Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feeling a Little Nehemiah-esck Today

Oh Tuesday morning, (the actual day and morning, not the store) you are most welcomed. Guess mainly due to the fact that I get to ease into today. Yesterday, I was up at 6:00 am and yes it has been quite some time since I've had to rouse myself that early to be ready to hit the road by 7:30 am. I had a fasting blood lab appointment first thing. After giving blood I was on to the tastier portion of the day, breaking the fast at Buffalo Grille. For 45 minutes I ate, read and sipped cinnamon toasted coffee. Delicious! And like other early morning visits there I learned a lot about real estate, investments and the local political scene. Most men do not visit with their inside voices. There was a good smattering of ladies who breakfast with the noticeable lack of children due to school. Only one well behaved toddler was in our midst.

After a relaxing breakfast I was off to the medical center for my cardiologist appointment. A little more confident this trip in comparison to my last journey into the bowels of medicine, I allowed 45 minutes to drive, valet, and arrive just a tad early for my appointment. This perfect time mapping plan was nearly nixed by a dangerous minivan driver. He and I was surprised it was a man driving the beast, stops traffic in the middle of Fannin to let out two passengers whose efficiency of de-vaning the minivan was atrocious. They must have mistaken the wires overhead for a porte cache. (Knew I could work in my favorite word into the old blog this morning) Everyone behind me is honking, not just short toots of the horn but a laying into of said horns. I wanted to get out of my car to proclaim my innocence of it not being me stopping traffic but the stupid minivan. Of course I kept my composure because low numbers were of the essence for my forthcoming appointment. After sometime of the leisure actions of the minivan, he moved on, straight to valet parking... Uh, they couldn't have waited for the light to change and make a right turn? Anyway, I wanted to give this man a glaring of a lifetime, but how can one do so when the gentleman makes no eye contact? And I promise you this man had his pants hiked up so high, way past a waistline so that his belt touched the bottom of his shirt pocket, and with that my glare would have soon turned to a snicker if there had been eye contact. Uh, that has to be uncomfortable in the southern hemisphere region of the body. Dude, the man wasn't overweight at all, so it was really odd to see pants that high.

I arrived with 7 minutes to spare to a waiting room filled with old people. I realized most of these people's appointments were after mine. I think this doctor's office has realized the mistake of having closed sliding windows at the front desk area and locks on the door to the sacred back rooms. The elderly don't feel so shut out and don't make the every 5 minute trip to the window with specious questions and their motive is just to make sure they KNOW that they are THERE with it all open. Each time the nurse came to the waiting room and called out a name, the lucky named called went back and left the rest to ponder who would be named at the next calling. On one trip the nurse called out the name and no one responded. He called the name again, left for a moment and came back to call for the next named appointment. Some were gleeful in that they had moved up when the no show had left, whether it was for a short trip to the bathroom or had left for the day.

My name was called (so long suckers :) ) and I didn't get a room with a view this visit. Fine by me, I had a great read going on. Now I had dressed in case the appointment was short so that I could attend a funeral i.e. a dress. That was certainly the wrong choice of clothing because I had to do another EKG. Note to self, no more dresses to cardiologist appointments. After that laughable experience it was rather mundane for the rest of the appointment. But they spent two hours with me, asking questions, running tests, asking more questions, giving me answers and then the final verdict of the Dr coming in and giving me the plan. He said, my patients are only those whose lives are falling apart and I think today will be a significant step toward rebuilding you. My thoughts immediately turned to the book of Nehemiah. My heart walls were broken down, gates destroyed and had been left in ruin. Now here came a Doctor who has inspected it all, the bad and the good, the improvements and the lack of improvement, the job started but then stalled and says, "let's start rebuilding." I replied back to him, "yes, let's start the rebuilding and begin this good work."

Friday, August 27, 2010

Be Unto Your Name

Friday, you were a long time coming this week. Not that the week has been a particularly difficult one, but there have been moments both sad and joyful. A friend from church passed away this week after a long and hard fight with cancer. She is at home with the Lord, complete and whole. Another friend is preparing for the passing of a much loved family member. Other friends have just had their first child. Our thoughts are turned to a loved one whose beginning a new and wonderful adventure. Roy anticipates his photography class. My numbers have been the best they've been in quite some time and thankful for that since my appointment is Monday with the heart specialist. Hopefully good numbers will mean I'll start on a medicine that will help my heart behave. Hello Friday!

In choir we have been singing, Be Unto Your Name. These words have brought hope and peace to this week's events. Yes, even in the mundane and ordinary trappings of regular days. If you have time listen to this song and be encouraged!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mis-Taken Steps

How did this happen? Well, I know how, my ADD kicked in and I've been off in a bunny trail I never planned to go down this afternoon. Anyway, this morning after running a few errands which included a trip by the ol' church house and working out at LT, I returned home energized for a little more organization around here. Although I noticed this morning on my iPod, none of my Tina Turner had been transferred onto it, that task would only take a few moments to complete and onward toward organization. So while I was eating lunch Tina began transferring over. Of course I had to listen to a few of those songs that I LOVE. Then I thought I'd better get the choir Fall tunes over into itunes and onto the ipod. So of course I had to get on Facebook and then look at blogs. I've realized that not all of Tina is in my music itune library. Who knows where those CDs could be, but I began looking. Oh wow, in my search, I came across some more CDs I'd forgotten about and never have put them into itunes. Of course things around here are begging to be organized and going through all these CDs is making more of a mess. I don't mind, Tina tunes are playing in the background. All my steps around here are to the beat with some flourishing the beat with arm and fist punches. Now to begin some of this mad organization. Oh, by the time I start it will be time for me to get ready for choir. Maybe tomorrow or better yet Friday sounds like a great day to be more organized.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Weekend Recap

It has been quite a fun weekend. Roy's new camera arrived on Friday and he is one happy and excited camper. He is signed up for photography classes that begin in September. None of the following pictures were taken with his new camera. So, we celebrated the much researched and much anticipated arrival of his camera and backpack. On Friday evening Dena and I went out to dinner to celebrate her....___ birthday. Let's see, she is two years younger than me. Anyway, she picked out one of our favorite oldie but goodie places, Massas Grill. They serve the best fried shrimp and steak fries. We were a little disappointed to find that the tomatoes capresse is no longer a salad option but the raspberry endive salad was divine. Dinner conversation was not at a loss and we began contemplating our dessert options. Massa's is really good but their desserts are not calorie worthy. I mean if you are going to take a major step off the healthy eating plan, the dessert needs to be worth it. Foolishly, we thought, oh yes dessert at Grand Luxe. Ha ha ha...what were we thinking? No parking and the line waiting for a table was out the door. Plan B was Mama's Cafe. They serve some great coconut creme pie and cinnamon coffee. Perfect! After dessert, we waddled back to the car and headed to her place so that she could open her birthday gift. Had the scare of the evening while she was showing me her new computer and as I was turning to leave the room I stepped on something that made noise. First though, oh gee, I've stepped on Sassy (her cat) but it was this stuffed animal. A lion and it made all kinds of funny roaring noises. I almost wet my pants laughing so hard cause I might have set a new world record in the standing broad jump.

On Saturday morning, Dayspring our Sunday School class, celebrated Dena's and Carolyn's birthday at Pappasitta's. Yes, introducing more to the joy of the pecan pancakes. We all had a blast!

One can meet the most interesting people and decorations in the Pappasita's party room.

This is Dena and me posing for a pic.

This is Thuy, pronounced Twee. She is a blast and loves The Nord too. She's good people.

Of course a birthday isn't a birthday without the sombrerros and a Happy Birthday song at Pappasita's. No head lice were procurred from previous wearers of the sombrerro.

You be the judge. Either one of these two is very shy or one of them did not follow directions. If you guessed did not follow directions, you are correct.

Today was Back to School Sunday at Houston's First Baptist. We were asked to wear our team colors or shirts from a school we root or support. Roy graduated from LSU and University of Houston, but his "play" college he supports is Rice. I went to Southwest Texas State, now known as Texas State University and University of Houston. I was accepted at Baylor, love rooting for Rice but had to go with Old Dominion University. Why? Because they are the Monarchs. We support Team Monarch, so I ordered t-shirts from Old Dominion to proudly display that fact. Roy also wore a baseball jersey from Rice University.

These are our friends David and Emily. We went out to lunch with them after church today and had a great time. Love them! Yes, even though they wear the burnt orange, we still love them and will share a meal with them.

Ah Sunday evening, you came quickly. Sunday evenings when I worked were the hardest. It's the time when you close down the weekend and begin ramping up for the work week ahead. Tomorrow is the beginning of school for most here in the Houston area. The malls will be strangely but nicely quiet, the gym will be less crowded and Target won't be too bad until after school lets out. Summer has gone by too fast but I wouldn't be telling the truth if I told you I'm looking forward to the fall named months and the hope of cooler temperatures.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Calm Before Shopping the Tax Free Weekend

I just got back from lunch, in The Bistro at The Nord. A fellow traveler on the journey of heart issues and I met. We talked about a lot of stuff but there was a smattering of shop talk of the heart kind in between our other subjects. There is all such manner of topics, meds, doctors, little chest pains here and there, fears, prescribed life changes and the such. Since we both have slimmed down considerably, we loved talking about smaller sizes. In fact after lunch we celebrated smaller sizes by doing some shopping on level 2 in Point of View. Even thought the special of crab mac and cheese was tempting, we both made the right choice of the crab stack. We sat there in my favorite booth in The Bistro and reveled in the generous gift of God of extending our lives and enjoying and giving our gratitude to Him for such a wonderful day. We were ensconced in that booth and several times as we compared our journeys and reminded ourselves of our treasured friendship, it likened the thought and comparison of the deep bonds that form in bunkers and trenches of those involved in war. Although we didn't do this verbally, as we talked and gave all glory to God for His goodness to us in the land of the living, we could have shouted...or maybe just said, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26

It seems life is to be lived in rhythms not balance. We need to be more in tune with the ebb and flow and seasons or even trans-seasonal times. It is more about managing our energy than it is about managing our time. It is being fully aware of what God is doing or saying to us. The other night David Jeremiah said something so interesting. He named Moses, Elijah, Job, the disciples and a few other Biblical people whose names now escape me and David J made the point that God spoke to them out of the storm. David Jeremiah said, when we are in a stormy season, know that the Lord is speaking to us, we have to stop listening to the wind, the thunder and storm noises to hear His voice and listen to the wise word He has for us. Speaking for myself, too many times I am running away from the sounds of the storm because storm noises can scare me. I'm seeking shelter instead of seeking Creator God in the midst of the storm.

Nordstrom and The Galleria in general had a calm about it today. Everyone is waiting to descend upon retailers tomorrow to start off tax free weekend. The mall had the feel of everyone already being back in school. Even Macy's was good. There must be a customer service emphasis at the Macy's in The Galleria. Customers are greeted from all over the store. They are even using paper shopping bags. Those bags are like gold, Jerry, gold. There is not a bag to spare, no spare bags except for huge plastic things that don't really do the job. Today, the Galleria Macy's didn't have what the Memorial City one has in some merchandise I was interested in purchasing. Wow, they ordered it online for me and included free shipping. Macy's is getting all Nordstrom-like. Very nice!

I leave you with this fun video. This could so happen in the parking lots and parking garages in and around Houston. Be careful out there all you brave ones attempting tax free weekend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Can't Take Another Sad Animal Story Right Now

With heat advisories in Houston and experiencing mid day energy depletion while out and about running errands, it is no wonder that I have been reading like a wild woman, indoors. I've been knocking off books in my to be read pile in record time. I started a new book yesterday and had to stop reading it when the main character accidentally shoots her dog. Maybe I will try to start it again but I don't know, it is tough getting past that. Over the weekend I read a book that I've anxiously waited for the release of, Let's Take the Long Way Home, a memoir of friendship. On the inside of the jacket of the book is this quote, "It's an old, old story: I had a friend and we shared everything, and then she died and so we shared that too." So, I know going in one of them dies so I was braced for that moment, but what I wasn't prepared for were words concerning the long time four legged friend of the writer and that precarious adventure. I was crying, ugly crying on Sunday night as I finished the book. Dang it, I was saddened by her friend's death but totally unprepared for the rest of the story. Last night I began Laura Bush's book and I really like it so far. Nothing sad better happen to an animal in her story, I just can't take it right now. It is strange how we can or how I can get so moved by animal stories. Maybe I was more sensitive because Buddy the cat has been much more loving and affectionate lately. She cannot get enough of me, my lap and having the side of her head rubbed.

This morning was my monthly massage with Diane. She has done a wonder with my shoulder. Her deep tissue massages are the bomb and it grieved me something awful to tell her I didn't think I could take it today. Being on blood thinners and bruising easily made that decision for me. It was still good. After drinking an Energizer smoothie, I was off to Anthropologie with a 15% off birthday coupon for my total purchase. I've had my eye on some small plates and bowls and a few other fun things. Of course I had to stop at Barnes and Noble, since I was so close. It was not a wasted trip. Now I'm fight the urge to nap.

Roy bought some purple hull peas on Saturday morning at the farmer's market and I made them on Sunday evening. So tonight, we will have the last of the leftovers, along with sliced home grown tomatoes. Nope, I didn't grow them but somebody at their home did. And it has been ever so delightful to have no sugar added ice cream with strawberries. We eat them according to the correct portion, so you know that means about a 1/2 cup of ice cream and a whole bunch of berries. No animals were hurt in doling out the half cup portion.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Quiet Thoughts

On Monday I had lunch with two friends from my tennis playing days. Only Patt is still playing tennis. Seems like so many that were so gung ho about tennis, myself included, no longer play. Many have taken up bridge or golf. There is only so much pounding you can take and I'm not talking about feet on the tennis court. At the time I played, tennis politics took up too much time and energy. At the end of our lunch we pulled out our calendars and made another date for lunch. Loved that! Typically, that is how every match ended when everyone would pull out their calendars and start throwing out dates months in advance to make games. Roy told me when I was in the early days of recovering from myocarditis that he was so glad he didn't have to make phone calls finding subs for all my tennis games.

This week I've been easing back into a routine of having "something" every day. A lot of my summer schedule has been numerous Dr visits for various reasons. Most days I'm able to ease into the day and most importantly keep stress to a minimum. It has been good for the body and mind but it tends to make me a little more boring. Oh well... This week I was scheduled to go back to the specialist but he had to reschedule due to a conflict. That is fine by me because it is giving me more time to adjust to the new meds.

The journey I've been on has created quiet in me. I am content. The unnecessary "fight" in me has dissipated. That is not to say there isn't "fight" in me to function, live and be healthy, there is. It is the unnecessary "fight", nothing more than an energy thief that now seems to ebb more than it flows these days. In Isiah it says in quiet and confidence is your peace. The New Testament encourages us many times to seek peace, to pursue peace. So peace is a hard sought state and if it is going to be experienced consistently, it it pursued constantly. I've come to realize it is not a balance but a rhythm. I was telling a friend last night that these days I feel more like who God really created me to be. I'm comfortable in who I am in Christ and that overflow has helped put to rest all those things I thought I had to be. A little example is this: God created me funny...no that doesn't sound right, let's see...He created me to be humorous. That's better! I don't crave the stage, never really have, I'm more comfortable being humorous in conversations or in writing. Wednesday night Peggy and I did a promotional thing for the choir. It was fun but while I was on the stage I remember thinking, "what in the Sam Hill am I doing up here?" On the physical side of things the next morning I found myself with several large and painful bruises from the slap stick. I knew that since part of the parameters given to me health wise is to stay away from bruising, that for this season I will need to step back and let others take to the stage. And I'm not upset about that at all.

The idea that my blog has to be intentional in delivering biblical truths or holding forth a lesson for others is found in this quiet. If God uses anything here, to Him be the glory. I'm just sitting here sharing life and not waiting to be discovered by the thousands. This is a pleasant avenue to put some thoughts together, sometimes serious, sometimes random, sometimes funny and sometimes unnecessary. Then I have them put into book form and they are in the midst of my journals and the blog presence is to take the edge off. I would like my descendants to know that life wasn't always about the hard and difficult, which journal writing tends to drift toward, but there are many more days of joy, gratitude and experiencing generous days.

There are other areas that God is creating a change in but those aren't for the old Monablog. But the quiet going on inside of me is quite refreshing and welcomed.

Monday, August 9, 2010

What Comes First a Chicken or a Laughing Cow?

Roy and I are back on the straight and narrow path after taking a few detours and side trips that happened during the birthday week. It was encouraging after Wednesday's breakfast of two donuts and later that evening when dinner concluded with dessert, that I missed the simple foods that are the staples of our eating plan. On Thursday I was happy to go back to yogurt and fruit and no real sugary dessert after dinner. Now Friday night, a little side trip at Taste of Texas in the arena of bread was a delightful jaunt and apple crisp with cinnamon ice cream was a delicious diversion. Although it was fruit and the cinnamon in the ice cream helped to stabilize my blood glucose. I have real estate in the swamp to sell as well....

So, tonight for dinner I thought Nancy, well I could have thought Susan but I wouldn't have responded, Nancy why don't you make a delicious dinner of toast, tomatoes and egg beaters? I decided that instead of having a dinner from My Fit Food, I would make scrambled eggs and use egg beaters. Now something that I have found that works so well with the egg beaters is a wedge of low fat/low calorie Laughing Cow Cheese. And since I didn't have enough egg beaters to make a serving, I added one egg to the mixture. Now, have I ever mentioned that I have the attention span of a gnat? So sometime during getting my low calorie whole wheat bread into the toaster and returning to the scrambled egg mixture on the stove, I completely forgot about using egg beaters and adding the Laughing Cow Cheese. Since I forgot this vital information I began stirring the mixture and this thought pops into the old brain, "what is that white stuff there amongst the eggs?" Remember, I am forgetting I added cheese, using one real egg and the remaining mixture is egg beaters and of course I freak out. Oh my goodness, this is a HUGE chicken embryo that has been developing inside the egg. Oh no! I just participated in the abortion of a small baby chick! Oh and being the Bible scholar of weird and strange verses, of course this verse comes to mind. It comes to mind because it kind of, in a funny kind of way, has been my life verse during the past two years while I've been losing weight.

"Don't people complain about unsalted food? Does anyone want the tasteless white of an egg? My appetite disappears when I look at it; I gag at the thought of eating it." Job 6:6-7

I began to gag and choke a bit. I was in a hurry to dump this mess and retreat to the safe knowing of My Fit Food. Suddenly it hit me. I was reminded, oh yes, this white blob is not an aborted baby chicken, it is merely the by product of a laughing cow. Man, I began to laugh because this is not the first time I have had this happen while preparing scrambled eggs. A good reminder to Roy and to me, it really isn't safe for me to be alone in a kitchen preparing food.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Pictures From the Week

Here are a few pictures from last week.

Here are my Pappasita's Brunch Bunch

This is from Thursday at the Nord. Lisa P and I celebrated my %^ birthday. She is pouring some delicious Orange Dulce tea.

Friends know what ya love and Lisa P knows I love me some good jammies. How much better to have little lambies on my jammies, cause I love lambs.

Here we are after our lunch and the mess that is tissue paper. The bag says Rock On and we did.

Another view of the Pappasita's Brunch Bunch. I believe a few became believers in the goodness that is pecan pancakes.

Peggy and Lisa P ordered from the bar... pink lemonade.

Peggy observed that if she had raised the glass just a little more, it would look like Lisa was drinking from the nose.

This is Michael. He was our waiter at Taste of Texas on Friday evening. Dena and I celebrated my %^ birthday. It was all good. If you know Dena, there is always a to go box in her hand when she leaves a restaurant. Not this time.
Here we are on the way to licking the platters clean.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Today I Am %^ Years Old

Today I am %^ years old. Buddy Lee and I share a birthday but she is only 3, I mean #, today. She might be younger but I think I'm getting the better celebration on our birthday. This morning Roy got up early and made a donut run to Shipley's. During the past year while losing weight the only food and this is only if donuts are considered a food, that I craved was iced cake donuts. Believe me, my Simpson's watching has been curbed because in almost every episode Homer has a pink iced donut....argh....donut. Sorry, had to stop my drooling. So this morning because it is my birthday, Roy went out and brought home iced cake donuts for my birthday breakfast. Can I tell you they were delicious! Yes, I ate two. Anyway, I ate them with a knife and fork to prolong all the goodness of those cake donuts for as long as possible. My long time friend since high school, Mary Madeline, called this morning and we had a fab-u-lous time visiting. The Facebook birthday wishes have overwhelmed me with such kind words. I am most blessed with wonderful friends!
Tonight Roy is taking me out to dinner. My choice of place was made solely on a dessert choice. I did think to weigh this morning before tackling a day of forbidden sugar and I have lost another pound. Makes the total of 127. Of course tomorrow's numbers will be totally different both weight and blood glucose wise. But, I know it is only one day that I'll be taking part of stuff that is not normal consumption for me these days.
For a change of pace work out wise, I did some cardio in the pool yesterday morning. It was tight timing in between the two groupings of old ladies that monopolize the pool and won't let you read because they want conversation. While drying off I did visit with Fern. I'm thinking of going out there again today but I missed the morning window of time, so I will opt for the afternoon slot after the old ladies retreat and before the young people converge.
Love that later this week I also have a couple of birthday dinners with friends. Ya gotta love the extendomatic birthday. Well, I just got a call that flowers are being delivered and they are in the office. Since it is my birthday I'm still in my jammies. Guess I better get dressed or throw on my bathing costume complete with cover up and get on down there and pick them up.
Maybe I will wake Buddy up from her second mid morning nap and give her some birthday treats. She'll think the flowers are for her because she is always interested in flowers in vases.