Saturday, March 29, 2008

That and This

So far this weekend has been enjoyable. Nothing big or exciting happening but I am enjoying the ordinary sacred. I had been dreading the past few months for the eventual reporting that little tree had not survived the last trim. One day it was sprouting through the thin dirt and surrounding concrete with leaves only to become a fragile, slender, brown stick. From time to time I would ask Roy, do you think little tree is dead? Roy would respond, we'll it doesn't look good for little tree. For months day after day, just a stick. I began thinking of ways to tell the news of little tree's demise. This week I noticed little tree looked differently and I even had Roy inspect it. His response remained the same, doesn't look good. Each day this week there has been a change and out of the fragile, slender stick is coming a new shoot of growth and by Monday one little leaf should be showing. Little tree is coming back! What a fighter. Seeing that little tree everyday reminds me to have hope in the most trying of circumstances.

This week we had a little scare. My sister in law called me early Wednesday morning. She had been to Vanderbilt Hospital for some tests and they found a mass in her esophagus. Now Nancy is a registered nurse and knows her stuff, but she did what we non medical professionals do when we encounter medical issues, she began Googling her symptoms and the report back was not good. We talked for a while and I did what I am good at, bring a little laughter into a desperate situation. I told her I would get her name on prayer lists etc and we would wait on the Lord. She was to get the report on Monday. Thursday night Nancy called and the report was GOOD. The mass seemed to be bulging muscle. Who knew one could work out their esophagus and have an esophagus six pack? We of course laughed and cried and thanked God because they had rushed the analysis so that she wouldn't have the weekend to fret. She will still have an ultra sound done, but we are rejoicing.

As the month draws to a close this means it is a quarter close for Roy and he is up to his eyeballs in work. He is even going in on Sunday and his usual practice is not to do so. We are home tonight relaxing. We have such different tastes in movies and TV. So, I can at least sit here with him while he watches Sci Fi, ABC Family and USA mixed in with basketball updates and I blog.

Got the highlights and cut yesterday. They won't be moving to Sugarland until May, so I have one more close hair cut next month. Afterwards I did the Kroger thing. Today I did the Play Grocery store thing. Got some tilapida quesodillas for dinner tomorrow.

Last night Dena and I went to Grand Lux for an early dinner. Wow, it was fabulous. We did our famous splits of everything. We were not disappointed. Then I needed to run over to Barnes and Noble to pick up a book or two...and a journal. Well, I didn't go for the journal, it was just one of those things. The journal has one of those 1940 type pictures on front. It says, Motivated by Meds. How appropriate for my current state. Then Dena and I went to The Container Store. Now you know you can't leave that store empty handed. And we made a quick trip through DSW.

Today Peggy and I rehearsed over the phone and Lisa P and I got in some good girlfriend phone time.

Roy went with me late this afternoon over to church. The Option Sheets were not delivered until today. Wow, the CLC looks ready to roll for services tomorrow. It looks wonderful. A bunch of new signage to go along with all the new look. The West side of the church is being prepared for major construction. It was kind of exciting being there tonight. Should be an exciting day tomorrow.

I am so thankful to the Lord. He is marvelous and does marvelous things. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Stomp Lyrics w/ Happy Feet Clips

Friday, March 28, 2008

He Went Running and Leaping and Praising God

Thought I would give a quick update. Tuesday got the injections and today is Friday and I am feeling good. My goal is the title to this post. So far, I am able to do the Praising God with great hope for the first two. At Bible study Tuesday night as we sang Stomp, two times, I watched Lisa P move around as she led us in worship. I remember being able to bust a few of those moves and that is my goal. What sets me back a little is having to stand for long periods of time. Tuesday morning I go back for the next set of injections.

Last night I went Googling. Just wanted to be more informed on the pain med I am taking. A couple of web sites gave opportunity to comment on side effects or extra unexpected benefits of Tramadol. Most described having a euphoric feeling and the heightened sense of pleasure. I am experiencing a heightened sense of peace and calm. My whirling thought patterns have slowed and for once in my life I am able to focus on the task at hand. Jason is more than thrilled with my newly found chemically produced attention to detail.

Guess I better get on. Have a hi-light and haircut this morning.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Get Out of That Pit!

I have just returned from my first injection and I am feeling no pain. Ha ha ha! 2:00 must be a magical hour for orthopedic patients. The waiting patients in the Dr office were overflowing out into the hall. It was a room filled with walkers, canes, wheel chair, and crutches. Truly it was the halt and the lame in need of healing. To the right of me conversation in French. In front of me a conversation in Spanish. But the universal language of choice for conversations in that waiting room and in the hall was pain, complete with additional sighs and meaningful grunts. It is interesting to watch couples. The one there to help the halt or lame one probably spoke the language of pain much more fluently and loudly than the afflicted one. Don't get me wrong, the afflicted were well able to speak in between a creak here and there. Patience already worn thin and then to be only greeted by a room full of like kind. It seemed more than they could bear. Again, I believe I was the youngest patient in the waiting room.

While I waited I worked on my outline for Get Out of That Pit, by Beth Moore. I was underlining and adding comments to the pages of the book. The lady next to me ask if I was reading a book by Mariah Carey? No I told her and I tried to tell her about the book, she needs it. She cut me off and said she didn't need to hear another story about God, thank you. Dude, she needed intravenous feeding of God's Word.

Pain is a horrible master. Bones, legs, and hips contorted and shaped in way they were never created to look. So many pain addled people with no songs of deliverance, just the wheeze and whine of affliction. I wanted to get up and ask for every one's attention. It took everything for me not to stand up and begin reading from Get Out of That Pit. I recognized these pit dwellers only by looking back at my life. Don't let pain define who you are. We may not be able to change the pain, but we can change our attitude toward it. I told God I would be willing to read to His children suffering so much in that waiting room and just then I heard my name called to come back behind the door.

The injections were not that bad. Kevin told me to anticipate a lot of pain, but really it was nothing. He said you didn't even flinch, nah, got friends praying for me and I have had numerous cortisone shots. Now there my friends, is a painful shot. My next injection is on April Fools Day. How appropriate for me.

I am going to the last Tuesday night Bible Study in the Worship Center before it is taken apart for renovation. Told Lisa a long time ago I would try to make this night. She is saving me a seat and looking forward to hearing the Word and worshipping the Lord. Lisa's CD is also for sale tonight. I asked her to save one for me.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter at the Bain Compound

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter. We did. Roy and I went to HFBC for the 9:10 Easter service. Both morning services were identical and at 9:10 the place was packed. In the midst of celebrating Christ's victory over the grave, I could not help be bittersweet as these were the last worship services before the Worship Center is completely gutted and renovated. Lots of wonderful memories came to mind and when the choir sang Majesty and Glory, I about lost it. I had no one to pass a note to or whisper my sentimental thoughts. Roy wouldn't understand it and the little girl sitting next to me would have probably told her mom stranger danger.

We returned home after the service where I took a nap and Roy worked on our taxes. Then we left to go out to the Bain Compound to celebrate Easter with them, the Mounces, and Murphy's. Roy and I missed the Easter Egg hunt and I wasn't too upset over that since I had just seen hundreds of children participate in those at Spring Loaded. We sat down to a marvelous lunch prepared by Peggy and Jenny. Ham, Peggy's famous potato salad, deviled eggs, fruit salad, green bean casserole and a plethora of tasty and yummy desserts.

After lunch we went outside to throw confetti eggs and pop rocks. Roy and I bring out a full complement of these fun Easter things. That is always our contribution to Easter with the Bains.

Here is Peggy with a ton of confetti in her hair. You can't see it but believe me it is there. Roy held onto the extra carton of eggs for the adults to break them on each other and the kids.

This is Bill's latest acquisition for the Bain Museum. It is a motorized Dr. Pepper car. I wish I had a picture of Bill driving it around. But he got over to 5 boy house before I could snap a shot of him.
This is Kate, Totters as she is affectionately called. I believe I will be calling her Peggy Jr. She has a lot of Peggy's characteristics and attitude toward life and having fun. It would be remiss of me to say, she also has a wee bit of Peggy's temper.
Here is a recurrent picture. Peggy always has her camera in hand. They never even have to say to the grandchildren smile, they just look at the camera while they are doing things. This is David, Bain's son and his son Charlie and niece Allie pelting him with eggs.

This is the golf cart you use to get around the compound.
Bill and the children.

This is Jackson, Kate, John Tyler, sorry about cutting off your head in the picture. I was just holding up the camera taking pictures since is was so bright outside, and Allie.

This is another egg picture. Behind that fence is a water ski lake and the dock where the fun jet ski is waiting for warmer temps and summer days.

Then we brought out the pop rocks and threw those around until there was nothing left to pop. Peggy, Roy, David and the kids then went next door to 5 Boy House (Peggy calls it that since the people who live there have 5 boys ranging from 12 down to 3) and played with the 5 boys on their trampoline and basketball hoop. Jenny, Laurie, Becky, Jaime and I sat outside and talked until the troops came on home. Roy and I got home around 7:30 worn out, but happy. How can you not come home anything but? Good friends and the biggest play house in the world? This morning we have found confetti all over the pillows in bed and confetti in a trail throughout our home.

Other happenings since last week. My passport was in the mailbox on Friday. Yahoo! Had lunch with Peggy at The Nord last Thursday. Then had a good shopping experience afterwards there and at Macy's. Friday night Roy and I picked up some Goode Company Bar B Cue and came home for a veg out night in front of the TV. I even watched The Sound of Music, which really is not one of my favorite movies. Even with that confession my Baptist choir card has not been taken from me. The good side effect of my meds, I cleaned out a cabinet in the kitchen and stayed on task. Saturday late afternoon I went over to Dena's. We are working on a project together and got a lot accomplished in that time. We were so happy about that, we ran over to the Bistro for an early celebratory dinner. Roy was happy to have me out and about so that he could begin working on our taxes. I have been something of a pest in former years constantly asking questions while he is trying to figure out how much we owe.

The past week or so Buddy has been especially loving. She is eager to sit on my lap. She has been sleeping with us again since she will stay in bed most of the night and not get into trouble. When she comes back to bed, she has been putting her head on my head which in cat language is a sign of love. This begins a few minutes of me rubbing her head and back and when she has had enough, she lays on my arm to go to sleep. I am hoping her attacking my head days are far behind us.

I took off the morning from work, so I better do a couple of things and then get ready to go in. It is such a beautiful day, it is almost too pretty to go into work, but I will.

Tomorrow I begin my injections. I would appreciate any prayer if you happen to think of me anytime during the day but especially around 2:15.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hallelujah! He is Risen!!!

Happy Easter morning! I am up before sunrise and I am no different than Mary and Other Mary. For like them, I am up seeking the Lord. Only, I don't have to go to the tomb because I know it is empty. We celebrate victory, today and every day,that Jesus won over death, hell and the devil. Our celebration today should exceed any March Madness that happens today. My prayer is for those who show up at churches today doing their obligatory twice yearly attendance. I am praying that their hearts and eyes are opened to see relationship, not drudgery in the Christian life. May they see Jesus and not anything else that would distort their view. Hallelujah! He is Risen!!! He is Risen Indeed!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Spring Fever

I have a horrible case of spring fever. It hit me hard today. Such a beautiful sunshiny day with cool temps and low humidity. Mustang Sally was calling me to come out to play. "Must resist urge to leave work." Jason came into the office with the same affliction...spring fever... He was trying to work on budget things, but it is difficult to stay focused when ya's got the fever. I felt a nudge of my new found focus drifting toward my usual mind set. "Must keep working." A reward came for working even though spring calls my name minute by minute. Dani came to my office bearing a gift from she and Carolyn. The bag said I knew it would be good. They got me a beautiful stone lamb with a lovely patina on the stone. They got lambs as well, so we have a flock. Then Carolyn came over and I listened as they looked through a Bloomingdale catalog...women's ministry at it's finest. Jason joined in conversation after a while. Refreshing, encouraging and meaningful were those few minutes. Our schedule has been hectic with Milestones, Midlink, Spring Loaded and tying up the loose details for Broken for You service tomorrow night. Dani, Carolyn and I made lunch plans and then I finished up a few things. We went to Sweet Tomatoes and sat in a booth across from the Swiggarts sans Chambers, who must have been freezing at Schliterbaun today. The Swiggarts left for other places and we took the scenic way back to the office. I had been doing just fine until we hit the second floor, and there it was again...spring fever. I reviewed several things, answered some emails and phone calls and at 4:00 when I couldn't stand it no more, I left. Instead of going straight home, I went to Memorial City in search of a gold chain. Found one, on sale with an extra 20% off the sale price. Found a couple more pairs of Michael Kors on sale, one not. Went and found Mustang Sally in the parking lot, put the top down and drove home with my fever subsiding probably until in the morning. The good news is, I am taking a half day off tomorrow.

Got some great news from my knee doctor. The injections have been approved by the insurance company and I will have my first one Tuesday afternoon. I would ask that you all pray with me that they will work and surgery can be delayed for a while. I am hopeful since I have had a great reaction to the meds.

Going to meet Dena for dinner. She must not be suffering from spring fever cause she just left work. It is a little after 7:00. Roy is still at the office. He has been at a conference for two days and then comes to the office to finish up things before coming home. He should be leaving in just a bit to come on home.

I just got in from dinner and we had a great time and wonderful food. If a large group is going to eat dinner, they sit near us. Happened again tonight. We moved over a table and another large group sat right beside us. Dinner with Dena is always fun. I love our conversations they go from serious to laughter to sacred, well it is all sacred, back to serious and we always end with a few good laughs. So, I just took my pill and it won't be too much longer and I will be in dream land. Just to awake to spring fever. "Must get up and get ready for work. Resist urge to sleep in."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Mystery, Mammories, Memories and Moments

There are mysteries we just don't understand. I am not talking about the mysteries of God and how He works in our lives. I am talking about every day stuff that should be classified as mystical.

Yesterday, I had a couple of errands to run at lunch time. I ran into scary Macy's at Northwest Mall. Bali sale going on, buy two bras get one free. Great deal. I have not used my Macy's card in forever and a day. No balance on it, yet when the clerk ran it through she asked, do you need to make a payment? Uh, no...unless I write a check for zero dollars. She runs it again and says, well, you can't use this card. Pulled out AM EX, problem solved. The only reason I was using the Macy card is, I had only to buy two more undergarments and I get several free. Later, back at work, I begin to worry that someone has stolen my Macy's identity and decide to check on that when I get home. Mystery solved in the mail. That card had been canceled and they upgraded me to the next card level. Come on why can't that info be in the computer?

I am mystified by people when passing by a group always think the conversation is about them. We have several of those around us daily. They all approach this mystery differently, but the end result is fear. I have also noticed these kinds of people need constant affirmation...CONSTANT affirmation. I do not withhold affirmation, because the Bible says if we know to do good and we don't do it, it is sin. I affirm them today as long as it is called today, but they are bottomless pits cause their need of affirmation out does the supply. And we are an affirming group.

This pain medicine is wonderful. The pain in my knee joints is reduced and a neat little side effect is, the whirling of my AHDD brain is minimized. In my focused attention, I went through our half of a storage closet and got a lot cleaned out. I also reorganized two of my file drawers in my credenza. Downside, I don't think I am very funny now. I need to write a script and I am struggling with it. This is usually something I can kick out in minutes. This too is a mystery.

The mystery of music and memory. I bought a Jerusalem cross today and I thought somewhere around here I must have a gold chain. I do not. I went through all my old jewelry boxes to no avail, but I did find a few good memory things. Took some pictures of some tulip rings Roy gave me when we were first married. I am keeping one and giving the other two to my nieces. The oldest gets first choice. Found several James Avery crosses that I received as gifts when I first became a Christian. Found my first good grown up watch given to me, given to me from my grandparents. And they were all stored in a musical jewelry box that Roy gave me our first anniversary. It plays the theme from Romeo and Juliet. No mystery there of why I loved those moments of taking in some good memories.

Just some moments from the past few days.

Monday, March 17, 2008

And the Winner is.......

Cassi. When Roy got home tonight we did the drawing. So congratulations Cassi.

We will do another drawing soon.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Casserole Lady and Other Updates

It was the perfect storm. Only it wasn't a storm or wild seas that happened it was just the casserole lady was coming back from working out as I was walking toward the car to leave for church. Roy, who had been out walking, rounded the corner and headed straight to me so that he could kiss me good bye. He was fiddling with his iPod when I mentioned as discreetly as possible the casserole lady was coming up behind him. She had that look in her eyes to greet Roy with a "good morning...why are you with her when you could be with me?" This Sunday morning Roy surprised both the casserole lady and me. You have to know that Roy is not a publicly demonstrative man. He likes to hold my hand or put his arm around me, but you will never see him grab me in a love lock and plant a HUGE passionate kiss on me. But this morning right out there in our parking lot, he did such a thing. Surprised the heck out of me as I stood there trying not to look dumbfounded. I tried to decide if I should turn right around and stay at home this morning. Casserole lady stopped dead in her tracks, as Roy held my hands and looked straight into my eyes and said, 'Wanna come back in for another "breakfast?" But before I could answer he said, "no baby go on, nothing is so sexy to me as you going to church. I love you!" Then he kissed me again and walked away, turning back to me and mouthing, I'll be waiting for you when you get home. Whew...there were two stunned women in the parking lot this morning. She managed to say good morning to me and I mumbled something about being the luckiest woman in the world or something like that. Had to fix my lipstick once I got to church and made me late to the service, but dang it, it was a sweet late.

When Roy and I finally had a chance to talk at lunch today, he was quite proud of his demonstration and was hoping I would agree. I did. Now we will see if this deters her with oh, he really does love her or this man, he has to be mine. Roy still surprises me even after being married nearly 31 years.

Now here's the thing, none of you can mention this to Roy cause he is so private and would be downright embarrassed, but I had to tell you all cause I've written about the casserole lady previously. I have to tell you I am downright proud of him. I don't know what came over him, but I wish it would come around more often.

Knee update- I am feeling good. In fact I was feeling so good yesterday, I decided it was time to organize my closet. In doing that I was doing the thing the DR had told me not to do, stand for long periods of time. On top of that, I was lugging out storage deals, tripping over shoes, and turning my knees in some awkward ways. So by the time I left for a wedding last night I was in bad shape. At the beautiful reception, I only could sit off to the side because my knees were unstable and hurting. Today, they are feeling better and hopefully by tomorrow will be working flawlessly under the pain pill and anti-inflammatory. Until I had a few days of feeling good, I didn't know how much pain I have actually been living in. Hope to hear something this week about the injections.

Today after worshipping the Lord, I ran to the Nord to return a dress that had I had not ordered. Actually,I had ordered some jeans and got someones order. Being the Nord, they were trying to locate the jeans and I assured them the credit was fine. This wasn't going to stop me from shopping at the Nord. In fact, I did just that. Did some shopping. Michael Kors in my new fav because his pants and jeans are long. They fit me perfectly. I found some wide leg, cuffed, linen pants and a couple of other things.

Ben Stuart taught for Gregg this morning and Ben rocked the casbah!!!! In fact, I want to hear the sermon again, so instead of sitting in the lobby during the service before Cafe Ascend, we are going to go to the Ascend service.

All in all this has been a wonderful Sunday. Great worship service, great Sunday School lesson, good shopping, and a second treat of worship.

Don't forget, tomorrow is the drawing for the gift card from the Nord. Happy Birthday Roy and Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Praise Break

The smell of tar is in the air. Seems as if all the condos and town homes on our street are doing major roof repairs. It is not the scent of spring exactly, but it heralds the news that soon it will be way too hot to do this major reconstruction. The scent of fresh cut lumber is in the air at church. As the CLC becomes ready as our worship center it signals the beginnings of all things new. I will tell you the faithfulness of God is a fresh fragrance every moment of the day. If we pay attention, we will take in that refreshing scent of God.

So right now I need to stop and give God praise and glory and thankfulness from the bottom of my heart. I am shouting His praises from the third floor...He is King and He is mighty God. He cares about the big and little concerns and events of our lives. He surrounds us with favor as a shield!!!

Here is the story. Circumstances have kept me from renewing my passport until today. Roy has scheduled me several times on his calendar and each time something has come up. No time for a visit to the passport office. I asked him to go with me to renew my passport. Since it has been way over the time limit of doing it by mail, my journey is the downtown post office. I picked him up from his office and we made it over to the PO. On the front door a sign informs us the passport office and retail lines would be closing at 3:30 today. It was 3:12. We went to the office and there wasn't one person in line. We entered and asked if she would have time to process my passport renewal. Of course she replied and where upon, she sat me down to take my picture. She then realized that she needed to close down shop and move things to lock the door. Sweet hubby asked if he could help her while I filled out the renewal form. And she took him up on his offer. I am scribbling down all my memorized facts of my life. Trying to beat the deadline. She is talking to me, Roy is talking to me and I answer the best I can while giving all my concentration to the form at hand. Now you know I had an I Love Lucy moment... The episode when she barely made it to the passport office with Fred and Ethyl and she is trying to beat the time deadline. She is woozy from too much sea sickness medicine and can barely stand. They make the deadline because Fred has unplugged the clock to give Ricky time to get there to identify her as his spouse. Times were so different back in the 1950's. Back to 2008, I have the form filled out till the STOP HERE instruction. She administers an oath and I respond yes. For a moment I thought about raising my right hand and swearing on the New Testament in my purse, but the verbal response is all she is looking for. I had mentioned to her I wanted to pay for the expedited service. She only had charged me for regular. So, I quickly wrote another check. We exchanged good bye pleasantries, she unlocked the door and we were on our way, with 4 minutes to spare.

Roy and I got in the car and I said, "Roy, that was such a God thing!" Y'all He did it all. I haven't told you all about the reaction I have had to the new meds I am taking for my knees. Thanks for praying about that. I did have a reaction to it the first night, but since then it has been great. The side effect for me on this pain medication is, I am so focused. My mind which is whirling around with A D D, no attention span and lack of focus all the time, performed like a well oiled machine. I was thinking with focus and intentionality. I don't know that I would have been able to fill out the form in a timely manner otherwise, because of all the distractions. So, I should have my new passport by the end of March. Praise Him!!!

On a knee note- while I am waiting on the OK from our insurance company for the injections on my knees, I am taking pain medicine and an anti-inflammatory. My knees have not felt so pain free in a long time. I know this is temporary until the next step...ha ha...but it feels so good not to have bone shattering pain with every step I take.

Thanks for taking this praise break with me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

It's Official!

It's official, I have the worst knees my orthopedic has ever seen for a 53 year old woman. When I told Peggy she said, well, I'm no Doctor and could have told you that. So, he gave me several prescriptions and we are waiting for my insurance company to OK the injections to see if that might work. If not, total knee replacement for both knees. He is trying to buy me some time because he hates to see me have both knees replaced at a young age. Got to love a Dr when he calls you young. In the waiting room I do believe I was the youngest one and would have been voted Miss Congeniality if there had been a contest. As I watched several older women come in and act cranky, I prayed and asked the Lord, please don't let me be like her, please don't let me become like her.

He showed me my x-rays on the computer. Bone spurs to the left, bone spurs to the right, stand up sit down...fight, fight, fight. OK, the stand up and sit down are hard for me.... anyway, the x-rays of my knees look really, really bad. He could not believe that I can walk like I do with such damage. Then he looked at my shoes and said, how can you walk in those shoes with such bad knees? He could not believe that I have been enduring pain like this for several years without taking any prescription medication. I have a strong pain level is all that I can tell him.

I must brag on my athletic prowess today. Of course I had to go wee wee several times before leaving for his office and then had to find the facilities once I arrived at the building. My purse doesn't have any type of closure on the top of it and as I place my purse on top of the toilet roll dispenser, my phone come flying out of my purse and is heading straight to the bowl of the toilet. I jumped for the phone as if I was taking a bullet or snagging a pop up at home plate. I caught that phone within inches of the water. My knees may be bad, but my reflexes are still pretty good. Don't you know I wanted to tell the Dr. about my amazing catch. Maybe I will tell him next time.

So for now that's about it on my knees. He told me to take this one pain med and see what kind of reaction I have to it and not to rush into work in the morning. I take it tonight. Please pray I don't have any kind of reaction to it.

Monday, March 10, 2008

This and That on a Rainy Monday

Tomorrow is a big day. I have an appointment with an Orthopedic Doctor for my knees. I will post any news tomorrow.

Spring Loaded is over for another year. We had about 2000 come for pony rides, petting zoo, silly string, egg hunts, bounce houses and slides and of course the delicious fixins of the Student Ministry at First Baptist. I will post some random pictures that I took through out the day.

I got caught in the biggest downpour today. I had an appointment this morning and making my way into work was tough. If snow causes white out conditions, rain was causing gray out conditions. I could barely see the cars in front of me. I debated on pulling over or continuing on while the streets weren't flooded. Got to church and the rain tapered off so I could go in.

My parents went to a birthday party on Saturday and ran into my Sunday School teacher who taught me in the 3rd and then again in the 5th grade. She told my mom a story that I have no recollection of, but I do remember that I didn't act up in her class. Throughout my childhood you could pretty much bank on it, that I would be messing up the lesson on any given Sunday. It got to the point that my mom would contact my new SS teacher right after promotion Sunday. She cut to the chase cause she knew the visit would eventually be made by the teacher. I was one of those students you loved but hated. I religiously studied my lesson all week, not to be able to mark the box on my offering envelope, but to know it through and through to confront the teacher and expose her weakness. Been trained to do that kind of thinking all my life, raised to argue and never show any weakness, so everything was a competition for me. As I have written before, I am so glad God set me free from that kind of thinking and arguing. I am doing the Ministries Staff Devotion tomorrow and going to use some of this in my devo.

Well, I better finish all the paperwork for my Doctor visit tomorrow. Stay dry if you are in the Houston area.

Friday, March 7, 2008

I've Seen Lightning and I've Seen Rain

Since I had to park in the West lot after returning from lunch and getting duct tape for Spring Loaded, I left work at 4:20 yesterday. I didn't leave early cause I thought in the next 10 minutes flooding may occur and I wouldn't be able to get home. No, it is due to my knees and their inability to bend so that I could run or walk fast to get to my car in the rain storm and occasional lightning. The rain was only getting worse and I have this irrational fear I am going to be struck by lightning. My grandfather was struck by lightning and lived. According to the story his rubber boots is what saved his life. He was out in the field plowing. Now I find it ironic that he was struck by lightning after hearing a story for the first time last year about my grandfather. We were celebrating a birthday at dinner and I casually mentioned I was so glad that grandpa had the foresight to get out of Kentucky to find work instead of staying behind in the family business of coal mining. My dad informed us that grandpa didn't leave to seek fame and fortune, he and his brothers had to get the heck out of dodge because they had killed a man. WHAT???? They were members of a gang, The Possum Hunters. The Possum Hunters went around punishing men who treated their families bad by beating them up and scaring them half to death. There was one man who they repeatedly visited because he wasn't taking care of his family. So one night they thought they would scare him something fierce. They took him to the coal mine and hooked him up the the electric car that went in and out of the mine. The intention was to give him just a little juice to shock him, but they gave him too much and killed him. Now this is where the story gets fuzzy in it's telling. They hired an attorney and I don't know if he got them off or just told them to scatter. Anyway, my grandpa and uncles left for greener pastures in Illinois and Indiana. So isn't it ironic that he was struck by lightning.

I had never heard anything like this. I asked one of my cousins if she had ever heard this story. To tell you the truth, I was pun intended. At the completion of the story, Roy said leave it to a bunch of Baptists to run around and administer justice. (Roy was raised Catholic) I told him, grandpa didn't get saved until moving to Illinois. So it wasn't a bunch of gang banging Baptists. Of course one of the first things I did was to call Lisa P and tell her, "yo, my G pa was a gang banger... from the Ken-tuc-e-i-e." I am glad my grandpa met the Lord. I always knew him as one of the kindest and loving men. He taught me to throw a baseball like a boy and he would tell me story upon story to entertain me when I was little. This is the man who would take my cousins and me to the amusement park Joyland. My grandpa served the Lord faithfully. Now it makes sense, he would say to me, always be careful of what group you join up with. Because getting out of that organization may cost you more than you have to give."

Well, I totally got off track telling that story. It wasn't even my intent. I was telling you about bad knees and irrational fear of lightning. Anyway, I was able to get home before the heavens declared the glory of God by pouring out rain. Of course rain is a great segway into what I did last night, downloaded some music from Itunes and a couple of the songs were off of Purple Rain. So last night I was rocking to the rhythm of the night (dang, I forgot about DeBarge) with songs like When Doves Cry, Little Red Corvette, Best of my Love, Can't Touch This, Solid, I Feel For You, Stay With Me Tonight, and a few other 80's early 90's tunes. It wasn't funny when I woke up in the middle of the night with this stuck in my head, ohhh, ohhhh.....stop! Hammer time! I've been around the world from London to the bay.... None of my creaky dance moves even phased Roy. He was too focused on some show on TV. But, I had a great hour or so loving me some music than mainly brought back good memories. There was a song or two that reminded me of sad times. Isn't if funny how a song can take us back to a moment and a memory. It was an odd mix of downloading. Between all the 80's stuff, I downloaded some Christian music.

I am going back to the office later today. Have a few loose ends to tie up for Spring Loaded. The weather is going to be wonderful with a high in the low 70's.

I leave you with this song. My brother and I would go to clubs just to dance. We cleared out more than a few dance floors as we busted a move. This was one of our favorites to dance to. We were good.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My 250 Post

This is my 250th post. I couldn't think of anything witty or funny. My creative juices need replenishing.

William F. Buckley died last week or maybe two weeks ago. I would be lying if I told you I knew him for his National Review and for his conservative styling in an era of liberal control and politics. I knew of him as a novelist whose works I read in the 80’s. Previously, I have written of my lack of interest in almost anything political on a state or national scale. It goes back to my insecurities in college over my hair which made me not even take notice of Watergate. Tennis politics had my complete and total attention from 1986 till 2001. And now with Texas being a big player in the Democratic nomination and the course of politics on the verge of change, I have other pressing matters keeping me glued to life and not to the TV. It is amazing that I even recognize his name after telling you my total lack of interest in national news. In today’s Sunday Houston Chronicle, two editorials commemorating his life attracted my attention. The unofficial editorial eulogies or observations of a life well lived were written by an author Jacob Heilbrunn and the other by David Brooks, a columnist for The New York Times. David Brooks actually knew William F. Buckley and given his break into professional life by Mr. Buckley and he became one of his many protégés. David knew him in work as well as in friendship. “David Brooks was called out by the great man to join him and found himself in a world of music, conversation, glamour, and above all, friendship.”

So it wasn’t politics that drew me in, it was friendship. According to David Brooks, William F. Buckley’s greatest talent was friendship. It is thought that William Buckley wrote more personal letters than any other American. “He showered affection on his friends and he had an endless stream of them, old and young.” For someone who I previously tagged boring sounds like he was a lot of fun and found great joy in all he did. Even in work, he insisted on and implemented daily rituals that by all accounts were fun and possibly celebratory. Being a great political mind, his conversations were mostly about literature, history, theology, philosophy and the charms of the peculiar people he had known. Very few if any politicians would be found in his home but in the midst of his friends and companions were literary and social thinkers. Social thinkers in my mind are the fun people who plan parties and events. I think the social thinkers in the Buckley home had a greater scope for the big picture and the greater good.

His second talent, leadership. He led with charisma and merit. He lived a satisfied, extensive and comprehensive way of life. His joy was found in music, conversation, technology and adventure. William F. Buckley sounds like he enjoyed the grandeur of his life and it was a tad overwhelming to be admitted into it. David Brooks considered it an honor.

What a legacy and wonderful testimony of character. His greatest talent friendship, investing in lives through conversation and thought, through fun and ritual and in doing so sent out a great multitude of friends into the world. The mantle of mentor, encourager and replicator passed on to those who would in turn duplicate and imitate this kind of friendship in their own style and manner.

I am a sucker for friendship stories. One of my favorite passages in the Old Testament is the friendship of Jonathan and David. In Sunday Bible Study, new euphemism for Sunday School, we are going through the book of Acts. Our teacher is laying out for us what we see God doing in the church; He is doing individually in our lives. We can see a pattern for living God’s way in the book of Acts. We just finished up Acts 2. I believe that God lays out a pattern for friendship in Jonathan and David. Sometimes we are a “David” in that we are out in front leading. When we find ourselves in the role of David, we need a Jonathan. We need a friend behind the scenes praying, helping and encouraging us. The reverse is true; we need to be a “Jonathan” to our friends. I love that Jonathan taught David how to encourage himself in the Lord, Jonathan tutored David in the kingly ways and he loved David with unconditional God kind of love. In my studies I have come to the conclusion that for that short period of time that Jonathan and David were friends, Jonathan had a lasting impact on the rest of David’s life.

Right now I am thinking of friends from early on in my Christian walk who have made a lasting impression on me. Their legacy and role as mentor changed me dramatically. God brings alongside those we need instruction from and in turn brings us alongside those who need a little help and direction from us. Last week’s TAG, Think About God have been so good each day. I love this one:
Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us daily.
Don't wait for a great opportunity to help someone. Take advantage of all the small opportunities you have today. Each one has the potential to have great results.

Little things, small everyday things, we have opportunities and the potential to have great results in others and in ourselves. Great opportunities can overwhelm and stop us dead in our tracks just by thinking too much about the monumental weight of it.
I love that William F. Buckley loved rituals. Not the lifeless rituals that one thinks of firstly, but fun rituals maybe a bit unpredictable and non-ceremonial. I am thinking of fun rituals that I share with my close friends. We can crack ourselves up over one word. We need to celebrate victory and getting through a day without hitting our head against a wall, or floor in Michelle’s case.

A couple of months ago Roy and I were talking over dinner about friends and friendships. We have certainly known many fine people who make very fine friends. We have been so blessed.
So in this long 250th post I celebrate you all my friends, those who comment, those who just read and never comment, and those who comment anonymously.

Have more fun than you expect to have. Live, Love and Laugh.

A friend's a friend forever, so don't get bored with them and a friend won't throw you in a river just to see if you can swim. Oh it's hard to say no to the invite of let's go...oh a lifetime's not to long to live as friends.

Thanks for reading and let us hope it takes me a little longer than a couple of months to reach 300.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Nothing Much to Report

This is my 249th post. Just proves I am way too verbose. I am not going to say that I have too much time on my hands because writing is very invigorating to me and energizes me after a much too long day.

I began working on my 250th post the other night and should be posting it sometime this week.

Spring Loaded is coming together. Marsha and I have done our homework and footwork. Now we just have to hope it all falls together to make a great event. We realized we needed more trinkets for age 0-3. So we went shopping today and found some really cute things.

Roy and I are the proud owners of a new shredder. Our old one bit the dust.

Well, I am off to sleep. Don't care about the political stuff. I know I should, but Roy keeps me informed and I like to hear his take.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

An Extra Day This Year

Right about now I would love to pull from the oldie but goody pile Earth, Wind and Fire's September. Only I would change the words to go with do you remember 29th of February...? We got an extra day this year. What did you do with yours. Roy lived his extra day of the year to the fullest. He took the day off, kissed me goodbye and went to the Juice Box. He was able to stay in the Diamond seat section for both games. His evening plans didn't turn out the way he had planned but he had a full fun day. And thoughtful hubby brought me back an official t shirt. The way to my heart? Journals, pens, fun or cute t shirts and hearts.

While he was enjoying his day, I went my way enjoying the extra day. Had a brow appointment with Charles at 10:00. Then I met with Penny for a bit going over several options for the spring. I know which red jacket I will keep. 11:30 hair appointment at Emmanuel. They haven't moved yet and I will be able to get in one more appointment before they head to their new location in Sugarland. Brought some Spring Loaded info with me to invite several of the stylists. Think a couple of them will come. Roy has invited several co-workers with little ones and are very interested in coming. Great way to invite those who don't attend church or know the Lord. With all my outsourcing services done, I headed toward home. Didn't see one trail rider. But I have so enjoyed reading the comments of those who have done the ride.

Dena and I headed over the Buffalo Grille for dinner. I took the breakfast route while she took the comfort food road. Neither of us were disappointed. We were trying to continue catch up when a loud and boisterous older single group from Second (we think) pulled into the the tables next to us. Dena and I have discussed why loud people or fussy kids are drawn to sit next to us in a restaurant. Dena was in the middle of a story and she was having difficulty staying focused on the convo at hand. I looked over the group while she was refilling her coffee. The group consisted of 3-4 odd ones, 3 desperate acting women, an older couple and one very good looking man. Eavesdropping on their conversation, he was new to the group. Because he was answering a jillion questions. I learned in that short period of time he is in real estate and just visited the church a couple of times. Since Dena had noticed him early on, hmm... maybe it wasn't the loud conversation that rendered her unfocused, I told her of what I had learned and then tagged this insight at the end of my surveillance report, he is probably gay. I also tried to convince her he was from Baytown, but she was wise to the fabrication. We left for Sonic to have some quiet and dessert. In keeping with the evening, they put us on hold for our order and I think they would have forgotten about us if Dena hadn't done the re-push.

Today I had the unexpected pleasure of Roy's company all day. He didn't go to the office and barely looked at his Blackberry. He and his good knees helped me do some spring cleaning. We met my parents at China Love for dinner and then we came back here so my mom could see Buddy. Buddy was not in the mood to sit still. So, my mom was a little disappointed. This dinner and time we spent together has to be some of the best time we have spent together for a long time. Talking with my mom yesterday put me at ease since I was a little concerned we would spend the evening re-hashing last week's events. She volunteered that she and my dad had decided nothing was accomplished in discussing the past. Move, let me praise Him....move let me praise Him.

I'm headed for the bed. Roy is watching Rice and Texas play baseball. I have an early morning since the Options did not come on Friday before 4:30 and Ivan and I forgot he needs all the committee names for Deacon's meeting. Roy is planning on going back tomorrow to Minute Maid for the last two games.

In the coming weeks I hope to post some of the multitude of thoughts rolling around in my head. For now they will be rolling on the river...Left a good job in the city...Big Wheel keeps on turning Proud Mary keeps on burning and we're rolling...rolling, rolling on the river.....