Thursday, December 31, 2009

Phase 3 Completed

December 31, 2009, last day of the year. All in all 2009 hasn't been that bad and in spite of some issues not being resolved, it was a rather good year. We said good bye to Roy's mom this year. In that good bye Roy became the executor of her will. Even though so much has been accomplished, the house is nearing the end of a total update and will be listed soon. Out of that experience of going through her things, we came home with a new determination to de-clutter and become a little more organized. We have made a major dent in this arena. So Phase 3 was completed yesterday. I am so proud of Roy, every goal, every plan and every task he proclaimed would get done during his vacation, actually got done and then some. He needed to go into the office today for year end closing and all those year end related things and when he comes home tonight, the next three days have no projects left to do. Now, he is thinking on some new ones and I'm fine with that.

Today I am going to look at chairs, that is after I have lunch with a friend. Mmm...seafood in on the lunch menu, so I'm totally jazzed over that. Omega 3's! Last night we had the best time out at the Bain Compound with the Mounces, Murpheys and Bain/Johnston families. Love that our ages and stages are all over the map and we truly enjoy one another. Peggy made chicken noodle soup but it seems more like chicken and dumplings. Very delicious with Laurie's salad and Becky brought some chocolate cake from....The Play Grocery Store! I brought the rosemary bread and dipping oil. Mmmm, delicious all the way around.

I've read some very interesting thoughts on blogs about the coming new year. Maybe I can gather my thoughts and share what decisions I am making toward the new year. I do know this, they are going to be small but meaningful decisions. I'm trying not to make a big picture statement that doesn't include any accountability from me if I don't run the race and finish the course. That means, not holding true to what I said I would do and being able to get lost in the ambiguity of it all.

I am looking at the new journals and new pens that I received for Christmas this year. Can't wait to get started with them tomorrow.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Phase 2

We have been quite busy with our projects since Christmas Day. We at phase 2. On Saturday we moved my wonderfully large desk to the living room. Roy had to removed the bedroom door to accomplish this feat. At first he didn't believe me that this would need to be done but I was here when the desk was delivered and watched the movers try to move it in without removing the door. Now my desk will need to stay much more organized since it is out here for all to see. The lap top is now located on my desk but Roy is at Micro Center getting another set up for the den. He doesn't like sitting at my desk and I really don't like him sitting here either.

My hope was to rearrange our bedroom furniture but Roy was resisting that idea somewhat. Who am I kidding, he was dead set against it. We compromised on the big rearrangement I had in mind. Let's just say I am getting maybe one or two new chairs out of the compromise. Roy's suggestion, not mine. This also came after Roy had put the lifters under our foot and headboards to raise the bed. Didn't turn out to be the simple job he envisioned. We continue to shred. We also sent a stereo system to Goodwill. We have another box of books piling up for Half Price and we will make another Goodwill trip by the end of the week.

I am on an orange kick. No not burnt orange and well not Tennessee orange...fruit orange. Right before the holidays I bought all different kinds of oranges at Whole Foods. We made a fruit salad with some of them and I am hooked. Roy is too. We stopped at Whole Foods again this afternoon. We ran to Sweet's to have a salad after the plumber made a return to our home.

Last night the Kings and a Monarch made our annual Royal Ride. We started with dinner at Collina's and Mustang Sally was perfect for viewing all the lights. This year I added down throws and think they take quite a bit of the chill off the backseat passengers. We stopped at Starbucks and got some tasty hot beverages to keep us warm as we drove through River Oaks and Tanglewood.

Tomorrow I am getting a massage and Roy is renting a carpet cleaner to go over the well traveled paths of our carpet. He wants me out of here while he does it. I being the good wife, will totally accommodate him on this. We are really doing well on round 2 of his vacation. He doesn't do well without a project, so that seems to be the key. Otherwise he hovers just a bit too much and I get cranky. I know, hard to believe that I could get cranky. :)

I'm excited that I have a couple of new books to read, Sacred Rhythms (rhythm is a hard word to remember how to spell correctly) by Ruth Haley Baron, Treasured by Leigh McLeroy and Primal by Mark Batterson. All look to be very good. Treasured has already been helping me as I face a surprised and unexpected health event. Mark Batterson rocks the casbah on every book of his I have read. His blog always has something in it that ministers to my spirit. Then I have rediscovered some books I forgot I had while going through the stack in our bedroom. Since my vision is back in order, I am looking forward to some quiet reading time. Big blue, my quiet time chair, has moved to a new location in the bedroom, so I am hoping that means a new direction in seeing God. Or when we get the new chair, a whole new beginning. OK, I know the chair doesn't make the quiet time but it sure can help at times.

Friday, December 25, 2009

God Came Down, Here With Us. That's the Song of Christmas.

Merry Christmas! We celebrated yesterday with my parents. We brought over food from one of their favorite places, The Black Eyed Pea. We had a delicious lunch and then opened gifts. Well, they opened gifts. My dad could not remember where he put the envelopes for the gift cards he bought for everyone. So we were handed our cards, no unwrapping involved. Roy was able to help my dad with his computer and helped him get his email account set up and running. All in all it was one of the better Christmas' in recent memory. It is sadly obvious that my mom continues in the downward spiral of Alzheimer's. She knows us, she knows in her head what she wants to say but has trouble completing a sentence without a lot of help. She is still very funny and has her sense of humor about things. Now patience with my dad is another thing and she gets rather upset with him at times. It's not right but it is sure dang funny seeing my dad get verbally whipped into shape by my mom. She has never done this in her life!

This is her new Christmas tree. Her other one bit the dust after years and years of service.

Our family pic from the day.

Roy and I messing with the camera while my parents made their way to the den.

Mom, Dad and the tree...that makes three
We came back home and then headed out for the Christmas Eve service at St. Martin's. It is always such a beautiful and worshipful service. We get our liturgical service fix. We went to Starbucks beforehand and drove around looking at lights. We usually do this in the convertible but it was just too dang cold to do that last night. I participated full out Episcopalian... actually used the little bench to kneel. Ouch, my knees are a bit tender today. Also did the little head bow when the cross came past us in the processional. And for the first time in all the years of attending these services, when I took communion, for the first time I was not taking it under the duress of knowing it could cause me to be fired. Baptists use grape juice, Episcopalians use wine. I had signed a deal saying I wouldn't drink while employed at church.

We thought we would then go to the Christmas Eve at First Baptist, but I knew I was pushing it if we did so.

This has been an easy-going Christmas day. Roy made brunch and it was delicious. We opened gifts after that. We have been lazy all afternoon, reading and watching TV. It has been great. Last year we began a Christmas tradition, guess it is a tradition if this is the second time we do this. We are going to have Chinese food later on this evening.

The Christmas messages I have heard this year have contained many similarities or a theme. Of course it's Christmas, there is going to be a theme. I have listened and I'm listening in even more so because of the mystery of all that happened in our Saviour's birth. The known by God becoming known to us. Things that looked bad are actually good and for us. Things we thought were under control have silently been taking a toll and a new, unknown journey and direction is ahead. I keep thinking and silently singing, God came down, here with us. I know He is here and with me.

While in the land of Sugar, I went to Whole Foods and discovered the Cara Cara orange. Oh my goodness, it is totally delicious! May have to buy a few more. Roy loves them as much as me.

Hope everyone has a peaceful and joyful end of Christmas Day. I keep thinking about the line in the Christmas song, "ox and ass before Him bow, as He is in the manger now." I sang that song a lot in parking lots and out on the streets of Houston. I'd sing it to the people who were acting and driving like oxes and asses. Guess that isn't really the meaning of the song, but it did make me smile as people made themselves biblical animals at Christmas.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve Day 2009 - a Holiday Tip Included

Roy just got in from shopping. It is his tradition to shop for my gifts the morning of Christmas Eve Day. He told me one of them is going to knock my socks off. He never says stuff like that. Anyway, he also did the grocery shopping at Kroger's this morning and has gone out to the car for the second load. It seemed that we didn't need all that much since we are picking up food from Black Eye Pea this afternoon and taking it over to my parents to celebrate Christ's birth. But Roy must be planning his brunch extravaganza for tomorrow. He is cooking and preparing Christmas brunch for us. I'm kind of excited to see all he has planned. We are reversing the order of how we usually celebrate Christmas. Parents today and us tomorrow.

I included this picture of Mildred and Gertrude preparing our famous Spam Turkey. I hope you can see how beautiful it is. Just mix up some Spam like you would meatloaf. Then shape the Spam into a turkey shape. Stick an apple and celery in. Also add the chicken legs with the little white leg topper thing and you have a delicious and very presentation oriented dish. OK, it's not delicious but if you don't want to have Christmas next year at your house or better yet just be asked to bring the paper goods or bread for Christmas lunch, just make this ONE time. Look at all the free time you'll have right before the holidays!

I will probably be back on here before Christmas is over but just in case I'm not:


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Shortest Day of the Year

The shortest day and longest night of the year was jam packed. It was a fortunate thing that I was able to ease into the day. On Sunday, Peggy and I had done a M&G thing for a sister church. We were a bit skeptical about doing this performance because we had just done the same thing in April. But the person asking us to do it wanted the very same thing. We did the shortened script and I am so glad we did. Their sound system was in and out which made things a little more difficult. Let's just say I am happy to be done with that and happy that we don't have anymore performances in the near future. So as I have to do in this season of life, I had time to recoup.

Nancy and the girls spent the afternoon at my parents. I came over for just a bit because Roy and I would be able to spend time with Nancy and the girls that evening.

Love getting to spend some time with Nancy. She makes me laugh and I love it when she brings baked goodies.

This is Megan and Erin. Megan is busy with a gift and Erin is looking at the camera.

I left my parents and headed toward the Heights. My glasses were in and I was thrilled to be able to see for Christmas! Everything went really well at Eye to Eye and I had about an hour to kill before picking up Roy from the office. I thought about going home but decided instead to shop the Heights. There are several stores I'm going to return to after the first of the year. Saw some really cute things in a couple of antique stores. Speaking of antiques, I ran into Melinda and Tommy at one of the stores. They were looking for trunks. Hit a couple more shops and then headed downtown to pick up Roy.

We met Nancy and the girls at Collina's. We also had invited Dena to join us. She has known and loved Megan and Erin since they were little girls. Dena had to finish or maybe even start her Christmas shopping because her attention has been on her family. She declined our dinner invite but said to call later to see if we could all meet up at a Starbucks or something. Uncle Roy was paying for dinner, what a great Uncle, and Nancy and I were in the restroom, resting, and Megan and Erin were waiting for us. My phone rang and Megan answered. It was Dena.

I should have known something wasn't good when I saw this many calls from Dena. Dena is not exactly a phone person. You will also notice I had an email earlier from our adopted Sister Judiann. Anyway, Dena had been in a fender bender in the Petsmart parking lot. I hope she was NOT buying my Christmas there. Anyway, she wanted to know if we could come over for support. We were off to Mustang Sally, top down and when we got to the parking lot where Dena was, I tried to make a dramatic entrance but think I only took up two parking places. Roy is so good in these situations. He calmly walked over to Dena and mentioned some things she should notice in case something came up in the future. Love it when his legal side shows. We took some pictures and talked with the people in the other car. Once all the information was gathered, agreed upon and shared, we were off to Starbucks.

Roy rode with Dena to Starbucks and Megan and Erin with me. I took this picture as a joke. When I worked at church, the requirement was and is, no two opposite sex people in a car alone, there had to be other people. One time Dena took Roy to work, his car being in the shop and his office at that time kind of on the way to her office. I had some appt or something not to be able to take him. I wrote a note giving my consent to them being in the car together. It has been a joke since that day.

While we were there, Megan and Erin took Petsmart up on grooming. Not really...see the sign in the background?
We are not happy about the fender bender, but the girls were really happy that they got to see Dena. We were taking pics while waiting for our tasty beverages but I didn't realize Roy wasn't in any pics because he was in the bathroom. Maybe I can learn how to photo shop him in.

We didn't get to do our original intent which was going around and looking at Christmas lights. Nancy was waiting for us at The Container Store and she and the girls were making a return trip to The Nord since they closed at 10:00. I did take the back route through Tanglewood and through all the lights on Post Oak. None the less, we all had such a good time. A little less lights didn't make a difference to us.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Salvation is Here and Gone...Salvation Army That Is

Gone with the Salvation Army went our big white 80's couch, a queen sized bed and frame, a chair and ottoman, and small end table. What oh what will we do with this extra room? We aren't even buying new furniture or anything. We have been inspired since August to simplify and de-clutter. It is something I have asked Roy to join in but until he saw all the stuff his mother had collected over the years, I had never been able to get his attention. We forgot what was under the queen size bed, so we will probably be making a trip to our BFF, Goodwill. Buddy doesn't quite know what is going on. She keeps going from room to room looking for the familiar. She used the chair and ottoman as a launching pad and a quiet place to take a nap. She hid under the bed and in the summer one of her favorite napping places was the 80's couch in the den/closet. Roy helped the guys move stuff out of here. In fact when Roy asked if he could take a folding table, the guys said, we don't even know if all this is going to fit. Think that is when Roy got really interested in helping them. I've been vacuuming and putting things in a pile for our BFF.

I have always had an infinity for trying to use every bit of space for things. Some would say that by surrounding myself with stuff, kept me from my real and imagined fears in life. That statement probably would pertain to me. I love and loved to surround us in books and things that pertain to books. When there wasn't any money to do anything big in the redecorating department, there were always things like transitional seasonal merchandise to bring a new look. Only nothing ever left when the new came onto the scene. It just kind of got moved around from room to room. A lot of things are here with a purpose and that purpose being my attempt to re-create my Grandma Brownlow's home and the warm, cozy feeling that it had for me as a child.

Roy just came home from Sprint successful in returning our wireless card. That will make the phone bill drop a bunch of $$$. Sprint doesn't have enough coverage here at the condo.

Everything on the list of to-dos has been checked off. That's a great feeling. Next weekend after Christmas, we will be re-arranging some furniture and making a decision of whether we will stay here or move. Well, we won't make the decision next weekend, but we will start moving in those directions. I'm no math wizard or engineer but I wonder if the building foundation could talk, would it express relief at the vast amount of stuff that has left our abode in the past few months.

Just sitting here looking at the living room, there is still a lot of work to be done. Still a lot of books to rearrange and things to give to others or our BFF. Now if I was in the mood to be writing all kinds of spiritual applications on what I have just written, I would. But it has been done by others and done too much. Besides, it is really kind of obvious isn't it the work that is taking place internally. I am glad that there is work getting done in our home and there is a work being done in my heart by the ultimate designer and creator.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Sound of Repairs and Music

Roy has been on vacation from the office, but it doesn't seem like he let himself be on vacation on getting some things done around here. For this I am glad. Yesterday was repair day here at home. The electrician was first to arrive to fix an electrical outlet that our former maid had destroyed. Something about a falling picture and a plug. The plumber came soon afterwards and fixed some leaky faucets. In the afternoon the heater guys came out to repair the heater. We found out on one of those very cold days, it was not working. It was the thermostat that needed fixing, so we have a new digital one. Today, we are waiting for Comcast. Roy went and picked up the boxes from them for the TV but the box in the bedroom is making everyone and everything blue. They think we have a bad box and they are coming between 11-2 today. I didn't realize that Roy had signed up for Internet from them. Our Sprint card never worked that well here. Actually, Sprint doesn't work here very well at all but heh...we have a contract except on our wireless and it is up. It is like we have finally come into the 21 century. Everything is so fast. Now I will work on some photo books that I stopped messing with mainly because it took so much time. Saturday is the rescheduled furniture pick up. I think we will work next weekend on moving some furniture around.

While all this was happening yesterday I was out and about. Being home when service repair guys are here drives me batty. Thus, Roy is driven battier. Anyway, I started out at Buffalo Grille for breakfast. Delicious. I remembered I had a friend getting highlights across the street so I brought her a cup of Toasted Cinnamon coffee to make her morning a delicious one too. Then I was off to Barnes and Noble, Lifetime Fitness and a peek into Anthropologie to scope out the items that had recently gone on sale. I have fallen for their winter pine soap and got another bar to see me through till Valentines. Came home to recharge and left soon after the heater guys got here. My two afternoon errands did not keep me away long enough so I just plopped down on the couch until they left.

Last night Peggy and I went to see Caroline Taylor in Sound of Music. We had a wild adventure of driving to the Hobby Center. The blind leading the blind....but after a few illegal turns and a lot of honking, we ended up in valet parking and we were happy to be there. We saw several friends from church at the performance. Caroline had a lot of supporters there. Now Sound of Music, the movie, is not one of my all time favorites but it was different seeing the stage play and actually knowing someone in the cast. A couple of times I leaned over to Peggy and said, "was that in the movie?" The ladies in front of us swayed to every song. We were behind them doing the opposite sway in order to see. I was pleased with the leg room. We joined up with the Taylors, the other Taylors (Lisa and Morgan) and a couple of the O'Neals, Hailey and Allen at the Stage Door to greet Caroline when she exited. That was fun. Soon we all headed back to valet parking and got our respective cars. No adventure like incidents were reported on our way back to drop me off. I don't know about Peggy's solo drive home.

Trying to go to sleep last night was tough...all those songs were going through my head. Makes it tough when you only know a few words from each song. Sleep finally came. While drifting off to sleep I waved to Buddy and Roy....the sun has gone to bed and so must I...gooodnight...good night....Roy and Buddy did not do the wave back to me and respond with a long gooood nigggghhhhhhhhtttttttt...... I'm not bitter.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Morning of Cardiologist, Target and La Fiesta

All in all I think my appointment went pretty good this morning. The reason mall parking lots aren't crowded...they are all at Memorial City Hospital Professional Building Parking Garages. There were quite a few Santa helpers directing traffic up to the top floor. Good, that is where I park anyways. No offense to those of you who own Crown Victoria's, Grand Marquis and let's not forget mini vans; I don't want to wait or fight or have parking lot rage with any of these slow pokes in these particular kinds of cars. Makes it very simple top of the garage and Dr on the top floor of the building. My good looking periodontist has moved into the building. I discovered that when I went for lab work. I was very, VERY tempted to see if he is still soooo good looking.

My good news from my appointment, I have lost 6 more pounds. Surprised me because I announced to the nurse before stepping on the scale, I have gained weight. So a total of 76 pounds in a year and a half. Need to lose more, but I'm not complaining over that number. I don't have any bad news, just iffy news. My anxiety attacks, nagging fatigue and the problems I have been having at night might indicate, along with the Dr hearing this with his stethoscope, there may be some fluid building up in my lungs. It could be caused by something being wrong in my heart. So, I went to a lab and gave them a bunch of blood. The little storage tubes had green tops. So with my red blood it was very festive! The Dr said, somethings are going on inside of you that you may not know about. Then I told him that last week Stacey did reflexology and she mentioned some congestion or fluid in my lungs. I'm so glad she did that because this did not catch me by surprise. I will know more when they get the reports back. I am praying that it is nothing and that there is nothing wrong with my heart. Hope you will join with me in praying and believing for that very same report.

Keeping with the instructions of keeping stress levels low, I went across the street to Target. Actually it looked worse than what it was. I dreaded check out but that was the simplest part. Getting a cart was the adventure. Then loading the car was adventure land in the cold. Roy still has a Christmas gift for me in the trunk, so I had to load everything into the backseat. Had to make a deposit at the bank and then picked up Roy for lunch. We went to La Fiesta and really liked it. La Fiesta is going on our dining list of regular stops. And here is an awesome thing about the La, there is hand made jewelry at the check out counter. It is downright beautiful. I called Dena and said, I have found us another place to eat and there is shopping at the end of a delicious dinner. How totally cool is that? We came home and now Roy is off to Moeller's, Comcast and some place else, I don't remember. He joined BSF last night and is really excited by the homework. We are so opposite!

Our furniture for Salvation Army didn't get moved today. Now they are coming Saturday. That kind of put a change in our plans for other things we need to get done. Oh well...I take it that we needed to keep all this week a bit more simple than we had planned. Guess I will take it that I need to nap this afternoon. I will after I send an email to Sister Judiann. I'm going to ask her if I can put her picture on my blog. Happy Napping!

Monday, December 14, 2009

It's Official! We Heard From Our Sister!

Yesterday morning, toward the end of Sunday School, I looked at my Black Berry to see if I had any messages from Roy. Sometimes our meeting place changes after church. None from him but one from a nun. That's right kiddos, I heard from the Sister we adopted. Can you tell how excited I am? She is in Bunkie, La, teaches pre-school and kindergartners. Her name is Sister Judiann. Isn't that cool! I wrote her back this morning and just now, she sent pictures of she, Sister Jeanette and the work they do they do there in Bunkie. She even sent a picture of them holding snowballs from last week's snowfall. I told her she was being adopted by a Baptist girl who married a Catholic boy and she doesn't even seem to mind me being Baptist. God's presence is all over this. I also realize that we share Sister Judiann with others, but that is fine with me. The more to help she and Sister Jeanette in their ministry. I noticed she is on Facebook, so maybe I will be brave enough to ask her to be a friend.

Roy is just laughing at me and thinks this is so good. He can tell I am genuinely excited about this whole experience. He just left to go to his first Bible Study Fellowship meeting. Talk about two extremes... I guess BSF has the strict rules for their men's Bible study too. Roy is a rule follower, well more so than me, and isn't even moved one iota about no talking if you haven't done the homework. Yea, we laughed, Roy always does his homework. This isn't even a threat to him.

We have done really well with him home all day on vacay. Well, early on in the day, he went to Costco and then to the Apple store. Then he came home, we ordered Christmas dinner to be picked up on Christmas Eve and then went out to lunch. Then on the way home, we ran a bunch of his errands and did pretty good getting them knocked off his list. I worked on a shortened script for this Sunday. Mildred and Gertrude are going back to Tallowood for a Christmas luncheon. It needs a little more work before I send it on to Peggy. When he gets home, we will move around some furniture for more access when Salvation Army comes and picks it up tomorrow.

OK, I think this is really funny. Roy voted for the mayoral election on Saturday in between Celebration performances. He didn't want to re-apply make up, so he went to The Forum, which is where we vote, in complete stage make up as an Elf... He said he got some looks from some of the precinct workers. I would have loved to get this on film. One lady did stop him and asked about the extreme make up he had on and he explained why he was coming to vote in such a state. She let him vote. After the speech our new mayor gave on Saturday night, I wonder if some of those precinct workers thought, oh yes, I saw one of those people today who the mayor elect mentioned in her acceptance speech, that have never had a voice in city matters. Uh no, just a guy with elf make up on.

Well, I just wanted my bloggity boo friends to know, our adoption is finalized and we couldn't be more pleased.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Elephant, Camel, and Angels...oh and Lunch Too!

It's Friday night. Buddy and I are spending a quiet evening together. Roy is in Celebration and tonight is the first performance. Last night I dropped by the dress rehearsal and was totally blown away. The past few years Roy has participated in the program and loves being involved in it. It's like we have traded places. He is an elf, in the blue procession, sells grain in the market scene and is in heaven for the last scene. It is a joy to watch him, even as an elf cause he ain't got no sense of dancing...but he has found a place on stage where he isn't out there and he can somewhat do the steps because he is watching those in front of him. Dress rehearsal was long, like they always are, last night. Today is his first day of his vacay. So he was happy to sleep in. Also you come home so wired and it is hard to settle down. Even as tired as he is, he isn't ready to go to sleep. Roy has several projects in the week ahead and he added a few more projects to the list this afternoon.

Last night from my seat in row K, I got the up close and personal closeness of both the elephant, the big elephant, the BIG, HUGE elephant that smelled like the zoo and not to be out done, the big camel. A goat stepped on my foot, but been there and done that in years gone by. I also have stepped in a lot of goat remains (do do) from Pageants gone by. Got to bust a move with Steven Murray during the Hallelujah Chorus and had a delightful time with my former angel cast mate from back in the day, Rebbecca. OK, like she is in college now but she was an angel along with Jennifer H when they were in high school. Let's just say with Jennifer S and Marsha T, that baptistery was rockin' in some good times. So, what's said in the baptistery changing room stays in the baptistery changing room...which happened to be where angels change their clothes.

Speaking of angels and innocence...did I come to mind? Anyway, Amazon delivered some Angel Innocence Body Cream and Powder today. I have been looking all over for these. Seems they are just making the perfume and cologne right now. The T. Mulger rep was at the Nord Sunday night. She said they have taken a different emphasis right now. That sounds like discontinued to me, although I am not a professional.

Today Laurie and I finally had our twice cancelled lunch and we were joined by Becky. We had a wonderful time catching up and laughing with each other. I am always blown away that youngsters want to spend time with an old, well not old but maybe the word here is mature, lady. I went away filled with joy and bento box and banana cream pie. Oh, it was all good!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Christmas Music - Songs Over Sung

This Christmas season I have already heard the Happy Birthday Jesus song, the song about the shoes, and Mary Did You Know way too many times to count. Of those three songs I like Mary Did You Know but too many versions, too many recordings by various artists and sometimes in the late night KHCB will play it twice in a 30 minute time period. Last Christmas I gave you my heart...oops another much played song, but last Christmas I got all the way to Christmas Eve before hearing Mary Did You Know but of course if I was Mark Lowry I'd be asking why that song isn't being played. He is a very rich man from that song. The history of how he came to write those words was told in the middle of the night on KHCB. I remember bits and pieces of it cause I wasn't all the way awake. I used to let sports talk shoes play all night but Roy asked if I could do something a little softer and mellow. KHCB was our compromise. Mary Did You Know that it's a song over sung and 99.1 does the same thing with a Holly Jolly Christmas by Burl Ives. Not once have I heard the Iconic Song Merry Christmas Darling on the radio, once in Kroger's though.

So this vision thing is really weird, but is good news. Last Thursday started having some problems seeing. Did better wearing my old glasses. Had the little colorful floater thing going on. Of course I went to Dr. Google to look up symptoms and scared myself. Should always go to God first with this kind of stuff. Anyway, Peggy takes me to the eye Dr on Monday. Isn't that very nice of her? She's a good friend. Of course she is too funny when she brings over the Gay Yellow Pages that is being given away in the office. My eye Doctor is in the Heights...nuff said. I'm like don't read that to me. Uh some pretty racy pictures of men in there. Not any listings like for a good time... But if you need to find a new grocery store, that half naked man is why you would want to go, I guess. My eyes were all dilated and of course I am asked to pick out new frames. Long story short...yes I know this is already a long story, my distance vision has improved up 3 lines. It is better than in 2006. So for the next two weeks I am in a challenging time. I'm wearing reading glasses to see up close and going with my natural vision for distance. It's OK, but night driving is not good. Sometimes there's this little gap where it is really difficult. So don't drive too close to me. Right now I am driving like an old woman or a mini van driver. You know I am not happy at all about that.

Just opened the box from The Vermont Country Store with my canned bacon inside. Going to let Roy take the free marzipan cakes to the office. Marzipan...Homestarrunner, Teen Girl Squad...oops, I digressed.

Dana D and I met at the Nord Bistro for lunch today. We had a great time, well I had a great time for sure. Gee has been only 15-20 years since the last time we had lunch together. Peggy was going to meet us but she had lots of stuff keeping her out West today. It seemed like Dana and I opened up the Bistro and left long after the lunch time rush. Before meeting Dana, I got a lot of my Christmas shopping finished up. And still had enough energy and vision to make a quick stop at the play grocery store. Thought a nap was going to happen but I got a second wind upon returning home.

Soon after getting home I needed to get Roy's dinner ready to help him get out of the door and get to practice on time. Nothing says love like warmed up Collina's pizza.

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Night at The Nord and Other Stuff

It has been several years since the Nord has had their customer appreciation night. For several of these celebrations, they have instead given their invited customers an opportunity to make purchases over several days instead of the one night. Both are great ways to be appreciated but I think my favorite is the one night party. Granted this year's celebration was a bit more subdued than in years past. No band, only the pianist, limited appetizers, and the like. Only I don't go for those reasons, don't get me wrong I like all that but I like the evening for two reasons, hanging out with friends and 10 Nordstrom points for every dollar you spend on your Nord card or Nord debit card. The points quickly develop into Nord notes that are redeemable in future purchases. The first year I participated, I went wild, no discipline at all. As the time has gone by I have become more restrained in what purchases I make. I try to do Christmas shopping and regular purchases on this night, now. The Nord night is a very festive and fun evening. Lisa P, CourtneyS and I went last night and we ran into several First Baptist friends throughout the evening.
I was a bit of a Debbie Downer last night. Since Thursday night I have had some problems with my eyes. These little pinwheels of color float all about. Sometimes they look they a lady bug and sometimes a clock. My distance vision is not all that great now with some fuzziness. Hard to read some signs. My old glasses are working out better than my newer ones and a lot of time things aren't so fuzzy if I totally take my glasses off. Although, I have still driven during all of this. Last night Roy offered to take me to Nord night and wait, like a lot of men do. But he nearly killed us backing out the car, so I determined if I was going to have whiplash along with this vision thing, he could not drive me anywhere. I did OK but I must confess I found myself in parts of that parking garage I have never seen. Peggy is taking me to my eye Dr appt today. Hopefully all this can be corrected and I can go along on my merry way.
Dena was back yesterday in Sunday School, she even taught! Afterwards our class had a leadership luncheon. The food was awesome and it was prepared by some ladies in the class. A lunch with deviled eggs, stuffed celery, and olives is always a big hit with me. Everything was delicious and Darlene made this pink JELLO salad that rocked the casbaugh! Dena was thought of in the preparation with a whole crock pot of cocktail weenies with barbecue sauce made just in her honor. Oh and the meeting was good too!
Crunch week for Roy. They have practice every night this week for the Celebration performances over the weekend. Almost all the tickets are sold. It will be exciting and I hear there are some surprises in the performances. Awesome!
We have a new neighbor in the condomanium. Met her last week and she knocked on our door several times late yesterday afternoon looking for a corkscrew. We happen to have one and she came back a second time to use it again for here little party she was throwing. Roy told her just to put it by the door in the morning. He was tired of answering the door. Roy took out the trash a little before 10:00 last night and it seemed like he was gone longer than usual. So I called just to see if he was OK and our new neighbor had stopped him on his way back in. She asked if she could hook onto our wireless network. Uh, no. In fact Roy told her what she was seeing as available networks is only what we use for wireless printing. Roy was happy that I called so he could stop the conversation. She is young and cute and I think she is used to having her way with men. They do whatever she asks. Think she was a bit surprised by Roy because he wouldn't do what she wanted and didn't answer her questions. Don't think she is a casserole lady, she is just looking for someone to do stuff for her. Hey, Chicky, he barely has time for the stuff I need him to do. Think I will just let her have that corkscrew.
I'm happy that I have been able to write this all most pinwheel free.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

He Gives and Takes Away, Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

He sends the snow like white wool;
he scatters frost upon the ground like ashes.
He hurls the hail like stones.
Who can stand against His freezing cold?

Then at His command, it all melts. He sends His winds and the ice thaws.

Psalm 147:16-18

It was so much fun while it lasted. Some say we really can't call it snow, but today officially, Houston, Texas has had more snow than Chicago, Illinois. That record won't last long, but we have a day or two of bragging rights. Some how all the nay sayers must not find delight in the little things. God lifted a city for an afternoon. The usual grouches I run into were full of smiles. The sound of snow falling, even when it doesn't stick is phenomenal. There for a bit the sound of snow falling drowned out all the noise. It even muffled those acorns falling to the ground. There were several of us taking it all in here at the condomanium.

Roy's lunch downtown was cancelled and he got home around 1:30. We took a short drive to look at the snow and stopped at Goode Company for some to go. The snow ended too quickly for most of us here in the greater Houston area.

We went to bed last night all warm and snugly under the covers and comforter. We sank into those feather beds (two on the bed, we are not Ricky and Lucy) and Buddy got right there between us where it was the warmest. Of course all this idyllic winter had to come to an end. I awoke to Roy yelling in the shower, there was no hot water.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Snow Day December 4, 2009

It has been an exciting day here in Houston. It doesn't take very much snow to turn each and everyone of us into a big puddle of childlike excitement. Earlier today I ran around taking pictures. When Roy got home, we ran over to Goode Company Bar B Que to get some to go. Now I'm drinking some instant Starbucks coffee and enjoying the afternoon in Houston, with snow still falling.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Lovely Day in the Land of Pear...Pearland

This morning Lisa P and me met at Mimi's for brunch. I think we get a total kick out of taking pictures of each other and food when we get together. She ordered some kickin' sweet blueberry french toast with biblical sized grapes on the side. I did the waffles cause I crave those waffles. Our server Trey was awesome. We did the catching up thing and totally took apart the movie Blind Side. We loved it and cannot wait till it comes out on DVD.

Lisa looks awesome for someone who just worked out. Yea, I worked out this morning too. Rolled out of bed, rolled out to get ready, rolled out to the car, rolled out to Moeller's Bakery (didn't eat a thing there) and rolled on out to the Land of Pear.

OK, those grapes were huge, delicious and seedless.

Here lies some waffles needing to be devoured. Hmmm....oh yea, hot syrup.

After we ate and talked and talked and talked, Lisa headed to Macy's and I headed to Academy and another shopping center on down the road. I happened upon a Cracker Barrel. So, I stopped in for a minute to see if there was anything I couldn't live without. I almost bought a cow girl shirt, but just got some Christmas candies. I emailed Dena because I wanted to make her jealous. She being at work, although there is a CB near her office. She has a God given ability, talent, dare I say spiritual gift to find CB on the road. When we have traveled together, she can pick em out and get us there in nothing flat.
After a pleasant brunch and shopping, I headed back into Houston, H-Town. Stopped by the ED suite and brought some candy and gingerbread men to my friends. Had a great time visiting with the girls and Jason. Then went to Corner Books to get some Jenea time and a Christmas CD by Chris Tomlin, buy with me. We live in the 24 zip code and we have not received the Christmas mailing from First. We have a new mailman who happens to be a bad mailman. Just got my Nord ticket to the Customer Appreciation event. Good thing I RSVP in person or it would have been too late to go. Planting seeds, maybe I will give him our copy.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

December 1 - Bring on the Holiday Peppermint Deluge

Wow, how can it be December 1? Tasted my first and it won't be my last M&M Mint Chocolate. They are so good! Yesterday, I had my first creme brullee latte, won't be my last. Even now I am thinking of making a trip to the SB drive through to get another non fat creme brullee latte with whip. You make the concessions somewhere and non fat is mine. We were gifted with some peppermint bark. Oh yea, we loves the peppermint at our home. It's that time of year when peppermint becomes the candy, food, and drink of choice. Oh, I cannot forget the peppermint chocolate chip shake at Chicky. Peppermint is in the food pyramid and in all four food groups.

Bought the book Blind Side because we liked the movie so much. So far, the book is good. Interesting in how movies take a different glance at things. Anyway, should be finished reading it by the end of the week.

With my head cleared out from a medically induced fog, I have realized how anti social I have been in the past few years. Oh, still out and about, but this week it is becoming all too obvious for me. Also been a lot quieter, some will be missing me on Ultram, others may welcome the old me back with welcome arms. Roy is mixed on the subject. It takes me much longer to go to sleep now and my mind is going 90 to nothing. I woke him up about five minutes after going to bed, thinking he was still awake, with about ten questions. He wasn't thrilled. He thinks if I watch TV instead of reading that causes my mind to rev up. Nope...nothing controlling it now medicinally. It's a wild fun ride, well it is for me.

Ordered some more stuff from the Vermont Country Store. Those Yankees really like canned food. They have canned ground beef just in case you might run a can. I really wanted to order some to try it out, but the picture didn't move me. Now I did order stuffed tomatoes and some a can. Will see what all this Yankee canned food stuff is all about. Got Roy some mince meat pies for Christmas. It seems to me that is just a perfectly good waste of crust. Also ordered some vanilla Moon Pies and more pumpkin seeds. Those seeds are so good and a tad bit addictive.

How's Christmas shopping coming along for everyone? Have a few gifts knocked out but still have some to go. Think Roy is going to check on a new TV for the living room for our Christmas. He is taking off next week, so I need to give him some projects. One is getting our 80's white couch, a stripped chair and ottoman and a queen size mattresses and bed frame moved out. Hopefully, we can get Salvation Army to come by and pick those up. We are making a lot of headway in our getting rid of clutter project. Also as we contemplate whether we are going to move or not, if we do move, less to move. If we don't...clutter free zone.

If you are looking for something to read after the holidays to give you a bit of a boost, I cannot recommend Stand Against the Wind by Erwin McManus, enough. It is a gift sized book and the selections are taken from his book Uprising, a Revolution of the Soul. It is one of those books where you can take in just about one sentence at a time. I pulled out the book to add one of my favorite quotes to my Facebook status for Thanksgiving. The opportunity to look through the book again was such a total refreshing. So, the New Year begins with taking this book apart and studying the scripture it teaches from for me.

Well, hot tea is calling my name. I always think I will sit by the window in Roy's big comfy chair with a book and some hot tea. I always forget the hot tea and then it's January and summer is just a few days away. Hot tea doesn't interest me then.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ain't No Sunshine on my Gums...I Have No Idea Why I Titled This Post That Way

Some days before Thanksgiving Roy and I were out at lunch. No surprise that we were eating out but I overheard a conversation behind me between four family members. They were loud talkers so it isn't as if I was trying to pry. You couldn't help but hear them. A couple of times to Roy I sang, do you hear what I hear? A dinner, a dinner planned so very wrong and that's the end of this song and that's the end of this song. Anyway, as they planned their family lunch on Thanksgiving Day, it was obvious it was all out of hurt feelings. And these planners didn't even care. Their discussion went back and forth on the side dishes and they had a lengthy discussion on dessert. I kept thinking "picture what you are planning to put forth." Think of the presentation...I know presentation hasn't been a strong suite of mine but working with Jason six years has rubbed off on me. The following is what the foursome planned for Thanksgiving Day lunch, turkey, stuffing (not cornbread but just white bread stuffing), cauliflower, mashed potatoes with white gravy, heart of the stalk celery sticks and bread pudding. That is one white and boring Thanksgiving dinner! Several times one that seemed a little more timid than the others would say, well Aunt so n so loves sweet potatoes. What about green beans...not green bean casserole. That is when green bean casserole was added guess because it is made with bland colored cream of mushroom soup. Gee no olives or carrot sticks just to add something? Come on people where is your cranberry sauce? I wondered if all this would be served on white plates? Thanks but no thanks I love all that was mentioned except for cauliflower but just imagining what all those choices would look like, just kind of made me sad. As these four planned and schemed, it was obvious this dinner plan was revenge on some other relatives that hadn't taken kindly to what the present groups choices were for Christmas dinner last year. Oh there were other reasons too, all involving hurt feelings. Ah, been there experienced that...well not exactly that situation but the stressed, hurt and revengeful family situation. I was very close to going to that table of divisors and duplicitous planners, probably braver in my mind now than when all this was actually happening. But then, just at that time some other family members came in, saw their relatives and stopped for a moments visiting on the way to being seated at a table. I could hear the sound of paper being crumpled and purses opening and closing. Believe me, there was all kinds of conversation concerning Thanksgiving Day and here and there in that conversation the wishes of sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberry orange sauce, JELL-O salads and pumpkin pies. Who knows what happened on Thursday, but I have pondered what I heard and hope some kind of compromise was reached or bad feelings put away. I don't know, I have a feeling that those who attended have been dreaming of a white Thanksgiving just like some ones they've never known until last Thursday.

Oh, this past week has been an interesting one. It is always a great deal of fun to come off of pain meds after being on them for almost two years. Actually, it wasn't as difficult as I had anticipated having done this one other time in my early 30's. The difficulty being unique and unexpected. So I have a week and two days behind me and I'm doing good. On the way home from brunch today Roy said that I'm sweeter off the pain meds but scale of emotions has widened quite a bit. He said, like sweet to cranky or cranky to sweet in zero to three seconds. And like Martha, in the Bible, a crowd has returned to my brain. Those of you who have heard Beth Moore talk on this, know what I am talking about. The attention span on pain meds is much more focused than how I am now in my natural habitat. You should see the unfinished projects from this week. Going to try and wrap those up today. Ha ha ha! That made me laugh. Seems like the brain fog has cleared but my knees are beginning to ache. Not looking forward to the return of that. Get this, all this time on these pills, I'm allergic to them! Thus as of late that's the reasoning of some of the difficulties. Guess the recent rash was the tip off. OK, I just have to mention how loud the acorns sound this year falling off the trees. Has anyone else with oaks noticed this? It sounds like gunshots at times. Just heard a loud acorn fall and had to report.

It is nice having a break from Sunday School on holiday Sundays. It's the only time one can go to brunch without the skipping of church. Hey, I went to church like a Presbyterian today. Didn't carry a Bible. I can say this because we are Bapterian. Anyway, after the 9:30 service we went to Pappasitto's for brunch. They are now serving it on Saturdays too, 9:30 am. I digress, so we went and had the best migas and breakfast tacos. Afterwards, we went to Life Time, no not to work out, so that Roy could see where some of our money goes on a monthly basis. It was the only wise thing to do after the tour but to walk across the street and see Anthropologie. They had so many candles burning. Awesome winter fragrance on a hot summer feeling day. He decided since many scents don't agree with him, to explore everything that is open or soon opening in City Centre. We both had fun but only one of us was carrying a little bag at the end of our City Centre experience.

Now if I was really spiritual I would take these three stories I just told you and weave them into some kind of teaching thought. Unforgiveness and bitterness, being set free (not from an addiction because I didn't abuse them or think I couldn't live without them) but guess it would be set free with a new enthusiasm and then shopping. See, I got nothing. No insight, no not nothing. Am I upset? No way. I will tell you over the years there have been some situations that have caused much pain and unhappiness. There are things that happened that should have never been. I think this is why I approach the holidays like I do. No unrealistic expectations over "togetherness" or not quite having any Hallmark card moments. If you don't have the situation you want for a holiday, taking it deep into your heart and not letting go of hard feelings just takes energy. And we need our energy for good things and events, giving, sharing and encouraging. Create your own celebration. Ain't no rule that you have to have these kind of times like every bad movie on Life Time (not my gym but the TV channel) seems to dictate. Heck, if Fu's were open on Thanksgiving, we were going to go there and have our Thanksgiving meal. It sounded kind of fun to me. And if something in your life needs to go, for a season or forever, ask friends to pray. Prayer brings us all closer to God and to one another. Like if there is someone you don't like, start praying for them. God changes your heart toward them...speaking from experience here. No reason to share this dislike with your unlikeable person, it can destroy all that closeness. Last but not least, have fun! You don't have to spend money to do that at all. We have so many times we HAVE to be serious, let's have some joy! Let's celebrate those little joys that only go on and create joyous experiences and times. Oops, I tied this all neatly in a bow and wove it all together. Believe me, I didn't have this in mind.

Here is something I am happy about, I didn't get taken in by the Oilers, I mean the Texans today. They were up several points against the Colts today when we got home, but I decided to take a nap instead of watching the game. That was a good decision.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Oh How the Mighty Have Fallen

Remember when I wrote bragging about our $70.00 sale of books to Half Price Books? We surely had cornered the market on knowing how to sell books. Ha! We have nothing to do with it. This morning Roy ran another box of books to sell. I have been a reading machine for the past few weeks. Current titles, not many Christian books and he got $7.25! Where is the justice? Oh well, once upon a time, Roy got $70.00 for a box of books and they lived happily ever after. The End.

We are going to put that $7.25 to work. Roy is getting Mustang Sally some new shoes. Her shoes cost some change. Now if we can times $7.25 up a 100, we will have those new tires paid for. :)

It has been one of those mornings. Roy went to Moeller's to buy some rye bread, gingerbread men and order 2 orange cakes...Moeller's is closed today.

I have a couple other things I would like to get done today, so I'd better stop blogging.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

I may only have a few minutes to be online. Roy has been inventorying his father's coin collection. Around lunch time, we took a Lupe's break, then waddled into Walgreen's for a magnifying glass and some yummy chocolate and peppermint candy and then over to Academy. Think the magnifying glass has helped tremendously in organizing the coins. Dimes are the hardest to read. On our way home we stopped at U.S. Coins and Roy made an appointment for them to look through what his dad has collected.

Yesterday was a great Thanksgiving Day. We eased into the day. Roy was so good and even went to workout. Uh, I stayed home and gave thanks...thanks for not having to be in a gym working out. Then we had this brilliant idea to go see Blind Side at 12:30 when most people would be eating their Thanksgiving lunch. There were just a few people in the theatre. We came home after the movie and by the way, it is such a great movie, please go see it. This is coming from someone who rarely goes to see movies. We might make a second trip to see it again. When we got home we began to warm up and heat all the fine food that had been prepared by Logan Hill, the play grocery store, Central Market and Whole Foods and we thanked the Lord for the hands that had prepared the food...cause none of our hands had anything to do with it. We only have mad microwave and re-heating skills. It was delicious!

I was thinking last night about Thanksgiving through the years. Most are forgettable, a few memorable for horrible reasons and the even fewer that were absolute joy. In all these memories I am thankful to the Lord that no matter the circumstances, He was there and He made a way. I am thankful for yesterday. Roy and I had a thankful Thanksgiving. God is so good!

Hope you had a great shopping experience if you participated in Black Friday. I just read Peggy's F B update. While she was in Toys R Us today, she put toys into people's shopping carts that they hadn't picked out. Said she was doing it for the economy. Now that is funny.

Monday, November 23, 2009

We Are Adopting Again and Other Junk

We are going to try again. Our first attempt to adopt met with failure. If I remember correctly she died before she knew she had been adopted by a Baptist family. So, I just mailed off our check and the choice of what we wanted this time. We decided to go with a Sister interested in Education both of adults and children. Yep, we are adopting another nun. Hope the one they choose for us has a little more longer of a life span than the previous sister. I'm excited over this, what a great way to begin Thanksgiving. Some people adopt children which is so wonderful, but guess we have a calling to adopt nuns. What a great habit...ha ha...lame get into.

How embarrassing! I don't know who was more, Elizabeth or me. Today, I was in the land of Sugar to get highlights and a haircut. It was time to remove the foil and rinse, then wash and condition. Elizabeth is awesome, she gives a great massage as you sit there letting the conditioning do it's work. It is wonderful all the attention Elizabeth puts into her efforts. As she was finishing up, she began wiping the side of my face, she continued, got a wet cloth, and applied vigorous force to that side of my face. It dawned on me, little sweet 18 year old Elizabeth must think I globbed up my make-up and she is trying to repair my goof. Only thing, she was working on an age spot and no amount of Shakespeare's Hamlet, "out, out damn spot" was going to remove the age blemish. Slowly but surely just as I was going to thank her for trying so hard to "help" me, she realized what that smudged dark spot was...oh yea it's an age spot. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I tipped her well.

Yesterday church was just dang fun. The choir sang in both services. Pastor Gregg taught a great lesson on the tower of Babel. Unfortunately, we missed the lesson in our class but had a great stretching time at the end. Got to love when a personal trainer combines God's Word and stretching. I was praising God because this was one Sunday that I didn't have a few panic and heart episodes before getting to church.

This has been an interesting week. Feels much longer than several days. It must be due to the fact I am weaning myself off of pain meds. In some ways it has been surprisingly easy but in other unexpected ways it has been really, really rough. Roy told me that I wasn't even cranky or irritable last night. I've asked friends to be especially forgiving if I say something out of the ordinary. There is much riding on getting off the meds. The hope is the lightheadness, the feeling of blacking out, the dizziness and the total absurd amount of sleep that has taken over my life will abate and some kind of normalcy will return. I do feel like my brain is coming out of a fog. So why the week of Thanksgiving to do this, well it just happened that way. Come to find out, all this time I have been on them, I am allergic to some of the ingredients. Thus the symptoms have become worse and worse over the past months and a rash has begun to show up. I knew something was wrong because of how I felt and everything else was checking out OK. Roy has been so supportive and helpful and Buddy has been a good nap companion. I sure hope my voice is showing up in this paragraph. I don't want to sound whiny and old yet I don't want to be flippant about how tough this month has been health wise. Let me say this has been a hard journey and I am learning so much from the Lord on this pilgrimage. I read the other day, you learn more in a storm than in annoying drizzle. I have faith I will see things more clearly on the other side of all this. We studied II Chronicles 20 this week in Bible study. Yep, it was great to be reminded the battle is the Lord's.

We are planning on spending a quiet Thanksgiving around home. We ordered a few dinner items from the play grocery store. Roy picked up some cranberry/orange sauce at Central Market and I got a small pecan pie yesterday at Whole Foods. Depending on how things are going and if they are going well we want to see Blind Side.

The days before going off the meds, I finally went through Christmas decorations stored in the back of the walk in closet. Roy has helped me go through stuff and he has made several trips to drop off at Good Will. Think we are becoming BFF's with that group. Even got paid, I found a total of $3.31 and two Starbuck cards with balances on them for a bonus by going through all the boxes.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Got Nothing

I got nothing. Feel like I am in a blogging funk. There are some things I have been thinking through and studying but all of that is so serious. I don't think it is at a point where I can write about it. With December coming on so soon, I am in the process of starting my day later so I can have the energy I need for some things coming up in December which happen to be at night. I find myself dog tired by 6:00 pm most days and try to stay awake at least till 9:00 pm. While I am enjoying life to the fullest my energy and ability level is reduced considerably. So I have to say no to quite a few things I would rather say yes to. Well, I am totally bored with this subject matter.

Although the holidays aren't my favorite time of year, there are things about the holidays that I do love.

  • Peppermint/chocolate chip shakes at Chicky
  • Balsam scented candles
  • Winter Forest soap
  • Holiday theme Starbuck coffees in red cups
  • Nordstrom doesn't decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving
  • Customer Appreciation Night at the Nord. So much fun! So many points.

Buddy and I are on the outs. This morning she bit my wrist when I was sound asleep. I woke up yelling, which of course Roy was thrilled by, and she took a swipe at my face but she missed and I kind of think on purpose. We have been ignoring each other. Think we are warming up to each other this evening.

After Bible study today, Peggy and I went across the street from the church we meet at for lunch. A little neighborhood place. Our conversations run the gamut of all types of various subjects. After that I ran over to the outdoor mall at Cinco Ranch to look at Eddie Bauer's for shirts for Roy. I also looked at a couple of shops that were nearby. The sky was clouding up with some awfully dark colors. So I headed back into home.

This weeks homework was interesting. We all seemed to get hung up on the same series of questions. We have lots of rabbit trails on subject matter but our core group leader keeps us on task, well most of the time. One verse jumped out at me and into my heart from this week's study, "We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help." This was a part of Jehoshaphat's prayer in II Chronicles 20:12b I am looking at some situations that I have no clue what to do about them. I have no answers. I don't even have questions, I just got me some situations that I haven't a clue about. Now there is a verse to pray and to look to God for help. Hmm...guess I do have something...

Monday, November 16, 2009

I Have No Title

Our adopted daughter Becky blew Dayspring out of the water yesterday. Her lesson was awesome! She made this adoptive mom's heart rejoice at the goodness, wisdom, and the teaching gift that she obviously has. In the top five things I took away from my job at church, meeting and getting to know all the young admins is right there near the top. Becky worked for the preschool ministry as an admin and she then became the recreation ministry associate. Since she is newly retired at the age of 27, we are going to go to lunch at the Nord sometime after Thanksgiving and we can sit there talking till 1:30 without the worry of getting back to work. If anyone is looking for a young, gifted teacher, I would highly recommend Becky...and she is funny too!

Saturday morning was a tad bit exciting around the home front. Roy had just come back from working out. I was keeping the laundry moving and hadn't yet gotten out of my jammies. Roy was in the kitchen talking to me when I interrupted him, nothing new there, asking if he heard that beeping noise? He did and went into the hallway to investigate. He came back and said those are fire alarms, you better get dressed. Now I seriously debated about how I should look if there happened to be a fire and if the TV stations came to cover the fire. It is a known fact they look for the strangest person to interview and the way my hair was sticking out, maybe all the stations in town would stand in line to hear my comments. Good sense and the rule of good hair grabbed me back into reality... I went and took a quick shower cause if we had to evacuate the building I at least wanted to be clean. Roy came back in and said it was a false alarm. Buddy was on edge for the rest of the morning because she saw her carrier out. After a while, Roy volunteered to take the mail to the mailbox, but I think he just wanted to check out the happenings. What had caused the alarm to go off was improper ventilation of a condo that is being remodeled. The workmen opened the front door but none of the windows. That little mistake Roy reported from his journey to and from the mailbox, caused three fire engines to report. They had their fans in the hallways getting rid of all the smoke. I anticipate there being a directive sent from the manager's office today from the condo board. They probably will camp out on the rule of no workmen or remodeling is to be done on Saturdays. There are three condos being worked on in some capacity on our side of the building and they have all been working on Saturdays.

Since I am under orders to take things a little easy these next few weeks, it has given me the opportunity to get a lot of reading in. I think I read 7 books last week. Loved South of Broad but forgot that Pat Conroy drops the F bomb about every other sentence. I had a little worried thought that after seeing the word so much, I might accidentally drop it as well. So far, so good. I finally finished Waltzing at the Piggly Wiggly. Now this book is your typical small town in Mississippi story compete with characters and a secret from the past. The cover of the book is so cute and well Southern. Imagine the complete surprise when two, very descriptive sex scenes show up by surprise in the book. Wow, I didn't see that coming. Usually you know it is going on in these kind of books by the demur wording. Guess it's because a man wrote the book, although all other parts of the story are written like a Southern woman's point of view. Guess it is the new South. I also found two books I forgot I had, both having to do with spiritual pilgrimages. Read both of those on Friday and Saturday.

Today is beautiful and I think much cooler. My morning hasn't turned out quite like I thought it would. Having a few repercussions from accidentally taking too much of my blood pressure medicine yesterday. But now I am feeling good. I'm ready to be outside.

Friday, November 13, 2009

This Week

Oh, I could be in so much trouble. The Anthropologie opened just across the street from Lifetime. That is where I work out. In fact, on Tuesday, as I left the Spa, I went out the side door that is directly a simple few steps to Anthropolgie. It is a good thing I am not young enough or thin enough to buy clothes there. Their candles are so delicious. They even have a candle whose fragrance is wood burning in a fire place. Can't wait to try that out. Bought a couple of books and some glassware. Oh and a bar of soap. Can't forget the Simple Journal either.

Today Peggy and I were going to the Nutcracker Market but Peggy had some grand baby babysitting to do. She is going in the morning and checked in to see if perhaps I would like to go. After today's shopping I know I still don't have it in me to do that. My goal, next year Nut Cracker Market. Just traversing to and from the Nord to Eddie Bauer's today was a tough go. The past few weeks I have been getting tired too quickly and almost to the point of being out of breath. That happened twice on Tuesday, once after shopping at the above mentioned store. Today, I had a couple of little episodes right there in the Galleria. Thank goodness for Starbuck's passion iced tea. It cooled me off and gave me a chance to sit and get some restoration happening. It was a good day shopping wise. Roy got two shirts from the EB, on sale with an additional 30% off. I had some Nord notes and got a couple of tops and also picked up my pants that were being hemmed. After a bit of rest, I went to Old Navy to get some camisoles and they were on sale. Yahoo! Then I ran into Barnes and Noble and will miracles never cease, I didn't buy anything. I did go the Starbucks there for another iced tea. Those 3 barista boys made my day when they began flirting with this older woman. Don't think they were looking for a cougar but a nice tip. One asked if I had the day off and I replied no I'm retired. He said what? Why would a a woman in her 30's retire? See, I told you they wanted a nice tip. Then they asked what I was doing on such a beautiful day? I rubbed salt into the wound by telling them I drove a convertible while enjoying this wonderful day. It was too funny and in fact they were standing at the door when I drove by and they cheered in passing. Made a stop at Whole Earth Provision Company. They have Reefs on sale and I bought a mood ring for $2.95. Bought it because it is cute, not to chart my moods. Made a quick look-see at Sport's Authority. Got a pair of deeply discounted work out pants.

Yesterday was brunch day at Bible study. I really didn't eat too much because I was meeting a friend for lunch that day. Had some Lupe worthy beef fajitas at the little neighborhood joint we went to and I can't remember the name of the place but everything was awesome. Oh, it just came to me El Rancho.

Wednesday Amy K and I went to lunch at Grand Lux. We had a fabulous time catching up and encouraging one another in the faith. Can't beat the Bento Box at lunch. The leftovers were my dinner before choir.

Tuesday night before Revelation Bible study, I met Denise and Marcia for dinner at church. Good tilapia and great conversation.

I read something this week that has me thinking just a bit. You know I am a fan of laughter. Love to laugh and make others laugh. I read something the other day about laughter and the article mainly had to do with marriage but I think laughter is a good foundation of any relationship. So to wrap up my shopping extravaganza I will leave you with these words to ponder.

"Laughter is one clue to compatibility. It tells you how much you will enjoy each other's company over the long term. If your laughter together is good and healthy, and not at the expense of others, then you have a healthy relationship to the world.

Laughter is the child of surprise. If you can make each other laugh, you can always surprise each other. If you can surprise each other, you can keep the world around you new.

Beware of a relationship in which there is no laughter. Even the most intimate relationships, if based only on seriousness, have a tendency to turn dour. Over time, sharing a common serious viewpoint on the world tends to turn you against those who do not share the same viewpoint, and your relationship can become based on being critical together."

Oh there are too many people who hide their criticism underneath the spiritual gift of discernment. And really, it is the gift of discerning of spirits, so technically not the gift of discernment. Oops, I could be on the verge of critical. Anyway, I once heard Beth Moore say something in Sunday School. She said a good way to know if it is the gift or just a critical spirit is, the discerning is always negative. If joy, kindness and good is never discerned, then it's just being critical.

OK, go have some laughter this weekend or good shopping or good shopping at the Nutcracker Market.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Oh Buddy, You Did Your Mom Proud

Friday afternoon was Buddy's appointment with the vet. We had never been to this vet before because the old vet retired. What's that saying, old vets never retire they just simply close their business. Anyway, Buddy's records were transferred and that took care of that. Buddy saw Dr. Rose and Dr. Rose fell in love with Buddy. Buddy was the weight she should be, behaved while getting her shot and was laid back when they trimmed her nails. The nurse brought Buddy back in and said, she doesn't need to go back into her carrier, she can roam around the room. Now Buddy has never been too fond of the carrier but after looking around a bit, she jumped into the open carrier and gave me a look like, let's roll. That is when Dr. Rose came in and finished the exam. She could not get enough of Buddy. She could not say enough good things about Buddy. She was asking me all about Buddy and why SHE is named Buddy. I sat there on that little bench in the examining room and felt downright proud of Buddy. Roy is going to be so proud, she received an A++ from the Dr. Me thinks that means honor roll. Could she be Magna or Summa Cat Laude? And Dr. Rose said she is one of the most beautiful cats she has ever seen. That translates to me, Class Beauty and Most Popular. Hey, don't begrudge me this happiness. This is the closest I will ever know a "child" being honored. It didn't phase me one bit that the new vet is a bit more expensive than the previous one. Nothing is too good for my baby!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Half Yearly Sale at the Nord

It's that time of year when the world falls in love, every song you hear seems to say, Happy Half Yearly Sale and buy a few things new....and this song of mine in three quarter time wishes you and yours some good luck too.....

Wednesday began a favorite sale of mine, the Half Yearly Sale at Nordstrom. I haven't been shopping all that much this year because my daily uniform is much more casual now than in years past. But I realized I should have some other shoes besides New Balance running shoes, Privas and dressy shoes with heels. Much like my spiritual walk, as I begin most days with some quiet time with the Lord, I began Wednesday with some quiet time with the Nord. I went online to see the different offerings of shoes, pants and fragrances. I saw a pair of boots that has had my attention for the past year. They were on sale but I kind of disregarded the fact of the matter, they never have them in my size. Lisa P had texted me early Wednesday morning to see when I would be arriving and to set our lunch time. I got there about 9:20 and still able to score my second favorite parking place. My original plan had to go see Penny. She was holding some pants and a top for me. It was too much upon entering for me to get past the handbags and jewelery. Actually, once I remembered I had just bought a new purse, it was on to jewelery. Found a couple pieces of jewelery without duplicate. So picked those up and then over to Clinque bonus time. Got the last two colors of the lip liner I like. Funny, we have been studying the still small voice of God in Bible study. And since we are to pray about everything, I had asked the Lord to direct my steps while shopping. Afshin Zarafat once said in a sermon, if we are listening to God, we will hear Him speak to us, giving us the words we need as we share the Gospel or to hear Him give us direction. OK, I don't think he said the direction part now that I think about it, that comes from my own experiences. Anyway, in my spirit, I heard go to shoes. I mean just that little bit into the store I had seen the wind of rushing, the earthquake of women's pounding, earth shattering footsteps and the fire of passion to get a good deal...then came the still small voice, shoes.... And there they were on the top shelf of the shoe rack (I just realized that sentence could have a whole nother meaning if I said, top shelf rack) there were the boots. I turned them over to look at the label on the sole, and they were my size and ON SALE! Praise Him! And then I looked over to the left and there was a pair of shoes that screamed cuteness. Oh my yes, my size and ON SALE! Tried them on and bought them both. Then as part of my usual tradition of finding shoes on sale, I did a little happy dance right there in the midst of the Nordstrom shoe department.

I went to BP and hooked up with Lisa. We confirmed our lunch time and we dismissed ourselves to lives of shopping. In addition to the 2 pair of pants Penny had on hold for me, I was able to find two more pair that were on sale and a couple of deeply discounted tops.

After a delicious lunch of crab bisque and crab stack, I went back to have some dressy pants altered, longer hem. Then I was out the door. I called Roy so that he could rejoice in my Proverbs 31ness of making the good deal. He was mildly happy and only inquired if I had bought him shirts. Reluctantly, it is the women's and children's half yearly sale, not the men's. I reminded him of the good deal I found on jeans and shorts for him. Thus freely up a tidy sum for me to spend at the Nord. He just laughed.

I was oh so happy to return to the Nord last night to have dinner with Dena. My Nordstrom gift card came in the mail from the Rice Epicurean points I had turned in with two free meal cards. So Dena and I used one of those cause of all my friends, we split the best and get more bang for the buck on those kind of deals. We tried the new item on the menu, tempura shrimp. It was OK, but I probably won't order it again. We split the pizza special and shared a white chocolate bread pudding. After coupon, our meal was $6.98...oh so Proverb 31. We perused the main floor and did not come away disappointed.

On Wednesday a humorous incident brought me much laughter. From time to time I encounter "different" people while shopping. I cannot forget the woman in Macy's who yelled dial tone into her phone that hung around her neck like a soap on a rope. She was a great deal taller than me and kind of stood behind me in a candy cane shape. She kept asking about my purse because she had lost hers and thought quite possibly my purse was her purse, all the while during our nervous conversation, nervous on my part, she yelled dial tone into her soap on a rope phone. Wednesday it was a mother/daughter combo. The mother was quite old and she wanted to try on a leather jacket. She did and quickly decided it didn't flatter her. So the daughter who is probably around my age, so she is a young thing, decided she would like to try on the jacket. She said to no one in particular, where's a mirror? Since I was standing right there I said, "there's one right over there leaning against that pole." The daughter's face scrunched up and she said to me, do you work here? No, I replied, I was just trying to help you. She let me know that unless I worked there, I should not talk to her. Then she stood there and glared at me until I moved on to another rack. Who knows? Maybe her mom had told her about not speaking to strangers or something and I was considered stranger danger.

I think I might have some Nordstrom Notes coming in the mail...who am I fooling, I know there will be some Nordy Notes in the mail. Through today, you get double points for each dollar spent. So I am getting 4 points per dollar. Yahoo!

I was actually planning on making dinner tonight but Roy's Sunday School class is meeting at Fuzzy's tonight for dinner. Ah, it's been a good week and I thank God for it.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday...Sooo Goood!

There is some kind of wild soccer game going on in the kitchen. Buddy has a bunch of her babies in the kitchen and she is chasing and pushing a small ball around them. Who knew she was so talented? Viva Buddy! GOOOOOOOOAAAAAALLLLLLLLL!!!! The little ball just got wedged in between the washer and dryer.

Loving the weather today. Went out to Sugar Land to get my hair cut and do the usual Whole Food and Super Target shopping. Scored a really sweet deal on Wrangler jeans for Roy. Academy had some sale racks that had an additional 50% off. So 3 pairs of jeans later, I am only out $15.00. With all the money I saved, I will be able to spend a little more at the Twice Yearly Sale which begins at The Nord on Wednesday. Woo Hooo!

Tonight Roy and I went to Fuddrucker's for dinner. We took Mustang Sally and it was perfect, cool temps with a little help from the heater. Coming home, after a stop at Barnes and Noble and Starbucks, the fragrance was pine with a whiff or two of burning logs in fireplaces. It was great. All that fresh air means we should sleep well tonight.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

This and That with Nancy

This has been wicky wacky strange weather today. Lots of heat and humidity. Sunshine and overcast skies. Light showers to heavy showers of rain. Coming back into Houston from Katy this morning I experienced it all. It will be welcomed when this rain heads out of here and we'll enjoy cooler temps and plenty o sunshine.

Yesterday, it was just right to enjoy lunch with Lisa P at Tiny Boxwood. My first visit and hopefully not the last. Before meeting Lisa, I ran over to The Nord to see if there was anything in particular, which really translates pants, that Penny would hold till next Wednesday when the Twice Yearly Sale begins. Found two pairs of pants, one which is one sale. So, I will get double points when I buy them next week.

We were able to grab the last table outside and we had a wondrous lunch and absolutely great conversation.

This afternoon I ran errands in between rain showers. Before returning home I stopped by Corner Books to see what's happening. Their Texas Pecan coffee is truly awesome and almost life changing. Now I will tell you what is life changing Orange Supreme Cake from Moeller's Bakery.

The strawberry cake is good too, but not as life changing as Orange Supreme. When I went to pick these up at least 3 phone orders included orange cake.

Last night I had dinner with a friend at Molina's. Sometimes you just need some of the vinegary salsa. Yesterday was a day filled with great conversations. We don't always experience such depth in conversations and when you get to twice in a day, it is something to take notice of.

The estate sale at Roy's moms is over. It was last weekend and from the sound of it, the sale went well. Saturday, Roy and I stopped at one of the finest jewelers in the Galleria to have some stones appraised. Roy pretty much knew they were worthless because these same stones had been appraised in Shreveport. Nothing like a jeweler giving you the pity look because they think you got taken in buying CZ's instead of diamonds. No, Roy's dad did but Roy needed to get that taken care of to add to the inventory list.

We are studying Elijah in Bible study right now and I have loved the homework. The material is so thought provoking and so assuring that God can use anything and anyone to meet needs and take care of His children. Our discussions in small group is my favorite part. Today I ended up leaving early and it really pained me to do so. I got a little coughing jag and I knew it was from dry throat but I left because everyone is on alert for swine flu. I didn't want them to think that is why I was coughing. Of course as soon as I got into the car, it stopped. I'm so glad Peggy asked me to go with her. It is refreshing to go where you only know one person and there aren't any preconceived ideas of who you are or what you might say. They know I am funny, but they also know I love the Word. I love studying it and my relationship with Jesus grows deeper and deeper. Sometimes at church I think we get into a rut of what a Word lover looks like and if we don't happen to fit in that mold, we are dismissed as just someone funny or someone who doesn't look like everyone else spiritually. I was talking with a friend who is in charge of women's ministry at her church. She said they are working so hard to do away with perceptions that if you aren't a mom or a stay at home mom, or a petite little wispy 89 pound woman or one who speaks in that holy voice all the time, that those are the only women who are welcomed and accepted. She stays away with the stereotypes of homely women, oh yea, they are servants and will serve in the kitchen or any manual work. She doesn't just let the "beautiful teach or lead Bible studies. She and her leadership team look at the heart. novel. Roy would really like to buy a home in West U to be close to Rice University. I'm not that interested in a house or West U. As we were dreaming about what we might like to do in the next few years, I told him if we do buy a house and if it is a large house, I ain't making no stinkin' promise that I will use it for God's glory by hosting events in it. That is a crock promise anyway and I hate to entertain anymore. He must have laughed for 10 minutes about that. Hey, I take those vow things to God very seriously. Better to be honest from the get go. God knows my heart.