Friday, June 25, 2010

Shop, Sing, Eat, Cut, Eat, Shop and a Drive By

How am I getting the computer on a Friday evening? Well, the new Consumer Reports came in the mail today and Praise the Lord, they're rating cameras. Since Roy has been researching and reading about cameras, he is immersed in all things being reported by Consumer Report. That frees up the computer for a little bit of time. Buddy is trying to help me type and I don't think she understands that she is hindering not helping. Now she is sitting here in my lap and we are touching nose to nose. Typing is rather slow with a precious little kitty trying to keep my attention on her. She has seen the suitcases, so she has been on her best behavior. Of course I'm not letting her know she won't have another round of camp coming up. Well, that's what we call boarding at the vet.

I spent most of the morning out in the Land of Sugar. My appointment was at 12:45 so the usual schedule was in reverse. First stop Academy. Roy has found some shoes that he loves, Reebok Zip Tech. Since he has a difficult foot to fit, I thought I'd see if they had any of those shoes in his size. Eureka! Yes! And how fortuitous that there were two pairs of Nike long shorts calling my name. Long shorts...oxymoron? You be the judge. Then off to Super Target with my additional 10% card in hand. It was a good trip, a rewarding trip. I still had some time before my appointment at Emmanuel, God with us so no bad hair. Stopped in at the Family Christian Bookstore. I miss not having anywhere to pick up Christian themed cards. This particular shop tries my patience each and every time I have been there. So, I prayed before going in. I was doing good until check out. They have three registers, 2 people behind the counter and only one of them is checking us out and there is a line almost the length of the store. This is a regular occurrence the two or three times a year I visit. Still had ample time before the hair cut, so I amused myself in line. I sang... The lady behind me kept backing away but yet she was intrigued by someone who was singing at a normal voice level. I was singing that great Christian standard, "give me three, give me three give me three steps that lovely Christian rock band, Lynard Skynard. No, I sang along with the Muzak. Me and Amy Grant did a mean duet. I let her take the hard parts. It didn't make the line go faster, but it did make me be in a good mood and gave people in line something to go home and tell their loved ones about. After that, Whole Foods for lunch was next. 14 farmed responsibly boilded shrimp and cocktail sauce for $4.99 and a zero calorie soda that had 11 carbs. What's with that? Then it was time for my appointment and it was great. Sprint is in the same shopping area, so I picked up a phone charger for my BlackBerry and just got in the car when the rain came a pouring down.

So this evening, Roy and I went out for dinner and then headed to The Nord to pick up his pants. Since we were close by, off to the Academy on 59. Roy found another pair of those shoes. And well...since we were so close to Greenbriar I thought we should take a little trip to the Med Center to see where this building and oh so more importantly where the valet parking is located for my appointment in July. Nothing like planning ahead. We took two passes by the building. Man, my heart beat increased just doing a drive by. I don't think the sun even ever is seen on the street level of Fannin in the Med Center.

Keeping an eye on the Gulf and hopefully Alex stays away from the Gulf Coast for many reasons and more so than just affecting my trip.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Randomness is So Good!

What a great surprise I had this morning... I've lost 2 more pounds! So my total loss is at 120 and I have 20 more pounds to go. Well, actually I might have more to lose depending on my next Dr appointment. But wow, 120 pounds.

My appointment with the specialist is July 14. Got the first available time. Good, in one way this gives me ample time to figure out the whole getting to the Medical Center deal. When my Dr was recommending me, no more like telling me to go see this Dr, I told her about my fear of the Medical Center and how I've tried for almost my whole adult life to stay away from it. She said people come from all over the world to get to the Medical Center! You should be able to drive there for goodness sake! I can get to MD Anderson and St Luke's pretty good, but all the other clue. Of course when I heard there is valet parking, my fears were assuaged. Oh I can so totally become Valerie Valet in a heartbeat. So I think this Dr is in the John O'Quinn tower. That should be pretty easy to find.

I am getting really excited about the quick trip to Destin. So pretty much I have packed all the stuff that stresses me out about remembering. You know jewelery, meds, books, iPod, iPod charger, charger for my phone and hair products. I now keep travel sized hair products and that helps out tremendously. It just occurred to me I should pack light because Roy won't be around to bring in everything into the hotels. So, I'm trying to be concise. It's difficult because I'm such a mood clothes wearer and packer.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Joy From Daily Living

  • Naps-I have had some of the best naps lately. I had gotten out of the habit of napping but who knows, can it be the new bed or the fatigue I've felt lately that is wooing me to nap. Don't really know but I'm giving into naps while there is time in the day.
  • Home grown tomatoes-these are rocking my world right now. Along with napping my habit has become tomato sandwiches at lunch. Delicious!
  • Peaches-this is a great time of the year when fruit is so good. Even the strawberries have been exceptionally good this year. Haven't bought a tasteless container yet. The Costco strawberries have been the best.
  • Reading pile-Wow! I'm excited about the stack of books next to the rocker. I have several books going, The Swan House, Utopia, and Suck in Your Stomach and Put on Some Lipstick (advice from Southern mamas)
  • Lavender-from laundry detergent to shampoo to body lotion, it's all good.
  • Pecan Pancakes at Pappasita's-these are the bomb! They are the best pancakes! To be honest the whole breakfast is awesome. Saturday and Sundays 9:30-2:00. Only 2 Pappasita's do the Saturday time. Don't know where the other one is, but I-10 near the Beltway is where we hang out on Saturday mornings. No crowds like at all the other breakfast places on Saturday.
  • New bed-ah, wonderful night's full of sleep and no waking up with aching muscles.
  • Connecting with friends from the past-and now present and future. I have so enjoyed my conversation and emails and Facebooking with my friend Mary Madeline. What a joy it's been!
  • As always Roy-he is the best! He has always been a great provider and take care of things kind of guy, but he is doing double duty again. We will soon be celebrating our 33rd wedding anniversary.
  • Plateau-I'm not gaining weight and not losing any right now. I've kind of plateaued but once I get back from Destin, I will hit it full force. So I'm thankful for some time to practice maintenance because it seems to me that will be harder than losing.
  • A/C-it's Houston people...nuff said.

You know I could always write about friends or The Nord but I thought I'd go with what came to mind maybe a little out of the ordinary. No there is nothing really out of the ordinary on my list and the list is full of stuff I've been enamored with lately. For that 1% organized part of me, I now feel better that I've made a list.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Not Too Bad for a Monday

For a Monday, today hasn't been too bad. I stayed up later than usual last night watching TV. I watch bits and pieces of programs but I'm hard pressed to remember the last time I watched as much as I did last night. Who wouldn't! " To Kill a Mockingbird" was on TCM. We have it on DVD but love watching it when TCM features it. I always say The Bad Seed is my favorite movie but really I think it is Mockingbird. I watched the whole thing which is really unusual because I just like to watch my favorite parts. After Mockingbird, "Life With Father" was on and I stayed up after 11:00 watching it. That movie has some really funny lines in it and the whole time we watched I'd say to Roy, Dr M looks like William Powell.

So up early I was not this morning. It was a total ease into the day. Met my trainer at 11:30 and had a good core workout. Afterwards I filled up the car and then ran to Kroger's. I needed to get a couple of gift cards, so I picked some up while shopping. The cashier activated them but then there was some kind of problem. At first she told me it was with my credit card and I knew that couldn't be the problem. Come to find out, the gift cards, two of them, were too old to be activated. So I had to go to customer service and they had to take the charge off my credit card, which is in good standing. It was a little time consuming but not too bad. It is just so embarrassing to be holding up the line and the first thing that is said is, "it must be your credit card."

Now I am beginning the packing process for a trip to Destin next week. Today I am mainly getting the little details taken care of like, medicines, batteries, chargers and the like. Also gathering up the travel sized lotions and make up to be done and have that out of the way. Maybe I'll start looking at some outfit combinations because in my mind's eye, I don't have a clear vision of what I'd like to wear. I'm such a mood clothes wearer. Actually, my friend Dena is going on the trip too. Summer is always such a busy time office wise for Roy and he had told me after our trip to Biltmore that he couldn't be out of the office for any length of time until late fall or the end of the year. Dena and I travel very well together and she knows and loves the part of my family we are going to visit. I've heard that the oil is hitting the beaches there and that is just so sad to hear. Silver lining, more shopping time!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

What's Not to Love About a Laid Back Saturday Afternoon?

It may be hot outdoors but inside it is cool and comfortable. Roy is in the den/closet, that now is really looking more like a den again, working on office stuff. Buddy is with me. Buddy is sound asleep at the end of our bed and I'm sitting here surrounded by books and magazines playing on the lap top. Dinner is on the stove. Once again we are having purple hulled peas with venison and pork sausage, sliced home grown tomatoes and fresh sliced peaches and strawberries for dessert. I've already had a great nap, went to breakfast at Pappasita's this morning and attended a baby shower for a friend. In between the shower and the nap, I made a quick stop at The Villager to peruse the half price Vera Bradley. I found a cute tote bag and a fun purse deeply discounted at 50% off. So, all in all, not a bad Saturday.

Yesterday, was the long looked forward to delivery of our new Tempur-pedic bed. Oh my, it is so wonderfully comfortable. Both Roy and I slept great. Once Buddy joined us in the middle of the night, I think she had a great night's sleep as well. All my tossing and turning never once disturbed Roy. Unbelievable! A neighbor from the first floor and I were walking to the mail boxes yesterday and she commented on the delivery of our bed. I told her, it might become difficult to get me out of our home now with the bed and the Amish glider. Ah comfort.

Nordstrom saw two visits from us yesterday. The Half Yearly Sale for Men has started and I wanted to get there early to find Roy new pants. Found 3 pairs I thought he would like and three shirts. We went back last night to have the pants fitted and he found 2 more pairs he liked. It is funny how women are encouraged to come back to the dressing room area with their husband/boyfriend/whatever. There's a little seating area and everything. So, I sat there to make comment about cuff length or whatever for Roy. It was a happening place, the men's dressing room and the tailor hardly had a moment to wipe his brow because men were lining up left and right for measurements and the all important question, do you dress left or right? Awkward! One man who bought a pair of pants and two jackets, left his zipper down the whole time he was being measured and fitted. Where oh where to look? I got out my Blackberry and became enamored so quickly with Facebook until his time was over. So tempted to revert back to elementary school days and yell, hey, your barn door is open. So after buying two more pairs of pants and returning one of the shirts bought in the morning, we rallied the economy with three more dress shirts and a pair of shoes.

I have had several days to get my brain around the continuing viral heart journey. Again, I'm so happy that the medical field does verify I have a brain. Three out of the four chambers of my heart are enlarged but all the valves are in excellent condition. So, once again I'm limiting my fluid intake and now have to scale back my cardio work outs. I will see a Dr that specializes in the electrical systems in the body, heart emphasis. Don't know if I am the Hoover Dam or a wind less driven windmill in the electrical department. I'm experiencing some symptoms that I remember from 2008 and this time I know they aren't "other" related. I was reminded that this continues to be a serious condition and time is of the essence in getting all this attended to and for the decisions that need to be made for the next course of treatment. Love how the medical field gets you all fired up, ready to get things done, renew your mind to be in the proper mindset for any coming changes and then lets you know it might take 3-6 weeks to get an appointment.

Guess I will check on Roy and see if he is ready for dinner. He loves it when I get all Southern themed because he knows there will be a couple of home cooked dinners involved. It might be the same meal several times, but he doesn't mind. I'm actually in the kitchen for more than a Diet Coke. Have a great Saturday evening, y'all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Let's Go Over to the Other Side of the Lake

One day Jesus said to his disciples, "Let's go over to the other side of the lake." So they got into a boat and set out. As they sailed, they fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger. Luke 8:22-23

What a great Bible passage to begin this post. Of course we didn't go to the other side of the lake on a boat, we didn't fall asleep, the only squall on the placid lake was Peggy but there were times Emily and I thought we were in great danger, but we weren't. We had a blast last night playing on the lake. This evening was especially fun because in all the years that Peggy has been pulling people around on her jet ski, this was my first time to ride the raft and hopefully it will not be my last. I always thought I was too old and too fat. Since losing weight, being too old wasn't a very good excuse anymore. It had been a long day on the lake for Peggy. She had a camp group of autistic children out there for the day. The camp's name is Camp Journey. I coveted Peggy's t-shirt that the group had given her. Before making our life changing ride, we had dinner. We ate leftover Ethiopian food... Did I have you there for a moment? Actually, we ate left over grilled hamburgers from a group that had been out there on Sunday. One of the couples that was there are missionaries from Ethiopia. After eating we golf carted over to the cabin by the dock to earn our rides for the night. Emily and I helped Peggy make up the bunk beds for any upcoming overnight visitors.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous about riding, but I recently put this on my bucket list. So, it was much easier going to Peggy's home and riding on the lake verses making a trip to England, Ireland and Scotland or any of the other various places I would someday like to visit. Even more special about the ride, we were celebrating Emily's birthday. That wild ride on the raft was just so much fun. Jet ski spray in the face, riding in the midst of the wake and being slung side to side across the water was absolutely, tremendously, excitingly fun! We made several trips up and down the lake. We stopped a couple of times to watch the sun set and well I can't speak for Emily, but I was happy for the time to rest my hands and elbows.

Here we are having our before picture taken. We never attempted this pose while in the midst of the ride.

This is after our wild ride. Now I'm attempting to get on the jet ski for the much calmer ride on the lake. I hate getting my hair wet other than when washing it.

Of course good friends take pictures that put our best assets in a positive light. Emily, because of this picture, has now been downgraded to OK friend. Just joking Emily! But this picture is proof positive of why I don't tell Satan to get behind me when he is tempting me. Because he just makes rude remarks about my rear. Oh and that white patch belongs to the life jacket. That is not my attempt to have a plumber butt.
That home in the background is for sale. Only 2.5 million. Several of us friends are talking about buying it together and turning it into an old but fun retirement home for us. Yea, right.
After helping Peggy put up everything nautical, we headed to the cabin to change clothes and then golf carted back to the house for angel food cake, strawberries and whipped cream. Delicious! Even came home with some home grown tomatoes. Oh, they are from Peggy but she didn't grow them. On the drive home I could feel the muscles tightening up. My shoulders are a little sore this morning, but that's about it. Of course I slept like a log except for the middle of the night attack on my arm by Buddy, who was banished immediately from the bedroom.
Note to self: next time schedule massage the day after riding, not the day of.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Wandering, Wondering and Randomness

Alrighty, one Dr appointment done. I hope there is some blood left in my body because they took a whole lot of samples this morning. All I have to show for it is a flexible band aide. The nurse was awesome at getting a needle in without pain and without multiple stickings. Signed bunches of papers so now all the Dr's can release my info to one another. I go on Thursday for a consultation and hopefully an explanation of the next steps on this journey. So very happy that the consultation is with the Dr that takes the most time and gives the best explanation of diagnoses. Nothing like topping off a fasting blood work appointment with some Buffalo Grille. The toasted cinnamon coffee has to be one of my all time favs. Although I had an interesting book with me, the loud conversations going on around me were so difficult to ignore. I learned a lot about investing at the Biltmore due to loud conversation and this morning I learned about leasing and marketing retail locations. That is good knowledge to have in case my artistic side ever decides to kick in and I would like to show or sell said goods.

I also started back with my personal trainer today. I took off the month of May with Debbie. There was so much going on actually in both of our lives. So the mini break was good except my balance is way off again. I love the Pilate's work we do. It is great working with Debbie especially since there are conflicting opinions by the professionals on how much cardio I should do and how strong my workouts should be right now. On top of that I am watching how much fluid I drink, can't drink too much or my heart has to work too hard to pump and deal with excess fluid. Yet, I need to drink enough not to become dehydrated. Looks like I am going to have to lose more than the 22 pounds I have left to go to help ease up on everything. That doesn't upset me too much because changing into a maintenance mindset is probably going to be very challenging.

Next, I need to schedule an appointment with my opthomologist and see...hahaha, that would be a novel concept for me now, if the lenses in my glasses can be changed so I can see out of one pair instead of having to use 3 pairs of different glasses. I've got to use a bigger purse. Oh, I can see my purse, it is just lugging around so many pairs of specs that gets old. At least I don't have to wear two pairs at a time like I had to do earlier in the year. Uh, I basically stayed home during that duration. Not a becoming look.

The tomatoes that Roy bought at the Airline produce market rock!!! He found someone who had home grown ones. He also brought home two bags of peaches. They are delicious and only a dollar a bag.

Stormy weather going on. There is stormy weather going on in so many lives. I so appreciate those of you who have shared some of the storms that are happening or have happened in your life. When my storm is raging, that is when I pray for others in their storm. Takes my mind off my puny problems and it is the sacred opportunity to trust God with my storm and with those whose storms are different from mine. I heard Charles Stanley say this morning to ask God to show you the joy. He is faithful and He does! Psalm 107 says He will still the storm to a whisper and hush the waves of the sea and bring us into our desired haven.

Speaking of waves, I am going to get something off my bucket list. Tomorrow evening I am going to attempt and dare I say, be successful at riding the raft being pulled behind a jet ski at Peggy's. I'm really excited about this. Several friends are coming out for this fun girl's night at Peggy and Bill's. There may or may not be pictures, depending on the success or how the pictures turn out (good bathing suit pictures which at any age over 21 would qualify as an oxymoron). But if there is anything worth publishing, they'll be on the Monablog.

Mysteries Under the Bed

Funny how something that never seems to be on the radar becomes an alert when knowing someone is going to see a rarely viewed area of the home. On my list this past weekend was going in and under our bed, assessing the situation and getting it presentable. You know the new bed is coming sometime this week. Saturday came and went and the evening was becoming night on Sunday, when I asked Roy if he would help me with this chore. Of course when I say help, I really need him to do the majority of the moving and lifting. Oh there was a day that I was our mover and lifter but seldom shaker, but it seems to be getting a day that is farther and farther away. Who knew what lurked underneath the bed! Well, except for Buddy. She retreats under there when she knows she's going to get sprayed with water for misbehavior or is scared. So the dust was horrible. Happy to have a Dyson that is meant just for that very task. I also found three pairs of shoes that I had been looking for during the winter months. There were a couple of books that I was happy to rediscover and a towel that Buddy likes to sleep on. I had wondered where that towel had gone and I think she pulled it under the bed for a more comfortable sleep. I have always heard that Russian Blues are very smart cats. Don't know about smart but she does take after her mother in wanting comfortable creature habits. Eureka! We found the folding table we had been looking for and the forgotten leaf of our kitchen table. We knew there was a double headboard, rails and slats under there, I just don't remember why my parents thought it was so important that we be the storage people of it there in. It wasn't even my headboard from my growing up years. We found lots and lots of Diet Coke caps. Now before you think I drink a Diet Coke and then toss the caps under the bed, Buddy used to love to chase and play with the caps. Believe me when your cat is interested in tearing down window treatments or knocking stuff off the dresser, throwing a Diet Coke cap to get her distracted and chase is a small price to pay, but they were totally forgotten about by me, that is until yesterday. It would have been rather embarrassing for the delivery guys to see that many bottle caps under a bed. While we were taking things apart I decided the bed skirt had to go. Nice thought of ivory lace when purchased. Totally forgotten, I'm a total klutz and I cannot tell you how many times that lace and my toes have connected causing a huge kind of Humpty Dumpty fall... I always wonder if the neighbors below think the building is crashing in around them each time I trip and fall from that dang lace. The feather beds are making an exit as well. Won't need them with the new bed. All this took awhile but was done before bedtime. When I was a little girl and I have written this before, I didn't think there were monsters or snakes under the bed. No, I thought Mary Todd Lincoln was under there. I should have known better because from the pictures I've seen, she was a rather chunky monkey. I don't think she would have fit under the bed. Thus I never let an arm or leg dangle off the bed because of the much feared (wouldn't a therapist love looking into this odd fear) Mary Todd Lincoln. So, I'm very relieved and happy to report, she wasn't anywhere to be found when we were cleaning under the bed. Thus, no real mysteries, well except for how and when Buddy dragged a towel under the bed, were found. Come Temper-pedic come.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

It's a Good Day and I Thank God For It

It was a good day and I thank God for it. What a great Saturday! Roy and I headed over to Pappasitta's for breakfast. CourtneyS and her family were there giving brunch a try and I think they really liked it. Ah Pecan pancakes are my big splurge each week.

After breakfast we dropped off some clothes at Goodwill and then went to Academy to take back a shirt. I accidentally picked up a medium. Roy found some running shoes and shorts and I found flip flops and work out capris. Taking back that shirt became a little expensive. Of course I blame Roy for my being able to find all these really great things. I've written before how long it takes for him to pick out a pair of shoes. He had about 8 boxes of shoes to try on, so I came back intermittently to see what progress he had made. Found a really cool pair of Reeboks, called zip run.

We then went to Office Max with our 20% off bag to get markers and crayons for Houston Project. We thought about running on to Kroger but I had just about had enough running around in the heat. Besides, I wanted to get home because I was expecting a call from my long time friend Mary Madeline St John Whittinghill. She and I Facebook and exchange cards every once in a while, but it has been eons since we have sat down and had any type or kind of conversation. We were in each others weddings. Talk about opposites in many ways but so much alike in the one thing that knits lives together, we both love and want to serve our Lord Jesus Christ. Oh my, we talked for over 2 hours and I didn't want it to end I was having such a good time. I had forgotten how she can turn a phrase and make me laugh so hard. Also got some great book recommendations from her and I've ordered them on Amazon. She's a grandma now to five grand kids. I have had their family pictures through the years on the refrigerator. I cannot tell you how many have commented on the pictures by saying that is the most beautiful family I have ever seen. I agree. Now that we have caught up, we can carry on with our friendship. We are up to date on all the needful things. What a joy to be friends with those who watched us struggle over decisions and life early on, who know our history and who can rejoice that God continues to work out His purpose in our lives.

While I was talking to Mary Madeline, Roy had gone to a farmer's market and then to get a haircut. He was laughing at me still being on the phone when he got home. What a great husband, he went to find me some more tomatoes, since he had quenched me last week on my produce order. Yep, if there are home grown tomatoes in the house...I will eat them. He brought home more peaches as well. I fixed purple hulled peas with pork and venison sausage tonight. Doing the Southern cooking thing again.

Tonight he has been going through all his work clothes and getting those that don't fit anymore ready for giving away.

This just still blows me away! Thursday night I met Dena for dinner at The Nord. That is not what blew me away. I went a little early to return some pants that I've never worn but are now too big for me and exchange some size 6 shorts that I accidentally picked up instead of my size. Once Dena got to the Nord, I was still shopping and she began to look around too. Anyway, my news is Mary, great sales person at Nord, told me to get size 10 in the jeans I was trying on. No way! She brought them to me and dang if those puppies didn't fit me. I was shocked!!! I even said I will buy dinner if these fit, thinking I had a sure thing going. Stinkin' size 10. Who would have thought? Well, you know other than Mary. Oh and I did buy dinner.

Thursday and Friday Roy has been at a conference at the J W Marriott. Yesterday I met him afterwards for an early dinner at Grand Lux. He had never eaten there and loved it. Then we went to the Nord Rack. Think he is beginning to like all things Nord kind of like his wife. That's a good thing and I thank God for it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes!

OK, I will have to admit I have been hanging around home the past couple of days, not defeated but deflated. I'm not depressed or mad but I guess I will have to admit, I have been upset. Yes, I remember I said I wasn't but that was on Tuesday. Upset Wednesday kind of snuck up on me. So I began researching my new found condition with Dr. Google. Actually, I just stuck with the Mayo Clinic website, which is very informative and easy for the non professional to understand. I was still debating whether or not I was going to go to choir when Roy came home. He made a deal with me, he would cut up all the strawberries in the refrigerator if I would go to choir. Well, even in a deflated state, cut up fruit is an offer I can't refuse. So, I changed clothes and put on some make up and was heading out the door when I got a phone call. The conversation went on past choir start time, so I ended up staying home. But Roy, still cut up all the strawberries. He is really nice like that.

This morning I woke up in such a better place, emotionally and spiritually. Waking up at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate would be a better place...I'm just saying. Anyway, what a difference a day makes. Over the course of yesterday afternoon I had read two blogs in particular that God used in such a powerful way. Then this morning a friend commented on FB to me, the sermon series title that Pastor Gregg is teaching right now, "Complicated Life, Faithful God." That was just icing on the cake and since I can't eat cake or icing right now, figurative icing is tasting pretty good. This morning I read again the verse that has become a life verse for me during the past two years, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." Psalm 73:26 And this verse came back to me last night, "I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation." Psalm 118:13 The Word and the encouragement of friends are just about two of the best things ever when one is feeling deflated. Especially one who has spent the majority of her life not doing everything right to get good results and now when I have finally decided to follow instructions and do what others are telling me what to do, I'm not seeing the results I want. Dang viral infection and damage from my light heart attack! Of course I'm two steppin' it to keep ahead of the Obama euthanasia squads that could be on the horizon! Just joking, I would never two step or dance since I am a Baptist. :)

A postponed trip to Target was just what was needed this morning. I made myself promise not to look at clothes while I was there and I was true to that. But I found oh so much other stuff that we have needed around home. Every time batteries are on sale, I pick some up being diligent in being hurricane weather ready. Then I went to Office Max, but the real unexpected treasure was going to Home Goods and finding a cute storage chest for little papers and the like. Then I ran by church to drop off some Biltmore stuff to another Biltmore affectionado. Gave me the opportunity to run into the Corner Bookstore to see what was new. Be still my heart, OK, I shouldn't say that since that could be closer to the truth than what I would like to admit, so...hmm...glory be, Corner Books has some of the cutest note cards ever!!! I also got a couple of journals that I think Roy will like because of the trains on the front cover. Nothing can bring up and lighten things as beautiful paper products. Ah, I felt much better after picking out a few new things and taking them home. Oh and of course the joy of supporting an independent book seller and supporting my church. Ahem.....

Now I must think about heading to the Nord. I have a couple of things to return. I accidentally bought some size 6 shorts. Part of me wants to keep them to see if I could really ever get into that small of size. And I need to return some capris that are now too big.

Thanks for bearing with me and thanks for encouraging and praying for me. This journey is another unknown one but I like a quote that I saw the other day and it's a keeper. "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain." Off to dance a little bit, of course in the most liturgical way possible. I realized the other day I had never put any of my Tina Turner on my there is some dancing music. Of course you know, the Baptist thing, I don't dance....OK, I do!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Here Comes the Storm

It was a dark, overcast morning. Actually, this morning looked very much like yesterday morning when we had just a small bit of rain. Nothing else all day. So, this morning I figured I'd be able to do all my errands after the appointment at the cardiologist. Because I knew there wasn't going to be any storm. I left early because of the uncertainty of parking in the garage. I've been joking about wresting Crown Victorias and Town Cars for parking spots. Well, God has a sense of humor because even as I tried to beat a Town Car to the entrance of the garage by going a different way, the lady ran the stop sign to get in front of me. She didn't have a clue the game I was playing, trying to just drive to the top floor. She was playing her own style of game, get there to snag the first available parking place. Yep, God's sense of humor as my journey to the top of the garage was slowed down by eagle eye Town car driver. Actually, I ended up with a lot of time to fill. So I sat in the car and wrote in my heart journal, updated my Facebook status and finally decided to take a slow journey toward my appointment desperately trying not to look like I was one of those people who arrive way too early for appointments.

Kind of strange, that the waiting room was a bunch of old men and me. This is the first time that I wasn't actually back in a little room waiting for the Dr at appointment time. They were running late. Did the weigh in, did the update with the nurse and sat back in the chair waiting for the Dr. It seemed like it was going to go smoothly. The nurse was practically glowing at my weight loss progress since December. Heck I practically started glowing.

The Dr came in, asked me the usual stuff. I showed him my latest blood work results from my other Dr, he took my blood pressure, 100/70 and then listened to my heart. He looked through my chart and said you need to do an echo cardiogram today. Much to my disappointment Chris isn't there anymore. I owe him big. He made room in his schedule to get me in for an echo cardiogram on September 11, 2008 and he saved my life by doing so. Just as the echo cardiogram began, a huge peal of thunder rattled the building. The tech said, here comes the storm. Her words were not lost on me at all because all of last year I studied storms in the Bible asking God to show me what I needed to learn. When she told me to lean back I actually watched the monitor to see my heart. It is Doppler technology that shows the image of a heart. Doppler is used in tracking storms and rain. The sound always gets to me because it is not the bum bump sound like from a stethoscope. The heart beat sounds like sloshing through water on a echo cardiogram monitor.

So "here comes the storm", the right side of my heart is enlarged. I can now add another bottle to the picture from yesterday's post. More people have the left side of their heart enlarged but I am in the 1 in every 20 group of right siders. More than likely it is still the effects of the viral attack of 2008 but probably complicated by liver and kidney issues that are just waiting to be discovered. That appointment is next week... This explains why my "heart" cough is back and why I awake sometimes in the night with a sensation of drowning. There is a good chance of blood congestion in and around my lungs. Y'all, this was not the news I even anticipated to hear. There is more to tell, but I think that information is going to stay with God, Roy and me.

So, "here comes the storm." I am processing the news which at times upsets me, but not really. Ha, more like the waves of knowing hitting me. I am not depressed or mad, but my mindset is serious. I'm asking the Lord for wisdom in knowing what to do. I'm gathering information to know how to weather this storm and what can I do health wise. What other changes need to be made? Am I going to Deadliest Catch waters?

As soon as my appointment was over, the storm stopped...momentarily. It stopped long enough for me to get to my car. I'm not kidding the moment I shut the door of the car, the rain fell hard from the heavens and the lightning shone brightly around me. I called Roy to tell him everything. I punted my errands to Target and Office Max but did take paperwork to the bank. While I was over that way, I decided to see, if by chance, if the Nord Rack had any parking since it was such a rainy day. A rainy day was a good day to go to the Rack around lunchtime. Found a couple pair of shoes of one of my favorite brands, deeply discounted. At least as I walk through the storm with my head held high, my feet are stylishly arrayed and comfortable.

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Cardiologist Tomorrow but Bunko Tonight

OK, you know you are old when you have to practically carry the pharmacy with you while traveling. One morning I decided to take a picture of everything I take in a given day and once looking at the picture I realized that my journal, Diet Coke, blood monitoring thing and a book hidden under the green bag, go along with all those pills that keep me going, that keep me alive. Because Diet Coke, journaling and reading are wonderful life supports for me.

Tomorrow is a big day. Well, actually all days are big days but tomorrow is my 6 month check up with the cardiologist. It has been six months since my health world was turned upside down once again. I'm praying for no more upside down diagnoses tomorrow. As it seems to be always, I have a few things to be concerned over namely kidneys and liver but I've been praying and asking the Lord for some settling down in those organs but that visit is in another week and it all meshes together with all the Dr's involved. Oh yes, I do love me a run on sentence... I need to return to the opthomalogist and have my eyes checked again. The eyes of Texas, on this old girl, have changed for about the fourth time and now my new glasses make most things blurry. I am not complaining because at least I'm not wearing two pairs of glasses to be able to read. New glasses are still working fine for that.

Something that I began on my second cardiologist visit in 2008 was a heart journal. I write my thoughts and prayers in it for my heart. I always write something the morning of a visit and put down my thoughts and sometimes a fear or two, but always a laugh about the visit and gratefulness to the Lord. Then after the appointment, I write down what the Dr has told me and if any further instructions for the coming days. This is one Dr appointment that I try to actually be early. Not because I'm getting older and that is what older people do, arrive really early for Dr appointments, but I go early because the parking garage is a b____, no it is a mess. It is my habit just to go straight to the top and park where there are plenty of places. Only now, they have gates that restrict us patients from being able to maneuver anywhere in the garage. So I'm with all those Crown Vics and Town Cars circling the garage. I'm at a definite handicap because I don't have a handicap sticker or card.
I do know that I won't have to worry about the weigh in. I know I have lost weight since the last time I was there. They make you keep your shoes on while weighing, so I always wear flip flops even on the coldest of winter days. Don't want shoes adding any ounces to the total. And I wear the lightest clothes possible. If I have to do the echo cardiogram, I hope I can get the tech or the nurse to lay out the paper top you have to wear. I tear it at all the wrong places when I try to undo the stupid thing.
Tonight we have Bunko and I cannot think of a better way to end a Monday evening that goes into a Tuesday morning doctor appointment. I am ready to roll some sixes! Steal some Bunkos! Oh and have wonderful Christian fellowship.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Just An Ordinary Sunday

Just another ordinary Sunday. Roy walked to church to pray in the Worship Center before the services as is his customary thing to do. I drove over later, but not too much later because I arrive early to be ready for choir. Loved the worship today, loved the songs we all sang together as believers in Christ. Loved, Loved, Loved the songs the choir sang, especially the song As Long as I've Got King Jesus. I used to listen to that song before big tennis matches...good beat and easy to play to. Went to Sunday School, oops I mean Sunday Adult Bible Study where Dena is teaching an awesome series on the storyline of God in the Bible. Attendance at Table 9 was down because so many are out of town. After church Roy and I went out for lunch. We decided on Mexican food only because I thought if we ate Chinese, I'd be more apt to cheat and eat all my orange chicken, which is fried, and that I was in a better place food wise to consume correct portions of Mexican food. So we did that. While talking at lunch I mentioned we had received a postcard from The Amish Craftsman that they are now selling Tempur Pedic mattresses. $200 dollars off and a special $100 worth of Tempur Pedic products for free. They had also continued their Memorial Day Sale, 15% off and thought we might find something else Amish that we couldn't resist. Roy said, let's go over there and look around. So we did just that. Of course, the first Tempur Pedic mattress we look at, is one of the most expensive ones. We made our way around the store trying out all the different kinds. There was another couple doing the same thing and we came to the awkward moment where we all met up at the same bed. I was so tempted to dive on into the bed with them laying or lying on it but rather took Roy's suggestion that we should go onto the next mattress set and come back to the one of the awkward meeting. Our salesman was awesome in answering all our questions and much to my surprise after Roy had asked me which mattress had been my favorite, he told me that was his as well. Right then and there Roy said, let's buy it. You could have knocked me over with a feather...of course I would have fallen onto the comfy bed, because this quick decision came from the man who on Friday night took like 17 hours to buy two pairs of shoes. One has to have the patience of Job to shoe shop with Roy. Early on in our marriage I would reserve a whole Saturday just to go with him as he tried on shoes, just to get one pair. Of course I was always really sweet about doing that with him... Uh, I got off track... Anyway, we bought a king size Tempur Pedic bed today. Many want to know, are the Amish making it? No, but it will be a about a week and a half before it is delivered. Which is just fine with me. We can use the time to make some other furniture decisions and of course gets the Dyson after the dust bunnies under the bed. Jennifer, you'll need to break the news to Scott that he is going to have to make another delivery here. He didn't last time, but he can pull in the parking lot closer to the door to unload. Hopefully Roy will be here and can help as well.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A Little Southern Fare

After spending some time in the South and reading Southern fiction, those Southern taste buds awakened. Had some of the finest grits ever at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate and other tasty Southern fare on our trip. Today I am Paula Deaning it and cooking Southern but without all the butter. Darn! This morning Roy and I had our delicious breakfast at Pappasita's and then headed out to Katy. A little store on 2nd Avenue, Excessories, sell clothes mostly but on the weekends, there's a bonus. They sell one of my favorite brands Flax (always a bonus) and they also add a great service in having farm fresh produce brought in on some weekends. Go to their website and sign up for emails. They send out an email letting you know what they will have. Just email them back with your order and it is ready for pick up. We picked up tomatoes, peaches, cream peas and purple hull peas. Oh and a black pair of Flax cropped pants. So tonight we are having ham, cream peas, sliced tomatoes and peaches for dinner. Sounds like a meal out of a number of Southern fiction books on my shelves. Biscuits or cornbread would be a great addition but neither one of those are included in our eating plan...again I must say, darn!

Since I seem to be on a food jag, have to tell you about the shrimp cocktail I had at Whole Foods yesterday. 14 peeled shrimp with red sauce, $4.99. Such a great lunch! Such a great price!

Roy is finally feeling better. He starts coughing right before going to sleep. Strange in that he hardly coughs at any other time of day. He is finishing up his meds, so he should be back to his normal routine by the first of the week.

Well, I better go check on our dinner that is simmering away on the stove. Really, I should make a blackberry cobbler to finish out the Southern theme but again...darn...not on our eating plan.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

De-Coy Roy on Our Vacay Away

Thought I would put a few pictures of Roy on vacation on the blog. These are so out of order and for some reason Blogger won't let me move them around. Oh well.

We ate at the Courtyard Market twice, I think Roy ate there three times. I loved their all beef hot dog served North Carolina style. They put cole slaw on it. Didn't sound so appetizing at first but we really liked the hot dog that way.
This is Roy on the Veranda. It is one of our favorite places to eat on the Biltmore Estate. Very casual, wicker rocking chairs, and a beautiful view. Also sometimes really good people watching is included.

Cowboy Roy coming in from a hard hour's trail ride. His horse, Roman, wanted to graze a whole bunch.

The people at the Inn were so wrong on their time mapping. They had us catch too early of a shuttle to make it to the barn. So we took pictures, played with a cat named Bamalama and spent some up close and personal time with horses we weren't riding. Not a bad way at all to kill time. The only thing bad about horseback riding at Biltmore? They weigh you beforehand. It was more personal than at the Dr office. Usually the scales are in the middle of the office with tons of people around and the nurse, who must think we are all deaf, yells out the corresponding number.

Here we are on the Blue Ridge Highway....from Hell. Well, maybe not so much Hell except that a portion of it was closed so we had to exit off onto some windy, curving, squiggly line sign road that was only 17 miles away from the nearest city. That was some of the longest 17 scary miles ever! It took a lot of time to do and it was so frustrating because it was taking precious time away from being on the Biltmore Estate.

This cow lives in Maggy Valley. She is right outside the Internet Coffee Cafe which was really more an ice cream parlor than anything.

We are somewhere on Highway 64/74. So beautiful. Last year when we came this way the water was very low because of drought conditions. Think the drought is over in this area.

This picture was taken in Bryson City. Great little Italian place, cute shops and railroad junk that Roy really enjoyed.

This is Roy taking pictures with his new camera that he got for his trip to France. He already knew by this time, he wants a faster camera. So, he has been in the process of researching what he wants. I will inherit this Canon camera whenever he finds his dream camera.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 1, Hurricane Season Begins and Oh By the Way, It is Hot Here!

It's June 1 which means it is hot,HOT, HOT in Houston and it is the first day of hurricane season. All the predictions suggest a very active hurricane season. I so hope they are wrong, but the professional weather service that Roy subscribes to is painting a bleak picture. Guess I need to check the supplies. We were really prepared last year and Roy says prepare for a storm so a storm doesn't come, but even Roy who is so optimistic is thinking this will be a busy hurricane year. Ugh... While we were in Asheville we did some investigating on buying a second home, more likely condo up that way. While talking to a native Ashevillian, she mentioned rain and wind that comes from a hurricane that hits the coast of North Carolina but she said, once it begins its journey through the mountains, the rain and wind are diminished as such. Guess it wouldn't be so bad as being 50 miles from the coast. We took some time in Maggie Valley on our research. It is about 40 minutes west of Asheville. Saw some things and places we really liked, but once we arrived at the Biltmore I'm came to the conclusion that maybe it is the peaceful atmosphere there that is what I'm looking for and not so much a place in the mountains. We'll continue our search. The prices favor a buyers market right now.

We've been working on our will. So much fun because if you know me well, you know I am not much for tedious paperwork. Or thinking out things that totally bore me. Was at the bank this morning bringing back some papers that had to be signed by Roy. Thought I could drop off and not have to go through them again...uh no. I'm quickly coming to the conclusion that we should be weird cat people and leave everything to Buddy.

It is a wild place Costco. Must have been a little wilder because of being closed yesterday. One lady rammed me with her cart about 3 times in 3 different areas of the store. The lady was in one big hurry and whose line did I pick to check out behind? Yes boys and girls, wild cart lady. Here's the deal, she wasn't so fast and wild in line, she was very, very slow. It could have been due to the fact of being on her cell phone and only having one available hand to unload her cart. Then she changed her mind on a couple of items. Hey, I knew better than to get behind her at the exit where they act like they are counting things in your basket. Score, she got stopped for a long time. I'm hoping the strawberries I picked up are as good as the ones from Costco that were served at a shower for a friend.

It must have been music of the 70's at physical therapy today. Wow, talk about some memories! It was an hour of Chicago, James Taylor, John Denver, The Carpenters, Carly Simon, Carole King and Al Green. You know how you hear a certain song and you can be back in a moment of time when that song had been in the background of events? Had a good time thinking of back in the day with some of those songs. Oh, and it was helpful for a good workout.

Yesterday the Bains had lots of people out at the lake. As Peggy says it, her younger friends and since I am younger than Peggy, I have of course included myself into that group. Lots of fun. I packed my bag with my swimsuit, beach towel and sunscreen knowing I wouldn't really go into the lake or be pulled behind the jet ski. Sometimes I do things just to humor myself. I stayed out of the sun and on the dock for most of the afternoon. On the way home I stopped to bring Roy some Wor Won Ton soup for dinner. Roy came home from vacation pretty sick. In fact, that is one of the reasons we drove straight through. He didn't feel too good when we left and by the time we were down the road, he had lost his voice completely and had a horrible cough. I am so glad I brought all three pair of my glasses that work in different situations. As much as Roy's driving makes almost everyone nervous, he has had to pick up a lot of driving time since my eyesight is in transition again. So, I did the 17 and a half hours and was happy to do so. it was exciting especially in the Smokey Mountains at 4:30 in the morning. He has taken such good care of me and probably being concerned over me caused his recent episode of shingles. He didn't feel like exposing everyone at the lake to his cold, so he stayed home and rested. I even asked him to go to the Dr on Friday and he did. That is how bad he was feeling. Think he remembered how in April of 2008 I got really sick with the same stuff and the Dr's think that is when, being in such a weakened condition, that the virus was able to invade my being and attack my innards. Been in the country, so had to use a country word. Think Roy slept most of the weekend and in between coughing due to cold. He didn't go to church on Sunday with me but he did make it to Pappasita's for pancakes after church. He went to work this morning but while I was being rammed in Costco I did up the supply of cough syrup and cough drops to bring home to him.

Well for now I will leave you with some more pictures from our trip. I know seeing them is doing me a world of good right now.