Monday, January 30, 2012

A World of Firsts

An update on Buddy the border cat.  Apparently, I wasn't too observant on Buddy's behavior toward the stuffed sheep on display in the guest bedroom.  True, she hasn't been ripping their faces off as she has with other stuffed animals, but strangely enough, on the sheep, she is chewing through their feet and legs.  What can I say other than Buddy is being biblical in the sense of being a good shepherd that breaks the lambs leg to keep the lamb from straying.  This morning I was pulling some sheets and towels out of the linen closet not paying attention to Buddy's where abouts because this is usually her late mid morning nap time.  I just happened to see a flash of gray tail on the towel shelf.  Buddy has ensconced herself in the linen closet with the towels.  Good thing I saw her tail because that door would have been shut.  Once she woke up and wanted to move about, what noise she would be making and what if I was gone for most of the afternoon?  She would not be a happy camper for sure.  I left her in the closet but with the door slightly ajar. 

Something has been kind of rolling about in this addled brain since Wednesday.  Nothing to do with Chilly Bowl, at least not directly.  Pictures will be coming of that fun event.  No, it has to do with a conversation I was having with a friend and fellow choir member.  We were discussing Bible study and the subject of a particular study that has three initials that are kind of like BFF came up.  We both laughed at our mutual lack of personal diligence and personality that would make us less than suitable for following their strict rules.  My friend had actually gone for a couple of weeks and thought it best that she and the Bible study part ways.  I only tried one attempt of joining that study, early on as a young married.  In fact, it was probably in the hay or hey days of this organization.  There were so many women wanting to study the Bible that they limited their enrollment and would only take a few new ones to participate.  The old sanctuary of Second Baptist, which back then was the only sanctuary at Second Baptist, was filled with women interested in studying the Bible.  We filled out the information cards and would be notified by mail if we had made the cut.  My mentor had been studying with them for a couple of years and she knew how much I loved to study the Bible.  My mentor had been my Sunday School teacher when I was a new Christian and junior in high school and now she was once again my Sunday School teacher in the young marrieds class.   Her presence in my life had made a huge difference and effect on my life, and still it continues even to this day.  Because of her teaching and influence, I believe I was picked at Southwest Texas University's Baptist Student Union to be on the freshman council.  My area of service; Bible studies to be started and led in all the women's freshman dorms.  Loved that and even when I came home to finish out my studies at U of H, I was involved in leadership for Bible studies there on the campus and at church.  And now, I was thrilled to maybe have the opportunity to study the book I loved so much and serve the Lord with all my heart.  But, it wasn't meant to be.  The year I wanted to join, they already had their quota of Baptists and would put me on the long waiting list if ever a "Baptist" spot opened up.  Never heard from them again.  Yes, I was overly disappointed and at that time I didn't think the rejection had much impact upon me.  In retrospect it did.  Not by any one's fault but my own, my interest in studying and learning about the Bible wained, I audited a few Bible courses at HBU, but my spiritual journey took a detour.  I became a little more cynical about "Bible study" and a whole lot more cynical of women's ministry in general.  I saw it more like the popular sorority and like B*F, and pursuing any activity involving women's ministry surely would just lead to more rejection.  So I did the real mature thing and rejected it before it rejected me. 

With that, and I have written about this before, we kind of put other priorities in a different order than we usually had.  Pretty soon you could really only find us at church on rainy Sundays and that was due to the fact it was raining, so we weren't out sailing with friends.  But, the Lord had other plans for us besides sailing and He is bigger than any real or perceived rejection I felt.  It wasn't Sunday School attendance or Bible study attendance that got us to step back in the doors at First, other than rainy Sundays.   The Recreation and Fitness Center, formally known as the CLC, opened and it is there we made so many friends.  Also about that time, Beth Moore was transitioning from aerobics instructor to Bible study teacher.  A friend invited me to attend her Bible study at First Baptist and I was hooked!  There wasn't any closure on enrollment.  As her classes grew, room was made for the expansion.  I think I started Bible study with Beth when it first moved to the chapel.  Beth actually went over the homework with us.  Along the way, that love for the scriptures and study returned.  I wanted more than a casual Sunday morning relationship with Jesus and I was learning how that happened and how love for Him could grow.  I made many friends from that Bible study and all these years later, we are still friends.  

There have been a lot of firsts at First.  The style of the worship center with access to the balcony from the main floor, The Christmas Pageant, the dream and creation of Gerald Ray, made cantata's and shepherds in bathrobes obsolete, a church that survived and thrived during a four and a half year interim period without a pastor, calling a pastor who had never pastored a church before and giving a young woman the opening to change Bible study forever.   Fast forward to 2012 and Bible study with Beth fills the worship center, the chapel, the fellowship center and probably every other room that has a flat screen in it.  All are invited and there isn't a quota for only a certain amount of every  denomination.  In the words of Toddlers and Tiaras, Bible study with Beth is the complete and total package.  There is worship, learning, guidance, laughter, fellowship, friends (both old and new and those waiting to become friendships), growth, dreams birthed and maybe, just maybe many would love to wear a tiara to Bible study. 

In no way am I trying to lift up Beth and her Bible studies or trying to ease my way into attracting her attention.  I'm merely marveling at the mighty needed change she introduced into women's ministry and Bible study and how God has used this to His glory.  She never set herself up as the perfect example of what a Christian wife or godly woman looks like.  She shares her struggles and victories.  No rules concerning how many inches needs to be between you and the next person sitting on the pew, no discussion not allowed if you haven't completed the homework, no exclusion because the class has too many Baptists or any other such silliness to this sanguine.  I'm very thankful to be blessed to have had the opportunity to attend and be changed and transformed by the Word. 

In reality, it is probably good the B*F didn't chose me,  I would have probably been kicked out before the first semester began. 

Well, I better go check on Buddy's status and see if she has moved from the linen closet onto one of her regular napping spots. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Lovely Way to Spend a Weekend

We've enjoyed two days of wonderful January weather.  No really!  Actually, Friday wasn't half bad either.  I went to the eye doctor to pick up my new glasses and took the opportunity to have brunch at Le Peep.  On my way back home I heard from Peggy and she wanted to know if I wanted to go shopping or eat.  Called her and we decided to go look at the gift shop at Brookwood and look at a few shops in Fulshear.  Only, I had to stop at Hobby Lobby first because I think that is where I found the wheat grass looking stuff,  Brookwood has lots of cute spring decor out.  Peggy bought some plants and I contemplated a few things in the gift store.  Yesterday, Roy and I had breakfast at Otto's since we got a late start because of Buddy's mani/pedi appointment with the vet.  The farmer's market was out again at La Centerra and after eating we did a walk through.  This time there was actual produce!  Got some home grown tomatoes and some spun cinnamon honey that tastes like red hots.  Had some on my toast this morning, not the tomatoes but the honey, and it was delicious. 

Last night we went to Taste of Texas with David and Emily and 100's of our closest friends.  We even went at senior citizen time of 4:30 and it was rather crowded even then.  Is there ever a bad meal at Taste of Texas?  I think not.  Better than the food was the conversation and laughs.  Since we started dinner so early it was close to 7:00 when we left.  Ah, the night was still young.  So we went to Barnes and Noble before heading back out to the prairie.  Once we got home Roy began working on some things at the computer.  He ended up having to call HP support for a problem he was having with a DVD.  He said it was after midnight when he came to bed.  He is our official wake-er upper and he overslept this morning.  Thus, I did too.  So, we took a sabbatical Sunday.  We went early to lunch to beat all the Katy church crowd and headed back Brookwood way.  He needed to take more pictures for his homework assignment in his photography class.  How convenient!  He could take pictures and I could go back and get the things I looked at on Friday.  Roy also suggested we make a trip out to the Katy Prairie Conservatory for Birds.  So after Brookwood we headed over to Brookshire and farther North past Dewberry Farm.  The last part of the drive was on rocks and we had just had the car washed on Saturday, so I suggested he come back at sunrise one Saturday to find all the birds he wanted to take pictures of.  Funny, we were doing the very same thing today that I hated as a child, the dreaded Sunday afternoon drive.  We saw lots of cows, rice fields, birds and did I mention cows?  Oh and some beautiful horses.  Once we got back home, I was ready for a nap.  After getting a few winks in, I joined in the good fight against weeds.  Roy and I got up a lot of the bigger ones that have slowly been taking over our backyard.  We focused on some of the smaller ones in the front yard.  All in all, not a bad way to spend a weekend. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Slopes, Slop, Shepherds and Scripture

The weather has settled down here in the Rancho de Five.  Our little pond that is to the side of the house now looks like a lake.  It will only look like a lake for a day or so and then it will go back to its normal size within the sloping banks.  Ad a P to sloping and you get slop.  That is something entirely different.  We were fortunate not to have lots of lightning and thunder, but there were a few too many lightning flashes that seemed rather close by for my comfort.  Buddy was glued to my side and never left my presence.  We sat there together on the couch while I did my Revelation homework.  The sound of thunder is really such a nice back drop to Revelation 13.  Since Peggy lives only 2.6 miles from us and we being farther west; Peggy called to tell me when she is picking me up for choir and we discussed the weather.  Weather with TV alliteration, Wicked Weather!  Both of us had the coverage of the storm on in the background.  It is really sad to be a reporter and nothing weather wise is happening when the anchors do the check in with you.  The reporter and camera person show drains, flags barley blowing in the wind and maybe a piece of trash that floats along lazily like a summer's day to the storm drain in the curb.  One day we plan to dress up as Mildred and Gertrude and run to where all the crazy rain coverage is and see if we can get interviewed.  We would so look the part.  We might shoot a video to send in and see if it ever makes it on the air. 

I think Buddy has a bit of border cat in her.  Either that or she is a frustrated Shepherd.  In our guest bedroom I have some old wooded boxes and of course they are stacked in an interesting eye catching way.  The top crate is open with the lid back and in it I have put some of my favorite stuffed lambs from my ubiquitous lamb collection that is all over the house.  In the night time when nobody knows about it, Buddy shepherds the sheep.  I wonder if she is familiar with Psalm 23 because she sits some of the sheep around her water bowl and places others around her food bowl.  If it is an especially busy night, she has the sheep spaced at various intervals around the house.  Sometimes she even has them sitting on the couch.  I'm surprised that she is such a gentle shepherd because unlike her stuffed cats and bear, she has not ripped their faces off. 

If there is one thing I'm consistent with and to my disadvantage is; having random, from all kinds of devotionals, or verses posted on Facebook or something biblically that has my interest in researching quiet times.  Today a quote on Twitter got my attention in between breaking news, gentle teasing, cynical observations, sports updates and the like, there was a quote from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  "Enjoy the tempo of a God-breathed life by letting Me set the pace."  Oh I so needed to read that today and also the accompanying scripture from Hebrews 13:15.  My natural inclination is to set a fast pace and these past couple of years have been an up close lesson from the Lord to slow down, to stop being busy for busy sake, to stay in a moment, to know where I am in the transition process, to listen for His voice, to watch His hand and to choose joy.  Another quote from today's reading; "Sit still in the Light of My Presence and receive My Peace.  These quiet moments with Me transcend time, accomplishing far more than than you can imagine.  Bring Me the sacrifice of your time, and watch to see how abundantly I bless you and your loved ones."  I mean really, who couldn't use God's blessing and who couldn't appreciate especially God's blessing on loved ones.  Most importantly the loved ones who get on your last nerve, you know those loved ones who sometime make it difficult for you to call them a loved one.  And I am so sure that I sometimes, hopefully not too often, can be the one getting on every one's last nerve.  Selah!

The pace of laundry is calling out to me because a pair of jeans that I want to wear to choir tonight need to be dried.  Going early so Peggy can get ready for Chilly Bowl.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Once Again, Avoiding Homework

It's Tuesday and once again I find myself doing everything but Revelation homework.  Once I get into it, I love answering the questions or if I don't understand what the answer to the question might be, I just use a ? and maybe come back to it later.  Since it is supposed to be rainy tomorrow, I hit the grocery store this morning.  Since returning home, I've been busy hanging all kinds of accoutrement's in the laundry room and in my reading room.  I also rearranged the mantel since a few things have been added to make the mantle all things springish.  Love the red iron gate I found at K T Antiques.  It is the centerpiece of the mantle.  Friday afternoon kind of looked like Christmas around here.  I think the UPS and Fed Ex deliveries were about 2 minutes apart.  I finally found a picture for over the bed in the guest room and it was in the massive bunch of boxes sitting in front of the door. 

How many of y'all are watching Downton Abbey?  I missed the first season but have the DVDs to get caught up and it doesn't seem too difficult to follow coming in on the second season.  Sunday night I was flipping between Downton Abbey and Mob Wives.  Talk about conflicting culture.  Basically, the same problems of comparison, gossip, getting along, misunderstandings, love, and talking things out take place on both shows, but the way the people of 1919 deal with these problems and the ways of  21st century language include massive bleeping out of cuss words on Mob Wives, sets itself apart from the genteel.  You can't confuse the two for sure.  Masterpiece Theater must balance out Mob Wives, Toddlers and Tirara and Dance Moms.  We have recently discovered Cajun Pawn Stars and we've gotten a kick out of that show.  Doesn't it seem like I really, really need to be doing my Revelation homework instead of discussing the fine high brow entertainment we fill the evenings with?

I find it oddly disturbing that advertisers know what I have been shopping for online and those things are running on the sides of websites reminding me of what I had been interested in at one time.  Things from the Levenger catalog and from One Kings Lane website have been showing up.  Williams Sonma and Pottery Barn send follow up emails to see if I am still interested in nesting tables.  Yes, but I refuse to pay such high shipping and handling charges.  I'll takes me chances on finding something in person.

OK, I better go and do homework. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Convoy or Erie Canal, You Be the Judge

What is it with hair appointments and eye doctor appointments?  Both of them seem to require a nap after the appointment.  This morning I had my annual eye check up with Dr. Yankelove.  No, I did not make up his name.  He's a great opthomologist and the process of getting an eye exam is so organized.  This time since I had a coupon for half off, I went with the MAP and limited eye dilation.  That is so the way to go.  My eyesight has barely changed since last year and everything is looking healthy inside my I spy with my little eye, eyes.  A couple of years ago when the doctors discovered that the virus that had attacked my heart had also attacked my pancreas, that made my vision go south in a big hurry.  It was as if it had changed overnight and literally it did.  Since that time my vision has improved and they feel like my eyes are out of harm's way and today that was confirmed.  PTL!  Not having the regular type of dilation made picking out frames much easier.  After the appointment I called Roy and announced boldly, that with this limited dilation, I didn't even feel that I would need a nap later in the afternoon.  Ha ha ha...I was so very wrong.  Usually, since my eyes are dilated, lunch is next door at Collina's.  Since I was finished a little before 11, I went to Le Peep for brunch.  Oh cinnamon pecan pancakes how I have missed you!  Then I headed back to the prairie with a Target run on the way home. 

Both morning and afternoon trips in the Ranch de Five, I feel like I have been surrounded by a mini van convoy.  It was frightfully Erie.  OK, I totally know I used the wrong Erie in the previous sentence.  I am not trying to say that it was frightfully Erie, like on the Erie Canal, but I cannot remember and spell check isn't being very helpful in giving me the correct word.  Sure I could use another similar descriptive word, but dang it, I am hung up on using Erie.  Has word gotten out about my dislike of mini vans because almost everyone who drives one, thinks they are driving a Greyhound bus?  Those mini vans had me boxed in.  Two ahead of me, one to the side of me, thus I could not change lanes, and three mini vans behind me.  I was really getting impatient with the whole slowed down, I am driving a bus mentality.  In fact I sang out a few of the only words I could remember from that trucking convoy song of long ago...CONVOY!  Then I got to thinking and yes, I am getting ready to go all spiritual on you, that maybe these slow moving mini vans were like some kind of guardian angels and by only going 25 mph just might be keeping me from a speeding ticket.  Maybe it was just the timing of my trips.  I left for the appointment right after school had started and my return trip just happened to be right before school lets out. 

So to get to the point I was writing about in the first paragraph, when I got home I felt as if I had been drugged.  My eyes were heavy laden and my energy level low...only thought being...must.take.nap.  It was heavy sleep in nap time.  I only hope I can fall asleep tonight.  Those limited dilation drops and the yellow dye drop did me in.  Or maybe it could have been the carb laden pancakes?  I don't know, but I feel refreshed and ready to go out and eat dinner.  Never mind the Target purchases that need to be put up, I will think about that tomorrow.  After all, tomorrow is another day.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weekly Thursday Thoughts

Quiet evening out here on the prairie.  Roy got home, grabbed some dinner which I opened, plated and then heated up.  That counts as cooking right?  It should, I went to the store,  microwaved it and then presented dinner in the buffet style.  Roy gobbled down dinner with a little bit of conversation.   He brushed his teeth, kissed me goodbye and I'm personally glad it was in that order and has gone to his photography class.  He is taking a break from the one offered by Spring Branch and is branching out in attending the one in Cinco Ranch. 

Today was brunch day at Bible study.  At first, I wasn't a fan of the monthly brunch but this year it is a favorite thing.  There are some great cooks in our core group and we really enjoy one another's company.  Our ages range from newly married to oldly marrieds.  Our discussion of the antichrist and the beast from Revelation 13 was deep and interesting.  So glad I had actually sat down and did the homework.  This afternoon our core group leader emailed me letting me know that I hadn't missed as session yet and I believe in the fall I chose Bible study over the opening of the Nord Rack in the land of sugar. 

The construction noise around here is almost deafening.  So instead of coming home to sound of framing and the laying of water pipe, I decided to drive the back way over to Brookwood.  It is a beautiful drive and the scenery looked like a cold, winter day but probably the look is due to the drought, not dormant trees waiting for the beginning of spring.  I turned off the radio and drove in silence.  Refreshing!  Then I shopped a little at Brookwood and headed back home going a different, but as scenic route.  The quiet soothed my soul.  Really, after reading and discussing all the horrors that are coming in the Tribulation, it was a respite and a moment to be grateful to the Lord for His handiwork and the beauty of the earth.

I stayed up way too late last night.  Peggy and I rode together to choir.  We left a little earlier than usual because she needed to get into the costume closet at church.  Some churches have a crisis closet, but we have a fun and well locked closet of fun and biblical outfits.  She is working fervently on Chilly Bowl for the cast, orchestra and choir.  Choir practice was awesome, maybe even amazing, amazing.  The Pastor shared with us that someone in the 9:30 service had anonymously given generous funds to help with the choir mission trip in June.  We rejoiced at this welcomed news.  It was kind of funny that after the Pastor had shared this and left that John chose the choral arrangement of Jesus Paid it All to be the next piece we worked on.  I don't even think he thought about the timing of it.  After choir, Peggy met with those in Chilly Bowl and we ended the evening at church visiting with friends.  Rides home after choir are much more fun with Peggy.  I was so wired when I got home and couldn't settle down.  So I watched the latest DVR'ed episode of Toddlers and Tiaras and then some Dance Moms for good measure.  Getting up this morning, difficult and with additional time needed to fix a salad for brunch, I was a tad late for Bible study. 

Yesterday was a wrap on therapist sessions of working through the process of my mother's death and some of the after shocks that accompany loss. No, I don't think a couple of hours is enough to deal with a loving lifetime of a dear mother.   I'm so glad that many years ago a call and visit to Cheryl  began the journey to deal with another kind of loss and so much discussion and hard work tracks had been laid down.  I cannot say enough good things about going to a good, Christian therapist.  She has saved my life from lots of unnecessary burdens and taking ownership of emotions and jobs that were never mine in the first place.  It was a good session yesterday and we booked an appointment several months down the road if there is any dangling loose ends that haven't been resolved.  After the appointment, it just seemed right to make a visit and pay my respects to the play grocery store.  I headed back to the prairie after several other errands.  Found a jewelery store in old Katy to get some watch batteries replaced and made a major mistake of stopping in HEB after school has let out.  My is not the place to be.  It felt a little chaotic and frazzled on the aisles. 

That's it.  If you have made it all the way through this post, congratulations!  Now if you have insomnia this week, return to this post and it should do the trick and put you right to sleep. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Random All Over Me

Really, I should be doing my Bible study homework right now, but I am having a bit of difficulty into settling down to do it.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's because it feels like spring but it's overcast like January.  It could be that my attention span of a gnat is having more trouble than usual focusing on one thing.  Could this inability to focus and settle down now be attributed to all the machinery sounds coming from the green space where water pipe is being laid?  Lack of sleep, maybe.  Honestly it could be long ago ingrown habits about homework, wait till the last minute.  I love our study of Revelation but it could just be a restlessness of procrastination and dare I say, a wind of change in the air.  I don't know but I have now seriously delayed the beginning of homework for at least ten minutes with this paragraph.

Last night the Katy Bunko group I belong to came to our house to eat dinner and roll the dice.  It was really a lot of fun and I spent a good portion of the day making our home a welcoming environment, read cleaning house, and preparing dinner, read picking up chicken pot pie.  All throughout the day, things would distract me and they were good things but not necessary things to accomplish the work that needed to be done.  Like Acts 12.  My Sunday School, I mean my Sunday Bible, oops I mean my Life Bible Study teacher based most of her lesson on the beginning of this chapter.  Peter gets rescued from Herod's hands when an angel comes to prison, wakes him up, tells him to get dressed, walks him through the iron gates, walks about a block with him then leaves Peter.  So Peter goes to John Mark's mother's house where the church is praying for his release but they don't believe Rhoda when she tells them that Peter is at the door.  Well Mary and Sue Ellen tell Mr. Grant that....oh yea, wrong Rhoda and wrong in referencing the once ever so popular Mary Tyler Moore Show.  OK, back to the lesson in Acts 12, so of course I read the rest of the chapter and find it intriguing the story of Herod, Blastus, and the people of Tyre and Sidon.  Later I asked my walking commentary, Roy, what he knew about those circumstances.  We talked about it and later when we got home he looked up the passage with his Logo software.  Not a whole lot of information there, but enough to keep my attention.  Yesterday, I pulled my Net Bible off the shelf and began reading.  It referenced Josephus' recording of the same incident.  Pulled Joe off the shelf but couldn't figure out how to get to the reference.  Maybe that was a good thing because you know Bunko group coming over that evening. 

Today I have read about the Japanese mafia, Steve Martin's article on Earl Scruggs and how he changed blue grass by his mastery and new techniques in playing the banjo, and a lawsuit against Chevron while putting off homework.  I've watched Paula Deen being interviewed by the NY Times and I ordered the British uncut version of Downton Abbey.  Read some in depth book reviews of Southern fiction recently published and considering three of the books, yea, like I need more unread books in the house.  There is laundry being done and I've been playing with the Roman shades adjusting them at different lengths because I really don't want the new neighbors to have a full view into our family room.  I've yet to empty the dishwasher but I'm considering elevating that job to priority number one, well that is until after I finish this blog post. 

Did you miss me?  I've been watching a trailer for Hey, Boo, the story of Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird.  Ironic that there is a mockingbird sitting on the fence right now?  Anyway, you can see random is all over me. 

One more thing and then I have to start working on my Bible study homework, well after I fold laundry and empty the dishwasher.  Not going to go into much of this but I have fallen in love anew with Isaiah 55, in particular 11-13.  Things to ponder and quiet to listen with a renewed ear and heart.  I really want to dig into this but, Revelation 12 and 13 await me, as well as the dishwasher, laundry and I may need to play once again with those shades.  Did I mention I also paid bills today?  Wrote some thank you notes? 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

A Quiet Saturday Night

It's lovely.  Sitting at home on a Saturday evening.  Both Roy and I are down for the count and we are fading quickly.  Ah youth, where have you gone?  Yesterday, I went from thing to thing to thing with very little down time in between and that caught up with me today.  Since we overslept this morning, I didn't make it to the Saturday addition of choir camp.  We pulled into the BWC for a later type breakfast and then made a quick Home Goods and Target run.  We returned home to work on a couple of projects and then ran a few more errands.  WE stopped in an antique store that I have only been to once or twice.  We came away with the mother load of antique tools, at really good prices.  Instead of filling the wood toolbox I found in Rosemary Beach with flowers, I decided to fill it with things that that the tool box was originally intended to be used for. Old tools in shops are usually found among other things and on the floor.  So glad that Roy has good knees and can pull things out for me to view. Once all our errands were done, we arrived back home with a delicious take out pizza in hand and we have lazed around watching football games.  My tiredness has not been physically but sleepily.  I think I could have come back home after breakfast and gone right to sleep. 

Yesterday morning I went to my dad's home.  He had a couple of things he wanted to discuss and as I suspected, the topics were not new.  They are things we have discussed many, many, a whole lot of times.  Early on when it is noticeable that he is going to go on that same track, I interrupt and say something to the effect, you've told that to me before or you have discussed this in depth many oh so many times. He just ignores me and goes right on.   It takes so much emotionally to keep the conversation on track and have some bit of productivity to it.  It was really sweet that he had gone to the little bakery at the end of the street and bought us cherry turnovers.  Like I really should be eating one of those things, but for the sake of family unity, I ate mine, only for the greater good. 

On the way home I stopped for a few things in the land of sugar.  I would have done this on Monday, but rain and the threat of more flooding cancelled those plans.  Got home and had a little minute to rest and then I was out the door at 4:00 with Peggy.  We were meeting friends for dinner before choir camp at church.  What a totally fulfilling evening.  We sang, we laughed, we shared, we worked and we did it all to glorify God.  I love being back with the choir, the choir family.  What joy!

I made the Christian bookstore run this week, hitting both Mardel and Lifeway.  We got a Lifeway catalog in the mail which included a 30% off any regular priced Christian item in the store.  So, there are non Christian things in a Lifeway store?  Maybe it was a veiled reference to the new edition of the NIV, I have no clue, but the coupon struck me as rather funny.  I got the last set of James audio CDs of the Beth Moore Bible study.  I'm looking forward to listening to them going back and forth into Houston. 

I am trying to get things cleared and cleaned for bunko Monday night.  I'm hosting the Katy group. 

Buddy has settled in on my lap and it is making typing rather difficult.  So that's all for a Saturday night. 

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Gift

This morning the wind has left several gifts in our backyard, although nothing that the wind has given us is worth keeping much less re-gifting.  We are happy that the wind didn't blow any of our chair cushions as gifts for our neighbors or the construction workers behind us.  This has been one blustery and cold day. 

I have received a wonderful gift though blown into my life by the breath of God.  I actually learned of this gift a week ago yesterday but have taken the time to think, thank, ponder and rejoice at the announcement.  Last Wednesday I had a cardiologist follow up appointment for the month I wore the heart monitor.  The visit didn't begin as scheduled.  The receptionist thought I had canceled my appointment.  No way!  It seems as if when one needs the wisdom and direction of a Dr that is so very difficult to get an appointment with, one wouldn't cancel.  Really, those appointments are right up there with keeping appointments with my hairstylist Stevie.  So, I sat there in the waiting room for two hours.  In that waiting room of two hours, there seemed to be a plethora of unhappy patients.  For a few minutes we were entertained by an older couple and their adult son, who had just had dental surgery.  The adventures of using a cell phone had most of us laughing to ourselves and it wasn't like we were eavesdropping because all three of them must have been hard of hearing and didn't use their inside voice for conversation.  There also was a man sitting close by who had to have weighed 400 pounds.  His conversation with the woman accompanying him was rather sad...he kept asking her why do you think I have heart problems?  She'd pat his knee and continue on with her People Magazine.  A few minutes would go by and he'd ask her again, what was he doing that would cause him to have heart problems.  Back in the day, I might have answered the question for him.  Funny thing about waiting rooms, cardiologists in particular; everyone in there is either really ill, has been ill, wants to be ill or doing everything for prevention in being ill.  The last twenty minutes of waiting came complete with a man who was hacking up both lungs and possibly his spleen.  He sat one chair away from me.  I had an opportunity to move without hurting his feelings, (well, if he even was concerned about being kind of leprosy-ish with his cough.)   Finally, my name was called and I was escorted back to one of the patient rooms.  We did the usual Inquisition and as I waited for the next usual thing, an EKG, but instead, the Dr came in.  He read through my file, looked at me, and re-read the file.  He began the usual regurgitation of info and then he paused for effect.  He told me, my heart had shrunk.  The left ventricle had gone from 5.7 to 4.2 in a rather quick fashion and a short period of time.  He had last seen me in October and he said then, you look sick, you sound sick, you feel sick.  In that October appointment, he had two other Doctors look at me and asked for their diagnosis.  They all agreed that heart surgery would be scheduled after the first of the year.  They prescribed a heart monitor to be worn for a month and re-worked my meds and sent me on my way.  I wore that heart monitor during those difficult days of my mother being in the hospital, then in skilled nursing, put under hospice and then her death.  Then came the weeks in-between her death and her memorial service.  My heart didn't miss a beat, never raced or skipped.  Because everything is looking good, he took me off one of the meds that totally messes me up.  Thank you Jesus!  His instructions; keep doing the things I've been doing to reduce stress, rest, exercise, and don't overly hydrate.  He was truly amazed at the difference heart wise and countenance wise. I think maybe even if he so spoke this way he would have said this is truly an amazing, amazing thing.  He said, somebody must want you around.  I was able to share with him that my life has been saturated with prayers of the faithful.  Right after Christmas I got back to better food choices and I'm slowly increasing my exercise.  The only "thing" or news that wasn't great is, I'm very anemic.  So, I went to my Dr today and naive thing that I can be thought, oh, she'll probably give me a B12 or B6 shot., first thing to do is get  a procedure that those over 50 should have done...part of the word kind of rhymes with monopoly.  Ugh...

I am so thankful to the Lord for my renewed heart, once again.  Roy and I were talking about all the news and we recounted the roller coaster ride this heart adventure has been.  Only 10% of my heart working and sent home to die during Hurricane Ike.  Positive recovery and regained heart health.  Heart slowed to 48 beats a minute, right and left side of my heart overly enlarged, told to take care of anything on my bucket list because I had about 8 months or so to live.  Extreme fatigued, much of life slowed to a crawl, limited activities fearful of a heart episode.  Then life slowly returned.  Strength regained.  Functional fitness gradually returning.  Then being told of this wonderful news, heart shrinkage and no surgery.  I loved what the Dr said today, your heart doesn't sound floppy anymore.  God is so good!  He has never abandoned me, even when I was questioning at times this round about journey that began in 2008.  Funny, I knew early on at the beginning of the year that Mark 5:39-43 would be significant and theme verses for 2012.   Jesus has made His way through the mourners, both real and fake, He came through the laughter and scorn and He entered the room, took her hand and told her to get up.  I know I am not a little girl but sometimes on the inside I feel like one and it feels like He has made His way through the same kind of crowd that at times have accompanied me.  And it doesn't hurt that in the last verse of that chapter, Jesus tells them, get something for her to eat.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Storms, Online Bill Paying and These are a Few of My Non Favorite Things

I am happy to report we survived Wicked Weather, Severe Storm, and the most boring soccer, I mean football game...ever...!  We root for LSU but after half time Roy paced and coached from the living room, but nothing helped the Tigers.  Alabama rolled and rolled again. Geauxrolling on the river.    Reading Twitter updates on the quarterback Jordon Jefferson and LSU have been quite funny.  Did you know that the football team had a difficult time getting into Baton Rouge?  There was a 50 yard line painted on I-10.  I had a feeling LSU wouldn't win.  Alabama had much more to play toward and prove but the real reason is, Baylor and the Texans won, so you couldn't expect the Trifeccta. 

Yesterday morning was quite a morning.  The rumbles of distant thunder didn't even do justice for the coming storms.  The rain was so thick I couldn't even see the fence.  Hail dropping so quickly out of the sky and I was a little fearful that the hail would break a window.  The electricity stayed on through the whole ordeal, only flickering once.  Of course Dish Network goes out at the drop of rain, so I followed the storm's path on the computer.  Since rain has been scarce in these parts, I'm not too sure of what roads flood around here.  Now you might be wondering, why would you even think about flooded streets?  Because I had a hair appointment in the land of sugar at 10:00 am.  A much needed haircut in the land of sugar...and the hard rain had passed, so I figured I could head on over for the haircut and then lunch with friends.  I now have the answer to what roads flood and I'm ever so thankful that I didn't get close enough to the high water to do any damage to Sequisha cause if I did I would have to rename her Sequish-a..  Had to make the call and cancel my appointment.  BUT...they had a 1:00 appointment and hope against hope the rain and the floods would be long gone out of town.  So, of course I came home and watched flood coverage.  TV was working again...and all the stations were covering this breaking news.  If I could have only found one of those reporters when I was trying to get to the salon.  They for sure would have interviewed me because my hair was looking oh so yea-hoo and bad.  That's what gets you on the news, being a strange looking person, with bad hair and an opinion that can only be expressed in a loud, colloquial filled voice.  "I done never seen no flood like uh this know what I mean?  Like I called the con-sta-bil office and deported the news that all the roads were done covered with water and no way to get to the 1093.  You know what I'm talking about?"  Once again a little after noon I made my way to the land of sugar.  Success...that is until 99 an highway 90 cross.  Flooded, high water, detour to 1464.  I almost gave up ever finding my way to highway 6 but finally found it and was only 5 minutes late for my appointment.  Good to know, I found the new Skeeter baseball stadium by going that way.  Roy's bus out of downtown was running really, really late and it finally arrived, only to miss the exit to the Park and Ride.  Roy emailed to see if I needed anything from downtown Katy because this guy was so off the normal route.  Wicked weather and wild water can do that to you.

Bible study begins this week and we were given four weeks off and advised not to wait till the last minute to do the homework.  Well, I am cramming five days of homework into an afternoon.  Lots of rereading Revelation 12.  We stopped right in the middle of the chapter before the break. 

I am painfully trying to pull myself into the 21 century in the realm of bill paying.  You know, online?  I've done ok but somehow in the midst of the holidays, my mom's passing, having Roy home for nearly two weeks and disrupting my regular routine, I overlooked paying a bill, the Exxon bill.  It was a whopping $46.00.  I'm four days late, hey Jesus was four days late arriving at Bethany and looked what happened!  Lazarus was raised from the dead.  Anyway, they called me on my cell phone today but they didn't want to talk with me, they wanted to talk with Roy.  That was fun telling Roy that I couldn't think of any reason why Citibank would be calling him on my cell phone.  So, he called them, they told him the problem and he gave his permission for them to talk with me about the $46.00, that I actually had already paid this morning online.  Loved it when they talked really fast telling me that now that I can talk to them about this account, I too am legally responsible for paying the bill.  Yea, you want my confirmation number for the account that I paid this morning?...No...they wanted to know if there was any reason why Mr. Mon didn't pay the bill.  Well, because his technology handicapped wife, didn't go online and pay the stupid thing.  Then I did it...I didn't want to but I threw the my mother died card.  Yea...shouldn't have.  Anyway once the dollars post to the account I can call back and they will waive the late fee...  The person I talked to was really nice over all but took that condescending tone of, "do you want us to send you a paper statement so that you and your addled brain can keep up with fiduciary responsibilities?"  I politely declined that generous offer. 

Roy will be happy, I fixed dinner tonight and the lovely people at Whole Foods in the land of sugar made the cornbread.  I also bought a cinnamon baubka only due to the fact of a Seinfeld episode and the chocolate baubka.  It is pretty good and of course I also bought it with the healthy benefit of cinnamon in mind. 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

First Saturday of 2012 Wrap Up

It is half time of the Texans game.  Really exciting but I am afraid to get too emotionally invested but I know I'll keep watching.  This has been a rather exciting week and when I have time to give more thoughts to the happenings and don't have to hurry and get everything written before Roy gets home from the gym. 

Mostly Roy and I rearranged the sitting room this morning.  Ah the sustenance from the Black Walnut Cafe gave us extra strength.  Later in the afternoon we took some stuff to Katy Christian Ministries and made our first stop of the new year at K T Antiques.  I did not come away disappointed.  I've been looking for old tools to artfully and artistically put in an old wooden tool carrier I found at Rosemary Beach in May.  I've had flowers in it and it has sat on the dinning room table, but with spring coming I decided to go with a flowery theme for the table and the manly rustic theme for the tool box in front of the fireplace.  Roy helped me today pick out some interesting tools and to start our collection.  I also found another piece of stained glass, on sale.  I'm thinking of hanging all the glass on the wall in the entry way over the pew.  Godly theme, can't go wrong with that.  I saw an old church offerening basket on a stick that I liked a lot but Roy wasn't too crazy about it.  I will probably go back next week and get it. 

Even though I am an old lady I was so blessed watching the Passion 2012 live stream both from the teachings and from the actions of those young college students.  Wow! 

I went to my first memorial service yesterday since my mom's passing.  I really didn't give any thought to it affecting me, but it did.  My friend's mother was just a year older than my mom and the pictures of her life contained the same kind of clothes and hairstyles that my mother wore through the years.  Tears came and when Cindy sang the Andre Crouch song, To God Be the Glory, it hit me even harder.  That was one of my mom's favorite songs.  I had the album and she played it all day long while I was at school. 

Sounds like the game might have started, so this is it for today. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Asking Questions

There are so many things I need to be doing this afternoon other than writing on the blog, but there are some days I have to write in order to begin anything else around the house.  Not that what I want to write is so insightful or humorous.  It boils down to the fact, I like to write.  Of course while I am writing I see what I hope to be workmen in our yard.  Looks like they are checking where the new drainage pipes were installed.  Thankfully it is in the afternoon and not in the morning because that is usually when these men suddenly appear.  Morning =me playing like G.I. Joe trying to get back to the bedroom, wearing jammies, and going unnoticed.  I was going to write go commando, that means something entirely different. 

Our schedules returned to normal today.  Roy is back in the office and well, I am left to my own devices.  Today, I met Peggy and several other friends to celebrate a significant birthday for Peggy.  Really all birthdays are significant but this one is a milestone.  We met at Las Alameda's.  Las Alameda's is into you having a dinning experience.  You only go there if you have time because they give you plenty o time before ordering and before getting the check.  On the way home I saw a duck fly across CR Blvd.  Seen them eat and waddle out here but never fly.  I can't believe out here in the land of perceived entitlement, there still is a dead possum to the side of the road, been there for about two weeks and a newly deceased skunk.  HOA clear those two things and then we can count my plants. 

I'm in my predustination mode because Crisella comes tomorrow.  Going through and doing the post Christmas pick up.  Also making sure we got everything on the cleaning product list.  Some are on the naughty list others on the nice list, we are on the buying the correct cleaning products list. 

I'm beginning to realize I don't ask myself enough questions.  No, the better phrasing of that would be I don't ask myself enough of the important know thought provoking, life changing questions.  A friend was asking me questions from a Start the New Year list she found on the Internet.  Questions like, What's the one thing you could do this year to increase your enjoyment of God?  What book, in addition to the Bible, do you most want to read this year?  What one biblical doctrine do you most want to understand better this year and what will you do about it?   What one thing could you do to improve your prayer life this year?  I jokingly answered the last question about prayer with the response that I would actually really pray this year.  As for the book question, I have so many books I want to read there isn't any way to narrow it down to one book.  As for the biblical doctrine, I have to admit I am pretty lame in the biblical doctrine department.  See my predustination comment in the previous paragraph.  Now for the one thing to increase my enjoyment of God, guess my answer would be to know His Word better so I can hear His voice clearly.  Normally the questions I am asking myself usually have to do with whether I should keep my hair curly and at this length or should I go with a shorter cut.  Another question I'm asking is about all these people who announce they are going off Facebook or Twitter for a weekend or some other short period of time.  Why are they announcing this?  Why can't they be gone for a weekend or several days and let us realize we miss their comments or observations?  Sometimes people make a big deal announcement about FB or Twitter and give all kinds of spiritual reasons for abstaining and I think maybe since they are fasting from social media, they should do like the Bible says about how to go about everyday life when you are know don't let others know or going around all hang faced and piously, with shortened breath announcing..."I.m fasting for the Lord."  In no way am I writing about called fasts by groups or churches, I'm talking about the individual giving notice of their sabbatical from social media.  Well, I guess I just answered my own question...of why I don't think about deep questions.  Sometimes I need more time than is alloted to answer or maybe I realize I haven't been thinking on these things or the obvious, I'm thinking about stuff that doesn't matter. 

Maybe I'm not answering tough questions because a lot of my time is taken up in recuperating from someone who drains the life out of me.  I came home to an energy draining phone message.  Now I need to take the time to create a cleverly crafted response that will not put them on the defensive or make them retreat to their first choice of reaction, playing the victim. 

For some reason since we are back to normal schedules Roy thinks that maybe I should have dinner fixed tonight.  Oh dear, maybe I should ask him if I can ease back into that habit that I sometimes practice on a hit or miss basis.  Hmm...maybe I should ask myself some questions about this.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Beautiful Day in Five Ranch

Tomorrow we get back to our regularly scheduled lives.  It has been fun having Roy around here for almost two weeks.  We have tackled, maybe that should be he has tackled quite a few projects and he has worked really hard on his website.  We've stayed up late, watched lots of old movies, cheered football teams to victory and have eaten lunch out just about every day.  Lots of in depth discussions and a lot of silly talk...well as silly talk as Roy is going to get.  It has been fun, but I think he is ready to get back to the office and I am ready to have my mornings back.  As I have stated before I am not too much of a morning person and well Roy is the eternal optimist the moment his eyes open and his feet hit the floor. 

Today we got all the new Christmas stuff up in the attic, fed the roses and got the sprinkler system back on a regular schedule.  Last week David Weekley sent out guys to work on some drainage issues we were having in our side yard and to fill a small sink hole in the back yard.  Roy called the HOA to tell them they have water issues in the green space that is next to us.  They will be out tomorrow inspecting their sprinkler system and the grading or lack of grading. 

We did a farewell to week day lunches at Midway Bar B Que today.  Roy loves their food.  I get the stuffed baked potato and it is quite tasty.  Afterwards, we got Roy's camera and headed over to Spring Lake to take pictures.  It was a tad cold once the wind began to blow and if you found yourselves in the shade.  I did a little walking while Roy took pics.  I didn't want to get too far and then find myself not having the energy to get back.  It was a beautiful day.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

First Post of 2012 Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  If I made New Year resolutions, I would have already broken about 4 or 5 of them by 10:00 this morning. 

Our new year eve was rather dull and unexciting, but by the sound of it, many neighbors were having a loud and booming time.  After living in Houston for so many years where fireworks are banned, it sounded like the demilitarized zone here instead of where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain And the wavin' wheat can sure smell sweet  When the wind comes right behind the rain....yeah...oops, too much Oklahoma influence from Friday night.  There is one empty lot behind our home and I think it was a major launching pad for the banned flared and rocket on a stick fireworks.  I could hear the dirt being blown up against the fence.  There were several other launching pads in the neighborhood on down the way.  The noise scared Buddy and I was happy I didn't experience any traumatic flashbacks from our days years ago living in the hood where the noise wasn't from fireworks but guns.  Guess it sounds like I am complaining but I'm not, really.  It was just that we had forgotten that we now live in the land of legal fireworks.  What's funny is, the fireworks were mainly shot between 7-9 pm and when midnight arrived, there were a few pops and bangs around, but nothing like I thought it would be.  Guess they shot up their stash.  In fact it was Roy saying it is midnight that woke me up out of a very sound sleep.  Anyway, back to the exciting evening.  I bet you thought I had already forgotten the beginning of the paragraph.  I was on the couch reading, listening to the TV and texting with Emily, who was having just as exciting night as me.  Roy worked on his website for most of the evening.  So that is how we closed out 2011. 

This morning Roy got up early and went to the gym.  He called me a little before 8 to wake me up and then we met at Black Walnut Cafe for New Year's Day breakfast.  The music tract was still for Christmas and I hoped expectantly to hear Merry Christmas Darling so I could tell CourtneyS and Linda that I heard it first for 2012.  Afterwards, we headed over to Lowe's to pick up a few things.  Guess you can tell from our activities this morning that we didn't go to church.  Well, we played sabbatical like so many others did this morning.  Right now Roy is out painting the fence, again.  He is determined not to have the fence turn gray.  He is doing a great job.  I am going through things and getting a few things ready to take over to Katy Christian Ministries later this week.  Then I stopped to write.  Who knows once he stops his painting when I will get the computer back. 

We have really enjoyed the outside fireplace and the fire pit during the holidays.  We have roasted marshmallows and hot dogs and made s'mores.  Using the fire pit makes one rather campfire-ry fragrant.  We got the decorations taken down and stored in the attic on Tuesday.  Next year I think we are going to rent a storage unit for decorations.  In fact on Friday Roy and I decided to do some more exploring of the farm to market roads going toward Richmond/Rosenburg.  We enjoyed our sight seeing tremendously and ended up at an Ace Hardware store.  Now we were going in for a few loose screws...uh it would be so easy to comment more about that but I'm sticking to the story.  We ended up Christmassing with Ace by buying quite a few Christmas decorations for next year that were marked down 50 to 75%.  I've got the newbies stored in plastic storage boxes and waiting for Roy to take up one more box to the attic. 

Thursday night I went into town and met Dena for dinner.  Some years we go out and eat at a fancy place and other years we go to the same o same o places that we are familiar with.  This was a Fu's Garden year, so nothing fancy.  It wasn't busy and we knew that they wouldn't be pushing us out the door once we had finished eating fortune cookies.  We did eat something new, well new to me and it was totally delish!  Kind of funny, when paying for the meal I told the waiter to keep the change.  That would have been great except he returned to our table, kind of threw the change down at me and said here is your $1.98 change.  Oh my, I kept thinking that I had a $10 bill and it was a $ 5.  I apologized and left him a really nice tip.  We made a stop at Starbucks and then drove around looking to see if any Christmas lights had been left up in the area.  I got home around 10:30 and was so happy to watch the rest of the longest and funnest bowl game, Baylor beating Washington.  It was exciting and I was happy to watch other bowl games this weekend that I wasn't pulling for one particular team.  That makes the games much easier to watch.  Of course our next big game that we will be interested in is the Championship game and we cheer for LSU.  Roy met our across the street neighbors...LSU supporters. He attended LSU but graduated from Georgia Tech.   That makes 3 out of the 6 houses on our block LSU graduates and supporters.

One more day of vacation for Roy, then it is back to the routine for him.  That kind of affects me because I get up earlier than I have been this past week.  I will have to be up and on the road Wednesday because I have a Dr appt in the Medical Center. 

Happy New Year's Day!