Thursday, October 28, 2010

Michael's, Hobby Lobboy, Sound of Music on Oprah. What's Happening? Who am I?

If it's Thursday it is Bible study day in Katy. After Bible study Peggy and I went to lunch. I thought the new Lupe Tortilla had opened but alas we have a couple more weeks of waiting for that grand and glorious day. So Peggy suggested we head over to El Rancho and so we did. It just so happened that El Rancho is next door to....Hobby Lobby. So as we visited and ate our delicious lunch, I pondered how to bring up the subject to Peggy that I would like to go to Hobby Lobby. I finally worked up the courage to ask if she was in a rush to leave after we ate and then presented Hobby Lobby to her complete with documentation. Of course we sanguines, if any thing is made to be fun, we are so there. We both had the deer in the headlight look and when I asked the clerk where the scrapbook stuff was, she looked at us like, are y'all daft? Yes, yes we are. Anyway, the scrapbook junk is behind the cake decorating junk which is halfway back in the store. We had a lot of stuff to divert our ADD attention. Wow, there were several rows of all kinds of stuff. Peggy lamented that she found basketball stickers now that she is retired that she could have used when she was coaching. While we were overwhelmed with all the creative crafting opportunities, we remembered crafts from our past. There was the applique period where collars were decorated and then put on over white shirts. Now there is a look that never needs to come back. Then there was spin art, painting t shirts, and making t-shirts out of some kind of jersey that only took two seams. The 70's, may that decade rest in peace.

Our approach to the sacred craft place. Notice the golden rays of sunlight bathing the building in all their glory. It was kind of like the star of Bethlehem guiding us, the two wise women.
We passed up the baskets but never pass up an opportunity to have fun with wreaths. I wish you could see the lady that is to the left, just outside the vast range of my camera phone. You would have thought we had desecrated the Holy of Holies by the look on her face.

Where do I begin? How does one stop? Where in the world is everything? Fun with raffia? Just call me a Raffiaferian.

The sadness of just now locating volleyball stickers that she could have used to encourage the Episcopalians she coached this year. One set of those stickers would have probably meant one more win for the Wolves.

We have always depended on the kindness of strangers. We asked one of our fellow crafters (you know when in Rome), to take our picture. We should have posed with some of my purchases which happened to be 50% off.

We are thinking of adding this to our boat load of talent. Cake decorating with Peggy and Nancy... Would you attend? Several years ago we entered a cake in a Valentine's cake baking contest and we won. Our cake was made in the shape of a real heart and we used Twizzlers and other candy to make the aorta. We wrote on the top of the cake, I Aorta Love You, But I Don't.

We captured a picture of us saying goodbye to the Hobby Lobby. We noted we could be there at 9:00 am if we wanted to...but most days and I am only speaking for myself, but this probably applies to Peggy, I just might still be asleep.
Yes, I would have lost hope if I hadn't believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Believe me, that step outside the store and with that first breath of fresh air, we knew we had returned to the land of the living because we were so out of place in there. But we had fun! I got 50% off!

Wouldn't you know it, all the major cast member of the Sound of Music were on Oprah today...and I watched it. Why? I have no clue. I don't even really like the Sound of Music (the movie not the actual sound of music). I texted Peggy to let her know it was on but the cable was out at her home. I asked her, who am I becoming? Craft store and Sound of Music? The only remedy to all this strangeness happening in my life today, I made a quick trip to The Nord to bring my world back into rotation.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Sing, Sing a Song. Make it Simple Sing out Strong. Oh and Pay Attention to What it Means

When we were in Huntsville several weeks ago we stopped at an antique store that had a bunch of recent, by that I mean from the 1950's and up, hymnals. I have been reading about and have become interested in artful journaling. Of course my lack of any artistic talents hasn't stopped me. I'm finding what is lacking in artistic work on a personal level is being marketed on a corporate level. Thus the aforementioned trip to Michael's yesterday. I can be creative in the way I layout the designs and use stamps and stickers, oh and stanzas from hymnals. I've enjoyed the process of this so far and in fact I'm inspired to take over Roy's beverage barn room, former guest room, and begin to use the 6 foot table for my journal creations instead of Power Aid, Gatorade and Diet Coke storage. But back to the hymnals. I bought two Baptist Hymnals circa 1952 and 1970's. The 1970's edition has the much beloved hymn, God of Earth and Outer Space and Pentecostal Power. Since the 70's introduced the theological tugging of speaking in tongues, we always thought on those rare occasions where the congregation got to pick the songs to sing and usually this happened on Sunday nights, that we teenagers were so funny always requesting those two songs. Especially the Pentecostal Power song since the chorus had the phrase "and baptize everyone" in it. After awhile the music minister didn't even look our way. He wanted to go with the tried and true favorites Break Thou the Bread of Life and Blessed Day of Motherhood. He should have been thankful that teenagers had chosen to be in church instead of the other various locations where temptations were available and just get the thing over with and at least let the congregation sing one of those songs. While looking through the hymnals I'm remembering good times from Sunday night church as a junior high schooler bored out of our minds but we were industrious bored ones. You probably did this too; where you add underneath the sheets to titles from the hymn book. Example, I Will Sing the Wondrous Story...underneath the sheets or Just As I Am...between the sheets. Either version was proper for junior highers. It kept us amused and continually in trouble with our parents after church. They could hear our muted giggles coming from the back row of the sanctuary. Ahem... So, I bought the hymnals to use in my artful journaling. There were a lot of words and change of direction between the first and last sentence of this paragraph. Hope you enjoyed the diversion and the journey.

Since I have been off task in telling this story, a new paragraph just might keep me on task. Anyway, I bought a Methodist hymnal too since many of the old favorites are really from a Methodist ilk. The preface of the hymnal pulled my to attention because included in it, John Wesley's admonition of 1761 titled, DIRECTIONS FOR SINGING in the hymnal Select Hymns. John Wesley had seven admonitions for congregational singing. I'm not going to list them all but just the ones that seem most interesting.

  • Learn these tunes before you learn any others; afterwards learn as many as you please.
  • Sing lustily and with a good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep, but lift your voice with strength. Be no more afraid of your voice now, nor more ashamed of it being heard than when you sung the songs of Satan.
  • Above all sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing Him more than yourself, or any other creature. In order to do this attend strictly to the sense of what you sing, and see that your heart is not carried away with the sound, but offered to God continually; so shall your singing be such as the Lord will approve here, and reward you when He cometh in the clouds of heaven.

Even if I never used this hymnal for my journal, and I already have since It is Well in the Baptist Hymnal has a song on the back of it that I might use too, these directions from 1761 so spoke to my heart in 2010. The sing spiritually point is so profound and timeless just as we are to worship the God who is profound and timeless and all knowing and all present. John Wesley wrote in other points to sing hymns exactly as they are printed, sing all, join with the congregation, sing modestly, do not bawl, and sing in time, don't run ahead or stay behind the leading voices.

Let me leave you with the words from the hymn voted worst hymn ever on Google. In retrospect some of the wording is so innocent and sweet but other phrases are just out there...well in Outer Space. I don't know if I could seriously sing this with John Wesley's direction of sing spiritually. The song brings back fun memories of immaturity and being a lover of fun. Yes, I know the memories I made yesterday at the age of 56 still falls into the category of immaturity and fun.

God of Earth and Outer Space

Words: Thad Roberts, Jr.

God of earth and outer space, God of love and God of grace,
Bless the astronauts who fly, As they soar beyond the sky.
God who flung the stars in space, God who set the sun ablaze,
Fling the spacecraft thro’ the air, Let man know your presence there.

God of atmosphere and air, God of life and planets bare,
Use man’s courage and his skill, As he seeks your holy will.
God of depth and God of height, God of darkness, God of light,
As man walks in outer space, Teach him how to walk in grace.

God of man’s exploring mind, God of wisdom, God of time,
Launch us from complacency, To a world in need of thee.
God of power, God of might, God of rockets firing bright.
Hearts ignite and thrust within, Love for Christ to share with men.

God of earth and outer space, God who guides the human race,
Guide the lives of seeking youth, In their search for heav’nly truth.
God who reigns below, above, God of universal love,
Love that gave Nativity, Love that gave us Calvary.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Day the Earth Became Unbalanced

Did you feel the earth go a little off kilter this morning? If you felt that little seismic shift you have me to blame. This morning I actually went into a Michael's craft store...there was a slight rumbling and then I made a purchase from the craft store... No veils were torn in two but a lot of glue became non-potent. There was quite a bit of of overcast skies, but lightning and wind didn't whip up when I came out the door of Michael's with two bags of stuff. No golden calf or broken, decorative tablets in the parking lot. I noticed that I stuck out like a sore thumb in the craft store. I wasn't dressed the same, I didn't have a list and I think my expression was a look of deer in the headlights amazed at all the choices and the things that can be created from raffia. I wasn't really willing to cause all out catastrophe, but I was thinking about stopping at the fabric store on my way home. I really wasn't willing for the world to come to an end just because I purchased materials in a craft store and might have purchased fabric from the fabric store. So, to make sure the earth didn't stay off kilter, I went to Academy where I am much more comfortable and purchased some workout clothes. Thanks to that quick thinking, we will not all be thrown out into outer space because of me and the path I chose this morning.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Updates and My Chaka Khan Procedure

The past several days I've attempted posting pictures from our Friday in Huntsville. Blogger hasn't been cooperating. I finally got several pictures up and then they disappeared once the post was ready to be published. So, I'll give it another try soon but today thought words will have to do.

Roy has been in Madisonville for the Mushroom Festival. No, he isn't an affection ado of fungus. I usually have to compromise with him every other pizza to get mushrooms on the veggie edition. His photography class was going there to take pictures and to celebrate those who won or placed in the photography contest. Roy didn't place and he seemed a bit discouraged but my goodness this is his first attempt. Although this is the man who shed a tear when he made a C in a class in law school. In all his years of schooling, he had never made a C. In my academic world of experience, a C was the new A. But he has been taking a lot of pictures and having a good time doing it. I knew I wouldn't be able to withstand the rigors of recording the choir CD this weekend. So I took it easy with a pecan pancake breakfast and some shopping this morning. Came home and took a nap. Ah bliss... Roy called just awhile ago and told me he stopped in Huntsville at The Farmhouse and is bringing home some strawberry cake for me.

I have been contemplating for some time about doing an artful journal. So, I have picked up a few interesting things here and there and procured some double stick tape and I made my first page yesterday. It was fun. Since the extent of my artist endeavors and expertise is stick figures, I bought some fun books full of stickers to use. Those have been quite useful. I picked It is Well With My Soul out of the Methodist Hymn book that I bought last week and used it in my journal collage. This Methodist hymnal also has In the Bleak Mid Winter in it. Now that is a hymnal!

I am now referring to the Cardioverson as my Chaka Khan procedure.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cardioversion for a $100 Alec

Procedure that returns the heart to a normal rhythm?
What is Cardioversion.
Who will be having this procedure in November?
Who is Nancy?

Yep, I had a good appointment yesterday. After testing and listening to my heart, they came to the conclusion that my other Doctor and I had come to several weeks ago, the medicine wasn't working. In fact, it had made the situation worse. So, in a couple of weeks I'll be heading to St Luke's at dark thirty to have this done, Cardioversion. It is a pretty common procedure, that is until it becomes your common procedure. Being knocked out which is much better than me being knocked up at this time, is not my favorite thing in the world. Believe me I am no Michael Jackson wanna be. The most difficult part of the appointment was getting Roy's schedule and the Cardioversion scheduled on a beneficial day to both schedules. Roy is a compassionate and caring man, but since he was at work when I called him, he was in work mode. So that's the Roy I got on the phone when I filled him in on all the details after the appointment. His first statement, " Do you have a living will?" Well, he knows I don't and so he talked adnaseum about what I need to think about in all of this and have him draw it up. See, it is a common procedure until it is your procedure. So just a quick moment of time, I was a little scared more than happy to have a way to get on back on track of having a somewhat normal heart. Hmm...maybe I will check and make sure Roy hasn't increased my life insurance. Just kidding!

To dissipate this little fear, I stopped in at JoAnne's in the Village to see Lisa P. Only Lisa P wasn't going to be there until 1:00 and I had a lunch date with Peggy and Connie at noon. But, I found a jacket that I loved and since I love it, I have the will to live...see above reference...and will enjoy wearing it this winter. I asked that the sale be credited to Lisa and they did so. Then I was off to the Bistro and had a wonderful time catching up with Connie and laughing with Peggy. I was supposed to have lunch at The Nord today but it got cancelled. On Tuesday evening I had dinner there with Dena. Now you might be asking 3 days of Bistro cuisine? Yes, please!

So if you have had this procedure done, not eating at The Nord, but the cardioversion thing, please comment and give me any helpful hints or things I need to keep an eye on. Also, did you feel well enough the next day to resume normal activities...and by normal activities I mean running errands, going to a meeting and such. If you thought I meant something else, get off that train to smutville!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Frustrations on a Wednesday and a Recap of the Retreat

I am a bit frustrated from this morning. The choir, orchestra and cast get to pre-order tickets for Celebration in December. Of all mornings for the computer and the printer to act up! I frantically called Roy and in the mish mash of my grumbling, mumblings, and definite lack of patience I told Roy I hate the printer. He was a little taken back and replied, no you don't. Yep, I do! He said, hate is such a strong word, you really shouldn't use it. Being corrected and rightly so didn't go over so well with me at first. I declared this was all an attack from the enemy because several that we have invited are not believers. Roy thought it was more from my frustration in dealing with the glicks and non clicks of ordering tickets. I don't care what he says, I still think it is from the enemy. Anyway, when he, Roy not the enemy (, Roy's not the enemy), he is going to get the printer back on line and print the tickets. Also, I am upset because I ordered 6 tickets on the wrong night and when he gets home, he'll have to order them correctly. I'm thinking we have an opportunity to give or sell those Saturday night tickets that are really good seats.

That whole fiasco put me behind on what I needed to get accomplished this morning. I finally hit the road to do errands. I needed to pick up a dessert for Bible study tomorrow and run to Target. Went to the bakery and got some fallish cookies and then tried to find a parking place at Target. What in the world! Everyone and their cousin was there. It was like Christmas when there isn't any parking available. Is Halloween really that big of a holiday? So I punted on Target and ended up in Macy's, uh just to window shop of course and to calm down a little. Well, it was lucky shopping day at Macy's with things marked down 50%. I even found a leather or leatherette silver jacket marked down $80.00. I was so happy to find it because the silver leather jacket I have now is way too big for me and it was an all time favorite of mine. Then I stopped at Whole Foods to see if I could find at the nearest store what I found at the Sugar Land store, sugar free banana nut muffins. None! Bah humbug...or since it is the season should that be boooo humbug? So in conclusion, tickets bought-good, printer not working-bad, ordered wrong night's tickets-maybe OK, delicious cookies for Bible study-good, not being able to eat one-OK, but I'm not losing sleep over that, and silver leather jacket with faux fur-really good.

Friday night at the retreat Kristen, Cindy and Marcia and I joined Lisa P for two songs. We had a blast! Kristen loaned me her cowbell and drumstick and I was not only a singer but an accompanist. It was perfect in rehearsal that John Bolin told me the song needed more cowbell.

Think this is when we did the oh...we...will...sing hallelujah part.
I was giving it my all on the cowbell and to properly play, one must make a special percussion face to do a good job. I got that face down perfectly. My alto part, uh, not so perfect.

Unable to do hand motions because of the before mentioned cowbell.

This is Lisa P and John Bolin singing The Prayer. It was awesome! It really needed cowbell to make it perfect....ha ha...!

Sights from our suite.

The long and winding road that leads to the door....

Our conversation area or if we were in a church this would be called the connection center. It is where Dena and I visited. It is where Cindy, Marcia and I practiced BGV (back ground vocals, I'm getting all professional up in here) for the songs, and it is where Lisa P came to around 11:00 pm and laughed with us until 1:00 am. Good times...
Probably, wait no probably about it, the best part of the retreat for me has no picture documentation, but it is engraved into my memory. We were sitting at a back table for lunch. I was with several friends and with several young women who were friends. One girl came in late and sat at our table...little did we know a divine appointment was getting ready to take place. We were all eating and visiting when the young woman who arrived late asked me if I was Nancy Monarch? Of course I responded maybe, no not really, I said yes. Long story short she was the granddaughter and niece of two of my closest friends from tennis days. In fact I had prayed so often for her grandmother and aunt to come to know the Lord. I have to admit, I didn't think it would ever be answered but prayed on hoping God would answer. Back in the day I brought them to a Christmas event where you decorate the table and between Mary and Marti, our table, themed a Victorian Christmas, won best decorated. Y'all it was over the top good! Come to 2010 and both Mary and Marti are believers. Praise Him! It was so fun to catch up with this young woman and how God has been at work in all their lives. At the end of the retreat she came up to me and thanked me for praying for her grandmother to know Jesus. Wow, what a sweet and precious moment. Guess I can use two out of three of the most said words in women's ministry, sweet, precious and darling. Maybe I'm starting to fit in...nah, I know I won't be using those particular words again today.

Last but not least is my favorite picture from the retreat. Looking to the Son and reflecting His glory and goodness.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Retreating From the Retreat

All the things that I worried about on Friday didn't come close to fruition. Isn't that just how it goes? The women's retreat was very good and a lot of fun. I plan to write more about the retreat later, once I have totally processed everything. Just a hint though, the speaker Donna Gaines was awesome, Lisa P led us in worship that was meaningful, non manipulative and downright fun at times, I had fun with my friends and God gave me a really special gift at the retreat.

Although I must confess, I got a little rebellious and left the retreat for one and a half breakout sessions to go to Pappasita's for the pecan pancakes. Roy placed our orders so that we could eat, enjoy and run back to the retreat. I didn't know he would bring his camera. He was practicing motion shots so he documented our retreat from the retreat. I'm not a fan of table discussions and the rule of thumb for me is, to absence myself out of those deals so that my attitude does not cause others to sin. That would be either by joining in with me or getting mad at me for ruining a table talk discussion. Thus the perfect outlet, pancakes.

We have the joy of the Lord and the joy of pecan pancakes as we left to go back to the retreat.
Cindy getting caught up on the latest happenings. Marcia and I look on some what envious because we didn't have any happenings to catch up on. See the empty chair between me and Marcia? We left it open thinking of our friend Cindy C who was unable to make it to the retreat.

Roy taking close ups and I'm not cooperating.

At ease knowing pancakes are soon to arrive.

Here we are arriving.

Cindy led the way.

We missed our friend Cindy C. She was unable to attend the retreat because a massive migraine
attacked. We missed her in our Sassy Choir and as a friend at the retreat and oh so surely for pancakes.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Turkey in the Straw

This is how I picture myself right now. Oh, I have always known I am a turkey, so nothing new there. No, this picture is perfect for how I am feeling on the inside and outside right now. Why? It's because I am going to the women's retreat sponsored by our church this weekend. It goes back to that old feeling of not fitting in a women's ministry. Oh believe me I've got the parts even though some of the faulty equipment has been removed it is just this, not a fruffy woman, I don't use the words sweet, precious, or darling very much in any type of daily vocabulary. Roy and I never had children so I'm not a mom. Until recent weight loss I'd been a bit of a hefty Betty, so that puts you on the fringe. Now I am navigating new waters in this but yet I have not lost enough weight to be a cute anorexic woman that has a dynamic testimony. Oh, I'm not trying for that or anything and I'm not casting aspersions. I've written it before and I will write it again, you never hear testimonies from overweight women because our testimony doesn't put us in the "box" of womanhood. Could I help it I would binge and then my ADD kicked in and I lost interest and forgot to purge? Some in women's ministry only think that an event is successful if tears are shed. Not a big crier and have seen plenty of tears shed but no changes in life from those who cried the hardest. So here I sit writing on my blog instead of getting my stuff together to spend a night at a hotel. And because I hate this about me, I agonize over clothing decisions way too much for one of these things. In the rest of life I just wear what feels and hopefully looks good. I am such a mood wearer of clothes. So how will I know if what I have picked will fit into my mood for tomorrow? I do know this, whatever I wear has to be in the same color scheme. I only want to wear one pair of shoes and although it is cool outside, it is still warm in the afternoons. Why does this matter? Because most hotel ballrooms are freezing cold. So that plays into the decision of what to wear.

I do get to play a part in the retreat and I'm humbled to be included. What I get to participate in is not a strong point in me but everyone I get to be with in this endeavor is tremendously gifted and talented. I am grateful for them including me.

Love my roommate for the retreat. She and I will have a good time and since we have traveled together before, we know our styles compliment.

Well, I better go pray and ask the Lord to give me an undivided heart and hear what He wants to speak into my life. I have an inkling I will be "not present" in some of the Saturday morning activities. Hmm...wonder where I will be?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Celebrate, Good Times, Come On!

There are words and phrases when uttered at the correct times are life changing. Phrases like, "come into my heart Lord Jesus", "sure I'll go", "I do"... "spend whatever you want" (OK, I have never heard that outloud but does it count if I think it?) you get the drift. This weekend I heard a life altering but not a life changing sentence. "Brunch is half price at Pappasita's on Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:00." Breakfast at Pappasita's has already changed my Saturday mornings. Now if this great good news does not get you into Pappasita's for breakfast, I don't know what will!

Last Saturday we celebrated James' 40th birthday. We all had a great time and here are the pictures to prove it.

I don't know if James is celebrating a touchdown or a birthday. Either way, it's all good.
Of course I must be right in the middle of a story. I also see that my roots are really bad but they will have to wait until my next land of sugar appointment.

Love Ricky's new glasses. We were not laughing about that. Who knows? I do know that the pecan pancakes were really, really good. Pecan pancakes are not a laughing matter.

Before everyone arrived Roy was outside taking pictures and I thought I would include these lovely flowers to this post.

Sunday was a busy day. Adding to the schedule besides church and Sunday School was Christmas choir practice, working out and then dinner with Dena. We tried out Cleburnes Cafeteria and loved it! The key to having a good as opposed to an overwhelming experience there is to go when the crowd is lighter. Sunday evening was laid back. We split grilled salmon, each had veggies and we split dessert. Now I have to confess I was looking down the line at desserts while still in the salad section. Pink cake in all its glory was being served Sunday night. Little pink cake I love you. OK, to be honest it was a huge slice of pink cake and probably four people could have had a slice. Dena and I tried to be good but dang if we didn't eat up the whole thing and I confess, I had more than she did. Oh my, it is so good! Cleburnes is going into the rotation. If you go take cash. I don't think they take any kind of plastic.
Monday evening was bunko and it was bittersweet. Several are needing to drop out because this is a busy season in life. We will have to find a few new members but I think some of those needing to drop out have signed up as subs. I did win a wonderful prize, a dining out journal for breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and tea. It could not have gone to a better person since we seem to eat out more than most out of the bunko group.
Monday during the day, I got all inspired to rearrange the living room. In the process of moving an over sized chair, I pulled my hammy. Tuesday morning while spot cleaning the rug I strained it again. So I was in pain whenever I had to stand for a long period of time. Thus Tuesday night I stayed home and didn't usher for the Sarah Palin deal. Roy went ahead and went. He said it was good.
This morning I was up before dawn because of an early Dr. appointment. After the appointment I went to Buffalo Grille for a delicious breakfast. No churchy talk today. I learned all about the medical supply business while I was reading a book, Unforgettable Journeys. I also learned about mentoring, but I kind of already knew about that. Ah men, hallelujah amen...(that's for my choir friends) So as I was saying, ah men talk with your inside voice in cramped dining quarters.
I ran to Barnes and Nobles on my way to the Nord. Barnes and Noble is changing their hours to 10am - 8:00 pm everyday. I always loved that they opened at 9 and enjoyed a late night trip to the bookstore now and then. Guess they are having to make cuts because people aren't buying books like they used to.
I returned a couple of things to the Nord and used Christmas money and Nord Notes to get some pants and a couple of jackets. Love when I come away hardly spending any money. Got some t-shirts on sale at Whole Earth, stopped by the Play Grocery Store for a couple of things and came on a non working elevator. So, I climbed 3 floors worth of stairs with lots of bags that weighed a ton. Made me thankful that I was carrying the weight not wearing it.