantyhose coming out of my bottom pant leg and I had been dragging that leg of pantyhose around for a good hour or so as I did my work banking business. Oh the utmost and total embarrassment. I sat in the car pulling on the leg only to find that the other leg of the pantyhose was in the other leg of my pants and it was going to require removal of pants to set the pantyhose free. That was a fun experience. Now you have to know that was years ago and I don't wear pantyhose with pants anymore. I have no clue why I did that back when either.

Well clearly I have told you more than Saturday Stuff. Oh well, Saturday Stuff I do is boring. I am too easily amused by my Dyson Vacuum cleaner. I always want to save the stuff it has collected to show Roy. He couldn't care less about all the cat hair this baby has sucked up.

Tomorrow, maybe I will have a more serious post of Sabbath Day Sunday...although I kind of doubt it.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Gifts that Cost Something

In a conversation this week someone was making comments about a person with whom they have had an adversarial relationship with. It didn't matter that the person being commented about has been long dead and gone. The statement was made, "she was willing to give only those things that cost her nothing." The horribly sad reality is, the same could be said of the person commenting.

Last night I had an extremely long and terribly draining conversation on the phone with someone who has an adversarial relationship toward me. The power of pleasing and making sure everything is OK just to keep the anger and meanness of this person at bay was disconnected years ago. In the recent past I just let them say whatever they need to say and respond in saying something but really saying nothing. We see this in the sports world:

interviewer- Spike, you lost the first game. Anything you are going to take away from this for the next game?

Spike- We can only take it one game at a time. We are giving a 110% and we can't get ahead of ourselves. We can only play the game in the way we know how to play.

See, Spike said something, but he didn't say nothing. This is a brilliant offense and defense in difficult conversations with difficult people. In conversations with this person I have also instituted a 3 strike rule, say 3 things that are mean spirited, stories of slight and hurt from the past that aren't going to change or just not true, and the conversation or visit comes to an end.

Last night as I listened to this person download for the 1000th time, "I was not a good______ and my best was never good enough". I said something back to them and there was going to be value and meaning in the response. This person was waiting for me to say, no...that's not true, but regretably, it is. I calmly went to "back in the day" going to a therapist would have meant shunning and that is why so many were hooked on Valium to take the edge off the stresses of life. So I said to this person, you did the best with what you knew to do at that point, but because of this, you were hard to be around. You seemed mad all the time and we tiptoed around the anger and your displeasure with us. You put " your best is not being good enough", on yourself. We just tried to keep you happy because we could not bear the anger and hostility you felt and could act out on us, and not on those who controlled the strings in your life. Then I told them a story about gift cards. There are always those people who give you Dillard's Gift Cards when they know you rarely shop there and the mindset is, well I know you don't shop there, but this is good enough for you and I didn't want to take the time to give what would really bless you. The point I was making is not about being grateful and gracious in receiving that gift, but the message is given you are not important enough to me to give you what would really bless and lift up. Only the adequate is given.

After telling this story to them I then said, you did your best in not ever letting me know that you had an adversarial relationship with this person whom we loved and loved going to see. We never knew the hurt and the uneasiness that you were experiencing throughout the visit. That was a wonderful and best gift.

When we got off the phone I told Roy I just gave them a gift by finding something good to say about a terrible and almost unbearable season of life. I thought to myself I gave them a gift that cost me something... a lot to tell you the truth in therapy fees, walking in God's love, giving praise sacrificially and just maybe the opportunity to say what has been on my mind for a lot of years. It wouldn't have done my any good to say what I thought anyway because this person no matter what you say hasn't changed a course in life. They would take the words and once again play the victim as that is their chosen course.

I took a few moments before coming out to the living room and prayed. It was then I heard the Lord speak into the deep recesses of my heart. Choosing the right way to talk and handle the situation has been God's gift to me. There was a day when I would have hung up the phone and cried. I would have lamented what should have been and cried out with the why and lack of reconciliation about the whole thing. I would have just sat for the rest of the evening, fighting back tears and then anger only to loose an evening. Last night was God's gift. I got off the phone, briefly told Roy of the conversation and then we went on to eat dinner and get caught up with our days. I read a book, watched some TV and went to bed with peace in my heart and joy in my life. Oh what a gift, what a wonderful cost Jesus His life for me to know this peace and joy. I am oh so thankful and grateful for His costly gift for me and for all of us.

Psalm 84 holds a special place in my journey. It is all about hearts set on pilgrimage with God. The sparrow has found a house- sparrows represented to the Hebrews, insignificance. Those who felt insignificant found a home in God's dwelling place. The swallow a nest- swallows are the picture of flitting...they couldn't be still. They continually moved flitting from one place to another-they couldn't settle. But in God's dwelling place, they found a nest, a place to settle and a home. Our strength is in Him. Passing through the valley of weeping, God's strength and home in our lives makes it a place of blessing. Our shield and sun is the Lord!

All the above is really about Psalm 84ing it. Just another part of the journey and part of my travels on this earth. Yesterday, I had a coupon burning a hole in my pocket to you guessed it, Border's. Instead of using it yet for another book, I bought yet another journal. Only this one is different for me. It is a travel journal and it has places for pictures, for pasting in mementos from the trip and a place for writing. This is going to be my journal for next year. I am going to keep it just as if I were traveling. Actually, I am, but it will be my journal filled with mementos, pictures and my thoughts as my heart is set on pilgrimage.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

First Day of Red Cups at Starbucks

Today when I stopped in at Starbucks I noticed the red cups. November 8, 2007 is the first day of red cups for this Christmas season. This little event brings me great joy.

Also, after talking with Lisa she has encouraged me to describe in better detail the shoes. I will have to wait until I get them in my hands before I am able to do this. They are so much more than the picture shows.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

My New Shoes

OK, I found a picture of the shoe I bought today. A little bling for my feet.

Found a few things tonight at the store. So, I am happy with my purchases today.

Half Yearly Sale Begins Today!

Lisa has already made her morning trip to the Nord. I should have taken some vacation today but my plan is to leave after Midlink Cafe and go on over to The Nord for some perusing of sale items. I did get to go online this morning and bought a pair of shoes that I regretted not purchasing at the Anniversary Sale. Lisa bought a pair then and has happily worn them to the delight of friends and others. I watched the happiness and wished I had taken advantage when I had the chance. Then this morning the new mercies of the Lord became mine, the shoes were on sale again and there was a pair in my size. I bought those suckers in no time flat. I just went back to the sale to make a copy of the shoes to show them off here on the blog...dang...they are gone...sold out...there isn't even a picture of them. If you are doing the Esther study, I wouldn't say this is a true reversal of fortune, but it is pretty dang close. I was able to talk with Lisa and she is excited that I was able to get the shoes. Lisa said, poor Dena, being in Israel and not here to buy her a pair of these shoes...for she lamented as I, that she had not purchased the shoes at the Anniversary Sale. Maybe there is a Nordstrom Rack some where in her future travels where she may find a pair. When Roy called today I told him, I'm going to The Nord after church and he said, I thought church and Nord were interchangeable. You got to love that man for making me so happy by saying that.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Little tree, monks and condo-manium part 2

If you look closely at the middle of the picture, in the midst of concrete and debris, there is a little bit of autumnal green. Just a sprout, but my tree is growing back after it 3rd or 4th mow down. I believe it is coming back quicker than usual. After running errands yesterday, I went to the front of the car just to take a peek and see if there are signs of recovery. Yes! Again I am filled with great joy and hope cause this little tree is searching for the sun with a vengeance. I love this little tree. God uses this little tree to give me strength and hope in the hard terrain of life I am called to walk from time to time. This tree and I are going to clap our hands. Of course I know the Bible says the trees of the field, but baby, this is a rock hard field. Maybe tonight when I leave for church I will give this tree a standing ovation. Take a little Praise Break and give Him some praise!
At noon today I had a meeting to attend at church. I was asked if I would be one of the monks doing the Hallelujah Chorus for the Christmas Program this year. It is a fun group of people, most of whom I know already, but I am looking forward to getting to know the ones I haven't met before. Any group with members such as Pamela, Jennifer S, Peggy, Jaime,
Drew and Mark B is going to be fun. Of course when they gave us the CD to listen to the Hallelujah Chorus, I was pretty happy about that and the promise of a DVD to practice with...I'm all for that, but when we were handed a chart of the words and how they would be done, I said to Peggy, I didn't know math was going to be involved. Hopefully they know with whom they are working with and give me a really easy part to do.
I wrote about our condo in this post and thought I might add a few more condoments...tee hee. I could not resist. When Roy and I came home from lunch today, (no we don't eat at home very often to those of you new to monablog) and saw Deloris. I have written about her before. She was the mistress of a local and well known businessman for years when she was younger, but looking at her now, you'd just think she is a sweet old lady. She looked kind of worn today and I think Mary's death has been very hard on her. She had her little grocery cart and the 24 pack of Bud Light seemed to be the dominant purchase from the store. She has come up in her choice of beer, she used to drink Pabst Blue Ribbon or Lone Star because it was the cheapest beer to be bought. She usually walks in with Roy and me, but she hurried onward like she didn't really want to talk with anyone. If I bake this year at the holidays, I think I will take her something. She, Mary and Mary's sister always traveled on the holidays and I wonder if she will do so this year? It is like the United Nations on our floor and wing. There is a mother daughter combo that live down the hall who are French Jews. Just a couple doors down from them a Muslim girl lives who awaits her mom's arrival from Jordan to live with her. In between them is a older gentleman whose wife lived at The Forum and needed assisted living. She died sometime last year. He is kind and is out early every morning walking the neighborhood. The man who lives next door to him is just plain strange and odd. In all our years living here, we have attempted conversation with him and he avoids conversation at all costs. The girl who lives across the hall from us saw our last name and thought we owned a paint company. Every time I saw her she would hint at needing to paint her place but was strapped for cash to be able to take care of that. I finally had to tell her we did not own the paint company, the pool company, the cleaners, and we weren't the dental association that has our last name. Needless to say, she hasn't wanted to talk with us much since then. She had the horrible bad luck of parking next to a big ol' time Joe Bob and his Dooley truck. Seemed like Joe Bob had a difficult time of just taking up his spot. She left him a note on the truck one day politely asking him to park on his side. He waited for her one morning and lambasted her with words that shouldn't rightly be said to a lady. The condo management realized he was kind of crazy and took the proper precautions with him. I think he sold his condo and moved back to whert he came from.
I cannot help but think about some of the animals that have lived here in our condominium complex. Lots of dogs and you can't help but notice cats sleeping the windows or just watching over the sights. Lot of big dogs live here as well as small yappy kinds of dogs. We had a yappy kind of dog when we first moved in. Walking her was almost always an adventure. She and I were nearly struck by lightning once, but that will be for another time. I was telling someone the other day about the time Tiff the dog cornered a squirrel by the gated entrance off the parking lot. It was an early morning and I was dressed for a tennis match later that morning. We came upon the squirrel and I thought I would release a little more length of the leash to let Tiff get a little closer to the squirrel. She had desired to catch one all her life. So I was going to let her look, then we would walk to another entrance and let the squirrel be. So, like an idiot, I let a little of the leash go so that Tiff is two steps closer and then to my utmost surprise the squirrel began running right at me. I was frozen and could not move as I watched this rodent with a busy tail come at me...I screamed like I had never screamed before. The squirrel is closing in, I am like a tree by the water, I shall not be moved, when the squirrel went all Rocky and Bullwinkle and leaped and flew in the air...still headed for me. The squirrel has his paws out in front of him, kind of Superman like and uses them to bounce off my knee brace and make an amazing turn in mid air away from me and away from Tiff the barking dog. After the squirrel's departure, I still stood there. I had always laughed at people who said I was so scared that I wet my pants. Silly people who aren't in control of their emotions, I always thought. But I stood there and said out loud Tiff, I think I wet my pants. We better get in to check on that. This is the same entrance where I had a Seinfeld moment or rather an Elaine moment when a bird flew into my head.
Well, enough for now. No deep spiritual moments here in the blog as of late. But, I know that God walks with me in all happiness and in the valley of the shadow of a squirrel. He walked before Roy and I last night as we headed over to my parents. One never knows which direction the conversation can take with my dad and I went through my check list of what ifs with him on the ride over to their home. God assured me in the deep recess of my heart He had the whole evening in control and I shouldn't fret or worry. He did. We learned in Esther this week that God knows and He knows how... He is mindful that we are but dust. Speaking of that, I better go check the dust in the mirror and add whatever I need to make my dust look good for church tonight.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

An Extra Hour! What to do, what to do? Guess I Will Blog

Roy and I just got in from visiting my parents and then going out to dinner. It was the perfect dinner date for Roy. We were surrounded with three TV screens and with football in full gear, he was a happy man as we ate and watched the games, only to talk during the commercial break. With Texas A&M fans outnumbering LSU/Alabama fans, all three monitors are on the Oklahoma Sooners dismantling the Aggie's. There should be a vale of tears back to College Station tonight. LSU beat the much disliked Crimson Tide...much disliked by Roy, who went to LSU. I root for Alabama when they play anyone else but the Tigers. My tennis partner who I had an undefeated season with went to Alabama and so there is a soft spot there for Bama.

My mom is an avid gardener. We were looking out the window at her flower beds when I say the biggest fern I have ever seen. She bought a regular fern at Lowe's and see what she has done with it.

These are some big honkin' ferns. This gift of growth did not make it into my DNA, but my mom's sense of humor did.

Wednesday night was First Fest, the Falloween Celebration formerly known at Fall Festival. I went over early to take some pictures of the brave souls who took on the mechanical bull.

CourtneyS looks tough, but the bull tamed her spirit.

Jesse did himself proud staying on the longest.

Debbie is trying to get situated on the bull...she never really found her stride for the ride. Other weekend highlights:
  • Buddy had her first of two sets of shots. It has taken some of the starch out of her last night. She found her spot at the end of the bed and did not move. It kind of scared me and I had to turn on the light in the middle of the night to make sure she was still alive. If waking up Buddy and Roy was the goal, mission accomplished.
  • Had my first Gingerbread Latte of the season. Wow, I forgot how good it is.
  • Roy went to court this not practicing law or in trouble with the law, he went to get three hours of ethics for his CLE.
  • Heard twice from Dena yesterday, both calls from New York. Asked me to take care of a few last minute items. Sounds like they are ready for a wonderful trip.
  • I wasn't able to go to Galveston with friends yesterday. Hopefully Candie will take her less than tan friends again. Buddy had me concerned and with the addition of the motorcycle clubs taking over the island for the weekend, had me less than enthralled, so I didn't make the trip.

I've decided than in addition to being addicted to books, I am addicted to collecting journals. You would not believe how many I have...not written in. Actually, I buy interesting journals more so for gifts than for myself. And my book addiction is getting worse, we had three Amazon deliveries this week, all books I ordered. Maybe I will be in the A&E show I am not really looking for help with this, besides I do give away some books...after awhile. Our Amazon acct goes to Roy's email and he emailed me this week to let me know he now needs to keep up with me and will be ordering more books. Got to love a man who loves him some good reading.

Well, speaking of reading, I am off to do just that. Need to turn the clocks back so that we are not really, really early for church in the morning.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

When You Least Expect It-Surprise!

The non surprise at work is the 3:00 birthday cake. With very few exceptions I believe most birthdays at church are celebrated at that time. The birthday song sung and out of the way, we begin eating cake and visiting with one another. I like those times and there is good people watching in it too. By that I mean watching interaction and socialization. Now, I can only speak from the Ministries point of view, but we enjoy each other's company and we care what is happening in each other's lives. We celebrated Jason's birthday this week and since he is our usual song leader, our rendition of Happy Birthday was rather sad...but heartfelt.

Surprised by sheep this week in the bookstore. LMS tipped me that there were new sheep in the bookstore from the Round Top Collection. I messed up the whole display buying two out of the three sheep. It would be great if we could buy individual pieces for our Nativity Sets. I would have Mary, Jesus and Joseph and a whole lot of sheep. Guess I would need a couple of shepherds to keep them in sheep shape.

My friend Dena is leaving for Israel tomorrow. So as good friends do for one another, we met last night to eat her last Mexican food before her departure. There is nothing as sweet and salty as sending your friend to the Holy Land with some good Tex Mex, chips and salsa in her tummy. I also received a nice surprise of Mustang goodies. About a month ago Dena asked me if I could write a poem for a Mustang celebration in San Francisco using songs about the town and California. She offered cash or goodies...I'm no fool...always go for the goodies. I wrote it, they loved it and I received a beautiful Mustang pen and a marble kaleidoscope egg for the effort. To tell you the truth, I would have done it for free. I am excited for Dena and her trip. I have been praying for her and this time for months and months. She has really been preparing her heart to receive from God and I have asked the Lord to knock her socks bless her beyond her preparation. I know He is answering that prayer for her. There is so much to see and do in Israel. As in any long distance travel, waiting is usually involved. There are little distractions here and there to take our eyes off the everyday sacred of God. I'm encouraging her with, "He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the salvation of God." Psalm 50:23. Salvation is healing, deliverance brought to every inch and part of our lives. Thank offerings given to God when we are tired, don't feel like it or can't see any good to coming, changes our focus and we look to God more than to the situation. Let praise to God define the moments. It is laying the groundwork for a changed heart and being able to see God's purpose and plan in our lives. I was surprised by nearly being hit by a Mercedes in the play grocery store parking lot...but the woman who parked next to me, who had given me her spot in line because the checker didn't know the price of her $75.00 bottle of wine, and then was put out with me because not only had I taken her place in line, but my car was obstructing her from entering hers...her unhappiness got my attention. Noticing her unhappiness in that moment saved me from the speeding Mercedes and from a hospital stay. I was about to give her a I'm not so happy with you look when I thought, Praise Him... so I did. And I can tell you this, it is a good thing I had the top down on my car because my hands would have gone through the roof in praise to God. on my way home.

Yesterday, Paige and I took Jason out for his birthday lunch. We were going to go to Jasper's but time became an issue, so we went to The Grand Lux. As we were waiting for our table Paige asked about Bible study on Tuesday night. She had to miss. I am in the midst of telling them what I learned when Jason says, we'll just ask Beth. I thought, what? Does he think I am doing that bad of a job or that I am making up BIRGing and CORFing, so I asked him. He said, no Beth is walking through the door. There was Beth and Melissa out for a little lunch. Well, there are no such things as little at The Grand Lux. Anyway, what a nice surprise to say hello and talk for a moment. By the way, the chocolate moultin cake thingy with ice cream was awesome!

Surprised that the week went by so quickly. Surprised that I wasn't as tired as I thought I'd be by today. Not surprised by some wonderful laughs with friends, those are always a part of the week, a much welcomed part of the week.

Next post, I will surprise you with some pictures of those who took the chance on the mechanical bull at First Fest last night.... no not me. Are you kidding? My knees would never forgive me.

Oh, if anyone watches Dancing with the Stars can you send me tidbits about the show. Peggy and I will be doing Dancing with the Scars for Foundry Methodist and I am basing our script around this concept...only I don't watch the show. I know Marie Osmond fainted, but anything else that would be helpful? Thanks in advance for any help.