Monday, March 30, 2009

Never Seen This Done

I saw something this morning that I never thought I would see EVER in my lifetime. Buddy and I were on the way to the vet for her nail trim. Woodway was crowded but not like rush hour. As we all made our way slowly down the street, out of no where a blue mini van is in and out of traffic, like a sports car. The mini van cut me off right in front of St Martin's and I was about to get miffed when I realized it's a mini van... a mini van that isn't being driven like it was a bus. This mini van is going beyond the speed limit and taking such chances weaving in and out of the cars. I get so excited to see a mini van going that fast I begin to cheer it on when it came to some obstacles. The mini van turned onto Augusta, which is the street I would soon be turning onto. It is still going so fast and rolling through stop signs. I can now see that the driver has on a cowboy hat and I am yelling ride em cowboy! The mini van turns into the Post Oak YMCA entering the do not enter drive and rolls to a stop in a parking spot. I almost followed them into the lot just to say how encouraging it was to see someone drive a minivan like a car, not like a Metro Bus. But, I continued on toward the vet. Very happy in my heart to see what I have never seen before, a mini van speeding along at posted or above posted speed and being driven like a sports car.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Nothing Like a Day With Bluebonnets On It

We could not resist another trip to see the bluebonnets yesterday. The temps were cool and the wind wasn't too bad, but it was too cool to pop the top on Mustang Sally. Never the less, we had an awesome Saturday. Our original plan was to leave Houston around 9:30 but a too late Friday night changed those plans around 8:00 am. It worked out well. We ran a couple of errands around here, had lunch at Southwells, and we were off to Chappell Hill.

When we arrived at Chappell Hill, it was a little more crowded than usual. The MS150 had a practice run out that way. We stopped to take a couple of pictures in town and visit a couple of shops. Our original plan was to eat at Bever's. So glad we ate in Houston. The wait looked long and in fact that evening as we returned to Houston, it was closed because they had run out of food.

We drove out to Washington on the Brazos State Park. The bluebonnets and Indian paint brush were beautiful along the drive. Whole fields were covered in flowers as well as those along the roadside. Once we got to the park, we went to the museum. OK, who am I kidding, we went to the gift shop and bathroom. Then we headed over to the St Claire Monastery to look at the miniature horses the sisters raise.
Here is a nun in stained glass singing Stop in the Name of Love... no, I think this is Sister Claire. The chapel was very simple and seemed to fit right in with a ranch theme. It costs $4.00 to see all the horses etc... We were reminded several times by a person and by signs, not to open the gates or feed the horses. If you opened a gate, you would have to round up the horses. We were told that took about 2 hours to do that.

See this open gate? Someone opened it. It is the entrance to wear the nuns live. I'm not too sure how long it would take to chase and lasso nuns and get them back in. Since we didn't see any nuns, I wasn't tempted to feed one.

This is in the barn, mother and baby. Oh and some future fertilizer.

Baby having lunch, but probably was more like a mid afternoon snack.

This little baby horse loved to be petted. I had taken a much better picture than this, but my camera had a momentary hiccup and the picture is lost to the ages.

There were a bunch of horses outside in the fields. They would come up close to the fence from time to time.

I was tempted to feed these horses, but I resisted the temptation and rewarded myself with a Diet Coke. Roy and I got back on 105 and drove to Farm Road 390 and went a different way to Independence TX. Simply breath taking all the scenery. We got to Independence and the Texas Baptist Museum was open. We were tempted to go, but decided it was too beautiful of a day to be inside a stuffy old church fellowship hall. That is where the museum is located. Instead of going over to the original site of Baylor University, we went across the street to Sam Houston's home. The bluebonnets were bountiful over there.

Seemed like we timed everything right. We got to places before a lot more people showed up. Here is a man outstanding in his field. Ha ha....couldn't resist that old joke. Roy explored the field and found a place where an animal had dug in for a warm night. He was using all his Boy Scout training. I was totally useless in this. I was a Camp Fire Girl, Wo He Lo (Worship Health,Love) . All I learned to do is go door to door selling candy. Peggy was a Camp Fire Girl too and we can sing the Camp Fire Girl song if you would like us to. Very moving.

After all Roy's tough scouting in the field, we decided it was time to have a little something sweet. So we took 50 into the Brenham Airport and ate at The Southern Flyer. It is 1950's themed even with the waitresses dressing in poodle skirts. Had some great dessert and the sugar gave us enough of a high to keep on keeping on. (Thank you Gladys Knight and the Pips) Before we left of course we both visited the facilities. I waited in line before an older mother and an old daughter... old...ancient of days mother and old grandmotherly type daughter. Now, I know better than to stay in a two holer bathroom when old, old people have just finished eating. How can I say this...Uh fresh wind, fresh fire... and in tandem... I mean I have never heard and it's not like I go around to hear this kind of stuff, but you know tandem wind letting is unusual. They peed at the same time, fresh winded at the same time, peed again at the same time and fresh winded again. Only, it really wasn't a fresh wind and I nearly gagged. When I finally got out of there Roy had been getting worried. He had been waiting for me for a while. He asked what happened and since he has been reading the book Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, that's what I called it. At this point we should have headed straight to Hot Spot Praise Temple. But........
We headed North on 105 and took a back road to hook up to Dillard Road where the Lavender Farm is located. This was Roy's least favorite thing of the day. He sat in the car. I went into the gift shop because last year I found some neat stuff. I was not disappointed this year. I bought some vintage linens for really cheap. A lady who lives out that way goes around looking for linens and then sells them through the store. In a couple of weeks the lavender will be ready for cutting and people are welcome to come out that way and get them some lavender. Roy won't be doing that. It's sad, lavender is one of my favorite fragrances, he doesn't care for the fragrance at all.

I almost forgot. On the way to the Brenham airport, this church sign has always gotten my attention. Yesterday, I decided to pull in and take a picture. How fun would it be to answer the question, "Where do you go to church?" Oh, I go to Hot Spot Praise Temple or HSPT for members in the know. Roy asked me if I would really like to attend a service. Nah, I have a short attention span and I have a feeling the services at this church go on all day. I can hear Bishop Helen telling us Hot Spotters you can't put a clock on the Holy Ghost which to me means, I didn't study for the sermon so I am going to talk on a lot of topics and see which one sticks. I wonder if the chairs are pleather or Naugahyde and thus the name came from hind ends sticking to the seats? To the tune of Donna Summers Hot Stuff.... "Baby gonna go to Hot Spot maybe this evening...Go to Hot Spot and learn about God....Hot hot hot hot hot hot hot."

After we left the Lavender Farm, we went back through Chappell Hill and hit 290. Roy was getting a little weary, but surprisingly, I still had energy. So we stopped at DiOrrio Farm and got some fresh veggies. I still wasn't tired, so we stopped at the Premium Outlet Mall at Mason. For a stop Roy wasn't too crazy about, he came out on it OK. Found him some socks, jeans, and t shirts. We left the mall and then stopped at Buc-eesette. Stick Buc-ees but not like the one in Luling. Roy got some Texas Spice Peanuts and we were back on the road. Once we started back into Houston, the tiredness hit me too. We made a quality decision just to find something around home to eat. Glad we did cause I was in bed asleep by 8:30 pm.
Something awoke in me on Tuesday when I heard from the Dr we are taking you off the heart transplant list. New eyes and ears, you know paying attention like I've been reading about. Really, I see life differently and have done so since last September when this particular journey and season began. Yes, I want all the still and contemplative moments I can get, yet the desire to get out and be in God's creation is bigger in me now than ever before. I'm all about getting my projects and tasks done, but if there is an opportunity to drink in the richness and fullness of God in His creation, I'm out the door. Full of gratitude and thanksgiving to God for a new heart, new mercies and new beginnings. I like what Mark Batterson wrote on his blog last week, routine and adventure. Both have their place and both need to be balanced to experience life like God has planned for us.
There are a few more pictures and stories, but I think this is enough for now. I mean really, if you will still read my blog after sharing the "evensong" of the diner and Hot Spot... I am very grateful.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Random Friday

  • It is not Curtis Jones fault that the day I lifted my hands while riding the recumbent bike that my workout capris were on backward. I was so frustrated with the pockets because they didn't lay right. I noticed my mistake when I got home.
  • We've been able to trace my panic attacks to some medicine I take. It only happens two or three times a month, so I can live with it. The medicine does so much good for me otherwise.
  • The battery in my camera died and it seems strange because I have barely used the camera. Maybe it's the non use, who knows. I did something very brave for me. I went to Best Buy by myself and got a new battery. Best Buy is more a store that Roy goes to and I called him after I had done the errand. He was very surprised, but oh so happy I finally made a trip inside the store by myself to do something and I consider it this, techie.
  • So I have recharged the new battery and then put it in my phone totally wrong. Gee... It would not come out. So I stopped and prayed asking the Lord to loose it here on earth and in heaven. It came out and I righted the wrong put in by putting it in correctly. So now my camera works.
  • Found a pair of Michael Kors jeans on sale and two sizes smaller than what I was wearing this time last year. Praise Him!
  • I ordered a book about 8 months ago. It has been on back order and it came today. it is Mystics, Mavericks and Miracle Workers: a 30 Day journey with some saints. It looks good.
  • I am reading Salvation at the Dairy Queen and totally loving it. Lauren, if you would like to read it, I can mail it to you after I am finished.
  • My dad got home from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon. He didn't have his heart surgery, but just the hand surgery to get the infected thorn out of his hand. Looks like it will be 4-6 weeks before having heart surgery...if he really needs it. We cannot get a straight answer out of him.
  • Looks like the weather is cooperating and we will be able to go to the Rice baseball game tonight.

This is all the random stuff from the week. I have a couple of thoughts rolling around in my head. I don't hear an echo so that is good. I will blog more later.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I Blame Curtis Jones

I am blaming Curtis Jones for the following story. Curtis preached at HFBC on Sunday and his teaching was awesome. Roy and I were scribbling notes so fast trying to get everything down. We even watched the 6:30 pm web cast to hear his sermon again. So today after downloading and putting his sermon on my iPod, I went to the gym. I am doing intervals on the recumbent bike. The time of his sermon worked perfectly with the long warm up I do before starting the intervals. So, I listened to him again and again wished for a pen and paper to write a few newly heard nuggets down. My heart was so prepared by the Word he brought, so that when I began my play list and these great worship songs gave me a good pace for intervals, they also spoke so deeply to my inner being. I had my hands raised and mouthing the words. My eyes were closed. I felt as if someone was watching. I glanced up in the mirror because I really wasn't cognizant that I had my hands raised. Oh my, they were and my hands were lifted not just in the little tiny praise hand way. Arms all the way up. I looked to the mirror to see if anyone was working out behind me...yep...and they were starring. Some were laughing and calling to friends to see the strange older lady on the bike. I was so embarrassed! But if you know me well, I got over it. I thought about taking off my old school bandanna and waving it around like those filled with the Holy Ghost do with white hankies. I would only be flicking others with my sweat. I do not see how anyone can work out hard and not have something to catch the sweat rolling into their eyes.

When I finished my ride and I walked past those who had seen me as they worked on the treadmills and elliptical trainers, I casually said, I have never been able to ride a bike without any hands and today I was brave enough to try. Maybe my faux paux will open some doors to talk, who knows. But I do know this, if Curtis hadn't preached so good, I wouldn't have been lifting my hands at the club.

Thanks Curtis, it was a fun wild ride today!

Observation of Some Friends in the Past Few Days

There is always some good people watching to be had and sometimes you're privy to some good conversation listening while doing the watching.

Monday afternoon I went to Mrs. Baker's funeral. The attenders a mix of old money Houston, friends of the family, representatives from the charities and institutions that the Bakers had supported through the years, the nurses that attended to Mr and Mrs Baker all these years, and then Wendy and me, she being the CPA and me payroll, bills and correspondence. Both Wendy and I counted Mrs. Baker a friend as well as an employer. Three of her oldest friends sat in front of Wendy and I. Two came into together, one sat down immediately leaving a small bit of space for her friend who was socializing. When the friend came to the pew, she stood there and stared at her friend like, move over...this isn't enough room. To make her point the friend began to squeeze herself in that small space and then asked, "do you want me to sit on your lap?" Friend moved over and not too much later friend 3 came to the pew and scooted in front of them to her seat. She nearly sat in friend 2's lap. Friend 2 said, " scoot over, or are you going to sit in my lap throughout the whole service?" That is when friend 1 says, we have this same conversation every time we sit together in church. And then they began giggling like young school girls. I can only hope that when my friends and I are at that ancient age, we can laugh at and with each other. It was by all rights a traditional Episcopal funeral with a few short comments in particular about Mrs. Baker. We were encouraged though to think of our own special memory that we had of her. I had several and all of them made me smile. One I remember well is when Mrs. Baker was telling me about her sister in law. She said, Betty would give you the shirt off her back, but she would tell you how to wear it. I will always treasure my time I got to spend with Mrs. Baker, she so gentle and kind, so noble of spirit.

Yesterday, while waiting in the Dr office, two older gentlemen sat to my left. They were flat out funny with their comments and dead on in their observations. One of the men was having the morning long stress test and his friend had come to keep him company during those long down times in between the tests. One of the gentlemen said we are going to have lunch together aren't we? The other responded, yep, the fringe benefit of getting to take you to the Dr is getting to talk with you and lunch and I'll arm wrestle you to see who pays the bill. Then he looked at his friend and said, I feel like I'm going to be a winner today. I thought how sweet. They weren't cranky about the morning and they had a good friendship and enjoyed one anothers company.

Both the women and the men I observed and heard blessed me. Sometimes the older we get the less we laugh or enjoy the good and real things of life. I do lerve me some good friend stories.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

What in the Sam Hill Are You Saying Doctor?

I've always liked the saying, "what we don't know won't hurt us." I like it, but it isn't always true. Today I have an extraordinary tale to tell of not knowing and it didn't hurt me. Today was my three month check up with the cardiologist. Merely means I go every three months for a look see. Everyone else in Houston must have been seeing their respective Dr's because the line for the parking lot began at the entrance. There were intense lines for all elevators. Once in the Dr office, the line was 4 deep to check in. You know I am trying to stay so calm in the midst of delays in order to have a good blood pressure reading and the like.

My name called by the nurse. I've lost a total of 68 pounds and they are very happy with my workouts and at the rate muscle is forming.

Blood pressure excellent. Heart sounds great. The news that I will have to stay on my medicine for the rest of my life is small in contrast to the good they do in me. Then he said it...

"I'm officially taking your name off the heart transplant list today." He said it so calmly. I reacted with a loud WHAT????? He repeated his statement and then adds, we didn't think there was any other way you were going to recover, a heart transplant looked like a very likely option. Me again, so well versed in the ability to communicate....WHAT?????? Dr says, but you have responded so well and with last time's report and today's check up, I think we can officially take your name off the heart transplant list. Remember, we have told you what you needed to know, when you needed to know.

Praise Jesus! The Lord and I walked out of that office with fierce joy and rejoicing. I believe I was walking on air. Made the follow up appointment for an echo cardiogram in June and the crowds in the elevator and in the garage didn't affect me one bit. I was singing, "how can I keep from singing your name... how amazing is your love! I took a moment in the car to call Roy and a few friends... So much rejoicing in God. Then I cried and thanked the Lord again and again for new mercies every morning. To tell you the truth I kind of wondered about compassion's new every morning just this morning. 7:30 am and my dad is threatening to check out of the hospital because they haven't given him breakfast. Oh like that is going to happen, no ID and $4.00 with him, much less taking out his IV and junk. Really, my dad has made some dumb decisions in his life and it usually involves lack of food. The man needs to carry Power Bars with him. Anyway, Roy spoke to him and got him settled. There isn't any heart surgery until this thorn is removed from his hand and the infection taken care of. There is a whole lot of sermon in that last sentence, but I digress... His surgery is tomorrow morning and he'll be home tomorrow afternoon and my mother's problem. Just kidding, kind of. Praise God! Dad is wearing out Roy and it takes a lot to accomplish that. Jesus is my super hero and Roy isn't too far behind Him.

Praising God and rejoicing in the joy of the Lord!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Distracted and Dang Pleased About It

Sometimes I have a love/hate relationship with Sundays. Mostly it is a love relationship but there are those Sunday mornings that come along where if deep calls to deep at the sound of His waterfalls, for me it is more of sleep calls to sleep at the snooze button of the alarm. I was sorely tempted to sleep in this morning. But the temptation was fleeting and I arose to declare His steadfast love in the morning. I will declare His faithfulness tonight before falling asleep.

What tempted me to sleep in this morning was our decision around 4:45 pm yesterday to drive out toward Chappel Hill. Roy had been at the office most of the day and I had enjoyed a quiet Saturday but there had been those moments of quiet where life was being sucked right out of me. Roy said, let's go, come on, there is still a lot of daylight left. I hemmed and hawed and we were out the door in five. Wow, once we were past Hempstead the bluebonnets were perfused in splendor. We drove along back roads with the top down drinking in the fragrance. We saw several photo ops and I pulled out my camera only to find out the battery needed to be recharged. Dang! I did pull out my phone and take a few pics and attempted a lovely narrated video which somehow only caught the rim of my tires. Roy and I were laughing and having a blast. We were recharged and revived! As the sun began to set, we decided to go on 359 over to I-10 because 290 had been fierce with traffic. We began discussing dinner and stopped briefly at a Sonic to get drinks and ice cream cones. Roy suggested Southwell's and it was a great decision. Good hamburgers and we were able to watch March Madness with half of Memorial High School. It was fun. All that fresh country air and eating later than usual had me hitting the sheets sooner than later and when the alarm went off this know I was tempted...

I am glad to have been in the house of the Lord this morning. The worship was awesome! John Bolin and the choir brought it, wow. And Curtis Jones brought the Word from I Thess 5:16-19. Yep, he brought it all right. I could not keep up taking notes, neither could Roy. We might catch the live web cast tonight to fill in the holes. It was what I needed to hear and confirm deep in my heart about my on and off again attitude about the next few weeks. Loved the point in giving thanks...we need to redefine what is valuable and we are not grateful because we have bad treasure...out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks....Ouch!

Met Peggy in the rehearsal hall robe room to walk together for Sunday School. Roy went to speak to Jerrell and Malcolm about working in the Connection Center after the 9:10 service and they said yes, so he went there right after the prayer. Peggy and I sat in the front of the room today. That is not our usual preferred seating but it was a good place for us to be today. Dena finished up her series on Drawing Close. This has been a good series and she has taught us well. She had asked for email responses to what keeps us from spending time with the Lord. She divided it into time and distraction. I had some thoughts on distraction but I didn't want to be a distraction and thus saying things that might empower a class member to begin disrupting and distracting the class with her rapid succession of comments. But being blessed with ADD my life and days are nothing but distraction. It is difficult for me to keep focused on one task for any length of time unless it is very interesting to me. If I was one of those types who has to have a quiet time complete with 2 Psalms, a chapter from Proverbs, something from the major and minor prophets, a chapter from the Gospels and a chapter from the Epistles, a poem and a prayer, I would never get out of bed. That whole thing right there overwhelms me. It seems that people come to quiet times with such high expectations on themselves to have a meaningful time, not high expectations that God will break out of the box we like to keep Him in. High expectations can immobilize and inspire avoidance. Some time is better than no time. Take small steps. God is taking BIG steps to us and let the drawing near God be a process that is non-linear. Let it have stops and starts and distractions. If we will stay in action, the process is alive with surprises. Being distracted seems to be a theme in the Bible. I am glad that Moses was distracted by the burning bush. Happy that the disciples were distracted from the fishing business one day to answer the call of come, follow me. What about Paul, bright light and a personal conversation with Jesus distracted him from being a one man Christian killing machine. I am glad all the about couldn't stay on task or be a model employee. They would have missed the adventure of a lifetime. Yet, we need to be thankful for those who do stay on task and can see the tedious to the very end. I am very thankful for being married to a plan man. I am grateful for my friends who possess this ability and determination. I mean, God made them that way and life would be pretty topsey turvey if I was in charge of things. But.... If you are like me and can't do the linear life, it's OK, embrace the distractions and look for God in them. Don't beat yourself up cause you can't do it like everyone else. He is there wanting to spend time with you and He wants our success more than we do and even know to desire. I mean if Zep 3:17 says He is singing over us, I want to be distracted from my one year reading program, my devotion book, my thought for the day, my spiritual reading program and join in with the singing and the dancing. Psalm 96, sing a new song to the Lord.

So, if I hadn't gone to church, we wouldn't have gone to Lupe's for beef fajitas afterwards. Soooo good! Then we did a trial run over to Methodist Hospital, twice, cause we missed the parking garage on the first go around. It is a beautiful day, so the top was down. Lots of people out and about, mostly going to the zoo. We took the long way home going through downtown. Lots of distractions to notice and pay attention to. Happy to come home and take a much needed nap. And now to blog about the day and thoughts.

I wonder how much we miss in everyday adventure because we won't relent control for change and seeing new things?

I'm encouraged by these verses today, Psalm 94:17, 19 (see no two Psalms for me)

"If the LORD had not been my help, my soul would soon have lived in the land of silence." (there are those of you who read the blog and wish my soul and mouth lived more in the land of silence :) ) and "When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I Love My Mom

It's spring so I just changed out purses. Well, I had actually sized down to my travel purse for a couple of weeks, but feel the need to gear up for carrying about the big purse. So out of the brown Michael Kors and into the blue Donney and Burke. I dread changing out the accumulated junk in a purse. There are receipts, deposit slips, little notes to myself, ragged pieces of paper from something long gone and lastly all the junk that filters through to the bottom. You know pennies, tops of pens, lost mints and the like. Gunk! So now I can boldly go into the spring season.

This has been perfect convertible weather. I'm hoping that Roy gets home from the office soon in order to make a little drive about. Yesterday, after working out, I sat at some tables outside the club and finished up a couple of chapters from the book I am reading on the bike now, The Last Gentleman by Walker Pearcy. I like The Moviegoer but I am enjoying this story much more. Seems the themes of these two books have been the main character trying to stay out of the mundane of the everyday and find wonder and meaning in the daily. I've read some great quotes only I have to find them again because I don't have a pen with me on the bike.

Roy, the hero, stepped in again today to take care of details for the beginning of next week. My dad called this morning to let us know their home phone was working again. We visited a little and I asked him if he had returned Roy's phone calls yet that he had left on their cell phone. My dad responded, what does he want to talk about? So clearly, Dad is a bit on the run in pleasing Roy and getting his assignments taken care of. My father is a tale bearer and will lie when the situation needs to go his way. We've caught him in some of his "stories" and our desire is to deal with him honestly and directly with love. Chaos develops and drama is the order of the day because my dad is doing his best to keep everyone off balance in order to control. He hasn't dealt with steady Roy before and his schemes are not working. Yahoo!!! It does take something out of me to deal with my dad. I want to be kind but I have to be vigilant for the duplicity that is always involved. Everything within me wants to take a nap to recover from the conversation and I am resisting because I want to get out and enjoy this beautiful day. After I got off the phone I felt the anxiety attack begin but today I resisted it and did not give in to fear. I know the next two weeks will be difficult but I am not looking to whine or complain, OK, I want to...but I also know that Eph says having done everything to stand, stand therefore. I am putting myself into God's strength and standing on His Word. I am looking for the wonder and delight in the day. I am looking for His presence in the daily so that I might be like Moses and go inspect the burning bush and hear a word from the Lord.

I got a call this week that Mrs. Baker died and her funeral is on Monday at St. Martin's. Beth, her niece and my friend, called to let me know. Mrs. Baker would have been 92 on April 1. She is in heaven with Mr. Baker and more importantly with Jesus. Beth and I got caught up a little and she has invited me to go play golf with her at the country club once my parent's health issues settle. Of course panic set in, I have nothing golf-ish to wear to Houston Country Club... I'll cross that bridge when I get to it. I'd rather just drive the golf cart for her. Now I know what to wear to do that.

My mom just called a little confused on details. She is actually double checking what my dad wrote on the calendar. She's worried but we talked about the faithfulness of God and we talked about how He has taken such good care with us through the years. Just talking about the Lord calmed her and we were able to laugh as we recited the schedule of the next week several times. What seems to be an inconvient shadow right now can turn to full on sunny when looking for the wonder and joy. It's different with my mom, no agenda and no lies. She needs to be reassured. At the end of the call she said, well I have to go outside and apologize to God for not trusting Him and to your dad because I didn't believe him. Smart woman. I love my mom.

Friday, March 20, 2009

A Couple of Pics from March

Here are a few more pictures of the happenings in March.

Lisa P and me so happy with our cuts and my highlights. It was a fun morning spent at Emmanuel Salon. Stevie completed our looks with some colorful lip gloss.
The above picture is the only one out of 20 tries that looked halfway decent when we tried to take our own picture at the Gaither Concert.

How much better our picture turned out to be when a lady volunteered to take the picture. I think she did it to get us to stop laughing so much.
That's it for now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Quick Update

For two people we have too much laundry. Central Market says their ovens are always on, working and I think our dryer runs a good portion of the day. Its on and working. Funny, our dry cleaning bill is less and of course that is due to it being mostly Roy's dress shirts and not my jackets and pants.

Today I finally made it to the new HEB on Bunker Hill. I have never been a fan of the HEB but I think I could like that store. I wasn't there officially shopping, but I did pick up a couple of things. One was bread. When Ali and I were in Hempstead I bought some fresh tomatoes. One of my very favorite things to eat is a tomato, mayonnaise sandwich. Had everything but the bread. Thus the stop. I have to get new tags from Kroger and Rice since mine were lost with my keys. I need to talk to the manager at Rice because I am almost to 6000 points which can be turned in for a Nordstrom gift card. I would hate to lose all those points.

I had a long talk with my parents today. I asked a lot of questions and didn't take specious answers. Outside of a miracle, I think my dad will opt for surgery. For once he gave me good reasons why and there wasn't one bit of giddiness in his voice. He even has all his assignments done for Roy which is a plus. It looks like Doug will not be coming down to help out. My mom is such an easy person to work with on timing and such. The 24th had me worried a little because that is the day I go for my check up with the cardiologist and then if all is well, I will go in for a physical test to see where my cardio and strength register. Hopefully all this will help with my stamina cause that is the one thing that hasn't come back as quickly as I would like. A friend of my parents will take my mom, sit with her and even take her home until we can get up there. My dad should be in ICU that day so visiting will be limited. This news is a huge relief to me.

Now a Buddy update. Buddy has rediscovered the mirror. So now if she isn't napping she is sitting on the counter in the bathroom with a determined stare going on. She loves seeing herself. So far she isn't knocking things off the counter, she is content to look at that beautiful cat in the mirror. And she is beautiful. I need to update her pictures for y'all.

Roy just got in from working out. Wednesdays are long days for him, yet probably his most Bible teaching filled. He goes to a 6:00 am Bible study with the guys at IHOP. Then he goes to High Point for lunch. High Point is lunch and Bible study done by First Baptist. Since he thought he would get home later this evening I had the opportunity to meet Dena for dinner. It was great getting caught up on all our happenings. I must post pictures from the Gaither concert.

It is almost time for me to take my Ultram ER 200 and that means I will be hitting the bed soon. So more catch up later.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St Patrick's Day, Y'all!

Happy St Patrick's Day! I am sitting here having a mid afternoon snack of a toasted potato farl with some Kerry Gold Irish butter. I'm wearing a wee bit of green, but not having the luck of the Irish today. Somewhere between home and The Galleria, I lost my set of home keys. I've made several calls but no one has found them. I finally had to call Roy and go downtown to get his set. I could tell he was nervous to give me the only set of keys to get into our entrances and then into our home with my shady record of the day. I went straight to the locksmith and had two sets made. When I got home the mailman was delivering and I showed my ID to our mailman to grab our mail out of the box. Then I went to the front office to order a new lock and keys for the mailbox. All in all this little fiasco will run about $50.00 bucks. Oh well.

We have been having a blast with Ali. Ali is in town coming from a little town of Belfast. We met Ali through the blogging world. She is a hoot and we're having a blast! Yesterday, I picked her up around 2:00. Of course I had to show her the Play Grocery store and then we were off to Peggy's. Peggy is this close to starting a blog, so all of y'all who know her will be really looking forward to her words of wisdom. Anyway, I took Ali to meet Peggy and let her see one of the most fun homes you'll ever go to. Ali was totally in shock when she walked in the door. I forget really how wonderful it is, because to me I am just at Peggy's. We did the tour which included feeding the bass out in the lake and looking at the1930's fishing cabin Bill built. It was Ali's first ride on a golf cart. We left there and took a back road to Hempstead for Ali to see a little of what Texas looks like out of the city. We stopped at DiOrrio Farms where she promptly met a long lost cousin...a very long lost cousin. She made that lady's day. Then we came in 290 and made our way to the Beer Can House on Malone. It is worth the drive by. After a few photos, we picked up Roy and then met Dena at McCormick and Schmidt's for dinner. Roy convinced Ali that she needed to try a cup of gumbo and she did. Gumbo Forest Gumbo. We all had a great time. In fact we lost track of time and we found out Crave closes at 8:00. So no cupcakes... How sad.

Me, Peggy, Courtney Synott, Kelly, Ali and Dana having lunch at The Nord.
Ali riding the rough and tumble horse that lives inside Bill and Peggy's.

You can take the girl out of Ireland, but you can't take the Ireland out of the girl. This is a totally posed picture with an IBC Diet Root Beer.

Some happy, snappy friends after enjoying a delicious dinner.

The shamrock says Happy St Patrick's Day, but the flash kind of overtook the sign. We are near the entrance of the bar, but none of us but Dena were tempted to go in. Nah, Dena didn't go into the bar, the bar came to her...if you know what I am saying.... NOOOOOOOO! Nothing bar like was consumed either at the bar or at our table.
This morning I picked up Ali and we headed to The Nord. We did a little tour and soon everyone was showing up. We had a very fun lunch with a million conversations going on at once. We even got some of the doubters to try the white chocolate bread pudding and it is still slap your mama good. After lunch we all had to go our separate ways to finish out our days. I had to loose keys and blow the afternoon. Others had places to go and places to be.
We have enjoyed the invasion of the Irish. I hear the next trip will include some reinforcements. That will be awesome!
I've finished my farl and polished off my pint of Diet Coke. Now to look for a four leaf clover and maybe have a bowl of Lucky Charms.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Longest, but Most Interesting Post Ever... I Had to Write That to Keep You Reading

It was the all too familiar ring tone of my father that momentarily stopped Roy and I from our cleaning duties yesterday. I hesitated to even answer the phone because there are times it is best the calls go to voicemail and then have time to pray and think before calling back. Sometimes time diminishes the drama or whatever was so urgent a couple of hours ago, cannot even be recalled. Since my dad is anticipating heart surgery sometime after March 23, I thought best to answer. He began saying what he always says, "Nancy, this is your father." Yep a little too Star Wars but I don't think he has ever seen the movies to enjoy the humor of his words. And the next statement always holds an element of surprise, "Do you have a few minutes to talk?" OK, at that point my brain is sounding the alert alarm and calling my body to all hands on deck. As he begins to talk I either heightens the alarm to Anne Frank sounding siren's or the three buzz sounds on the radio for the prepare alert during bad weather. He asks me about my blood type, which is O-. He says did you say B, did you say B? I have type B and type B's have more tendencies to get cancer. I'm sorry, but you are going to get cancer. Me thinking, what the heck? I again told him O-. He was rather disappointed to hear that news. Then he gleefully told me well, I wasn't out of the woods, I could get cancer. Who does this? It is usually an over worrying and micro managing mom who calls with this kind of information.

Roy had suggested he call my dad over the weekend and remind him that my stamina hasn't quite returned. So, he used the availability of the call to begin to set the framework. My dad thinks Roy is soft spoken and he is. He thinks that Roy isn't all that smart (Dad doesn't have a clue on this) and doesn't have any leadership abilities. My dad has never seen Roy in work mode and that is how Roy attacked this phone call. Roy gave my dad assignments to be done by the 23rd and very little options on calling the shots. I sat there watching my hero in action and only imagining the shock registering on my dad. Roy so shocked him that we were able to find out that his surgery is not on the 23rd as he has been telling us but he is having some tests run in the hospital before the course of surgery is determined. He would have my mother worn out over nothing on Monday. He would have us all worn out. There is an "if" in the surgery Roy detected. So if you have a moment to think of us and pray, we are asking for God's healing on his valve so that surgery is not needed. It will be so helpful for my mom not to have to "worry" with this even as she faces continuing procedures for her recovery. With her dementia, stress spirals her quickly. As I have written before there is added drama to most circumstances if my dad has anything to say about it. And none of us needs the unnecessary drama. We are fully supportive and helpful to health concerns that are really just that. We caught him in another "story" last week and dealing with these issues suck the life out of us. Oh, this is not new behavior in that he has been like this for as long as I have known him but it has been awhile since dealing with it on a consistent basis. I am parenting now. Does Dobson have a book on The Strong Willed Parent? Or a class, Growing Older Parents God's Way?

Quick update on Roy's mom, still not walking. She is willing to stand but that's about it. I told Roy he and Jerrell Altic should go pray for his mom. She would be walking and leaping and praising God after that prayer. She'd be like Peter's mother in law and go fix supper. If those two got together and prayed for her, I imagine her standing in the water fountains at the hospital trying to walk on water...

Now to much more fun things. On Thursday Dena and I went out to the rodeo to do some rodeo shopping and eating. Oh yes and to look at the animals.... :) We parked in the cash lot which in doing so have determined if we do this again, we will take the bus from 288. It wasn't a problem for the Houston Livestock and Rodeo to get us to the happenings but they weren't as quick or hospitable to get you back to your car. We must have waited over 45 minutes for a transportation golf cart to take us back to our drop off point to catch the trolley. There were some cheaters in line but the few carts that were committed to this run were just about non existent. Now I don't want to shade the fact that we really had a good time and I learned an important lesson in all the mess up with the Transportation Comm of the rodeo... We heard over and over, no I can't do that, it would be breaking the rules. We found a member of the comm breaking the rules by going to his personal car in the lot in a golf cart and putting a bag in his car. So rules can be broken only if it is beneficial to the rule breaker. Hmmm... Since we caught him, he broke the rules and gave us a ride to the only working trolley. Gee... Anyway, the eating and shopping were awesome. Dena and I had a great time and started out with lunch. We did good and didn't even have a fried Twinkie, Snickers Bar or Oreo. Shopping was calling out to us and of course it is our duty to help the economy. Our plan was to see the big picture of wares before buying, but we found a booth that sold cowboy and cowgirl pajamas and that plan went out the window. Another love language of mine, cute jammies. The ladies Rhea and Nancy also sold cute clothes and jewelery. They were fun to talk with and the day had been filled with grouchy rodeo-ers and rodeo-ettes and we were a ray of sunshine. Now the Transportation Comm might have another view of us. Dena and I found Yellow Box shoes, jewelery and some of the best cinnamon pecans ever! Actually, Dena found the best buys and got some very cute things. When we had enough fun we decided to leave and eat dinner off site. That was a good decision. We ate at Outback and had delicious steaks, fresh from product of the rodeo. No not really, but it is sad thinking that we probably ate some cow's cousin for dinner. I love that Dena and I are so comfortable in our friendship, we know when someone needs to sit, that would be me, when someone needs extended time in a shop, that would be both of us, and keep a steady pace and eyes open for goodies that need to be discovered. A good time was had by all except for cow who gave their life for hamburgers, fajitas and steak.

On Friday Lisa P and I were in the Land of Sugar for haircuts and highlights for me. Such fun! Afterwards we went to Lupe's and got the beef fajitas, best in town Sugar or Houston bar none. We spent several hours catching up and munching down the best chips. We made a stop at Whole Foods for goodies to take home to our fams. I had dressed so that I could go work out and stop to do so on the way back in. What was I thinking? A nap was calling my name. Roy came home tired and we stayed in on Friday night. I watched Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce on TCM. He watch Sci Fi on FX. Our tastes are so different.

Saturday morning, I eased into the day. My knees and feet were still complaining to me about the cold concrete and the cold rain from Thursday. Even Roy slept in till 9:00 where upon waking up he felt guilty for sleeping in. Not me, I stayed in bed another 30 minutes. He helped me with some cleaning around the home and then we headed out for lunch. We felt so good we decided a trip was in order to the new Academy at Bunker Hill. Hit the jack pot on some things we both had been looking for. Still feeling spry, we went to Target at Memorial City...on a Saturday...on a rainy day with three million others. We were there for Diet Cokes and once they run out of them when on sale, there doesn't seem to be restocking. Didn't matter we carried on with our list and got out of there in record time. We came on home after that.

This morning at church I finally got to meet Ali who is in Houston for a few days. How exciting! She brought St Paddy Day gifts and I am in love with mine. Ali is from Ireland and she has the coolest accent. She got a lovely Texan welcome with the implosion of the Compass Bank Building at 7:00 am, which is very near her hotel.

Longest post ever. If you have completed reading this I commend you.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday Rambles

Back home from my workout. I never know the etiquette on using machines, it seems if you are using a machine you'd leave a towel there or something. I understand the back and forth between two machines for a workout but come on if you haven't been on the machine for 15 minutes I don't think you can totally claim it as yours in usage. A situation developed between two men this morning on machine usage. Each week I add a couple of machines to the workout. This week I've been doing more pressing, shoulder and leg. Now if I can just get the nerve up to take a class. That so totally intimidates me for several reasons, all look to be young and in shape, bad knees make some things just down right impossible, and I am a dork.

Roy got home at 5:30 last night, second night in a row and I ditched Bible study to go eat dinner with hubs. Then we went to Costco. Wow, the recession must be hurting them cause there was No One in the place. Bought some work out capris in a smaller size, so there was a little happy dance over that.

On Monday, Roy took my bike over to the repair shop to get new tires and for a tune up. Can't wait till he gets his bike over there and fixed up to be ready to roll. While talking at dinner Roy let me know there were still clothes in the guest bedroom that belong to me. I began going through stuff, throwing away and getting ready for Goodwill. There among give a way stuff there were a few things that I can use like my biking shorts and a couple of work out things. I was tempted to keep a couple of work out pants from the 80's and go all vintage. Thought better of that idea.

I ordered a couple of books on Amazon last night, In the Sweet By and By and Salvation at the Dairy Queen. It was an ordering kind of night because I bought some Paula Dorf make up and some Kool N Fit and Biofreeze.

Again I have written about the everyday and ordinary stuff of life right now. I have some other things that I'll write on later. It is more for me to get thoughts and ponderings together in some kind of organized form, I'm not writing a Bible study. It is not to develop a ministry or anything like that. I am getting tired of blogs becoming an advertisement for a speaking gig. When I tell you I am studying about storms in the Bible it is how I feel God leading. Oops, that whole paragraph came off strange, but it's not meant to be.

When I got the Facebook invite to Spring Loaded, it was with great gusto that I clicked on not attending. If you have kiddos though, Spring Loaded is a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It is March 29 from 12:30-3:30 at Houston Christian High School. Egg hunts, trains, pony rides, petting zoo and inflatables. Food purchased benefits the Student Ministry mission trips.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Happy Hour

I am in total bliss and completely satisfied that for once I hit the Sonic at Happy Hour. In most cases it is always a little too early or just late when landing at the Sonic. It's been awhile since participating in a Happy Hour. Although I could now if I wanted to. I signed the staff covenant at HFBC pledging to dress moderately, I totally balked at that, just kidding, not to talk about others, had a hard time with that because there are just some staff members who are worth the breaking of the vow to talk about ( just keeping it real) and not to drink. I would always think, well when I go out of town, I am going to have a glass of wine. Never did, I always forgot. I thought that once I quit I would be craving the chance to have a margarita and I never can have one, I have to have two or else I get a headache. So far, I've eaten a lot of Mexican food but haven't had a margarita. The allure just isn't there anymore. There was a day and it was a long time ago, Happy Hour happened right after aerobics class. How stupid that we had burned all these calories and then would have a drink or two or twelve. I remember one Happy Hour in particular that the food was free and the drinks cheap. There were several of us there that night. My friend put everything on her credit card and she being so drunk took a $64.00 bill and added a tip that made it $64,000.00. The next day when she realized what she had done, she went to the restaurant and told them she had made a huge mistake. They figured as much and hadn't turned it in yet, just waiting for her to come to her senses. I am so happy that Happy Hour doesn't hold an allure for me anymore except at Sonic. My Route 44 Diet Cherry Limeade is sooooo good.

Drat this spring forward. It has really messed me up even to the point of talking about Happy Hours. Played hookie from church, although that was premeditated and today I went later to work out. I thought it would be even less crowded than my regular time and it was but only one of the recumbent bikes was working and it was occupied. So I used one of the regular work out bikes and didn't like it as much. I did less time but I did more machines today and added the shoulder press to my routine.

We are supposed to get one more shot (all this Happy Hour talk has me using drinking vernacular) of cool air by the end of the week. It is all happening because last week I stored all my winter clothes.

It's time for last call on this post. I would like to go back outdoors and enjoy this beautiful weather. All the oldies are out by the pool and they get mad if you come down there with an iPod and a book and don't talk to them. They are so hard of hearing I can hear them in the living room. I should just open the window and talk to them from the comfort of our home. I am so excited because after work Roy is going to take our bikes into the shop for new tires and a tune up. With more daylight, we can ride after he gets home from work or early on Saturday mornings.

One more thing, I am becoming my Grandma Doss more and more. I'm not excited about this at all. One thing I've noticed is, I am making faces like she used to make. I am noticing them especially when I am praying at home or having my quiet time in deep thought. I am sticking my lips out just like she used to do. Isn't it bad enough I have her little wobble walk and her rear end???? I know, I shouldn't have written that last thing, but it must be the Diet Cherry Limeade talking.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


What a happy celebration I attended yesterday morning, a baby shower. The home filled with friends from all walks of life, both for daughter and grandmother. A group of women young and old standing in line to hold the babies that came along to the shower with their moms and a group of women who threw ladies luncheon out into the street and ate their fill of the delicious spread of goodies. It was great! So much joy and genuine happiness for this little one who will make her appearance around the first week of April. I took it all in remembering the chaos of circumstances not understood just a few years ago. During that time of controlled panic no one anticipated a day like yesterday. I am so thrilled for all that yesterday came true.

Friday night Dena and I went to the Berry Center to get our Gaither on. Like I have written before I love all kinds of music and when I was a young-un, the Gaithers were contemporary Christian music. There were fights in the church over singing Because He Lives and Family of God because those weren't songs in the beloved Baptist Hymnal. I think they are now. Anyway, Dena and I were proud to be the youngest people on our row. Gaither concerts has some good people watching. Now I assume they are good people, well you know what I mean. It takes all kinds to make up the Body of Christ. I believe this was the heavier end of the body of Christ. The people in front of us had a chair space in between each one of them, than man in between the two women. We couldn't decide who he was with because he made little nookie moves to both of them. One time my knee intercepted one of his little moves to the woman on his right. Dena and I got really tickled over that. We moved over to an almost empty section for the second half. You do get your money's worth at a Gaither concert. The concert began at 7:00 and the intermission started a little after 9:30. Janet Paschal was at this concert and she is one of my favorite singers. Her life is a radiant testimony to the goodness and faithfulness of God. It doesn't hurt that she has a kickin voice either. I bought her new book and CD and have already finished the book, Treasures in the Snow (from a verse in Job).

On the way home from the shower yesterday I ran a few errands. Academy is moving from their Campbell location and a lot of merchandise has already been moved to the new store but a lot of mark downs are there at Campbell. Wow, I found some great stuff already marked down and then an additional 50% discount.

Roy is in total baseball happiness. The college baseball season has begun in earnest and his beloved adopted college, Rice, has started play. He has been to games on both Friday and Saturday. Before going on Saturday, he dropped off books at Half Price books. With the money from that he'll be able to buy some fold up statium seats for the time he chooses to sit in the bleachers. I hope to get to some games with him. It is a blast and Princess Hamburgers does the you know the food is good.

I played hookie from church today, you know with the spring forward and all that... My mind is all into spring forward but my body is having a tough time springing forward. It is a joy that church makes it so much easier to skip with the webcasts of the services. So I enjoyed church in my jammies and eating toast. Here at the Mon home, we can eat in our worship center because it was the kitchen table this morning. Dena didn't teach in Sunday School today, so that helped my decision. She is such a great teacher I hate to miss, but when it's not her...I takes my chances. Also in mind is the weeks upcoming that I will need lots of strength to face everything on my plate. My dad is having heart surgery on March 23 and helping my mom during his days of recovery will take a lot strength and resolve. I am honored to help her but I have had several panic attacks thinking through all that will need to be done. My panic attacks mimic heart misfuncition and sometimes I get scared before I remember to trust the Lord. So basically, I am not taking my own advice of knowing where you are in transition and my mind has us already in the midst of everything wondering how it is all going to happen. Uh Nancy, everything is about 2 weeks away, so pay attention to this time. Well almost 2 weeks away, beginning next week there will be preliminary appointments for dad and follow up appointments for mom. Not by plan but most everything I have read of late includes major information on looking for God in the interruptions and seeing divine appointments that might not have otherwise happened. So I am paying attention. Also in a lot of reading so many times this has been mentioned: you have a choice. I have a choice in how I am going to respond. Choose joy or anger. Anger takes a whole lot more energy than joy thus resulting in being much more tired and unbalanced. To be honest spending so much in hospitals would not have been my choice, but God knows.

March 24 will be a big day for me. It is my three month follow up with the cardiologist from my last appointment on December 23. It will be interesting to see how my workouts have helped everything. Maybe even I will get to stop taking all the heart meds.

Wow, the Sunday afternoon nap gave all kinds of energy. This is another long post. I've noticed in my study of Bible storms, a lot of wind is present. Yes, I know the difference between wind and my hot air. Tee hee.... Anyway, it is interesting what the wind makes happen...thus the post title cause there will be a lot more windwhirls coming, but Jesus is in the midst of the storm.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday Randomness

The past few days have been cool ones here in Houston. They are not to be long because warmer temps are coming in right behind these last cool temperatures. Saturday afternoon I walked around the neighborhood and I was accompanied by brisk breezes which were much more bearable on the sunny side of the street rather than when walking in shade. We have a loose screen we must get fixed. The wind from Ike loosened it and now when the wind blows it sounds as a northerner is coming in aiming right at our bedroom.

My mom got to go home on Saturday. The Dr she could not get in to see during the week came and did a procedure Friday night in her room. Now to get through this week. My dad has an appointment with a new cardiologist on Thursday. We are praying that meds will take care of his problem because he seems a little too anxious for surgery.

Roy got to go to two games at the College Classic at Minute Maid Park. On Saturday he had to go into the office and be there by 8:00 because of the rodeo parade. His office is on the fourth floor and faces Louisiana Street. So he was up close and personal to see the parade.

I skimmed through Velvet Elvis again on Saturday. That is a good book and I had forgotten that.

After church Roy and I went to Lupe's to celebrate his birthday. It must have been the cold weather but Lupe's was already near capacity when we arrived. On most Sundays we've been there it has never been quite this crowded. We were in one of those small rooms with only 3 tables in it and the largest table was occupied by some computer geeks who did not have inside voices. It has difficult to have any conversation and it seemed our conversation sometimes was directed by the computer guys. If they talked about flying, we talked about that. When they talked about projects, we talked about Roy's projects. I was happy to see them leave because they lingered after their lunch. But, we left right after them and went on an exciting adventure to Lowe's. One half of Roy's closet, the rod fell and we needed to replace it. We went to get an eight dollar rod and came out of their with $90.00 worth of stuff. That's what happens when we go to Lowe's. None of it was wasteful spending. And because of this very thing I can almost predict we will not have a hurricane this year. I am preparing a hurricane readiness box. Have we ever done this, no. So far in our box is two battery operated fans, tons of D batteries, 2 lanterns and a bunch of smaller LCD lights. Oh and I almost forgot the all important duct tape.

I am looking forward to working out this morning. Bunko is tonight and that is always a blast.