Saturday, April 27, 2013

Prairie Land Thoughts

If it's Thursday, it must be Bible study time.  We are in the homestretch and we will finish up our study of Philippians.  For about the last month Jennifer, Peggy, Raynell and Karen have been thinking through the song Bend Me, Shape Me, rewriting words and choreographing our stellar 1970's moves for the last devotion time of the year.  It was the perfect segway in our study that there is no difference between secular and sacred for the's all sacred.  So we took a song, made it about the Lord and danced like David.  Hey, if it was a different time and era, we would have a hit Christian rock group going.  Now I know this is going to shock some but we decided to let our friends from a sister denomination that has dances do all the dance moves and get ready, Peggy and I sang.  No really...and Peggy sang harmony. 

So after planning, downloading the song and one rehearsal, hey we are keeping it real, I almost didn't make it to the church on time.  I hadn't a clue that the electricity was off until I heard all this beeping.  You know the noise that all appliances make now when the power is restored.  It came on just in time for me to leave to arrive a little early at the church.  I have neglected to also tell you how I waited until this morning to see what was going to work costume and clothes wise.  I hate when I do that.  Anyway as I am getting ready to pull out onto Rancho De Five Blvd, coming from the west, sheriff officers on motorcycles and they were making the way for some huge, double wide road construction equipment.  As we poked along I waited to see which way the equipment was going and I would make the necessary adjustments.  My option was to go the way by Peggy's house, where there is mass construction, loads of graters, dump trucks and cement trucks.  But it wasn't these massive construction it was, you guessed it, the ol' arch nemesis, a mini van that made traffic almost come to a halt. 

***So now it is Saturday morning.  I'm easing to the day.  Roy is at Bible study and when he gets home we will begin our game of moving tables and chests because the Bedford chest from C&B, that's not Cracker Barrel, is being delivered today.  So this last little flurry of decorating will culminate with the delivery of a new chair and hardwoods installed in our bedroom and closet.  Then comes summer and I intend to get a lot of reading in.  Seems like when it comes to finishing up what we want to do with the house comes in fits.  I can let things go for the longest time and boom it isn't anytime at all before we are knee deep in projects. 

Yesterday was probably my last trip to the land of sugar for hair cuts and highlights.  Emmanuel is opening a salon in La Centerra in a few days.  So it will be down the street from us, granted a bit of a journey down the street but none the less, here in Rancho De Five.  Then I made my way to Dr. Yankelove's office by the way of Macy's, to meet Roy and help him pick out new glasses.  With that done, I then headed home to wait for Roy.  He had a hair appointment in the land of sugar.  Since neither one of us had eaten lunch we decided to go to Mooyah's for a hamburger.  Bad decision on the timing because every junior high student from CR Jr High was in that place.  Normally we would have sat outside but with 50 mph winds blowing it didn't seem like a good option.  We went to Target for supplies requested by the housekeeper and then went to Office Max to get a new shredder.  Our old shredder is on its last shred.  Yes, we are exciting like that.  Roy finally got to see the immense dangers of the Target parking lot.  We hit it at a time that I try to stay away from, after school.  In the mornings I believe the lot is dangerous because the mom's are driving like their chains are gone and in the afternoon they are driven by the noise of pent up energy the mini van.  Once again, a mini van ran a stop sign and I nearly became the hood ornament right there in front of Target.  Hmm..maybe there is a double meaning for me in the land of Target. 

We heard some exciting news from our friends Emily and David last night.  A luncheon with tennis friends was finalized last night.  I am so excited to see friends that I haven't seen in such a long time.  Thankful for Cris and Beth organizing everything.  I can't wait to see Cris's place.  She and her husband live in a high rise between the Galleria and River Oaks.  The view inside will be beautiful and so will the view from the windows. 

If I don't want to greet delivery men in my jammies, I better get moving. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Lost in Another World

It was at the age of 16 when I became a believer, not to be confused with the Monkee's song "I'm a Believer.  CourtneyS, you can thank me later for that ear worm.  Anyway, since the age of 16 it seems like I have read Philippians a million times.  Philippians was the book of choice when I didn't know what else to read in the Bible.  Philippians spoke loudly to me because I could so identify with Paul, writing about joy in the midst of difficulties.  He was under house arrest in Rome.  Of course I wasn't under house arrest when I was 16 but I was grounded a lot and in my 16 year old, prone to hyperbole and dramatic mind, it felt like house arrest.  This week in Bible study we have been studying Chapter 3 and I have learned a whole passel of things that I never learned, got lost in my attention span or never heard it taught the way CBS is leading discussion and homework questions.  When Paul writes his list of credentials and believe me what Jewish mother wasn't behind the scenes trying to get their daughters introduced to this nice Jewish boy, everything except that part about killing Christians and witnessing Stephen's stoning are pretty good  Of course he wasn't a Doctor but his family background, cultural, religious and education backgrounds almost made up for that.  I think almost every time I have heard someone speak on Philippians 3 the emphasis has been on all the bad things that we thought were good things, you know popularity, being smart, drinking and never having a hangover all wonderful attributes to have living in the world are rubbish to us now but Paul is really emphasizing that good gifts from God can draw us away from reliance on Christ, our advantages and achievements, our talents, our confidence.  (love me a run on sentence)  Those are all good things that can become false idols or gods.  When I played tennis sometimes your "PR" proceeded you and you'd have to be very careful not to believe everything that was being said.  Like, she has a killer serve, her forehand is illegal in 48 states, her backhand used to be her weakness but don't concentrate on that and the like.  If you went out on the court relying on what was being said, you were a dead duck.  If you get puffed up over those abilities, they'll leave you in a heartbeat.  It's about discipline and not getting by on natural talents and abilities.  Think Paul was a natural at being zealous and studious?

In our discussion this morning we touched on our backgrounds or talents or abilities, all good things, that keep us from experiencing, I count it all rubbish in order to gain hold of life in Christ Jesus.  We understand that we can't be good enough, funny enough, even studious enough but there are times when knowing that conveniently disappears as we try to make things happen or respond in our own strength and weaknesses.  I was talking with a friend the other day about men and women  that  are older who will use the same ploys and tactics that worked for them when they were much younger.  These qualities that might have been useful in forcefully making things happen in the past and seemed like such a talent are now holding many back from living out authentic and life changing lives.  It is really kind of sad to watch.  Personally I know that sooner than I will like my humor and comments are only going to look like a grumpy old lady.  We all have our talents to bear and to let God have.

I know this is not really what I write about or in the style I write but it is something that has my attention. 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Please Take the Time to Thank an Admin

There is really so many other things that I should be doing right now.  I am in the midst of three projects and of course not one of them has come to completion.  Why?  Squirrel!  If I leave the room I am working in chances are awfully good, thank you Johnny Mathis, that it will be quite some time before returning and thus some type of wrap up.  I totally did one project I hadn't a clue that needed to be done and as it would seem, it really is rather low on the priority list. 

This week is Administrative Professionals Week.  It's a week that will include some kind of recognition and maybe a free lunch.  I really hope that in the years since having to quit my job as a Ministries Associate due to health issues, that the salary of an Admin in churches has been corrected and they are actually making more money than the poverty level.   I especially hope this is the case especially with a budget emphasis and increase in reaching out to our Jerusalem, Samaria and the ends of the earth.  Jerusalem would include a cost of living adjustment or salary increase that is competitive with secular businesses for Admins in the church world.  I haven't a clue if this has happened but I sure am praying that it has.  I found it humorous that the company that the hubs works for has an earlier dismissal for those days before the holidays than at the church I worked at.  Most of those holidays, Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving have a spiritual connection and their dismissal was around 12:30 but the remaining few at church that are actually in the office those days before holidays got to leave thirty minutes early.  Hopefully that has changed as well. 

This is a blog post I wrote back in 2009.  Thank an Admin for their hard work that many times is overlooked.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Danger and Adventure on the Prairie

We have a roaming skunk out here on the prairie.  Our neighbors saw it first in their yard and last night Roy saw it in the front flowerbed, eating my plants.  On Thursday night the animal control guy came out to see if he could find it.  Good thing we were warned that he shows up with a 22 rifle because with all the news from Boston, I think we are all have been a little skittish this week.  Sure enough we were eating dinner when and I kid you not, a man shows up in the backyard carrying his rifle and he looks like Teddy Roosevelt, even to the wearing of a rough rider type hat.  He told us we might want to look under the transformer thing in our backyard to see if they have made a nest there.  Uh, hey Teddy, I thought maybe you might be the one to look.  You're the professional and my only experience with skunks is with cartoons.  You have a rifle! You are a professional!  Now do your job sir! Of course if any of us heard a gun shot on Thursday or Friday night, the neighborhood would be in a panic.  When we saw the skunk in our yard last night, we called Teddy again.  He had to go shoot a dog first, I don't even want to know, and then after he had gone all Atticus Finch with the dog he called and asked Roy to go outside to see if the skunk was still eating supper in our yard.  Roy didn't see him so I don't think the animal control guy even came out here.  So today, we called the professionals and we also did our Google research.  Roy is out right now getting all the necessary natural supplies to deter the skunk from our house.  We think he might be living in the cul de sac greenery and that my friends is a job for the HOA.  We will be calling on Monday cause in our rules, skunks are not acceptable.  Roy went all "man up" wanting to go to Katy Hardware and buy a trap.  I went all "woman reasoning" and asked him what were we going to do if we caught said skunk?  And Pepe Le Pu would be stinking up the joint.  Glad we both decided it was time to call the man.  That is what we say when we need the professionals to do the job.  We say that a lot because neither one of us is very good with stuff.  Yes my friends, living on the prairie is full of adventure and danger.  If it's not mockingbirds on the attack, it's the skunk in the front yard.  If it's not the toad that scares you to death when you're digging in the flowerbed, it is the constant watchful eye for snakes. 

I was able to get out and ride my Trek this morning.  It has been way too windy.  Such a beautiful day to be out and about.  Then I came in and ordered a chest from Crate and Barrel.  We already have one and decided that we wanted another one to go on my side of the bed.  The Bedford chest has a rustic look about it and it fits in nicely with our casual, rustic, country and kitchen sink decor.  They are delivering it next Saturday. 

Like most of the country we were glued to the news last night.  I really like reading Twitter while watching the news because Twitter is much faster with updates.  In fact on Monday, I saw the news of the marathon bombing and when I turned on the TV none of them were covering it yet. 

Yesterday friends from my tennis days Beth and Cris came out to Rancho De Five and met me for lunch.  We had the best time and we just picked up where we left off from seeing each other several years ago.  It was as if we had played tennis the day before.  True to form Las Alameda's didn't rush us off and we sat there and visited and had the best time.  We are planning another lunch soon in town at Cris'.  She and her husband live in a high rise now.  How fun is that? 

Meeting a friend later for lunch and then have a dinner party to go to this evening.  Look at us being all social on the weekend.  Maybe it's for the best since I usually love working in the flowerbeds on Saturday afternoon.  Don't want any chance meet ups with a skunk cause if I do I'll have to stay home in case of skunk funk.  No one wants that!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good News on an Overcast Day

Today has been an excellent day to get a good report and the upcoming plans for returning to a normal life...yes, I know normal is relative.  I am referring to this four and a half year journey in heart disease that began September 11, 2008.  On March 1 of this year I had an ablation procedure and the difference in me came just a little bit after surgery.  So these past six weeks I've been recording and observing my recovery.  Today, I had an appointment at the Cardiologist.  He had an emergency procedure this morning so they bumped me back an hour and told me to be prepared to reschedule if anything delayed him.  When I arrived today, that had to have been the least amount of people I have ever seen in the waiting room.  It is usually a full house. 

After the blood pressure thing and EKG I waited for the Dr.  I could hear the nurse talking to a man in the next room about having a heart ablation done.  The man wasn't too sure about the procedure.  I wanted to yell through the wall, DO IT!!!!!

The Dr and the staff could not get over how different I look post-surgery and my EKG was good, blood pressure low and pulse 55.  He hasn't seen the echo they did before leaving the hospital but beginning tomorrow I begin taking half a dosage of a med that eats my lunch.  Then in a couple of weeks I will go to every other day and then they'll send me a monitor to chart my heart for whatever period of time.  Then I'll go back and see him...if it is all good, then they will take me off Pradaxa, a blood thinner and maybe even the beta blocker.  PTL!!!  God is so good!!!  He also gave me permission to up my exercise.  Uh yea, Praise the Lord...  Just kidding!!!  More mileage on my Trek.

I could not wait to call Roy and give him the news.  Then I called Peggy.  But before I did either one of those things, I thanked God wholeheartedly and gratefully. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Great Way to Close Out a Weekend

Sunday evening that closes out a great weekend.  The weather has been perfect, projects accomplished, lots of fun and some treasured thought filled time.  I just came in from planting a flat of zinnias in the back flowerbed.  We finished up getting the flowerbed ready for planting on Saturday.  Think Roy feels like if he never has to lift another bag of dirt, he'll be a most happy man. 

Yesterday Roy fixed breakfast for his men's Bible study and then ran to Sprouts before the crowd hit.  We put up groceries and then worked outside a bit.  We decided to go back and try J-Dub's in old Katy.  It was ok.  By the lines and wait time you would have thought these were the best things going.  Cute place though.  We drove out to Brookwood and bought a flat of flowers for the front yard.  Then we ran over to Enchanted Garden's for two flats of zinnias.  We worked in the front yard getting flowers planted and this evening I planted a flat of zinnias in the back. 

I never feel anymore closer to my mom and her mom than when I am out working in the yard.  I sat on the back patio and thought about my mother's touch with flowers especially the house they bought when they moved back to Houston.  Her backyard looked like a professional had designed and landscaped it.  As her Alzheimer's progressed her garden digressed, but gardening was one of the last things about her to fade from us.  Last Friday I had an eerie experience.  I was coming out of Coldwater Creek and as I headed over to the car, in the distance I saw the silhouette of a woman and her profile and clothes looked exactly like my mother right down to her hairstyle.  It stopped me dead in my tracks because I almost ran down to where this lady was.  I had an experience like this when my mom was still alive and functioning, long before the disease hit.  I was in Randall's and I thought I saw my mom checking out.  So I go behind this lady put my hands over her eyes and say, "what are you doing here?"  The lady screams, I scream and security comes out of hiding.  Before they cuffed me or hauled me away I apologized to the lady and told her she looked exactly like my mom.  Then she said is your mom's name___________?  She went on to say she had been approached many times shopping or out and about by friends who thought she was my mother.  Needless to say, they did not cart me away to jail or anything.  I didn't want a repeat experience Friday, only this time I knew it wasn't my mother.  I stood there and watched this lady interact with her daughter and granddaughter and I was grateful to have had that small glimpse to remember my mom. 

So Roy filed our taxes before church.  That is just a funny thought to me.  We got up, got ready for church, filed our taxes, it was accepted by the IRS and we were on our way to church.  I'm not quite ready to go back to the loft in choir.  So, I sat out one more Sunday but we moved a section over.  Better lighting and it felt like there was a little more leg room. 

Well, I better go and finish up homework.  I also need to finish up my devo that I am giving on Tuesday morning. 

Friday, April 12, 2013

Seems to be All About Food

What a difference a day makes.  Yesterday, overcast skies with bouts of rain, sometimes falling at a constant and then the drizzle that keeps streets and cars a dangerous mess.  Today, we celebrate such a beautiful afternoon bright dazzling sun and cool temps without all the blustery wind we've experienced for the past few days.  I really should go out and feed the birds but I think I will do that in the morning since that is the main gathering time for the doves. 

I tried to catch up with life and errands yesterday afternoon while being out of the house for Chris.  Not everything got taken care of because I called Peggy in the midst of a Target run to see if she wanted to eat a late lunch/early dinner at BWC.  She was up for it and I was glad.  I brought stuff to work on but BWC is so much better with friends.  I punted on going to choir.  I shouldn't have but the drive in to Houston in the rain, even with a friend just didn't cast any appeal.  Instead I worked on a few things and then watched Duck Dynasty. 

Today was brunch day at Bible study.  We opted for Ruthie's because we had love ladies and had several out, but we had more there than I had anticipated which is great.  Gena, my former core group leader, was me today since I had been sick on Tuesday.  It felt like old times as she led us along.  We were having such a wonderful time talking and discussing, we got a personal visit from the Assistant Teaching Director letting us know we were really, really, very late in getting into teaching time.  Hey, that never happens when I am facilitating...  We had a great time at lunch and then those of who didn't have to go pick up kids at noon sat around and visited for a while. 

Well, now it is a beautiful Friday afternoon.  Think I will go out and put some plants in the flowerbeds after dinner.  We are having delicious pot pie that Margaret G made for us.  Oh my goodness, we feel like we are being treated like royalty.  I got an email from Gena today remarking on what a wonderful core group I have this year and I second that.  I am so blessed by these insightful, caring, funny women who love studying the Word as well as having a few laughs along the way.  I think we only have about 4 weeks left.  I will be able to say that my first year as a core group leader was so awesome because of many things, but because of this group and we jelled from the very first day. 

Last night we went out to dinner with friends to Bonefish Grill.  Defiantly returning there for dinner again.  We had a window booth right off the water.  Good friends, good food and a good view.  It was all good last night.  Tori is the one who gave me my shot the night before surgery.  She did it better than the nurse. 

Today I met Dena over at her builder and kept her company for her pre-construction meeting.  They have already started working on the lot getting it ready for framing.  We came back over here so she could see our shutters and then we headed out to lunch at Las Almeda's.  Love their caldo loco soup!  She had to get on the road but I hung out a bit at La Centerra and found some bargains at a couple of the shops.  Emmanuel, the hair salon we go to in the land of sugar is opening a second salon here in Rancho de Five.  In fact, they are across the street from Bonefish, so we took the opportunity to look in and see what's happening.  It is going to be a beautiful shop and not only that but so much closer. 

This whole post seems to be a report on our dinning habits this week.  It didn't start out to be that way but you go with what's been happening.  Roy just got in from his Dr appointment.  He was asked if he could make breakfast in the morning for Bible study because his friend is ill.  So we've been working on fruit salad and he is going to make grits again in the slow cooker like he did before.  They won't be Biltmore grits but Sprout grits.  Think Roy has had a day so I just sent him out the door to go riding.  Perfect weather with little to no wind and sunshine.  Which is where I came in when I began this yesterday.  With all this talk of food, maybe I should pick up where I left off in the book I am reading about Julia Child. 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Love Returning to the Land of the Living

I think I have rounded the corner and coming back into the land of the living or at least land of eating anything but crackers and toast.  It seemed like I had almost made it unscathed this season but the bug snuck up on me. 

Something that I have learned in the past four years is how to slow life down just a bit. It has been quite some journey from the days of frantic and chaos and staying way too busy just to be busy.  The frantic and the chaos allowed me not to focus on the important and I used frantic and chaos solely for my benefit but as chaos is wont to do, it quickly went from me using it as my benefit into becoming my detriment.  In these past four years I have had to re-learn how to approach and live without all the added stress and drama.  So these past few days I have had even more opportunities to read and think through things.  I'm mainly reading non fiction but there are few Southern fiction books waiting in my to be read pile.  Then, one of my favorite authors, Gail Godwin, has a new book being released on May 7.  I have already pre-ordered it.  The Dear Reader newsletter of Square Books in Oxford, MS announced that the University of Mississippi had released four previously out of print books by Elizabeth Spencer.  You might know of her from the Broadway play Light in the Piazza and the 1950ish movie of the same name based on her short story of the same name.  I discovered her by reading the LSU Voices of the South series.  I believe I will download these Spencer books onto my Nook.  So many books, so little time.  The book that has grabbed my attention is The Land Between.  My friends Dena and Kathleen are reading it too and we all agree that it a word for us all even though all our circumstances are different.  Kind of like the devo book Jesus Calling.  It seems the words were written just for you and for those thousands of friends on social media who found the same word applicable to their own situations. 

So you know you are not going to get out of reading another bird story on my blog unless you skip this paragraph.  Let's just say there are a lot of articles on the Internet about doves.  I have loved learning about these beautiful and graceful birds who don't seem to be the smartest birds in the bunch.  The whistling noise they make while flying is made by their wings.  They also have a little cup like pouch in their esophagus that stores seed.  So when they are eating so quickly they might just be storing up some seed for later.  They rarely eat bugs and they graze in open spaces and fields.  Since we have a huge green space next to us, I see why we are the "grocery store" for so many doves.  Also, male and female birds look so similar it is difficult to make a determination but it is the male birds that coo sending out a love call, looking for a mate.  I just might have The Bachelor show for doves going on in the side yard.  This next fact assuaged my fears, if a dove loses a mate, they re-mate.  That's good because I always feel like I have single mom doves hanging around the garden and feeder.  The mortality rate for doves is rather high and this does not include hunting.  Now this next fact will make me be even more cautious as I approach the feeder to fill it.  Snakes love to eat doves.  Seems like there is a biblical feel to that last sentence. 

Next week in leadership meeting I am doing the devo.  It is as if it dropped into my lap, thank you God.  I found some of my old journals while cleaning out a drawer.  Right there, in the first one I read written in July of 2002 were the words that I had been trying to gather and make complete sentences and a complete thought with.  Our devotion theme this year is a cup of cold water.  I've enjoyed hearing the stories from these ladies of how and when, where and to whom cups of cold water have been served.  Really, after the disappointing reality of being limited in areas to serve at church, in my particular gifting and calling, CBS Katy has been my cup of cold water for the last four years.  Part of that cup of cold, refreshing water has been the friends I've met.  I don't think we would have ever considered moving out to Rancho de Five if Peggy hadn't invited me to come to Bible study.  Studying God's Word together opened up the opportunities to meet women who love God and are quite the fun friends as well.  Win/win in my book.  Make new friends but keep the old.  That's not in the Bible per se as a verse but I think there is great wisdom found in that thought. 

Well time to go put away what I don't want Chris to put away and then try to remember where I put the stuff that I didn't want Chris to move.  Ah life! 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Saturday Night...No Fever...

M-I-C see ya real soon...K-E-Y...Why because we like you!  M-O-U-S-E.  Annette Funnicello passed away today at the age of 70.  This news saddens me yet it has brought back to mind some good memories of childhood.  I loved watching that show along with Garfield Goose, Kukla, Fran and Ollie and Romper Room.  Somewhere on one of these bookcases are a few Annette Funnicello chapter books that I've kept from childhood.  Then of course one can never forget the Beach movies with Frankie Avalon.  Maybe those California beach movies is what caused so many to move out to sunny land and then when they learned that life wasn't a beach party, they became free love hippies.  Who knows?  It sounds good.  I knew that being close to Galveston and Freeport that any beach escapades would pale in comparison to anything on the movie screen.  Let's be frank, there is not comparison to Florida beaches either. 

Saturday night I cooked dinner.  Later on, after going to bed, I awoke to that feeling of impending pukedom and if there was a countdown to make it into the bathroom before forced extraction, you'd probably only get an 8 count.  I believe I had about 4 of those 8 count experiences and Roy was only halfway awake for one of them, although our late night conversation didn't leave any kind of impression on him. In that one brief conversation I asked Roy if he would get something to help settle my stomach.  He told me to use a towel.  Yes, take two towels and call me in the morning.  Even Buddy who is usually at the end of the bed has started out her nights in the other bedroom, so I didn't have to contend with any unwanted attention from the cat, that is until my third trip.  I know that Monablog has always held to highest lady like decorum, but I think I puked everything inside me down to the nail polish on my toes.  Funny the thoughts you have while delirious.   I got to thinking about a teacher who subbed for Dena several years ago and the question she asked several times to us: "We all remember what happened on the plains of Dura?  Come now, the plains of Dura?"  Insert cricket noise and deer in the headlights look.  Uh, no could we have a hint?  Didn't we remember Shadrak, Meshak and Abendigo?  Well yes, but none of us knew it happened on the plain of Dura.  So while I was trying to not think about throwing up, I was singing to myself;
I met him on a Sunday and my heart stood still
a Dura run, a Dura run.
Somebody said his name was Neb
a Dura run, a Dura run.
Yes, my heart stood still, not worshipping him on that hill
and the furnace he threw me in, it was in
a Dura run, a Dura run....

On the third and fourth trip Buddy accompanied me.  She sat beside me and I choose to believe her meowing was encouragement, not the real fact that she wanted me to give her some treats.  At long last I was able to return to bed and stay there.  But wait!  The early morning wasn't over because just as I was falling asleep watching Buddy sit on Roy, Roy yells out in his sleep, this isn't happening on my watch!  Scared Buddy back over to me and there we all slept until 6:45.  Since Roy hadn't any recollection of my night, he wakes me up to get ready for church.  I didn't feel like going AT ALL, but I also knew if I didn't go that I might not ever go again.  We have missed so many Sundays with my pre and post surgery.  It was tough going and it didn't help when Pastor Gregg preached on three people you'd like to have dinner with.  Just the thought of food sent me over. 
Even though I had mild Mexican food last night, nothing but bland sounds good to me.  Crackers at lunch and Roy just grilled hamburgers.  I don't know if I am up to those but will give it a try. 

***Next morning report, I wasn't up to hamburgers and only took a few bites.****  I knew you would be in suspense all day if I didn't let you know that.  

Monday, April 8, 2013

It's All in the Flowerbeds

Roy has gone to do battle with people at Lowe's.  He's a brave soul because he battled the cart traffic in Sprouts this morning.  Glad one of us likes to do that.  We realized halfway in our weeding and plant transplanting we did not have enough of the right tools to accomplish our work.  Of course I am laughing at this because last year we did all our planting and building with children's yard tools.  Hey, I didn't know if I would be that committed to the planting process since I've never been that successful gardening.  Last night we worked a little on pulling weeds and we had bought a sharp hoe to chop and uproot.  It will come in handy if we see a snake on our welcome mat.  Anyway, I was swinging the hoe, chopping up weeds and I kind of went chain gang prisoner, like in Cool Hand Luke , swinging away.  Roy told me, don't do that I am afraid of hoes because he was hit in the head with one by one of his brothers growing up.  It's good to know Roy doesn't want to be close to a swinging hoe and yes, this also counts as a double entendre   Our corner flowerbed that we built up and planted last year was just so beautiful but I did learn a lesson, it was difficult weeding, so I am going with a different combo of plants.  I have found I do well with roses, snap dragons and zinnias.  A couple of months ago Roy totally cleared out that back flowerbed but something I planted last year, starts with a D, rebounded and had taken over.  We took the biggest of those plants and transplanted them to the front flowerbed.  Lord knows I am probably over the allotted HOA limit number of plants one can have.  Again, I will point to the house around the corner that has a huge ceramic swan out front.  It seems that maybe the HOA picks on new residents because....they can.  The thought came to me as we were digging and pulling and planting, that I had never been more like my mother than at that very moment.  My mom was an avid gardener.  Wherever my parents lived, the flowers that my mom planted and nourished were so beautiful and healthy.  When they lived in Georgetown my mom was constantly transplanting her plants from the front to the back and then out in the front yard again.  Since my artist bent is stick figures, I drew her some lovely cartoons of her plants talking amongst themselves about how long they would remain until they were transferred once again.  Probably the other time I am like my mom and this hasn't always been the case but I am becoming a quick believer in her request, "Can't we see it from the car?"  Sightseeing and reading historical facts on plaques wasn't her idea of a good time.  My brother and I would tease her about this all the time but here I find myself wanting to view from the car.  Oh, the other thing is watching the birds out by our feeder and bird bath.  When she was alive she would tell me stories about the birds in her garden and yard, about the little bird houses she put on the fences waiting for her twittering seasonal residents.  I see some of the funniest things going on with the birds but I don't have anyone to call and bore with my bird observations.  So, blessed readers, you are going to get one story right now.  I have written about the Don't Mess with Texas Mockingbird and we have a few more mockingbirds coming around.  There is a younger mockingbird and if there happens to be a dove on the top of the feeder, it stands there with its mouth wide open waiting for mother or father dove to feed it.  The dove just looks at that little bird like, are you crazy?  Then the little mockingbird goes back to feeding itself.  Believe me it is cute and funny in person. 

Friday, would have been my mom's 84th birthday.  I felt there wasn't a better way to say Happy Birthday to her than to work in the flowerbeds this weekend.  I miss her. 

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cool Feet Puke

I have seen the movie Cool Hand Luke many times but until last night I had never seen the end.  Guess it has been a movie that seems to be a late night offering and lo and behold I've not ever been able to stay awake to see the end, that is until last night.  It seemed to be a good choice of movie on a windy and rainy night.  And maybe it just kind of fit my mood because you're pulling for Paul Newman to keep the fight and spirit against what seems to be unjust punishment for such a small crime of defacing municipal property.  Truthfully, you root for Paul Newman because he is just so dang good looking. 

Yesterday afternoon I started a blog post that I knew by the second sentence I would never post.  It did seem cathartic to write out some of the frustrations.  There doesn't seem to be one arena in my life that seems a bit skewed and out of balance.  Nothing seems settled.  I'm wrestling through several decisions, there has been the unexpected and I think I've been overdoing it just a bit.  This is my opening paragraph from yesterday:

I'm still thinking on the unexpected. There is a huge part of me that wants to dig a hole and come out when I see my shadow and go right back into the hole whether I see my shadow or not. I'm trying to keep my spirit lifted by reading all the times in the Bible where it says don't grow weary in doing good. I'm feeling rather close to weary these days. It's all around me and usually I have something going on in life that I can fix on while the parts of my life that are hard or difficult or the times of waiting or times that need a bit of adjustment are running their course. Everything within me wants to throw my hands up to give up, not surrender, but give into weary some and tiresome. Of course I know better and how timely is our study in Philippians but I'm just saying...

Honestly, I am feeling much better about life than I was about this time yesterday.  I'm not singing In the Bleak Mid Springtime or anything like that.  But the line 'snow on snow' could be changed to pollen on pollen.  In the bleak mid springtime, it's time to blow my nose. 

Monday, April 1, 2013


Last week and today has held some unexpected moments.  Of course I think of the beautiful sunrises out here on the prairie and the moments of bird watching that keep Buddy and I entertained every afternoon.  There are unexpected moments of making new friends.  Sometimes the unexpected comes as a beginning and sometimes unexpected moments come as the end of a season.  Right now, I haven't a clue where we are in this, beginning or end or even middle, but I do know it is important to know that transitions have many stages and it's important to stay present in whatever the stage.  Too often in beginnings we are already thinking about the conclusion, rightly or wrongly, and miss the middle of the transition.  We can jump to conclusions and imagine all sorts of situations and really 95% of what we worry over or get anxious about never happen.  It's like wasting time practicing conversations that aren't going to happen but we think we have to be ready in case.  So while I wait I do what I normally do when unexpected shows up, I rearrange furniture.  Just the act of new arrangement supports my heart and spirit as I pray for wisdom.  It also helps with nervous energy.  And I laugh when I move furniture.  I know, weird.  I blame it on helping my crazy friend Debbie and her mother years ago when I helped them move a huge, heavy and cumbersome chair up a flight of stairs.  The sounds her mother made as she pulled the chair up one step at a time made Debbie and I go weak with laughter.  In turn we were no more helping her lift that chair, which made her mother grunt even more which made us laugh even more.  I am rearranging the living room by trading my sorrow, I mean my couches with the wing back chairs.  It opens more light into the room and with spring here and with a bit of cleanup of the back patio this weekend, I decided to bust a move.  I am ever so grateful that I am feeling good enough to bust a move and totally date myself in the vernacular.  There a few logistical issues with one table but I think the solution I came up with will work.  This arrangement of furniture is not a good as the original but it is different, light, bright and it was useful in prayer focus.  And score unexpected find of an extension cord. 

In the midst of unexpected also came an unexpected request.  I love how God uses these tough places to maneuver His spotlight just right onto our hearts and intentions.  I don't know if this is like a Abraham experience or not.  So fresh on my mind since we just completed a huge study of Hebrews.  We did learn last week that our Teaching Director is stepping down after sixteen years of sacrificial and dedicated service and ministry to the Katy and Rancho De Five community.   Since meeting her at the hospital last month when she came to wait with Roy, without even ever meeting him, and greet me as I came out of the recovery room, Roy has had such high esteem for her.  Her familiar voice is what I heard as they began to take me from recovery to my room.  She stayed and visited, most of which I can't even remember, but I do remember she prayed with us before she left.  The one year I didn't enjoy Bible study and would find any excuse not to come, it was Jennifer and Peggy that got me there more times than not.  Jennifer's fresh insights in teaching and Peggy's friendship.  Now I can also call Jennifer a friend.  I am excited about the new Teaching Director that will lead our group this coming fall.  Just getting to know her in leadership has been incredibly fun, she's got a great sense of humor and deep insight into the Word. 

The sunrise service that Roy planned on attending unexpectedly was cancelled because the church hadn't asked for permission to use the facilities they were planning on using.  Roy looked for another sunrise service in the area but he couldn't find one.  So instead of being like the women who went to the tomb early to prepare Jesus' body and found He was risen, we were more like the disciples in John 20:10 staying home waiting to be told.  I did watch part of the church web cast though.  On FB I noticed my friend Bev had gone to a sunrise service in San Felipe and it was the 73rd annual sunrise service.  So we are feeling confident that there will be a 74th and will make plans accordingly.  We thought about going to a service close to us but the thought of trying to find something Easterish in my closet overwhelmed me.  I really haven't made the seasonal transition to spring due to the coolish temps the last of March.  I don't know where I read the following this Easter season but it has certainly given me something to ponder and meditate upon.  John 20, the Resurrection and Mary Magdalene has gone to the tomb, the angels ask her why she is weeping and she tells them, they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him.  Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing.  Only she didn't know that it was Jesus until he spoke to her.  Maybe this was Liz Curtis Higgs that wrote about this but she emphasized that MM looked into the tomb, already feeling sadness and feelings of lost hope, but when she turned....she saw Jesus...then He spoke.  Talk about an unexpected moment for MM!  How many of us are looking into our own supposed lost causes and hopes.  I can stand there looking into the places where my dreams and hopes go to die or I can turn away from looking into the past or dreams destroyed or questions concerning the future or next season of life and see the Lord.  Looking to Him the author, finisher and perfecter of my faith and wait for His Word to comfort, renew and direct me to do the next thing.  

This weekend I was unexpectedly contacted by my very first tennis partner from way back in the day when we were members at The Met.  Cris and I are about the same height and we both had a lot of power but little control.  We scared a lot of opponents and they ducked when either of us had a forehand volley, they would ask us, was the ball in or out.  We would say, we saw it in.  Cris and Beth C from tennis and the niece of Mrs. Baker are two of my favorites.  I did Mrs. Baker's correspondence and wrote her checks out for her.  Anyway, long story short we are going to get together for lunch this month and I am totally excited about that! 

When Roy gets home it will totally be unexpected that I've rearranged furniture and hopefully get all the Easter decorations put away.  Of course he will expect that I haven't emptied the dish washer because that is one of my least favorite things to do.  We can do that together tonight and have quality time.