Thursday, February 27, 2014

Happy Birthday Roy!

Today is Roy's birthday.  I am a rather fortunate woman to be married to such a kind yet strong man.  He is generous and does things for others that nobody will ever find out about and that is how he wants it.  For years he gave to the church in cash, not in an envelope for many reasons I won't state here.  I call Roy my walking commentary.  He is gifted with such wisdom and knowledge of the scriptures.  He especially likes when I discuss homework questions with him not so he can give me answers but it is helpful to him as he reads and studies during his quiet time.  Roy is a man of prayer, he is a man of faith and he walks it and talks it daily.  If I need prayer, he is the one I go to first although sometimes before he gets to the prayer part, he is in work focus mode which may or may not makes me cry because I am looking for a little compassion.  I know better than to call him at work with prayer needs, but sometimes a wife just needs that support from her hubby complete with all legal areas covered as a bonus.  When I get anxious over something, Roy's calm demeanor and approach, in turn calms me.  He doesn't look macho and he doesn't act macho, which I love about him but believe me, you would not want to get into an argument or fight with him because he has a will of iron. 

During the time I was so ill, he took over so many things around here and never complained once.  He encouraged me and covered me with prayer.  Even now with new health adventures, his concern and love overwhelm me and overwhelm me in a good way. 

He has the most wonderful dry sense of humor.  He makes me laugh.  His photographs he takes for me are such a gift and delight, well except when he tries to take the candid picture of me, which he knows I absolutely hate.  I am always making some kind of dumb face. 

I love him more today than the day we got married.  He leads our home well.  He is my protector when Buddy gets the big eyes and my arm is in the line of her attack. 

Something that he has said our whole married lives....Nancy, if it blesses you, it blesses me.  A friend once commented about some of the fun things we have done over the years, she said, ah, y'all still date each other.  So what if now our date night includes Luby's, Target, Lowe's, Costco or Home Goods, we have lots of fun.  One of my favorite things is when we drive around the countryside and Roy takes pictures for me and my journaling.  I love that he loves the Biltmore as much as me, well maybe as much as me.  He even did high tea with me one trip and this is something he never wants to do.  Lots of people have asked why we drive there.  One reason is to bring new stuff home but in reality, we have a great time out there on the road. 

Even though Roy usually doesn't read my blog I will write this just in case he peaks into today;
Happy Birthday Roy!  I love you so much!  My words are inadequate for how much I love and appreciate and respect you!  I could use one of our favorite tag lines from show or commercials we love that make us laugh.  By jove, I think I will.  (just read a Downton Abbey review, although I have never heard that term about by jolly, I will!)  Pizza Pizza! 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Head Tilt and Other Good and Great Things

Before we begin leadership council, with the exception being brunch day, after our worship time someone gives a devotional.  At the beginning of the year we were given guidelines for form and content.  Devotional time is really a great time of getting to know the person who is sharing their story.  Today a lady shared her story of how she came to Community Bible Study and it wasn't too long until she was asked to serve in children's ministry. That part of her story seemed very familiar and we all shared a good laugh remembering our own stories of being asked to serve.   The morning went on as it normally does, prayer time and reviewing homework together before being dismissed for Leadership Development, except today, we didn't divide up in the usual way, we stayed together.  Before we got into the seriousness of leadership development, our teaching director referenced back to the devo and the familiarity of the invite to serve.  She is a pastor's wife and well acquainted with serving and the call to others for the opportunity to serve.  She kind of laughed and said when you're being asked, first you get the women's ministry head tilt to the side....  I could not have loved her anymore than I did at that very moment.  It is so true, there is the women's ministry head tilt when you're being asked to consider serving or doing something really spiritual.  The head tilt in photos is also like the trendy hand on hip stance, you see it everywhere.   I so wanted to add, yes, the head tilt, then the holy tone of voice and to complete the deal, the holy stare finished off with the hug of fellowship.  Then walking away from the conversation there is the smoothing of the skirt or pants, with the head bowed and then coming up slowly like prayer time has been concluded.  Really, it is a universal look not just in anything that has to do with women's ministry, but I think we ladies have perfected the look, the talk and the walk.  Extra bonus points if tears are shed at anytime during the conversation.  The head tilt...I love it!  We all so do it, maybe not in ministry situations but in other situations of daily life.  I just did it writing the previous sentence.

We talked about our calling from God today in leadership development time.  It is quickly coming to that time of year when we prayfully consider serving once again next fall.  We looked at the seven core values of CBS concerning leadership.  They are all good like; prayer, trusting in God's provision, integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, transparency and the last but not least, servant leadership.  Sadly, it can seem at times that the sense of entitlement overtakes servant leadership in the Christian/church world.  I love that the org chart of CBS is inverted.  It is opposite of most ministries.  Instead of looking like this ^ leader at the top, it looks like this v top leadership on the bottom serving its way up. 

Because God has called me to this Leaders Council role, I am also called to servant leadership.  I want to serve without grumbling or complaining. (Phil 2:14)  I am called to do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility to count others more significant than myself.  I want to look not only to my own interests, but also to the interests of others.  In my relationships, may I have the same mindset as Christ Jesus, who made Himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.  (Phil 2:3-7)

There is a whole lot to like in how CBS ministers and serves.  I am completing my fifth year.  There isn't any other Bible study that I have stayed this consistent with. 

There also has been some great articles and quotes the past few days in several blogs that I read.  Here are just a few; "People won't go to a place where they don't have a place."  "In a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks."  Warren Buffet  I've discovered Maria Shriver's  blog and the website architects of change. 

Another good thing, Erwin McManus' new book came today, along with several Madeleine L'Engle books I ordered.  I have totally gone the way of pre-order with Amazon.  I read book reviews and place the order then and there because by the time I remember to order the book, it has been out for a while and I could have been reading it. 

A great thing....Nordstrom Rack on Bunker Hill opens May 1.  I just found this out today!  Clearly, I have been out of the loop on this news or maybe it's because I haven't been at The Loop and would have noticed it on the drive in. 

Right now there is a murder taking place in the courtyard.  Well, maybe not so much murder as it is the food chain kind of thing.  A bird is killing a grasshopper for breakfast. 

Thankfully, I have not experienced a full blown cold this winter season but I have had a few close calls. Let me preface the next thought with this info; I love watching the military channel when it has to do with WWII.  I have always loved history and majored in it for a time in college, but came to my senses once I realized this major was not a enormous salary producing major.   In the middle of the night, I thought Roy had turned on the TV to the military channel because I could hear something that sounded like Morse Code and the old timey sound of a radio being tuned.  These sound effects are plenteous in the WWII shows.  No, it was just me breathing.  You know how you get those little whistles and strange sounds at the beginning of a cold or sinus infection.  Thankfully my nose Morse Code and radio tuning noise did not graduate into a fog horn sound effect. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

MonTues Happenings

Roy forgot to take his workout clothes with him this morning.  I almost reminded him but he is on top of things like that, so I didn't say anything.  Plan B, ride around the trails close to home and go workout tomorrow.  Plan B gave me the reasonable excuse to go to The Fresh Market and pick up some dinner after meeting CourtneyS for lunch at The Nord.  I came into the Galleria early to do a little shopping.  Nothing really caught my eye since it is still a transitional season.  I did find a couple of things from the Home Dept.  I did stop by TFM and picked up a few things and of course something for dinner.  I did get a little more than I bargained for in TFM.  While shopping I could hear this raspy, somewhat high pitched voice of a little old lady as background noise.  In fact the voice sounded a whole lot like the voice I use when I want to answer the phone if it is a telemarketer.  I finally found the voice and it was a little old lady dressed in denim skirt that was popular in the 80's, a small flower print blouse and a blue sweater with apples and gingham all down the front of it.  She looked to be shorter than Peggy and when she turned to me and craned her neck to look up she asked me if I knew where the apple pies that were on sale were?  It took everything within me to answer in my normal voice.  She and I left the store about the same time and she climbed behind the wheel of a Jag.  She could barely see over the wheel.  I let her pull out and drive on. 

It is now a foggy Tuesday morning.  Roy remembered his gym bag but it took two extra times trying to get him out the door.  He had a wrong combo of colors going on and thankfully, I was awake enough to catch it.  On the second shirt a button popped, so it was back one more time before he was finally able to get out the door and he was quite excited that he caught his bus at the normal time. at the Park and Ride. 

You grab time when you can to write, so I was only able to write that little small paragraph above before leaving for Leadership Council.  I love our Tuesday morning discussions and leadership development was very good today.  One of my core group members is on staff at COTHA and has been overwhelmed with work, ministry and other various things.  I stopped in to visit with her after our meeting and it was great to catch up with her.  As a former church staff member I can certainly empathize with her, you know ministry and it seems that people HAVE to be involved. 

I am looking forward to a day of catching up and then rewarding myself with some book time.  I made myself a delicious lunch but not quite as delicious as the crabstack at Nord and Buddy wasn't as much fun as CourtneyS but it was a pleasant lunch at best. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Recollections and Thoughts

What a beautiful Sunday.  It began rather foggy but the rest of the day has had intermittent overcast skies with bright sunshine.  We did not make a firm decision of where we would go to church this morning, so as is the case without firm decisions, we stayed home.   We were leaning toward The Loop only because we wanted to go to Fresh Market after the service.  Going back to Redeemer Community Church was in the running but being indecisive we really didn't want to go two weeks in a row and look serious about a change.  Cypress was on the list too but like I have written, this morning at 6:30 am, it was easy to just turn over and go back to sleep.   But, once we both were up and had our quiet times, we were ready to hit brunch time at Las Alamade's.  We went to Books a Million afterwards with a 20% off coupon in our hands....well, actually it was in my purse.  BAM has such interesting non book junk and we were going to peruse that because Lord knows we don't need anymore books.  Apparently, I was wrong because we came home with two books.  One will be a great read for vacation and the other one was so deeply discounted it was difficult not to pick it up.  Previously, I had considered the book but dang, when it is marked down to $3.97.... with a 20% discount and the regular 10% that comes with a BAM was a deal I couldn't refuse.

Yesterday was our neighborhoods second annual Mardi Gras parade and gumbo celebration.  Last year we already had plans so we were happy to attend this year.  We had planned to take some crawfish tamales but Good Ol' Boys had run out, so we went with plan B which was boudin kolaches.      The parade was so much fun, lots of pick up trucks and golf carts but the best were the homemade floats of bicycles and battery operated cars.  Everyone had beads, Mardi Gras coins and all kinds of stuffed animals and footballs.   The little ones tried so hard to throw things from their tricycles but mainly the trinkets landed right at their feet.  The trucks and golf carts made one more round and then it was time to get serious and dig into jambalaya and gumbo.  There were King Cakes and cookies for dessert.   It is difficult to meet people in our neighborhood because we don't have kids, but this was a good way to meet neighbors down the street.  Several came over to meet us only because we brought boudin kolaches and wanted to know if we made them or from where we got them.  So happy to send business to Southern Maid.  We also experienced the kindness of God.  We had set up our chairs and cooler in the park on the edge of the parade route just down from several families.  A couple about our age came toward us with their chairs and goodies and sat next to us.  We began the dance of conversation, trying to find what we had in common.  I casually brought in Community Bible Study to the conversation and much delight to the four of us, we were brothers and sisters in Christ.   They are members at Kingsland Baptist.  As we have been doing our community church search, we always seem to forget Kingsland.   They invited us to come and also go to their Sunday School class or whatever Kingsland calls it and I think we are going to take them up on their offer.  As the conversation continued we learned that their son goes to Baylor and that they know Bill and Peggy through the incoming student parties they host in August of the year for those who are going to Baylor.  Robin said they help with those parties now after their son attended several years ago.  Here we thought we were going to get some great gumbo because many south Louisianan's  live in our neighborhood but God knew there was a greater treat in meeting another couple, believers in Christ and we chose the same floor plan with the only difference that they went with the four bedrooms.  We went with a larger study and laundry room instead of the fourth bedroom.   We stayed longer than we had anticipated and came home with lots of trinkets that I didn't have to raise up my shirt to get.  The SEC was well represented.  Lots of LSU shirts, a smattering of Ole Miss, A&M represented and the one lone Alabama fan.  We need to work on getting a couple of Auburn families to move in.

We officially celebrated the beginning of spring by cooking out on the grill this evening.  Whole Foods had a great deal on sliders.  So after months of non-use, the grill fired up quite nicely and thus we had a delicious dinner.

The homework this week for Genesis continues to be interesting.  As I finished up a days homework last night, I could not help but read ahead.  Hopefully we don't spend a lot of time on the descendants of Esau.  We are soon to be in the story of Joseph.  Today at brunch I brought up what I have been learning it seems for the first time although I've read and studied Genesis many times.  It might also be the situation we find ourselves in with a loved one whom I have always thought of as a Jacob type but in reality they are more like Laban because Jacob changes and grows into walking with God.  Laban stays on the same course.  Last week we were in the chapter, 31, where Laban and Jacob have their big word duel and accusations.  Laban never stopped looking at his daughters, grandchildren and flocks that Jacob had served for as his.  These were his possessions and he intended for Jacob to leave the way he came, empty handed.  This came even though Laban was blessed by God because of Jacob.  As I thought and prayed for this loved one who clearly is deceived and dug in with their thoughts, I realized that their view was similar to Laban's.  I had remained in their thoughts still as their possession to demand and control.  Even though I am uh hem....older and married for thirty seven years, in their eyes I was still theirs.  I think it might be due to the fact that we were never able to have children, so my role and place never changed in their minds.  There were years long after being married for quite some time that a call would come demanding I stop everything and do their bidding.    Many times the demands and commands came as a result of this persons own procrastination.  I was told by a relative many years ago that this person planned for me to never marry or have a family.  The thought would be I wouldn't be able to exist on my own because of the tracks that were laid from the time I was a child that I would never be able to hold any kind of job other than ice tea lady at cafeterias or a nanny.  Laban continued in treating family as nothing more than servants to meet his need.  There doesn't seem to be much love there for them other than when it is convenient to use them to look like the caring, loving and dedicated person he was not.  Jacob, even with his upcoming mistakes and lack of concern and procrastination, he grows and has a genuine transformation from his encounters with The Lord.

I cannot believe that tonight is the last installment of this season's Downton Abbey.  It has gone by too quickly and the wait for new episodes will seem forever long.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

O Blessed Day of Saturday

It must be a cyclical thing, robo calls, private caller calls, out of area calls and the common denominator in all these is, no message is ever left.  We go months without receiving these types of calls and then comes the season we are in now, where these calls happen quite a bit throughout the day and evening.  We have call blocker and every once in  a while I drop a number and add a new one in place.  The most frustrating of telemarketers is the change of one digit and with that you have to block a lot of calls from the same telemarketer.  Purple Heart and a "faux" cancer fund raiser seems to be at the heart of most of these calls in the past few days. 

With the warmer temps, getting a pedi today was a must.  I made a 10:00 appointment on Friday, the earlier the better since the parking lot fills up rather quickly with a hair salon, spa, Mexican food joint and Ooh La La traffic.  I went with a lilac or lavender polish to welcome spring or maybe it should be spriummer.  Peggy texted me while there and wanted to see if I would like to meet for lunch, someplace where we could sit outside.  We chose Las Alameda's because they have that great patio.  With Katy ISD early dismissal and the beautiful weather it was a noise filled junior high feel in the La Centerra courtyard.  Even the drive home had junior high everywhere, especially at the hill outside of McDonald's.  All the energy and exuberance, it was a lot of fun to watch but I wouldn't want to be around it everyday nor would I like to go back to that time and relive junior high years. 

Last night I got back to work on my project but first I had to rearrange some of my supplies because the clutter and scattered look about the room was really bugging me.  I had to decide if everything was bothering me because I was procrastinating the start of my new idea thus being a little scared to try or if the supplies were really bothering me.  The answer, it bothered me.  Several weeks ago I was especially encouraged by my friend Bev.  We met for lunch and as per our usual practice, we talked and laughed till the lunch hour was over.  Bev is a talented artist and as she talked about the online class she is participating in, she recollected her early artistic days in school and just by entering the art room, she was invigorated.  She loved the aroma, the atmosphere and the hint of excitement in the air of that school room, art room.  The art room held the same feelings for me too but the emotion of fear and dread must be added to the equation for my story.  Now, walking into a library or a room filled with books, now that spoke to me in the very deep core of my being.  I've confessed on Monablog and to Bev that day, how I wish I was creative; to be able to draw or paint or conceive some kind of art concept besides stick figures to be gifted in.  Bev encouraged me to approach creativity with a childlike attitude and abandon.  I had just read in the book Walking on Water, the very same thing.  We lose the wonder and question of things as we grow into adults.  Funny, we desperately hold onto other things from childhood such as mine, mine, mine.  Or maybe crying when we don't get our way and oh there is that pesky part of us that keep on doing what we want, when we want with all kinds of warnings that we are going to get hurt or burned.  Yea, we hold tightly onto that kind of stuff but let the sense of play go right to the garbage dump.  So for this latest journaling project, I am approaching it with childlike sensibilities.  I made my first attempt last night and I like where this process is going although, I see one spot that I should have done differently....but who cares?  Next time I do this I will know to make that change.  It's a given I will not ever do any of this perfectly and it probably will never be seen by anyone else than me, but there is that joy from sitting down and doing something I dreamed up. 

Our neighborhood's second annual celebration of Mardi Gras is this afternoon.  We have a lot of transplanted Louisiana folk and I think LSU fans barely outnumber A&M fans.  fortunately, there are only a few Alabama fans in the neighborhood.  :) 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Taking It All In

Yesterday was one of those days of no schedule, no scheduled responsibilities, just a day of taking care of things that needed attention.  Like cleaning out a cabinet.  Oh yes, I live that wild, fun life of rearranging a cabinet that has become a catch all for everything we don't know what to do with.  Either KCM or Chris will be getting some dishes.  I did some writing and honestly I could have almost spent the day writing because idea after idea came crashing in and by crashing in, I mean that it a good way.  So thankful to have my Mead Decorative Fashion Notebook to keep track of ideas for further introspection.  I also made reservations for Buddy at Cat Camp when we go on vacay.  On Sunday Roy and I finally broke out the high pressure washer we bought last summer to give the bird bath a really good scrubbing.  Roy did the tedious work of figuring how to put the thing together and I did the fun work of getting rid of bird bath scum and yes it's as fun as it sounds.  We also gave the bird feeder a good power washing.  I finally got around to filling the feeder yesterday afternoon and the doves and the little small birds that might be finches or wrens are so very happy.  The mockingbird is back as well doing its duty of neighborhood bird cop and chasing away the crows.  I worked on a journal project and started reading a new book.  Roy brought home Chinese food for dinner.  Yesterday was a very good day. 

Since I am over Duck Dynasty, I didn't watch it last night but watched a SNL documentary on VH1.  It was a look back of the 90's and the changes that SNL made and how it became even more of a cultural vehicle of satire.  I do love a good documentary on comedy.  With Jimmy Fallon taking over The Tonight Show this week, it was interesting to see him on SNL when he was a rookie and think, did he even have a hint that one day he would take over The Tonight Show? 

I love those nocturnal, late night happenings with Roy deep in foggy sleep.  Buddy stayed up late last night which only means she fell asleep on the couch and didn't hear us leave the living room.  So she came and joined us later than usual.  She is stealth quiet most of the time but last night she came to bed making a little more noise than usual, thus waking up Roy.  He wakes me up by asking what have I been doing?  Uh, sleeping...  He thought I had stayed up too late on a school night but I had been there right by his snoring side all along. 

Last night I also read the commentary for today's lesson in CBS.  The commentary was exceptionally good for this chapter with Laban and Jacob.  In chapter 31 of Genesis, Jacob who is taking baby steps in faith, calls upon God eight times and I love the point that Jacob and Laban could not call the Mizpah oath in the same language.  Love all the big and little parts of the story that I had never paid attention to before. 

We also made our hotel reservations for Megan's graduation.  This is too hard to believe and she did college in four years.  That is even harder to believe.  Good job Megan!  We checked on flights but we are still debating whether to fly or not...we should have our decision made soon. 

It's time to hit the day, no easing into this morning.  There has been quite the cloud show from my vantage point this morning. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Transeasonal Seasons

We are coming to the transeasonal portion of our program.  Years ago while shopping in Lowe's between Christmas and the beginning of spring, there was a huge display of merchandise that Lowe's usually doesn't carry.  What caught my eye were some storage ottomans and two of them were the correct size to decoratively fit underneath an antique table we have.  While placing them in the shopping cart I noticed the price tag had the words transeasonal merchandise.  I thought that was rather witty description for the time between two of their busiest seasons, Christmas and spring.  Here in Texas we are in the transeasonal season.  It is still February and it feels like March and April.  Too warm for winter type clothes and too soon to break out the linen.   This year was the year of plaids for winter wear but I fear now I will go into the transeasonal uniform of denim.  Last year denim was my go to winter wardrobe but I haven't even worn a jean jacket in this winter season and that is all about to change.  Jeans or black pants, white shirt and denim jacket; it's what's for dinner, I mean for wearing.  Yesterday, I packed away all the Valentine d├ęcor and brought out the spring and Easter decorations.  After autumnal decorations, spring is my second favorite and after Easter comes the long boring season of summer.  I don't think anyone has come up with sweat style for summer decorations.  The French pot rack is Eastered up and so is the fireplace mantle.  The dinning room table is spring festive too.   Not a time of transeasonal decorating.

Sometimes we might feel we are in the transeasonal time in our walk with the Lord or just in life.  We feel all so in-between.   Maybe you don't but I do.  Thankfully, one of the ways in which I have changed in all the heart season of the past six years has been learning to stay in the present.  Taking in all that God has around me and it is there just for the noticing.  I remember a dream from many years ago.  Our family was in Arkansas on the way to Illinois.  In real life, this was a road trip that was taken many a time.  In this dream, my father wanted to drive in reverse and looking backwards to make the trip.   In this dream, I jumped out of the car because I knew it was impossible to drive that way and get where you wanted to go. Like so many times in real life, I was left behind, to fend for myself because I spoke up and voiced some truth.  Granted, in real life many times what I voiced was self centered whining, but like the dream, it was if I would rather find myself alone than to take a path and direction that so many in my ancestral tree had taken previously.  It was not a good ending for any of them.   In transitional times it is always good to remember where you are in the sequence of things.  Are you at the beginning, the middle or the end of a transitional time?  In transitional times, focus needs to be ahead, not bitter over incidents of regrets in the past.  Learn from them and move forward.  When Roy's mother was in a rehab hospital, Roy ended his phone conversations to her with the admonition to walk, keep moving, because that is how she would recover.  In all those heart years, Roy lovingly reminded me, keep moving, keep looking forward, don't become intertwined with what had happened.  Many a day, I did that by faith cause nothing in my flesh wanted to move. 

Looking at the twenty years Jacob spent laboring under less than perfect conditions was a transeasonal time.  He acquired two wives, two concubines, lots of sheep, lots of goats and a father in law from h#!!.  There is a lot of activity in transeasonal times; mentally we might look at it as a static time but it's not.  He ran away from Esau but longed for the day when he would return home.  As Laban's attitude toward him changed and not for the better, he took the opportunity to leave when Laban was three days away shearing sheep.  Laban hotly pursued Jacob and his pursuit took seven days.  One night on that trip the Lord spoke to Laban and told him not to talk to Jacob good or bad, leave him alone.  Laban mentally recognizes the visit but continues on so he might speak or rather vent to Jacob.  Jacob, who has a bit of the deceiver DNA that seems to run in his family has learned a lot and has been pruned by a master of deceit.  Toward the end of chapter 31 both Laban and Jacob vent.  Laban is looking for his stolen gods, which means he must have stopped by his home before continuing his pursuit of Jacob and the fam and in the midst of Laban dramatically telling of his loss and what he would have done if had only known they wanted to leave...have a big party with singing and music accompanied by tambourines and harps.  Again take note, just like the hot bread should have been Isaac's recognition of the deceit of the blessing, Laban goes the same route in his lies by giving unnecessary details.   If you don't trust someone, watch what they say and the details they give, cause 9 times out of 10, those extras conceal the lie.  Laban searches and goes through everything of Jacobs and he cannot find his stolen gods and at that point, Jacob is when Jacob ditches his fear and gives into that anger that has been brewing the past twenty years. 

Genesis 31:36-42

Amplified Bible (AMP)
36 Then Jacob became angry and reproached and argued with Laban. And Jacob said to Laban, What is my fault? What is my sin, that you so hotly pursued me?
37 Although you have searched and felt through all my household possessions, what have you found of all your household goods? Put it here before my brethren and yours, that they may judge and decide between us.
38 These twenty years I have been with you; your ewes and your she-goats have not lost their young, and the rams of your flock have not been eaten by me.
39 I did not bring you [the carcasses of the animals] torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss of it; you required of me [to make good] all that was stolen, whether it occurred by day or by night.
40 This was [my lot]; by day the heat consumed me and by night the cold, and I could not sleep.
41 I have been twenty years in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks; and you have changed my wages ten times.
42 And if the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Dread [lest he should fall] and Fear [lest he offend] of Isaac, had not been with me, surely you would have sent me away now empty-handed. God has seen my affliction and humiliation and the [wearying] labor of my hands and rebuked you last night.
Jacob had had it!  The NLT says, you have rummaged through everything I own.  On top of everything Laban had violated Jacob's space and possessions.  Another thing to look for; the "sin" or "weakness" of the one who imagines they have been deceived may come from the flaw in them and they know how many times they deceived and changed things.  Thus, their mindset is revealed in the present and what has happened previously in situations they have been involved in.  Sometimes we default to our own practices and in that default much more is revealed, more than anyone really wants others to know. 

I better go look at my transeasonal options for the day.  Looks like jean capris are the way to go. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Persevere...No Really...In the Midst of It All

Just another day of intense dental work but I am thrilled that so much is being caught in the nick of time and that I am going to a great dentist who truly cares about her patients and does yeoman or should that be yeowoman work.  There was more damage than expected and we are praying that I won't need a root canal in the recent future.  There were also a couple of other things she took care of while she was there in the midst.  Tonight, I have had minimum pain, mainly from the work under the gum line and not the tooth.  That is a good sign and I am asking the Lord for healing and mercy.  I felt like I had a fat left lip for the greater part of the afternoon, but the Novocain began wearing off and I felt normal. 

Roy had today off and while I was in the dentist chair, he was taking Buddy for her mani/pedi, went to the bank and then Kroger's.  When I got home we decided on lunch at Luby's and I ordered all soft foods.  Then I came home and slept for over two hours. 

This morning while I was brushing my teeth, some of my best ideas and thoughts come while I brush, I thought again of the music from Church of the Redeemer and the fatigue I experienced on Friday after hearing and then processing some news.  In the way back, in a particularly challenging season, the music and worship at Redeemer ministered deeply into the core of my hurt.  I could put that record on the record player and listen...and miraculously, my attitude, my hope, and my strength was retooled to not just cope but have great joy in life.  I didn't notice until this morning during my morning grooming that the Lord once again had done that for me, quite unexpectantly, as we celebrated a young life gone too soon and from that grief, came the healing words and music on a much smaller basis but equally powerful in the Lord's hand.  Ironically, we went to Redeemer Community Church yesterday out here in the Rancho De Five and the pastor spoke words of healing that I didn't know I would need until today. 

For almost two years, I have had a loved one at odds with me.  Now that is nothing new, families do that from time to time, but this loved one is at odds with me over nothing that ever happened.  They legally severed relationship with us and we have not seen or talked to them since.  We have not even been in their neighborhood or driven down their street.  You would think in a two year period of time someone would come to their senses but instead the paranoia and delusion has multiplied.  This person has done something inexcusable.  They have done something totally insane.  They have gone too far.  The constant of this is, at least they are consistent. 

Many times I write to understand situations or thoughts and I did that on Friday.  I won't bore you with what I wrote except the last paragraph sums it up.

I did experience the life draining fatigue that has all but become a distant memory today because it can’t be helped for emotions to become involved.  Sadly, the news of this person’s situation is not any different from the long ago, only now, they don’t have anyone to blame for the predicament they find themselves in and surely it would never occur to them for any inspection of themselves.  They remain in the cesspool of conspiracy and their adroit ability to outsmart anyone in the room.  Only now they are the only occupant. 
I find myself once again looking at my word for this year and I think it is a pretty good choice.
continue in a course of action even in the face of difficulty or with little or no prospect of success.
synonyms: persist, continue, carry on, go on, keep on, keep going, struggle on, hammer away, be persistent, be determined, see/follow something through, keep at it, press on/ahead, not take no for an answer, be tenacious, stand one's ground, stand fast/firm, hold on, go the distance, stay the course, plod on, stop at nothing, leave no stone unturned;on, hang on, plug away, stick to one's guns, stick it out, hang in there
I don't know, but it might be difficult discussing Bible study homework tomorrow because we are in Genesis 31 with good old Laban and Jacob.  I can so identify and understand the homework this week. 

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Weekend

This has been a  relaxed weekend.  Roy took of Friday and he has Monday off too.  Friday I finally made it to the new Costco.  I was not disappointed and we found the cool temp pillow that my friend Gena had told me about.  Hopefully, no more hot pillow nights.  Roy needed some food to take to Bible study on Saturday morning, so we got that knocked off the list.  We made a quick trip to Lowe's for air filters and then only because he loves me and he must have been in that Valentine state of mind, we went over to Target because the website said they had one of those precious notebooks that I hoard.  You can tell how I feel about these notebooks because I just used the word precious.  Well, lied.  They didn't have any.  Secretly I think Roy was kind of happy about that. 

Later that afternoon after Roy got his haircut we met up at the happening Luby's for lunch.  We invited Dena to meet us for lunch and she did.  We all had so much fun and after a while Roy left to go workout.  We wrapped up our conversation and laughing but we both had things we needed to get done, so we set off for our appointed errands.  Only, I forgot one of the major ones I had; picking up my prescription.  Roy was able to do that on his way home.  We also had a fun surprise visit Friday evening of David and Emily and Claire.  So fun but Claire was being rather shy. 

Yesterday morning we went to the memorial service for David's daughter Ashley.  It was a beautiful service.  Something that I had not expected was some of the choir from Church of the Redeemer and St James Episcopal Church singing several selections.  Their voices, the familiar Betty Pulkingham descant took me back to days of long ago when Mary Madeline and I would go to Redeemer on Friday nights and sometimes we even went on Sunday morning.  My eyes filled with tears because their music ministered to my spirit a long time ago in a difficult season of life and it was a welcomed treat to experience it again yesterday in a limited way and not for the happiest of occasions.  The ending hymn was I Want to Walk as A Child of the Light, which I absolutely love.  Need to crank up the ol' iPod and listen to my Church of the Redeemer music.  And speaking of Redeemer, we attended Redeemer Community Church this morning.   Roy made me promise not to fill out a visitor card or anything until after we heard the sermon.  A very friendly church and we enjoyed the service and sermon.  They are going through the book of Luke.  Then we were just a hop skip and a jump away from brunch at Las Alamedas. 

After the memorial service yesterday, we made a quick stop by The Fresh Market and then headed back to Rancho De Five.  I changed clothes and ate a little snack before heading over to Dena's.  We did some shopping in downtown Katy.  We both found wonderful things but she found a bookcase for her study and Bill and Peggy delivered it later that afternoon.  She found it at Bill's antique store.  I had not been to Lacy Oaks yet and that was a really fun shop.  They had two books from the Boys and Girls book shelve that I don't have in my collection.  Looks like these books were well loved and read with the wear and tear.  After our shopping we went to Los Cucos for a late lunch.  We invited Roy to meet us but he was out on the roads on his Trek.  He was checking out if there were sidewalks all the way to Bahama Mamma's for soon it will be snow cone season.  He has talked about riding there and back this spring.  He also has a friend who is building a home close to where Dena lives and he rides over there to check on progress.  We drove by their lot today after lunch.  Looks like they are getting it ready to pour the foundation. 

It's time to cut back the roses, so I need to go and do that.  Roy is getting out the pressure washer to clean out the bird bath. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Notebook Hoarding Part 2

I have mentioned before it seems that I collect journals.  I have also been on this bent of getting a particular type of notebook that is no longer manufactured and it has become my goal to find and buy them at Target because Target is the only store that still has them.   But am I becoming a notebook hoarder?  Ah, yes, I believe I am. 

The other night I did something that I rarely do and that is plopping myself down in front of the TV and watching for several hours.  It wasn't even a good TV night but as I was flipping Hoarders was on and like a train wreck, you can't stop watching.  Sad stories of people who have let stuff and not even good stuff take over their house.  There's the obligatory shot of bugs and mouse poop and wall and ceilings caving in.  The family is usually at odds with one another and there is at least two or more breakdowns in the cleaning frenzy.  Last night, there was one family that had the chaos and crisis going on, but it wasn't typical.  The hoarding was rather organized, it was just too much organization.  The woman had everything in plastic storage bins and when it was all said and done, she had over 3000 of them in her home.  She told them she was addicted to books.  Oh, this is getting a little too personal and she liked magazines but the Dr told her it was more like she was addicted to shopping.  Everything in storage containers stacked to the ceiling.  Her relationship with her daughter was falling apart and the whole cleanup resulted in 16 things thrown away and a couple of things to be given away but the woman kept all that stuff.  She knew she needed to relinquish control but when she was confronted in almost any way, she would throw up her hands, tell them to throw it all away and would walk off.  But of course she didn't mean it.  It didn't seem like her yard was filled to overflowing and her house looked neat.  They didn't show a horrible, dirty bathroom.  No matter how organized or how clean, she still was a hoarder and couldn't let it go.  She chose her stuff over her daughter and grandchildren.  This episode was from Season 4 Episode 15.  You might be thinking why have you told us all this info?  Is there a reason?  Not really, I guess, but this lady as organized as she was is still a hoarder, she was just a tad neater than most.  She's not hoarding dead cats or human excrement, just papers, books and magazines.  So no matter how you clean it up and store it stacked to the ceiling, the underlying theme is, she is till labeled a hoarder.  Some people live very messy lives, existing without knowing the Lord.  It is obvious they need intervention and help.  There are others who live their lives without knowing the Lord and their life has the appearance of a cleaned up, neatly organized life and nothing on the outside even suggests anything is amiss inside that heart.  On Hoarders the challenge is difficult and aftercare is a must.  Some break through and see the light, others welcome the change for a time and then go back to the way they lived before.  Then there are those who are almost unreachable.  I think that transfers over into Christianity.  We look at people who live amidst junk, worthless stuff and it is easier to help them because their needs are great but we have resources and a way to help them.  Those who can contain their need and hide behind wealth and status and privilege, we are inadequate, to help meet their needs in ourselves because their immediate needs are deeper and we are not able or given enough time to scrutinize what's needed.  A loaf of bread and a can of beans aren't going to be the key that opens the lock of their lives.  Many years ago when we first joined the U Club, I asked Cecilia Talley how I could share Jesus with my up and out friends.  She told me it would take time but to be a friend and since I didn't run in that social crowd, she told me I could give an ear and really listen, to be kind.  It took a lot of time for them to trust me.  At Christmas I would bake Christmas cookies with my mother to give to them.  The key to unlock the door of acceptance finally was a Waterman pen that Roy had given me for Christmas.  These ladies didn't know who I was or where I came from or how all of the sudden I was a part of their world.  At the end of tennis matches, we would always pull out our calendars and make future games.  This was back in the dark ages of real paper calendars and pens.  I offered my pen to a lady who hadn't brought one and I remember this as clearly today as then.  She looked at my pen and then looked at me and kind of nodded to the others like...she's ok, she has a "pen."  That pen opened the doors to be more than a tennis player at the U Club but it opened the door to become friends and share the love and rescuer of my life, Jesus. 

I am thrilled that one of my friends who lives in NW Houston told me last night she had found four of my notebooks at her Target and I have a friend in Dallas as soon as I send her a picture of the Mead Decorative Fashion notebook, she will keep an eye out for some.  Roy said something this morning that was funny, I found some glass bottles of Diet CheerWine at Rocket Fizz and gave him a six pack of his favorite soda for Valentine's.  Roy said, I didn't get you a gift, I really didn't know what you might like...and then he added, I know, notebooks but I think he couldn't get them in good conscience since I think he is about to have an intervention with me. 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I Hoard Notebooks

Hi, my name is Nancy and I am a notebook hoarder more specifically the Mead Decorative Fashion Notebook at Target hoarder.  It is 80 pages of narrow ruled paper of a higher quality paper.  The notebook is a hardback black wire bound notebook and they aren't manufactured anymore.  Thus, it is my desire to procure and obtain everyone that I can find.  Weekly, I check to see if a few more have been found and delivered to the store.  Just this week I cleaned out the Memorial City, Eldridge and San Felipe Target.  Dena found three in Baytown and today I asked CourtneyS if I sent her a picture of this treasured notebook, the next time she is at her Target, would she check it out.  Her Target is showing that they are available.  Roy asked me today when is this madness going to stop?  I have concluded soon...but the hunt really has been a lot of fun.  And yes, I am using the notebooks for journaling and one for quotes I find. 

Not only am I a Mead Decorative Fashion Notebook hoarder, I am a journal collector.  It is a sickness!  Today at Home Goods I made my usual stroll down stationery lane.  There were two pushy ladies who were not being very kind to other shoppers.  They ran into one woman, moved carts and wouldn't move theirs to let anyone get by.  Now, this isn't very nice, but one lady had picked up a journal and then put it down, so I picked it up and when she asked the other lady where that journal had gone, went straight into my cart.  She gave me a stare like she was willing me to give her that journal but not very Christ like Nancy, walked away singing I've got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart...where?   I hope she saw that same journal on the end cap. 

Yesterday, after my dentist appointment, I went to the Eldridge Target you know...why.  Anyway, it was so cold!  I had worn my rain gear since rain was predicted.  My feet all warm in my faux fur lined waterproof UGS and my red rain jacket but the red rain jacket did not keep me warm.  I am all for cold weather and love an overcast day, but yesterday seemed much colder than any other day this winter.  I wouldn't even take something out to the casita bedroom because it was too cold to walk across the courtyard. 

I'm excited for tomorrow's Bible study.  We are looking at Laban, Jacob, Rachel and Leah.  It is interesting to look at all the family dynamics that are going on.  Deceiving seems to be in the DNA.  But, there is that honor that comes to Leah even though she was not the loved one.  Her sons are Judah and Levi. 

Today I picked up cookies from Memorial City Bakery for brunch tomorrow.  I also picked up a few extra cookies and decided to take some to my friend CourtneyS.  It has been quite some time since I have last been in the ministries suite or even in my old office.  CourtneyS is there now doing a fabulous job.  I don't know hardly any of the people in the Ministries Suite anymore.  You know sometimes when you revisit a place where you spent a lot of time and had a lot of fun, you might wonder if you'd made a mistake and become "office sick."  That did not happen today.  Sitting there remembering Wednesday nights and MidLink and all the details that go along with, didn't make me office sick.  Now, I do believe that being in that suite with so many people who had so many sick kiddos is what brought on my viral myocardia.  Flu twice in one year...strep throat germs everywhere and with my weakened immune system, I was just a weak vessel awaiting attack.  I do have very fond memories of some very good times and how I grew spiritually in that job.  God used that job to show me that I was good at other things besides sports.  And He used that job to show me that it is better for me and those around me not to be good at Excel.  Thank God for a hubby who loves him some Excel.  Many of my friends still work at the church.  Others have gone to other jobs or ministries.  Still others are stay at home moms now which is a high calling.  There are a few who I worked with that have become oblivious in the dust of hard fought territorial times that I wanted nothing to do with.  They walked away from their jobs on their own.   That is the sad side of ministry, those strong personalities who intimidate and want to control everything or micromanage issues to death. 

Guess I had better put up my latest acquisitions of Mead Decorative Fashion Notebooks.  Closet shelf still strong enough to hold them. 

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lots of Insecurity Running Around

It is ironic that on a foggy and rainy day the traffic was better than two weeks ago with sunshine and a cloudless sky.  I had an appointment with the oral surgeon this morning.  Every thing is going well and in about two months he will start project B on another area.  I was in and out of his office and free to go over to Target.  I noticed that Three Brother's Bakery has a shop on Kingsride.  That's good to know.  After the Target run, it was The Fresh Market stop and then on to Barnes and Noble's.  I also stepped outside my comfort zone and went to an unfamiliar ATM.  I've written before that my escapades at various ATM's should be released on You Tube.  First off, I didn't pull in close enough, so I had to do a redo of pulling along side the thing.  This machine was one you insert the card and then pull it out quickly, like at a gas station and I am used to the one that eats your card and returns it to you after the transaction is complete.  I was trying to shove that card into the slot...oh yes, read the screen.  Ack!  ATM's make me feel so inadequate and insecure. 

It was a good 24 hours because between Dena's trip in Baytown and mine today at Memorial City, I have five more notebooks.  Well five more of the kind that I love.  They are difficult to find. 

Last night we met David and Emily at the always busy in the evenings Luby's.  Fuddruckers had a line almost out the door.  It was great catching up with them.  We got home and I went straight to watching Downton Abbey. 

This week we are studying Leah, Rachel and Jacob...oh and don't forget Laban.  I don't think I ever really understood until now how miserable Leah was and the wrangling between Laban and Jacob is really interesting, very deep.   Both men have quite a bit of anger stored up in their spirits and when they have the chance to unload every injustice and sin against them brought by the other, they take it to the smallest detail.  It is obvious a lot of thought had gone into the releasing of their words.  That is what happens when we meditate on the negative and keep a record of every wrong, little or big. 

I read an intersecting article on Leadership Freak Twitter account last week.  I enjoy this man's insight and solutions for leadership.  His topic was insecure leaders.  All of us have one time or another worked for an insecure boss.  Maybe at some time or the other we have been the insecure boss but it doesn't have to remain that way.  Here are his 20 attributes of an insecure leader or boss;
Insecure leaders:
1.    Defend when they should explore.

2.    Take things personally.

3.    Blame higher ups for tough decisions.

4.    Don’t trust others because they don’t trust themselves.

5.    Can’t say no.

6.    Threaten, intimidate, and coerce.

7.     Shut down input from others because feedback is frightening.

8.    Micromanage.

9.    Won’t delegate.

10.  Yell.

11.  Backstab.

12.  Create teams of yes-men.

13.  Illustrate their competence and successes too frequently.

14.  Hoard knowledge.

15.  Delay decisions and then flip flop after.

16.  Seem snobbish.

17.  Crave positional authority and respect.

18.  Nitpick and belittle.

19.  Share blame and take credit.

20.  Name drop.
Tomorrow if I remember or maybe the day after I will post how to overcome insecurity to become a better leader.  Like I said, the blog is helpful no matter if you're a paid employee or a volunteer or a leader in your sphere of influence. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Saturday and Sunday

This past year as I have driven to Sealy and beyond bridges, brick and stone work, and fields that I saw along the drive were noted for the day I could get Roy to come with me and take pictures.  Yesterday was that day.  Roy had planned that we would start out for our day when he returned from Bible study but we didn't leave as quickly as we had planned.  I have been fighting off this sore throat for several days and Saturday it took me some time to get moving.  We hit the road around 11:00 and our first stop would be the bridge on I 10.  Over the years this bridge has frequently spoken to me...not like with a voice but with its beauty and design.  I've never known if the red was rust or paint and I'm still not sure but Roy captured the beauty of steel, wood and stone against the overcast sky.  He wanted there to be more sunlight but in my heart I knew the lighting for the pictures was perfect for what I envisioned. I hope we go back to this spot in the spring so that Roy can take the pictures he envisioned.  I am a sucker for dormant trees and vegetation. 
After Roy downloaded his pictures I played around with a few of them.  Taking the graffiti off the stone foundation and playing around with sepia and black and white. 


After spending time at the bridge that happens to go over the Brazos River, we got back on the road.  Since we were heading Brenham way, I called Mimi to see if she and Mike wanted to meet us at Nathan's for lunch.  I love God's timing, well not always but in this case, because she was writing me an email at the moment we called her.  

I love these drainage ditches or whatever they are beneath the railroad track between Sealy and Bellville.  We had just returned from a trip to the Biltmore and the workmanship  here reminded me of the workmanship of the bricks and stones there.  There are four different layouts with this style and we were able to stop at two of them to get the pictures.  Right after Roy took this picture, he got in the car and we headed on down the road.  Then we saw the train coming.  I wish Roy had been still out there taking pictures.  Those would have been so good to have. 
Mimi met us at Nathan's.  Channel 11 had just done a report of how great the food is there and the place was packed.  It is kind of like a smaller Buc-cees.  Afterwards we had to do the photo op and we normally take our pics by the Nathan's sign but it was too cold to take pictures outdoors.   
Roy and I went on to downtown Brenham where he took pictures while I shopped in a few stores.  Since we were so close to Round Top, we drove on over.
We didn't do a whole lot there except pick up some pie for later.  I only went into a couple of shops and Roy took pictures. 

On our way home we stopped at this drainage area to get some pictures.  Now, finally, the sun was out and it did add some brightness.  We stopped at the DQ in Bellville for a snack to sustain us for our drive home. 

It was a very fun day!  I enjoyed it so much on many different levels.  Seeing the beauty on our familiar roads is challenging some days and other times, the scenery along the way jumps out at us and grabs our attention.  But it is finding those little things....

I started this post this morning listening to our church service on the web.  Now it is afternoon and we just got back home.  Roy is out riding his trek.  We met Dena for brunch and then we went to Francesca's while Roy went to Rocket Fizz, newest and coolest candy and soda pop place in La Centerra.  Then Roy and I did a Whole Foods run and a quick pick up in World Market.  Oh, I feel a nap coming on and I have homework.  It has been a good weekend. 

Friday, February 7, 2014

Dinner, Fun, Mathnasium and Olympics

Last night Bill, Peggy, Roy and I went to Dena's to help her hang the mirror and artwork she bought before moving into her new home.  Mainly because schedules conflicted and life in general, there didn't seem to be the opportunity to help her get this done.  That is, until last night.  Granted, I was not much help.  I am an eyeball it and hang it kind of gal but I am fighting off a sore throat that is immune system related, not a cold and this shall be a sign unto me that a sore throat means, slow down.  Dena made (the trip) dinner for us.  Yummy BBQ from a place off Mason.  It was delicious and I think we all did the second helping thing.  Then it was time to get to work.  Out came hammers and tape measures and molly bolts and nails.  There was some furniture moving and the master wall hanger Bill, began to work his magic.  He was helped by his two lovely assistants, Peggy and Roy.  I took myself out of the equation, notice a math term, when all this dividing and fractionating started taking place.  I am not gifted with patience for tedious tasks.  Roy and Peggy are dividing and measuring and talking fractions.  Uh, no one told me math was going to be involved.  I made it my job, unnecessarily, to make sure Bandit or now as he is known out here in Rancho De Five, Mr. B was entertained and played with.   
 It all went quite well and everyone had Winston Churchill to thank for calm and carry on that permeated the night.. 

 OK, the wall is 60 and 5/8 wide.  The height above the sideboard will be 12 inches.  The hangers on the back are 10 inches from the top.  When will Bill and Peggy arrive in Seattle and when will Roy eat a cookie?  Please show your work. 
 Measure 7 times and only put 5 holes in the wall.  The math guy, Roy, is contemplating his next break and to keep him occupied is thinking trig and calculus thoughts. 
 The happy camper!  That mirror is a beautiful statement piece but it is so heavy!  You know I was going to another room when Dena brought in her bathroom scales so that the merry three could see how much it weighed so they would know what kind of hangers to use and when Bill and Peggy would arrive in Seattle.  Show your work, please. 
 Here is another view.  Absolutely beautiful! 
 Now to the next piece in the reading nook.  If a wall is 70 2/16 wide and the artwork is to be only five inches above the fireplace and the fireplace is 48 inches tall and Dena has two apples that are not real, how many slices will there be to divide the apples to feed five people?  If a + b=c, how many baskets of leftover bread and fish will there be for Bill and Peggy to eat on the train going to Seattle?  Show your work.  Bonus credit for Roy's thoughts on advanced trig. 

  Here is a close up of every one's happy face.  If you're happy and you know it, measure a wall.  If you're happy and you know it stand up tall.  If you're happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it, if you're happy and you know it measure a wall.  Then divide by 2, carry the 3 and when two vowels go walking the first does the talking. 
 Meanwhile Mr. B has found Roy to be the perfect entertainment since I was busy with photo documentation duties. 
 All done!

The next project was in Dena's study but after a while I realized all the pictures looked the same, so I stopped taking pictures and had a Diet Coke.  Bill also hung two other pieces but they were a snap in comparison to the measure and math approach. 

In the background the beginning of the Olympics skated on.  With the sound muted, Peggy and I played commentator to the pairs skating.  Time to refresh my knowledge of skating terms because you need them about every 4-6 years. 

At 10:00 pm we all realized we were out too late on a school night.  The sidewalks roll up kind of early out here on the prairie.  This is the closest thing to a barn raising where everyone gathers to help their neighbors. 

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Dork, ABC and a Hot Mess

It is downright cold outside.  The wind is blowing from the north and cuts right through ya.  I wore a heavy coat this morning to Bible study and had gloves in a pocket just in case.  I should have worn the gloves.  We had a great time this morning.  Good discussion and a lot of thought provoking questions.  I came home early because I woke up with a sore throat.  The is a definite sign for me to slow down because my immune system is either shut down or working overtime.  I made a quick stop at Kroger's for fresh squeezed orange juice on the way home. 

Roy came home energized and full from the open house at Costco last night.  He was excited about the samples and he really liked the layout of the store, so different from the one on Bunker Hill.  He stopped and got a milkshake on the way home because he had eaten a lot of spicy items.  He plans to make a return trip sometime this weekend.  I only get this excited about store openings within the Nordstrom range of stores. 

I am such a dork but that isn't news.  On FB the other night, the Baylor Alumni organization had posted pictures from their luncheon for Alumni By Choice.  I looked at all the pictures and read the blurb on that day's ceremony with great interest.  There were wonderful stories.  I sat here and cried after I read everything.  It would have been bitter tears many years ago because I had been accepted to go, even had my roommates in Collin's assigned.  I had worked all summer, doing double shifts at AstroWorld saving every bit of my earnings for college, for Baylor.  There is a long story that goes with this tale and I am not even going to give the short version, but basically through circumstances that I could not understand at the age of 18 I was forbidden to go.  It broke my spirit.  I went on to U of H but I hated it and when my last friend had transferred away or decided to quit, that is when I too began to look for a way out.  I was so jealous of anyone who attended Baylor.  The first time I visited the campus, I fell in love.  I brought home a t-shirt and just about wore out that thing from wearing it so often.  My heart belonged to the green and gold even if everything else about me had to be elsewhere.  Through the years when you do the dreaded "table talk" or just talking with friends, and the subject of your biggest regret is worked in, not attending Baylor, it was my biggest regret.  It was the dream that would never happen.  But life goes on, I went to work, fell in love and married.  Even in all this happiness and growing up that warm, tender place in my heart for Baylor came along with me as life continued onward.  About every three months I have a Baylor dream and the constant in each of these dreams is, in the dream I am always the age that I am in real life.   It finally got to the point that not going to Baylor was not my biggest regret and the bitterness faded away.  I even came to the point that even if I had been able to attend, my time there would have probably been more miserable than I could imagine. I would have been there, getting a wonderful education, but I wouldn't have been able to participate in much of anything. There was always a high price to pay when it came to happiness and my life would have become a constant punishment because of someone who didn't desire me to have a good life or be able to accomplish more than graduating from high school.  When you have been told your whole life the only two things that I'd be qualified to do career wise was, to push the ice tea cart at a cafeteria or become a nanny, there isn't much encouragement to go on to greater things.  No, the tears I shed were of pure joy and happiness of those getting their ABC )Alumni By Choice) certificate.  Each one in those pictures were with great joy and huge smiles.  I cried because I was so happy for them and I even dared to think what if....  What if I were able to attend the next luncheon, I think I would be a hot mess standing there with that certificate. 

The kitchen is a hot mess, so better get in there and just do enough to call it a mess.