Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Updates on Monday

I guess she didn't want to go and she totally had a breakdown. She refused to budge after going such a short distance. Of course I am talking about our truck, Old Blue on Saturday morning. She just didn't have it in her to make that long trip to the dealership on her own. At least she broke down close to home and close to a street to park on. All this was happening Saturday morning while I was at the LPM simulcast at church. I was furiously taking notes when I heard my phone begin to viva, viva vibrate. Roy was leaving voice mail and emails. I love the whole timing of this. Just as the flurry of messages begin, Beth is talking about texting, Facebook, blogging, Twitters, and all the social networking. Of course she was saying how she loved texting and Twittering but sometimes we become too dependant on these networks and forget about face to face relationships... That was OK,but when she said and you just think you can control situations by using these things, I wanted to tell all those sitting around me, I wasn't trying to control a situation as I was madly texting away, I was determining what I needed to do or whether I should leave or not. And as you are used to, here is a thought distraction that has nothing to do with the subject of an old truck, but did come up in the simulcast. I love this point Beth made about blogging...loves blogging, I love blogging, but she said we are so much in a hurry to blog about what God is showing us, that we aren't taking the time to meditate the message before we are sharing it with our followers and lurkers. Excellent point! This is one of the things that just bugs the crud out of me from those who are trying so desperately to have a named ministry, book and speaking engagements via the blog world. OK, back to my story, I did leave at the break and took Roy some water. Then I headed back to church. Right after I got there, the tow truck was there to take Blue and Roy to the dealership.

Saturday afternoon, Roy came home with our beautiful blue Camry. We still haven't named the car yet... any suggestions? Wow, what a quiet ride! Love it! Great thing, with Roy sticking with the bus, I have the choice of what car I want to use during the week. Score, while only having a one CD player slot, the car has a iPod hookup.

The other appliance in our lives that is heading for another break down...the dryer. Think the heating element is just about gone.

I almost didn't go to the simulcast on Saturday. I had to miss Friday night due to the after effects of dealing with an irregular heart beat. It wears me out especially when it happens at night. My friend and I had planned on going together, but she had to cancel because of a curve ball life threw her way. I told Roy, I don't want to go by myself on Saturday. Beth always has you turn to the person next to you and say things and there is usually a commissioning at the end. I didn't want to say things to a stranger, although she is a sister in Christ, or stand by myself, you know, pull out a mirror or a sock puppet to say these moving and God honoring words to. God is so good, He provided a friend sitting in front of me. Whew...and not only that, but my friend Mary Jane typed up her notes and gave them to me on Sunday morning. What a blessing.

Seems that I want to put words together that don't go together. There is the correct usage of storeroom, therefore, somewhere and everyone but I think a lot of other words need to be together and of course it is grammatically if not total misspelling. Words like aftereffect or well of course now nothing is coming to mind. Anyway, don't know if this is an age related thing or just me being in a hurry. This whole paragraph was so interesting....not! But of course, I felt the need to share.

Did the early morning workout thing today and all the moms who have been set free weren't there today. So, no bitterness at not being able to ever use the leg press and other various machines. OK. do you all remember how I was writing several weeks ago about doing the same old sense of adventure? Even what bank I like to use? Well today, after working out, I went to a different branch of my bank and made a deposit. Very happy with that. My, my, what adventure will be next? I had also written about messing up at the ATM again after not using it for a while. Last week, I put the card in correctly the first time. So there bank employees, I was not your laugh of the day, but I think I make weird faces when I use the ATM.

Roy just sent me an email letting me know he is on the correct bus now and will be home soon. Oh? No wonder we get along so well, we are all about adventure.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Saying Goodbye to a Trusty Friend

I'm waiting on Roy to call. He is having some blood work done for a Dr appt in Sept. When he calls, I'll go pick him up and then we will go to lunch. Tomorrow I think we are saying goodbye to Old Blue. Blue has been our trusty truck for almost 20 years. She is on her last legs and we hope she has legs enough to get to the car dealership tomorrow. We bought a 2010 Camry to replace her. Of course the new car is blue. We have a thing for blue cars. Early on in our marriage we had silver, green, maroon and black cars, but oh the past 25 years or so, we seem to pick blue. Guess it is our compromise, I don't want a white car and Roy doesn't want a black one, so white and black make blue...or something. When we lived in the hood, Blue took a bullet for us. She wears the scar well.

Yesterday, I had a ton of things that needed to be taken care of. I even postponed lunch with a friend in order not to feel pressured. By 2:30 I had finished up most of everything and decided to get a little orange chicken from Fu's. Thought by that time I could be the only one there, but Fu's was still a happening place. The last time I was there by myself with a book, I overheard a conversation where during the conversation, this man found out he had just been given a huge promotion. He was happy and secretly, I was happy for him too. Yesterday, I sat across from an older woman who was interviewing a younger woman for a position selling Avon products. Who knew you had to be interviewed to work for Avon. Anyway, the older woman was trying to act "all that" and it was clear she wasn't. Her attempt at business casual or casual chic was clearly in need of a crisis make over. The young woman was in a dress that was very cute and she wore sensible black heels. The older woman had this way about her that was...I don't know swarmy and she didn't know the correct usage of don't and doesn't in conversation. When the older woman left the table to make a private phone call verifying all the girl's information, I wanted to go over to the girl and tell her to run. But you know, I was supposed to be reading my book. Older lady returns, all has checked out and she gives her some more instructions. Instead of offering to pay for the ice tea, the older lady makes the excuse of, well I have to go, there are customers waiting. There was this altruistic part of me that wanted to go up to the new Avon representative and ask to see this month's Avon product book and then proceed to order up all kinds of stuff. But I didn't, I thought the older lady would trump this girl. The young woman sat there for a bit, ordered lunch and then took most of it to go. We walked out about the same time and I watched to see what car the girl would get in but as she crossed the street to those somewhat run down apartments and I kind of thought that is what she would do. She walked like she was carrying some insurmountable weight.

Well, some time has gone by. Roy called and I picked him up. We had a great lunch at Lupe's and he still had room for a Dr Pepper Icee.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

I Hate Homework!

I have never been a fan of homework. My mindset has never been oh goody, homework, a chance to learn more! No, I just see it as something not fun taking up time when I could be having fun. This attitude unfortunately has transferred over to Bible Study and Sunday School homework. We have been given homework in Sunday School. I had kind of forgotten about it until an email was sent reminding everyone our assignment; how we love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are to take notice in the week or we can tell a way from our past. I like how the Message says it; "so love the Lord God with all your passion & prayer &intelligence & energy."

"My heart has heard you say, "come and talk with me." And my heart responds, "Lord I am coming." Psalm 27:8 NLT I think this is the beginning of loving God with everything in me. When HE wants to speak to me, I need to investigate, just like Moses and the burning bush, to see and hear all God has to say. Paying attention and slowing down, living with less clutter and intent on managing busyness. If I live the attentive life, I will discern God's presence in all things. Easier said than done in the ADD addled brain and attention span. Out of experiencing God's presence and being still, the overflow of loving God with everything is where ministry and serving spill out. So little ministry and's obvious I ain't loving the Lord with it all.

I read an interesting book this week, In the Sanctuary of Outcasts. True story of a man Neil White, his rise and fall in the publishing world and because he was kiting checks, he was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He served his term at Carville, LA. Interesting place, it was a minimum security prison and a place for those who have Hansen's disease, better known as leprosy. This man was put together and knew how to live and make great first appearances. He began to experience that all those things he held so dear to impress, weren't that important after all. He lost everything, even his wife divorcing him, but he found that with the time he served and getting to know some of the patients, he began to see what's really important in life. He would have never learned any of this, without the factor of time and being still. I'm glad that the Lord used this man's story to help me see how to love him more. No, I am not kiting checks and I am not put together. It was his story of seeing time and it's benefits to see how to love God with all I gots.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Last weekend I hung some pictures over my desk. I got this brilliant idea to use some stick on stuff, you know the kind of stuff they like you to use in dorm rooms to hang pictures. So this one picture has been doing alright until Saturday night. Me in my kerchief and Roy in his cap had just settled down for a long winter's nap...oops, too early for The Night Before Christmas. Anyway, all three of us were tucked in and all snugly asleep. When it happened. This little picture falling from the wall made a tremendous, scary boom. Buddy who was curled up on my arm, dug into my skin to launch herself away from the bed. I look like I have vampire bites on my arm and I notice that I am bleeding profusely. In this same instant, Roy is jumping out of bed thinking someone is breaking in the front door. So he picks up the spray bottle that we use on Buddy when she misbehaves and he runs toward the living room. I am now adjusting to the semi dark and realize that picture has popped off the wall and thus the commotion. I am trying to get Roy's attention that we are safe but that I need bandaids, stat! He goes to the other room to get a bandaid out of his wallet. Of course by this time, our bed looks like someone has been dismembered in it, ok my pillow looks that way. It just isn't as dramatic. Roy looses interest in getting me a bandaid and brings me a wash cloth with the instructions of just apply pressure. He takes the pillow case and runs cold water on it and climbs back into bed. He is snoring in a matter of minutes. We calm down and go back to sleep but Buddy is still jiggy with it. She won't calm down. So she was banished from the bedroom until I heard her throwing herself against the bedroom door around 1:00 am. Got up, let her in and she settled down beside me again. She still had the ya ya's and nipped my thumb. I quickly reached for the spray bottle but Roy had left his weapon of choice in the living room. So, instead of disciplining the cat, I looked at email on my BlackBerry. This gave Buddy time to calm down and before I even finished reading, she was up against my back wanting by gones to be by gones. I settled in to go back to sleep, wash cloth on my arm and less one pillow. Roy was snoring and Buddy was purring. All in all just another normal night in our household.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Life is Sweet, Life is Good

Over this past year I have purchased several, OK a lot of Life is Good t-shirts. Those t-shirts are a statement from me without having to say one thing. These shirts are like a catch phrase. Pretty good became my catch phrase when I wasn't doing well last year. It saved people from hearing some long boring story and at the same time pretty good reminded me even though I'm not at my best, I am so far ahead of where I once was.

Life is good! A year ago I was beginning a really difficult health time, having a heart attack somewhere on the 22 or 23rd and not even knowing it and life as I had known it was spiraling downward at a rather quick pace. Today, year later, life is good.

The Lord is good! He has given me the gift of time. Roy sent me an online devotion last week all about the gift of time. The thoughts of the author so resonated with my spirit. God has given each of us extraordinary power to create beauty and transform the world through our daily work and ordinary actions. I read that sentence this week as I completed reading 200 Pomegranates and an Audience of One. Shawn Wood goes on to add, Even if your contribution seems to go unnoticed by others, you can rest assured that God sees and values your work. I've written before that I try drawing something about once a month to see if God has resurrected a dormant gifting in me. So, if you need stick figures, I'm your girl. Even if I can't draw or sing, God has equipped me to be an artist with all kinds of skills to influence my sphere of the world.

This morning I went to my early morning workout, that used to be sparsely populated by just me and heavy duty workout girl. Her workout is heavy duty, not her. This morning we were joined by an immense crowd of set free moms. I never did get to use the leg press machine, but I'm not bitter. It was great to do nearly 45 minutes on the recumbent bike and end the workout like I always do with the song, I'm Not Tired Yet. It was fabulous not to yell and scream at the idiots out there on the road. Could have been some more set free moms basking in the quiet of their suburban or getting to listen to their choice of music without a DVD blaring from the backseat. Cut in front of me at the play grocery store, go ahead, I have been given the gift of time by my loving heavenly Father. There is that little part of me, maybe the only part of me that is little, that wants to say to them, there was a day and it wasn't that long ago, I would have said something witty and cutting...but now....I chose joy. I chose peace. Getting worked up and angry over stuff isn't worth my life.

Roy just emailed me he is on the bus. Guess that is my cue to pull out our dinner from the play grocery store. Ah, already prepared dinner, another gift of time.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Can't Talk....Coming Down

My best intentions this morning: get up early, take Roy to work, and go workout. None of that happened. You see yesterday I accidentally took my night time extended relief pain pill at 9:00 am instead of 9:00 pm. This pill knocks me out and with that extended relief option, I had a lot of pain medication in me yesterday.

How did this happen yesterday? It was like any other morning except instead of my usual delicious breakfast of a banana and 2 slices of raisin toast, I just had the banana. I was having lunch at Grand Lux with Cynthia so I wanted to tackle lunch on an almost empty stomach. So, ate the banana, got a Diet Coke out of the refrigerator, came over to the counter, opened cabinet and took pill. Nothing unusual except, I took my Ultram ER 200, my extended release pain pill that I take at NIGHT instead of my usual 5 morning pills! I realized my mistake right after taking the pill. This pill knocks me out and I am usually fast asleep in about an hour. Man, I drank like 4 Diet Cokes to combat the sleepys. Took a tepid shower….tepid is a funny sounding word. Or maybe it is just the drugs thinking that. Anyway, I also used the cool setting on my hair dryer to help combat that oh so relaxing sleep that comes from taking that pill. In the car the A/C was on max power and all the vents directed toward my face. To keep myself awake I began a conversation with myself and gave other drivers a voice when their driving behavior aggravated me. There must have been 7 conversations going on in that car, with only one person giving voice to the conversations.

I made it through lunch and had a great time with Cynthia. My plans were to run to the Container Store and then on to Central Market. I made it to CS but upon leaving I knew I didn't have it in me for Central Market and I had better get myself home to take a nap. For good measure, I went through the drive through at Starbucks.

For good measure, I did not take a pain pill last night. One of the side effects of too much Ultram is, the heart slows down. I am already on pills that take care of that and I didn't want my heart to come to a slow and complete stop and I would deplane to heaven. Not that I don't want to go to heaven, but it seems there is still stuff for me to do on earth.

Which brings us back to this morning. When I awoke at 6:00 am, I told Roy I believe some sort of truck came through the bedroom last night and ran over me several times. There is no way I can get up now and do all that I planned. I turned over, went promptly back to sleep and awoke fresh as a daisy at 9:00 am. You better believe me when I tell you, this morning I so paid attention to what I was taking.

I will say, yesterday was very fun. The day held everything happening in slow motion with intermittent bouts of hyperness and silly thinking. Uh, now that I think about was pretty much like any other day for me. Maybe the difference being, a lot more yawning.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Big Texas Hair

Don't you love this? Big Texas Hair located right off the ExxonMobil parking lot in Timpson Texas. If I hadn't been on a tight schedule, I just might of walked in and maybe would have walked out with a big hair do for the funeral. Stevie, stylist, and I have been letting my hair grow just a little bit longer. I do believe there might be enough hair on my head to rat and tease into some big Texas hair.

I stopped in Tenaha on the way home for some home grown tomatoes and peaches. Today for lunch I had a tomato sandwich on toasted rosemary bread. Delicious.

I am still on my cleaning jag. Today I am tackling the den. Roy has actually given me the go ahead to throw aways some stuff he has been hanging onto for years. Think we just might have another box or two for Half Price Books.

This morning I did my second workout of the week. The past few weeks I have had pitiful attendance at the gym. On Monday I was there early because I volunteered to take Roy to the office and then I would head out to the gym. This morning since he went to Bible study, I didn't have to get up at the crack of early to get to Lifetime but even after 9:00 am it is difficult to find a parking place. Not everyone parked in that garage is working out. Some office dwellers park in our designated parking. I was really tempted to write the word 'tow' on some of the dirty windows of cars. Would have, but there is probably cameras every where. So decided to just walk the extra distance. Isn't that funny, I want a close parking place so I can go workout. Of course I really want the close parking space for security reasons... :)

I read a review of the book The Principle of the Path, by Andy Stanley, on Monday morning. It was so convincing of a review, that I promptly went out and bought it. I had read all of it by Tuesday morning. Tuesday afternoon I began re-reading it with a different color pen to mark up what I missed the first time. This book has been that good and God is using it in getting my attention. Basically it comes down to this, "Direction-not intention-determines our destination. Here are a couple of key ideas from the book:

  • Embracing the principle of the path will empower you to identify the paths that lead to the destinations you desire, while avoiding regret
  • If you want to move in a certain direction, you have to choose the right path
  • The prudent react to what they see on the horizon
  • To find the path that will take you where you want to go, you must break the cycle of self-deception....this one chapter is a HUGE thought provoker
  • Choosing the right path begins with submitting to the One who knows what's best for you better than you know what's best for you
  • One never accomplishes the will of God by breaking the law of God, violating the principles of God, or ignoring the wisdom of God
  • You will never reach your full potential without tapping into the wisdom of others
  • What gets our attention determines our direction and, ultimately , our destination...another HUGE thought provoker
  • When it dawns on you that your dreams can't come true, the best response is to lean hard on the One who allowed your disappointment to occur

I've started and never finished other Andy Stanley books but this one... and what he is writing about is pure common sense and stuff we know. It is how he places the words and thoughts in this book that got my attention and a long look see into my life and past decisions that have taken me the wrong direction. Of course I have also pondered the good decisions I have made and where that path has taken me.

I'm probably very happy over not going into Big Texas Hair. Somehow in my mind's eye I see myself coming out of there looking like Vestal Goodman...big hair into a beehive. I would probably be singing, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now or something equally Southern Gospel. Like to listen to it, not a good path to take to look like it.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Hitting the Liquor Cabinet and Tossing Back a Few... Down....the drain.

Since returning home from S'port I have been on a cleaning jag. Yesterday was the linen closet and today I am cleaning out some parts of the kitchen. I hit the liquor cabinet, no that doesn't sound right. Let me start over. OK, we have a cabinet in our kitchen that has some wine in it along with several various and odd liqueurs. Only I didn't remember having the liqueurs in there. I am trying to find out what the shelf life is on some of this stuff. I think it would be best to throw it out because most of them have price stickers on them. Ancient, antique booze. Although on cold days a little Bailey's in hot tea is pretty darn good. There is half a bottle of JB in there too. I kept that around for when my friend Pam (tennis friend) came around. I don't think Scotch goes bad if I remember my john Wayne movies from long ago. And I better keep it around for medicinal hot toddies if one had a bad cold. Ahhhhchooo... :)

In my cleaning quest, I also found some Williams Sonoma lavender detergent for laundry. They don't make it anymore and I had some stashed away on a cart I never look at except for the top shelf, which I believe top shelf is a kind of Margareta. Just going with the liquor theme. So I am very happy about that find, laundry detergent not...oh you know. Clothes have the fragrance of fresh and outdoors, hanging from the clothes line smell. Ah, I love it and will have to use it sparingly to make it last. OK, I have decided the Pecan Praline Cream Liqueur is going down the drain.

The kitchen is beginning to smell like a distillery. Hope second hand fumes don't affect me. The Bailey's was a solid mass, nothing to pour out. That went into the trash.

Roy said every drawer in his mom's house was stuffed with junk. Some drawers were downright difficult to get open. When we all start going through there and cleaning out and up, Roy says we will need to look through everything carefully. Roy has a tendency to stuff drawers just like his mom. It got his attention. He has always ignored me when I have asked him to go through his desk and bookcases to chunk, I mean sort through and dispose of if he stuff if he would be so inclined. Oh, I hope he is so inclined.

OK, next to go down the drain, Cooks Champagne. Then some other cheapie sparkling wine that was a gift many, many years ago. Why did I keep this? There was even a bottle of Peach Chardonnay complete with screw top. No cork to be found...down the drain. How did I get that?
There are a couple of bottles of Prosecco. May need to christen a boat or something, so I better keep those.

There was a day, back in the day, that all this kind of stuff had tremendous control over me. It was the thing to do most weekends and some week days. Man, Roy and I were running from God and drinking seemed to give us the sense He couldn't find us in and around that alcohol haze. Of course we were deceiving ourselves on so many levels. We were having drinks clearly as a way to network business contacts for Roy. Uh yea, right. No one needed that many drinks to network. Well, it did start out that way. For the first time in my Christian walk, I was being influenced, not being used as an influencer.

After a few years of this nonsense, God got our attention in a dramatic way and we ran as fast as we could back to Him. I'm so glad He did. I once told a friend my drinking days weren't so bad, I rather enjoyed them. I was a mushy, funny drunk. I never got a hangover. Didn't have an accident driving or sailing. Outwardly, things in life looked great, but inwardly I knew our life was not pleasing to God. He pulled us out of a pit! Today, as I have poured down the drain all this junk, it reminded me of a day when I couldn't part with all our liquor because I knew how much all that booze had cost. Even though we hadn't touched that cabinet for months, it pained me to think about money going down the drain. So God sent a friend who came over one day and began emptying it all down the sink. I'm so glad He did. I glad that God is in control and not Southern Comfort or Johnny Walker, red or black.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Four Brothers and a Funeral

We are home. I returned on Friday evening and Roy returned on Saturday afternoon. It was a wild, long week for both of us, but more so for Roy. Friday was Rosemary's funeral. but before that he and his brothers were taking care of the business side that comes with the loss of a loved one. Rosemary's service honored her God-filled life. In the service about five of her friends told a side of Rosemary that we may not have known about. I think all were blessed by what they heard. All five sons spoke. Afterwards, there was a short graveside service, then we returned to the church for a delicious lunch.

I thought I would post some pictures for now because I am still gathering my thoughts.

Roy and I in front of the "Ride on King Jesus" painting in the lobby of Gateway Church.

This is Alexis and I riding in the limo from the graveside service. She and I had a lot of fun playing with things in my purse and looking at pictures on my camera.

The Monarch Brothers getting ready for their photo op. Jack, the oldest brother, is fixing the tie of the youngest brother. Roy is probably giving advice. He said in his eulogy of his mom, that he was thankful for all the years of a Catholic education. He can do his tie knot without even using a mirror.

Here they are, Thomas, Roy, Patrick, Jack and Mike.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lots of Thoughts to Think

Directions-check. Suitcase-check. Medicine-check. Ready to roll-uh still working on that one. I'll be leaving for Shreveport soon. I'm dreading it. Anytime going to a funeral...dreaded. Roy has been in the mix of things since Tuesday. I cannot even imagine having to be there in all the arrangements and stuff when and rightfully so, I don't have a voice in anything. No pun, but lots of dead time. Lot of unnecessary stuff happens in dead time because with nothing much to do when one isn't involved in the process, the mind wanders and soon the mouth has been included to voice long held thoughts and 85% of the time nothing good is going to come of this. Or our body language gives us away. Or normal conversation takes a tone. On all these things there is the option to respond in kind and then emotions escalate and words that never should be spoken and thoughts that should remain just that, thoughts come pouring out like a hot,vigorously shaken Diet Coke.

Roy has explained my health issues to his family and with all too recent little scares here and there, we both thought it best for me to just attend the funeral and graveside service. I think we come back to church for lunch and then I will return home.

While Rosemary's death was not unexpected, we didn't think she would go so quickly. During the last eight months she has rallied so many times. In fact Tuesday morning I was thinking, she's going to rally once more but Roy called a few minutes after that thought letting me know his mother had passed away one day short of being 83.

These past few days I've kind of kept to myself not out of sorrow or grief, but because it just seemed to be the right thing to do. I've done a lot of thinking and contemplating not just about Rosemary, but on how to live life, whose opinion really matters to me, who are the people that are important to please and who isn't. I've read some great quotes that have made their way into my journal, if not just into my mental journal. Oh, I have been reading some funny stuff as well. Gots to be well rounded in the thought process. I've been available to encourage Roy and the time to stop and pray much for him.

Guess I am just preparing myself to go into the storm. There has been a lot of storm talk lately and I'm sorry that I played sabbatical one Sunday and missed Carole Lewis' lesson on storms. In February as I began to study the storms in the Bible, I couldn't find very much material to study and in the past month or so, info know it's coming....flooded in. Flooded in from the oddest sources. I re-read in Acts the other night about Paul's storm and shipwreck. I made notes of the process. Depends on the size and strength of the storm of what and when you let go. In my case with Ike, while others were fighting not to loose their homes and loved ones, the night Ike hit, I was fighting for my life. I was at a critical juncture of meds kicking in to take care of my heart because my body had abandoned the God designed routine of a living and beating heart. I'm alive today because God still has a plan for me, His divine intervention, and the 8 million pills I take that keeps it all going.

Well, anchors aweigh. Thank you for your continued prayers and thoughts. Thank you for the kind words and well wishes. We are most encouraged. God is good and He is faithful. He gives strength to the weary. He is a strong tower, the righteous run into it and they are saved.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please, I Need Priiittty, Prriiittty Feet

This morning I realized I haven't had a mani/pedi in quite some time. Even though I am wearing closed toe shoes to the funeral, I figure getting the dead skin off my feet will make my dress shoes fit better and may be a little more comfortable. Yea right... This info did make Roy laugh. When I talked to him this morning, he sounded like he had a hangover...not that I know what one of those sound like...

So after running some errands, I stopped in a neighborhood nail salon. Actually, Dena had told me about this one and she was very happy with it. I hit a lull time and was able to get in the spa pedi chair right off the bat. Since most of my mani/pedis have been at The Nord, I was trying to pay attention to everything going on. Because slight hearing loss in left ear and fast quasi English is not always a good mix.

I think the two techs were talking in Vietnamese about my horrible toenails and the lack of a pedi in quite awhile. I could just feel it and of course they did a shout out to their friends about it. Vicke, who was doing my mani asked me if I had picked out my colors. I pointed to the nail polish by Holly. She said, why you go matchy, matchy? No one does that. You too nice to be boring. So, she went back to the front of the shop and brought some color in kind for me to choose from. I went with the darker shade on my toes and lighter shade on my fingernails. Holly looks up from my feet and says, why you go around with bushy eyebrows. You want me to wax? Only $10.00 more. She was right, since Charles left the Nord, I hadn't found anyone that I liked. So what the heck? This is much cheaper than Nord.

Before doing my nails they asked me to pay. OK, how do I divide out the tips? Just put them separate. OK. Well, since they weren't finished and I didn't know how the rest of the session would go, I tipped well. Once I put down the tips and signed the receipt, they looked at it and went all happy Vietnamese language on me. Good! I left loving my mani/pedi.

Of course it made me think of this...

I ran into a neat little shop next door. He has some of the best gift items. Then I went to Collina's for late lunch/early dinner. I was the only customer in there. It was very nice and quiet. I took a book to keep me company.

Looks like it is going to rain. Maybe I should grab a quick nap before I begin pulling everything together for Shreveport.

Rosemary Monarch

Funeral services for Rosemary K. Monarch, age 82, will be held at 10:00AM on August 14th, 2009 at Gateway Church of Shreveport (formerly Broadmoor Assembly of God) located at 8925 Youree Drive with Pastor David Daniel officiating. The family will be receiving friends at Rose-Neath Funeral Home at 1815 Marshall St on August 13th, 2009 from 5:00-7:00PM.

Mrs. Monarch was born August 12, 1926 in Ferdinand, IN to Harry and Rose Kippenbrock and went to be with her Lord on the morning of Tuesday, August 11, 2009 in Shreveport, LA. She was an active member of Gateway Church where she enjoyed her weekly bible study and lunch with her friends in the group, The Circle of Love. In addition she was a prayer line volunteer for Guidepost magazine.

Rosemary met her husband in Louisville, Kentucky while she was a switch board operator with AT& T and Jack was an installer with the Western Electric Company, a subsidiary of AT&T that installed the switching equipment in the central telephone offices. They moved to Shreveport in 1948 in a travel trailer when he was transferred to Shreveport with the Western Electric Company. She became a real estate broker working with the Lawrence L. May Company and the Walter Hawkins Company. Along with her husband, they became local real estate investors establishing their roots in Shreveport. After Jack's retirement, they joined their son, Michael, at Monarch Realty and Management, Inc.

Rosemary enjoyed several hobbies and enterprises with her husband. They had Monarch Chinchilla Ranch in their garage selling pelts in New York. Then they became interested in tropical fish and were active in the Ark-La-Tex Aquarium Society. Later they began raising award winning Golden Retrievers and serving in various positions with the Shreveport Kennel Club.

Rosemary is survived by her five sons, James (Jack) R. Monarch II. and wife, Sharon of Ft. Worth, TX, Thomas T. Monarch and wife, Jill of Orlando, FL, Roy J. Monarch and wife Nancy, of Houston, TX, Michael W. Monarch and wife, Deborah of Shreveport, LA, Patrick B. Monarch and wife, Allison of Shreveport, LA; sister, Ethel Baron of Bardstown, KY; 16 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Mrs. Monarch was preceded in death by parents, husband of 54 years, James (Jack) Russell Monarch Sr., brother, Jerry Kippenbrock and sister, Anna May Miller.

Pallbearers will be her 5 sons and grandson Jason Monarch.

Their family would like to express their gratitude to the doctors and staff at Willis-Knighton Pierremont, Heritage Manor Stratmore, The Glen, and Cornerstone Hospital. In addition, we appreciate her church and all of her friends who came to visit, stay, and pray with her during this time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Investment Tip-Need to get Another Funeral Dress

I simply must invest in another funeral dress. Since I wore my funeral dress a couple of years ago to Roy's father's funeral, I cannot wear that one again. Now I know people don't remember, or at least that's is what is always said, but if family looks at funeral pictures, they will notice I had on the same dress. After looking through my closest I finally found something, but my legs aren't tan from a can. Who cares, no one hopefully, will be looking at my legs. I'm lamenting I bought great black shoes and not brown shoes.

Why all this funeral talk? Roy's mother, Rosemary, passed away this morning. Roy was trying to get there before her passing, but he was in Dibol when he received the news. Now there is a whole lot of commentary I could say about hearing that news in Dibol, but I'll refrain. I will be going up there later. It is probably best for me health wise and family dynamic wise for me to go later. Besides, Roy is the executor of Rosemary's will and he has a lot of work ahead of him. He doesn't need me hanging over his shoulder asking if we could go do something else. I have been sending him emails and Facebook comments from y'all throughout the day. What an encouragement they have been to him and to me.

I will miss overhearing Roy's phone conversations with her. They talked every Sunday evening. The conversations ran the gamut, but mainly they talked of spiritual matters and politics. For several years, she was a prayer person for Guideposts Magazine. She would pray with people over the phone. She was so blessed in that ministry. She and Jack, Roy's father, were so close, I really thought she would wilt away after his death, but she blossomed and was very active in her church. Roy's mom was rather serious and most of you know, I tend to lean more to the humorous side of life. Many times our conversations went this way:

me: saying something funny
Rosemary: what?
me: oh I was just saying something funny
Rosemary: oh

Way back in the day, when Roy brought me home to Shreveport to meet the parents, I thought he had told them we were engaged. So, we do the meet and greet and I think it is all going very well when Rosemary looks at my hand and says, "you're engaged?" Talk about awkward! I looked at Roy, he shrugged his shoulders, said yes and that was about the extent of that.

Rosemary would have been 83 on Thursday. She is in heaven with her Lord and Savior. And I think she must be walking arm in arm with Jack since she really hasn't walked since January.

Buddy was getting a little nervous last night as I helped Roy pack. She was even a little more frantic this morning as I helped Roy out to the car with all his stuff. The last time she saw suitcases is when we went on vacation and when I went to the HHC. When I came back in she ran to me and greeted me. She stood on her hind legs and wrapped her front paws around my leg. I just wonder if she was being a copy cat. Roy and I were hugging each other so tightly as we prayed before he left. Hmm...I don't know. She has never done that before. She just did it again while I am blogging.

Well, I better get to doing some stuff around here. It's kind of touching that my mom just called. It took a long time for her to understand that Roy's mother had died. Some days our conversations flow along, not today. But, what I heard so loud and clear from my mom is this tonight, she's praying for me. She said you are on my mind all the time. Even if she doesn't remember telling me that tomorrow, I have those words tonight to hold near and dear to my heart.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Waiting Time

Today, it is a waiting time. There is so much to do, but things can only be done when it's time. There is no pushing...just take each step as they come. Roy got the call from his brother and his mother's DR right after church yesterday morning. Roy is the one to make the decision of continuing on this path or beginning the process of exiting this life and into the life hereafter with her Savior and Lord. He and the DR made the later decision. His brother agreed. So today, we are trying to get things wrapped up to make the journey to his boyhood home, Shreveport. I have called the vet and Buddy can be brought in any time this week. Now, I am doing laundry and trying to get things together.

I don't know if I will be going with Roy tomorrow or come on my own later this week. Just being prepared for either direction. I may take the lap top with me as to have some diversion from family dynamics. But I will be back to blogging once this short season is over.

Please if you think about us, remember Roy, his brothers, and family in prayer. Thanks!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Today I Said a Bad Word

OK, confession time. This morning driving to Sugar Land on the beltway, I was having this awesome time with the Lord. Praying, thinking, asking Him questions, He is downright good company on routine trips. I saw a situation ahead that could be potentially dangerous to all drivers concerned. My immediate reaction is to get around things like this because I don't trust other drivers to do the right thing. But I decided to slow down this time...well, I got hemmed in and nearly run over by a big ol' dump truck because the person beside me wouldn't slow down or speed ahead. They stayed even with me... They didn't do the right thing. Lots of swerving and adjustments happening in this span of seconds. Now mind you I was praying and talking to the Lord, but when I saw that dump truck getting ready to harm Mustang Sally and me, I said it. Oh s**%. What???? I am talking with the Lord and during my swerving, I'm swearing? That phrase came out of no where. I was so ashamed. Of course I immediately confessed my sin and reengaged in my conversation with Him. This all took place right before exiting onto 59 South. Wouldn't you know it just as I hit 59 this big ol' tanker truck comes right up beside me and starts coming into my lane. I meekly asked God to intervene and He did. The trucker finally saw me and waited to get behind me. As I drove on for my appointment, I asked the Lord if He was just seeing if I had repented or if I had just said empty words and wasted prayer to Him.

This week Charles Swindoll said something about words and prayer. He said when we pray, "be with so n so", that is wasted prayer. God is present and with. He's right.

I also had an interesting conversation with a friend of a friend. She is compiling data about Women's Ministry in churches. She has found some interesting things. She said there is a lot of good happening, but there is too much bad. The bad mostly revolves around words. Hurtful words and non spoken attitudes which are sometimes stronger and more hurtful than words, both. Her research shows that many women minister out of their weakness. Not talking about being meek and broken, but about putting their own emotions and hurt places in front of making wise decisions without emotion or hurt or feelings being a determining factor in direction and thoughts they make for ministry and toward other women. There is an increasing number of women who feel like they don't "fit" in their churches women's ministry. Women who feel like they don't fit the mold of girly-girl, petite, soft spoken, often praying, always prepared with a casserole, tendency toward being anorexic not bulimic, moneyed, cute shoe wearing, non-fertility plagued, with children always behaving, stay at home mom, with the perfect handsome husband. Whew... I'm tired. Guess that is why I'm not in women's ministry, I have none of the above qualities. :) I don't use the words, precious, sweet, tears rolling down my cheeks enough to be used. Too bad a swear word in an apt situation isn't a requirement. I once heard Liz Curtis Higgs talk about saying the very same word. She said you know saying ____ happens, don't beat yourself up over it. My friend's friend is working with a denomination to get to the point where ministry is done right and without malice. I am certainly glad I don't see too much of this kind of stuff going on at our church. Well, I'm not up there all the time, but when I'm around.... I don't see it. :) It all comes back to watching our words and attitudes, making sure they are not empty or wasted.

Guess I am writing all of this because I have thought so much of that conversation, reading a couple of blogs addressing word issues and this quote that I read this week. This long quote has hounded my very soul and mind and now I will write it so that it will hound you.

"Jesus came to save our souls. He also came to save our words. Word and words are at the very core of God's revelation of himself to us. If the words are damaged though careless or malicious usage or are left in bad repair, or pick up barnacle encrustations from hanging around in bad company, the sharp details of the Jesus revelation are blunted. Careless language in the service of Jesus is responsible for an enormous amount of mischief, rivaling outright lying as an impediment to hearing and responding to the message of God's good news to us. (emphasis mine)

And so constant and vigilant attention is required to keep our language in good repair. Words wear out. They lose texture, and the colors fade. They need refurbishing, rehabilitating, renovating. Whether from overuse or misuse, once vigorous words frequently end up blunted and dull. Those of us who use language have a responsibility for returning them to sharpness, cleaning them up, scrubbing off the grime of inappropriate associations. Most of us are more attentive to keeping the dishes and knives and forks clean that we use to eat our meals than to keeping in good repair the words we use to speak our love and promises, our commitments and loyalties." Tell it Slant, Eugene Peterson page 107

A great book, Tell it Slant, a conversation on the language of Jesus in his stories and prayers. The thoughts are so deep, I'm having to dive back into pages I just read to get the full effect.

Well, I need to unpack bags from morning errands. I attest that no bad words were thought or spoken during the writing of this post.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Adios Raoul

Today I said a sad goodbye to Raoul. It has been a while since our last meeting. Raoul was with me in some of the toughest moments of life several years ago. Yet, Raoul accompanied me in some of my most happy and memorable moments. Raoul is still tightly strung, strong and bears that scar on his neck from where he defended my honor. Even walking with Raoul to our last meeting felt so right, so light. That grip Raoul had on me seemed as natural to me today as it did when we first met. Back in our time together Raoul and I spent mornings and some afternoons together. There were a few night ventures from time to time, even some Saturdays together, but we mainly spent our time as partners during the day when Roy was at work. Raoul had to go, the same way as Roberto and Jorge. Sometimes one is attracted to new and exciting. Let's just say I set them free to spend time with another.

Raoul and I don't travel in the same social circles anymore, with him seeming so lost without me. Raoul had gone to a dark place. I on the other hand hadn't given him much thought the past few years. Raoul kind of stayed around hoping I would reconsider but I have moved on.

So today, we had our last few minutes together in my car. I thought of so many things and just for a small second, I contemplated reconsidering the decision I had made about him. The finality of Raoul's existence in my life. It wasn't fair to him to be in the back of my closest. He was made to be out on the court. Today, I gave Raoul to my friend Cris. You see, Raoul is my tennis racquet and I had promised him to her about a year ago, but we never could quite get together. It wasn't even a sad goodbye. It was more a happy hello between me and Cris. Raoul sat there beside her at lunch not doing much. Raoul listened to us laugh and chat. We never finished a complete subject or sentences sometimes. We had so much to catch up on. Cris also has Roberto in her home. Raoul has some happy times coming this fall.

OK, I had to have some fun doing this. I always named my racquets when I played tennis. I took lessons from a pro who always told me to caress the ball when I was working on drop shots. So I thought, with all this caressing talk, I am going to name my racquet a romantic and mysterious name.

A Few Happenings This Week

It is already Thursday. Where did this week go? They say when you get older time really passes quickly. It is so true, even thinking that it is already August. I decided the time is going by so quickly because I am enjoying time so much more. Being retired, I experienced all the wonderfully full days of spring, most of them with the top down on Mustang Sally. Even these hot summer days haven't been bad. Well, that's because I choose to experience the majority of the day in A/C.

Buddy rips the face off of every stuffed animal toy she has. It is a bit disconcerting because Buddy attacks my head on a regular basis. Not so frequent now though. I'm thinking I might better be concerned. The other morning as I walked down the hall I noticed eyes, whiskers and the mouth of her favorite bunny were strewn randomly about.

I'm enjoying the extendomatic birthday celebration. It is fun to keep on celebrating even after the fact. Oh, I didn't mean to seem like I didn't want anyone to know my age. I am happily and proudly 55. I just didn't want that to be in a title and of course on the 4th early on, I was in denial. Roy and I didn't go out for dinner Tuesday night. I was still so full from lunch with Lisa P. Dang, J Alexander's is good. We may go out tonight, but I am meeting Cris after 1:00 for lunch at Grand Lux. Roy said this morning, you aren't going to be hungry tonight and he is probably right. Cris was my first tennis partner and we played at The Met, club not church. Anyway, we are both hard hitters and both being about 6' we scared a lot of players. People would duck and not look to call a ball in or out. They would ask us, was that ball good? We always responded it looked good to us whether it was in or out.

Choir was a blast last night. Think there was 169 in attendance. The room was packed and voices raised. Total Praise was such a joy. In fact, that is one thing I love about John Bolin, when a song has been sung well and it has been joyfully sung, we sing it again. Such fun! I sat by Marcia Looper and Cindy Robinson, so I sounded good last night. :)

Tuesday night I had a little bit of a scare. My heart went out of rhythm. There was a long pause, or it seemed so to me, after the 4th beat and the beginning of the next beat. I remembered to go take some aspirin if that happens and if one is good, two would be better, so that is what I did on my self diagnosis. My heart settled a bit and by morning, the beat was almost back to normal. I sat there in the night wondering if I should awake Roy so that he could take me to the ER. Roy and the dark of night is not a good combination. He does not come out of deep sleep prepared to take on an emergency. Well, none of us really do but some begin to know the seriousness of the moment quicker than others. It wears one down with an irregular beat and I was tired almost the whole day. I decided to go do a light workout with no cardio and I encountered a few dicey moments, but nothing worthy of the staff pulling out the paddles and yelling clear. I called my cardio office and after hearing about all the factors that led up to the episode they said I had gone out of my parameters and I better get back to the boundaries I know I have to live within. If I have another episode this week, I am to get myself in there pronto smonto. I've decided to get back within my boundaries pronto smonto.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Buddy Lee is 3 and I am....More Than 3 Years Old

Today is my** birthday. Wow, I'm old. It is also Buddy's birthday and she is now 3. Of course she is spending her morning like most mornings, napping. Hmmm....Buddy and I have a lot in common some days.

I cannot help but be so thankful for my friends and family today. I have loved all the Facebook greetings, phone calls, texts and emails. Thank you so much! Roy gave me a card that is out of the box for him. It's big and loud, funny and kind of sexy. The card plays Wild Thing as the music. The card was between two boxes of Hot Tamales, one of my favorite candies. We are going out tonight, but we haven't decided where. Any suggestions?

Last night was a blast playing Bunko. Kay is the best and I think we would have voted hands down for her to host Bunko every month. Thanks Kay! We were all in rare form last night and we didn't even behave ourselves in front of our sub Erin. I think she won most Bunkos, so that probably evened things out just a bit. We always have so much fun and I think we would even if we didn't play Bunko.

Yesterday afternoon Peggy, Marcia and I met in the Rehearsal Hall at church to work on our board for Project 200 Let the Worshippers Arise! We got it all done and don't have to go back tomorrow morning to finish up. That is thanks for the bulletin board queen Marcia. If anyone wants to come to choir tomorrow night and see what everyone is excited about, please come. Also mention that I invited and kind of brought you. I will get points that way. I know, it's not about points, but some days points need to be mentioned.

Have some pictures to post soon. I just got in from lunch with Lisa P. It was great food, great conversation, great laughs with some of our favorite traditions mixed in.

Thanks again for making my day so full of joy.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

M-A-T-H You See, Doesn't Mean That Much To Me

I have been working on a post that hasn't been published yet. I wrote about last Sunday and how we spent Sunday morning. Once I put it on my blog you will know what this next sentence truly means. I was soooooo in the Word this morning. Nothing could get me out of it. Roy tried several times but to no avail. I was firmly staying put in the Word. Even Buddy stayed by my side as I continued on in the Word. I enjoyed my small group fellowship time as well.

Yesterday, I was telling Roy about a column in The New Yorker. It seems this mathematician wants to raise the funds for a Math Museum. thanks. He is working all the angles (ha ha) to raise support for his idea. He takes groups on math tours in Manhattan. Of course reading words like grid, hypotenuse, hyperbolic paraboloids nearly cause me to stop reading the article but I pressed through it. When I had nearly given up on reading to the conclusion, this paragraph caught my attention.

"In Whitney's view (math guy), the standard progression in math education-algebra, geometry, trig, pre-calculus, calculus-is random and baseless, a linear conceit that creates a false sense of increasing difficulty. Mathematical ignorance is insidious, and manifests itself in many ways. The purest example is the lottery, he said. The lottery is a tax on the mathematically illiterate."

I remember feeling so defeated when wrestling with the basic concepts of algebra in high school. It was overwhelming and it seemed impossible. I knew math was just there to get harder and harder. So I just took the attitude that I didn't care. Really, past using the basics, I have never used, to my basic math knowledge, an equation. I don't care about a+b=c-[ab-cd/xyz] On a side note, I think we do this to believers who want to grow more in their relationship with Jesus. Heck, I do it to myself. I make things so much harder than it needs to be for me to walk with Christ. Jesus wants our success far more than we do. We make it sound so difficult and at times it is, but especially in "ministry related things" we want those growing ones to jump through the hoop and perform some dashing feats before we give them approval and encourage them to keep leaning into Jesus. We tell them it gets harder and harder as we follow the Lord, but really it should be easier and easier cause as we grow we know, we can't do it. We have to give it up, let it go, release control and give it over to the Lord. I read something the other day about control, when we want to control everything, we are the one doing all the work. Doesn't seem worth it to me. Of course God knows we are going to take things back to work on them and then in desperation hand them back over to Him. I have known people who don't take things back once they have given something over to God, but they are few and far between. Well, I digressed from the point. No surprise here. But I wonder if math was presented in some other way to those who are not math gifted, if we would have progressed farther than we ever thought we could? I asked Roy what would I use trig for? I asked about all the math disciplines. His conclusion is I use geometry more than anything else. That's good, but don't ask me to show my work.

When Dena and I had dinner at the Macaroni Grill in San Antonio, we used the white paper table cover and the crayons to do some math. We loved keeping up with that $200.00 credit. Dena was charting and showing her work when it came to her conclusions of where we were on the credit. We calculated at that time we probably had about $70.00 left. All of the sudden I am making up equations using time, materials, dinner, and gifts. OK, in a blog it doesn't sound all that funny, but believe me we were saying and showing our work on some very funny things. For just a moment in time I felt very mathematical.

After a delicious dinner, we headed over to Border's Books. If you have a Border's gift card, I would be using it pretty soon. The store has the look of bankruptcy or soon to be bankruptcy. We got back to HHC before dark. We grabbed us some decaf cappuccinos, duly noted it on our spending record and headed out to the pool and then the porch to watch dusk turn to evening.

This is when we began discussing Bon Qui Qui and the girl who plays in her stand up routine on getting a mani/pedi. When we got back to our room, I pulled out my Blackberry so Dena could watch the routines. She loved them, most do.

All this talk of math and math related things, makes me want to go balance my check book.... Gotcha, no way. All this talk of math is having the same effect on me that it always has, it's making me sleepy. I had some of the best naps of my life in algebra.