Thursday, December 25, 2008

A Christmas Miracle- the Details

The weeks following hurricane Ike and the last minute and harrowing adventure of the cardiologists office, Roy told me the verse he was praying for me

'My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever'
Psalm 73:26

I too had found that verse and believed and prayed it. I also added verse 28, 'but for me, it is good to be near God; I have made the Lord God my refuge, that I may tell of all your works.'

Let me tell you of all His works!

Yesterday was my 2 month check up with the cardiologist. It was an examination and a echo cardiogram. I didn't think there would be bad news, probably cautionary good news. I sat in the ninth floor small examination room watching all the shoppers at Memorial City Mall when the Dr came in. He asked me a few questions, listened to my heart a lot and then took me to the test room. He told me to put on one of the paper fashion gowns and Chris would be in. OK, I panicked with the paper gown. I never get it on right and I rip it up. Chris comes in and says, you don't have that on right, it's all twisted...turn to the corner while I get another gown for you and when I leave put it on. Embarrassed! Once my wardrobe malfunction was corrected, I hopped up on the table, OK I don't hop up anywhere, I crawled onto the table to begin all the tests. The last time I had seen Chris was under different circumstances. So, he began the conversation with the aftermath of Ike. Then he said, the first thing I asked when we all returned to the office is, had anyone heard if you had made it through the storm. As he moved that wand thing all around my heart, he didn't say much. Just some hmmms... oh.... hmmmms... When he finished he told me to go to room 2 and wait.

Room 2, I am across the hall from the Dr and Chris. They both shout an OMG and Dr Morris yells, Nancy, you are a Christmas miracle. Come and look at your heart. Your heart is normal...look at it, it looks brand new. Nothing wrong at all!!! I start crying. He continues, "do you know I never thought I would be telling you, your heart is normal. We didn't think you were going to live much less have a normal heart." The only thing medically he can explain that kept me alive at first and my heart beating, is the heart arrhythmia I still have. They showed me my heart on Sept 11. He took his hand and moved it slightly to show me that is how little my heart was beating. Then they showed my my heart from the test, you could actually see it all, moving and the valves opening and closing. He begins to tell me the details and fears they had, but at every appointment I showed up so joyful and hopeful, they decided to follow that direction with me too. He was always serious and told me the facts, well the facts he wanted me to know, but he always ended the visit giving me hope. I had placed my hope and faith in God, but the encouraging words of the Dr were faith building.

Right there in that Dr office I began to cry. Chris was tearing up. I cried and thanked God. Then I started laughing for joy and then crying for joy. Glory to God! His mercies are new every morning! My soul magnifies the Lord and rejoices in God my Savior. I looked at the Dr and Chris and said Joy to the World! The Lord has come.

I will tell you the truth, there were times during the past few months I was fearful and frightened. I didn't feel as good as people were telling me I looked. There would be times of pain. It felt like I was in a constant storm. Almost every morning while getting ready for work, there would be some kind of heart episode that slowed me down. But I knew the Lord was with me and the strength of my heart Psalm 73. At Jason's Ministries Staff Christmas party, Pastor Gregg said something to the group and he talked about a scripture in I John. I felt it was from the Lord just for me. I John 3:19, God is greater than our heart and He knows everything.

Back to yesterday, the Dr kept saying, you have been given a second chance. You must have some purpose that you are to do. I shared with him how Roy, friends and family had been praying earnestly for me but especially for me and my heart. Then he said, well God has something for you to accomplish. He talked to me in his office and gave me his thoughts on what I need to consider going forward. He gave me things to ponder and reflect upon. I am still on my heart pills for a while, still watching stress levels and then he released me. Told me to make a 3 month appointment before leaving. I asked about exercising more than juest walking, he said you can exercise, go sky diving, mountain climbing...then he says, no mountain climbing, that wouldn't be wise. Dang, I was going to set out to do that today... :)

A wonderful side benefit has been losing almost 65 pounds. I have more to go for sure, but almost 65 pounds since September is good.

Thank you! I cannot tell you what your words of encouragement have meant. I could feel the prayers of friends and family surrounding me. My friends are the best walking through this with me, reminding me to take it easy and making me laugh. Roy, wow, he walked through such a difficult season with me. He had so much going on at the office and then came home and took care of me and things around our home that I could not do. He never complained or made me feel guilty. He walked in love and blessed me beyond words.

I know there are more things I can share, but I am paralyzied by God's goodness. I sat here yesterday afternoon just thinking and remembering. This morning I feel the same way, in awe of God. I have fallen to my knees and flat on my face in gratitude to Him. Stunned yet rejoicing that God would be so involved with me and love me and give me this wonderful Christmas gift.

Happy Birthday Jesus! You gave, "And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.' Exekiel 36:26

Now here is something exciting too. Our computer didn't work yesterday. Roy worked on it for a long time, nothing. This morning after writing my quick update from the phone, I prayed and asked God to heal the computer... He did!!!! I am writing on it right now. Praise Him, He heals hearts and fixes computers!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A Christmas Miracle

Our computer is still on the fritz. This will be the short version of what happened yesterday. I am in such awe of God, how much He is in the details and how He works.
I had the echocardigram after the Dr examined me. I was waiting across the hall as he and the tech looked at the results. Dr yells out Nancy! You are a Christmas miracle. Your heart is normal! He hugged me. He said I never thought I would tell you this. They were shocked at this result. He began to go into detail how serious and fatal my heart condition was and now he said my heart looked brand new. I was crying and so was the tech. I was crying because God knew and He heard our prayers and healed me. Glory to God. Once I get to a computer and tell details you'll see what an amazing thing God did!!! My heart is normal!! He told me I could do anything but go mountain climbing! Dang :)
Jesus came as a baby to bring life. What a gift what a wonderful gift. Life in Him and a healed and clean heart! Merry Christmas !!! JOY TO THE WORLD!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Good News

I just got home from the Dr. I have such amazing news. Only the Lord could do this. Our computer is acting up so I am doing this on my phone. This is a time to ponder and cherish and once I can get on a computer I will share what the Lord has done.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Stuff

This evening Roy came home before 6:00 pm. I was shocked, surprised and delighted. Other than Fridays, he hasn't been able to get home until after 8:00 pm. This has been the regular routine since the first of November. He came home to a surprise, I had dinner prepared...well prepared by the Play Grocery store, but that is much better than anything I fix.

In fact as I was pulling into the parking lot at Rice Epicurean this afternoon, just in front of me was a black jag. I was so excited because I thought it was the hip 90 year old lady that I want to talk to and share the Lord with her. It wasn't. Rice had a keyboard player playing holiday tunes for the shoppers. He was very good and I left a tip in his tip jar.

Too bad the cold weather leaves tonight. It was invigorating to be out and about today. I took a walk around the parking lot taking in the cold. Errands were a joy today and on the way home I treated myself to a skinny Cinnamon Dolce.

If you are looking for a good read I can recommend Providence by Chris Coppernoll. This is a book that I could have sat down and read in one sitting, it is that good. I made myself read a couple of chapters a night trying to make it last. It is Christian fiction... and it is good Christian fiction. Not contrived but so very real. I marked several quotes not because they were good, but because they ministered to my heart.

Tomorrow is a big day in heartland. I am anxious to do the tests and then talk with the Dr.

One thing I have been doing during the holidays is burning candles. The fragrance has been spirit lifting. One of my friends is so good about having a candle lighted during the evenings when she is home from work. When I have been to her home it is so warm and inviting the different fragrances. So, I am doing that. Today I have an Amish candle that is the fragrance of Christmas. Add to that a candle with the fragrance of balsam pine. It is wonderful!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Goofy Times with Gerti

Today after church our Sunday School class, oops, I mean our Adult Sunday Bible Study class, went to Cafe Adobe for our Christmas lunch. This year Bill and Peggy were able to attend. While we were waiting for everyone to show up, Peggy gave me part of my Christmas from her. You are looking at the book she made for me. This Christmas gift is a home run, no a grand slam. I absolutley love it! Enclosed are a myriad of pictures from parties, Easter, Christmas, July 4th and miscellaneous just being friends type days. As you can see from the binding end of the book it includes other assorted friends. Like I said about journals, pens, books, etc...this is the way to my heart. Not many would know but Peggy and I are very sentimental people. I keep letters, ticket stubs, notes, cards, and all types of mementos from events of significant and insignificant days. My cousin Becky sent me a snail mail card and letter for my birthday this year. She knows me all too well and my love of cards and notes. It meant so much for her to do that. If y'all knew her schedule, you would be impressed that she was able to take the time to stop and write a letter.
This year my journal is a travel diary. I wrote in it as if I were on a trip and in reality we are on a journey. Psalm 84 is a key scripture for me this year. It has been one very different type of year. Not one I had envisioned. I mean really, I feel like I have taken a journey to old people land with the amount of pills I take and the amount of information I can't remember. Several of us were talking this morning about how in a regular routine of getting ready we don't remember if we have already conditioned our hair or if we have already put on deodorant. I am still on the journey in heart land and I pray that I am doing everything my Dr has asked of me so that after my next appointment on Tuesday I will have a better well being and understanding of "heartland" security. I journeyed with Roy on his adventure in unknown or unspecific health and blood issues.
This year has been an Emmanuel year, God with us. I love that the hair salon I go to is named Emmanuel. It is owned by God believing and loving Christians. This week Stevie and I were so blessed to talk about Converge and what Word we got from the Lord from it both in worship and hearing the Word taught. It is also nice to know I go to a salon, Emmanuel, God with us, knowing He is there and the chance of getting a bad haircut is significantly diminished. And when I get the bill for haircut, blow dry and highlights, I pray Emmauel with my bank account. Or would that be God help God with us. But I digress, God with us. Every step of the way, even in the dark places of not knowing what in the heck is going on, God with us.
So you are asking me now, Nancy, what in the Sam Hill does God with us have to do with Goofy Times with Gerti. It is just this, the importance of letting our loved ones know, in the good and in the bad, and in the uncertain of life, God is with us, and He many times uses our relationships to let us know He is there. Don't let tasks and duties inhibit your "with" time. A note or card is a good choice to express concern, prayers and love. This year, I pulled out a box of cards that have come during these uncertain times. God used that time and the words and Word of the notes to encourage me. I knew "with". I loved what Pastor Gregg said this morning about the importance of "with".
I love my goofy times with Gerti. They are some of the best times of my life. I love this book. Peggy gives me a hard time about my love of books. When Jackie Kennedy died, her son John made a statement to the media, "she died surrounded by her family, friends and her books. She was surrounded by that which she loved." Peggy said who would want to die being surrounded by their books? I meekly replied, "me". Peggy, when that times comes and I die, this book will be right by my side.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Joy to the World!!!

Joy to the World! I heard that song several times last night, in different musical forms and played on various known and well known instruments. When I awoke this morning, my first thought was joy to the world! Although I am having my doubts whether the world really knows that joy has come. It is so obvious in traffic and in parking lots, most have forgotten joy has come to the world. When stores have marked down almost everything as enticement to shoppers to part with some bucks, little joy. I was in Restoration Hardware yesterday and the mighty have marked down a whole bunch. As I stood in line with the checker outers it was obvious the last little bit of joy the employees had was banged out by a little boy who was fully in control of the musical drumsticks turned up to max volume. The mom by this point was too embarrassed to claim the boy as everyone glared searching for the mom or any mom to stop the noise. My vote was on the woman who was trying out the noise diffusing headphones. Maybe not, that is too obvious.

Joy to the World has been on my mind. As I traverse the streets, stores and malls of Houston I am asking the Lord to use me somehow to bring His joy to the world of shoppers, both cheerful and grumpy. It has been a fun experience for me and I'm especially thankful for the merry heart aspect given to me by the Lord Himself.

Joy to the World, Roy was able to come home at a decent hour yesterday. Granted he was tired and worn out, but he was at least tired and worn out on the couch in our home. We met Dena at Los CuCos last night for dinner and we had even invited her to accompany us to the 99 cents store afterwards to buy tissue paper and gift bags. Can you believe it, she turned us down!

Joy to the World, Dena came bearing gifts from Australia. Joy! Joy! Joy! She came bearing really great gifts from Australia. Dena is one of the best bringer backers from trips I have ever met. I was not disappointed last night and among the treasures are slippers made from sheep skin and kangaroo fur. They are so wonderfully warm. O come o come chilly temps. They have also become Buddy's best friends. Buddy cannot get enough of the slippers. I finally had to put them up this morning out of sight. I also received a totally fumigated and officially stamped for export journal made from leaves, sticks and greenery. Love it!!! Dena got me a pen from the Sydney Opera House to accompany it. There were other things, but the way to my heart is a journal or pen or book or book mark, or notebook...

Joy to the World, Roy is out buying a new TV for our Christmas. I love that he doesn't make me come along. He probably likes it that way cause I can and I know this will shock many, be kind of high maintenance or put another way whiny when it gets down to the tedious aspect of the whole deal.

Joy to the World, I have been reading and pondering Luke 1 and 2 this Christmas season. How unique! Ha ha.... Anyway I have been looking especially at the 3 times angels are involved in telling Zechariah, Mary and the shepherds what is about to happen. More so, the responses of those have me very interested. Zechariah answered out of unbelief. And out of he, Mary and the shepherds, he was actually involved in God's work as a priest. Ya know, it was his job. Mary asked the angel because it seemed out of how this will happen and then quickly responds with obedience. The angels declare joy and peace of a baby lying in a manger who is the Savior, the Messiah. The angels leave and the shepherds are like, dude let's go see what this is all about. Zechariah was the only one to respond out of how can I be sure, the odds aren't good. And as we learned at Converge, this is the one time in his whole priestly life he would get to enter the temple and burn incense. His heart should have been open to receive a word that night. Hey, I am not going to be too hard on the old guy cause we have all been there in unbelief. I just like thinking of the comparison. Sometimes working at a church dulls the heart to true joy, to true peace, to a true Word. We see the bad side to ministry and we must fight cynicism and apathy if we want to be lights in the darkness of joy to the world. We are brighter to the world, but to our own brothers and sisters, we can be dim and off key in our joy to the church world because we've seen it or heard it before.

Joy to the World, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King. Let eveeeeeeevry heart preeeepare Him room. And heaven and nature sing and heaven and nature sing and heeeeeaaaaaven and nature sing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

8 Things

I have been tagged by Cheryl. So maybe you'll learn some new things about me...but maybe not. Maybe you don't want to know...if so, go to another blog right now.

8 Things

8 TV Shows I Watch
  1. Project Runway
  2. The Simpson's
  3. King of the Hill
  4. Seinfeld reruns
  5. Dog the Bounty Hunter
  6. Parking Wars
  7. Will and Grace reruns
  8. The Sopranos on A&E

8 Favorite Restaurants

  1. Lupe's Tortilla
  2. Prego's
  3. Goode Company Seafood
  4. Massas'
  5. Taste of Texas
  6. Good Company Bar B Que
  7. Pappasita's
  8. Carabba's

8 Things That Happened to Me Today

  1. I woke up
  2. wrote a letter to my friend Beth in Seattle
  3. Fed Buddy
  4. Went to the Play Grocery Store
  5. Made Taco Soup
  6. Read Facebook
  7. Talked to Roy
  8. Had a quiet time

8 Things I Look Forward To

  1. A nap
  2. Good heart health
  3. Being in charge of my own schedule
  4. Roy coming home on time
  5. Doing stuff with friends during the holidays
  6. A SPA day
  7. Seeing Jesus face to face
  8. Sleeping through the night

8 Things I Wish For

  1. My mom not to have Alzheimer's
  2. My single friend (and you know who you are :) ) to have a godly, rugged and good looking man find her and she becomes his wife
  3. My nieces to live godly lives and graduate from college
  4. Roy to get bumped up to the position he would like at work
  5. To know the Lord more and more
  6. An unlimited account at the Nord (paid by someone else)
  7. For good health
  8. To live, laugh and love with everything I've got

8 People I Tag

  1. Laurie M
  2. Laurie J
  3. Ali
  4. Kelly B
  5. Sharon Z
  6. Jennifer M
  7. Michelle
  8. Lauren B

OK...there ya go.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Shopping, Shopping, Let's Go Christmas Shopping

This morning I got out early to finish up some Christmas shopping. The Nord opened at 9:00. I went to Home Dept first. Prices were falling even while I was looking. There was a beautiful Nord tree I had seen and it went on sale as I was standing beside it. So now we have a little tree decoration for the holidays. I went on down the mall and used all my coupons. Macy's, $25.00 off in Origins, and $10.00 off in Eddie Bauers. Then I headed over to Highland Village. Got the last parking place in the lot and it was just 11:05. Anthropologie is having a huge sale, just a FYI for those who love the "Pologie." I also went into Williams Sonoma, where they are forever trying to sign me up for cooking classes. I tell them I only know people who cook, I don't. Last stop was Coldwater Creek. The sound of bag pipes were off in the distance. And as I shopped, the two bagpipers came right up to the window where I was looking at sweaters. I got a personal concert right then and there. It was wonderful. For a recession, there are tons and tons of cars on the street and in the lots. The other thing, at each and every store someone in front of me had to have their card called in for approval. The women were really nicely and expensively dressed. They might have never had a call in before...guess times are changing and hard even for the ladies who lunch.

Buddy is curious and is investigating the tree. I got my camera to take the cutest picture and dang it if the battery is dead. So, it is charging and I am hoping for another photo op. I also hope that Buddy doesn't get a mind to destroy the tree.

The timer on the dryer is broken. So now we have to remember to check the dryer and not let it run on and on for hours and hours.

Why is it while I am shopping for others I keep finding things for me at really good prices?

I probably need to find one more thing for my mom. Those out of town will get checks or gift cards. I mean I think I am a cool aunt, but probably I am not cool enough to pick out clothes for a 17 and 15 year old.

Monday, December 15, 2008

A Monday Look Back at the Weekend

Vacation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! What???? VACATION!!!!!!!! Oh yea, it's the most wonderful time of the year...

It is another cold day in Houston and I'm loving that. I have several scented candles lit and wassail on the stove. It may not look like Christmas in our home, but the fragrance says otherwise.

To catch you up... On Friday I took the morning to stay in and relax. Friday afternoon I headed over to Cafe Express for a bowl of their chicken soup. That is one thing I have been craving through the holidays. Then I headed out to The Woodlands. Even when I played tennis, I never quite knew where anything is there. But, I did some hit and miss and finally landed where I wanted to be, Market Street. Scored a very good parking place and began doing some Christmas shopping. I had decided to head out early to miss all the heavy traffic around 5:30 in Houston. Dena's plane came in around that time and I was picking her up. Once I finished my shopping, I headed over to the airport and parked. I had a couple of minutes of reading when Dena called and they had just touched down. Once we got her luggage, we headed off for some Mexican food. You know when you have been gone two weeks to Singapore and Australia, you are wanting some Tex Mex in the worst way. She looked pretty good considering she had been up for about 24 hours straight. I don't think my hair, skin and clothes travel as well as hers.

Saturday night was one of the few times this year I have had to be Mrs. Monarch. We went to Roy's office Christmas party. This year instead of it being at Capital Grill (dang I was looking forward to that), the party was held at an executive's home in Fairfield. There was a lot of traffic for a Saturday night on 290. It was almost like a week night in rush hour. I met someone at Roy's office who knows just about all the same tennis people that I know. So the couple got me caught up on all the lives and times of tennis friends. It has been six years since I have played any serious tennis and you know, sadly it is all about the same stuff that was the talk of the tennis clubs when I was heavily involved with the politics and games. Roy asked me on the way home if I missed tennis. No! That was a great season in my life but that season is behind me.

At Converge Thursday night, Beth said, look for Him during the holidays. God doesn't just show up, He has been giving hints along if we just pay attention. Whenever there is a huge tennis reference made in my life, I pay attention. God is working in my situation and I got a Word from that tennis conversation that let me know God's presence is all over something He and I have been talking about.

Being Mrs. Monarch wore me out. I slept well and got up earlier than usual for a Sunday to get to church for a reception for Linda Wadsworth, who is retiring after working over 24 years at the church. I wanted to make sure my part was taken care of and assist our volunteers. The volunteers had it all under control. After church, Roy and I ate lunch and ran a few errands. When we got home, I took a nap. I laid down about 2:15 and didn't wake up until 5:00. And, I had no problem going to sleep Sunday night. Saturday night really took a lot out of me.

My plans for tomorrow are to finish up Christmas shopping. I am hitting the Galleria early.

That is the weekend. Tonight, the air is laced with the fragrance of freedom that only saved up vacation days can bring.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Spending Time with the Nieces at The Nord

Thanksgiving week my brother and nieces came into town for the holidays. Megan, Erin and I did one of our favorite things that as of late and until they no longer want to do it, includes time at the Nordstrom Spa. Since Megan and Erin will soon be 17 and 15 I thought they might like to do a facial or massage, but I had not talked to them about it, so I went with the pedicures.

This is Erin relaxing.

Megan is relaxing and waiting for a Depth Regcharger Elixir.

This is me and my baby brother Doug.
No visit is complete until Dena joins us for dinner or to do something fun. Thanksgiving week, she was getting ready for her trip to Singapore and Australia. So she had time to join us all for dinner at Collina's but no Christmas Light Hunt. The girls were disappointed in both facts, that Dena would not join us like she traditionally has or that we found many lights. Only Highland Village seemed to be lit up. The good thing about that is we made a stop at Anthropologie.

Uncle Fancy Pants, Foo 2, Aunt Foo Foo and Foo getting ready for our brisk and cold hunt for Christmas lights.

Uncle Pants, also called Uncle Fartlando...(don't ask besides it is not what you think) all bundled up with our orders of hot chocy. Well, he had the orders but hadn't gone in yet to get the hot chocy.

We waited in Mustang Sally ready for a good night of lights. Since the pickings were slim I kept taking them on the same street about 3 times. They caught on the second time around.
I realized this afternoon I had already posted the pictures from San Antonio. Hopefully, my brain will soon return to its original owner.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Playing Catch Up

With my heart issues and with computer crashes I haven't been able to upload any pictures that I had on my new camera. So, I thought I would add this to the blog. These pictures are from San Antonio at the Living Proof Live/Siesta Fiesta weekend. This is also the weekend the Dr has pinpointed as a time when I had my heart attack. I look at these pictures and remember how bad I felt that weekend, but I am thrilled for the happy ending...

The above pic is Missy from the OKC. She lurks. I saw her the other night at Converge. She is one of the nicest people, but she is plagued with thoughts of, you must think I am weird. Well, we are all a little strange and odd. She flies in for Tuesday night Bible study and while in the Houston area, she hangs out at the Nord. Come on, now that is not weird.
This is Peggy, Courtneys, Lisa P and me before the conference started. This has to be one of my favorite pictures.

This is your brain on it is Gerti aka Peggy. I love her!!!! Never a dull moment, well except for when she takes her 10 minute cap naps. Her awakening from naps is never dull either.
Oh, on another note that has nothing to do with San Antonio. I finally heard Merry Christmas Darling on the radio yesterday. I was on the Hardy Toll Road on my way to The Woodland's. I barely was able to make the call and sing the song to CourtneyS. It finally is Christmas musically.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Staff Pic

This is my favorite picture from the staff Christmas photos taken on Tuesday. You can see Gregg has been carried up from the sidewalk to the top riser and almost over the top riser. The funny comments while his trip via staff to the top was, "Wow, we couldn't have done this with Brother John."

Of course there were other silly photos and oh yes, the official serious staff photos were taken too. I love how at the end of the day even if we have agreed to disagree or see thing differently, we all love and enjoy one another. It was obvious while we were bowling at the staff party. We love to hang out with each other and welcome the opportunity to get to know those on staff we don't see or work with on a daily basis.

It is the morning after Converge. Blown away by God's Word in music and spoken words. I'll do a separate post of this complete with pictures. :) It is a good morning easing into the day. One of my favorite finds of the season has been Nature's Own Cranberry Raisin Bread. Awesome toast and adds pop to sandwiches. Why do I write that here, cause I am enjoying some cranberry raisin toast right now.

I have not heard Merry Christmas Darling yet. What is up with that? I am only a second away from calling CourtneyS when I do hear the song. I was in Brighton's the other day and their staff and I were talking about Christmas music while working retail. I told them of CourtneyS and my tradition. They offered to dial up MCD for me but I told them I would have to sing it into the phone and they might not like that happening in their store in these tough economic times. Besides, that wouldn't be sporting. It has to happen on the fly. I have heard In the Bleak Mid Winter a lot this season. Maybe it is the theme of a lot of radio and retail folks, I don't know. The words of the song are soul rocking but the title maybe should have had a focus group. When it was snowing the other night, it was snow on snow...snow on snow... in the bleak mid winter long, long ago.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Scared Spitless and then Some Snow

It is a cold, snowy blustery day here in Houston. OK, I only get to write that like once every 4 or 5 years. We are crazy over a few flakes. Cheryl is probably shaking her head thinking we are crazy over something that she sees ever winter. Guess we get that way about the heat in the summer when someone says it's 90 degrees and we go into our stories of the hottest summer or April days we ever experienced.

So, I pulled out my official tea pot. And I am making hot tea in the official way I know. Instead of just sticking a tea bag in some microwaved water, I boiled water, poured it into the tea pot and let it sit for a bit. Poured it out and added fresh hot water, put tea into the basket, added a couple of lemon drops (I don't have any lemons) and it is steeping. I am going to sip it out of a china cup complete with saucer. I am celebrating the snow, the cold and the settling in for the night feeling. If only I didn't have to get up for work tomorrow.... be patient Nancy you will soon be on vacation next week.

The catalogues, they just keep coming. I must be on every mailing list in the country. I am getting catalogues from companies I have never heard of. Some clothing catalogues, that I will never fit into their size 0 clothes and reminding me this might be my last catalogue unless I order something from them soon. Gee, I am thinking about dressing up my thighs in twin outfits. Now there is something you don't see everyday. Probably, I don't think my thighs will fit in the sub zero sizing range. Today we received a Dog and Cat catalogue. Looking through it there is about 3 pages dedicated to cats, all the rest is stuff for dogs. I can buy this polish for Buddy's claws. All I have to do is trace Buddy's paw on the order form... uh, she isn't going to sit still for that to happen. Then upon receiving the polish they tell you how to put it on and it will last 6 weeks. It will take 6 weeks to get polish on Buddy's nails. I am not going to do that, but really, why???

Oh, I forgot to tell you why I was scared today. I had a courtsey call from Bank of America. Now right there you know it isn't a call to find out about me or how I am feeling or dealing with the stress of the holidays. I got out the copy of the I don't pay online too much. Anyway, I had underpaid the amountowed by $4.28. I misread the bill and they were charging me $15.00 to take the payment over the phone and a $39.00 late fee. On the inside I was freaking out and I was trying to remain cool, calm, you know collected upon. I apologized. I am thinking, they think I am a deadbeat who doesn't pay my bills, $4.28. Since I so graciously said they could deduct that amount from the checking account and then I said, what is the amount I owe for this month, go ahead I am paying early, they sympathetically told me they were waving the $15.00 and the $40.00. For that I am all too happy and gushed my thank you's to the customer service representative. They must hear a million different stories and excuses in a day and I was hoping she knew I wasn't just making up some story, I misread the amount. In fact I said something to her about that and she said mam, your voice and the fact you have apologized over the $4.28 a thousand times lets me know you aren't pulling some fake story out of the bag.

The tea is so good. I am going to go get my book, light my Christmas tree fragrance candle and settle in wrapped up on the couch, drink tea and wait for Roy to get home. Maybe he'll make the evening complete and bring home dinner.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bowling...Holy Rollers...and Laughter

Today was the staff Christmas party at HFBC. It was an awesome get together. We had lunch and then bowled at the remodeled and totally fine bowling alley on Bunker Hill. I was a lame, I mean lane captain. First game we bowled like always and the second game was wacky bowling. That was a lot of fun to watch. I only made it through the first game. I brought and wore my knee brace, but I could tell bowling was a little too much on my heart. David Well, Amy Kuntz and I had a blast looking up bowling cliches and using them as if we banter in bowling colloquialisms all the time. It was an afternoon filled with laughs and good times. I thought all the Midwesterners on our staff should be really good at bowling. Not the case at all. There were a couple of ringers that brought their own ball and shoes. I left around 2:00 and came on home where I promptly took a nap until 5:00.

On the way to the bowing alley I received a call from the cardiologist office. They want to move up my appointment. So now I will go in before Christmas, which is a blessing. I won't have to worry if I over do it a little food wise on Christmas day. I told them I was on my way to go bowling. They didn't seem to be too thrilled about that, but I assured them I would not over do it.

We had Ministries Staff meeting this morning. I love this group of friends. We work hard, but also laugh and enjoy one another. We honored Jason and all his hard work this morning. I think Jason was deeply touched.

It won't be too much longer and I will be on! OK, I know some of you are thinking well heck, you are not fully back in the office yet, what's the big deal? The deal is just some needed time to enjoy friends and family, stock up on rest cause we will hit the floor running when we all get back from the holidays, and I have a stack of books on my nightstand that are just begging to be read.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Who Are You?

I saw this test on this blog and took it. I am:

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are a Bette!


You are a Bette -- "I must be strong"

Bettes are direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.

How to Get Along with Me

  • * Stand up for yourself... and me.

  • * Be confident, strong, and direct.

  • * Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.

  • * Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.

  • * Give me space to be alone.

  • * Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.

  • * I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.

  • * When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

What I Like About Being a Bette

  • * being independent and self-reliant

  • * being able to take charge and meet challenges head on

  • * being courageous, straightforward, and honest

  • * getting all the enjoyment I can out of life

  • * supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me

  • * upholding just causes

What's Hard About Being a Bette

  • * overwhelming people with my bluntness; scaring them away when I don't intend to

  • * being restless and impatient with others' incompetence

  • * sticking my neck out for people and receiving no appreciation for it

  • * never forgetting injuries or injustices

  • * putting too much pressure on myself

  • * getting high blood pressure when people don't obey the rules or when things don't go right

Bettes as Children Often

  • * are independent; have an inner strength and a fighting spirit

  • * are sometimes loners

  • * seize control so they won't be controlled

  • * figure out others' weaknesses

  • * attack verbally or physically when provoked

  • * take charge in the family because they perceive themselves as the strongest, or grow up in difficult or abusive surroundings

Bettes as Parents

  • * are often loyal, caring, involved, and devoted

  • * are sometimes overprotective

  • * can be demanding, controlling, and rigid

Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just Hanging Around on a Friday Night

Roy just left for dress rehearsal. So Buddy and I are home, she's asleep and I could go to sleep right now. Had a great day. Last of my injections this morning and this time I got right in. Did some Christmas window shopping and then went for my massage. It was great. Afterwards I went into the steam room for a few minutes and that was so relaxing.

I really don't have anything to blog about. I thought I would tell you about something I am trying. I saw a story on TV about this woman who decided she wanted to save some money in a fun way. Everytime she got a 5 dollar bill in change, she didn't spend it but saved it. In a years time she had saved about 1500 dollars by doing something that wasn't too painful to do. So, I decided I would do the same thing. And in about a month and a half I have saved $150.00. I have some 5's in my wallet that I need to add to the total. Roy is even helping me and gives me 5's when he gets some in change. I am going to try and keep doing this for a year to see what my grand total is. It will be in time for Christmas next year, so guess it will be like my own Christmas account like they used to do at banks.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Luck be a lady at the play grocery store, I saw the 90 year old hootchie mama again. I wrote about her before with the low riders and her midriff showing... Due to the cooler temps, she didn't bare her midriff today, but she had on low rider jeans with a white shirt tucked in and a black blazer. She looked really cute. She must wear size 0 or size negative 3. In fact we were parked side by side in the lot and I was so tempted to take a picture of her only I would have to look like I was taking a picture of something else and that is deceptive. I truly thought of her today in terms of does she know Jesus? Probably not...her summer outfit kind of gives her away as well as the flirting she does with the young sackers. It really is sad and not funny. I asked the Lord to make a way for me to begin talking with her. I need to get on her grocery store schedule.

If I am ever looking for a job when I am much older, I think I will apply at Macy's. I have been helped by some of the oldest senior adult women ever while shopping there. On Monday, with coupons in hand, I went to Memorial City. I just happened to find another pair of Michael Kors pants deeply discounted to $25.00. Also found a couple of other things... the lady that was checking everyone out was ancient. If you had a regular shopping experience, it was OK. Anything out of the ordinary...oh, that was another question all together. The kind lady in line let me go ahead of her because she had an extraordinary problem with a refund and the saleslady was about ready to have a coronary episode. Good thing I carry my pills with me. Believe me, I helped the saleslady by removing the hangers and folding the clothes. I would have taken off the security device if I only knew how. She was so sweet and trying so hard, but you could tell she was very, very nervous. Maybe it was her first week or something. I am going to look for her every time I go to Macy's so that I can begin to share the love of Jesus with her. She just needs to be able to hold on to that job so I can begin visiting with her.

I worked a full day yesterday. Wow, it took a lot out of me to do that. I am not yet quite there yet working all day, but I feel like I am getting closer. It is going to be hard to give up those late afternoon naps. There are so many loose ends to tie up before leaving for the holidays and time running out.

Today I talked with Penny and gave her my list of presents that I will be purchasing from The Nord. Tomorrow starts the customer appreciation event and for every dollar spent you get 10 Nordstrom points per dollar and that adds up to getting some Nordy Notes to spend. So Penny will go to the different depts and get the things I asked for and wrap them and I pick them up tomorrow. Wow, I love the Nord. That just about takes care of the last of my list. Most everyone else wants gift cards.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Monday Stream of Thoughts

I learned a couple of years ago to take the Monday after Thanksgiving off instead of the Monday before. After all the time off, giving thanks, being with family and friends, frantically getting things done that we have put off too long, sleeping in and leaning forward into Christmas is a whole lot to take in over the period of 4-5 days. Thus the Monday to readjust while readjustment happens at the office. I have the morning and then this afternoon Peggy and I are going to hang out. Yep, I am really glad to have taken off Monday.

Origins keeps sending me emails with all kinds of shopping inducements. Today's may just have my attention. I am silly sick in love with Origins Ginger. I start wearing it on Thanksgiving weekend and through New Years. Well, I wear it at other times of the year but it is a holiday mainstay.

Roy has iTunes back on the computer. I think we are just back to normal, she said with a grin. Well, normal in everything that a computer should be able to do. Roy spent the afternoon with techs and got everything back on here. It is in different places than before, but heck that is what keeps you young, stretching the mind. No this is not a 70's LSD drug reference, although that is my generation's claim to fame. That reference would be mind blowing or a reference to the all time hit, by the Chi Lights, Didn't I Blow Your Mind This Time.

Please overlook all my misspellings, for some reason blogger is spell checking in French today. I checked my settings and I have it dialed up for English, yet there is the French lurking behind the spell check icon. O La spell check is not working, maybe they are fixing, pardon my French, the problem. O Pepe Le Phew...where are you now?

I think we have become the offsite showroom for Carpet World or Carpet Giant. I'm just saying, but I think that HFBC has made a deal with somebody cause we got every kind of carpet going on in the building. Since I am ADD the constant change is nice, but due to the Ultram ER the constant change has no consistancy. Think I will make a pictorial blog of all the choices you have at First. Just off the top of my head, there is the old red combo carpet in the CLC entrance, new blue pattern carpet on the CLC main floor around the gym, blue track carpet, second floor new carpet up to the Worship Center area where it branches off into three different modes (don't know if that is a carpet representation of the Trinity or not). The blue carpet with brown insets is interesting. We could play flag football in the hall and have our first down markers already in place. Into the different offices is a plethera of different carpets or flooring. The blue with brown inset carpet is paired with the new stairway carpet that runs into the quasi Worship Center theme, second floor classroom hallway carpet. The new stairway carpet goes down into the beige, oh we didn't think this choice through, main foyer carpet that wraps around both sides of the downstairs Worship Center. Did I mention that the carpet in the elevators is different? It is a verible cornicopia of carpeting. And this is off the top of my head, a walk through would be more insightful, a great tour and something for the fam during the holidays. I know we are in remodel, financial upheaval transition, but it is pretty funny if you think about it.

I am in mourning. The five finger girl painting has been removed and I know not where they've laid it.

I have been watching trends of late. So I wonder since Starbucks is not the hot trend anymore, how are churches going to respond who have bet the farm that this trend and interior design would be a long standing, recession proof withstanding one? Don't think fair trade coffee is going to be enough. Churches are going to have to go eco green. It's a hot trend right now, but a lifestyle changing choice in the long run. It is being a good steward. I follow a marketing blog and it has done a great job in processing all the mind sets that are coming so fast and furious right now. Seems a dominate way of thinking is the clearance mindset. I am not a highly trained professional and by the way, I am really suprised that marketing's professional organizations don't have a continuing education requirement. Roy has to keep up his hours for both his legal and CPA license. Seems like all professionals whether they be in marketing, advertisement, communications, lawyers, accountants, stock brokers, church staff, pilots or engineers should have some kind of professional development requirements to be able to keep current and excellent in the chosen professions with work or licensing ramifications. Some of the above mentioned do, I am in a stream of consciencenous mode. OK, now I have done it. I took a rabbit trail and I have no clue now what I was going to say about trends. I think it was on the clearance mindset... Oh well. Another day, another time.

I better stop because I need to get ready to meet Peggy. And maybe get a couple of my errands ran beforehand. Thanks for listening to my ramblings this morning.