Friday, April 27, 2012

This and That With Nancy

Today was a very early morning for me. The housekeeper changed days this week and came this morning instead of Wednesday afternoon. She was here bright and early, 7:30 am. There were a few things I needed to take care of before I took off for the morning, but once she gets here, she is a ball of fire and it was obvious that I needed to get out the door and out of the way. There were a couple of errands to run on the way to Pecan Grille for a delicious breakfast. It is a little more laid back than Buffalo Grille and it has more of a neighborhood feel. Although, the BG on Woodway has a neighborhood feel of business people and ladies who breakfast. Took a book and had a relaxing meal. There is a Kroger next door and Kroger seems to be the only grocery store that carries Dr Pepper Bold in 6 bottle packs. Roy loves it and loves it when I bring home the six pack version. Made my way back toward home. Stopped in at Michael's and then La Centerra. The final stop of the morning was Lotus Nails and had a pedicure. Went with turquoise again and had little flowers painted on my big toes.

Next week is our last session of Bible study. I have really enjoyed our core group with our lively discussions, our bunny trails and laughter. We truly care about one another and encourage one another. There have been several of us that have had difficult circumstances whether it be health related, family related or just everyday life. Almost every week they start sending someone down the hall to herd us into lecture time. There just doesn't seem to be enough time...I love that! I am so thankful for the friends I have made these past three years and look forward to making more friends in the coming years.

After all of Roy's hard work to keep the fence from turning gray, he began tonight working on stripping the sealer off the fence. He took before pictures and when he is done, take after pictures to show the HOA we complied. Yet, how the house with the big swan in front yard, the house across the street with half-finished landscaping and the homes putting out solar lights in the flower beds and walk ways haven't been written up, I don't know.

Roy and I had a late lunch at El Rancho. He went down to the HEB looking for big straws and I went to Palais Royal with a 40% coupon. I usually don't shop too much at PR but as much as I love the trend of colored denim, I don't want to pay big bucks for a trend that will likely last just this summer. Capris are capris. So I got a pair of green capris and headed over to Hobby Lobby to look while Roy was still at the HEB. When I walked in the girl at the door inquired if I had a return. No shopped elsewhere beforehand. She took my bag and held it for me while I shopped. What the heck? Hobby Lobby, dear, sweet, precious, Christian craft store, is that any way to treat customers? Guess there must be a lot of sticky fingered crafters out there. They didn't stop Roy when he came in! To make matters worse, I couldn't find the girl when I wanted to get my bag. Gee... Hobby Lobby get computerized cash registers and quite treating people like we've misbehaved in VBS or something.

Tomorrow Sequisha gets a checkup before heading out on a road trip.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trying Not to Go Old Lady

Man, I went old lady this morning in CVS.  Guess that's what happens when you are uh hum...relatively young taking an old person's medicine.  Poor pharmacy tech, as I proclaimed the wonders of this medicine in contrast to what I used to take.  Boom, I got the look from her and I muttered to myself as I walked away...great, I just turned into my grandma for a nano second.  Ugh! 

I had to run to Target to get a couple of things and the clerk found the new SMASH journal system very interesting.  I was careful to keep my comments short and worth listening to.  Came up a slight bit on the cool factor.  Then I made a stop at HEB and the checker asked me about some ice tea and Skinny Cow Strawberry ice cream sandwiches I had bought.  Ah, I redeemed myself from the earlier faux paux. 

The new Chicky opens tomorrow which means there are people camping out in the parking lot waiting to be the first 100 in line.  It was rather interesting seeing how people were entertaining themselves while waiting.  There were children everywhere, so I am thinking the home schooled are rocking the line.

Last month I discovered Fit Flops and I love, love, love them!  So comfortable and great arch support.  I found my first pair at Nordstrom but I found a pair at the Nord Rack in the land of sugar on Monday. 

Yesterday morning I met Laurie at the BWC for breakfast.  As always delicious and as always so much fun with Laurie.  We spent the greater part of the morning just hanging out in Katy and looking at all the sights. 

I'm reading a great book, Lost Saints in Tennessee.  Trying to find time everyday just to sit down and relax and read.  Seems like I have so many projects around here to take care of and since my energy level is not optimum, everything seems to be taking a little more time than it used to.  One thing I did on Monday was to hang some of the wall decor I had ordered from the cult...Pottery Barn.  When I was showing Laurie around the house I really realized how much I bought from the cult last year.  Thankfully, we tried to use a lot of Am Ex reward points for most of our purchases but still PB had a fine year from us as we furnished our home. 

Last night I sat out back reading as the day came to an end.  All the loud music and singing by the sheet rockers in the house being built behind us finally fizzled into a dull roar.  It was just me, the doves and the fragrance of moth balls.  Roy put out more after the rain this weekend.  I am not complaining, haven't seen any snakes. 

Guess I had better get back to finishing up the rocking chair.  Although I try to paint in a well ventilated area, the fumes still get to me and I wouldn't be surprised that a little nap might get worked in later this afternoon. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Maybe I Need a Brace

This is just really sad.  Am I really this out of shape?  And when I reveal what is actually sore, you'll nod your head in agreement, yes this is sad and yes, you are out of shape.  We have been looking for the "perfect" chair for the casita bedroom and we have found some we really like.  The chairs were perfect, the prices not so much.  I finally decided that I would repaint the rocking chair we put in there just for the sake of not having anywhere else to put it.  Being that I am not the crafter type person I put a question out on FB and received a lot of help to know how to proceed with the project.  Saturday we picked up primer and spray paint and Sunday once it cooled down a bit we began the project.  I am so glad to be married to a man who doesn't mind tedious projects.  He had the cushions covered and he did them right whereas I would slap dash something on it and then be mad later that paint got on the cushion.  Actually, I would really like to recover the cushion.  Another project for another day, a day when I will actually go buy fabric from the material store.  A day when I actually take the time to measure everything.  Hmmm....maybe Roy should go to the material store.  So, back to yesterday.  The chair took two cans of primer and today when I began spraying the chair with the first coat of paint, the pain in my wrist and forearm were unbearable.  I started spraying left handed.  Oh tis a fine, fine steady hand left handed...NOT!  Anyway, it was time to take a break and give the old arm a rest. 

Yesterday was our first time back to church after all this "business" with my dad began.  I am so thankful and grateful for kind friends who before the first inquiries into any news of the situation or how we are doing was prefaced with, been praying for you, let me give you a hug and let us just love on you.  In stark contrast are the very few and theirs is more the "need to know" and really couldn't care less about what's really happening on a personal level.  They just wanted the story and to make their sarcastic, "teasing" remarks such as, so that's how you built your house.  Excuse me, we built this house long before the untrue accusations from my father began. 

As for the situation, it seems to be taking a different spin.  It's kind of like at church when the announcement of the new start time for the 9:30 service and the 8:20 and 9:30 Life Bible Studies proclaimed that parking would be relieved for the 11:00 service.  It didn't add up, how did moving everything 15 minutes clear out the parking lot?  Soon you didn't hear a thing about the parking lots when the new time change was announced.  The new spin was so much more spiritual,  so much more personal it was so the Holy Spirit could move in the service if He so desired cause now He had an extra 15 minutes.  So the untrue and unfounded accusations by my father didn't hold water and his new "take" has taken a more personal sounding spin.  It really doesn't matter what spin the story takes with him, the outcome stays the same. 

When Kelly Minter spoke at the Abundance event last month she talked about the difference between building and rebuilding.  The difference is there is rubble when you rebuild.  There's a lot of digging and sorting when rebuilding takes place.  She said we are called to be re builders.  As I have prayed, thought through the path I find myself upon, I've been encouraged by God's Word.  Especially passages in Isaiah.  Isaiah 57:14 says, " God says, rebuild the road!  Clear away the rocks and stones so my people can return from their captivity."  "He is good!  His faithful love endures forever!"  II Chron 7:3 is my response.  I'm not talking about trying to rebuild a relationship, but the road to continue on following the Lord, being used by Him in spite of a painful past and being a blessing.  Think I'm going to pull out Principle of the Path by Andy Stanley for review. 

Will Smith, yes Fresh Prince of Bellaire and Men in Black, is a great person to follow on Twitter.  He has so many wise and insightful quotes.  I liked this one from Saturday, "Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.  Laugh when you can, apologize when you should and let go of what you cannot change."  I'm letting go of what cannot be changed and rebuilding the road to freedom in Christ. 

On a whole different note, I love my iPhone!  Laurie M is coming out to the Rancho de Five tomorrow and I'm getting another tutorial along with breakfast.  I have to say I like this phone so much more than my Android one.  I have had a blast playing with it while I ran errands.  No, I didn't text and drive.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

The Passing of a Phone

It  was a sad thing really, my phone has been steadily dying this week.  Wouldn't hold a charge, received data failure notifications and had started freezing up.  It wasn't too long for this world.  While Roy was in the land of sugar yesterday he stopped in the phone store and began inquiring about iPhones.  I was hoping that the phone would hold out a little longer with the thought in mind that I would really need a reliable, working phone for sure in a couple of weeks.  When I looked at the phone this morning, we knew it was time.  So after Roy and I met Keely and Peggy for breakfast, after our quick trip to Lowe's and to Bed Bath and Beyond we came home and Roy made the quick turn around to go make the purchase.  I stayed around home in case he needed to call and ask me any questions.  Really, where was I going to go without a phone? 

While Roy was doing that I wish I could say I was very productive around the house but alas, I wasn't.  I sat out on the back porch and just took it all in.  The weather was perfect, the birds were singing...well minus one very fine dove who met his maker in the early morning before dawn.  He flew into our fence and broke his neck.  I saw him this morning laying or lying near the huge crevasse from the uprooted weed.  Oh and speaking of fences, we fought the HOA and the HOA won.  We have until May 3rd to remove the stain off our fence.  If we send them something in writing that we are in the process of rectifying the fence issue we can ask for an extension of time.  Maybe the dove was so upset that our fence will soon turn that ugly color of gray, that he just couldn't take it.  So Roy went out to pick up the dead bird with the same small shovel and hoe that he killed the snake with but instead of throwing the bird over the fence for the hawks, he triple wrapped it in garbage bags and disposed of him neatly in the garbage can. 

Roy got home and had to do a bit of paperwork while I fiddled with the new phone.  It really isn't too much fun learning a new phone but the bright side is, it keeps my brain young with the challenge.  Well, hopefully. 

Once he had made a dent in his work, we stopped for the late lunch/early dinner break.  We were both craving Mexican food and El Rancho in the Meadows de seven was running a Saturday special, fajitas for two, $19.00.  We even brought a to go box home!  That's a miracle because Roy hardly ever lets chicken to goes come near our door if they have set in the car for even just a tiny bit.  Before returning home, we went over to Home Depot and bought another motion chair for the back porch.  Roy had that chair put together in no time at all.  Second time is a charm. 

I should wrap this up.  Morning will come quickly and it's a church morning to boot.

Friday, April 20, 2012

A Short Friday Briefing

The skies are clouding up.  We are supposed to get a fast moving thunderstorm later this afternoon so I decided I best get my zinnias in and repot some geraniums.Now I am tackeling the massive amount of laundry that has seemed to  multiply during the past week. 

The Revelation study is slowly coming to an end.  Last night on our way home from bunko I attempted to catch Peggy up with everything she's been missing while on a long term sub assignment.  We are finally at the good stuff, new heaven, new earth, new Jerusalem...  It is beyond what our human brains can fathom.  Next year we are studying I John, Hebrews and Phillipians.  I have truly enjoyed the study and our core group bonded rather quickly at the beginning of our study and our discussions are lively, deep and sometimes just pure funny. 

Came home with $2.00 from bunko.  Lots of fun and delicious dinner of sliders, cole slaw that had cilantro and onions in it, it was delicious, and cupcakes for dessert.  I neither rolled a bunko or oneses so it was a break even kind of night. 

Roy is off to the land of sugar this afternoon for a haircut and checking out a new phone for me.  The concection point with the charger isn't working properly.  Sometimes my phone charges and other times it doesn't. 

I'm thankful to have had a reflectful week.  Everything that has been happening of late has simmered down.  I don't anticipate things to stay this way but enjoying the moment.  God's peace has kept me in good company. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Stop and Smell the Roses

No guns but the roses are doing really well. 

Greetings!  What a beautiful day!  It even started better than yesterday.  I've been out and about most of the day and at some point I need to finish the rest of my homework, empty the dishwasher and fix dinner.  Yes, I just wrote that...fix dinner. 

Today I went to the Fulshear post office for the very first time.  A requisite to work at the post office has to be the ability to be cranky at any given time. small town charm just post office attitude.  The line was short so that did have an advantage to Houston and now I know where I can go to get the address changed on my passport, by appointment only.  Then I did a quick drive by to Enchanted Gardens to get more zinnias.  Dropped those off at home and ran to the grocery store.  Came home, ate lunch and then went to Target and Home Goods.  I love those two stores!   My arch nemesis the mini van, parked next to me at Target.  Let's just say that it pulled in way too close to me and on a diagonal.  Does she think she is driving a SUV?  I was going to stay there and see how she got into her door but being amused like that takes energy and I'd rather spend my energy and time at Home Goods.  When I came out of Home Goods a clown car was parked next to me.  Clowns scare me.. and to see all those clown faces nearly sent me over the edge.  Must be a car for clowns that entertain or scare at children's parties. 

I totally forgot to mention that on Sunday we stopped in at Academy and bought a croquet set and horse shoes.  Yes, there will be lively yard games when we have people over for dinner.  We have got to do that.  Seems like we have something to do every weekend and it prohibits us from planning a cook out. 

Well, rest time is over.  I need to go and unload the car.  Hopefully I have bought the last flower pot for a while. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Throw up, PB, Fun Lunch, HOA Harrasment and Roses Make for a Beautiful Tuesday

For a day that began by cleaning up cat vomit, it hasn't been too bad.  Thankfully Buddy is selective about place when it come to regurgitation.  And thankfully, this is not a weekly or daily habit.  Heck, not even monthly, but you know when you're half awake and step into warm slime, you become wide awake quickly.  Hello Tuesday!

Gee, I hate to go right into lunch but the rest of my morning was boring.  Well, I did make a stop at the bank.  Anyway, I met Laurie M for lunch today.  We had a blast!  It has been a while since we have caught up on each other's lives.  Since I was a little early I stopped in at the cult I belong to, you know Pottery Barn.  Really my preferred way to checking in with the decorating cult is via catalog or website.  An in person visit is iffy at best.  I can never determine why sometimes my presence is acknowledged or why I am totally ignored.  Today was an ignore day and hey I was kind of cleaned up so it wasn't the fake I just got off the tennis court look.  On Saturday they had an email special for all us previously ordered from part of the cult to get free shipping.  There have been a couple of things I've had my eye on and they were only available by catalog or Internet, so I ordered them.  If this shelving and decor gets hung up by Christmas, I will be surprised.  Back to lunch, anyway after a fun and delicious lunch I went over to Barnes and Noble.  The nice techie young man helped me with my Nook.  My library shelves are full of sample books and I wanted them gone.  Easy peasy, just hold your finger on the book for a minute and a menu pops up with options and delete is one of them. 

It has been several days since picking up the mail.  Let's just say that the day went back to the level of cleaning up cat vomit.  The HOA denied our fence stain which is really a sealant and we need to pressure wash the fence or replace pickets.  I called Roy with the news and he promptly called the HOA.  We had heard the HOA has terrorist characteristics and they lived up to that characterization and beyond..  Roy is so easy going you know the HOA must have the markings of the gestapo when Roy wants to yell and get angry with them.  He is looking forward to writing a terse letter.  He's good at that.  Included in the mail was a notice from our mortgage company that our escrow account needs to be higher because our property taxes went up.  No surprise there, we had already seen our property tax evaluation.  At least there were some fun magazines in the mail today so it wasn't a complete aggravation, including a new catalog from the cult.

We had a nice amount of rain yesterday.  After dinner Roy and I worked in the backyard for a little bit.  We put more soil in the flower bed, dead headed some plants, put in new border plants and slapped at a few mosquitoes, which are supposed to be dead because our yard was sprayed for them last week.  Roy began pulling weeds in the yard and I joined in for a little bit.  One weed was so big and tough it left a crevasse which we filled with garden soil.  Thankfully, most of the weeds were not that rooted.  So we have this rather noticeable hole in the backyard.  This morning when I looked out the window it was so noticeable.  I had this rather spiritual, metaphorical thought which is a rather obvious observation, you know with sin getting rooted into one's life and the removal there of, but I will not use today's post to pontificate about the obvious and act like I am the first person to receive this insight about weeds and sin and gardening.   I pulled the little not deep weeds last night.  This may or may not be a reflection of my attitude toward repentance and ridding my life of sin.

I need to go check on the birds.  We have several mockingbirds and two new dove couples.  Single mom dove is my main concern and she was resting under the tree when I glanced out there earlier.  Bunny Foo Foo is a hit and miss visitor and thankfully the message of wasp spray got out to the snake community because we haven't seen one since.  The roses I planted when my mom went into the hospital and when she passed away last year have come to brilliant life.  Blooms are packed onto those plants.  She'd be proud of my attempts of having a mild green thumb. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Rainy Days and Monday-Nothing Hardly Ever Gets Done

Oh my goodness!  I never knew eggs could taste so good.  Saturday morning at the farmer's market I bought organic yard eggs.  The shells of the eggs range from antique white to deep brown.  For lunch today I scrambled up a couple of the eggs and I can't believe what really fresh, non stressed chicken produced eggs taste like. Just need some fresh tomatoes to add to the thrill of lunch. Wow, that's all I can say.  This makes me want to try the organic beef at the tent that was located next to the eggs. 

The sky is dark like night again.  This is about the third time today we have had thunder, lightning and rain out here at Rancho de Five.  So thankful that there has only been one big thunder boomer that made both Buddy and I jump.  The rain has been steady but not hard.  It is a blessing to be able to stay home today.  I wish I could say that I have gotten tons of things done.  Did knock out some Revelation homework.

Roy had a fabulous time at Feather Fest.  He uploaded his pictures last night.  He came home tired but really pleased by all he had learned.  One thing he learned, he doesn't want to be an exclusive bird photographer.  That's a good thing because he would have to upgrade his camera and purchase more expensive lenses.  He knows the way to my heart and brought me home two t-shirts.  We had already planned to maybe visit a church in Katy Sunday morning because he would be so tired and that would give him a little more time to sleep in.  Actually, we had another sabbatical Sunday.  We went out for an early lunch to beat all the church people and then went to Lowe's to pick up a few things.  Our Cedarnezar needs a coat of wood sealant and several recommended staining it before assembling.  We also needed to get some mulch for the new flower bed since it wasn't ready when Abel and his crew put out new mulch around the trees and flower beds. 

Last night I tried to make a dent into my magazine reading.  My focus was on getting through several issues of the New Yorker.  Yes, this Southern loving gal reads the New Yorker.  There was an excerpt of Robert Caro's next book on LBJ that focuses on the beginning of the transition of LBJ after the assassination of JFK.  The time frame is from the motorcade until Air Force One left Dallas.  Really interesting.  The other educational valued thing this weekend was watching about the Nazi filmed  version of the Titanic.  I never even knew they had planned to use this film they went all out producing to be used as propaganda like they felt Casablanca was being used.  By the time they finally got the film finished, it was very close to the end of the war for Germany and they realized this would not encourage the people but that the film would be seen as a metaphor for the downfall that was about to take place.

Tomorrow I'm looking forward to lunch with Laurie.  It has been awhile.  Good thing we had decided not to meet at the Nord since the Bistro is closed until sometime in May.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I Am Well Trained

Roy has been out of town since Wednesday afternoon.  He is investing in his photography skills at Feather Fest in Galveston.  He scored a great deal for his room at the Tremont and he has been investigating his next lens purchase. The past two days have been filled with field trips and classes.  So happy that he will be home this afternoon and will have a million pictures to download.  I've been keeping busy and yet have welcomed the quiet time to reflect on the week's disclosures, discoveries and duplicities.  So if you read the old blog on a regular basis you know what Wednesday held.  Thursday was Bible study, complete with a brunch day.  Afterwards I headed into Houston to see my therapist.  There was a little time to kill before the appointment, so I stopped in at Francesca's on Voss.  Found the perfect necklace and earrings to go with a new outfit and some fun junky stuff.  My appointment with Cheryl was tremendously helpful and so very encouraging.  Stopped at HEB to pick a few things on the way back and found myself happily ensconced at home for the rest of the evening. 

Friday morning, Dena came out to Rancho de Five.  We started out at Black Walnut Cafe for breakfast and being the mad planners we are, we also bought some dessert for later that evening.  Her choice, chocolate Italian Creme Cake and I picked coconut cream pie.  We stopped by the house so she could drop off her things and we headed over to old town Katy.  Our first destination, The Cottage Door.  They were having a tent sale and while neither one of us found anything in the tent, we were not disappointed by our purchases we made inside the store.  Actually, both of us found a couple of on sale things.  Then we went to K T Antiques to do a little perusal.  We both found a couple of things and we also partook of the free cookies.  Now you might be thinking that this day was all about eating, nay I say!  Excessories is just down the street and while I didn't find anything, Dena found two really cute items on the sale rack, dramatically reduced.  With all the shopping and walking, we decided we needed a mid//late afternoon snack.  We decided that Dekker's fit the bill.  The past few times I've eaten at Dekker's the thought that came to mind when leaving; Dekker's I am trying to like you.  The food is awesome but the service is downright slow and sometimes nonexistent.  This time it wasn't a disappointment.  We had the margarita flat bread and the half sized house salad.  Once we had refueled it was time to hit Gaby's.  Had a successful shopping trip there and just for good measure took a looksee at Mosaic, another store in Fulshear.  Dena and I had just enough time to drop off our purchases at home, freshen up and get to Lotus for our 6:00 pedicure appointments.  As usual, the pedi was awesome and so relaxing.  A little after 7:00 we were headed to Las Almedas to meet up with Peggy for dinner.  Dinner was so good and Dena and Peggy got the chef to prepare flautas, which aren't even on the menu.  We also had the mariachi band singing and playing much to our displeasure but much to the delight of the couple next to us.  The woman had had several drinks, so she is clapping along with the music and we just knew if she wasn't a bit tipsy, she would want them to move on just like we wanted them to.  We almost closed the place down.  We were telling funny stories and adventures.  Finally, once it was an all clear for Peggy to return home since Bill's tractor and truck were now unstuck from the ditch, we said our goodbyes and headed West.  Dena is our first over night guest.   We watched some Leno and passed on our well planned evening desserts.  Too much consumption of chips and salsa.  This morning, I was anxious to hear her opinion of the mattress in our guest room.  She gave it a two thumbs up.  Yahoo!  Otto's is what's for breakfast and a quick walk through the Farmer's Market.  She found more jewelry and I found organic, free range eggs.  All in all a good ending to her visit to the Rancho de Five. 

I had plans after dropping off the eggs to head over to Brookwood.  Sadly, I have killed a few more plants.  I paid some bills and realized that Buddy hadn't done her usual meet and greet at the door and hadn't sashayed into the study.  So I did what we always do to find Buddy, called her name, bounced a ping pong ball, opened the drawer that her favorite toy resides in, shook the treat bag and then searched through the closets, checked under the beds, not an easy thing for bad knee Nancy to do, and looked in all her usual hiding places.  Nothing...  I was starting to freak out and knew I needed to step away from the house.  You know how you desperate and unreasonable thoughts do a quick drive by in the brain?  Well, I called Dena just to check if Buddy had jumped into her suitcase...yea, I know...  When Dena returned my call, she didn't even make fun of me asking that.  We talked through our exit from the house and surely if Buddy had zipped out the door, we would have noticed.  I emailed Roy, you know to ruin his fun photography outing and kindly he responded that Buddy was probably asleep somewhere in the house.  She was probably punishing me for Dena sleeping in her 3:00 am nocturnal wanderings spot before Buddy returns back to our bed around 4:00 am and finishes the rest of her night sleeping on my arm.  Dena said Buddy did make a stop but didn't stay last night.  I decided to fill up the car and get a car wash.  I shouldn't have done anything mechanical in my state of emotion.  First, I could not punch in the correct code for the car wash.  Thankfully, no one was behind me.  Then I drove incorrectly into the car wash, the right side of the car was up on the boundary rails.  After backing up and moving forward a couple of times, the car wash could finally begin.   Surely when I returned home and turned off the alarm, Buddy would meet me at the back door like she Buddy.  I made the search again and as I laid on the floor I began crying.  No it was more like wailing and yelling Buddy's not here!  I paced through the house crying and lamenting.  If I had wanted to, I could have gone all Biblical and rent my clothing, but dang, I have on the Baylor Women's Basketball championship t shirt, so I confined my grief to those horribly, deep sobs that only severe loss can provoke.  My final wailing point was the living room where I sat with my head lowered.  When I looked up, there was Buddy looking at me like I was crazy.  The prodigal cat had returned from her secret hiding place and of course my clumsy attempt to wrap her up in my arms only produced her quick disappearance into another room.  Buddy wasn't missing!  Praise the Lord!  About 15 minutes later I heard her meow, the one when she is looking for me and of course I responded to that first meow.  Yep, she has me trained really well. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Arise, Awake, Go Out in Joy, Be Led in Peace

Once again the sunrise this morning was spectacular.  Early mornings aren't my best thing but I am finding truth in early mornings are the best thing for me.  The mist that rises off the "water element" that our home is next t0, the dew on the grass, the early birds getting the worms and the fresh seed I've put out for them.  This morning Little Bunny Foo Foo made a visit to our backyard.  If this is the same rabbit that we saw before, he or she has grown and turned out to be a fine rabbit.  The treat was watching Bunny Foo Foo performing morning grooming rituals and making its way through the side yard and out the front gate.  Thankful that no snake sightings were made, but the snake identifier and wasp spray are never too far from my reach.  Such a peaceful morning after experiencing a somewhat tumultuous afternoon the day before.

Every other Wednesday the housekeeper comes so of course you know Wednesday morning is spent getting the house ready for her arrival.  My father's attorney and I had been emailing back and forth pinpointing the time and place for our meeting.  I inquired if we could just talk on the phone but she said she had something she wanted to give me from my father. The plan was to meet at 3:30.  So once Chris got here, I left home really not knowing what I was going into but dutifully did my errands and made a drop off at KCM and headed into Houston.  Made a stop at Memorial Bakery for iced cookies to take for brunch at Bible study today.  Since our meeting was to take place in the Galleria area, I headed over to the Rack to wait for the phone call.  The attorney's directions and Google maps did not help and after going to the wrong building and madly searching for the right building sans GPS because my phone froze up, I drove around trying to figure out just where in the heck she was.  It has slipped my mind how small parking places are in business garages and visitor parking is a premium.  My stress limit had almost been reached even before the meeting.  I don't really feel like I can go into all the particulars of our meeting, at least not yet.  What I heard wasn't a surprise but the extent to which the attorney, my father and his posse had gone to was way beyond what I expected.  During the conversation and questioning, I was never asked the obvious question point blank nor were the accusations spelled out, but I certainly understood the pains that had been taken to exact judgement whether there was guilt or my goodness the most obvious view of my innocence.  I was given a legal document that pretty much spells out a complete severance of relationship.  Yet, the attorney kept mentioning reconciliation some day and truthfully I told her, I just didn't see how that was going to happen.  One of the last things she said to me before we parted ways was, I am going to tell your dad that you are sorry and I am telling you right now that he is sorry.  WHAT?  I never said I was sorry and if I did that would be an admittance of guilt, so I am not sorry because I didn't do anything!   We didn't take his money or stocks or bug his phone or put a tracker on his cell.  We haven't been in his house setting off timers and turning on lights or running water!  I searched for him out of concern when the nurse called and the pay back is suspicion and separation. 

I left stressed, in shock and a little sad but as the evening went on it was more anger at what had transpired.  I would tear up from time to time but I never sat down and bawled my eyes out.  This morning I woke up and two lines from a song played over and over in my spirit, "my chains are gone, I've been set free!"  My heart and spirit were not heavy, I experienced in a new way, the Lord's compassions that are new every morning.  There was a lightness to my step and several at Bible study commented that I had lightness about me that they hadn't seen in me for quite some time. 

Of course I have been talking to Roy about everything that has transpired.  During one of the conversations he asked if I had made a decision on a piece of outdoor furniture.  I had my choices narrowed down to two similar styles but one was a few more dollars than the other but both had free shipping.  He laughed and said order the one you want.  We will put it together...Uh oh another DIY project and we will raise it as an Ebenezer.  OK, I know rocks are usually built together to make an Ebenezer but we are going with wood.  Guess we will have a Cedarnezar. 

Arise, awake, go out in joy, be led in peace.  Those are the words I heard in my spirit in January from the Lord for this year.  It is choosing joy instead of harsh words, it is His peace that leads me through this road filled with pitfalls, rocks and dust set for me.  How can I be weary?  How can I have no hope?  It is the Lord's strength and His Word that brings comfort and stability! 

I met a friend for dinner last night and we decided to eat Chinese food.  I laughingly told her we could not order the happy family entree because I just couldn't eat that dish with a good conscience.  It is sad that my dad is so deceived and he gives into vain imaginings.  He is gifted in taking ordinary circumstances and devising wild conspiracy theories that produce such drama, duplicity and pain.   Life didn't have to be this way but in my opinion, he's not ever chosen any other path to walk.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

April Flowers

I love sitting here in the study in the early mornings and watching the sun rays spotlight the flowers out in the courtyard.  Since this is my first major foray into gardening, I went with plants I know I can grow and not kill too quickly.  Lowe's has had some great deals in the plants clearance section with many geraniums marked down to a dollar, makes me want to holler honey boo boo child.  You'll only know what I'm talking about if you are a fan of Toddlers and Tiaras. 

It seems fitting with the Easter weekend and all, that we would garden.  Mary mistook Jesus for the gardener at the tomb.  No one mistakenly mistook either of us as real gardeners this weekend and hopefully these flower beds won't become the flowers tomb. 

Since we have such a small backyard and due to all the cable running below our yard, we decided to use a raised flower bed for the corner of the yard.  So I planted wallflowers, zinas, and a bunch of other plants that I don't remember their names much less know how to spell them.  So Roy put together the flower beds and then he hauled dirt and spread the dirt which is much different than dishing dirt.  I placed the flowers where I wanted them and then he did the majority of the planting.  I was good for about an arm's length distance.  So far they are hanging in there.  It is an enjoyable moment looking out the windows or sitting on the back porch and marveling at all the colors in God's creation. 

Something we noticed while Roy was doing my gardening, that mosquitoes were in abundant supply.  So the bug guy is coming today to spray for mosquitoes and do another application to keep ants at bay. 

Friday, we went out to Brookwood to take advantage of their plant sale.  On the way back Roy took some wonderful pictures.  The two pictures on the blog are from my phone and they were taken around Hunt Retreat, which I will now refer to as "At the Retreat" location.   In all seriousness, I hope the leaders at church have the foresight to see that it won't be too much longer and subdivisions will be surrounding At The Retreat location.  

The finished product awaiting more dirt and then flowers.
 Roy with our gardening wagon.  It has come in very handy.
Now to be able to keep these babies alive.  Actually so far this spring I have only killed two plants, not make that four.  They all succumbed to too much rain water and inadequate drainage.  I have since remedied that problem. 

Roy not only tended plants but he worked on our taxes.  Looks like we are filing an extension. 

Yesterday, I began the changing of the seasons clothes wise.  So I packed away winter clothes that I really didn't even get to wear and went through the summer things I had put away.  Thankfully most everything still fits.  Hopefully I can complete the transition today. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Some Difficult Days on the Prairie

Hey did anyone get the license plate of that truck that hit me or know which bus I was thrown under.  To say the past few days have been weird is just like saying they have been strange and odd...they've been all that and...a bag of Chex Mix. 

Last Thursday would have been my mom's 83rd birthday.  I miss her and since I have taken up the garden clippers, shovels and garden soil, I would love to ask her a ton of questions about flowers and gardening.  She had a really green thumb and all her plants were beautiful.  After receiving news last Thursday that is rather upsetting, I can see why she might have liked to spend a lot of time gardening.  It is a good way to work out frustrations.  OK, Roy does almost all the hard work, moving soil, building flower beds, and planting anything that is outside my arm's length, but supervising does help workout the stress.  I kind of had a feeling that being in my father's house looking for phone numbers and trying to find him the day we thought he was missing, would come back to bite me. Ouch!  It did.  My father is accusing us of stealing money from him, selling his stocks, bugging his phone and putting a tracking device on his cell phone.  Oh and Roy has taken all of his tax forms.    In our spare time we are going to his house in the middle of the night and turning on the oven and timers just to scare him.  I wish I had that much spare energy and time.  Of course we haven't done any of those things.  We are now in conversations with his lawyer and we are meeting sometime on Wednesday.  Neither my brother nor I are immune to these accusations because he was accused of things while Dad was in the hospital.  Dad is probably still having series of mini strokes, just like his mother.  Toward the end of her being mentally competent days, she accused my father of stealing money, not writing checks to pay the bills and generally had huge trust issues.  He is walking down that same road.  It is sad to watch him take that journey.  I know he's been banking on the fact that my health has been improving and I'd be able to help him more.  Sadly, the tremendous amount of stress and chaos and accusations sets me back.  It takes me out of the parameters that have been set for me to live within.  It has literally taken me 2 weeks to recover.  It has been really hard on me.  We had so hoped that he would be able to travel and do things after my mother passed away but it is the story of most care givers.  They have neglected their own health and well being while caring for a loved one, that it soon catches up with them.  There is some part of me that thinks he might not be as delusional as we think.  He seems to know who to tell what stories to because we are all hearing different stories.  I have been asked by his attorney not to call him. 

The series of events and my feelings toward everything are so mixed.  I know that these accusations are the standard of old age and many before and many after will be accused wrongly by family members, but this has hurt me deeply.  The Bible says where your heart is, there your treasure will be and out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.  The anger that has been directed at us and the words of accusation are coming from a deep place where my father's heart and mind reside.  He has always been a brooder and he rehearses every slight and perceived wrong over and over and will gladly tell his story of being wronged to anyone who will listen.  It is interesting that the few people I know who are quick to say, I don't hold grudges, seem to be the very people who hold grudges...hold them tight, think about them often and to are alert to any opportunity or opening to exact revenge. 

I am so thankful for the word I received from the Lord just days before everything began going downhill, even more than expected.  His Word is steadfast and secure.  It gives strength and comfort in the fight.  We decided last week to do Easter a little differently this year.  Roy went to a sunrise service outdoors here in Katy.  In fact it was a pre sunrise service and he was especially blessed by the service.  I am more of a sunset service person, so we planned to go to the 5:30 service at our church.  I had watched on the website, the worship portion of the service led by the choir and orchestra at 8:00 am.  I was so blessed and worshipped right along with them but I didn't hear Pastor Gregg's message because I needed to respond to dad's lawyer.  As the evening grew near, we decided to stay home.  I went outside and the birds sang for over 30 minutes and their praise of God, led me to worship Him right there on the back porch watching the beautiful sunset.  No slick production values (I do love them) and no Easter stirring sermon but simply the wondrous display of God's creation rejoicing that He is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Thought Interrupted

The Thursday before Good Friday.  We didn't go to Broken For You tonight.  We weren't too sure when Roy would get home today.  Actually, his company in celebrating the spirit of the season let all the employees leave at 3:00 today.  I find it interesting that a secular company is more generous with time off before holidays than most churches are to their staff.  This is true at Thanksgiving and Christmas as well.  Hope I never really have any kind of spiritual emergency the week before Thanksgiving, because the only ones around are those who don't have enough vacation to take off the week and those essential to run a skeleton, not a reference to Halloween or Fall Festival, staff.   But back to Roy, he didn't leave until 4:00 and he was fortunate that his bus got ahead of the huge car chase on I-10.  I was watching that here on the computer.  We went out for dinner and then stopped quickly at Home Depot for potting soil and some compost/manure for the new flower bed Roy has been working on this week. 

Revelation has been such an interesting study and it is drawing to a close.  We had such a lively discussion in our core group today.  An interesting insight into a myth that cartoons and TV programs is that, the devil is shown to be in charge of hell.  He is prodding and causing torment to those who have joined him for eternity only that is not true.  He is not in charge of hell, God is.  I am having trouble understanding the whole millennial rein of Christ.  There will be mortals and those of us who have been resurrected on the earth.  Our homework has emphasized that we will be helping out, ruling and pronouncing judgements.  What will we eat?  Will we eat the same stuff as the people?  I have no clue, but I will probably be put in charge of a Burger King or something.  Well, maybe not Burger King because there will be no other king on earth at this time but Jesus.  So, maybe a Wendy's or if I have been really spiritual, Chic Fil A.

I didn't get to finish up my post last night and this morning I have no idea of where I was going with this.  I'm watching the sun rise over the houses on the prairie.  The only noise this morning is the hum of the computer and an occasional meow from Buddy.  The noise from construction begins around 7:20.  Roy who has plans to sleep in is in for a surprise when the work begins.  Last night we got a phone call with some rather disturbing news. It is too much to take in but not surprising in the least.  Although it is difficult to comprehend I am comforted by the thought that this isn't a surprise to God and all is in His control. 

Isaiah 57:

20 “But those who still reject me are like the restless sea,
which is never still
but continually churns up mud and dirt.
21 There is no peace for the wicked,”
says my God.

I'm glad that my life is in the hand of the sea and wave walker!  The mud and dirt being churned up is not a problem for Him.  The wind and waves are calmed by His command and all the muddled chaos is stilled and then there is His peace.  So thankful for God's generosity toward me. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

And With That...Change

It has turned into a much sunnier day than I thought it would be.  Earlier this morning I got out to pick up a few more plants from Enchanted Garden and it rained the entire trip.  Once I reached EG, the rain stopped.  After purchasing a few plants I went across the street and bought gas since it was cheaper there than over here in the Rancho de Five area.  Got in the car and it began to rain again.

Abel and his crew were here yesterday putting out fresh mulch.  I replanted a few of the courtyard plants because the huge wind gusts yesterday morning threw several of the  plants hither and yon.  Oh yes, while I was at EG I bought a fold out identifier of snakes.  It is laminated and it looks like one of those Bible map guides or the differences between religions fold outs that you can buy at the Baptist Bookstore, I mean Lifeway.  I need to take some time with this, memorize colors and looks of different snakes.  The lady at EG said it would be the best $7.95 I would ever spend.  No the $4.99 I spent was on wasp spray that shoots out 27 feet.  It the best money I ever spent...well of recent date anyway. 

I've really spent quite a bit of time around home.  With all the stress of last week, my heart is trying its darnedest to go out of rhythm.  I've had the tell tale symptoms of poor circulation, being light headed and well of course you'll want to know this, retaining fluid, especially around my ankles.  This morning I debated with myself whether I should go to the ER.  My pulse was consistently between 120-130 but finally it eased back into my normal numbers.  Bed rest with elevated feet has been ordered and lowering stress.  That one is not easy when you have a family member who if they had to generate electricity by the amount of stress they created...let's just say no one would be without lights.   I have felt so good and had much more energy of late, so I am not liking this set back very much.  Yet I press on and praise on and pray on these things. 

So watching the birds in our backyard has become quite interesting.  Single dove mom is still hanging out with us.  Several mockingbirds have joined her.  Seems like the mockingbirds are making a nest in one of the trees on the green space located next to us.  Mockingbirds are kind of mean to people and other birds.  They'll dive at your head if one gets too near to their nest.  They have also been picking on single dove mom.  I'm not too happy about that.  These birds fight over the seed that has been dropped or spilled on the ground when I refill the bird feeder.  But I am also kind of Boazing it for the dove, leaving bird seed for her to glean.   Yet if they would figure out what the sparrows and a few other birds have figured out, the supply of seed is abundant at the feeder.  I'm learning a lot watching the bird happenings.  Sometimes I hear in my spirit when I get kind of ticked with the circumstances of the birds, that I make the same kind of mistakes in life...only it's not about seed or small sticks for a nest.  The birds also have a prowler, a neighbors cat.  They seems to be more careful when they eat. 

Last week I had been asked if I would consider being a core group leader next semester at Community Bible Study.  I asked when they needed a decision and began to prayerfully consider this request.  I also asked a close friend to pray about it with me.  On Thursday as we discussed Revelation 20 and heard the answers of fellow Revelation studiers, I told the Lord, these are the people who should be considered.  They have such intelligent answers...much more scribblings on their homework pages when compared to my one or two word answers.  Again, same still small voice that speaks to my spirit when I get angry over bird behavior, that I cannot do this in my own strength and must depend upon the Lord.  During the week the only cons that came to mind were cons that would be turned to good; I usually run late and rush through homework just as it has been my life long practice.  So yesterday I called Jennifer and told her yes, after explaining the process.  I didn't want her to think it was something that I had taken lightly.  I wanted her to know that I am not depending on my personality to lead because God can use anyone or anything, but if I only relied on personality and humor, I'd miss out on blessings that God has for me.  This will take up a little more time with a new approach to homework and meeting with other leaders each week and going through the homework together.  It has been such a long time since I've been asked to do anything like this.  I knew opportunities to serve in a capacity similar to this would never be offered to me at church and I had resigned myself to that fact.  Funny, I had forgotten that when doors and windows have been shut, God can make a whole new place with open doors and windows.

Roy said he would help me tonight.  Seems that when I changed out summer clothes for winter clothes. or should that be slightly cooler weather clothes, I can't quite remember where I put them.  The temps are such that capris and shorts are in order.  Of course with summer clothes and the first pedicure of the spring season last week, I broke my winter nazerite vow. 

OK, I am off to study about snakes in the garden.  I can't do that too close to bed time or I dream about snakes.  There have been too many times where the strike of a snake in a dream is in reality the movement and nails of Buddy.  With all the screaming and flailing on my part and the meowing and attack mode of Buddy, Roy has his hands full, in the middle of the night, which is not his best time to think clearly. 

Monday, April 2, 2012

And the Winner is.....

Lisa Mullins...Congrats!  You won the $100.00 Nord gift card!

I decided to add a second Nord gift card for $50.00 and the winner is...Kelly Bowman.

Thanks everyone for commenting but I mainly thank you for reading my blog.  I try to be interesting and real but sometimes when you get into a little dry spot and this has nothing to do with gardening or Depends, you just write what you know.  Apparently, I know very little. 

Thank you friends that I know in person, those who I have only met on FB and blogs and those of you who stalk and never comment....