Saturday, January 31, 2009

Oh What a Beautiful Saturday

This absolutely one of the most beautiful Saturdays. A warm January 31 and the call of Mustang Sally drew me. I really did have some errands to take care of, but I took the scenic and slower way to pay attention to the beauty. It seems as if we convertible drivers have a secret nod or something because on these beautiful days we sense the jealousy of other drivers cooped up in their regular cars or SUV's. The rest of the time in Houston convertibles are noisy on the inside, not safe from lightning strikes in thunderstorms, and they all eventually leak. Oh my friends, it is so worth it on a day like today.

So Sally and I began our journey over Memorial City way to pick up a few things. Then headed toward the Kroger to pick up a few items on sale. Starbucks for a grande Skinny Cinnamon Dulce where the barrista asked me if I would give him a ride around the parking lot. I said I would but he declined and went on about work. I headed over to Barnes and Noble to look for a gift which they didn't have but I found a few things for me. Finding a Wendall Berry book that I had not read was a highlight among the various and sundry purchases. With a Berry book in hand and craving orange chicken I made it to Fu's Garden in time to take advantage of the luncheon special. I love their orange chicken and I was lost in delight of good food and a good book.

For the most part I hadn't been surrounded with people at Fu's but then the hostess sat several right around me. Their chatter and conversation pierced my absolute and wonderful quiet. Those seated around me were families, extended families. This morning as I worked on my 25 random things about me I realized I don't do family well. I am not a good family member except to Roy. Could it come from not being around family much as a child? Is it due to the fact that there is something about family where they think they have every right in the world to boss and tell you what to do when they have no clue whatsoever the situations and circumstances of your life? Because I don't do family well, I don't lend suggestions or jump in to help and I don't expect my family to do something like that in exchange for a dinner here and there and the opportunity to tell you the mistakes of your life as they judge based on erroneous information. About the only family I feel close to are my nieces Megan and Erin. On my wish list of family dynamics, I wish I knew my sister in law Allison better. I love reading her Facebook entries. She is funny and enjoys life. I wish my cousins and I were closer. At least Facebook helps us keep up with the goings on of life. Yep, not good with family stuff. When I hear stories of vacations or traveling with family members my brain cramps because I don't understand why anyone would want to do that. Other than Roy, I would travel with friends any day of the week over doing the family thing.

Well that totally got off track about a beautiful Saturday. Well, I finished up lunch and a huge wave of tiredness hit me. I headed back to home where I have more things to bring in from the car and trash to take out to the dumpster. Haven't heard from my friend Beth yet, maybe our wires got crossed.

Once I do my above mentioned chores I will probably do through one storage box in my closet and then call it a work day. That Wendall Berry book is wooing me and I'll probably have some hot tea and a cookie a little later in the evening. I miss Roy. He will be home tomorrow. He sounds so tired on the phone. Good news m-i-l has been moved to a step up room which comes between ICU and a regular room. She is doing well and was sound asleep after complaining yesterday of not being able to rest. God is good!

Yesterday afternoon Dena and I went to see the movie Slumdog Millionaire. Great film and worth seeing. I shut my eyes in the violent part and it was probably good I didn't know it was rated R. I haven't been to a movie theatre in a long time. I was blown away by matinee prices. The last time I was there maybe it cost $5.00. Then we went to the Nord for dinner. I had my last free dinner card to use before January 31. We split a steak, had an appetizer, and white chocolate bread pudding for dessert. Oh, it was slap your mama good! We did a quick perusal of pajamas on sale and we both were fortunate to find something good on the cheap. Dena had this brilliant idea of going to Best Buy to get the soundtrack of Slumdog. So we went to Best Buy on Richmond. On a Friday night they had only one... I am going to repeat this ONLY ONE person working checkout. The line to check out was Christmas Eve long at... Only ONE checkout lane for tons and tons of people. Dena and I checked out of the line after only being in line a few minutes. No manager calling for more check outs to open, staff standing around as if it didn't matter. So why should Best Buy get our money? We thought about going to another store but it was almost 8:30 and I was tired and ready to call it a night. So Dena took me home. I checked out iTunes and can get the soundtrack for $8.99 a much better price than Best Buy.... Maybe their name should be Best Buy Somewhere Else.

Oh to answer anonymous' question, the Play Grocery store is what I call Rice Epicurean. I only go there to play cause if I really did my grocery shopping there I would be broke.

The sun is setting on a beautiful day. Today makes up somewhat for all those hot summer days we have in October.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Feels Like a Regular Friday

Peggy called me this morning, but first she texted and asked if I was still in my jammies. Of course not, I took Roy to the Westin Hotel to rent a car, stopped at Starbucks, shopped at the Play Grocery Store and I was in the midst of sorting books. It doesn't seem like my first day off since I had Fridays off. Monday it will feel like the first day mainly because of Sunday night. On Sunday nights you begin to gear up for work, think about what you are going to wear, and is there anything to take for lunch? Sunday nights will be different from now on, well at least for awhile. I have never liked Sunday nights because of Monday. I have a feeling this will change.

Roy left for Shreveport this morning. Great news in that the past few days his mom has been off the ventilator for 12 hours and this morning they are to remove the tubes. He talked with his youngest brother last night. They were laughing at how everyone falls back into their family pecking order. He is 15 years younger than Mike, second youngest who is my age. So Patrick feels like no one is telling him anything cause he's the youngest. Mike is trying to control everything when it is not his job to control and Roy is calm and just resisting everything Mike is throwing at him. I get the feeling that Mike is not happy that Roy is coming alone. I sent a gift for he and his wife and explained to him why I am not there. Family dynamics, we all have them.

I am being A D D in my work this morning. I start one thing, leave it and move to the next thing only to come back to the first thing. I started working on my books and making room for the ones I brought home from the office, which led to cleaning my bathroom and then all the sudden I got interested in laundry. I am sure one of these things will get finished today.

Well, this isn't much of a post but I needed to have something to entertain me while taking a break. If I started reading, nothing else would get done at all.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Embrace the Moment

Today is the day. Of course it is the day that the Lord has made and I am rejoicing in it. Today is my last official day as the Ministries Associate at Houston's First Baptist Church. In fact the title Ministries Associate is being put away and the next person will be an Executive Assistant. So in my heart of hearts, they couldn't replace me. :)

This week has been an amazing, amazing week. I never use amazing in a sentence unless I am singing I Stand Amazed in His Presence or Amazing Grace much less put it in a sentence twice, but heck, I just felt like doing that. Whew, got that off my bucket list. Anyway, this has been an outstanding week. So to help me remember to stay in a moment, I wore my bracelet that says, "Embrace the Moment." I've embraced and now treasuring such wonderful memories as I wrapped up my work at HFBC. Monday, Melinda took me out to lunch at Empire Cafe. Melinda, or as I like to call her, Bolinda, and I have known each other and been friends since our Married Young Adult days. I loved that time with her and plan to keep her on the lunch calendar. Let's see, oh yes Tuesday was Ministries Staff meeting. Now usually those meetings can be good but here lately they have been just plain boring. I will not miss the boring part but I will miss the texting and eye contact with others taking part in the meeting. So it was bittersweet picking up the Starbucks for the meeting. Since I have been picking up travelers for quite some time at this Starbucks they said what they usually say, see you in a couple of weeks. I told them they would still see me but next time in workout clothes. The Ministries meeting ended earlier than usual so that we could all have lunch together and celebrate the success of Midnight Madness. They brought in Tia Maria fajitas and the place was rockin'.

Wednesday, those who could went to Jax Grill to celebrate my retirement at lunch. I was shocked that so many came. To tell you the truth, I was secretly relieved because I envisioned it being Jason, me and just a few others. Fresh on my mind was my 50th birthday party and the embarrasment of inviting everyone to share a kind thought or a memory out loud. No one said anything. I was so mortified and wanted to die. Only one person said anything and she reported that she thought I was a snob and now knew I wasn't. The good thing was my parents didn't want to attend the party, so they weren't there. It would have been the primo opportunity for my dad to say what he has told me all my life, "see, I told you no one likes you." Oops, I digress, anyway there were so many Ministries friends there and the Recreation Ministry came too. We all laughed and enjoyed each other. Cassi gave me a box of cookies from Memorial Bakery, well actually Christen gave them to me because Cassi was home sick. Their iced cookies are the best!

I was blown away by the kindness and generosity of the Selection Committee. They gave me a gift card to Taste of Texas, one of my favorite places to eat. It took me by surprise that I just bawled and I don't even know if I properly thanked them. So I sent them an email this morning. Peggy came by the office with a book called Listography. You tell the story of your life by making a list in answering the questions. Loved having that moment of celebrating with her. Since Peggy is retired too, I-10 and the Westpark Toll Road will be burning up with our trips back and forth.

This morning was a little good bye donut hole snack time. My friends know the way to my heart and gifted me with Nordy gift cards and a Starbucks gift card. I am overwhelmed with friendship and love from my friends. It seemed to me I didn't have anymore tears left to shed, but a few popped up during Jason's prayer.

Hmm...there seems to be a trend here. All week long it was about goodbyes and eating.

I was able to leave today the way I had prayed and asked God for. I just wanted to be able to slip out without any big scenes or good byes. I mean really, I will be there for church on Sunday morning. I'll be calling and making Starbuck runs for my friends. Eventually, I will even volunteer.

Throughout these past few weeks I have remembered and pondered my years of working at HFBC. Jason and I would tear up from time to time as we recalled fond ministry times. We laughed at our love of jokes and funny stories, we even had one last "tiff" to clear out the pipes. But it was time for me to move on. During the holidays as Roy and I prayed about my work future and decisions that would need to be made, I heard in my spirit the Lord saying to me, "you are holding someone back" when I'd think, well maybe to help out I should stay at least through Spring Loaded. After everything that went down on Monday with the closing of the bookstore and the significant downsizing of Membership Services, I see why the Lord was speaking that to me. My job opening helped someone to stay employed.

There are some other fun stories I want to share, but this post is getting amazingly, amazingly long. (Check off using amazingly as an adverb on bucket list) People ask me 'what are you going to do?" I respond whatever I want to. One thing for sure, I am going to get my crank call on. I plan on visiting the Sprint, AT&T and Verizon stores under the guise of purchasing a new phone. I will use their phones to make prank calls to friends at church. I have to do this because of caller i.d. I can call and be disgruntled church member number 12 or complaining church member number 1742. They'll have to be nice and take the call in stride. I have to work on not laughing when I prank call...that will surely give me away.

As I drove out of the North parking lot as a civilian my thoughts turned to, well, what to do now? I did what needed to be my first act of a newly freed up person, I went to the bookstore and bought John Grisham's new book. I came home, took a short nap and I think this next thing is a total gift of welcome home from the Lord. My all time favorite I Love Lucy episode was on where Lucy sings, I am the Queen of the Gypsies." Yep, it is all looking good.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Coming Down the Homestretch

Wednesday morning. Wednesdays are long days for me at work. This year I decided to go in later on Wednesdays because I am not quite there yet to do the 12 hour shift thing. Even though today is my last Wednesday and I won't stay as long tonight, I'm exercising the option.

I was caught by surprise yesterday by tears. I am a very sentimental person, more than most would know. Being tempered by God's will and especially seeing His will work on Monday, story to come later, I felt I could get through this ending without crying. I am not a crying type person, so being weepy yesterday...surprise! Maybe it came from sharing in our Ministries Staff Meeting that Roy would be making the decision this week that his mother entrusted him to make, to take her off life support. She has been up and down with great days and sad days. On Monday it looked like he would be making the decision sooner than expected, now, who knows. He is headed to Shreveport this weekend to see his mom and to pray. I have heard him praying out loud for her the past few days. He wants to be in the same room with her and pray. I told him Monday he was the bravest person I know. Although I am getting a little worried about one thing. Roy has been entrusted with that same decision for my dad. Roy will be doing that same thing for me and I am getting nervous that he will be so good at it by the time it rolls around to me, he may pull the plug on me too soon. It is feeling like a Seinfeld episode to me. Last night as I wrote a note to Jason I cried the whole time I wrote it. Hopefully the tears are in remission, but I don't think so. This is probably pay back since I wrote out to the Ministries Staff reminding them of meetings and lunch that even now tears are rolling down my cheeks, being sarcastic and explaining that was probably written a thousand times a day on blogs.

So my work is just about done. I will finish up Jason's Am Ex bill and get some things ready for the Selection Committee and that should be just about it.

One thing I am happy about, I can start going to Tuesday night Bible study. Two late nights in a row just aren't going to cut it for me. I was leaving yesterday as Beth, Sabrina and Mark were coming in. Beth asked me if I was leaving for the day and I said yep. It dawned on me, duh she is teaching tonight. So I added but I will be back next week for Bible study. I didn't want to be rude. And I will be although as a civilian. I will be waiting to get in just like everyone else. What a joy!!!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Very Productive Saturday

Saturday...usually we use the time to get caught up from the previous week. That means Roy is at the office and I am here at home. On Saturdays around here I go from project to project, plan to plan and may never fully complete anything that gets started. The project carries over to Sunday evening or the next Saturday. What a difference having Roy home on Saturdays. The pace in getting tasks organized and taken care of escalates.

He hit the pavement early this morning with a big box of books for Half Price Books. Slowly but surely we are going through books and realizing as much as we think we may return to a book or even read the book, chances are slim. So the book goes in the box. Roy finds it more difficult to part with books than I do. This surprises me because I am the collector and he is the gleaner of knowledge. The box that went this morning is a combination of Southern and spiritual, with one typing book that Roy was quite sure whether he should relinquish or not. Please!!!! Roy came home with $41.50. Not bad at all. We have this tradition of using our HP money to go out for lunch. We were debating between Pappasitta's and Lupe's. In my book you can't go wrong with either choice, but we chose Pappasitta's because I have been wanting their Tortilla Soup.

We took the clothes to the cleaners and then ran by the office so that Roy could "help" (read do all the lifting) with some of the boxes I have packed up. We got three of them in the trunk. Not an easy feat with such a small trunk. Then we went to Little Pappasita's for lunch. We had a great time, great conversation and then it turned into a dinning experience. We don't want to linger over our leftovers, we are people who have stuff to do and we want to get on with the day. Roy is glaring at our waiter. I reminded Roy of the t shirt he had on today, a Houston's First Baptist t shirt... Roy is much more patient than me but today I was the one with patience and he was figuring out the bill and planned to leave the money without a generous tip, an OK tip is what he had in mind if the guy didn't come by our table soon. When Nick the waiter made his way to us, he was more interested in clearing the table and offering us the dessert menu. Yea, we looked like we wanted to stay, Roy is holding his jacket and halfway standing up and I have my purse on my lap and cell phone out updating Facebook. He should have just walked away but it makes me wonder if there is some kind of Pappasita's rule that the table must be cleared away. Roy told me to go on out to the car while he paid the bill. Uh, being the submissive wife that I am, no really I am, I went outside to the car. Roy doesn't get mad or miffed very often and when he is leaning that way, I get the heck out of Dodge. When Roy arrived in the safe confines of Mustang Sally I asked if he had said something to the waiter. No, God's love won out and he said nothing but thank you and did his usual generous tip. I am very proud of Roy.

We tried to go to Whole Foods, but from a distance we could tell there weren't any parking places. So we went on to Kroger's. He went with me because math was involved in today's shopping. It was one of those deals where you buy a combination of 10 things to get $5.00 off. I just didn't have it in me today to wrestle with math.

Came home, unloaded the car, put groceries up, called a friend, Roy took my car in for inspection and I took a nap. Roy just got back from the Shell station and Mustang Sally got her oil changed and she passed inspection.

Not bad for a Saturday. We didn't move my desk today. Even with CourtneyS generous offer which I would not take her up on because she's pregnant, moving doesn't seem to be in the plans. Besides she and I would start laughing and Roy would be worse off.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Glue Update

I am happy to report that the glue did not permanently attach my socks to my skin. There was a little bit of sticky residue but it came right off with water...just like they said it would. I am thinking of using the glue on Roy's nose at night. It might cut down on the snoring and to rescue him if he had trouble breathing I could pour cold water on him. It's a win/win situation.

Being so inspired by cleaning out my desk at work, I began that same project on my desk at home. I've shredded a bunch of stuff and read a lot of cards. The cards are several years old, but they still make me happy to read them. These cards were timeless, but back to the desk. In fact I want to move the desk into our living room and we might do that tomorrow. If you hear Roy in the faint distance at your home you will know he is totally frustrated with me. The reason, I cannot stop laughing when we move furniture. And the desk is huge. We will have to take the door off the bedroom to get it into the hall...I will start laughing then I just know it. Roy will not be amused. I am beginning to giggle right now thinking about it.

Had Chinese food for dinner tonight. Seems like I've been on a Chinese food kick. I cannot get my fill of Orange Chicken. It was especially good tonight. Gave the the humph I needed to finish up the desk project.

Our regular mailman retired and mail delivery has not been the same. We are all becoming mail clerks here at the condos as we deliver misplaced mail to our friends and neighbors in the complex. The loud laughing lady was out and about today. I really don't want her to find out that I've retired cause I have a feeling she will be knocking at the door. Not a fan of the pop in guest unless it is someone I really, really want to see. Driving in today I noticed that Fern had been to the liquor store. She is going to be one happy camper when Spec's opens up over by China Love. She had a case of vodka and a case of Jack in the back of the Jeep. That should see her through (hopefully) the rest of winter and it won't be long until she is out at the pool reading her trashy, foot wiggling novels and searching for someone to talk to. I would hope she and the loud laughter could get together, but they really don't like each other.

This morning was one of those really sweet times with Buddy. I know how sad that I am getting ready to tell you that Buddy is my BFF. She is always a BFF in the mornings, then she gets moody and will attack later in the evening. Today she came in and woke me up by putting her paw repeatedly on my face. Once I awoke, she cuddled up next to me holding my arm with her paws. Then she fell asleep holding onto my arm and putting her head right up against my arm. Good thing Charles Swindoll was good this morning. Well, he is good every morning, but he especially had my interest today.

Again, if anyone can direct me to books about storms in the Bible I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Memories from my Desk Drawers

Today seemed like one long day. I don't know if it was the absence of some being in Shelby training all day looooong. It could be that I am wrapping things up faster than I thought and my heart and mind are waiting for me at home. Peggy texted me this morning to meet her for lunch. I took a long lunch because we had a whole bunch to catch up on. Yet the afternoon dragged by. Finally around 3:30 I began to find some interesting things I totally forgot about in my desk.

One thing I found was the calendar I bought when I first came to work in 2002. I have all kinds of notes written in it. Instructions for all kinds of services to use for events, directions on how to use the copier, and endless lists of things to do. Good memories came flooding back about my early days of working at the church. I also could feel the fear in my lists because I was so afraid I was going to forget something and the whole event would be ruined. Little did I know then, I don't possess that kind of power.

The funny item I found today was a container of roll on body glue, to keep your clothes in place. I was given this ancient bottle by a little ol' lady. Seems like it was about 4 years ago. I don't quite remember why it was given to me. The bottle has a hand written price tag and no bar code. So that tells you how ancient this glue is. I was going to throw it away when the thought came to me...I had on droopy socks today. They would not stay up. So, I got that baby out and rolled on the glue to my legs and pulled up my socks. That glue had not lost its power. My socks stayed up all afternoon and into this evening. This evening Roy and I went to the Galleria and did quite a bit of walking...and those socks didn't move, didn't droop, they stayed up. On Monday I am going to pack that little bottle up with my stuff. I just have to wonder if that glue would work on the bags around my eyes and the various and numerous places I could find to use the glue. It might be better than plastic surgery. Only water loosens the grip. So, I could never go out in the rain or everything on me would fall...that would not be pretty.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Not Much, Just Have Some Time

Great Scott in the morning! I am going in later today because Wednesdays are just too long for me anymore. I thought I should turn on the dishwasher and also start a load of laundry before getting ready for work. Ah, no water. That happens a lot in a condo community where emergency repairs without a lot of warning can happen from time to time. This is really one of those times I would have loved some warning. So I may go in a little later than I had planned.

I have such a bad case of senioritis. I want to finish up what needs to be done and I am not looking for any new projects. Some days it is just difficult but I still want to finish out strong.

The other day I awoke in the middle of the night to a program on sacred classical music. It had my attention for just a few moments before falling back into sleep. I heard Hallelujah from the Mount of Olives and another piece I recognized from back in the day choir, but don't know the title. One line is, " declares the firmament, declares the firmament. The wonder of His love, the wonder of His love, declares the firmament." I don't know what that exactly means. Then the man who moderated the program talked a little about the harpsichord. I fell asleep then at the beginning of an harpsichord piece that increased in speed as the song went on. I had this thought, if they had it back in Mozart's day, they could have all played harpsichord hero.

Roy and I are trying to make a decision about going to Seattle in May. Southwest Airlines is running a 50% off special there. The catch is only having three days to make the decision. I have looked at the flights and committing to flying all day both ways seems to be the only way to get the deal. So, we are trying to decide if it would be worth it. Seattle is best in July or August, so we are taking a chance on a rainy stay. The pros of the trip, seeing my friend Beth. We have known each other since the 6th grade. She'll be in Houston at the end of the month for a short visit. We have already made plans. The other pro of the trip would be going to the flagship Nordstrom. It would be like going to Mecca or Jerusalem...a high holy place. :)

Well, the water just came on so I better catch a shower while I can.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Moving On

Two weeks to finish up my work at HFBC. There are so many little but important details that need to be watched over and taken care of. I am trying to leave with some of this taken care of. Maybe it will go by the wayside, who knows. Probably most of it needs to go by the wayside and looked at with fresh eyes.

I began cleaning out computer files today. I have Mildred and Gertrude scripts, Sunday School lessons I have taught, thoughts I needed to capture in a moment and along with the serious is the fun. Jokes, funny pictures, just things like that. Lot has been discarded and much has been transferred to my home computer where I will eventually set up folders to store all these musings. I have brought home just a few things so far and will really need to get with it this week in bringing home my books, lambs and trinkets I have accumulated over the years. In my office hangs several pictures that I brought from home, so those will need to return as well.

This evening I learned of some sad news about the passing of a friend of Doug and Nancy. In fact Debbie was more than a friend to Nancy. Nancy was Debbie's private duty nurse for over 10 years. Debbie had MS and it took MS a long time to take Debbie away from those who loved her here on earth. She is in heaven completely whole and probably making Jesus and the disciples laugh. I only met her once when she took us out to dinner at some big fancy schmancy country club in Nashville. That dinner and the laughter and love was in fact the main course, much more than delicious Southern staples of comfort food done up right nice and fancy was a highlight of my visit to Nashville. Debbie called me on the phone once with a very gracious and kind offer for someone and I was happy to help her and keep her secret gift quiet. My sister in law Nancy is mentioned in the obituary as her steadfast friend and nurse. This blog was set up before she died for people to send in their thoughts so the family could read them to her. What struck me as I read through them was the joy and love that Debbie brought into every one's life. If I had known she was so ill, I would have written in like so many who said I was only with Debbie once but.... Debbie Pitts has left a legacy and touched so many lives. If you have any spare moments, read through some of the comments and be blessed at how God was glorified in her life. Then take a moment and reflect on the legacy you are leaving. Our lives count for so much more than where we work or what we have. Our lives should be reaching into a lost world and showing the love of Christ. Our lives should be reaching into our immediate world, friends and family showing the love of Christ. People say you should live each day like it was the last, but if I had that in mind, I wouldn't quit hugging everyone and wouldn't want anyone to leave. I hope when that time comes for me to go the last day of my life is filled with laughter, fun, love, prayers and know just like any normal day. :)

I thought I would post the obituary:
Pitts, Debbie Sherman
PITTS, Debbie Sherman A woman of abiding joy, profound faith, self-giving love, and beautiful creativity, Debbie has brought near the fragrance of God's love to everyone whom she has encountered. Even in her long, valiant battles with health, Debbie has constantly opened her life to others' sorrows and joys. The vast number of individuals who have attested to Debbie's enduring impact on their lives demonstrates her uncommonly kind and giving heart. Debbie has been a rock and a refuge for all who have had the joy of being in relationship with her, because she herself has rested on the Lord as her Rock and her Refuge. In addition to being an unparalleled wife, mother, and friend, Debbie is remembered as an artist whose talent she has shared freely with so many. Her loving and faithful husband Hampton of over 35 years, and their beautiful daughter, Keely carry on Debbie's legacy of grace, generosity, and kindness. She will be deeply missed by them, her son-in-law, Joshua, her granddaughter, Salem, Hampton's mother LaDawn, her loving and devoted sisters, Sheron and Alice and their husbands, Peter and David, her niece, Jennifer and her husband Cary, and their children, Elijah and Sophie, nephews, Cain and Dustin, her steadfast friend and nurse, Nancy, and the multitude of other friends in her life. To commemorate Debbie's 56 years of life on earth some may wish to send flowers, while others would prefer to make a donation in her honor- Debbie would be delighted by either. Donations may be made to First Baptist Church in downtown Nashville, Brentwood Academy, or the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. A celebration of Debbie's life will be held Monday, January 19th at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church, Downtown, Nashville. Visitation on Sunday, January 18th from 2-4 p.m. at the church and one hour prior to the service.

If you think of my sister in law Nancy, please say a prayer for her. She lost one of her dearest friends in the world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Wild Weekend Ride

If you read my last post about me cooking dinner especially on a Friday know that it was most appreciated and loved by Roy, only at 9:00 pm. He was called into a meeting at 5:00 and he thought it would be short...not even! He told the guys, my wife fixed dinner, she never ever does that on a Friday and this meeting is going to insure she never fixes it again! It was discouraging but I understood and I will will do this again, but not anytime too soon. I have heard if we continually do something over and over, it becomes a habit. I am not looking for this to become a habit. :)

Do you ever watch those programs on TV about roller coasters around the country? They talk to the enthusiasts that make their way to every amusement park which boasts such a wild ride. The engineers and designers are interviewed and they explain why our stomachs feel like they are in our throats as we descend at some ridiculous angle and speed. The best part comes when a camera is mounted in the roller coaster and sitting at home you get to experience the safest version of the ride. Several years ago our nieces were staying with us and we all were watching one of these kind of shows. Only Uncle Roy made all the moves sitting on the couch of going up and leaning in when the coaster made the hard turn and he had no clue he was doing the moves. It was much more interesting to watch Roy go through the motions of the ride than watch the actual ride itself. To this day when the girls are in town we hope for a roller coaster show to watch with Uncle Roy.

That is what this weekend has felt like....roller coaster...wooo, wooo, wooo. This morning I sit at home resting from the effects of the ride. A side benefit is watching the streaming video of church. It is awesome! This week Roy's mom was admitted to the hospital with double pneumonia. Her stay has been full of ups and downs, good reports, bad reports, and finally a Friday full of improvements, that is until about 5:00 pm. She took a huge turn for the worse, hooked up on a ventilator and there was talk of life support. Allison, our sweet sister in law, was keeping him informed and gave the word that Roy needed to get to Shreveport. Roy was at the office when he heard from Allison and he immediately called me. We began to discuss options and timing, things that needed to be taken care of before leaving and all those other odds and ends that don't seem to be so pressing until an emergency comes. Roy was obviously upset and trying to think through everything. We prayed and asked God for wisdom and we asked for His peace as we began our work. I took my assignments that needed attention and began diligently working through them when I suddenly remembered, what about Buddy? I called Roy and we began reworking our plans and options. He also had processed the thought that I am not at full strength, that my stamina and strength are not up to speed. Now, it was decided that he would go on to Shreveport and I would follow later sometime in the week. In the midst of this is family dynamics. Every family has them. Even after 31 years of marriage, he doesn't fully understand my family's dynamics and I don't understand his. Sometimes it is best to let the blood relative go in to the dynamic and the spouse follow up with moral support after details have been worked through. We were deciding when I would be the most helpful to him with my limited strength. So off again I went with a new set of tasks to check off the list while he is frantically getting his responsibilities at work taken care of. In the midst of tasks and activities I was texting and calling friends to pray for Roy's mom and to pray for him. Emotionally things felt like they were ready to fall apart. I called Roy to remind him of the verse in Colossians, "He is before all things and in Him all things hold together." God would hold him and us together as we frantically dealt with reality and what ifs.

Sometime in the afternoon Roy called me. He had heard from Allison. No need to come to Shreveport just yet. The Dr was positive about my mother in law's recovery. She had been fighting the oxygen mask and that is when the decision to put her on a ventilator was made, to get more oxygen into her. The full alert was rescinded for now. Although we are pre packing some items not to be caught off guard so much.

Roy got home late last night. He is working on year end close and the numbers that need to be ready. He has two and a half more companies to go through, thus he was at the office this morning at 4:45 am. He had to get in before the streets downtown are closed for the marathon today. He is diligently working to get his part finished for the "just in case." When he got home last night and after a delicious dinner of leftovers, we talked. We processed, we prayed. I fell asleep as soon as my head hit the pillow.

This morning I feel physically and emotionally weary. I made the decision to stay home this morning to be able to be full and fresh this week for both home and for work. I am in the final stages of wrapping things up at the office and leaving Jason and Ministries in good shape just in case it takes some time to fill my position or if the position is filled the new person isn't frantically swimming upstream to get on full speed. I don't want to be weary and not give my full attention to Roy and what he needs at this uncertain time. My head and my heart have made the turn toward home and the concerns that once took front and center are quickly diminishing as I view them from afar. How can I not, after Roy took such good care with me in the fall. He will probably go to Shreveport toward the end of the week to spend some time with his mom.

Roller coaster, ups and down in circumstances, up and down emotionally, and thoughts running willy nilly here and there. Yet our core strength and firm foundation was from the Lord. He gave us strength. He again showed His new mercies and His unfailing and steadfast love. He held everything together for us. 'I was pushed hard, so that I was falling, but the Lord helped me.' Psalm 118:13 I loved roller coasters when I was much younger, in fact I had a dream about once a month of riding a roller coaster and I looked forward to that dream. The reality is the carousel is looking a little wild to me right now.

Friday, January 16, 2009


The title sounds like something for diarrhea, but it's not. Just some randomness of Nancy of Monablog.

  • There must have been a huge accident or incident this morning around 7:20 am. The roar of a low hovering helicopter reverberated throughout our home, waking me up. I was afraid to look out the window and see Don Armstrong or somebody else hovering in our courtyard and then cutaway to me and my bad bed hair looking out the window. Just seeing that beautiful site would cause hundreds of children to stay home from school feeling ill.
  • Everyone must have the Houston crud, even in Sugarland. I am on the downside of the crud but from time to time have a lingering cough. Cough came back at Emmanuel, God with us while getting our hair cut, while Michael was trying to wash and condition my hair. I read where it is more polite to cough into the crook of your elbow instead of covering your mouth with your hand. I was crouping in the crook alright. Embarrassing! Must have been the way my head was tilted back that caused the tickle in my throat. Cause once sitting in a full and upright position, the coughing stopped.
  • I am so ready to be retired. While in Sugarland I made at stop at Academy. Found some cute Addidas capri workout pants in different colors than what I found yesterday. Oh course before I wear said cute capri workout pants, my legs are going to have to give up the Nazerite vow they took before the know, no blade to touch the skin or hair. I hate to break that vow now especially with everything grown out so nice and silky to the touch. But I would hate for anyone to think I was European due to my lack of shaving. Uh, my underarms never made that vow nor would they ever be likely too. That is just gross.
  • Some of my tennis friends and I have been in touch and we are planning on a reunion lunch in the next few months. Very few of us even play tennis anymore. I am looking forward to it.
  • I cooked dinner this afternoon. The shock of cooking dinner and me actually cooking on a Friday has been a definite shock to Roy's system. He sounded rather strange on the phone when I informed him and he questioned me at great length to make sure aliens from outer space hadn't taken over my body.
  • One thing that I am definitely looking forward to in my retirement is, not making phone calls for information. I have always HATED doing that and had succeeded in Roy always doing that kind of thing our whole entire married life.
  • On the first Tuesday of February I cannot wait to text my former table mates in Retreat Staff. I will say something like, while you have been motivated and inspired, while you have solved all the problems facing the church and have done so in a timely fashion, I am just now rolling out of bed. That won't be true, they'll still be in the meeting taking care of bidness.
  • This week I have been afflicted with dry skin and the location of the dry skin...near the end of my nose. So when there has been this little flake of skin I have done my best to rid my nostril area of it. Cause at a fast glance it looks like a white head and I don't want anyone to think I have let myself run around all day with a white head at the end of my nose. It's not pretty people, dry skin in winter.
  • I am looking for a book about all the storms in the Bible. If anyone knows of such a book will you let me know or even if you know good commentaries that would address this subject in detail...that would be awesome.

Oh there is totally more randomness going on inside me, but I have to stop. I have groceries in the trunk of my car that need to be brought in. Just the fact that I am willing to do this is going to send Roy over the edge again thinking aliens have taken over me. Well, they can't over take me cause Jesus lives in me and there ain't anymore room.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Brand New MidLink Semester

I was reading Psalm 37 yesterday morning before going to work. It is one of my favorite Psalms and like anything we become too familiar with we can become complacent and over look some good stuff. I think this verse was just put in my Bible yesterday, vs 37b, "there is a future for the man of peace." I love this and have been thinking about that verse so much in the past 24 hours. God's peace is where it's happening and a good place to remain. Even if harsh words and unkind actions are hurled at us if we stay in God's peace, we don't suffer irreparable damage and unjust suffering. Likewise if we are in God's peace, we won't hurl harsh words and unkind actions when we are unsettled and cause irreparable damage and unjust suffering.

Tonight is the first night of MidLink for the spring/winter semester. It's a night full of excitement and brand new beginnings. I am going in later today because I just don't have the stamina right now to work an 8:00 am-8:30 pm day. Curtis Jones is teaching again. He is an awesome teacher, so come on and join us tonight at 7:00 in the Fellowship Center.

I have a lot of posts rolling around in me, but don't have the time right now to dedicate many thoughts to them. Give me a couple of weeks and I will have the time. I am still reliving fun moments from Bunko on Monday night. I have never seen so many oneses rolled at such critical times. I almost never left table two, but I did roll a Bunko. I told my partner Eileen to get knocked up instead of knock it out, meaning roll us some 6's. That is two entirely different things. We didn't have any subs on Monday. We enjoyed our time with one another which is what is really all about.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Catching Up

Our lap top is home! It is so nice to be connected with the world on a bigger screen than my phone. I've enjoyed seeing pictures with more details than squinting and guessing what this or that may be. If the lap top has to go back one more time, they are supposed to replace it. So we will see.

Since I haven't really been on the bloggy very much I will catch you up with our holidays. By now you have heard my good news, normal heart/brand new heart, I am resigning effective January 30, and well that's about it. No, we had fun during the time off. Slept in, stayed in jammies till noon, read a bunch of books, spent time with friends, got all my projects done that I had given myself, and did I mention slept in? Oh yes, I did. I also stopped the naps to get ready to come back to work full time but really I don't know if it did that much good since I was sleeping the same amount of time.

As for New Year resolutions, I didn't really have any. I do have my year of______ done and verses that I will major upon in 2009. One thing I am going to try to do for the trees in 2009 is to get off of all these mailing lists so that I don't get 327 catalogs for the time between November and Christmas.

We went to St.Martin's for the 8:00pm Christmas Eve service. We were there 30 minutes before the service and the place was packed! An usher got us some primo seats about 5 rows from the front. There is would be obvious to everyone that we are not Episcopalians. Lot of kneeling and standing. We are also awkward when exchanging the peace of the Lord and also with you thing. To tell you the truth on the last stand up, I almost didn't make it. Anyway, they usually give all kinds of instructions for taking the Lord's Supper, but this time they didn't. I get all nervous going to the front, kneeling and trying to remember the correct form. I love liturgical worship and love to experience it from time to time.

This is my mom and dad on Christmas Day. My dad doesn't usually smile in his pictures so I am glad I caught one recent photo with him smiling. We had lunch with them and then opened envelopes. Well, we opened envelopes because we get checks now. Believe me I am not complaining. I find it funny though, they disliked the fact that my grandparents gave them checks for Christmas. My grandparents rule was, once you get married, no more Christmas gifts. Dang it, I missed those 10 buck checks beginning in 1977. Actually, I do have a neat story, yep here it comes, about Christmas money. When I was in college I wanted an Amplified Bible, a leather one. I had priced them at the Baptist Book Store, now known as Lifeway, early on in the fall. With my combined Christmas money and a few dollars I had, I went to the BBBS with the correct amount to buy a Bible. It was all the money I had in the world. Funny thing, the price of the Bible had gone up since I had priced them and I didn't have enough. The lady helping me saw my disappointment of not being able to purchase one. She said, let me go look in the store room. We had an Amplified Bible that had a couple of flaws and we are sending it back, but if the flaws don't bother you, I will let you buy it at the old price. She brought out this beautiful burgundy calf skin leather Bible. She showed me the flaws, two pages in Jeremiah were a tad faded. I bought it on the spot. It was the more expensive leather edition, better than what I was going to buy. The Christmas check from my grandparents had given me the exact amount and then I got the special deal from the Baptist Book Store and a wonderful gift from the Lord. I had my grandfather write something in the front of that Bible and I still have it. Wow, I hadn't thought of that happening in a long time.

We left my parents, came home for a little bit and then we headed out to Peggy's for Christmas with their fam, all 108 of them. OK, it is not that many but the kiddos and their cousins are being fruitful and multiplying. I was playing a board game with Jenny and Kate. Kate who is almost 3 wanted to go into Mop's Crime Lab to get something. She couldn't because her cousin Regan was asleep. Kate said, "I want to go in the crime lab but that girl is in there asleep. Jenny says, that is your cousin Regan. Didn't phase Kate when she came back in a little bit to report that girl was still asleep. We had a great time, but soon we headed back into town. We were getting a little hungry and where besides Jack in the Box could we find something to eat? Fu's Garden. It was a perfect ending to the day and it might become a Christmas tradition with us.

Being the social couple that we are, New Year's Eve was a specially eventful night... Well, it wasn't a socially eventful night, but it was a whole lot of fun. Dena bought a brand new TV and needed a little help with it. So, Roy, Dena and I went out for an early New Year dinner at Escalante's. Roy even had some of the table side guacamole we ordered. After dinner we went back to Dena's to get the TV set up. Peggy had also extended an invitation to the three of us to come out her way. They had a bounce house for the kids and several other couples, friends of Jenny and Shannon's, were coming over to celebrate. It is worth the trip for the firework show their next door neighbor puts on. It is almost as good as a professional show. But, we opted to call it an early night, so we didn't head out that way. The swivel stand was giving Dena some trouble, so Roy got that done, no problem. She was distracted by making coffee and running back into the living room to let Roy know she would help him where the instructions said, this one particular step was a 2 person job. I sat there and laughed as she went back and forth, asking Roy questions and he never answered her or missed a beat on his work. I got a special laugh out of that. I have learned when Roy is on a roll, let him be. He says the fact he had 4 brothers growing up helps him zone out on all background noise.

Here is Crocodile Denalee. She has on her Aussie hat she brought back from the land of Vegemite sandwiches. It is really cute, the top part is lace.

Here is the part where two people are supposed to lift. Roy didn't need no stinkin' second person. Of course Dena is shocked that Roy isn't following the written instructions, not even the instructions written in French, Spanish or Chinese.

Dena kept asking Roy, how did you get the stand on? How did you get it to swivel? He just looked at her, made the incredible hulk pose and growled ERRRRRRRRRRRR. So this is Dena practicing her pose and growl. Only as seen in the background Roy has everything under control. She will not need to use her athletic prowess. You can't see them in the background, but there is a set of 3 lb weights by the tree. Dena moves them out of the way with her toes. She has the strongest toes of anyone I ever knew.

Well, my amazing hubs is cleaning the kitchen and I should join in and help. I'll do more catching up later.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Second Chances

Like clockwork the first day back at work I felt a little tickle in my throat. Tuesday there was some coughing and a sore throat. Wednesday, increasing symptoms and Thursday an all out clobbering of the winter cold. I had been thinking since I had gone through the fall without symptoms, that maybe I would make it through the end of cough and flu season without a trace of either. Didn't make it...

That isn't exactly big news, but what I am about to write is. I will give a quick synopsis and then will write in more detail later on. Word is our computer is back at Micro Center so when it is home and fully restored I will do details. Oh, the computer being back is not the announcement.

My time off during the holiday season was full of things to ponder, pray over, and consider. I kept thinking about the Dr telling me I had been given a second chance. He talked with me quite a bit concerning what and how got me to his office in my condition on September 11. What in my life could I change to help make sure I did not walk this path again anytime soon? He said it at least 4 times, you have been given a second chance, what are you going to do about it? Believe me in the past few months there has been a lot of changes. Learning to say no to social things, going to bed at decent times, changing the way I approach my stress eating, looking at what is causing stress, and portion control at mealtime. All good changes, all making a difference...but yet I knew there was something more. As I contemplated everything, I was reading a Christian fiction, that is an oxymoron, book called Providence. The subtitle is Getting a Second Chance at Life. Providence is a great read and there were so many quotes that I wrote down out of this work of fiction. The Word is taught in that book and it ministered to me.

I have also listened to cardiologists on the radio, who happen to be believers, and the phrase second chance is peppered all about in their conversations and answers to the interviewer. I have been praying asking for Wisdom and seeking God's guidance in this word to me, second chances. I asked Roy and friends to join me in praying about direction.

It became very clear to me that I needed to resign my position of Ministries Associate at Houston's First Baptist Church. God's peace surrounds my heart in this. I told Jason on Wednesday. We both cried. There is so much that I love about the job and I love the people I work with. A good trait to have is taking ownership of the job, but sometimes I took on too much and stressed out over many little things, oh and some big things too.

So, my last day is January 30th. I wanted to help Jason get MidLink, Milestones and Song of Solomon conference taken care of. On February 1, it will feel strange to walk back into church as just a church member and not a church and staff member. Like I said, I have some thoughts on all of this and I will sharing. But for now, you know, if you need someone to go to lunch with or hang out with, I think I will be available. After a while I might even think about working some place part time, but God is going to have to drop that one in my lap. Right now I am all about taking care of Roy, Buddy and me.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Dropping in to Say Hello

Happy New Year! Our lap top is back at Micro Center again with a bad mother board. For the duration of the holidays I haven't been able to blog. Well, if I was really dedicated and had something blog worthy to write I could have eaked out something on my little, tiny phone keyboard. So lunch time at work will have to suffice for now.

We had wonderful holidays. Did stuff with the fam and friends. Loved my alone time and loved the extra time with Roy. I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish while being off on vacation. I just about did every one of them on the list. Did a lot of reading. Slept in and did a little shopping.

Mustang Sally was ailing with a bad alternator. She is now good as new. I was laughing with a friend and told her Roy had extended warranties on the car, the lap top and apparently one on me.

The final count of catalogs received, 327. That was from November to December 31. Can you believe it! I am feeling sorry for all the graphic artists, photographers and layout designers whose hard work ended up in the shredder or the garbage can. I cannot believe all the different types I received. I must be on every mail list in the country.

I've seen some funny things while I was off and will be blogging about them later. For now it is a quick hello.