Thursday, June 25, 2009

Catching Up and a Really Cool Give a Way

Wow, four days without the Internet feels like a very long time. Somehow Sprint and Vista were not communicating well. Roy has spent several evenings with the fine, fine folks at Sprint and on a lark I decided to fire up the ol' computer to see if anything had been resolved today and low and behold connection was made.

If 2009 had a theme, mine would be the year of living stress free or at least with a lot less stress. I had my cardiologist appointment on Tuesday and it went well. Still have the problem of an irregular heart beat, but then so does half of America. Haven't gained or lost any weight so I felt good about that. After vacay, getting back to a normal, healthy diet has been difficult. My blood pressure is 110/60. Whooo Hoooo!!!! I am still under the directive of the 3 r's, rest, relax and read. Love that prescription!

Today I had my monthly....massage. In the words of Peggy Hill, "oh yeah!" Stacey even did some stretching of my knees and legs and there wasn't one bit of pain in my knees. In fact my knees were moving in ways they haven't moved in years. Those knees were twisting and turning kind of reminiscent of Linda Blair in the Exorcist. NO green puke was observed during that part of the massage. NO strange and odd voices coming out of me except maybe again, an "oh yeah" Peggy Hill style.

Now, to the all important announcement I mentioned on Sunday. In a celebratory spirit of my good report from the cardiologist and in the style of sharing the things I love on Monablog, Stacey and I would love to do a give away of a spray tan at Life Time Fitness in City Centre. To qualify, you need to live in the Houston area or are going to be visiting Houston sometime this summer. All you have to do is, leave a comment letting me know you want to be entered into the drawing. If you want to look at her website it is If you want to have a beautiful bronze tan, comment away! Oh, this is just a one time trip and it needs to be at Life Time which I think I already said, but I am so sure that the joy of a spray tan may have clouded your comprehending process just for a few moments. I'll close comments on July 15 and announce the winner on the 17th.

Oh, I got to see two Jennifers this week, Jennifer M and Jennifer Warren. Jennifer M and fam were at China Love on Tuesday night. Got to meet her sweetie and cute little girl. Then Jennifer Warren came up during choir last night. I was so excited to see her, I forgot to ask her her favorite color. That's what we were doing at that time in choir...

Oh and I know many of y'all want to ask this question and I will answer it for you, yes, that is my flat ab in the above picture.
OK, I lied, that's not me.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pick Ups, Storms and Stuff

Roy's flight should be very near Houston. He said this morning he is ready to be away from the noise of the ubiquitous slot machines. Of all the ones he traveled with for this conference, he is the only one to have a room with a beautiful view. He could see the mountains in the distance and he loved awakening to that marvelous sight. When they land he will call and then I will go pick him up. Works really well the timing because by the time they finally arrive at a gate and he picks up his luggage, I should be there waiting for him or rather circling for him in the arrival area. I get so dyslexic at the airport. The terms confuse me, departures sometimes translate to me those who are departing for home and arrivals can be those who have arrived at the airport to take a flight. Believe me, I do a lot of talking to myself.

I've been going through cabinets rearranging and throwing away stuff. There have been some wonderful discoveries, like some hair products that I bought on sale and forgot about. It's about time to replace the used ones and boom, in the midst of disorganization, I found treasure. That was the best find of the day.

Went through a small bookcase in our bedroom and found several books that now find their place in the Half Price Book box. Thankfully, that cleared some room for the books I bought this week. The other day I mentioned I haven't been reading that many "Christian" books but I picked up a book by David Jeremiah. I've already forgotten the title but the theme of the book is finding the way when a bend of the road has come into your life. All the chapters are based on Psalms. You know I have been looking for books and information on storms. The storm in Psalm 107 gets a lot of attention in a chapter. And helping fill in some storm formation details, I talked to Mark the weather man in choir this morning. OK, now it is Sunday evening and I am just now getting back to this post. So, I have a renewed interest in my study. There aren't that many books or info out there on the storms in the Bible.

Terminal C at IAH is under major construction, so this added to my dyslexic state. I follow all the construction directions and instructions and ended up in the entrance of some parking lot. I made the illegal turn to go out the in and find my way to the pick up area. There was Roy flagging me down. I had called him to let him know I had made a wrong turn and I might have to pick him up at departures if I couldn't find him. It was great to see him and we went out to dinner at Collina's before returning home. He also brought home great gifts including the t-shirt that he called about when I was sound asleep.

Roy's mom is still in the hospital, but doing much better. My dad's heart procedure is still on hold as he awaits to get on the Dr's schedule.

Being back in choir has been so good. I tried to be late enough this morning to miss warm ups. Peggy and I know that we could warm up till forever and we will sound the same. Sing with our eyes wide open and expressive is the same sound as non expressiveness. The music we worked on Wednesday night so ministered to my spirit.

Tuesday is my next big check up with the cardiologist. I don't think I will have lost any weight because I haven't done so well since being on vacation. Hopefully, I haven't gained weight. I"ll also have an echo cardiogram done. This time before the tech leaves the room for me to get into the paper shirt, I am going to ask him to undo it for me. I always rip it and put it on wrong. I am expecting good reports but sometimes I get some symptoms that makes me wonder if everything is alright. Those kind of thoughts hit you once in awhile and I have to make a choice of believing God or giving into fear.

This afternoon I took a really long nap. That is usually what I do on Sunday afternoons. I was sound asleep and Buddy came right up to my ear and meowed twice waking me up. She doesn't like it when I sleep with my back to her. I turned onto my right side, petted her and she went back to her place on the bed as if all was right in the world.

Stay tuned for a fun announcement this week on Monablog.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Dreams and Other Stuff

I dreamed last night that Roy called and told me he had bought a Ferrari in Las Vegas. In the dream the car was pink and gray. This morning Roy called and asked if I remembered talking to him last night around 11:00 pm? Uh no, not really. He said he called to ask if I would like a t-shirt with the Wynn Hotel and a Ferrari on it. He figured I was asleep because I repeated everything he said in our conversation. So, I asked, did you get me the t-shirt? Yes!

I have done some major damage at Barnes and Noble. There are some really good books out there and most of them have been paperback. I went this morning to the one across from the Galleria, in, by the way, the center where the Nordstrom Rack will be located. Today is the first day of Half Yearly sale for men. Went to get Roy some shirts for work. Found 6 he might like. One purple and white one is iffy and might be returned if he won't wear it.

Worked out and now I am home. Cleaned out a cabinet in the kitchen this morning before leaving. I accidentally dumped a bag of jelly bellies on the floor. Buddy finds the ones I didn't get picked up and uses them for play and entertainment purposes.

In comments and in person so many have remarked about Roy working out instead of trying out different places that he wouldn't normally go to. You know the what stays in Vegas kind of deal. He is so ready to be out of there. I am so proud of him, he is a good man who loves God and honors his wife. He has influenced several of the guys that are on this trip with his choices. One man who is a workaholic is that way in Vegas too. He begrudgingly goes to dinner with them but he is on his Blackberry the whole time giving his admin stuff to do. Bet she just LOVES him.

Buddy and a book are beckoning. I must respond.

Stay cool in all this heat.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now

There are all different kinds of sights and people to be found on Memorial. There are some homes that cry out money doesn't equal good taste. One particular home is on it's 3rd make over. Who ever lives there now, has armed guards that sometimes patrol outside the gate. They are dressed in black fatigues and carry pistols and sometimes even a rifle. Who can forget the lizard who fell from the tree and onto my arm during the spring? Yep, happened on Memorial. Last year as I drove into work, right there on Memorial was a man jogging and smoking at the same time. My thought was, at least he is honest. Peggy said it is like drinking a Diet Coke and having a brownie at the same time. Last night on my way to choir a young man was jogging on Memorial. Very buff, very manly...well at least from coming from behind view. Anyway, young guy is jogging and in a twinkling of a moment, he begins to do jumps and turns and all kinds of moves that belong more in Swan Lake than on a hot sidewalk in the city. And just like he had gone into dance, he resumed his jogging pace just as quickly. You know I wanted to stop and ask him about his dance interlude. His dancing looked professional but maybe his iPod had something to do with it. I love the surprises along Memorial Drive.

I wish I could be so uninhibited that I could break into some kind of dance when certain songs come on my iPod. There are a few moments in life when I have done that very thing, danced, but fear has kept me from experiencing that kind of joy less often than not. It comes to mind and reminds me that I have lived most of my life as a tourist, not a traveler. Too many times destination has held more import over me. There are things in life where I have visited and maybe have even returned to several times, but rarely have I taken on the identity of traveler. You know, one who goes slowly, learns about the culture they have suddenly been immersed into, studying and learning along the way. I am going to do something about this.

Today, I did one of my very favorite things to do. After getting my highlights at Emmanuel Salon, stopping in at Super Target, shopping at Academy, and Barnes and Nobles, I stopped for late lunch, early dinner at Fu's Garden. Of course I got the Orange Flavor Chicken and today I asked for my orange slices at the beginning of the meal so I would be able to use them in my iced tea. Yum! When I arrived there was an older couple sitting several tables away. They spoke in German, Spanish and English, very loudly. Once they left, I had several quiet moments to myself, only to have a French speaking couple come in and be seated at the very same table as the previous couple. It was international day at Fu's Garden and today I could hear Chinese spoken back in the kitchen. As it happened to be, I was reading a travel book and the essay I was engrossed in, happened to be set in Paris. Nice touch. Ooh la la.

Sitting in Fu's I felt like a traveler. I read and ate my meal slowly. I even drove home at a much slower pace. While sitting there in Fu's I came to the conclusion that I should give myself some required summer reading like they do in school. I am picking books that I'm not necessarily drawn to, but would be a good learning tool for me to expand out of the South. Once I complete my list of requireds, I will post the list.

Maybe becoming more of a traveler will help me deal with some frustrations that have crept up on me. I realized this week that I haven't read any "Christian" books lately. I read my Bible but maybe not as much as I have in the past. It seems that those two things press a nerve in frustration for me right now. In the big picture view, this is not a good thing and I sense that being spoken rather firmly to my heart. Praying is a whole nother thing, in good stead and time listening to the Lord=no frustration in that arena. Some frustrations come along from moving among and having to be with other Christians who I either frustrate or those who frustrate me. We all do this, you know, the no eye contact thing when someone who annoys us comes near. We might or might not acknowledge they are in the room. We keep people and conversation centered near us, not directing any words or looks to the other person standing there. We conduct ourselves in fear, fear of them taking attention or someone finding out they are pleasant and actually fun to be around. I'm frustrated that I do this and I am frustrated that on an ongoing basis this happens to me.

Last night after choir, Peggy, Marcia L and I stood around and visited for a long time. We finally moved away from the choir room and spent more time in front of the church laughing and talking, making plans and telling stories. On the way home I thought about my friends like Peggy and Marcia. Wow, God has given me some of the best friends...they're good people. I thought about Dena and Lisa P, my friend Beth in Seattle, my long lost college friend Alice who we have just found one another on Facebook after all these years. There are many more, scads of friends that God has gifted me with. I am going to slow down and enjoy these moments and times I get to spend with my friends. Maybe that is what I should focus on anyway instead of fretting over those who I annoy.

It occurred this morning while getting highlights that I spend a lot of money on fake color, whether it be my hair or my skin. Color on my toes and fingernails. There is a lot of maintenance into looking faux. Stevie let me see the color book of the fall's hottest colors and haircuts. So interesting to see the professional instructions to coloring or highlighting hair. She didn't need to worry about me picking up a few do it yourself tips, I can barely style my hair like I am supposed to. My friend Dena, the flat iron queen, is letting me borrow some flat irons from her extensive collection. I have been more of a curling iron girl in my life and this making your hair lie flat is beyond my comprehension.

OK, I know this has gone on forever, but one last thing. Roy will soon be home from Las Vegas. He and several from his company are attending a conference there, an accounting conference at that. Nerd alert...thick glasses, pocket protectors and people good with numbers are hitting the casinos. Roy said you can't get anywhere without going through a casino. Now that is some good marketing. Yesterday morning, Roy called and he was as serious as can be. He said, "Nancy, I have called you to confess a sin that happened here in Vegas." Now you know I got all quiet like and to be honest was totally dumbfounded by this remark. My mind is racing over what could have happened? We've been married 32 years and know each other inside and out. What in the world was he going to confess to me. I braced myself for the worse case scenario. Roy's confession, he had spent $75.00 to be able to use the workout facilities at the Wynn for the three days he is there. Uh, in my book, that ain't a sin, highway robbery, but not a sin. It keeps him from the sin filled places. Being the good steward that he is, he also let me know how much of the free bottled water he was drinking from the workout room and that he always picked up a couple of bananas to eat later. I love him!!!

Well, I am going to go read some more. I started a really great book in Fu's, Educating Alice. It is the follow up book to Without Reservations.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

In the Summer Time

Can I just say once again, it is just so hot outside! I've been running a few errands and then walked on the track at church. The heat is on! I discovered on my way to the Play Grocery store, that I had left my phone at home. I felt so vulnerable without it. Wow, there was the day when we wandered around and no one heard from us for hours. Don't like the feeling of not having some kind of instant contact.

I forgot that this morning the water would be turned off for plumbing repairs. Good thing I took a shower last night, but out comes the bottled water for brushing teeth and washing my face. The water was off for about an hour and a half, so that wasn't too bad.

Last night Dena and I grabbed a quick dinner at Los Cucos. I am hooked on their red salsa. We had a great time laughing and just enjoying the close of a Tuesday. Good thing I worked out extra yesterday.

Tonight is choir but Peggy is tempting me to cut choir and come out to the lake. I'll probably go to choir but the offer is very tempting.

Now I am thinking about doing some more spring cleaning. We've been on round 2 of going through things and taking them to the clothes closet at Long Point or junk to Good Will. We are on round 3 of taking books to Half Price. Seems to me we haven't even made a dent. That just says we've accumulated too much junk.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Monablog Thoughts or Lack Of Thoughts

Sometimes there just isn't all that much to post. It would be great to have some hugely, creative post, but nothing is coming to me. If worse came to worse I could write some big time spiritual post but it would just be blowing wind. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like writing about what God is speaking into my heart but I am kind of tired of everything, I mean every little thing having spiritual significance. If you get mad about that last sentence, you'll be mad at the choir. I am all about the little daily events that make up so much of life and the chances we have to see God move in our lives. Guess I would be talking about those forced points that shoves a lesson in our face to be learned in every, single observation. It has been a premeditated decision on my part not to do that so much in this season on the Monablog. Updates, reflections and reports on activity seem to keep me contented right now. I love sharing what God is doing but I am not going to have 3 points, a poem and a prayer on every post. There, got that off my chest.

Just finished the biography of Freya Starks this morning. What an incredibly interesting story. Now I am ready to read a couple of her travel books that she wrote with a good background. I am also reading Mudbound. It is a very compelling story and each chapter is told by a different character in the story. Mudbound is set in Mississippi, not on the grand vistas of the world.

This time last year, Dena and I were on a cruise. It was much cooler where we were last year in comparison to being in Houston now.

Roy's mom is back in the hospital. Roy's brother took her to the ER on Sunday. They found out she has congestive heart failure in addition to everything else. Yesterday, she wasn't doing so well but today she has been fitted with a better fitting mask and her CO2 levels are going down. Roy contemplated whether going to Shreveport or not at this time. He is attending a conference that has to do with his new responsibilities at work. So he is at a watch and see mode.

My dad has been released from his surgeon, so he is hotly pursuing his release getting over to his heart surgeon. We are not all convinced that he really needs this and there are other options available to him. So, we await word of those happenings.

Roy told me about a devotion he received via email last week. It did present an interesting thing to think through.

Christianity started in Palestine as a fellowship; it moved to Greece and became a philosophy; it moved to Italy and became an institution; it moved to Europe and became a culture; it came to America and became an enterprise. Enterprise is just another word for business.

In the class where this quote was used, a student asked this question; if the church is the body and if the body is sold for business, isn't that prostitution? Interesting thought and I have pondered it much since Roy told me about it. That's it, I don't have any interesting insights to share about this but if you, please share.

That's it. Buddy is staring at me, so guess she is wanting to play. Right now her favorite activity besides sleeping is chasing the fish on the end of a children's fishing pole. That fishing line baffles her because she doesn't see it well. We will play a rousing game of this tonight so that she will sleep.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Blackberry Pickin'

Several years ago, Peggy asked me to go blackberry picking with her. She and I were both used to picking along fences on country roads. That meant wearing long pants and sleeves with protective shoes to keep you from getting bitten by a snake. She had heard of this place out in Magnolia, Kings Orchard, and wanted to know if I would like to go with her to pick some blackberries. We wore all our protective gear only it was futile because the vines were up on wires, the grass was cut, and no snakes in sight. We had a good system, she picked low, I picked high. The only element that got in our way of successful picking is my inability to withstand heat. One of those heat related episodes began and we tried to get under some shade trees toward the front of the farm. Once we got there, all 6' of me tried to fit in our little red wagon they provide to haul around the picked fruit. Picture basketball players sitting in those little chairs by the court, all that is seen is arms and legs. Well, that is what I looked like in that little red wagon. Peggy went back to the entrance to buy some water to help me cool down. Everyone who passed me asked, "are you alright?" Oh yes, love being the shade of red and sweating enough for 12 people and cramming myself into this wagon.

The trip to the Sprint store wasn't as bad as the above story, but I have told y'all about my total lack of patience with computers and phones. I really liked that little red Centro. I wasn't quite ready yet to go Blackberry picking. Maybe it's just God's way of making me use my brain a little more strategically. Maybe it needed a little more stimulation than what I am giving it these days and making my brain work harder than knowing what machines to use while working out, reading stories set in the South, or knowing the grocery store aisles by heart. As of last night I am a reluctant owner of a Blackberry 8330. My Palm Centro bit the dust.

Last night Roy and I made our way over to the Sprint store. Roy only has two gears when it comes to doing this kind of stuff, the tough lawyer/jot and tittle accountant or laid back, funny nice guy. Since Roy had just come home from work he was much more in the tough guy mood. I felt like I played peace maker between he and the Sprint representative. Kind of like good cop/bad cop. I have to say the Sprint guy was good with getting my info transferred over to my new phone. The screen on my Centro broke and he had to remember where the touch pad was to get the info to transfer over. Getting my email moved over went smoother than expected. It is always a hassle. We were there a little over 2 hours. That's not bad on these kind of things. The only time I got a little nervous was toward closing time when a group came in. We didn't think anything of it, but all the Sprint people were on alert for a crime to happen. So, then I went on alert and wanted to get everything over and done with.

Now one would think that having a husband who uses his crackberry constantly would be a tad helpful to his loving and adoring wife. I had so many questions and I thought they were coherent questions but he told me he could not make hide nor hair of what I was asking him. Then I realized that I was asking about options he has never used on his Blackberry. While trying to be familiar with all the options, I asked another question. He brought me all the info that came with the phone and suggested I might like to read it to get all my questions answered.

Today I have read all my info, signed up for the online owners lounge and feel like I am making great progress. I have found a few helpful hints and I've shared them. All this talk of blackberries makes me hungry for some. I do make a mean blackberry cobbler. Oh well, I think I have enough of a mess on my hands without having some purple stains to go along with it all.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Dang, it is One Incredibly HOT Day

Has anyone else been outside this afternoon? It feels like August not June. It is so unbelievable hot, dang hot, hotter than a bad girls dream, it's hot! Guess I went a little overboard there, but in case you aren't in Houston right now, I just wanted to share a little of the HOT temperature with you. I just came in from a bookstore and a grocery store. Thought I was going to have to place some frozen food around my neck just to be able to get in with groceries in one trip. Praise Him, I'm so glad that I've been working out and able to accomplish that feat.

The day didn't start out very good. Somehow I hit the screen of my phone and ruined it this morning. While I was out taking care of some knee business, I thought I'd do the grown up thing and go to Sprint myself. In over my head and called Roy. Long story short, we are going back tonight. Roy is always prepared to pay the exit fee from the contract if he doesn't get the deal he is looking for. I have a Centro phone and now they want like $400.00 bucks for that thing. I knew it would be best to step back and let Roy.... So, we'll have us a little adventure tonight. I'm bringing a book because phone stuff just like computer stuff is never easy. We have a line that we hardly ever use, so Roy asked me to go home and get the phone before doing anything else. Man, I was so close to Target and that's on the list of stops today. Prayed all the way there and back. You know the kind of prayer, please just let me get there and get home without anyone hitting me or without any kind of car trouble. While pulling in a parking place, a cart was positioned in the next space a bit awkwardly and it brought back memories of the day at Target returning to my car where there was a nail in the tire and someone had scraped a cart down the back side of my car. Of course I'm taking authority in Jesus Name that nothing like that will happen today. Target and the trip home were uneventful. Hallelujah!

All this meant I missed Vacation Bible School today. Hope there was enough sliced cheese without me.

I've been thinking about this for a bit and Peggy has certainly been encouraging me to come back to choir. One thing, I had to make sure I can stand for long periods of time and be able to do the stairs in the loft. Been feeling stronger in that area, so I went to rehearsal last night, just to visit, no plans on joining. Guess what? I am now a choir member and even have a robe number to prove it. I sat on the front row for goodness sake, well I did that to be with good singers. Can't read a lick of music but if I hear it, I can sing it. Is that singing by ear? Anyway, loved the songs we worked on last night. Felt good to sing and have a good time doing it. John Bolin rocks the Casbaugh!

Well, I had better put up the remaining groceries and some of the stuff from Target.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Slow Down From the Fast Track

Today was an especially fun morning at VBS. Well, I have to admit I was late. Overslept. Roy even called me at 7:20 and I hung up, rolled over back into the sleepy dreamy state. It was another phone call that woke me up. Once I rolled into VBS, I worked in the snack room most of the morning. It was pretty much fun even though food service is lacking in our home. Peeling and slicing came back to me, just like riding a bike. You get to see a lot more people in the snack room, it's the happening place.

After VBS, Lisa and I met for lunch at the Ashland House. It was full but we finally found a parking place. We both had the chicken enchiladas and they were muy bueno. The guacamole was very good. What a blast catching up, talking about so much and of course laughing. God is so good to give me some of the best friends in the world.

It has been fun to learn who reads the Monablog. Several came up and introduced themselves or told me they are a fan. Thanks for letting me know you are out there. Pretty much Monablog is just the journey I'm on. Of course always the journey with the Lord.

At this moment in time, in this season of my life, I'm enjoying the slow down, a slower pace, and a little bit more of time to think things through. It is amazing to actually enjoy the process and not be so destination oriented. I have a feeling this season will soon be coming to an end after my father's appointment this afternoon. Then surgery will be decided upon or postponed. For that period of time I will be concerned with my mom and her well being. I'll make sure she gets to the hospital to visit my dad as he recuperates from heart surgery. But I digress, because it is always important to know where you are in transition and I have already placed myself slap dab in the middle of that and he hasn't even been to the Dr yet. So, I will go back to the original thought at the beginning of this post, slowing down. I subscribe to several enewsletters and one that I enjoy so much is written by Robyn Waters at RW Trend. Here is a little slice of info from her newsletter.

It’s an interesting synchronicity that the recent issue of Elle magazine had a tidbit about Slow Travel. It’s a movement that encourages people to commit to one destination per trip for a week or more, and to explore it in concentric circles, first becoming familiar with the inner circle, rather than dashing to distant must-sees.Like the Slow Down Festival, Slow Travel is an offshoot of The Slow Food Movement, which emphasizes connection—connection to food, connection to families, and in the case of travel, connection to local peoples and cultures.

The Independent Traveler ( suggests that Slow Travel will help you avoid post-vacation burnout. A recent article titled “The Art of Slow Travel” promotes taking time to really enjoy your journeys. This implies more trains, hikes and bikes than airplanes and automobiles, but it’s not so much a particular mode of transportation as it is a mindset. Slow Travel promotes less manic sightseeing and more taking in your surroundings at a relaxed pace. It allows you to form a stronger connection to the place you’re visiting. With a ‘slow’ itinerary you’ll stay in one place long enough to recognize your neighbors and shop in the local markets. It’s also more environmentally friendly.Slow Travelers assume they don’t have to see everything in one trip—there will be other trips. They tend to opt for holiday rentals—homes that are fully equipped so you can move in and start living--instead of hotels, where you tend to drop your bags and run. The idea is that you settle in to a place to ‘live’ instead of just ‘stay’ at your destination, so you can experience a place more intensely. Summer is here, and for many, that means vacation.

If you’ve ever come home from a vacation feeling more exhausted than you were before you left, you might want to consider this quietly emerging solution to tourist burnout—Slow Travel.

Excitedly, this is where I find myself right now and I am absolutely loving it. I am rediscovering things I love to do, shop and eat. OK, I never really lost that, but now neither is done too much by agenda. It is the joy of the moment. I love spending extra time with friends, especially my close friends. There were way too many times everything else called out for our attention. Roy's hectic and harried schedule has slowed too. So we are enjoying our time together without our minds boggled down with work and busyness. OK. Roy still thinks about work but it helps not to have competing "war or can you believe this" stories coming from both of us. It has been wonderful to have several books going and actually reading them not at breakneck speed, but taking time to savor and reflect. Heck, they aren't even "spiritual" books, but there have been wonderful ideas and themes to reflect upon. And I have found interest in the stories and I'll postpone finishing the book. After losing 70 pounds I am enjoying treating myself to little joys along the way. It is not done selfishly, but with celebration and thanksgiving to be alive and enjoying life that God has so graciously extended. It was about this time last year that began a heart journey that has had a, and should I be full of drama, DRAMATIC change in my life.

Today in the snack room, we helped people slow down and take a rest. People would get their snack on and during the lull (there weren't that many of those) we would do the refilling of bowls, trays and baskets. Such a fun week. I'll be will appreciative of a slower pace next week and in the midst of the slower pace, several fun things with friends. Thanks God for this wonderful season of know refreshing, not food. Although the food has been very good in this season.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Back in the Day VBS-Good Morning Mrs. Love

When I worked at HFBC one of my favorite times of the year was Vacation Bible School. The halls filled with kids and the noise and joy they bring. This is my first year of volunteering to help out with VBS and I am not counting those times I helped out with the service at the end of each session. As I tried to help young moms with registration and getting their kids to the right place, I could not help but think back on my days in VBS a long, long, long time ago.

VBS back in the day was a little different than today's version. I am sure that there were those helping out back then that thought VBS had gone a little too modern for their tastes. Each generation will have special memories of their times. I think how VBS is done today is really good. When I was a kiddo attending VBS in the 60's, we would line up each morning and march into the sanctuary to a special VBS march in kind of song. We sat by our last finished grade. There isn't too much I remember about opening assembly, but these few things. Our mornings began with the same greeting all through my elementary school years. After marching in, saying the pledges and a prayer, we would sit down. The director of VBS came to the podium and said Good morning boys and girls. We would reply good morning Mrs. Love. Even as we all grew into pre teens and teenagers, we would always greet Mrs. Love the same way, no matter if it were night or day, Good Morning Mrs. Love.

Each year according to the grade, you did the same crafts that had been done all the previous years since Moses was a boy. Macaroni pasta pictures, metal crafts, leather crafts and the piggy bank made out of a Clorox bottle. Every once in a while, a teacher would get a wild hair and let us make macaroni tambourines. We memorized verses and were given a star for knowing each day's verse. At the end of the week, there was a special VBS service that all the parents came to. They watched their precious treasures march into the sanctuary and do all our collective sayings. Probably we sang too, I don't remember. I loved VBS. I loved VBS at my grandparents too. I always got to be in the same class as my cousin Lois because she is only 46 hours older than me. There were a lot of pictures to color, crafts to be done and of course scripture memorization.

Today, as I observed the energy and joy of children, I prayed that God would reveal Himself in such a special way to each child. I prayed for the moms and dads, teachers, and youth workers that the theme of their song of life this week would be rooted in God's decrees and Word. Psalm 119:54 The only downside to VBS, the shirts are burnt orange and it just kind of hard to wear burnt orange when one is not necessarily a fan of the burnt orange. Dena has loaned me her Aussie hat, so I should make a fashion statement tomorrow when I wear it. I would have worn it today, but I was doing good to get there by 8:30.

I had a chance to go in and see the assembled children in the worship center this morning. Lisa was leading them well in songs and praises. Looks like everyone was having such a good time. Me included. No hairnet for me today in the snack room, I helped gather the numbers for Melinda.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

More Nothing Special Observations

Roy is my hero. He just got back from the Micro Center with a small keyboard to plug in a USB port. It is wonderful to type and not have to hold down a key hoping that the letter would appear. Sometimes it appeared many times or double times but mainly not at all. It won't take too much time to adjust to the smaller keyboard and it fits in the computer bag. He also got a wireless mouse. That Roy, he's the best!

This has been a fun week. I don't know why especially since it was pretty much the regular. Well, with the exception of Dena being on vacation. We had a chance to grab a late lunch on Wednesday and even have some time for a little bit of shopping. I went with her as she ran a couple of errands after our lunch at Macaroni Grill. Mac Grill has recently been rediscovered by us. Roy and I used to eat at the original one outside of San Antonio when we visited friends in the area. I think it is Westheimer that has been the deterent in the past few years and traffic jams around the Galleria that has kept me away. I've enjoyed rediscovering it and the fabulous rosemary bread. Dena and I ran over to the scary Palais Royal in Northwest Mall. She found what she was looking for, but we both discovered some of the cutest photo albums there and made a return trip to the check out center.

Yesterday, we tried Sylvia's Enchiladas across the street from Second Baptist. It was OK, but won't be on the top of the list for returning. The best part of eating there was afterwards going into Super Suppers. Now there is a place I will be making a return trip. You know me, if someone else is willing to do the cooking, I am so supportive of that effort. For $12.00 you can get some tasty entrees that feed 3-4 people. And since they are frozen, they are good in the freezer for several months. This happily helps me in my mood eating since I don't have to plan the week in advance and someone else has cooked. Believe me, to make anything of any substance, I would have to totally stock the pantry because I do not have the basics in any form or fashion. Here of late, I have wanted to eat at home in order for Roy and I to go to the CLC, me to walk and him to work out. Then Dena and I went over to Whole Foods where we both found what looked good, more rosemary bread and small scones. She got some lemon cookies. We did the co-op thing and shared so we all had a little bit of everything. At some point in Whole Foods, it hit me how tired I was and in great need of a nap. On the way to dropping off Dena, we stopped at Panera's for a cappuccino to go. No sign of the guy wanting $35.00 to help his friend get a tow from Uptown Park.

Now that happened on Monday, the guy wanting money and yesterday while at the Chevron station a man came up to me asking for money to get gas. He had this huge story and the whole time I was thinking, it sounds good, but there are points that just don't make sense. I didn't give him any money because I think the whole thing was a scam. With unemployment and such, this seems to be on the rise. What do you all do in these type of situations? I cannot help but think what if I or someone I love where in the same situation, I would want people to believe the real urgency of the need.

Roy and I are going to Taste of Texas today. The Selection Committee at church gave me a gift card as a going away gift. We will put it to good use later today.

Next week should be an exciting one, I am volunteering for VBS. Melinda Scurlock, arm wrestled me into doing, it was the draw of a free tshirt. Only then to discover this year's tshirt is burnt orange. Not a fan of that color. I am doing preschool registration and working in the snack room. Oh, I do hope I get to wear a hair net. My working out will be pushed back to the afternoon. I asked her what time to be there on Monday. She said 8:30. Dang, there are some days when that is waking up time. I'll just have to get in work mode for several days. When I went in to pick up the tshirt, I happened to be there for Eric Reed's birthday, so I got to celebrate with the ED staff. Lots of fun.

This week has also included some attentive reading. I have 3 books going, Secret Keepers, The biography of Freya Stark, and The Help. All very good. All very thought provoking. Something that isn't too thought provoking is Christian bookstores. I loved the one at church, good range of books and not too much Jesus junk. The Family Christian Bookstore I went in on Thursday....not good. Way too much Jesus junk for the decor of the home, not enough of tough books that make one think, and way too many bargain books that cluttered the store. Also, I nearly was run over in the parking lot and in the store by several pink and green clad "godly women" who looked more at home in the 80's than in 2009. There I am in workout clothes and others in hodge podge Christian appropriate "uniforms" and I thought no wonder the world makes fun of us, we help them out so much. I'm just saying......

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Nothing Special, Just Stuff

I have been trying to write a post for the past few days. It seems that the keyboard is so tempermental and there are times it doesn't want to work. Mainly the letters are p, w,e,i,o and u. Oh, I almost spelled Pei Wei with that. Last night the keyboard was very stubborn, so today at this particular moment, it is in a good mood.

So, I have these totally different things to write about. Nothing at all will be congruent, but then if you are a long time reader of Monablog, you know that this condition is a weekly happening.

On Monday, I worked out and ran errands on my way home. Since I was at the Play Grocery store and so close to Panera's, I decided to run in and get an orange scone. Got the scone and I was buckling my seat belt when a gentleman came up to my car to ask a question. I opened the window just a bit. In the course of his story, I realized this was the man who had come up to me several months ago with a woman in the Play Grocery Store parking lot and told me the same sob story about a car in Uptown Park that needed to be towed. He only needed $35.00. I said to him, is this the same friend from a couple of months ago, because you have told me this story before. He mumbled something and left me quickly. Man, I watched for sa-kur it y, cause this man had a complicated order. So, if you are in the Galleria area, be on the watch for this guy. He is really nice looking, in his 40's, about 5'8. He is always nicely dressed. Well, I would be too if I was making money tax free in parking lots.

Several have asked where I got my spray tan. I got it from Stacey and she is at the Lifetime Spa. You can also go to her website She is awesome! Stacey is so professional and lots of fun. I have booked another session next Friday.

Wednesday, since Dena is on vacation, we met for a late lunch/early dinner. We went back to Macaroni's and as usual, the food was delicious. I love those kind of days where everything in conversation just flows and it is easy. We laughed so hard about so many things and we had our usual serious conversation about the happenings in our lives. After we ate, we ran some of her errands together. We ended up at the scary Palais Royal in Northwest Mall. She found what she was looking for. Well heck, as we were leaving we saw some photo albums marked down. They were so cute, that we marched right back to the counter and bought them.

Peggy texted me from choir Wednesday night. Dang, I was too tired to get myself up to choir. She called me on the way home and we enjoyed several good laughs. I am just so blessed with such good friends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009



Kelly let me know this really outstanding and wonderful news!

How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news and Kelly, we know where to go to accessorize your beautiful feet.

Where Are We Doing Our Planting?

Last night Roy and I went to the championship baseball game between KSU and Rice. Roy has gone to most of the games over the weekend since he bought 2 seats for the championship series. And I will add, he got great seats in the shade. I went Friday night and last night. He took friends over the weekend.

This morning I looked in the sports section to read the recap of last night's game. Rice won 13-4, but I wasn't looking to read about the hits and review how the runs were scored, although that was exciting. I was looking for the report or thoughts on the classy move the KSU coach made in the bottom of the 8th. Obviously, Rice was in total control of the game and the KSU coach made his slow walk to the mound to change pitchers. There was a low groan in the stadium as Rice fans were growing inpatient with his choosing to make longer the inevitable. He called for the new pitcher and then motioned to the dugout. A crowd of players exited and came to the mound. He was letting the starters get much deserved appreciation from the KSU fans for their hard work and dedication in getting to their first ever regional in baseball. But more so, he gave the bench a chance to say they played in a championship game. The whole stadium both KSU and Rice fans stood and were united for a few minutes in giving a loud standing ovation for the coach and for the players of KSU. I have seen this done in basketball games, but never in a baseball game. It brought a tear to my eye, but then I usually cry at college sporting events. I have no clue why. No one writing for the Chronicle mentioned the coaches move.

Roy and I talked about that classy move of the coach on our way home. It would be interesting to follow those bench players for the duration of their college career and into their life profession after college. Did that coach plant a small seed that will pay big dividends in later years? I would like to think so. In the book, The Cracker Queen, the author gives her great Aunt Martha credit for giving her hope to get out of the deep impoverished lifestyle of all she knew growing up. She said there is a mindset to those who are down and out that nothing ever is going to be better than the present moment of extra ciggies or money for a six pack of beer. The author saw her aunt for a total of 5 hours for several summers, but her Aunt Martha made such an impression on her in that short bit of time and planted a seed that she could escape her impoverishment, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. The author is now one of the most honored and awarded people in marketing. She is a marketing director at a university but also in demand as a speaker. She also has her own seminars specializing in your niche and she gives direction in the marketing aspect of it. Of course the author's name escapes me right now. I am thrilled to remember the name of the book.

Where are we leaving a legacy? One that is not agenda driven or out of our personal choices being driven by favor, attraction, bitterness or jealousy. Where are we dropping those seeds just for the future of those we come in contact, without our own legacy being determined by our choices?

As the KSU defense came off the field, the starters formed a receiving line to welcome the players back into the dugout. The KSU fans were wildly appreciative of those rag tag nine that came off the field. When KSU came to bat in the 9th inning, two of the three players didn't even have stats or a picture to be displayed on the screen. I don't think that will be the case next season.