Friday, July 30, 2010

Thoughts on the Back Burner

Another morning breakfast at Buffalo Grille. After early morning Dr appointments I go there at least for toasted cinnamon coffee and sometimes a complete breakfast. Most mornings Buffalo Grille is crowded but it was especially crowded this morning. Could it be the right combination of business breakfasts or after work out breakfasts and school's beginning soon so let's all go out to eat? Yes, it seemed so. Most mornings Buffalo Grille looks like a male private school only in dress. Almost every man eating there has on khaki pants and a light blue shirt. I have no reason to go to business school because I have become quite business savvy in the loud overheard discussions among the men who breakfast.

After breakfast I headed out to the Land of Sugar for a much needed haircut and highlights. I ran a few errands out there before my hair appointment. The added surprise of running into a tennis buddy at Whole Foods really made my morning. Kathleen doesn't play much tennis anymore but she was always one of my favorites to play with back in the day. We had a few moments to get caught up and of course we made those never going to happen lunch plans. For many of us the reason we played tennis was just to go out to lunch afterwards. After all the hair stuff I stopped in at Super Target. I cut short the trip because of all the back to school crowd. Also stopped at the Christian bookstore and Academy.

Meanwhile Roy had taken the day off because the replacement foundation of our bed was being delivered today, the dryer repairman was coming, our front door was getting fixed and a light fixture replaced over the sink. The electrician never showed but everything else was taken care of. Since I hadn't had lunch and it was getting into senior citizen dinner time, Roy went and picked up a thin crust veggie pizza and it was absolutely delicious.

When the morning dawned and I was privileged to have a few moments to think, pray and process. I had some deeply spiritual matters that I thought I might bring to the blog today. As the day has moved on, those deeply spiritual matters have taken a back burner in my mind. Maybe for another day or maybe not.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Not Much to Report-Now There's a Catchy Title

Hostess 100 calorie cupcakes I heart you. Skinny Cow Carmel Truffle drizzled with chocolate ice cream bar, I heart you. Those two items are so very needful in helping me stay on track in losing weight. As of this morning I have lost 126 pounds. I'm getting closer and closer to the goal. Seems a bit of a slow down in the journey, but that's fine by me. It gives me time to begin changing my mindset from losing to maintaining. That will be harder, maintenance.

The past few weeks have been transitional weeks because of the addition of new meds with tighter dosages and milligrams. Each time they increase the dosage, a huge headache comes with it. I've also experienced my blood glucose dropping, severely and quickly. The worst incident happened on Monday and it nearly wiped me out. I go back to the Dr on Friday, so we'll see how things are going. On a positive side, I treat myself to breakfast at Buffalo Grille after each appointment. If that cinnamon toasted coffee doesn't put you in a happy mood, well that is if you are a coffee drinker, I don't know what will.

A trip to the Nord was in the plans this morning. I had 2 pairs of pants and a shrug that are too big for me now. So back they went. I also had some Nord Notes with me and with some of those I bought Angel Innocent and some leggings. Much to my surprise, it was raining when I came out of the store. I thought all the rain was coming yesterday. It's Houston, so weather can always be a surprise.

Well, there are some books calling out to me so I had better go read.

Monday, July 26, 2010

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night

I like these pictures that Roy took the other night before we had a bit of a storm and some rain.

Domestic Diva...Well The Closest I'll Ever Be to Being One

This past weekend may go down as my most domestic weekend ever, well in giving domestic advice. In the span of 24 hours, first, I gave sound wisdom to a friend on why she should buy a Dyson vacuum cleaner. Macy's had several models marked down to some of the lowest prices I've ever seen this past week. I gave another friend my recipe for purple hull peas. Then Roy and I cut and froze the freestone peaches I bought on Friday for another day when the only good fruit choices in that season is apples and oranges. And although this isn't considered domestic, I did get a tech like question about computers on Saturday evening by another friend. And surprise, I actually could answer it! Being on the domestic diva roll maybe I should have done a few other domestic duties. Nah, I was worn out after all my domestic goodness. Ironing sheets will just have to wait...for a long time...maybe the 12th of never and that's a long, long time.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Part 2 Sunday Morning

Part 2 of Sunday morning. I think this might be the last stand of ancient carpeting of First Baptist Church. Come to worship the Lord but be amazed by the many types, colors and sometimes downright ugliness of the floor coverings of Houston's First Baptist. A couple of years ago I did a post on the different styles of carpet and wondered if maybe we were the display area for Carpet Giant or Jack's Carpeting. But I do know the red squares is original to the church. Roy didn't take this picture for the carpeting but for the sun beaming through the lower windows. I really like this picture but had to say something about the early ugly.

Now we are outside the Fellowship Center. See, there are two different styles of carpeting in this picture. Remember it is early because this coffee station is a happening place once all the people are coming in for Bible study or a service. Beige carpet on one of the most heavily traveled hallways...who if anyone was thinking this out because of the wear and tear and massive coffee stains that have to be happening.

Sound check. Roy took this picture when he was supposed to be praying for the services, but I'm glad he did.

Here is the choir in the 9:30 service. We are wearing our Houston Project t-shirts.

Emily and I like to sit and sing together. That's Emily on my left and she also was my raft riding partner a few weeks ago. We look like we know what we are doing.

Here is Lisa P. This is about the best picture of her. Roy said he couldn't focus on her long enough to get a good picture. It is true that Lisa P can move but it is also true that Roy is the longest focus-er in the universe.

I'm not puckering up for a kiss but it is one of the many oohs in our songs. Oohing might just be my strong suite.

Sunday Morning

Thought I would post a few pictures Roy took as he walked to church last Sunday morning. He arrives to Houston's First Baptist early because he prays in the Worship Center for the services. Roy does this every Sunday.

Here is our hallway at about 7:45 AM. Well, it's our hallway all the time not just at 7:45.

Walking on our street.

Our condos actually look like multi floor townhouses but they are not.

Roy has arrived on campus.

This was not taken at 10:00 AM when there isn't any parking. Come before 8 and you get your choice of spots. Although now that I have written that, it is counter intuitive to the request that we park off site.

Roy takes pictures of birds and trees because he knows how happy they make me.

Freeway construction has been finished for several years. We are happy that the traffic isn't as bad as it once was. Of course on Sunday morning this isn't really busy until after church.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Thoughts Once Again

This week in the late night hours I've been awakened by the joy-filled styling of a song bird. The little bird has a great repertoire and sings straight through for about 45 minutes. The singing coincides with moonbeams streaming through our bedroom windows as the moon is in perfect relation to beam its reflecting light right onto our bed. I always want to wake up Roy so that he too can revel in God's nature exhibition going on in our home, but he has an early wake up most mornings and I don't think he would appreciate it. He seems to like the stories the next day when I'm describing all the brilliance and the song rejoicing of God. Besides, Roy has never said next time that happens, wake me up.

Last night I booked our May vacation for 2011. Instead of going to the Biltmore, we are going to Rosemary Beach. We got our confirmation this morning from the owner of the cottage. She said May is a great time to be at Rosemary. Roy and I are both excited about the trip. Since my tanning days are long gone, he is really happy that I'll not be requiring an extended amount of tan time each day. As for the Biltmore, we are considering a before Christmas trip. It will all depend on scheduling and my health if we go this year or next.

I finished reading The Swan House and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Immediately I began reading The Dwelling Place which is a sequel to Swan House. The characters from Swan are now adults with adult aged children and there seems to be some issues from the past that are coming to the point of resolving.

The next few weeks holds several Dr appointments. After Tuesday's blood work they have upped my dosage on a new prescription. It is a good thing that food relates to me as fuel right now. There are so many new, even healthy items, that I cannot have much of as long as I'm on these meds. Fluid intake is another thing to monitor. If I drink too much water it makes my heart work too hard. So it is a tip toe kind of thing. One ubiquitous theme seems to be that all medicines now come with a warning of 'may cause dizziness'. Every single one of my 8 plus prescriptions says this. When I get my highlights later this month, I'll ask Stevie if we should go a lot more blonder so that I will fit nicely into the description of dizzy blond.

I was learning some info from a friend in trying to help me decide if I would upgrade sitemeter or not. Leaning towards not. Personally, I'm beginning to use Google Reader much more. I've always used it to read some blogs but mostly I still read the old fashioned way by clicking right onto the blog. A lot of blogs come to my email and I read them there, but it seems stilted. Google Reader speeds up the process but it is like holding a book instead of E-reading. I know I have a lot of readers that read the old Monablog on Blogger, Google and other readers. In the less personal world of online socializing there is something more personal about clicking onto the actual blog each time and checking in with a friend whether I have met them in person or not. Just some thoughts rolling around the brain this morning.

Roy asked me what I would like for my birthday and without thinking I quickly responded an iPad. He has wanted to buy a Kindle for me for the longest time but now I'm thinking that it would be worth the extra money to have something that does more than the Kindle. Anyone want to weigh in on an opinion?

This fall Roy is going to take a photography class on Saturdays. He is beyond excited about this. Since buying a Canon Power SX 20 for his trip to France in the spring, he has blossomed in his mad picture taking skills. Thus he is upgrading to some big honkin' fast camera with multiple lenses soon. Probably before the class. Wait there isn't any probably about that. His pictures bring me great joy. Last Sunday he did a photo thing on his way walking to church. Love them! Need to post some here and onto Facebook.

Once again I'm cleaning out drawers of too big clothes that will make their way to Faith Center or Goodwill. All this weight loss is making me look like a neater more organized person. Key phrase, look like. So far 124 pounds lost. So, the blogging diversion is soon finished and I'll have to address those drawers. Maybe first, I should read a chapter in The Dwelling Place and then work on drawers. Yep! Sounds like a plan.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Breakfast at Tiffany's...I Mean at Pappasita's

Now in times past my thought of a great Saturday morning was sleeping in, easing into the day and taking it easy. Since we've begun our Saturday mornings at Pappasita's, I believe the perfect Saturday is one that begins with pecan pancakes, chips, and ice tea. Ah yes, Pappasita's you've made a Saturday early riser out of me. Well, not that early of a riser, but most Saturday mornings you can find Roy and me, oh beginning about 9:45 or 10:00 at the Pappasita's on I-10. This past Saturday we changed up our menu items somewhat but of course my breakfast is including pecan pancakes. I cannot tell you how excited and thrilled I was when I saw Susan Kirby and her friends make their way to a table. I was really excited and wanted to rush right on over, but you know, I acted all cool and least until they had been served chips and salsa. Then I made my way over to say hi.

These are not the best pictures because they were taken with my BlackBerry, but they contain the message, if not a blurry message. These are the delicious pecan pancakes. I do not use all the butter and bring sugar free syrup to cut down on calories. This is my indulgence each week and as soon as I have taken the last bite, I'm already looking forward the the next Saturday.

Roy ordered the huevos con carne this week and instead of fried potatoes he got fresh fruit. It was great fruit. None of that hard honeydew melon or watery cantaloupe.
Now this picture was not taken on Saturday but at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate. The picture I took of Roy did not turn out well, so I substituted this. Just like he substituted fresh fruit for fried potatoes.

How do I love thee pecan pancakes? Let me count the ways.

This is Daisy. She is awesome! She is from the New Orleans area and came to Houston during all the Katrina happenings. She is funny and she is a great waitress. She gets the credit for getting us to Pappasita's on Saturdays. I mean I feel sorry for all those waiting for tables at Denny's, IHOP, 59 Diner and Buffalo Grille.

This is Nathan. He is awesome too. He is the fastest waiter on foot. We saw him run next door one Saturday to get butter from Pappadeux and he was sprinting by the time he came back into Pappasito's. We kind of messed him up this past Saturday by changing our menu choice, because we don't usually use or need any stinkin' menus.

I think this is Sherry. She made me go through a list of potential friends we might know before getting to post this picture, that she posed for. I could not publish the actual eating of the pancakes, let's just say ever see fish in a feeding frenzy? Enough word pictures. I love that they had the pancakes as an appetizer. I am duly impressed!

Here are Susan and friends. They were celebrating Jena's birthday. Right after this picture was taken the wait staff came with the sombrero and the Happy Birthday song and complimentary dessert. I mean really, what a way to have breakfast. Breakfast at Pappasita's includes all the best of both worlds, chips, salsa, tomatilla sauce, pancakes, eggs and bacon or jalapeno sausage.

So when you are feeling a little Luke 24:41- like when Jesus asks the disciples, "Do you have anything here to eat?" And if the answer on a Saturday morning is just some Lucky Charms, Count Choculha and 3 day old milk, be like Martha, be a whirlwind and get on down to Pappasita's. Then sit there like Mary, for you will have chosen the one thing needful, well, needful to start a great Saturday.
Not all Pappasita's do breakfast on Saturday mornings. Please check with your local Pappasita's. I do know for sure the one at I-10 and the Beltway serves on Saturday. I also hear the French Toast is delicious. I can't bear to try it because that would mean I'd have to do without pecan pancakes. Guess I need to be more like Abraham and leave the land of sUR-up on pecan pancakes and have faith that the land of French Toast and sUR-up would be a blessing too.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Anniversary Sale at The Nord 2010 Edition

Pictured above is the delicious crab stack that I had for lunch at Nordstrom today. It was just the right ingredients to provide energy and strength for the difficult task of shopping the first day of the Anniversary Sale. In past years I have participated in the presale but to tell you the truth, I have no clue what size I will be in the fall, so that wasn't going to do me any good. I really thought I might try to make the 8:00 A.M. opening, but got there a little after 9:00. I still scored my favorite parking place and that in itself was kind of surprising. My first stop in the store, the jewelry department. I got a watch and a pair of earrings. Then I went to the handbags and found a yellow purse on sale. For over a year, I have been on the search for a yellow handbag and found it today, along with a small evening purse that will go with just about any outfit. I don't need one too often but it is nice to have one now. Since it wasn't very busy, I went to the men's department and got Roy 3 shirts. Had to bring something back for him. Got some birthday gifts purchased and it was just about then I realized I was starting to feel a little low blood glucose wise, so I stopped in at The Bistro for an early lunch.

Round 2- Took my bags out to my car and then went back into the store because I hadn't even hit the second floor yet. Tricky trying on clothes but between Mary (works in Narrative) and me, I think we picked out pants, jackets and a couple of tops that will last me well into if not past winter. I don't need a whole lot of dress up clothes since most of my fall and winter days are spent in work out clothes. Left the dressy pants there for alterations, they are letting down the hems.
I think I will have several Nord Notes to add to my collection after today's purchases. You don't use them during a sale when you get double points. I go back and use them while the sale is on but the double point promotion is over.
I was very lonesome today because Lisa P and I usually hit this together. Our favorite booth in the Bistro today had two girlfriends eating lunch, one was black and one was white. Gave me such a gratitude moment to God for that special sight. Texted Lisa P right then to share this happy reminder of us. We'll be there together laughing, talking, shopping and eating soon.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Adventure Has Just Begun and It's Not Too Bad

Like many of you knew better than me, I survived the trip to and from the medical center yesterday. For assurance, I used my GPS on my phone. It was sort of amusing to use it since the only other time I put it to use was several Fridays ago when I-10 was flooded. Again I used it more for back up as Dena took us through a heavy industrial area and for me, scary back roads of Houston. Of course Sharona Sprint, that's what I called the voice giving me directions to the medical center, was having to do a lot of re-routing and new route announcements because I was not taking her advice of using freeways to arrive at my destination. In all the medical center traffic, I was so thankful that Roy and I had made the dry run several weeks ago because I saw two times where I would have messed up. This would have been going into the wrong parking garages. The sidewalks are full of pedestrians and most of them, old. My out loud mantra, along with discussing my route options with Sharona was, if old people can do this, I can do this! Now to many of you, I am old. No, I'm talking about people who shuffle their feet while wearing sensible shoes and have on their winter clothes because they are cold. On a side note, I know so many of you all are surprised about the detour, something that is really interesting is the role changes that come along with age. When men are young, they seem to have much more say and control over family health issues and decisions. The family is leaning on them for help and wisdom to get through the illness or deciding on the options for successful results health wise. Seems like the very old, who are also very early for their appointments, are now guided along by the woman. In the Dr offices I've been in recently, this phenomenon has become more apparent, at least to me. Those old women are bossing their men about. They tell them where to sit, then tell them to go up to the receptionist window and pick up business cards, and just as the man slowly begins to sit down again, the woman tells him to go back up to the window and correct their sign in time to several minutes earlier. If there is any paperwork to be filled out, God help that man because his wife is telling him what to write, giving him all the dates of his surgeries and illnesses and in a fit of aggravation, takes over the form filling out but directs the man to go back up, again to the receptionist, and ask for a better pen. Older women rock in the waiting room.

OK, now where was I in the original thought, oh yes, found valet parking and was into the building in a breeze. The wait in the waiting room was expedited because all the million and two forms had been filled out at home. In a flicker of time I was escorted back to the small patient room and I was leaving behind an older couple. The woman leaped into action by making the short trek to the receptionist area in record time, declaring that they had been waiting longer than me. I barely heard the reply of, "Mrs._______, your appointment isn't until 3:00." I was tested, listened to, and talked with for just about two hours. Almost all the nurse practitioners and medical techs in the office are male. So every time the door opened I thought it was the Dr. After all the tests and talks, both to me and to the referring Dr, the cardiologist came in and visited with me about my heart and the path we're taking to remedy some of the long going issues. Now this post has gone on for a bit of time, so I'll share the first step in the journey. First thing to be addressed is my irregular heart beat. I'm at a very high risk for stroke and he was surprised I hadn't had one in the past two years with all the irregular that's been a lifestyle of late. The silver lining in driving to the medical center and the stress that it caused gave the medical staff a great opportunity to hear and test that old familiar out of sync beat. Awesome, because my heart seems to get shy or it straightens up for a lot of my appointments. You could see it beating, lurching and vibrating all over the place. The process will take several months and if all is successful, we'll move on to the next issue to be addressed.

This is the building that the Dr's office is in. While attending Rice baseball games, I've taken many pictures of that building and the surrounding skyline. Of course, I can't find any of the pictures.

This is the view I had from my small waiting room. It is the stadium where Rice plays baseball. In between things I took this picture and sent it to Roy. During baseball season Roy would like me to coordinate my appointments with Rice's baseball schedule and he would be oh so happy to accompany me to those appointments. He seems genuine only in his love of college baseball by his request. Roy is very caring and proactive in my health care and well being. Ha, just wait until we start wearing sweaters every where and show up for appointments way too early, he will happily find his role has changed if my observations prove correct.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

An Adventure I Would Like to Experience in the Burbs Not the Med Center

I awakened this morning and discovered I was involuntarily shaking and shivering like I was cold. Buddy was trying to help by sleeping close to me. Wait, she was probably cold and just using me for added warmth. Or could she be like the cat in the nursing home because she slept by my side all night. In the summer, her habit is sleeping at the end of the bed. Odd thing, I wasn't cold yet I couldn't stop the shivering. I think it was all those pent up nerves from weeks of knowing that today is when I foray into the dreaded Medical Center. If you have time around 1:15 that's when I will begin travel to my appointment, please say a prayer for me. I'm not nervous about the appointment, I'm nervous about finding my way to and hoping it is not full, valet parking. The stress of the parking garage totally overwhelms me. I didn't used to be this way. Now, if I have to gut it up and do it, I will. Oh my... If you work in the Medical Center, I am putting you on alert to stay in your offices for you own safety for the afternoon.

Yesterday, I had a massage and it felt so good after experiencing sore muscles from riding behind the jet ski on a raft. Diane really attacked my shoulder and back muscles. Very nice. Afterwards I made a quick trip to Anthropologie and found a couple of sale items that needed to come home with me. On my way home a stop at Barnes and Noble seemed to be in order. Of course some books came home too.

I'm just going over all the papers and records that I'm taking with me to the Dr office. I felt like I wrote a thesis when it came to the medical records part. Just made an official list of all the medications and vitamins I take. I'm lucky to have any morning time after reading everything that has to be taken in the A.M. Not trying to be a Dr pet or anything, but I also included my weight loss, nutrition information and work out schedule with and without a trainer. I've even thought ahead and will wear a button blouse with a cami just to make things easier for all. It sounds like I'm obsessed with this appointment and maybe there's some truth in that statement, but I'm anticipating answers and paths to keep my heart in the best shape possible, for the longest time possible. I have hope, peace and joy in the Lord (of course). People, there are too many "to be read books" in my pile and I'm going to read them all.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Welcome to Adventure

Seems that sometimes I like to picture myself as an adventurer. It is more a picture than the truth. Exotic locations, rough conditions, extreme patience and the like really don't interest me at all. As I become older I am getting more and more like my mom when it comes to adventure, "can we see it from the car?" Now I am prone to use travel terms for many a daily occurrence and probably adventure is way over used by me to tell mundane, ordinary, daily occurrences of life. But in this adventure of everyday life, I'm enjoying some memorable and awesome moments.

Like last night, it was July Bunko night. Amanda hosted last night's game and she had the brilliant idea of dinner and Bunko at Living Proof offices. She didn't have to stress over a clean home and all that comes with that. Excellent! Kay, Courtneys and I rode out together. Our conversations were all over the place and I like that. I have so come to appreciate all the "adventure" these young moms face. In hindsight, maybe God, uh let me restate that because there is no maybe about this, God knew that as much as I wanted to be a mom, I wasn't cut out for it. Dinner was from Lupe's, so you know it was good! Bunko is just so much fun. What is fun is all the screams and laughter that permeates the seriousness of our games. OK, we aren't that serious but we do like to roll sixes and not onesies. Michelle, a member emeritus of our group, was able to sub for Eileen, who word has it, is on a cruise. Our ages and stages are strewn across the map, but we love one another and genuinely care for each other. It is great fun and an honor to share life and adventure with these friends.

On Sunday, the Bains invited several of us out to the compound. What a blast! Had my second adventure on the raft. This time I plowed face first into the water and got wrapped up underneath the raft. Oh, I was so very happy to finally reach the surface to breathe. Marcia and I rode together and we laughed and screamed like we were 12 years old. In fact, Marcia said I feel like I'm 12 and I had to break the news to her that tomorrow she wouldn't feel like 12 at all. Dana, Katie and Bree were there as well. The story of the day was getting Bree on that raft and accompanying her on her adventure, her sister and cousin.

Several on Facebook said I look like Amelia Earhart in this picture. Maybe so, but the difference is, I came back from my adventure...barely. No, I came back and Marcia and I rode a second time and we hung on. Ally rode with us and she intentionally fell off the raft so she could tell Mops to do donuts with us. Uh, Ally was bored by our slow ride. Ah youth.

Here are my friends trying to help and instruct me in how to get back on the raft. Let's just say Robyn's way did not work for me. Peggy kept saying, it's like getting on a horse. We were laughing so hard that just when I thought I was going to pull myself up on the raft, I was overcome with laughter and went weak.

I love Peggy's expression in this picture.

Here is a lovely picture before we hit the water and our hopes were high. Adventure was our middle name.

Peggy looks like she is yelling some encouraging instruction. She is probably telling her rafters to hold on for dear life!

Claire and Kendra waiting for the ride.

I love this picture. Ally is putting a protective hand on Reed to make sure he's ok. This was their first ride together of the day.

Two of my all time favorite's.

Oh adventure, I'm hanging on with all I've got for this wild ride.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Size small. Looking at the word small right now doesn't look right to me. Even after eating our usual delicious pecan pancake breakfast this morning, size small. The first milestone event happened this week. My weight officially has a 1 in front of the next 2 numbers. Haven't seen a 1 and it is true, it is the loneliest number that you ever knew. Two can be as sad as 1...OK, just thank the Lord I didn't reference the Carpenters and decided to go with Three Dog Night. But of course, I digress. I haven't seen a 1 in front of the next 2 numbers in a long, long, long time. Really long time. If I could save time in a bottle...stop it with the 70's greatest hits references Nancy! Anyway, I have lost a total of 122 pounds as of this morning and that is pre- pancake.

After our delicious breakfast at Pappasita's, we headed out to Katy to pick up our produce I had ordered earlier in the week. While Roy really likes to go to the farmer's market to get great fruit and vegetables at fabulous prices, I like to buy mine from a clothing store in Katy. So far, this was the most expensive purchase of produce because along with it, I bought a skirt and a cute light weight sweater. Hey, it was buy one get one free. I scored price wise but it did make the over all purchase a little higher than even the Play Grocery Store. Bless the owner's heart, she is always trying to dress me up more than I need to be. She always points out the jackets or "safe" traditional purchases. I really don't want to look like a cookie cutter Cinco Ranch lady. If you live in Cinco Ranch, please do not be offended. I'm just trying to think of a large subdivision out in that area. Each time I tell her what I am going to wear with my purchase, she gives me the smile that says, "you need to stop being outside the box and color inside the lines with the other ladies your age." Poppycock, that is what I say. Well, that is the most traditional retort I could think of right now. I think that but don't say it to her. The skirt I bought this morning is a size small. Me...the big a size small anything! I'm shocked and still don't have my brain wrapped around this one. I don't care that it has an elastic waist, it is a size small. I cannot even ever remember a time when I wore a small anything. My friends wear size small, not me. Well, until today.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

For Darkness is As Light to You

I have a confession to make, the whole time I was in Florida, I never once opened my Bible, never once read Plan B by Pete Wilson, and never had an organized quiet time. Well, duh, I didn't open my Bible! Although, the time going to, being in and coming from Destin were filled with God moments. Before leaving Dena's place, we stopped and prayed. We asked for special times and moments from the Lord while traveling. To be honest, in my mind, that would be beautiful sunsets, I suppose sunrises (although I didn't plan to be awake that early), spotting wildlife along the beach (animals and fish, not wild humans) and all those wonder filled ways God has to show Himself in beautiful, beautiful nature. Well, His ways are not ours. We rarely saw sunlight, experienced a lot of rain, dreary overcast skies, saw tar balls on the beach and even experienced a few power outages along the way. Yet, this is one of the best trips I have ever taken. Had the best time with family (includes Dena) and thoroughly enjoyed myself, meanwhile the Lord was there whispering His truths in my ears. I don't think everything the Lord showed me is for blog publication but I do think the night the lights went out at the Hilton can be shared.

Last Wednesday night, we returned to the hotel after a wonderful evening out. The five of us had gone for pedis/manis or both, eaten delicious Mexican food, shopped and had great success in several very cute shops, and topped off the evening with ice cream from Brewster's. I was thrilled that they had fat free/no added sugar ice cream. Dena was driving (she loves in town driving, which I don't and I love Interstate/Highway driving and she doesn't) and she commented how dark the parking lot was. Since we couldn't find a close parking place, we decided for our last night we would valet park to ease our departure the next morning. As we pulled under the porte cache (love that word) we were directed by a bellman with flashlights. Looking inside the hotel as we pulled in, I saw darkness with a scattering spots of light coming from flashlights. We were told valet parking would be complementary, since the computers were down (complementary is hotel talk for free) and to go to the front desk to get a flashlight. We did just that and then tried to figure out what to do. No one seemed to be panicked. Dena and I made our way toward the part of the lobby that was mainly used for conventions and meetings. This particular week, Louisiana lawyers were having a big meeting. Don't know if it was for litigation concerning the oil spill or if it was just the yearly thing that Louisiana lawyers do. We made our way to an information table and sat in the chairs behind it. We had no information to give and well, no one asked. For some reason, I was shutting down. I didn't want to think about potential avenues we might need to take. My heart was way out of rhythm and my ankles were continuing to swell. Dena did some investigative work to get us information so we would have our bearings and figure out our way. By this time we had procured a couch in the lobby area which would provide much more comfort than the chairs. I sat there and prayed. I know Dena was praying as well. We both knew since one elevator was working on emergency power, we would eventually have to make that trip up to the 9th floor if nothing more than for me to get my meds. As I sat there asking God for wisdom and emailing Roy because my phone battery was just about dead and the boy doesn't text, this verse from Psalm 139 kept coming to mind, "even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you." Dena came back with ice water, what a good friend and we discussed our options...knowing we were going to have to go up on that elevator. We talked to many who passed us by, even some official looking guys who informed us a major transformer had blown and the replacement part was in Pensacola. There were two other large condos without power. It might be sometime mid day on Thursday when the power would be restored. Roy called us and said, they wouldn't let people on the elevator if anyone thought it would be unsafe. We also learned that there were emergency lights on in the hallway, so it wouldn't be total darkness once we stepped off the elevator. That helped us and so finally after waiting in the lobby for over an hour, we had the courage to ride up to the 9th floor. We said our goodbyes to our elevator mates with the same refrain those who had gotten off us before us said, "well good luck! We made it to our floor."
Actually our room wasn't hot. The overcast skies had lowered the outdoor temps and they had been in the low 80's. Since both Dena and I are safety conscious, we used our own flashlights brought from home and we packed up our things. Then about midnight we decided to go ahead and try to get some sleep. We kept the balcony door closed but opened up the curtains to let in all the night time light we could get. Now I'm not saying it was the best night's sleep I've ever had, but it wasn't bad. I woke up around 3:00 am wide awake but Dena's snoring put me right back to sleep. OK, that's not true, her snoring kept me awake. OK, OK, that's not true either, she doesn't even snore. Whatever, I finally fell asleep only to be awakened at 5:30 with lights and the TV. Dena turned off the lights and TV and I got up to turn down the A/C. The power went off again...but it came right back on, I got up again to turn down the A/C and fell back to bed and to sleep in a nano second. We gave some thanks to the Lord though, before falling back to sleep.
Later that morning when I had some quiet time, God reminded me how much the power outage and darkness journey was not unlike the heart journey I find myself on right now. Even though I have done all the "right" things, it is all out of my control. God knows and is in control. I keep reading Acts 27 and 28 about Paul's journey to Rome. It was a difficult journey but God kept Paul informed. Even when they knew they were near an island, unknown to them, God gave them some familiar knowings to keep taking the right moves in the right direction. They were in darkness, but they did what they knew to do and God gave them light along the way. When they all reached Malta, it wasn't such a bad outcome, they were taken care of. They continued their journey and God sent provision, encouragement and fellowship along the way. Dena and I got to walk that out and experience God's love and provision in a time that would have been easy to sit down and have a fit or get angry over it all or do something stupid. Believe me, we eventually saw a little bit of that behavior from others.
Of course this has gone on too long and I will never be able to write it out in any way to do any justice to the spiritual impact it made upon me. Of course God has a great sense of humor, at the Holiday Inn at Hammond, LA Thursday night, they had a power outage in their restaurant and no meals were being served. So we ran over to Pizza Hut near by for the salad bar and the pizza buffet...their A/C was out and only to go orders were being taken. No prob, we ordered a veggie pizza, went to Wendy's to pick up a salad and iced tea and then came back for the pizza. We enjoyed a delicious dinner in our hotel room.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

What a Way to End a Great Weekend

We love spending some holiday time with the Bains and their extended family. Roy and I went out to their home yesterday afternoon and had a blast. Roy took about 118 pictures, so I have culled them down somewhat. It is really fun to watch Roy take pictures. He has found a new hobby and is already researching for a new, better and faster camera. We had to leave before the second night of fireworks. It is a work day for Roy today and I did have an early cardiologist appointment. The Dr had an emergency this morning, so I will now go this afternoon. Enjoy the pictures.

The sunsets are beautiful at Lake Bain.

Friends are beautiful too! Peggy gave me my birthday present early. It is a vintage napkin dispenser that says, The Quiz Master on it. Now this is only funny to us because in our Mildred and Gertrude scripts, I refer to Ed (Roy) as the Quiz Master. He does ask a lot of questions and his tendency is for early morning questions. I am not a morning person.

So excited to see my gift.

I wonder if Bill would even notice is something was misplaced?

Grand kids having so much fun on the lake.

Bill trying to catch a large bass.

We were going to sit in the gazebo, but love bugs had met their final coupling and death on the we opted to go back to the dock.

Grand kids awaiting the pull out of the water.

Two out of three people love the jet ski

The lovely Bain Compound.

The lovely gazebo, home of the final resting place of love bugs.

The warm up of a beautiful sunset, showing us the show to come.

God's handiwork.