Thursday, February 28, 2013

My Day at St Luke's

Well, pre-op day went rather well even though the day held a semi crisis before we even left the house.  We woke up in time and ready to hit the Westpark Tollway early when we discovered we could not find my keys, anywhere.  Because they are prone to wander, Lord I feel it, I have made the habit of keys are in place on the entry way table, island in kitchen or in the laundry room.  Not in any of those places and instead of getting frantic, we began to rethink the day before.  I deduced that Roy had probably used my keys to move Sequisha into the garage but he insisted he handed the keys back to me.  No, I had never given them to him in the first place.  I checked the pockets of the pants I had on yesterday while he checked the pockets of his coat.  Eureka!  He found them.  As we pulled out of the driveway Roy said, let's go back I want to check the front door.  So we took another lap around the cul de sac and when Roy was satisfied we were locked up tight, we hit the road. 

Pre-op admission was relatively easy and it is where I finally turned in my directive where it was noted it was the thickest directive she had ever seen.  We headed over for lab work and then went to Radiology.  I have always had good veins and most nurses comment they are grateful for easy sticks and draws.  Today, my veins were not present or accounted for.  Four attempts on my left and right arms...during the second attempt that wave of heat and light headiness was overtaking me.  Roy was using the official papers to fan me.  Benito decided that maybe I needed a break since I was close to passing out.  Roy had prepared himself for the day with snacks and iced drinks in his computer backpack.  He handed me a frozen ice bag and a cold can of iced tea.  Ice bag on the back of my neck and tea held onto my wrist.  It didn't help that the room we were in was blazing hot.  So they brought in reinforcements and Thelma came to do the job but this time she tried my left arm and success on first strike or so we thought...So I'm in the CT thing and on the first injection of whatever they are injecting into you, the port started to leak.  My vein had delayed collapse and so right there in the CT machine she did another stick on the side of my wrist.  It held and the scan was able to be completed.  By this time I looked like Matthew Crawly returning home from battle.  I am wrapped up in more adhesive bandages.  The majority of them were red but I did spot a lovely lime green bandage on my left arm.  I had about 45 minutes before the TEE so I told her I was going to stand outside their door and say, don't let this happen to you.  Nah, got dressed and headed up to the third floor for the TEE. In the journey to the third floor I looked through the paperwork I carried with me from place to place.  The doctor's notes from my last visit were included.  Kind of interesting only they had I was 68 not 58 but the most surprising thing he had written, always such a pleasant patient. Made the 68 mistake easier to overlook and so we continued on for the last procedure of the day.  I have had two of these before and most of the staff assigned to my TEE were rather surprised that this was my third TEE.  One of the nurses says to me, let's hope this is the last one.  I asked her to rephrase that statement so it didn't sound like a finality of life.  See, they get the directive...and they....  The nice thing, the good looking tech from Milan Italy was with me again.  While we waited for the cardiologist I visited with him because I loved hearing his voice and the boy is such good looking eye candy.  Meanwhile Roy is sitting over in a chair working from his iPhone.  One of the last things I remember hearing as I drifted off to sleep was, Nancy, I am going to have to go into the office after I take you home. 

I never remember much after this procedure.  I can never remember getting myself dressed and ask Roy every time, did you help me?  He told me you can get dressed in your sleep, which I guess I did.  I woke up in a room with other dazed and confused patients.  There was Roy sitting right beside me with the warm and friendly glow of his iPhone as he answered emails.  No really, he is the best.  He made a lot of sacrifices and schedule changes to be with me today.  We had not anticipated the TEE and sedation.  This is when Peggy would have been my side kick and partner in crime. 

Even with going into the office new on Roy's schedule, he took the time to stop at Le Peep so I could eat cinnamon pecan pancakes and have some coffee.  Tony, the waiter we liked so much at the Le Peep on Woodway when it first opened has now returned back to Westheimer.  So glad he was our waiter, he is such a kind man. 

I came home and napped and now I am up and about because Tori will be here soon to give me my shot.  After all the sticks and blood draws today, I think an injection by my belly button should be a piece of cake.  I hope she can find enough belly fat.  Ha, of course I joke, there is a plethora at her disposal.  I am having her sign a release form that she cannot reveal any belly or jiggle information about me. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Oh What a Beautiful Morning....

Easing into the morning type day will be scarce in the upcoming days.  Next few  mornings will be dark thirty type of mornings and without any coffee or Diet Coke.  Oh, those will taste sweeter to me when I can return to those morning elixirs.  I am not complaining I am savoring because days I have longed to see are finally upon me.  Ooh, that sounded so biblical.  The early morning sky out here on the prairie has simply been beautiful. 

Yesterday hospital world and doctor world finally came together and agreed on scheduling.  It has been a frustrating two weeks and yesterday I came to my senses because being anxious wasn't going to do any good.  I waited for a bit of time yesterday before going to leadership meeting for Bible study for a confirmation call from the doctor, hospital or the College of Cardinals.  As I prayed on my way to the church I simply surrendered it all and knew within my heart of hearts if I wasn't scheduled it was not in God's timing.  No frantic calling the doctor office, I was just going to wait.  A friend sent me a verse yesterday morning Psalm 34:18, "The LORD is close to the broken hearted" and then this additional note or those with broken hearts or a heart that is broken.  Loved it!  I came in quietly in the leadership meeting during the devotion time and the words I heard as I entered the room; God is in control.  Donna had prepared her devo on the computer which had decided not to work but the daily reading from Jesus Calling had spoken volumes to her and as she read it, the same words spoke volumes to me.  As we do, we had prayer time after the devo.  I gave an update of nothing new to report but I asked for prayer that Roy's schedule could be worked out so he can be with me if the thing gets scheduled.  The next event that happened totally overwhelmed me, that group of 30 ladies immediately responded, what can we do to help?  Followed by, the affirmation of, we can help you!  We can come be with you if Roy can't.  The overwhelming presence of love filled my heart, I was blown away and I teared up.  I was speechless and you know that doesn't happen very often.  Afterwards two of my friends told me they were clearing their calendars if we needed them to be there at the hospital.  One volunteered for the day shift and the other staying overnight.  This display of kindness will forever change me, what an impact.  I have heard so many times the term 'servant girls' used in reference to the leadership team and that is an absolutely true statement. 

Peggy helped me with making some phone calls to find a nurse out here that can give me the Lovenex shot Thursday night.  Still waiting but I have lined up Marty Harper to help in case our Katy options don't work out.  When I found out yesterday that I am having a TEE done tomorrow, my plans of taking care of myself for pre-op flew out the window.  They sedate you for that procedure.    Since Peggy is recovering from knee replacement, we laughed at the prospect of her driving me home Thursday using her left foot and me full of happy, happy, joy, joy juice and we would probably plummet aka Thelma and Louise style off the 99 connector.  Roy is working on arranging his Thursday schedule to help me out.  Of course his being in the midst of a big project and roll out going live is happening in the same time frame for him but God is in control!

This beautiful morning is calling out to me to come go trekking and I believe I will respond, why yes, I would love to.  I can always to all the pre-dustination before Chris comes this afternoon at breakneck speed.  Then we won't be able to find anything for days. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Which Way the Wind Blows

The day began with a heavy fog and then the sun came out.  I dressed to ride the Trek since it was a beautiful day but the only thing is, the wind picked up a little.  Not a problem because being so low to the ground riding in the wind isn't as problematic as riding in the wind on a bike.  But due to circumstances beyond my control I wasn't able to get outdoors before the gale force winds whipped up and blew everything to smithereens out here on the prairie.  I halfway thought the grill might blow over but it stood strong.  I have never heard the sound of whistling wind out here before.  You know the sound of wind in scary movies?  Only it was the middle of the day, so it was more annoying than scary.  Although last night right after we had gone to bed, in a dark room, with Roy already asleep, the wind made than mournful, scary sound and I jumped.  Yes, wind, mission accomplished.  You finally got to me and you knew to time it well.  Well played, wind, well played. 

The old, I mean vintage, Second Chapter of Acts song is playing in my mind this morning.  You don't know which way the wind will blow, so how can you plan tomorrow?  Obviously the wind from yesterday has a part in having this ear worm of song  rolling around in my brain.  I keep trying to get past this line but can't.  There is a high probability I will not have surgery this how can I plan tomorrow?  Long story short, scheduling is messed up.  Apparently the open spot on the heart docket in the operating room that the nurse felt sure the hospital had held for him, might not be there at all.  By late yesterday afternoon my frustration levels had risen.  I was close to tears.  It is frustrating because getting this done, hinges on everything else I need to have repaired.  The scheduling is going to run into a wall with Roy's schedule.  He has a big project that is going live in the next few weeks.  It looked like that was even a possibility for this week.  I began to think and pray through this.  Maybe this is from the Lord?  I do know I am to give thanks in all things, so that's what I'm doing.  I'm also going to leadership meeting because there is a good chance I will be able to lead my core group on Thursday.  One of the questions from the homework asked us to name a saint in Hebrews 11 whose faith and life had spoken to us specifically.  I am feeling a link with good ol' Noah.  No I haven't built an ark or anything like that, but I am identifying with him in de-arking, knowing when to de-ark when the ark comes to a full and complete stop.  Contents in the overhead bins may have shifted during our flight...I mean float.  Anyway, even when it looked like they could leave their abode complete with the animals, Noah waited till he heard from God when they could exit the ark.  I always forget that this was way longer than the 40 days and 40 nights of rain, they were on the boat for over a year.  After being on this heart journey for over 4 years and when it looks like I can finally feel better and get back to a normal life, I can't deheart, I mean depart just yet.  Believe me I am sending out ravens and doves looking for a sign.  Which brings to mind these poor little doves who sit on the fence looking into the empty bird feeders.  When it truly stays warm then I can bring out the birdseed once again and instead of drawing in the mouse type vermin, it can attract snakes or something. 

Since I am to stay out of large groups where the potential for lots of germy people congregate, we did not go to church on Sunday.  It was the big Mission 1:8 commitment day.  Instead, we decided to take a field trip to see how many people are not in church on Sunday mornings.  Quite a few and frankly there isn't a shortage of churches out here in the greater Rancho de Five area.  Churches can be included in the plethora of things that are here in abundance, dentists, nail salons, Mexican food, Chinese food, cleaners, storage, and the newest entrant in the plethora, frozen yogurt shops.  We ate breakfast at Otto's and then made a stop at Home Depot.  Home Depot's parking lot needed to institute off site parking or something.  Wow!  All those people who were in the garden center might be a little concerned this weekend because of the forecast of a light freeze.  Most of the people there on Sunday were more my age not younger.  That was a shock!  I've even read articles and a book recently addressing the issue of people in their 50's and women specifically in their 40's leaving church, not God.  Home Depot could have been a litmus test on Sunday. 

Roy switched out the tables from the patio and courtyard by himself Sunday.  I think he'd rather do that than have to deal with uncontrollable laughter from me.  We were knee deep in projects until I went to help a friend with some choices and errands.  Sunday was an exhausting day but a fun and promising day too. 

I don't know which way the wind will blow today...from observing the trees I would say from the north.  It doesn't matter because any amount of wind messes up my hair...and we have the whole low humidity thing going right now. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Procrastinate to Decorate...Getting Things Off My Plate

Deadlines are wonderful motivators to a procrastinator like me.  The preceding sentence does not include things that I love to do and don't put off.  Say I want to go to the Biltmore, I start making reservations and plans in advance, months in advance.  We are thinking through schedules in the fall/winter for a return trip this year and I am itching to get it reserved and on the books.  Now that we have decided to have hardwoods put in our closet and bedroom, you better believe that I have been spending time in the closet, rearranging, giving away and throwing away stuff.  The transformation of the closet floor has been nothing but miraculous.  Probably the huge nesting thing I have going on doesn't hurt either.  Pictures are being hung, magazines sorted to keep and to recycle, clothes that have been on the dryer forever (because I know once I put some of those clothes up I am going to need an item and will be unable to locate its new storage place, thus it stays on the dryer) are being put up and rearranging the things that I have put off because I had more fun choices to chose from like lunch or dinner with friends. 

I just got back from my ride on the Trek cycle.  That thing is so much fun.  I did four laps around the water feature and ventured out of the neighborhood and rode down to Tom Wilson Elementary and back.  Just riding to and from the elementary school is about a mile and a half.  Came close to having the first mishap on the trek because I took a tight turn and got the wheel of the bike in the edge groove between the grass and the sidewalk.  The thought that came to mind on my morning ride was, what if I am experiencing daisy days.  That is the term Hospice used for the alert and animated days my mom had right before she began the journey of transferring from this world to the next.  No, I don't think I am dying but I think I am so excited about having a normal heart beat again, I am positively giddy. I have felt so good but I think it is more due to hope, proceeding from heart issues to life.  I'm thinking there might be another one of these treks in our future.  Roy saw one a couple of weeks ago that folds up for travel.  He kind of got me interested by saying, we could take it to the Biltmore.  Interesting but the Inn is on a hill.  I favor level ground.  He already had an answer prepared, we can put the trek in the back of Sequisha, drive down to Antler Hill Village and there I could start my ride and when I got back, I could put it right back in the car and drive up to the Inn and valet park.  You know my idea of roughing it is a slow bell boy.   

Roy and I went back to Tony's for lunch today.  So glad that there is one close to us now.  Makes living in East San Antonio worth it.  Then Roy wanted to do a drive by at Fusion which is celebrating their grand opening only thing, they have been open for a while now.  Roy is hoping they changed up their menu but it was too crowded to go in and get a take out menu.  We got ice cream from Mickey D and then drove over to look at the lot a friend bought.  Roy has gone on a ride on his trek and I have been watching the I Love Lucy marathon on the Hallmark Channel.  We have a couple of other projects to tackle this afternoon.  We also stopped by KCM to drop off some bags of clothes and shoes.  I told you I am totally into this nesting thing. 

I am so fortunate to have such great friends in my life.  They are truly gifts from God.  The kindness extended to us this week has been overwhelming and overwhelming in a good way.  Cards, emails and phone calls...I am blessed.  Most importantly, I am grateful for all the prayer being lifted to the Father for me.  Anxiety about giving myself a shot, three people have offered their help or help from someone they know who knows how to give shots.  I have felt anxiety creep in a bit wondering if this week will turn out to be a reschedule and instead of panic, I know peace. 

Well, that table isn't going to move itself and unfortunately it takes two people to move it. Uh, bet you didn't know I was thinking about a table and after re-reading this I would like to clear up the abrupt table change.  I can see the table outside from the study window.  I have a tendency to laugh when moving or rearranging furniture.  Roy cannot wait to move a table from the courtyard to the patio in the backyard with me laughing and going weak walking on uneven grass.  Bet he is hoping I will procrastinate on this one too...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Hunk a Hunk a Burning Nair Lip

I am awake and up because my lips are burning.  No, not from too many jalapenos at dinner but from facial hair remover Nair.  I tried to be so careful and only apply to my philtrum but somehow in the attempt of following the instructions I was a little too generous in application and thus the overage.  Philtrum is the area between your nose and lips.  In my non professional guesstamation I don't think any hair will darken the doors of my lips from now on.  OK, to be perfectly honest I never had hair on my lips just my philtrum.  I have never ever used anything like this instead I rely on outsourcing at the Nord or at Emmanuel.  As much as waxing hurts, this hurts worse.  With wax the pain is just for the moment, it does not linger.  Like how I feel now, like being wide awake at 2:30 am with a hunk a hunk burning lip. 

Lord almighty,
I feel my temperature rising
Higher higher
Its burning through to my soul

Nair, Nair, Nair
You gonna set me on fire
My lip is flaming
I don't know which way to go

When did I become my grandmother?  I walk like her, when my knees hurt, stiff little staccato steps with too much lean to going forward.  Good grief, using facial Nair and being all that about comfortable shoes.  And now instead of riding a bike, I am using Roy's trek, which is really a tricycle.  As nerdy and old as I look riding around our water feature, I have to tell you, that thing is downright fast and fun.  My goal today was two laps and then some neighborhood riding.  Met the goal with some energy to spare. 

And now it is a decent time of the morning.  Roy never knew I was gone for about 2 hours.  Too bad I am not a teenager because sneaking out would be a piece of cake.  When it finally dawned on me that no one was up to add things on FB or Twitter I decided to read an old standby, Stand Against the Wind.  It is a rather short book but so chocked full of truth you can never read it slow enough.  Each time I pick it up and browse, I see something new.  Because it is a small book and can be read in one sitting that is why it is my" I can't go to sleep" choice of reading.  It almost backfires every time.  I don't read fiction or the like when I am wide awake at night because if I can't put the book down, Nancy no go to sleep.  Each time I start reading Stand, I am so tempted to start writing down thoughts and doing research.  That will keep me up as well, so I read without any pen or paper nearby when I am reading early in the morning in the middle of the night. 

Feeling is returning slowly to my upper lip.  It is true the darkest hour is just before dawn.  Joy does come in the morning and no feeling on the lip just lasts for the night.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Pre-Op, Op, Post Op...Stay Away from Dr Google

Channel 13 says rain is imminent in Rancho De Five.  The sky is overcast.  It has been a mish mash of sky appearance today.  Cloudy, rainy, sunny, overcast and the predicted precipitation.  I am home this morning.  I need to keep free from a cold or flu for next week to go as planned.  I am a walking fragrance zone of hand sanitizer.  So Bible study and church are a no go right now.  Specifically told to stay away from large groups of people, especially churches because people will notoriously go sick.  And of course scads of children whose cute infectious looks can translate into a germy mess if one is not careful.  Also mentioned movie theatres and concerts.  Neither one of those made the top five of large group situations on my list. 

So last night after talking to Nurse Ernest I Googled pre-op, op and post op procedures for heart ablations.  Uh, I should have not done that.  Dr Google scares me.  I know better than to do that.  Two things that I am telling Roy daily...make sure they do something to support my knees while I have to lie still for 6-8 hours or I will never walk again and PRIVATE ROOM! 

The other thing I find funny is how we all have a tendency to rename things to create buzz or newness for an otherwise awkward word or for an over used word.  I read on the website what I am to bring for pre op appointments, a form of payment, check or credit card, insurance card and a copy of my directive.  Directive is just another word for living will and medical power of attorney.  Last Thursday I forgot to get my Directive witnessed by Peggy and Kathleen.  Good thing it was forgotten, I would have had them sign the wrong page.  On Friday, Roy encouraged me to put the document formally known as living will and medical power of attorney in Sequisha so I'd have it to get the signatures.  No, I assured him, said document is underneath my keys and I would never forget to pick it up.  Ha, I live to laugh.  So, when Dena and I get ready to leave the house, I pick up my keys and start out the door.  She asks, uh, are you forgetting something?  Dang, the Directive was staying in one direction, home.  I asked her not to mention anything to Roy, but I ratted myself out at dinner later that evening.  Peggy and Dena witnessed my signature.  So we are all good to go, I mean I am all good to go in every respect, paperwork, eternal life but not that I want to go in "The End" of things.  Note to self, don't make Roy mad in the next week so that if I faint or cough or sneeze while in the hospital, he doesn't authorize the plug to be pulled. 

I just returned from the grocery store and have sprayed myself down with a lovely sanitizer in spray form.  I believe I am the very essence of lavender.  Lavender has a calming effect so I probably see a nap in my future.  It is for the good of keeping myself well.  That's what I'm telling myself.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Roy is on his way home with a lovely dinner from T Jin's.  There is a mist in the air and a fire in the fireplace.  I can't seem to get warm today.  I had planned to spend most of the day here but had a few errands to run this morning.  One of them, Hobby Lobby.  The sky did seem a little more foreboding when I left and I felt like it was my fault because I throw the earth off balance every time I enter a fabric or craft type store. 

It has been a bear trying to find out my surgery/procedure schedule.  I think that receptionist at the Doctor office has it out for me.  She and I have been on shaky ground since she cancelled one of my appointments and then I had to sit there for 3 hours to finally be seen by the Doctor.  I have more luck when the other woman answers the phone.  So after 3 days of trying to get some kind of schedule, I finally got a hold of the nurse late this afternoon and I might add the receptionist did not answer the phone.  Looks like everything is on.  They are waiting for confirmation for pre-op work the day before.  I have to give myself a shot the night before surgery.  That right there could stop this whole process....  Need to find someone who can help me with this.  The reschedule isn't really the best time for Roy, so I might need to find someone who can wait and as soon as Roy takes care of business, he'll come straight to the hospital.  I keep reminding myself and encouraging myself with Psalm 31:15, my times are in God's hands. 

It was a miracle that today both in Hobby Lobby and Michael's that the line for check out was nil, none and several lines were open!  I think HL has also finally computerized their registers.  That is a major miracle! 

It's been nice sitting in front of the fireplace and reading.  I should have chose something lite or fiction or anything else other than what I am reading.  It is stirring up my spirit and not in a good way.  But the book has held my attention. 

Looks like we are getting hardwoods in our bedroom and closet.  Yahoo!  Oh and plantation shutters but I am more excited about getting carpet out of our bedroom. 

When one is almost quarantined or sequestered, there is not a whole lot to write about.  I read about a man who wrote a book called Travels Around my Bedroom.  He was going to take in and observe all the small details that made up that room.  He started out intentionally but soon found his subject matter wandering away from his original idea and he took his readers on many bunny trails, none of which that had to do anything with his bedroom.  If I get bored, I may have to find some kind of subject matter like that to write about.  Wait a minute, I can amuse myself with just about anything.  I won't be bored.  Maybe I should use my time to watch You Tube videos on how to give yourself a shot. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Sunsets in Rancho de Five-This Has Nothing to Do With This Post

It was rather mundane and uneventful at The Galleria today.  Guess all the stars have gone back to wherever stars live and The Galleria has gone back to its tranquil weekday shopping experience, unless it is at Christmas time.  As I headed to Macy's I noticed dents in and chunks out of the floor.  Has it always been that way or did the weight of all the people over the weekend cause the fissures?  Who knows?  I was happy to make it from The Nord to Macy's without one cart vendor chasing me down saying, "Can I ask you a question?"  Then I respond, you just did.  Yea, that's how I roll but I strolled the mall in relative peace and quiet making a note to myself to change out purses.  I love this purse but I have to tell you it is too heavy.  I don't carry a whole lot in my purse. 

Having lunch with a friend today made my early morning Dr appointment doable.  For the joy set before me I endured the drive and early hour. With the early hour and lack of planning on my part I almost had to wear the uniform but at the last minute I saw a combo of clothes that worked out rather nicely.  We met at The Nord and the crab stack is still the best.  It was a loud happening place, but Erin and I had a wonderful time catching up with life, church life and lunch life.  Before leaving for life flight, I mean home I did a quick walk through the Home section of Nord.  They have some of the neatest stuff right now.  I showed great restraint by not purchasing another journal but I did buy some note paper that has tiny lines.  Love me some tiny lines, I've never been much of a wide rule kind of girl. 

On the way home I stopped at the new Whole Food's Market and World Market.  I don't get over to the other side of Fry very often.  Very fun and I found some Easter eggs at World Market that are cute and cheep, cheep, cheep.  The traffic on Fry didn't even get to me this afternoon.  The end result of a good day but there must be 80 school zones on Fry. 

Just a random observation, but I think points in sermons must be 140 characters or less because almost every church puts the sermon's main points on Twitter during the week. 

Yesterday, Dave Patterson and his associate Brian came over to give us an estimate on Plantation Shutters and having our bedroom and closet floors in hardwoods instead of carpet.  We are really pleased with the prices and the detailed attention Dave gives his clients and friends.  I know he would be this kind and helpful even if he had just met us.  I should have gone with my gut feeling, isn't that just so ladylike to say gut, anyway I originally wanted to do the bedroom in hardwood but got talked out of it.  Even with upgraded carpet and pad, you still create a little path that even constant vacuuming can't defeat.  Once the flooring is done then we can call Roy's friend who does all kind of woodworking and the like to come and put the finishing touches in the kitchen, our bedroom and garage.  He is also going to hang a beautiful antique red gate over the fireplace.  We will also finally get the arty metal piece we bought in Franklin, TN on the wall.  Looks like we might be moving out to the casita bedroom for a bit. 

In the old school of alliteration I should name this post Propane following Proceed and Pro-pause.  Propane would mean Roy will be firing up the grill but it will be more like eating leftover celebratory pizza.  There's joy in each and every bite. 


This was a monumental President's Day.  Some of the wonders of the day are not mine to share. but others are.  Roy probably did his last tax return for the last of his clients from his private practice days yesterday.  My monumental President's Day was the rescheduling of my surgery.  I was going to check in with the Doctor office yesterday afternoon but they beat me to the call.  So my proceed has turned into pro-pause.  Truthfully, I was disappointed at hearing this.  I had mentally and emotionally prepared for Thursday.  But as the day progressed I saw some good in the rescheduling but it has presented some challenges that we are currently working through. 

Rancho de Five got some much needed rain yesterday.  It had rained off and on all morning but while we were eating lunch at Victor's in Fulshear the heavens opened.  We caught a little break in the rain when we left.  With the rain coming down in sheets I didn't think that Roy would want to accompany me to Hobby Lobby, so I didn't even broach the subject.  To be honest I didn't really want to go to Hobby Lobby, but I need some decorative Easter eggs to fill a basket.  I bet many of you did not see that sentence coming. 

Preparing for proceed and now pro-pause seems to involve 'nesting.'  I cannot tell you how many projects Roy and I accomplished over the weekend.  I think Roy might be a tad concerned that I have more projects in mind for this weekend.  Give me time....

While doing some research for a friend I ran across a newsletter for Rancho de Five that I have never seen before, much less received before.  Lots of interesting facts and meeting times for HOA and for the Board.  Also a lot of rules and regulations I had never known.  Ignorance of HOA rules is no excuse!  There is a big concern for the increasing duck population and the stern warning of don't feed the ducks emphasized.  Funny, they really don't like kayaks in the water features and lakes around here because of alligators.  Wouldn't it make sense that the duck population would somewhat be regulated by alligators searching for dinner and a snack?  Me thinks the alligator is kind of like crocodile tears or crying wolf.  Oh I'm not saying there aren't alligators but they make you think there is a whole pack, tribe, pride, pod or whatever grouping alligators would be called by, out there.  I am not going to test the waters though.  See what happens when there is Pro-pause?  My ADD kicks in big time because there is a lack of focus. 

See ya later, alligator!

Sunday, February 17, 2013


So this is it, my first official post from the casita bedroom, with Internet.  Yahoo!  Dan the Man came on Friday afternoon and got us squared away.  It is good on so many levels.  Roy gets the desk top back and I don't have to have the TV blaring in the background.  Only the melodious sound of wind chimes and sometimes I can hear a huge gust of wind, but it is the sound of silence.

Last night I had a really bad panic attack.  Probably the worst one I have had since 2010.  For some reason, while I was watching MSNBC Lockup, I started thinking about the timing of my surgery or maybe it was the lack of timing.  Let me preface my next remark and insure that you know what I am about to say isn't based on anything political.  I wouldn't care if this medical care act was enacted under Bush or Reagan. I would still hate it.  With that being said, I am really not liking Obama Care.  No one right now knows the guidelines in what should or shouldn't be done.  It is all rather confusing I think not only to patients but to the medical providers.  All new forms have been printed up and a whole new range of questions to occupy yourself with while sitting in the waiting room.  So right before bed last night I kind of start getting anxious about the whole thing and the lack of any knowledge of what is going on and I will be honest, it is the stuff I want to control which is really laughable, we control nothing.  In the middle of the night my heart was racing and sloshing and out of control.  I couldn't get warm and I could feel fear all over me.  I have Xanax for moments like these, but I didn't even want to get out of bed.  I was frantic trying to figure out if it was a panic attack or if I needed to call 911 and hope Roy would be awake enough when help arrived.  Middle of the night emergencies are not Roy's forte.   It took about five minutes for me to know, panic not heart attack, but it took forever for everything to calm down and go back to normal.

This morning as I was telling Roy about the wild night he slept through I realized the fear of missing and having to reschedule the heart thing seemed a little more than I could take.  It probably has to do with the one word I have chosen for the year.  My one word is proceed.  This heart journey has taken so many dips and curves and turns.  I probably should have gone ahead and opted to do the ablation last fall but I got scared.  You see before they would do this ablation they had to know for sure my heart would stay in beat on its own.  So at the end of 2011 I went off the heart rhythm meds but in six months I was out of whack again.  Cardioversion in July.  Now to the next step.

Finally in my mind and heart I am ready for this next step and it seems like there is a chance that somebody messed up with scheduling.  Because once I get my heart fixed, my knee is next.  With the prospects of feeling better and not dealing with such intense pain on a daily basis, I am ready to, Proceed.  I read the book One Word Will Change Your Life and loved it!  Usually, I don't care to fill out papers that make me ask questions and these aren't even hard questions.  But I loved doing the exercises and prep work to find my word.

It took a couple of weeks to find my one word.  I did all the prep work from the book and then prayerfully considered the two words I had narrowed my choices down to, proceed and progress.  Proceed seemed to have more layer and texture to it.  It is more of an action word and less of a state of life report.  Proceed seemed to fit perfectly.  In this year on so many levels I want to proceed.  I feel like the last few years have been maintain years.  No forward progress mixed with a few detours and retreats.

So here I am with my word, an out of rhythm heart, a place to call my own in the casita bedroom and sore legs because I did another lap on Roy's trek this afternoon.  Looks like I am ready to proceed.  

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have a new found respect and admiration for mothers of young children.  I think if we had been able to have kids we would have been the youngest members of the home bound ministry at church.  We would have never gone anywhere  because other than getting myself ready, any added distractions totally overwhelm me.  This morning not only did I have to get ready but I needed to warm up some brisket from Goode Company to take to our brunch day.  Yes, I know brisket and a two year old are totally different and I understand is the added extra stuff to the norm.  Because, I have maybe on my own, just one other time, have used my oven.  I have no clue the whole process to temperature and timing.  Roy did tell me as he left this morning, Happy Valentine's Day and I would get that brisket in the over earlier than later.  Words to live by.  So with the pressure of getting the oven hot enough to warm up brisket long enough...I also had to wash my hair.  First hair washing after the haircut, so you know there is a chance that hair is going to do stuff on it's own because it realizes that a non professional is working with it, from scratch.  Back to the oven, so after trial and error, I finally figured out how this timing and temps worked.  I called Roy, no answer.  Come to find out his iPhone wasn't working, so I could not get any help from the resident chef.  But, I didn't know that at the time.  When Roy got to the office he emailed me to let me know about his cell phone.  I asked if he had pressed both the off button and the home button at the same time.  Nancy, the tech advisor to the rescue.  It is a total fluke that I know to do this when a phone turns itself off.  It is true if you can't stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen.  World without end, amen.  In the rush to warm brisket and my nervous usage of a flat iron  on my hair coincided at the same time.  I would have more luck warming the brisket using the flat iron.  So, I got in the garage and was about ready to leave when I realized I didn't have the brisket with me.  Back in the house to get the brisket.  Had to come home again, home again because I left my Bible study bag by the garage door.  So long story still long, I was late to prayer time this morning but so were a whole lot of people.  We had a nice brunch in core group and good discussion.

After brunch, Kathleen and I went to pick up Peggy and take her to her hair appointment.  It was her first trip out of the big house in quite sometime.  Things have changed since she has been home bound.  A whole new part of a road has opened right by her house. She is moving around rather well with her walker and now she has beautifully trimmed and coiffed hair to hang around the house.  It is Valentine's Day.  She's looking extra nice for Bill.  We got her home and up the stairs.  I left Kathleen and Peggy to head on home and sit a spell.  Only, I am blogging a spell. 

So favorite moment of the day?  I might still be waiting for it. 

Happy Valentine's Day!!!


I love these moments where Buddy sits on my lap and takes her paw and rubs my face.  Please don't spoil it by telling me she is just marking her territory or that it means 'I am planning to rip your face off.'  Most of her stuffed toys have lost their faces over the years.  She doesn't do that to her sheep that she distributes or should that be leads all over the house.  Although one sheep in particular has had its feet chewed off.  I think the old Sunday School story goes that a sheep that wanders sometimes has its leg broken to stay close to the shepherd while healing.  Buddy must really love that wayward sheep. 

On this first day of Lent I caught up with the Tuesday thing and had pancakes at Le Peep.  I had an eye appointment today and got a good report from my doctor.  Going rimless this time and I also picked out a new pair of sunglasses because mine are several prescriptions behind.  A few years ago I gave up the rimless because I thought everyone who wore them was trying to look young.  Today I am thinking and what's wrong with that?  The tech brought over several pairs of glasses with fancy temple and arm decor but I've decided that look isn't really for me, although my sunglasses are Vera Bradley with a little pattern on the arms. Afterwards I ran a few errands, stopped for lunch and then on my way toward I 10, I stopped at Goode Company and got some barbecue for lunch tomorrow with my core group at CBS.  We have finally made it to the chapter 11, the hall of faith.  It's kind of like when you study Romans and you finally hit Romans 12. 

While eating my cinnamon pecan pancakes and soft scrambled eggs, I read a new book I downloaded last week.  The book's name is Writing Away.  The book is intended to help you keep a travel journal and the whole first chapter is devoted to finding the right journal and pen.  She also helps you prepare for the journey with hints on how to set up and start the journal even before you depart.  If I never was able to read another chapter in the book I would feel like I got my money's worth.  To a person who has journal acquiring disease, these were some blessed instructions.  She also helps you get over finally writing something in your journal without thinking you have ruined the whole thing and you must begin again...with another journal...which I have a sizable sum to chose from.  I am going to use her system of detailed writing on your favorite moment of the day.  In the front of your journal you set up a three column type thing to help you keep track of the one moment.  This will dovetail nicely with my one word will change your life exercise.  To be honest one word, one moment, one Lord, one faith, one baptism...oops, has fit in nicely with #livewonderstruck.  The only thing keeping n from the e in the wonderstruck is a d.  So one is found in the word wonderstruck.  That quiet moment reading and savoring much missed Le Peep pancakes was a good moment of the day.  It just might make it into the moment of the day. 

 Sometimes this is so much curiosity about Jesus between the age of 12 in the Temple and the beginning of His ministry.  In Late Night Cathecism there is a line in the play that goes something like Joseph and Mary finally found Jesus back at the Temple and she said, "you are so grounded!"  Thus that's why we don't hear anything about Him until the age of 30.  While that is funny I read the other day a different look at that time and passage.  We last read of Jesus in the Temple reading the Torah as a child and upon the first glimpse of Him in the Gospels, after forty days in the wilderness, and Satan comes to tempt, Jesus responds with; "It is written."  That is what he was doing all those years.  Absorbing and studying His Father's Word.  I believe I read this in Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus by Wayne Stiles.   Good to ponder in this Lenten season. 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lint Lent...Kind of Like Mary Mary

Lent is off to a good start here in our household.  Last night Roy helped with the pancake supper at the Episcopal church he goes to on Saturday morning.  He loves their men's Bible study.  Roy is a great pancake maker but he is also a good cleaner upper.  He got there a little too late to help cook.  So he stayed around and helped mop up syrup and butter from the tables.

I know that Lent is spelled with an e when it has to do with the season before Easter but keeping the lint screen in the dryer from building up with lint is almost a daily thing. So clearly I practice lint all year long.  This morning as I sit here looking at the cloud filled sky with patches of light I am thinking of Lent.  It is Ash Wednesday, a day not really observed by Baptists as a whole, but this Baptist is going into Easter with the forty days of Lent.  Margaret Feinberg challenged her readers to see what they could 'lay a hold of in Christ' this season instead of giving something up.  Sometimes Lent seems to be associated by nature with New Year resolutions...start out strong and sometime after the third week you stop observing Lent or totally forget those resolutions.  If I felt led to give something up, of course I would be tempted to give up stuff like going to church, not ordering from get the line of thought here.  This blog post by Wayne Stiles gives me much to think about. 

These verses are my Lent verses to base my experience in laying a hold of Christ.

Hebrews (The Voice translation)
12 So lift up your hands that are dangling and brace your weakened knees. 13 Make straight paths for your feet so that what is lame in you won’t be put out of joint, but will heal.

I know, strange verses.  I usually used this for playing sports.  But these verses have deeper meaning this year.  I am not going to come right out and announce my Lenten choice but I certainly will be writing about it in the coming weeks. 

Looks like the first reading of this season will be the Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney that Roy has so lovingly researched and printed. (Maybe I should rename it Lenten Will)  He even went through the documents and put little flags where I need to have witnesses sign the documents.  He is probably biting the bullet in not saying anything to me like he did when I hadn't shown any interest in reading the refinance contract on our house.  This morning before leaving for the office he asked me to at peruse everything and know what I was signing up for.  That might be what I am not signing up for.  I could hear the strain in his voice...Maybe I should have picked up clues from him last night when he kept interrupting the riveting episode of Dance Moms to point out how he was flagging certain pages.

Happy First Day of Lent!  I have already participated in Lint this morning.  Got a load of clothes in the dryer. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Give Me a Beat

It was a dark and stormy night.  Actually, it is a dark and rainy morning but the weather reports all conclude that this rain and fog will clear by afternoon.  Yesterday would have been the perfect kind of day to stay home and read but that perfect day became the perfect couple of hours because I found myself out and about for a majority of the day.  It was quite a fun day.  The morning was spent in conversations and gathering facts for my upcoming procedure.  It's a tad bit frustrating all the hoops the hospitals have to do through now.  I decided to see if I could reschedule my hair appointment because of the timing of it with my almost scheduled and 95% certain procedure time.  Stevie could see me at 2:15 so I jumped at the chance to get a trim and shape up.  As the days grow closer to Emmanuel opening a location in Katy, I am that more thankful.  Road construction on the Grand Parkway will be a booger bear to get through once they get into the heart of construction. 

I called Peggy to see if anyone was making or bringing lunch to her.  Nope.  So I had the good fortune to bring over some Chicky after I ran into Target for a few thing and for a few things I didn't even know I needed.  I am so happy that her whole lunch made it up the stairs and into the house because last Friday her Coke met its untimely demise on her driveway.  Now this is kind of eerie, on my Twitter feed there was a Tweet from McDonald's yesterday saying, need to reconcile with someone, bring them an item off our dollar menu.  Thankfully a dropped Coke didn't ruin our friendship and believe me a "reconciliation" gift would be something more than an item off the dollar menu.  Peggy's knee is healing up nicely and has had pain but limited amounts of pain.  She's moving well and has such a positive attitude which is HUGE in any kind of healing process. 

As I went about the day I kept a finger on the pulse of my heart rate.  Oh Nancy, you puny, puny person.  Anyway, I had a few little tremors that rated about a 2.1 on the Keep the Beat and Stay in Rhythm scale.  As compared to Sunday, these were just a blip on the screen...  I am so thankful for the prayers by my friends.  It is so encouraging to read on Facebook or in an email the affirming, comforting words of, 'I'm praying.'  After reading the book Wonderstruck  and with the #livewonderstruck challenge so fresh in my spirit, I am so overwhelmed by the goodness and faithfulness of God in the people He puts in and around our lives.  You truly can see His kindness, compassion and love in words and in action. 

Sunday evening we went to Bayou City Fellowship's first evening worship service.  Since we had missed church because of heart blips and since we weren't in the mood to drive all the way in, it was an easy and joyful decision for BCF.  We got to see so many friends there and that was just the bow on the package kind of deal, but we loved the worship and the sermon.  Curtis preached from Matthew, where Jesus and his disciples are at Ceasera Phillipi and Peter declares that Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah.  This is also where on your Holy Land tour is known as the gates of Hell stop.  This is also where we had our drive-by foot washing ceremony.  I took lots and lots of notes from Curtis' talk.  Before the service we ran into Amanda and she told me to go down front and be prayed over by someone on their prayer team for my upcoming procedure/surgery at the end of the service.  Now those of you who know me well, know that I rarely if ever respond to come down front for prayer invitation.  I told her I would but I struggled with really following through.  When that time came I hesitated but I felt the prompting of the spirit to go to one particular couple to be prayed for.  I think Roy was shocked that I was actually walking down the aisle.  They blessed me and prayed such a wonderful, faith-filled prayer.  All throughout the service I could feel that familiar sloshing of my heart beat that usually turns into a racing heart episode.  Love how God uses everything.  As we stood there and as they prayed, the drum and the bass of the band hit a particularly low and hard note.  I felt the music reverberate inside me and just like that, the band had put my heart back into a normal rhythm.

Off to leadership meeting and points beyond....

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday Afternoon Nancy Vespers

The other day someone told me I was looking like I felt good and I did but this person added I bet there are a lot of days you don't feel good.  Bet you are good at putting on a happy face and going through the motions of feeling good.  Yep, she nailed it on the head.  Here of late it is only for a few hours here and there and not like it used to be days upon days of not feeling good.  When my heart races for any extended period of time I find myself weary and exhausted.  It's as if I have been running a marathon and then not cooling down properly because I don't know when the racing is going to stop and when the fast falling heart rate is going to kick in.  I've even tried to map this or look for any kind of consistency that starts this whole thing.  So far, in my non professional opinion, can't find any factors that are conclusive.  Well, except for getting hot.  Not the getting kind of hot that preachers boast about when they refer to their wives...really, can you see the CEO or CFO of a Fortune 500 company giving an investor's report and then refer to their wife as a hot babe?  I know, only in churches.  This morning heat didn't play a factor in my heart episode.  So we stayed home from church and went out to breakfast a little later in the morning.  We came home and I began to do some Bible study and another episode began.  Fast racing heart beat and the oxygenation of my blood dropped significantly.  This last one took several hours to get over.  Although I feel hung over and I cannot confirm nor deny why I would even know about this, I am feeling much better.  I am so ready to get this heart of mine fixed and ready to roll. 

Roy just left me with a legal document that is a million or so pages long while he goes out trekking on his new bike.  It is a living will and medical power of attorney.  I have been putting off having these but the hospital wants me to bring them with me.  Ugh!  At least Roy found some that I can halfway understand and has a little more give and take room.  So if I cough, they won't immediately pull the plug or something.  I have read the first few pages but don't have much of an attention span this afternoon.  Thus, I am blogging.  Doing something that I like to do. 

Yesterday Roy brought home his three wheeler.  I got on it and rode around the cul de sac and it is a lot of fun!  He went around our water feature and can't wait to ride on more trails around the area. 

We went over to some friends last night for dinner.  Delicious!  Homemade gumbo.  Of course that is the way to Roy's heart, good gumbo.  We had a blast laughing and talking and of course eating. 

Years ago our church offered the Boundaries study by Dr's Cloud and Townsend.  Out of all the attendees, I was the only one there because I said no to most things.  Everyone else was there because they said yes to everything, thus they are worn out and with no boundaries.  It was good for me to do that study because I did begin to say yes to some things.  I must have been ahead of my time because so many are preaching and teaching these days about saying no. And I'm not talking about saying no to drugs or premarital sex.   Articles on being more productive comes from more rest, more margin in your lives.   We can live such frantic lives at such a torrid pace that we can't, won't and don't stop.   I have no idea why I just wrote all of the above.  I've certainly slowed down and slowing down was a dictated choice I had to make.  Guess I am thinking about when my energy level returns, will I go right back at being busy, filling time and letting others dictate my schedule.  Probably not, but it is something I have been giving thought to. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Adventures in Babysit... I Mean Life

There is a lingering presence of our adventure in dining last night.  Last night Roy grilled hamburgers.  They were delicious!  This morning as I proceeded to make breakfast the strong, STRONG, odor of onions filled the air but only in a corner of our counter top.  The corner where the coffee maker and toaster reside.  Ugh, gag...I searched and then found some Febreeze and sprayed it all around the counter top...eureka or U reek a is no more.  That is until I opened the trash can and the onion odor greeted me from beyond the trash.  Onions will wake one up in the morning, but not in a good way. 

As the days roll closer to Lent I've been thinking about those forty days.  My denomination hasn't been big into Lent participation although there are some who participate.  I have off and on throughout the years.  Margaret Feinberg's blog got me to thinking:

Beginning on Ash Wednesday (which falls on February 13nd, this year), many people choose to give something up for 40 days in this season of preparation.
But as I suggest in Wonderstruck, maybe the question we need to ask as we enter Lent isn’t, “What are you giving up for Lent?” as much as “What do you want to lay hold of during Lent?”
The wonders of God are waiting for you during Lent. This season is laced with opportunity that will stir your hunger to know God more.
How will you lay hold of the wonders of Lent?

I'm excited about the prospect of finding out what will I lay hold of in the wonders of Lent.  I loved doing the #livewonderstruck challenge and I've been able to see more clearly the wonders of God here in the everyday of life.  On Thursday morning we had much to rejoice over in our core group time.  Had a fabulous lunch with Laurie M.  Got to have a surprise dinner with Dena because she had an appointment near us out here on the prairie.  Friday I got to babysit Peggy and have a fabulous lunch prepared by Kathleen.  Friday afternoon Roy and I took care of some chores around the house and then he fixed hamburgers with all the trimmings, including the stinky onions.  In all these activities and in all these things I perceived and saw the wonder of God in the littlest details and also the fun details of life.  I will also note that meals seem to be a huge emphasis in this paragraph.  That is quite by accident or is it?

Our local McDonald's is an adventure in drive through.  I don't know if ours would ever win any kind of quickness or efficient award.  Peggy wanted a sausage biscuit so instead of going with my first instinct which was going to the McDonald's by her, I stopped at the one closest to me.  Big mistake, sat for ten minutes in line because the line never moved.  I was able to back up and get out of the line that held so many captive and make my way to the other Mickey D.  It took me less time to drive over there, wait in line, put in the gate code at Peg's and pull into the driveway than waiting in the drive through line from heck.  Sadly, I did drop Peggy's Coke and I offered to go get her another one but she graciously or drugily said it was OK.  Whew!  Because Peggy never can sit still unless otherwise grounded, we had a great conversation and were halfway focused because both of us were limited in the amount of movement.  She was a good patient and is doing well.  At least under my watch she did well.   Since Peggy is such a good friend to many, you can only imagine the amount of reciprocity that is being returned and they say that so much of this comes from being in a Sunday School class.  Nope I think it has to do more with kindness, thoughtfulness and living a generous life although being a member of a good class has its perks too. 

Roy has gone to pick up his Trek.  He is so excited!  This will also be an adventure. 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Uniform Day

Even being up early this morning it is looking like a uniform type day.  It has actually been a uniform type week because on Tuesday it was the light denim shirt with dark jeans and today it is going to be a denim shirt, tank top with jeans.  I'm not even wanting to put any thought into this.  If these spring temps keep up I will be wearing the spring uniform sooner than later and this is just replacing jean capris for the jeans. 

Our home is in a mixed metaphor state.  There are Valentine decorations and some Easter stuff is out as well.  Easter is sooner than last year and I think after Christmas I like spring/Easter decor about the best.  Being totally honest, I used to make fun of people who would have said what I have just written. 

Something I rarely do is have the TV on during the day but yesterday afternoon I had the Toddlers & Tiaras marathon on as background noise.  This is nothing to be proud of but I couldn't believe I hadn't seen most of the episodes that were on yesterday.  The shows probably have been rather repetitious, mom want kid in pageants, kid does well in pageants, to go up another level they are going to bring their A game, most of these people don't seem to have enough disposable income to consistently afford pageants and almost all the kids are huge, disrespectful brats.  Really, who can blame the kids?  They are catered to, appeased and rewarded for that sassy behavior that on stage translates into having personality. But in everyday life, plain and simple is disrespectful.  The kids are being conditioned for an out of whack reward system that soon won't be satisfied with candy, Barbies or whatever the latest trend is.  It also seems rather ludicrous and this goes for all beauty pageants that the not real is what puts one over to win.  Fake tan, fake nails, fake teeth, and fake eyelashes.  I guess T&T begat all these other shows like Dance Moms and Cheer Perfection where adults act like children.  I am so over watching Honey Boo Boo but it is ironic that they seem to have the strongest family values of any of these types of shows. 

Yesterday, after reviewing Hebrews homework and commentary, I decided to get ahead of the game and start next week's homework.  No, I haven't become this great student but with the schedule I have for the next few days I knew to get a jump start.  It also didn't hurt that we are FINALLY at Hebrews 11.  It's kind of the same feeling when you are studying Romans and are so happy when you finally arrive at Chapter 12,  I went back to Genesis 6 and re-read it, the story of Noah.  There were several insights and facts that I had never considered before in the story of Noah but one verse that got my attention was Genesis 8:22.  We so live in the biblical words when it comes to seasons here in Texas. 

"As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night."

No mention of having a spring or fall.  And after watching the news last night the extent of human wickedness seems to be in high supply just as in the days of Noah. 

Well, easing into the day has quickly become the start of the day, so I've got to go get my uniform on. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

We Hit the Old Person's Trifectta!

Last night we went to see Peggy at Methodist.  On Monday she had her right knee replaced.  It was a great time to go visit because all the morphine the Dr injected around her knee is still effective.  To tell you the truth for me to go to the Med Center voluntarily is a huge big deal.  I can now add another destination to my limited knowledge of the Medical Center.  I picked up Roy from the office and we headed to the busiest, most frantic, active place in the city of Houston.  There isn't a bar or a club that can compete with the energy on the streets there.  Oh yes, someone once told me about how bars and clubs are just filled with energy...that's how I know that fact.  The best discovery breakthrough in medicine has to be valet parking.  Truly adding valet parking has changed lives everywhere.  Once you leave the streets and come into the lobby of a hospital, there is a welcomed respite.  In hindsight we should have visited the chapel and the gift shop before going up to see Peggy.  Chapel to calm down and shopping to bring joy.  I brought Peggy a quarter but she told me to keep it so we could get out of the parking garage.   If Twinkies were still around I would have brought her one because the foundation of our friendship is partially built on a Twinkie smashed onto my knee.  When we got to her room the door was shut and I was hesitant to knock but we did and were welcomed into her room.  The door was shut because Keely and Jaime were there with Peggy and Bill.  Guess the door was shut more for Keely.  Jaime was her well-behaved self.  Had a great visit and even took some pictures to put up on Facebook.  We stayed about an hour and I fully hoped that life had calmed down a little bit outside.  It had but not by much.  While we waited for our car, I had a lovely conversation with another woman maybe a little older than me, about comfortable shoes.  Oh my...that is what getting older has come to. 

Once Roy and I hit West U I knew exactly what to do but he insisted that we needed to take a left at one street and not a right.  I knew it wasn't the right move, but either I was being submissive or stupid to turn left.  I think I will choose submissive but it was stupid.  So we took a little tour and enjoyed the dark streets of West U and finally found ourselves on 59.  Because of all the hectic movement and maybe because he was feeling a little guilty about the left turn he even agreed to eating at Cracker Barrel on the way home.  The only time Roy will willingly eat at CB is on trips.   Gee, comfortable shoes, Cracker Barrel, I need just one more thing to have an old person's trifectta.  I wanted to eat there more because I wanted pancakes and Roy really has vowed never to eat at a IHOP again.  Turned out to be a great decision because with all those carbs, we were in bed before 10:00.  There we have it ladies and gentlemen the old person's trifectta, comfortable shoes, Cracker Barrel and asleep before 10:00 pm. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

Football, Hurdles and Overwhelming Spaces

This past weekend is the biggest weekend in professional football unless opening day is counted when every team has an equal chance of being in the Super Bowl.  We watched parts of the game and it was kind of comical because I was watching on TV and Roy had the game split screen with some work he was doing on the computer.  Only thing, the game was on a delay so while I was wildly screaming or bemoaning an aspect of the game, Roy would respond with, what?  Don't tell me?  Oh, I'll come in there and watch the replay.  Of course at 8:00 I retreated to the bedroom to watch Downton Abbey.  The game can't be talked about without the blackout of 2013 in the Super Dome.  My Tweet was, "In 9 months there will be a lot of babies named Raven." 

I started out the twenty four hours of intense football complete with a million hours of pre-game hype, by watching Brian's Song, 1971 version on Saturday night.  I think the last time I watched this made for TV movie was in 1971.  Interesting note, the set for Gale Sayer's home in the  movie was the same one used for Bewitched.  It was at this moment I knew I had watched too much TV when I was younger.  To be able to identify the front and inside of the Bewitched house triumphs being able to divide or multiply fractions.  At least when I watched Brian's Song and when I began to cry, Roy wasn't sitting beside me, starring like he did last week during Downton Abbey.  Lots of cheesy acting by today's standards but the theme of the movie remains relevant, friendship and the lasting impact upon our lives made by friends. Many times the influence has come from those who we would least likely be friends with.  Who I am today and turning out pretty good despite a very rough and hard childhood has been at least 90%  determined by  positive impact from friends and mentors throughout my life.

After church yesterday we had lunch with Dena.  The laugh meter is off the charts when we get to have lunch together.  Even  Roy is throwing in some zingers in between his serious comments.  Lunch was a great platform for our next thing on the day's agenda.  For months Roy has been researching bikes, recumbent bikes and three wheel Treks.  Several weeks ago he went to a local bike shop and tried out the different styles available and he has been printing out accessories to compliment his new ride in the evenings at home.  We went yesterday thinking we would place an order but the shop had received a new Trek that was in the middle price wise.  After a quick ride while I remained behind at the shop as collateral, Roy knew he had found his new ride.  He picked out all his biking accessories and will pick his Trek up next week.  He is so excited!  I am happy for him and when he is not riding that bad boy, I will be able to ride and without the worries of my limited balance tossing me over to a side.  I wanted to get him white streamers to put at the end of his handle bar grip but he discouraged that.  I wonder why? 

The results of my blood work came in late Friday afternoon and I was pleasantly surprised.  No, that is a huge understatement, I was SURPRISED!  Incredibly happy and thankful too.  So hurdle number 2 has been accomplished in the continual quest for successful heart surgery.  So what is the first hurdle to jump? My ejection fraction is below normal but is high enough to endure the procedure and thus a normal ejection fraction should happen after surgery.  Thus my debilitating fatigue will dissipate.  Oh Happy Day!  So blood work and ejection fraction are good to go.  With each passing day in the midst of the countdown, my attitude about all this, which has never been bad, is being energized with hope and belief.  I always have a little bit of apprehension about anaesthesia though. 

I'm just about finished reading The Art of Travel.  Very well written and I have learned a lot from the author, who happens to be an atheist.  I have a richer appreciation of God, His creation, and the mind and heart He has given us and the immense creativity that resides within us, waiting to be expanded and explored.  I think he gives one of the finest explanations of Job and suffering.  The author is writing from the midst of the desert, around Mt Sinai and the vastness, the wilderness and the barrenness of the land he asks this question, "What do barren, overwhelming spaces do for us?"

"Asked to explain why Job has been made to suffer even though he has been good, God draws Job's attention to the mighty phenomena of nature
  • Don't be surprised that things have not gone your way, He declares the universe (God, is my interpretation of universe.) is greater than you
  • Do not be surprised that you do not understand why they have not gone your way, for you cannot fathom the logic of the universe (God)
  • See how small you are next to the mountain. 
  • Accept what is bigger than you and what you do not understand
The world may appear illogical to you, but it does not follow that it is illogical per se.  Our lives our not the measure of all things : consider sublime places for a reminder of human insignificance and fragility.  God assures Job that he has a place in His heart, even if all events do not center around him (Job) and may at times appear to to run contrary to his (Job's) interest.  When divine wisdom eludes human understanding, the righteous, made aware of their limitations by the spectacle of sublime nature, must continue to trust in God's plans for the universe." 

I would insert here from Isaiah, "His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than our thoughts."

This book as I have mentioned before, weaves in perfectly with Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg.  This is the last day of the #wonderstruck challenge.  The last day's word is listening. 

Speaking of listening the washing machine timer just went off and I must get back to my earthly chores.  I must say the overwhelmingness of laundry is making me feel rather small and question how two people can create in a week's time so much dirty clothing. 

Friday, February 1, 2013


The clouds frame the sun perfectly as the sun rises in Rancho De Five.  Never have been much of a sunrise girl, I am more a sunset type, but this has changed since we came to the prairie.  The past few days the doves have returned to our bird feeder and I feel so guilty that I can't place any seed out for them because of the unwanted vermin lurking about looking for a home.  Last weekend when our neighbor came over to retrieve a football from our yard, Roy told him about the migration because of all the land that is being cleared around us.  Our neighbor, who must be Hindu, said he couldn't kill anything.  Drat that reincarnation belief.  There is a little hole that has been fashioned by cute little bunnies or vermin between our yards and I think Roy is going to fill in the pathway of the underground railroad and then put a board up.  I know, vermin can chew through anything, but it is like having an alarm on your house, hopefully it is a deterrent and you are making it more difficult by adding an extra layer of protection.  Extra layer of protection sounds like a commercial for lotion or sunscreen.  Nor would it be a hedge of protection, cause we got no hedge. 

I think I have seen enough doctors for the week and I have the bruising from blood work to prove it.  My once yearly appointment has now become my every three months appointment to monitor my kidneys, thyroid and something else that I have forgotten because the medicine I am on does major damage to those organs.  It works because it resides in all your tissue and is not eliminated by eliminating.  It takes months for it to leave your system and I have been on it for too long.  It will also make me be accountable in other areas like, you know, weight control.  I have gained weight but under the line of demarcation.  In fact, she didn't even bring it up but I have a feeling we will be talking about it when the blood work comes back.  She has been on the heart journey with me since the beginning.  She is thrilled that we are taking the next course of action because she said if this doesn't get fixed my life and quality of life will be on a fast decline because nothing else can be fixed or heal until my heart gets in order.  Huge spiritual application rushed through my mind when she said that but of course I couldn't think about that or I would miss what she was telling me health-wise.  Drat that ADD.  Then they took a copious amount of blood and I asked if I could weigh in again because I am sure they took like 3 pounds of blood.

A couple of weeks ago when the lawn of the month guy was here he left us a note telling us to turn off our sprinkler system for a month to let the grass rest and for the nut grass to die.  Lord knows we don't need more nut grass in our lives.  It was not a season for watering, it was a season of rest.  That has resonated in my spirit other than the importance of yard care with this season of life.   I don't think I would have ever chosen this heart path but it in it I have learned some valuable truth and though I long for days of stamina and strength I hope never to lose the appreciation I have experienced of being quiet, solitude, silence (I know that is like being quiet, but silence is the background noise, I'm the one who is learning to be quiet) and letting my spirit be restored.  When I left my job due to health reasons, I was feeling pretty low and burnt out.  Who knew that working at a church could turn out to be so hard?  I thought the politics of tennis were difficult...  Somewhere yesterday, I think on a blog but who knows or maybe it was a tweet...anyway this person who I would give credit to if I could remember them wrote; we too often compare ourselves with other people and that's how we become self righteous...Oh John Acuff...Stuff Christians Like blog..  We are to become more like Christ and not look at others and think I am more like Christ than they are because I don't do________.   Drat the funny blog that speaks huge truths into our lives!

Well, the Internet connection in the casita bedroom is not working so Roy ordered a wireless booster or something.  I think he would like to retake ownership of his study and the desk top computer.  It's usually not a problem until, we are both home.  I don't spend as much time as I thought I would out there in the casita, but that is going to change.  I set that room up for my projects and such.  When the man installed the TV out there, we think we cut the Ethernet line.    I was also telling Roy that I don't know that the lap top ever really turns off because as soon as you open it the start menu thing comes up and then you log in.  I love this...he tells me, there is a sleep and a shut down option on the menu.  What!!  Does he think I am hard of seeing?  Of course I know that and know the difference between sleep and shut down.  So in true loving and sweet wife form I kept telling him I am going to shut down i.e. brush my teeth and wash my face and then sleep.  I know he appreciated hearing that about 25 times before we went to bed.  Drat that cut line!

I'm still doing the Wonderstruck challenge, but haven't written about it.  Today's word is Restore.  It fits perfectly with my one word which I have yet to share on the blog, but I will soon.  Yes, everyone is waiting with baited breath for the big reveal.  Which reminds me of our Mission 1:8 at church.  I was telling a friend the other day about this, is it an event, not a program, a ministry...yep I will go with ministry that our church is ramping up, a word I vowed never to use again in 2011 but it is 2013 so guess I am free to use it, that our church is in the early process of the reveal and how exciting it has been.  I don't know but I must have been having a dyslectic day because I found out later I was calling it Mission 8:1.  My friend texted me later and said are you sure it is based on Acts 8:1?  Wouldn't it be Acts 1:8.  Wow, totally my bad...because Acts 8:1 is:

Saul was one of the witnesses, and he agreed completely with the killing of Stephen.
A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria.
Drat the meds that have done a thing with my brain function!  But we did have a good laugh about it.  Wow, my bad. 
Having lunch a little later with Peggy and Kathleen, so I better stop blogging and start the getting ready process.  There ain't no drat when it comes to lunch with friends.