Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blog Give A Way

Don't forget that today is your last day to comment on my post 1000 Posts for the Nordstrom $100.00 gift card give a way.  I know this is nothing compared to the mega million drawing last night but a gift card is always a good thing to have.  If you want to leave a comment on this post, that's ok too.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Confuse, Scare and Comfort

This morning in Bible study our homework questions were based on the first six verses of Revelation 20.  I thought I was totally confused because I did my homework in front of the TV this week.  That's something I usually don't do and I was a little afraid Dance Moms and Mobsters might get quoted instead of the Bible.  Well, we all seemed to be in the same boat, I christen thee Confused. Almost everyone had a difficultt time with the lesson.  There are a few times in each study that it feels like filler or stretching out the material to help the study end at the right time.   You know how  weird prayer time and table talk in Sunday School is used as filler time or in full gospel circles when the preacher says you can't put a clock on the Holy Ghost pretty much tells you the guy didn't study or prepare.  This was one of those lessons when it would have been better to let us out a week early.  It is especially frustrating when we have finally gotten to the good part of, we win!!! 

So it is a cloudy, overcast day.  We've had some rain off and on.  This only postpones our yard guy cutting our grass.  We need to buy a mower for such a time as this.  We are so going to have a letter from the HOA.  At least when the grass is shorter, the weeds aren't quite as evident.  I ran to the HEB before coming home.  They had soda crackers on sale.  It has been a really long time since we've had some of those in the house.  I came home with a box and had crackers and cheese for lunch.  It was delicious. 

Jesus Calling is about the best devotional I have ever used.  It is good each and every day.  Several friends are using it as a devo as well and although we are all going through different things and have very different decisions to make...Jesus Calling hits home with all of us. 

It has been several days of scares.  Of course Tuesday was the wandering adventures of dad.  Yesterday, I could not find Buddy.  She has been interested of late with the great outdoors because of the birds and the stray cat that wanders through our yard from time to time.  I had used all the cat tricks up my sleeve to make her appear, you know bouncing a ball, opening the drawer with her favorite toy in it and shaking the treat bag...nothing.  But then I remembered working in the linen closet earlier in the morning and when I opened the door, she made a bee line out to the kitchen.  I presume looking for those promised snacks from the shaking of the bag,  Today, my scare was shingles.  I was about this close to asking one of the moms in my core group, is this shingles?  Of course Dr. Google was of some help but instead of the shingles being around my waist where shingles normally show up, the rash and bumps were on part of my hand and arm.  So, I wore long sleeves and kept up the perfect Bible study attendance thing going.  Later on in the morning, most of the bumps were gone.  Then I remembered this is a rash I get usually when stressed.  So the calming effect of confusing Bible study helped my stress subside. 

The maid was here yesterday.  I eased into the day trying to take care of things around here until she came in the afternoon.  Once she got here, I was out of her hair and onto errands. 

I'm looking forward to tomorrow.  Roy is taking the day off.  We are going to try the Pecan Grille for breakfast and then later on in the afternoon, he has a hair appointment in the land of sugar.  After several years absence, he is going back to Emmanuel.  Emmanuel, the hair salon, Roy never left the Lord...  God with us.  We are going to try and get a few things we've been putting off taken care of. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Uh, Yea, My Father is Lost, in a Mini Van!

Today started out as an ordinary day.  Woke up to the new mercies, sans wet Tums.  Got cleaned up and went to Le Peep for a late breakfast and then onto an appointment.  After the appointment I headed over to Memorial City to just do a look see at Macy's.  After the walk-through I began heading west...only I had a voice mail from the PA at my father's cardiologist.  He had not made it in for his 9:00 am appointment.  This appointment is right up there with an appointment at MDA for my dad.  He would not miss or forget that appointment.  I headed toward my father's house not knowing if I would find him hurt or dead.  Well it seems that it was neither.  I looked into his garage and his mini van was gone.  So I went in the house and looked around.  I called the nurse, any news?  None, she was going to check their other clinics and I decided to retrace his route to the office in Bellarire. I went back to his home to leave a note and to gather some phone numbers and try to decide what the next step is.  Word...know your parent's car type and license number.  I'm sure my description of a white mini van, an old white mini van would have been so helpful to the police.  It was a Chevy but that is all I could remember.  Again defeated by the dreaded mini van...  I was getting ready to call the Constable and this noise got my sounded like someone was coming into the house...and me without my sling shot.  Turned out to be a good thing because it was my dad.  He was kind of shocked to see me in the house and knowing how suspicious he can be about things, he probably thought I was there looking through his stuff.  Well, technically I was, but it was just his address book.  Long story short, he had been to the appointment and he had gone to lunch at Clebuernes Cafeteria because it is chicken dumpling day.  The nurse had messed up in not seeing him but I am so glad she had called because she cared.  I did get some info I needed to know about his health and now I know what kind of dreaded mini van he drives and the license plate number.  Once we got him settled, took care of some stuff on the computer for him and a few other things it was time for me to go.  He can keep you there with the strangest stories and his attention span isn't that long and truth be told, neither is mine.  I was scared for him, maybe he was driving around lost.  Maybe he had been robbed or worse, he had been in an accident and had harmed others as well as himself.  There should be a book to help one through this unknown path.  Who do you call?  When do you call?  Did my hair look goofy enough to be interviewed on TV about my missing father?  I am so thankful for the prayers that were prayed for him and for me today.  Love that Facebook helps so much in that way.  While I was going through the motions of getting things taken care of because I didn't have a clue to what I was doing, it was so good to read the encouraging words from friends.  I was praying and knew I had a lot praying along with me.  Peggy called me at the right time...just when I thought I was going to lose it.  She talked me down and through it.  That's a good friend!  I am thankful for a nurse who cares enough about patients to let family know of any glitches and she gave me some helpful hints.  She is also going to make some suggestions to my dad for him to consider.  He will probably listen to her because he doesn't really listen to me.  We are concerned for his care and his happiness with the situation is secondary.  I keep thinking I will read him John 21 where Jesus tells Peter when you are older you are going to have to go places where you really don't want to go. 

I had told Roy I would fix dinner again tonight.  All bets are off.  He is picking up Chinese food. 

Monday, March 26, 2012


This morning as I turned over in bed I had a new and unusual experience to go along with the new mercies that come every morning.  With Roy feeling a little on the puny side, he has gone to bed the past few nights with Tums in his hand.  He does that a lot when he has an upset stomach.  This morning as I turned over I felt something kind of wet and sticky on my arm.  First thought...Buddy must have thrown up or something but it was damp Tums that had either fallen out of Roy's hand or mouth or both.  Nice way to start the day. 

I had an appointment and a lunch date in the land of sugar today.  Before the appointment I dropped in at the Rack to check things out and after lunch I went to Enchanted Forest.  The same people own Enchanted Garden, where I went last week. What a great place and it is a little larger than the garden thus the forest one would suspect.  On the way back I stopped at the mini Buc-ees to get some lime flavored Diet Coke and pay homage.  Got to love Buc-ees, even the mini ones. 

Yesterday afternoon when Roy felt like venturing out, we went to Potbelly's and had lunch.  They have very good salads.  Then just for health reasons, ha ha, we got some frozen yogurt.  When we got home I planted the inpatients I had bought last week.  A snake appearance kind of put a damper on all things flower and garden related but since a week had gone by and we hadn't seen any of the snake family doing a vengeance visit or anything, I've gingerly ventured out. 

Came home to a phone message this afternoon that just might be a life changer- and by that I mean in a good way.  Definitely told her I would pray about it.  For sure if I do this, I'd better brush up on my Bible study and research skills and oh people skills. 

Last night was a total waste.  I got caught up on my Mob Wives episodes. Lots and lots of drama. 

Loved this from Will Smith on Twitter, "I'd much rather have an enemy who can admit that they hate me, than to have a "friend" whose mission is to put me down secretly."  Will Smith is a prolific and profound Twitter-er.

Still feasting on all I heard at Abundance this weekend. 

Well, since I told Roy I would fix dinner tonight, I guess I'd better get to figuring out just what we might have.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Abundance, An Event...A Way to Live

All is quiet and foggy on the prairie this morning.  Not even the birds are awake.  Usually at this time you'd find me in the choir loft at church, but Roy has kind of been on the puny side this weekend and we decided he needed to stay home and rest.  These past few weeks have caught up with him, busy at the office, helping me with my father and too many early mornings after semi late nights.  He is still asleep.  For the fact of the matter, Buddy is asleep too, but then sleep is Buddy's hobby, just like most kitty cats. 

Maybe Roy is feeling kind of puny because I was not home most of the weekend, you know not to fix him chicken soup to help him feel better.  Dena and I went to Abundance, a Lifeway Women's Conference.  It just might be the best women's conference and even the best women's event I have ever attended.  Yes, hyperbole is my middle name, but this statement isn't hyperbole.  The whole event was done with excellence.  It was held at Champion Forest Baptist Church and they provided a great venue space.  Champion Forest's design is so spacious.  The speaker tables, ministry tables and vendor tables weren't all crammed together.  The lobby seating and conversation areas were warm and inviting and dare I say comfortable...yes!  The volunteers were kind, informative and helpful.  So kudos to Champions Forest.  What a great foundation to build upon...I know prayer is the foundation but if the venue isn't a proper fit, it becomes a major distraction and frustration. 

All the speakers were spot on prepared and good.  They were open, genuine, real, deep and funny.  On Friday I listened to a John Maxwell one and a half minute  video on what makes a great communicator?  So you know he's a GREAT communicator if he can tell that in a minute and a half.  He said if you don't communicate from the heart, it doesn't matter your knowledge or what you say.  Your passion for the subject matter begins at, I want to help you.  I want what I'm talking about help your situation.  All these speakers are great communicators and the fruit of their heart was evident.  The spoke and there wasn't any agenda of their own. 

The ministries that were presented to us in print and in interview were, Compassion, Christmas Child, and Gracewood.  Loved how we heard the hearts of the people involved and those who have benefited from the ministries.  No emotional plea, no bargaining...just the story of lives changed and how we could join in and participate with them. 

The graphics, outstanding!  Although at first I thought the video and sound of rain could be counter intuitive with women, but there weren't any mad dashes to the bathroom at the sound of all that water. 

I was happy to see that the vendors had a variety of offerings and it wasn't just a bunch of Jesus Junk.  Rao's Bakery had a little set up with great coffee and cupcakes as big as your head, muffins that could feed a family of four and iced cookies that are right up there with Memorial Bakery. 

Travis led the worship music.  It was thoughtful.  It was deep.  The words profound and as Lisa Harper said, when he leads worship it softens our hearts to hear.  Cece Winans did a mini concert, no ministry Friday night.  Awesome! 

And attending with Dena was just so much happiness and joy.  Since Roy and I have moved out to the prairie, she and I don't get to have spontaneous shopping or dinner as much.  Both of our lives are full of responsibilities and it was great to pull back from them for this short period of time to laugh, to hear truth and to laugh.  Did I mention laughing?   We started out at Black Walnut for a late lunch and then headed over to the other side of the ends of the world, along with half of Houston.  Google maps and my GPS didn't agree on routes.  So we kind of did a mishmash of both directions to the Holiday Inn Express.  We decided early on we didn't want to do all that back and forth driving.  With gas prices, it is cheaper to stay in a hotel.  Another fun bonus was getting to laugh and spend a little time with Kimberly "The Invisible Woman", Kmac, and other LPM staffers volunteering at the conference. We ate lunch with two women from First Baptist Irving and we had a blast with them.  Our churches have traded staff members over the years, almost as much as baseball teams. The great ice you know such n such?   Loved cheering on and praying for our home girl Tammie Head when she spoke.  I am fortunate to have attended with  a friend that almost always has a to go box by her side and because she brought the leftover chips and salsa and some of her grilled cheese sandwich from lunch, we had a delicious dinner when we got back Friday night. 

Women's ministry has come a long way from dressing up in Sunday/designer best for retreats complete with fashion shows.  They have come a long way from being inspirational.  Thank goodness there weren't any crafts involved and no helpful hints in the kitchen.  The speakers this weekend weren't produced from the ubiquitous women's ministry mold.  They all were different.  No fluff, no poofiness, no frou frou, no emotional tricks to produce "event tears."  The emphasis was on Jesus, serving others, and doing little things that produce profound results.  We weren't entertained, we were invited in and involved. 

This was the first Abundance event and there are others planned this year around the country.  If you are near to one, attend.  I hope this isn't the only year they do this. 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Fun Day

The birds in our backyard are very interesting to watch.  Some of those birds have taken me in and there are others I'd rather see move on down the road.  The first mocking bird dined at our bird feeder this morning.  Then it perched in the tree and sang some beautiful music.  The doves have been joined by another dove couple and I think the male of the original pair that discovered our feeder hasn't been around, but his mate has been.  And she looks to be with childs.  I fear that he met his untimely demise.  One of the new doves is rather assertive and takes on some of the bigger birds that stop in for a quick bite.  We have a few sparrows and a few other types of birds that I have no clue what type they are.  Angry Birds has nothing on my hungry birds.  Our peaceful morning was interrupted by the foundation being poured on the lot behind us and more water pipe or some kind of pipe being installed beside us.  Either way it is a mechanically sounding day and probably all this progress just might shake up the snakes who repose by the pond.  Roy put out a fresh batch of moth balls and I bought several cans of wasp spray.  I went with the longest distance spray and it sprays 27 feet.  I bought a few other things and thought it might look weird if I bought one food item and then several cans of wasp spray.  Again, I think I watch too much ID TV. 

My mother's father kept notebooks of quotes and newspaper clippings.  He also kept a diary for years and years.  I loved looking through his books of quotes and I wish I had asked for them after my grandmother died.  When I was a child I loved to read through his diaries which seemed to be more of a chronicling of the weather but I looked through them to see if he wrote about me anywhere.  What a treasure to find myself in his diary.  Guess the nut doesn't fall too far from the tree for I am a collector of quotes and I have kept a journal since about the fourth grade.  This week some rather interesting and collectible quotes have come my way and maybe in light of this week and the past few weeks of trying to help a loved one; these words have been especially insightful.  I liked this one that John Maxwell tweeted today, "integrity is exhibited in actions, not pronouncements of intention."  Lorin Woolfe.  I will just leave this whole subject matter alone but this quote and a few others have made it into my quote book. 

Sunday looks to be another stellar day weather wise for Spring Loaded at church.  Since I no longer work at the church, and since Spring Loaded was kind of my baby to take care of, I am thoughtful toward the fun day for kids and their families, but also very relieved not to have to be responsible for it anymore.  Spring Loaded has never had a rainy Sunday, so that is good since everything is outside.  This is also the first year for it to be at Warrior field, so the logistics and the ease of getting there should increase attendance. 

What beautiful days we've been having.  Can't get enough of the cool mornings and the warm afternoons.  Maybe Roy will get started on our raised garden beds this weekend.  I doubt he will want me help as lookout armed with a can of wasp spray to take care of any errant snakes that might come our way.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

And Now For a Safety Minute or Two

It is an easing into the day kind of morning. Yesterday morning I was up early because it was the first day of spring. Well, that is not really the reason I was up early, it was due to the fact a rather large storm system was on the move and nearing the Rancho de Five area. I'd like to think by rising early and getting cleaned up I thwarted the potential severity of the storm by being ready for it. We received a good amount of rain but not nearly as much lighting and thunder as had been predicted.

Roy sent me a safety moment email from the office. It was all about not participating in horseplay with snakes or any other reptiles in your work environment. Uh, yea, don't think I'd be doing that. You're preaching to the choir. I would not participate in horseplay at home either with any reptilian like creatures.

Would you horseplay with a snake in the house? No sir no sir, not even with a mouse!

Would you, could you horseplay in a tree? There's no way, not with my bad knee(s).

How about snake horseplay in the yard? No, I tell you, that's too hard!

Not in the house, not in a tree, not in a yard. Please Sam I Am, I would be emotionally scarred.

I do not like horseplay with snakes. That is a vow that I can make.

I have also made a vow not to horseplay with rodents, small or large, scorpions, cockroaches and other slimy disgusting things..lizards, snails, worms.... No, Roy doesn't work at the zoo and to the best of his knowledge there aren't any reptiles in his office but there are lots of pipeline and crude oil tank storage areas that his company owns all across the country.

My friend Dena just sent me the safety moment from her job which just happens to be in the same genre as Roy's only hers is much more helpful... This is so helpful wasp spray is better than pepper spray if someone is attacking you and wasp spray KILLS SNAKES! I'm going to look for the purse size, clip onto the waist of your shorts size wasp spray. Now see that is good safety moment info!

For the most part I have been taking it easy the past few days. I had a little bit of a scare Sunday morning. I had a heart episode and I haven't had one of those in several months. Usually, I have a little warning before one comes on, but Sunday I had no warning at all. It kind of rattled me, not unlike horseplay with a rattle snake, which of course I would never do. It took about ten minutes for me to recover but felt the effects of it into Monday.

I'm getting a much needed pedicure tomorrow. There are just so many lovely spring shades of color to choose from.

Well, I would like to work with my plants later today so guess I should be off to get some wasp spray. It will be just like the storm, if I prepare for seeing a snake, I won't see a snake. Well, at least that is what I would like to believe today.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Late Night Ramblings

Nothing like waiting for the rain.  It has sprinkled rain a few times today, but nothing note worthy.  The wind was unbelieveable today.  It was blowing so hard that it uprooted several small plants in the backyard.  So, after our delicious dinner of stuffed pasta with butternut squash sauce and salad, we worked at bit in the yard.  We moved some of the plants out of the wind and replanted the ones that had been uprooted.  Of course my every move was a bit calculated in being aware that another sneaky snake might be lurking and looking for vengance for the death of you know, the other snake. 

The first night of Dancing with the Stars was really good.  Urkel, can really dance.  Martina looked a little stiff but beautiful and that Cuban guy...muy caliente!  I had really never watched the show until last season.  I was a late comer to all the fun. 

I went with Roy to his Life Bible Class yesterday.  His teacher, David Taylor is going through the book of Isaiah.  He cover five chapters in 45 minutes and it was really good and very thought provoking.  The lesson was especially interesting since we've been studying Revelation in Community Bible Study and the prophecy came alive to me in light of what we've learned since September. 

Last year I had lunch with a tennis friend who loves reading just about as much or maybe even more than me.  She told me about a fiction book, Turn of the Mind.  It is written from the prospective of a woman doctor who is slowly but surely drifting deeper and deeper into Alzheimer's.  The story is actually a mystery concerning the death, rather the murder of the doctor's best friend.  Pat told me by reading the book it would help me understand a little better the thought process and the disease that was destroying my mother.  She was right.  Only, I had just started reading the book when my mother passed away.  Since the book is on my Nook, it has been a haphazard reading as I use my Nook for appointments and such where there is some down time.  I just finished the book over the weekend.  I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the perspective.  I have started a non fiction book of one man's search back through his family tree trying to understand why his distant relative would leave Vermont and come to the South to make his fortune during the time of reconstruction.  His story has pulled me in and I am just starting the third chapter. 

Just maybe I might have an addiction to One Kings Lane, Joss & Main, Haute Look, Rue La La, Fab and whatever other Internet shopping sites that have deeply discounted on many of a kind and one of kind items.  Actually, it is fun to get some really great deals.  Like CJ Cookie Johnson capris which are normally $150 priced for $49.50.  Now, I wouldn't ever pay a $150 for a pair of capris and many times when they go on sale on her website or on Nordstrom, they've been picked over.  We have furnished and finished a lot of rooms and outside with items from these websites.  About 10:00 am the deals hit the email.  I cannot believe how fast some people are able to get on site and get things.  Rue La La gives you free shipping for 30 days after paying 9.95 for your first shipment.  Thank you Emily for telling me about RLL.  On the other websites, the shipping can be a sizable sum, so you have to watch that. 

They must be getting desperate for street names out here in the Rancho de Five.  One new street is Oak Rambling, not Rambling Oak.  So many of the streets out here include the name Gaston or Flewellyn in them...   The ground has been broken for the new Kroger and Academy.  Walls are being put up for a strip center near the new McDonalds.  It's kind of happening all at once out here.

Happy Monday!

Being the thoughtful wife, I went to Home Goods today to find a tea kettle for Roy.  Before we moved into our house I had bought Roy this fancy smancy electric water warmer but it started to leak.  So, we are opting for the good old fashioned kettle on the stove.  Found a beautiful red kettle and can I help it that along the way to find a kettle there were some very interesting aisles.  And somethings from these interesting aisles found themselves in a shopping basket and then loaded into Sequisha.  Oh, the things I do for love.  :)  Actually, Roy will be quite thrilled because I bought some food type items at Home Goods and tonight we are having fresh pasta and butternut squash sauce and salad.  In November we had this butternut squash sauce and loved it, so all three remaining jars made their way to our house today.  Peggy and I discovered this chocolate covered popcorn, pretzels and the like at Brookwood.  It is addicting.  Home Goods had it today and it was $7.00 cheaper.  Ah, I'm such a penurious shopper. 

Yesterday, we went to church and then after lunch headed over to see my dad.  He gets his days kind of confused and he called on Saturday asking us when we were showing up.  That would be Sunday, Dad.  His conversation seemed more like a fishing expedition and that thought was confirmed when we got back home and listened to the message he had left on the home phone.  So Sunday seemed like a good visit, well that is, until the end.  Once again, he sprang a request upon us that we were not prepared to fulfill and this time instead of getting outwardly angry, he simmered and made a few hurtful and sarcastic remarks.  I responded, I don't think you want to go down that road.  We left but once again we came home exhausted and drained.  It takes a whole lot of energy to talk and try to reason with my father.  He is due to go home on Friday, but I think he really isn't prepared to go home and live alone.  He has some people that he is going to call to see if he can get some part time help with the house and help him.  He will probably never make the calls to get someone over there.  He is really good about talking a good game, but his procrastination overtakes his good intentions.  We spend a lot of time going in circles because he wants to hear what we think but it is a waste of time, since he has already made up his mind.  When I was a child and got in trouble, we always had to have these long, drawn out conversations.  It was a chance for me to plead my case.  I was a poor lawyer for myself, I never, never , ever won one plea.  Even then, I got to the point where I just asked for my punishment because the stating my case thing was a HUGE waste of time and only delayed the inevitable spanking.  It also makes it difficult because there are several different versions of the things that may have happened or maybe really did happen with his health.  Just this past week he was telling me he didn't agree with a choice someone was making and his pronouncement of this decision is, well, they are making this decision and they are going to have to live with it and suffer any consequences that come from it.  I'm filing that in my back pocket, because he is doing the very same thing.  Only when he makes a bad decision he expects everyone to drop everything and rescue him.  He and I have had difficulties with one another for most of my life.  His attitude toward me and this mini stroke he has had takes a huge toll on Roy and me.  We were like zombies for the rest of the evening.

I thought I would post a few of the pictures Roy took on Saturday.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Paddy's Day or Whack a Snake Day

Well saints and begorra, Happy St Paddy's Day with a wee little wish from us.  We know how to celebrate the day.  Some people have live nativities at their homes during Christmas depicting the story of Jesus' birth.  We had a St Patrick Day live demonstration in our courtyard.   We came home to a snake on our front porch and Roy played the role of St Patrick, but he actually depicted the story of the snakes leaving Ireland more like the Terminator, "hasta la vista baby."  I stood by the window and screamed every time Roy took a whack at the snake.  I do have the gift of encouragement.  Once the snake was dead, I mean led away from the green isle, Roy wanted to symbolize the leaving of the snake by throwing it in our trash can. Nah I said, throw it over the fence and let one of these hawks swoop down and have take out dinner for the bird fam tonight.  Roy would like me to add that he was biblically correct in how he killed the snake, he crushed its head.  To tell you the truth, I was keeping my heels covered lest Satan Snake tried to depict the scene from the Garden of Eden.  I texted Peggy and said the for sale sign is in the yard, Joseph is buried upside down in the back yard and I'm pulling out boxes.  She called and said welcome to the burbs.  She asked me to describe the snake and she thinks it was a water moccasin that came out from the pond, lake or body of water our home is next to. 

Once the snake situation was in hand or foot...Roy left to pick up a gardening wagon that we bought last night from the Tractor Supply store.  We outsourced the assembly of the wagon because one DIY project a week is enough for us.  I asked that he inquire at those most learned people of the earth how to repel snakes.  Moth balls.  So, if you come to our home and stand at our front door and think, why their front door smells like Aunt Bertha's cedar chest, you'll know that we have your total and complete safety in mind. 

Why does the theme from Green Acres keep playing through my mind tonight?  On a totally different note, the man who wrote It's a Small World After All died this week.  Now you have two ear worm songs going through your brain and when you wake up around 3:00 am, it will still be playing in your mind. 

Until the snake incident, today was really such a lovely day.  Roy and I went out for breakfast and then we headed out to see some bluebonnets.  We didn't do the usual Navasota/Chapel Hill route but we did the Sealy to Industry to Round Top route back home through New Ulm, past the huge facility that Roy's company is building off 36 in Sealy, stop at Brookwood for a citrus tree and a late lunch at Dekker's.  Roy got some awesome pictures in the Industry area.  We stopped and looked around in Fayettville and did some shopping in Round Top.  Of course we brought home some pie from Royer's too.  Roy hasn't downloaded his pictures yet, but when he does I will post some on the blog.  We even filled Sequisha with some $3.65 gas.  I really, really want to love Dekker's but each time we leave there, it has been a disappointing experience.  The weather was perfect for dining on the deck though.  We'll go back and each time I hold hope in my heart that we will leave one day totally loving the place. 

Wonder why no one has The Quiet Man on tonight celebrating the day of the green and the water moccasin snake.  There are only two John Wayne movies that I really love, The Quiet Man and The Horse Soldiers. 

Sadly, I did not take a picture of the dead snake before it flew over the fence and became dinner for the hawk family.  It was close to as an American moment I have ever felt, don't tread on me...

Hopefully, on the first day of spring, which is on Tuesday I think, we won't have any wild spring like happenings as traumatic as our St Paddy Day Snake Whacking Day.  If you have read previously about the problem our doves, well they aren't ours but they eat out of our bird feeder, were having.  Well, I think the location determination problem he was having has been remedied.  Whew!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day everyone!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Continued Gardening and Other Sundry Things

It's an overcast morning on the prairie.  The sun keeps battling the clouds and it should eventually win the struggle.  I am out early repotting plants and working on the yard.  Abel should be here today to cut the grass, hope so anyway.  Of course now I am in getting a broom from inside the house and taking a little break to give the ol' back a rest. 

Yesterday, was a full but tiring day.  I overslept and that put me behind on getting to the Nord.  It is the triple point days.  Even arriving later than I planned, my favorite parking place was open and waiting for Sequisha.  Tackled the make up area first and then meandered into the shoe department, which I hadn't planned on.  It was a good day in the shoe department.  Found some black casual sandals, Naots, with great arch support.  Yes, I long ago crossed over the line to comfort at the expense of style but these shoes are rather stylish.  Also found a cute pair of fit flops, very blingy blue sparkles.  In making up some time from the late start, I really didn't eat breakfast, so I did the early lunch at the Bistro.  The chef special looked so good, crab cakes, green salad, roasted tomatoes and their specialty of a few tempura asparagus, so I ordered it and not the usual crab stack.  Didn't linger too long at lunch to go back out into the store and hit a few depts.  Then I dodged all the cart merchants that litter the center of the mall on each floor to Macy's.  The second floor merchants are not as aggressive or bothersome as the first floor.  Found a few things at Macy's, and score, had a 20% extra coupon.  That's always welcomed. 

Since my comfortable shoes I wore yesterday were killing my feet, I ended my time at The Galleria and headed over to see my dad.  Only, he wasn't anywhere to be found.  I had a hunch that maybe someone had either taken him out to lunch or had taken him home to do a few things.  Left a note on his pillow after traversing the assisted living place.  Once again 610 enticed me with little traffic, well that is until I went over 59 and hit the west loop near the Galleria all the way up to 1-10.  What a mess!  Made a quick stop at the Bunker Hill Lowe's and then headed toward home.  Only I couldn't go home because the maid was at the house.  She doesn't mind me being there, but I'd rather not be around.  So, I stopped at the grocery store and bought stuff that would be OK in the car.  Now at the grocery store I have found my second arch nemesis, the motorized grocery cart.    Paige, this does not include you or your use of one at Target because you're pregnant.  Believe me, I would rather deal with hormones than cranky old people any day of the week.  Just because you can drive a cart does not give the right to running into carts or people or reeving the scooter motor just a bit because others aren't moving fast enough.  These men in the store were horrible in their mad driving skills and attitude. 

After the store I headed over to Fulshear to go to Gaby's.  It is such a cute little shop and has really neat items, including clothing.  They carry Wax Poetic, which is a jewelry line.  Bought a couple of items and then drove by the house to see if there was an all clear.  Nope.  Went to the Spring Green Lake area, found a comfortable bench and read until a little after 5:00 because surely she should be finished.  She wasn't and I am not complaining because she does such a wonderful job.  It's just sometimes, well a lot of time, small talk wears me out.  It's my favorite time right after she's done.  Everything is put up, organized and spotless.  Then Roy and I do our daily living and mess everything up.

In between paragraphs I've outside and back in several times.  Almost everything is watered and repotted.  We need to go back to Lowe's or Home Depot and get a few more pots and plants for the courtyard.  The birds and the wind chimes have serenaded me while working.  They don't quite drown out the mechanical noise that's started back up.  The work in the green space is just about completed by us and the last lot behind us has construction starting.  When it is finished all the lots around us will be completed and work will head northward.  It's time to get cleaned up and maybe run a few errands before returning home and relax by reading a book. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1001 Bullet Points...Maybe Not That Many but it Will Feel LIke it When You're Done

***Don't forget to leave a comment on 1000 Post to win a gift card to the Nord***

Just call me Mrs. Paul Revere.  I just set the alarm off here at the house.  Roy called and asked me if everything was ok, because the security people were on the phone.  Oh yeah, I forgot that I went through the side garage door without deactivating the alarm.  It has been one of those mornings doing a bunch of errands in the midst of some huge wreck on the freeway and then I am distracted with other stuff.  In no order since my brain is not in order and while studying the book of Revelation we are constantly reminded that it is not in chronological order, are some bullet points of things going on.  Oh and by making the reference to the book of Revelation in no way do I think I am putting myself in the same category as John, the disciple whom Jesus loved. 
  • I am dressed today as if I still played tennis.  Have on a sport skirt and capris.  My hair is in a tiny little ponytail.  Seems these days I wear workout clothes for everything but working out.  Nord had a great deal on the skirts this fall.  So I am bopping around the prairie as a faux tennis player.
  • At Lowe's the cashier rang up my stuff wrong.  I told him two potting soils and two garden planting soils.  He charged me for 4 potting soils which is significantly more expensive than garden soil.  Who knew?  Anyway, I had a feeling and I did something I never, well hardly ever do, I actually checked the receipt.  Since I had only taken two steps away from the counter, it was a quick, tennis step back.  You should have seen the looks on the faces of the people in line.  They hated me.  Well guess what, I was in the same boat  with the customers in line in front of me.  Since my arch nemisis are mini vans, I have a feeling all these people who delayed my purchase are mini van drivers.    Why do people share carts and then can't decide who wanted what?  And get into a huge, rather vocal discussion over it.  Gee, I would hate to see them discuss anything meaningful. Then an older lady tied up the line with all kinds of things and when it came time to pay, she wasn't even in the ready position.  She starts digging through her purse and since she is paying in cash, she is scrounging around for 7 cents or something.  Back in the day, I usually would say something to a person like, did you think you didn't have to pay?  You could speed things up a little by being prepared.  If I had done this she might have thought, hey girl, get back on the tennis courts where you belong and then I would have to tell her, I am playing dress up and instead of dressing up like a princess, which as a monarch I have every right to do, I am playing pretend tennis player.  So there.
  • Since I had such a bad attitude at Lowe's, a trip to Mardel's was in store to restore balance in my heart.  Went in, looked at a bunch of stuff and came out with nothing.  Pretty happy about that because there were several things that caught my eye.  When I did play tennis and ran errands in tennis togs, I did get asked out at a Christian bookstore.  The guy started talking to me about the Amplified Bible I was about to purchase and then said, "I see you are a tennis player, maybe you would like to teach me how to play and then maybe we could go out for something to eat."  I told him, I couldn't.  My husband doesn't let me date. 
  • So this huge wreck had I 10 backed up.  So I was adventurous and took a back way I thought might work and surprise, it did. 
  • Made a quick stop at McDonald's for a snack.  I thought the correct thing and ordered something totally different.  Then at the pick up window, I protested my order, nicely.  It dawned on me, it was my fault.  Not unlike a double fault in tennis.  My punishment to myself, which I am saying in my best Peggy Hill voice, was to take what I had mistakenly ordered.  Then I proceeded to accidentally have stuff drip on my shirt...which was maybe additional punishment. Ah, there is the double fault.  I pulled in our garage and began unloading all the stuff from Lowe's.  The garbage men picked up the recyclables and then sat there watching me unload things.  I got a little uncomfortable with that and thus went through the side garage door which in turn set off the alarm. 
  • On Sunday, we did the whole spring forward thing.  We changed out all the air filters and the batteries in the smoke detectors.  They always say push the button to make sure it is working.  Roy did and it set off the fire alarm.  The thing is screeching and yelling fire, fire, there is a fire.  Of course I started saying, the roof, the roof the roof is on fi-ar.  We don't need no then Roy had scampered down the ladder to call the security company cause we didn't need a firetruck pulling up to the house.  That's when we found out our fire alarms are not hooked up to the security system.  So, that will be taken care of in short order. 
  • Last night Peggy invited us for leftovers.  They were delicious.  Bill had all the people who have booths in his store over for dinner and to reveal who had won best booth by those of us who voted in February on Sunday night.  We had fajitas, wraps, chips, tacitos and a plethora of desserts.  It was a delicious dinner.  Roy and I were going to have left over pizza but now that is on the menu for tonight's dinner. 
  • The challenge is to woo the two doves into making their nest on this side of the fence where they will be safe and not on the other side where predators prowl.  They have been enjoying the bird seed and with all the digging we've been doing, fresh worms and bugs are ripe for the picking.  I'm a little concerned for them though, they seem to have their more intimate moments on the fence and well, he just isn't hitting the target.  He keeps attempting to mate with the back of the neck of the female.  Guess this is what it sounds like when doves cry. 
  • Roy put together the rocking/glider chair Sunday afternoon.  It was a difficult project and the instructions were sketchy at best.  I had heard this about other Martha Stewart projects.  We lauded her queen of DIY projects, but it didn't help.  After several attempts to get the base and the chair connected properly, it was done.  Lucky Roy, I went back and got the accent table that goes with the chair...and you guessed has to be put together. 
  • Today our Amazon order should be delivered and one of the books I am really looking forward to reading is The Resignation of Eve by Jim Henderson with lots of Barna research.  The reviews have been good.  Believe me, I am not a women's libber but after being on staff at a church and seeing how a lot of things work, there are always issues and things that could be improved.   Although the complicated inner workings of being biblical and getting things done at church is a tricky dance, Oops, no dancing in the Baptist church but the reality is...there are more women volunteers in most churches. Another truth?   It is the admins that are the backbone and that is true whether it be church work or secular work.  In fact one reviewer asked, what if the women stayed home one Sunday.  What would happen?  It is kind of a funny thing to think about and I'm not advocating that at all.  In reality other women are the ones that hold the "keys to the kingdom."  Just how much you can actually use your spiritual gifts is sometimes hampered by a fear factor or politics of those in charge or those who might have some say.  Believe me, if I didn't have the outlet of my blog and other things like that, I would be one very frustrated person and I have other outlets to actually use the gifts given from God.   From reading excerpts the author concludes there are many women attending church who are present but not really present...they're not that involved anymore.  Guess the same thing could be said of men.  Guess it is kind of like me wearing tennis clothes today.  At one point in my life, tennis clothes were my outfit of choice, I was involved.  Then tennis lost its joy and not even the fun of winning and being united in purpose with my teammates could hold my interest anymore.  Tennis lost its passion and purpose with the ever growing reality of politics.  So many times it wasn't the abilities of a tennis player that got her on Open Championship teams it was how well one played the"game" and courted the favor of those who had the power.  Believe me, I used both ways to play open championship and it was the continuing game of politics and the toll politics inflicted that started the process of me leaving a game I really loved to play.  And now, I just dress like the game I used to love to play. 
  • Well, the flowers are calling to me.  They need to be planted in the ground and in containers.  I nearly had the same mishap occur that happened to Roy at Lowe's.  He was pulling some containers down for me and little did we know they were filled with rain water.  Roy was totally soaked.  I almost did the same thing but changed my mind and went with round containers.  Whew...crisis averted. 
  • Tomorrow is the beginning of Nord's five days of triple points.  So while the maid is here tomorrow, you know where I'll be.  I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Nord. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

1000 Post on Monablog...A Milestone or Should That be Milstone?

Ta da!  This is officially my 1000 post on Monablog.  How exciting is this?  Well, really it is no surprise that I could actually be this wordy and write about the trivial of everyday life with a few interesting thoughts thrown in from time to time. 

Of course this calls for a celebration.  And if you've read Monablog for any amount of time, you know how I like to the Nord.  So, I am going to do a Nordstrom gift card give away.  Please comment on the blog, please be nice...and on April 1, we will do a drawing for a $100.00 gift card.  Whoo Hooo! 

*** This is not an April Fools joke.  :)****

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Forward Sabbatical Day

Another storm just passed through.  No close lightning and only the distant sound of thunder.  I stayed home this morning from church, not because we didn't spring forward because we did.   Roy went in for his last Sunday of pre-services prayer and his Sunday has been the second one of the month.  The distance, with the rising cost of gas and in April the 9:30 service is moving to 9:15 plays into an earlier morning for him.  I am not math or statistically gifted but I'm not too sure how moving the service up 15 minutes really is going to help the parking situation.  I don't now if it is still the case but when I worked there, most of the Sunday School classes (that's what it was called back then) at the 9:30 time didn't really begin until 10:00.  The move of the 8:20 classes to 8:00 seems to impact mostly senior adults who park in the north lot or in handicap parking.  I just don't see where it is going to clear out that much room.  I know the powers that be have this figured out but it seems moving the 11:00 service to 11:15 along with the 9:30 change would make a bigger difference for parking all the way around.  Yep, that is what I am thinking about on a sabbatical Sunday morning for me. 

With the exception of the ringing in my ears, I love the silence on Sunday mornings.  My spirit is requiring a lot of down time right now.  I think it is a gift from God because daunting, hectic, controlled panic is most probably on down the road.  We will come to a crossroads in a week or so, seeing what my Dad decides to do.  Roy just stopped to check up on him and he said Dad is in hog heaven, getting attention from the nurses, people and his friends.  I think he is really enjoying that aspect of this whole thing and I'm glad that this is making him so happy.  The conversations that we really need to be having with him are deflected each time we try to walk him through situations.  This is the last piece of his life that he really has control over now, but if he procrastinates too much, he might find himself in a position that wouldn't have been any one's choice for him. 

The sun is trying to peek through.  It's going to raise humidity levels but it is so delightful to look upon actual green spaces and not dusty, dead grass.  Looks like the drainage system in our backyard is working really well.  We had a few issues and DW fixed those quickly several months ago.  Really, who would have known because our home was built smack dab in the middle of the drought last year. 

I spent some time in the casita bedroom yesterday vacuuming broken glass and rehanging the shelf that fell earlier this week.  We went to Home Goods and got a little white display piece to put some of the bigger collection of my lambs on.  Maybe that will help a bit.  While we were there we found the perfect full length mirror at a really good price.  Today we will do all the spring forward type things, change the batteries in the smoke detectors, change the air filters and a couple of other things like that.

After nearly 37 years, we finally bought new stainless every day silverware.  We used what I had bought right after college.  We didn't register for any everyday stuff when we were getting married.  Over the years, from time to time, I would think, we really need some new silverware.  I came close to buying some last year at Sur La Table but it was being discontinued and there wasn't enough for very many place settings.  Enter Joss & Main.  They were having a Reed and Barton sale and a particular pattern that I have looked at through the years was being offered and at a really good price.  It came last week.  It is so pretty.  We used it for the first time last night.

Yesterday Roy went wild at HEB.  I love that he loves to grocery shop.  He comes home with some really good things.  In fact, he should do the menu planning because I only think about a few standards and don't deviate too much from that.  I could eat yogurt and cereal for dinner many nights.  He wants something a little more substantial.  So we have the fixings for gumbo and for chili.  He did good.

In fact, Roy just got home.  He's worn out from the dad visit and the weather he had to drive through.  It is feeling like a grill cheese sandwich for lunch kind of day.  Guess I better go look for that pan.   

Friday, March 9, 2012

Just a Few Passing Thoughts

So what does one do for fun on a cold, overcast, slightly wet day out on the prairie?  Most would be indoors with a cup of tea or coffee but not me.  No, I planted more flowers in the backyard while the soil is wet and easier to deal with. An added bonus, I got to wear my waterproof boots to work in the yard.  I always forget I have them.  Thanks to the Tractor Supply store, I bought garden utensils that are kid and adult friendly for gardening use.  Actually,  I didn't really plant things for fun today.  I used the opportunity for a therapeutic release of static tension that I am trying not to store up and the actual digging and weeding is providing an answer and relief on so many levels.  So at least the different varieties of yellow, orange and red marigolds are in the ground and two lantanas need to be put into the containers that we bought the other night.  The Mexican heather and some other kind of blueish, purplish plants for the front beds are still waiting to be planted but I will need Roy's help with those.  I can see why my mom enjoyed gardening so much.  I wish I had better knees to really get down close to the beds and work the soil.  Digging up that gumbo soil mix is hard work and today it felt very rewarding.

The other night when we made a quick run to Home Depot, we found the glider/rocking chair for the back porch.  It is significantly less expensive than the teak glider we have been contemplating.  So now maybe sometime over the weekend Roy with help from his lovely assistant, will get this thing put together and be useful for the warmer weather next week.  We also bought a new bird feeder for the tree.  We have a couple of doves who are making their home nearby our backyard.  I have spent some time bird watching.  With most of the construction on down the way, the birds seem to have returned to our area and their beautiful songs blend so well with the wind chimes. 

Last week while Roy was helping my father, I decided to help Roy.  He had bought some turf builder and while he worked with my dad's "fertilizer" I worked with the yard fertilizer.  The grass is looking rather nice but there is still a lot of weeding to do.  Once we get all the flowers in we'll go get some mulch. 

This has been a tough week.  I cannot tell you how many times I have said, I chose joy because there is a part of me that wants to retreat.  Emotionally I am laying low this week.  I wish I could tell you that I am being all spiritual and spending a whole bunch of time in the Word as I navigate this latest path.  Don't get me wrong I have been reading and meditating on some verses but I felt I needed to be really honest so that my 5 readers won't get the impression that I am being Suzie Spiritual this week.  No, I've been more like Valerie Valet.  I don't think it is one thing that has quieted me down this week and living out the week as a hermit.  It's like this, once I was messing with a bungee cord.  I thought I had it secured but it popped up and the hook hit me square on the eye.  It hurt so bad and I began to cry.  Hard cry and since I am not a big crier and rarely a big ol' ugly cry type, I decided not to let the pain go to waste.  I thought of so many things that I needed to cry over and did so, well that is until I got a phone call and it just happened to be Peggy.  I think everything that happened last Sunday has so thrown me for a loop and since it has been a while since I stopped and taken in so many feelings and actually thought and contemplated through them, I'm taking the opportunity from the pain of Sunday and put it to good use.  For one thing, I miss my mom and with the added responsibility of hosting my family after the service and having something to give them for lunch, I just haven't stopped and really and if you know me you'll know how much it is going to pain me to use this word because it gets overused a lot in the church world, grieve the loss of my mom.  I came home and got to the business of serving.  It is the many funerals I've attended these past few months.  There was something about Mrs. Mary Helen's service and the emotions involved, that kind of started me on this emotional roller coaster.  Wait, no I think her service was the transition from being on the little roller coaster and being transitioned onto the big, scary, dips and sharp turns roller coaster.   I think too,  when we were at my parent's on Sunday morning cleaning and clearing out the refrigerators, without the added stress of keeping conversation on track and in the present, I took in the touches of my mother slowly being lost.  Her gardens in the backyard were garden show/garden trail worthy.  Now, the yard and gardens are overgrown with weeds.   Some of the things she loved displaying in their home just look worn out and tired.  It is reminding me so much of my grandparent's things after they died.  Most of their "treasures" were broken or worn out.  In some ways I am still taking in all the happenings with my health these past few years.  Oh believe it when I say, everything is so praise worthy and glorifying to God because it has all been the Lord's doing.  Really, this is how stupid it has been this week.  I picked up the mail and on our boxes were several "lost cat" fliers.  This beautiful cat had accidentally gotten out of the house and with the new of outdoors, ran.  Its owners are desperately searching for this 10 year old cat.  I sat in my car and cried...over a missing cat...who probably got snatched up by one of the hawks out here and just that thought made me cry even more.  My life has felt so out of quilter the past few weeks.  The stable has become a bit unstable and the known is becoming a little bit unknown.  So for this week, I've sat here taking in the silence, enjoying the rest, even getting up early and slowing it down.  There are several fun things happening this weekend, but I just don't feel like I can do them and I don't think I have the energy for them. 

We know there are still tough days ahead and with tough days comes tough decisions.  Roy and I sat and talked them through last night.  We are united and woven together as we take the next probably fateful steps.  A lot of the decisions are really out of our hands and we have If I didn't have Roy's love and support right now, I think I would be a total mess.  I am so encouraged when I hear Roy praying specifically for me and as we pray together asking for wisdom and to be led in joy and to go out in peace.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday Wanderings

All I can say is, thanking God for His favor yesterday.  I really can't go into much more than that, but it was a Psalms 5:12 kind of day.  His mercies are new every morning!

I am finally home.  There were so many things that needed to be taken care of today.  So, I confess, I have become THAT woman.  You know the type that drives a SUV and parks it cattywampos, meaning sometimes all or part of Sequisha is on the diagonal.  Well for once it wasn't me being the guilty party, it was the Tahoe parked next to me.  I came out of the store and it was tight squeezing to get things in the backseat.  I had done really well keeping my door away from the Tahoe.  When I climbed into the car, the wind gusted and blew my door right into the Tahoe and the driver was sitting there.  She slammed her fist on the horn and barely looked away from her texting to see my apologetic hand wave and really sad face.  I checked to see if I had done any damage and there wasn't any.  No checking the phone for me, I got the heck out of Dodge and onto the next stop.  I went to pick up some dessert from Kay's Tea Room but they were closed.  Tomorrow is brunch day at Bible study.  Guess I will pick something up later. 

We still feel like we are in shell shock from the weekend.  There is this gaping emotional hole and even Roy is feeling it, maybe even more.  It dawned on him in the midst of helping and after nearly 35 years of marriage, he is not considered a part of the family by my father.  It hurt his feelings and of course in my great comforting manner I said, really?  Your feelings are hurt?  You want to take my place in this shebang?  Some have suggested that maybe this is the beginning of dementia.  Oh my...But,we know this to be true, we are not walking this path alone.

Now this is really freaky.  In the past two weeks, 2 pictures have fallen off walls and a nic knack shelf in the casita bedroom fell.  Now if I was all into paranormal stuff, I'd be on TV.  Laughing I said to Roy, what if my mom is upset and she's knocking stuff off the walls.   He said, well she wouldn't be here throwing things off the wall.  She's not mad at us.  Really, I think with all the underground work going on, it has caused things to fall.  Now I have to tackle that shelf again.  It was a dickens to hang in the first place.  Not too many things were broken, one Nord lamb ornament, one Nord Christmas ornament is slightly broken and a Nord vase.  Hmmm...could this be Nordstrom related?

Looks like we are in for some rain.  I kind of like that. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

We've Become the Parents of a Rebellious 81 Year Old

When I was in college and the days and evenings were just too inviting and beautiful to be in the library or my room studying, my friend Bob and I would take off in his car for sights seen and unseen around  San Marcos.  He usually had an eight track (I'm old) of music blended in with nature sounds as background music.  One of us brought a NT with Psalms and maybe once in a while we would pick up goodies to have a sunset and dusk picnic.  Those times of taking in the wonders of nature calmed my soul and eased my spirit.  I found myself doing the same thing today.  Not in the beauty of the hill country but on the Farm to Market roads of Texas.  The plants and flowers of Brookwood called out to me and I responded.  The radio turned down and in deep thoughts and prayer, I rode out to Brookwood.  With our recent rains, the grass and tress are greening up.  Here and there along the road, fields of yellow flowers bent in the wind.  The tension of my soul released and peace entered in.  The quiet drive in the country is just what I needed. 

This past week has been a very long one.  It was just about this time last Monday that my dad called to let us know he was going to go to the ER at M D Anderson.  His INR was elevated.  Numerous tests were ordered and everything came back normal.  Even though he just had his last cancer check up a month or so ago and got clean bill of health, he felt like, once again, the recurring theme of his life, his cancer was back.  His lymph nodes had increased a bit but nothing significant and nothing that the Doctors are very worried about.  We visited him Tuesday night in the hospital and everything seemed ok.  My dad called us in a panic on Wednesday, he could not move his legs.  Roy and I got to the hospital in the afternoon, well, it seems that his legs did move, he just wasn't very steady on them.  After days of observation and tests it was determined that my dad had a mini stroke and it had affected his balance.  We wonder if he is traveling the same road that my grandmother traveled with mini strokes.  She began to have so many, everything soon became forgotten and dementia set in.  Some of the medication they gave him was really wild.  He called Roy, he had been kidnapped, MD Anderson was trying to kill him, my brother was standing outside his room talking.  My brother doesn't live here.   Also, people were trying to bilk him out of his money.  It was one panicked call after another and we tried to help him understand that none of those things were occurring.  The hospital discharged him on Saturday.  Since Wednesday, we had begun to look for a rehab stay for my dad in assisted living.  He had looked at one place in particular that was nearby.  Actually, he had looked at it for my mom's care.  So we went there, did the tour and liked the facility.  Roy began working in earnest with the director of the facility and the case workers coordinated with Anderson's case workers and everything came together just so beautifully.  We were so grateful and thankful to the Lord because an easy transition had been our prayer.  I wish I could report that things are going well with my dad's transition into a new chapter where he has less say so and choices concerning his well being. 

Sunday morning, we went out for breakfast and made a quick stop at Target before heading over to my father's house.  Roy had taken him there on Saturday so he could pack things and wrap up any loose ends.  One thing he wanted to do was go through the refrigerator and clear it of anything that could spoil.  Roy assured him that he and I would do that for him.  He has two refrigerators and let's just say we found some archaeological treasures dating back from 2001.  It is a wonder that my parents didn't have food poisoning.  To save us from having to make a trip back to the house today and tomorrow for trash pick up, we triple bagged the stuff and put it in our backseat to be disposed of on our trash day.  Once we got everything finished up, I called Dad to let him know we were on the way over.  That's where it all started going downhill quickly, he wanted us to come get him, bring him back home to pick up some stuff and then return him back to rehab.  We told him no, but we would be glad to go back into the house and find what he wanted.  He responded with, I can't remember, just come here and take me back, then I will know.  He was waiting for us near the front desk.  He was agitated and angry.  He demanded we take him to get his stuff, whatever it was because he couldn't remember until he saw it.  Roy began to reason with him.  I explained to him that Roy hadn't had much of a weekend being at the hospital and rehab place Friday and Saturday and it would be nice for Roy to at least have an afternoon at home.  My dad didn't care, in anger, with spittle nearly hitting us face on, he again began that angry growling of words so filled with hurtful and venomous poison.  Again, Roy tried explaining things to my dad and my dad reacted with yelling and sarcasm...  Roy dropped the newspaper we had brought him and walked out the door.  With everything within me, I had determined I wasn't going to react or raise my voice.  In a calm voice, I again asked my dad what he needed so badly.  My dad tried another maneuver, he wanted me to take him to the drugstore.  I asked him what he needed, he couldn't remember, he would just know what it was when we got there.  I explained that we didn't have any room in the car for him but we would be happy to go pick up what he needed.  My dad yelled, well put your stuff on the curb.  Leave it on the street and take me.  In all honesty, standing there before my angry and yelling father, I felt like I was 11 years old.  This scene had been played out many times before with expectations that one had to drop everything or rearrange life just to do what he wanted.  The whole honesty thing, the manipulation and demanding rants of a narrcistic man.  I might have felt I was reliving the past yet once again, but in my mind I knew something was much different than that long ago time, I am 57 and I have choice.  When my father saw I wasn't going to give in to his unrealistic demands, he finally told me what he wanted and the detail and specifics were so concise and clear.  He had known all along, but he was trying to manipulate the circumstances to justify his wants.  Believe me, the punishment was buying all these products he wanted.  The clerk kind of looked at us strange when I told her how many and what I needed to purchase.  Believe me, I told her right away that none of this was for me but for my father. 

We brought the products back to him and he acted as if nothing had occurred.  That he had never raised his voice, that he never had been angry.  We too had decided to return with his stuff, be pleasant and then make our exit.  We went to see his room.  He is in the skilled nursing section, his choice, because Medicare pays for it.  In exchange he gets a roommate and a bed, no privacy.  It was time for his lunch and they were holding it for him.  He introduced us to his roommate and some other man and we walked away unnoticed while my father began "teasing" them about something...and like so many other times before he begins a journey that probably won't end well relationship wise for him. 

Our drive back home had quiet but there were conversations recounting everything that had just taken place.  My father doesn't like to be told no and it has been quite sometime since we've been in a position to have to tell him no on something that seemed so important to him.  Amplified is the lack of gratefulness and the importance of self and the total disregard of others.  Well, make that total disregard of family members.  It has been a tough 24 hours, recovering.  Having felt well lately, it totally drained and exhausted me. 

The drive today was welcome.  It was restorative.  It was healing.  Roy and I know that this is probably just the first of many episodes to come.  We are asking God for wisdom.  We are asking God for His presence and peace for my father.   Galatians tells us not to grow weary in doing good.  It is a challenge for sure.

We have become the parents of a rebellious 81 year old.  Maybe I should take parenting classes or read the strong willed 81 year old.  Rebellion, smart alec, whining and scheming.  I think this is the really bad geriatric junior high years.

Friday, March 2, 2012

How I Spent Leap Year Day Part 2

When we last left Roy and Nancy, they were trying to leave MDA and get to the assisted independent living place before 5:00.  Roy and the dreadful mini van had finally found release and freedom and he dropped me off at valet parking.  The whole valet process is pretty efficient and it wasn't too long of a wait for Sequisha. Hit the road and I found Roy inside the assisted living home with the director beginning the tour.  What struck me about this particular residence was the genuine warmth between the director and the residents.  The hallways and gathering rooms weren't littered with people immobilize in wheelchairs.  A Leap Day party had just broken up when I arrived.  There was this one lady, with long silver hair and everything about her mannerisms and dress suggested she was 60's flower child.  Her t-shirt had a peace symbol and she had on flip flops.  The rehab looked well equipped and over all the place was very clean.  Roy and the director talked specifics while I took a sit down.  I have a blister on the side of my foot from those blasted sandals.  Once we had finished up there, we mozied in rush hour traffic to my father's house to return his car and check on the house.  Then we headed toward home with a stop for dinner and then taking Roy to pick up his car at the Park and Ride lot.  I came on home and crashed.  Roy wanted to stop at the grocery store for a few things.  So glad Leap Year comes only every four years.  I don't think I could take too many more of these kind of extra days.

My dad is still in the hospital.  He was supposed to have had a MRI at 3:00 am but there is a back up.  The Doctor told him he has probably had a mini stroke and that has caused his difficulty with his legs and walking.  They took him off the medicine that caused the hallucinations.  I just got off the phone with him.  He seemed to be in good spirits but he is tired of the waiting.  I would be too.  Hospital and Doctor time is kind of like the Lord.  Their ways and timing is above our understanding. 

After this week and all it held, I was so happy for yesterday.  I've been looking forward to it for a while.  We had our core group time at Bible study.  It was so good and so fun.  Our excitement level was rather high because of a field trip to Peggy's house for lunch.  It was if we were kids again, knowing a field trip was involved in our day because the energy level and reigning in all of our bunny trails by Gena.  Lunch was fun and everyone enjoyed looking around and playing in Peggy's home.  We even went out to the dock and fed the fish.  I came home and took a nap, still exhausted from the day before and all the lunch fun.  It was good to get the rest because Peggy, Dena and I were going to see Late Night Catechism.  Picked up Peggy and we met Dena at church.  We had a delicious dinner at Vincent's and great seats for the play.  It is an interactive play, so we all had fun with that.  In fact I won a glow in the dark rosary.  After the play we talked with the actress who played the nun and she told Peggy that her questions at the end had challenged her and had her on her toes. They might bring in a new production about Sister and Vegas.  We'll be there!  Dena is thinking about conducting Sunday School, oops I mean Life Bible Study class like the nun.  Think that would be a very fun experience and I have a feeling Peggy and I would be feeling the wrath of a ruler across our knuckles just like in back in the day parochial school. 

That's a wrap.  I am meeting Roy in a bit at the eye doctor and then we will make a trek out to MDA.  I am wearing tennis shoes and looking like a little old lady.  So thankful we don't have to be involved with a mini van today. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012

How I Spent My Leap Year Day

I spent my leap year day mainly attending to all things dad related.  Monday evening he drove himself to the ER due to a high INR from his blood thinners.  We found out yesterday he had also fallen in the yard, but depending on his mood or how he would like to be viewed, he will confirm the fall and then deny it.  We went to see him Tuesday evening and he seemed to be doing well and in good spirits.  Wednesday morning he called Roy in a panic.  MD Anderson was trying to kill him, he had also been kidnapped by people who acted like they were nurses and he was on a really nice floor with a beautiful room.  That meant to him they were trying to bilk him of his money.  No dad, that would be the health care system in general.  When we saw him yesterday, he realized he had not been kidnapped and MDA was trying to help him, not kill him.  While we were there the physician's assistant came in and we got clear, non convoluted information.  We over ruled my dad and he is not going home because he cannot care for himself alone and he is still dizzy.  He had told us his legs wouldn't move but it's not the case.  He cannot stand, steady himself or walk alone without assistance.  I thought I might need assistance because I wore sandals that I didn't remember were so painful if you had to do a lot of walking in them.  Note to self...don't wear those to MDA.  Of course when it come to the Med Center, Valerie Valet is my name.  So, I found out which entrance was valet friendly.  Now this is where I am so different in my thinking when it comes to parking at the Med Center than my dad, it costs $12.00 to park in a garage, that you have to drive around forever to find a spot, and then hike a million miles to get where you want to be.  For $3.00 more, you can valet park.  Sure you have to stand in line to pay and it may take a while to get your car but the stress factor is lowered considerably.  To complicate matters while we were trying to find my dad's car in the garage so we could take it to his home, he had lost his little yellow smart parking chip.  You would not believe the hassle to get out of the garage with limited human help.  Of course this all has to take place at the exit and cars are stacking up with people blowing the horns.  And to add insult to injury, my dad drives a mini van.  You all know how I feel about them.  I made Roy drive it because it was so hard to be in it, I could not drive it.  Really for more reasons than one.  Once we got out of the garage with our lives pretty much intact, Roy dropped me off at the valet area so I could get my car.  Then I met him at an assisted living place suggested by my dad. 

I know this story is riveting and you are so mad that I have to quit and do a part 2 installment of how I spent my leap year day.  Stayed tuned, it only gets better.  It will be so worth the wait.