Friday, November 28, 2014

Unflagging Spirit

Our last night in Asheville...  We started the morning, the cold 24 degree morning with a stop at our house.  We had done our work yesterday afternoon and returned to get the final estimate from the painter and confirm a finish date so that the flooring can begin.  On our way to the house we received a text from the "organizer" we talked to on Monday and she wants $125.00 for consulting with us.  Uh, she did nothing except come up with plenty of ideas on how to spend our money.  If I knew she was charging us for our 'interview' with her, I would have asked her to leave way before she did.  She's a talker....  She also informed us her rate is $35.00 an her first check is her last check with us.  Come to find out we really don't need her with the way everything is working out and we also invested in a lock box for those who need access to our home.  After leaving our house, we went over to Weaverville and bought all the mattresses we will need for our house and they don't charge for delivery or set up.  We have delivery scheduled for our next visit.  We knew we wanted to go back to Barber Orchard for apples and some of the biggest sweet potatoes we have ever seen but we stopped at the cutest shop on a farm not too far from us.  The owner, Penny, has antiques and a lot of beautiful things.  She's also a painter.  The drive to her shop is beautiful!  Can't wait to bring friends there.  They also sell eggs, so I am happy to find a local egg supplier.  We then made our way, first to an ATM, to the apple orchard.  For our last real meal here, we ate at The Moose Cafe.

A sub plot to the day was our garage door at home wasn't working.  Roy was able to get a hold of the garage door company this morning and they were out to the house by the afternoon.  Got that problem resolved.  So for Black Friday we really did shop local both here and at home.  The wallet is hurting just a bit from this week.

On cue, we also received a distracting phone call on this trip and thankfully for the first time in a long time it was not from my father.  There should be a Chinese fortune cookie that says 'beware of phone calls from those you haven't heard from in a long time.'  I don't have a dog in this race and haven't had any say in the matter over the years but the caller mistakenly thinks I do. It's kind of funny and Roy and I were talking about this on our drives this morning, most people think that I make all the decisions and have sway over Roy...not true MaGoo.  I am stong willed and opinionated, but don't confuse that with his choices and decisions for us.  Some think they can intimidate and talk Roy into the way they want him to go....good luck with that.  

It looks like Roy is ready for us to finish up our packing for the trip home, so blogging time has come to an end.   Like last night, we have some good football games to keep us company.  Last night's LSU game was quite delightful and our spirits did not flag.  

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!  It is an overcast day with light flurries of snow.  The temps are a little above freezing, so the snow isn't sticking to the roads.  For this we are thankful.  There are more here in the hotel than we thought for a holiday.  Roy was able to get the housekeeper to clean our room early, while we ate breakfast, so that we could come back here until we leave for Thanksgiving dinner.  Originally, we planned on going to the Biltmore for a late lunch at the Inn but when we found out last Sunday at that Turkey Creek Cafe was serving on Thanksgiving day, we decided to make a change in our plans.  I was more hesitant to change but by Monday morning I concurred and canceled Biltmore, yet at the same time confirming Christmas lunch reservations with them for next month.  Thus we will not have to dress up today.  After we eat, we are going over to the house for a few minutes and then get back here before the temps drop below freezing this evening.

We were talking this morning about what we need to wrap up on this trip and really this trip and what we thought would get accomplished is more like what we thought we could get done when we return at Christmas.  By next week we should know something on the pricing of the granite we picked out and some of the plumbing work.  That work can begin and hopefully with the painter finishing up on Dec 16th, the flooring guys can install everything and by the time we get here, all that preliminary work will be done.  At Christmas maybe we can work on buying mattresses and getting the kitchen stuff organized.   The house will be ready for us in March when we have some of our furniture from Houston moved here.  For all these things, we are thankful.

Our adventure in granite land was interesting yesterday.  Jonathan came and measured the counters and sent that over to Viktor's.   Then we came to go through the warehouse and write down any choices we were interested in.  Funny how you start out thinking one thing and come away doing something totally different from what you expected.  Our top choice was marble and thus not meant for kitchen wear and tear.  I even said that would be impossible but if anything other than water got on the marble, it's etched in with no possible way to repair or reseal.  I wasn't in love with our other two choices, so they sent us down to a supplier they get granite from, who has more of a choice but since today is Thanksgiving, the other place had closed early for the holidays.  We went back to Viktor's to walk through the warehouse to look at granite with new eyes.  This time Tammy was able to walk through with us and she was so helpful to talk us through color, consistency, and stuff like that.   As she explained and worked with us all the infinite knowledge of stone, we came to a totally different color choice than when we walked in the first time.  Our top two choices are a more consistent pattern that will work well if and when we refinish the cabinets.

We are back from lunch and a quick trip to the house.  Lunch was delicious.  Roy even tried one of my all time favorites, collard greens.  It snowed on us most of the way there and it snowed throughout lunch.  Not any of it was sticking but we kept tabs on the temperature.  Once we got to the house we measured a few walls and other places and transferred things out of the traveling storage containers into bigger ones that will remain at the house.  The snow started just about the time we were leaving to return to the hotel.

Thanksgiving has been a wonderful day.  Quiet and relaxing.  In the past there haven't been too many of those times but over the years Roy and I have carved out our own type of celebrations and observance of holidays.  I am sure the people at Bass Pro Shop are wondering why their bottom line isn't as good today as it has been in the past several years.  There aren't any Bass Pro Shops around us this year.

Roy has football on and we will watch LSU this evening too.  Tomorrow should be an easy going day wrapping up our trip, our first trip to our home.  It's also looking like a return trip for apples.

Happy Thanksgiving!  Thanks be to our God.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Night Before Thanksgiving

The Wednesday night before Thanksgiving.  We have so much to be thankful for this year.  These past few days have been filled with appointments and going here and there.  Most evenings we came in after 7:00 pm exhausted and I would be too tired to blog.  Most of our mornings began earlier than later.  What we have been able to do is exciting and we are much further along than I ever thought we would be.

On Monday we had all the appointments with contractors, plumbers, painters, organizers and such.  Our contractor is also a pastor and a member of a southern gospel quartet.  The man who measured our floors for hardwood and carpet is a pastor of a small Baptist church and our painter has a Bible study in his home on Tuesday nights.  We certainly feel blessed.  Our friends Vivian and Bill came by to see the house and we welcomed in as our first official friends to visit.  We sat out on the porch and visited for a bit before they left to run errands.  We shut everything down at the house and went to the flooring place and picked out hardwoods to match what is in the house already and a Berber type carpet for the upstairs.  As we were winding up with that I noticed an email asking my opinion on a delivery.  So we went back to the house and sure enough, the four boxes sat outside the garage door.  Now, I don't think anyone would have bothered them, but we didn't want the boxes left out there in the moist air making it difficult to drag into the garage on Tuesday.  I no more wanted to back into our driveway in the dark that night but necessity made it so.  Our driveway is rather tricky and I am getting better at the challenge.  I do not look forward to the day that Roy has to drive in and out of our driveway.  We made it back to the hotel where I brushed my teeth and washed my face and fell asleep before 8:30 pm.

Tuesday morning we let the painter in early to begin his work.  Once we had that all settled in, we went back to the flooring company to return the samples and confirm our choices.  We had a free afternoon so we chose to go over to Waynesville.  Our first stop is usually Mast General Store.  Roy found a bunch of shirts and fleece vests on sale and I found a few things as well.  That is such a fun store.  Then we went over to the Hazelwood area to look in Robin Blu and check out the new bakery next door.  We didn't buy anything but made note for future purchases.  Since it was kind of past lunchtime we stopped in at a place right there in the area.  We waited for over thirty minutes for our order and when I asked our waiter, what took our food so long?  He said, our order took longer than most and then I asked in really a nice way, did you forget to put our order in?  He looked toward all the tables of people who came in after us and then looked at our order, egg salad, BBQ sandwich and salads, smirked and walked away.  Everyone around us had orders much more complicated than ours and believe me I kept in mind he might call security.  He didn't say anything when he brought us the check.  We tipped him well and we didn't do it to reinforce bad service, we did it so that we would not become angry and bitter.  The Bible says it is easy to love those who love us and therefore it might include it is easy to tip well when the service has been outstanding but when service is.....less than stellar and he watched us pray over our food, we were not going to be those kind of people and we chose to walk in love.  It wasn't easy I tells ya, but I am so glad we did.   We also stopped at a grocery store there to pick up a few supplies.  That was an eye opening experience and I just might blog about it one day.  We needed to get back to the house because we had a delivery coming and our realtor was coming out to give us our Air 2 Ipad that he usually gives you at closing.

Let me tell you the PB delivery was quite amusing.  I sat on the porch to watch for the guys because our house is kind of hard to find with the two address thing going on...anyway, they came and began bringing in the furniture.  We asked them if they could help us because we didn't have the correct tools to take apart the queen size bed that Kate gave us and they were willing to help.  I visited with Brian, realtor, who had shown up about the same time as Roy and the guys worked on putting our bed together upstairs...then came the furniture for the bonus room.  There was a little piece that had chipped off a side where no one would see it but Roy wanted it fixed.  So off to Lowe's to buy wood glue trying to drive as fast and safely as possible on narrow roads, in the dark....and be back in time to bid the guys a hearty fair thee well...because everything is always supposed to go so smoothly with these kind of plans...but no.  We returned to find all the nuts and bolts scattered and the pieces of the corner unit spread all over the floor....oh no nuts, that was it.  Could they put everything together and we could go get nuts and tighten everything up?  Roy said no.  How about keep all the pieces and schedule someone to come at another time to put it together.  OK.  Except that, there were two missing pieces.  This was only discovered as Jeff Foxworthy, Chris Rock and Bill Gates worked together.  Chris was good at getting the pieces together with the right slots but Jeff was better in understanding how the thing was to go together.  Bill Gates stood over them saying wait a minute, wait a minute.  Finally, Jeff called the dispatcher and he was told to look in the truck again.  He left to go do that while I tried to help Chris Rock with his smart phone...taking pictures of the pieces and messaging them to the dispatcher, only he didn't know how to do that.  So I am teaching him how to send pics via texting and he tells me about his dog named Killer.  Roy is over in the corner with the pieces trying to piece them together and trying Chris to get interested in putting things together.  Jeff comes in with one of the missing pieces and asks Chris to go out and get the other one.  Then Jeff realizes he only has instructions in Spanish to put this thing together.  I began reviewing in my head all I learned in high school Spanish.  I realized I could ask for the bread and butter to be passed and would he like to play a game of Chinese checkers.  Chris brings the rest up to the room and thus begins one of the funniest things I had ever seen.  Jeff is reading the instructions in Spanish and explaining them to Chris in English.  Bill is hovering over the whole process saying, this isn't right.  Jeff has to stop reading his Spanish instructions and tell Bill they are putting it together upside down on purpose.  Jeff is telling this to Bill Gates as he is on the floor holding up part of the table with his legs and pulling shelves in to the center of the piece with one hand and holding the Spanish instructions in the other.  Chris is doing just about the same thing holding up his part of the table with his back and once again Bill Gates stands overlooking the whole thing trying to give instructions.  I had to leave it was too comical for me.  I prayed for them and went downstairs.  It wasn't too much later Bill, I mean Roy, called for me to come up and inspect their work.  The finished product was beautiful.

Today, another early day to meet the contractor.  The painter came early as well.  Roy and I went to the flooring company paid our deposit and then went to the granite place.  I will write about that experience later as this has gone on too long.  Yep, tonight, sitting here on the couch in our room , I am thankful.  God is good!  Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Pleasant But Rainy Sunday

Asheville and the surrounding areas today experienced steady rain throughout.  We woke up this morning to rain and fog and we came prepared.  This Holiday Inn is wonderful.  We got a great night's sleep and started the day off with a breakfast buffet.  Roy awoke early and thus we didn't have to be in a rush to leave the hotel to be on time for church.  Google Girl took us a different route and knowing this route will come in handy when I'm not feeling the winding mountain roads that I took this summer.  Vivian and Bill were waiting for us today and we got to meet Aunt Mary and many others.  What a joy!  After church we headed over to Turkey Creek Cafe and had the best lunch!  We have found so many here are just about the friendliest folk.  Our waitress is in nursing school, so we had a great conversation with her and learned so many things about this area.  I may or may not have volunteered Peggy to teach these young women line dancing when she comes this way.

We went to Lowe's but the granite people weren't in today.  They are supposed to call us tomorrow.  Since we were there we took advantage of getting a few things for the house and then took those things to the house.  I bravely backed into our driveway...note to self, buy reflectors to put near the edge where one might go off the edge and down a hill.  Not that I did that or came close to doing that but both Roy and I felt that would be safer for all involved.

We set Google Girl to Home Goods and we got ourselves into Galleria type traffic.  Roy couldn't believe we braved the elements to go there with the rest of Asheville.  One thing we have noticed here, when it is raining most people just walk in the rain sans umbrella or hoodie over their hair.   Since we were close by the Barnes and Noble, we made a quick stop in there before heading back to the Holiday Inn.  I find myself ensconced on the couch and Roy has called dibs on the TV and extra comforter.  Although he has gone to the fitness center downstairs for a bit.  I'm staying upstairs having a bite.

Since I know so many are wondering about the nose whistle saga, I will tell you that the night in Ooletwah my nose whistle played the beginning of the hymn Holy, Holy, Holy....I kid you not!  Last night the whistle woke me up but it wasn't as musical as the night before.  That throat whistle kicked in too but thankfully, it did not keep me awake, making music in my nose and throat.  Did David ever mention this in the Psalms?   If I can just train these whistle noises into bluegrass, I might have a career up here.

Tomorrow is a big appointment day.  That also means it is an early day...but so worth it to get things started on the house.  Good night from rainy Asheville and on Wednesday, I may be greeting you with a snow report.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Just Chilling in the Ville

We finally arrived at our home at 2:00 this afternoon.  Can I tell you this, we are so excited and so blessed.  Roy unlocked the door and we went in and just took it all in, our home.  We walked through each room and looked around and it wasn't too long into the walk through that we began making plans for what will go where, what should be replaced and getting everything painted.  We then unloaded everything in the car whose destination was the house and walked about outside as well.  It was a breezy 55 and I knew when Roy was bundling up in a coat and I was content to wear my long sleeve Baylor black 'be the standard' t shirt that I knew I was totally in my element.

Our journey began yesterday morning at 4:15 am.  We had breakfast in Sulphur, Chicky in Chunky and spent way too much time in Tuscaloosa.  The fine folks of Alabama were working on one lane and the traffic backed up for miles and miles.  It took us an hour and a half to go 6.5 miles.  When we finally pulled in at 9:00 pm in Ooletwah, we were beat.  I was asleep in about no time at all.  It was nice not have to get too early of a start this morning and pulled out about 9:15.  We took our favorite way to Asheville and in some of the rocky areas along the road, there were still icicles frozen in place even though the temp was a balmy 43 degrees.  In just two weeks many places where the trees were fully leafed out in fall colors were today in their dormant leaves to be found on branches.  Of course we couldn't pass up Barber's Fruit Stand and by the looks of it neither could a lot of people.

After we left our home, we ran a couple of errands and then headed over to The Moose Cafe for a delicious dinner.  Then we checked in our hotel.  we aren't staying at The Biltmore this trip.  Roy reminded me that we could stay there or have extra money for furniture if we stayed somewhere else. I'll take more furniture for a 100 Alec  So, here we are.  Roy is ensconced watching Baylor beat OSU and I'm n the couch  blogging and watching the game too.

Our week ahead is full of fun and adventure.  Tomorrow morning we are going to church and then our first but probably not our last visit to Lowe's.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ladder Wrestling and Other Interesting Tidbits...

Yesterday, a beautiful day to enjoy getting out and about, running errands that had been put off and taking care of a few last minute things.  Although we don't shop Eddie Bauer as much as we used to, they are still a go to place for cold weather clothes.  It is not that we are in need of any but some of our stuff is beginning to look a little ratty tatty.  Roy was in luck because he benefited the most of from that short trip.  While deciding between a few items and trying to give the job at hand my best focus, the clerks kept asking me if they could take what I was holding to the, because I haven't decided whether these things will be going home with me.  That attention was getting a tad annoying.  Did they think I was going to run out the door with stolen merchandise?  Or did they think if the shirts were by the register, one would be more inclined to buy?  At the end of the shopping excursion, good deals were had by all with everything 25% off and clearance and extra 30%.  When did plain old flannel shirts become so high priced?  $70.00 for a man's plaid shirt?  My next stop was Target where flannel shirts run about $25.00.

Last night Peggy, Dena and I met for dinner at Babin's.  We laughed and talked the early evening away and what better way to top off a night?  Why, I will be happy to answer that...go to Lowe's to pick up an 8' ladder and a pre-lit Christmas tree for Dena.  It amused me that such three different people yet alike in so many ways, can shop so together.  Add ADD to the mix for two.  I think my helpfulness with the tree ended when I saw the Provenzano tree and my mind drifted to that cute knee doctor that so many of us have seen.  So, I took a picture of the label.  Dena had done her research, Peggy inspected each tree declaring whether the artificial pines looked to be real or like a bottle brush.  I tried to help in whatever ways needed but I found myself watching the activities of tree buying.  Tree on cart, now on to ladders.  Dena needs a taller ladder for leaning purposes when changing a light bulb or batteries in a smoke detector.  I was more helpful with the ladder and loaded it onto the cart.  She also picked up a few lid locking storage containers as Roy mentioned to her Sunday night,  Just in case, it keeps the critters out if they find a way to get into an attic.  Nothing says Merry Christmas like finding a dead mouse in the tinsel.  Not that has ever happened to me because if it had...I would not be writing a blog post this morning.  We loaded up Sequisha and then took a scenic journey through Nottingham as I mistook Westgreen for Mason Road.  It's funny, the line of demarcation for me is 99 and when anyone suggests something is on Mason, I just dismiss it as too far.  The same goes for those on the other side of Mason...99 is too far.  We got the ladder, tree and Dena delivered safely to her home and then I dropped off Peggy and got back at a pretty good time for a school night.

We have house/Buddy sitters coming for both Thanksgiving and Christmas.  With stuff set aside to take to NC, I don't think I will put out many Christmas decorations this year.  This morning I found a matching quilt and sham for the bedroom that we originally thought would be one twin bed, but we have now decided on two beds.  It will be interesting to rework the original plan we had but I am thankful we don't have to do a trundle in there.  This morning I have packed a lot of the linens etc on the floor underneath where the seats fold down.  We wasted that space when we brought things home this summer that honestly will be going back at sometime in the future.  It will be fun trying to figure out how much of everything I have packed so far will be able to make this first trip.  The process has come to a stopping point because of storage issues.  Once we get back, the process will begin again.

Packing clothes still hasn't been done although I pretty much know what I will be taking.  This trip will be clothes in the brown/beige fall colors.  It will be blacks, grays and reds for the Christmas trip. This helps with shoe packing although that is down to tennis shoes, brown boots and waterproof Ugg boots.  Well, those clothes aren't going to pack themselves!  Better get moving on that and finishing up Bible study homework.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Small Changes Turn Into Big Dreams

This morning's devotion is Joshua 3:5 and the version of the Bible used by the author says the word 'amazing.'  If you have read the old Monablog for anytime, amazing is a word to me that is overplayed and over used to describe truly mundane and pedestrian events that might be good or great, but certainly not amazing.  Only in Joshua 3:5 the amazing tells of God's doing and of course that really and truly is amazing.  When I read the verse in my Bible translation the word wonder was used.  Amazing and wonder...yep, those really describe God and His kindness toward us.

Kelly Fisher introduced me to Mark Batterson's blog and then book probably in 2005.  That is way back in the day when he could and would respond to your comments on his blog and that was a special treat.  From time to time I would stop in Kelly's office and we would talk about his blog posts or his book, "In A Pit With A Lion On A Snowy Day."  Fast forward to the Biltmore trip this month and Dena asked me if I would like to do Mark Batterson's 40 day Circle Maker devo book to finish out this year, together and it just so happens there was one copy in the Hammond LA Books A Million waiting to be picked up and bought.  So we began this journey on Sunday.  I have also looked back at his first book I read...Pit, Lion, Snow...and skimmed what was underlined and any comments made in the margins of the book.  And what I found was amazing!  No not really, but finding some things that I prayed about back then and seeing now how they are happening, well that is pretty much such a wonderful God thing.  Chapter Six, Playing It Safe is Risky... the points to remember at the end of the chapter

  • Small changes and small choices become magnified over time and have major consequences
  • Sometimes taking a calculated risk means giving up something good so you can experience something great
  • On courageous choice may be the only thing between you and your dream becoming a reality
  • The goal of faith is not the elimination of risk
  • A relationship with God is the ultimate win/win relationship because you can never give up more than you get back
  • We won't regret the mistakes we made as much as the God ordained opportunities we missed
  • There is nothing passive about following Christ
This morning while praying after reading the devo for the day and then skimming over Lion Pit Snow... I was reminded of the choices we have made in the past few years...small choices that have reaped bountiful blessings.  I took the risk of giving up being a core group leader when I absolutely loved everything about it...well except making phone calls...when it seemed to be the only available outlet to serve the Lord with the gifts He's given me but making that courageous choice opened the opportunity of a dream, our home in NC.  There is much more to this story, more than this home that will have to wait for another day but Roy and I believe this is the first step and risk for the dream that God has placed in our hearts.  Yes, there in the midst of Baptist Church Land, we have a dream of providing rest and retreat for those working and serving and living in a weary land.   

The past few times while planning and then going to NC opposition from the enemy has been intense.  Heart beat issues that exhaust and heart rendering emotions that drain each time before or during the trip meant to trip us up and discourage and change our focus.  We knew we were on the right path.

Wow, what started out this morning with the attitude of 'oh boy, amazing' really turned into Oh God, You are Amazing!  Thank you for reminding me where this journey and seed began.  I am so excited about this, I might just see if that whistle in my nose, wrote about yesterday, can be trained to sound like a shofar or chofar.  First, I need to learn how to spell it before blowing it.  I will call it blowing my nosefar.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

60 Changes of Spray, High Roads and Wise Words of Anne Lamott

Since turning the significant age of sixty I have noticed a few changes and in the spirit of being sixty I have probably written about these things before...but since the big six O has kicked in, I don't remember if I have or not....

The most noticeable change is my ability to whistle with my nose and throat and on some nights the two coordinate into a lovely duet that wakes me up.  The whistle noise in my nose either sounds like a New Year's eve horn, no more wasting money on one of those things now or a rotary phone.  A particular rotary phone because the sound from my nose sound is exactly like the clicking of the rotation of the telephone dial on my grandparent's 1940's style phone.  It was loud and rather ratty tatty.  Much to my chagrin one night on our trip Dena had to call across the room to me that I was making noise and I sheepishly asked if it was the whistle noise and she said yes.  We were telling our friend Edward about this at breakfast because you know in the beauty of the mountains, nose whistling is a hot topic of conversation and young Edward told me, use nose will help.  He suffers from this same debilitating condition.  Oh the humanity!  His (Edward's) truth marches on in that the spray does seem to fix most of the nose noise but not the throat whistling.  Maybe keeping a glass of water by the that only means I will knock it over as I reach blindly to find it...make it a bottle of water by the bed.  All this is probably due to lost air know like a balloon.  As we get older everything looses its tautness and thus the escape of air through those tiny pin holes in nose and throat.  Lord, I can only think where this path is going...

Something else that seems to creep in when one turns into the six o's are thoughts that turn toward finishing well.  Not that leaving a legacy kind of crappy way of thinking, filled with that churchy le femme kind of false thinking of legacy  but being obedient to God, doing what is right, taking a few chances out of the comfort zone, keeping my thoughts on the high road and not growing weary, in a weary land.   Of course I have opinions and thoughts on all these things, but here of late keeping my thoughts, thus effecting my actions, on the high road has given me much to ponder...  In a nutshell the good old I Corinthians 13 walk in love thing; patient, kind, not jealous or boastful or proud, or rude.  The good old fashioned way of not being irritable and not keeping a record of being wronged...doesn't rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  That kind of love that never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance.  That my friends is the kind of love that never fails, because you know, it is God's love.  We fail miserably in our own generated "come on now, suck it up, gut it out" tries at love.  Agape is the only way...or as we said in high school, all the way with a-gap-e.  Sometimes it scares me thinking of how many who came before me in our family were and are crazier than Cooter Brown...I don't know Cooter, but I have heard he be cray-cray, and I wonder if it is a true heredity kind of thing or if it is a chemical imbalance kind of thing or if just maybe, some of the crazies could have been contained if they had Romans 12:1-2ude it?  It is probably a combo of all three and as far as it is up to me I can at least work at controlling my thoughts and bringing them all into the captivity of Christ as life goes toward the finish line.  It used to aggravate my father something fierce when Grandma kept a tab and balance on who called who, who came over last, whose turn it was to do_______ .  Sadly, he has and from what I hear continues walking in those same pathways.  Hurt feelings, slights, anger, bitterness, yep, we all have the opportunity to chose what we are going to do with those things.  The less time we give to them, the easier it is to let them go and continue on.  Sometimes that is harder than writing about it, but once it becomes kind of a habit, those things lose their importance.

Nevada Barr, mystery writer, published a book eons ago called, Seeking Enlightenment Hat by Hat. She wrote at the beginning of her quest of finding Christ and figuring out how to live, so you probably won't hear her at the next women's ministry event...too rough about the edges and language please!  Same could be said about Anne Lamott to the church ladies...but she has brilliant insights while being honest and real in expressing them.  I read this excerpt today and will leave you with it, while I try to take the high road on a couple of things... I know I will be happier and more useful if I make that climb.

Wise words from Anne Lamott
‘Perfectionism is the voice of the oppressor. It will keep you very scared and restless your entire life if you do not awaken, and fight back.’
‘Pick a new direction, one you wouldn’t mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon.’
‘Forgiveness means it finally becomes unimportant that you hit back. You’re done. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to have lunch with the person.’
‘It’s good to do uncomfortable things. It’s weight-training for life.’
‘The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.’
‘The road to enlightenment is long and difficult and you should try not to forget snacks and magazines.’

How can we find purpose?
Sometimes purpose is enduring situations that we hope not to be in forever, in order to get to somewhere more creative or that might pay out more in terms of laughter, friendships or sense of accomplishment. If you don’t know what your purpose is, tell someone. Or write a note to God and say, ‘I am adrift. Could you get back to me?’ Then try to keep your sticky fingers off the controls of your life, and set your intentions – to have peace of mind, keep your sense of humour, get some exercise, and eat less sugar!

More Wise Words from Anne Lamott
Still, all these years of healing, recovery, and radical self-care later later, I woke up yesterday, with one day off from the Small Victories book tour--although I was doing a huge fundraiser in SF that night--and I was just mad as a hatter. I'd had a nightmare, and it took me a while to re-group. (When I was still drinking, it used to take a cool refreshing beer first thing in the morning to get all the flies going in one direction.) I prayed, and yet I "knew" I could not do the fundraiser that night, or go back on the road to seven more cities today. As my Liverpudlian mother used to say, "It's all over for England." But Grace, that mysterious spiritual WD-40, spritzed me, and I did the only thing that ever really helps. I picked up the 400-pound phone, and called a girlfriend. I asked for help. She listened; I was close to tears. I told her all my scary truths, both narcissistic and full of terrible self-esteem. And she said the great, chemotherapeutic words: "Me too." She did not try to save or fix or rescue me, because only Love or Goodness or Howard--or whatever you want to call God--can do that. But then we started laughing. Then she prayed on me, and we talked some more, and she told me to have a huge bowl of my hippie health food cereal, and perhaps a tiny fistful ful of M&M's, which I did--when all else fails, follow directions--and I had one of the happiest days I can remember.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Flannel, Boots and Happiness

 Our view from the Veranda whilst sipping libations and supping on artisan cheese and fruit and then pizza.
 I think this is a sunrise or it could be a sunset...either way, it is beautiful.
 We had many beautiful moon lit nights
 I love how the sun through the clouds cause a golden hue and I love the shadows on the mountains divided by the patches of sun.
The sky was so vivid this trip, constantly changing and I didn't want to miss anything
 This looks like a curtain from the room but it is the heavy cloud cover with the brief glimpse of light between the sky and the mountains.

This looks to be a sunrise but it isn't.  It was just a break in the clouds creating the matter it was simply gorgeous!  

My love affair with North Carolina began as a child.  Many of the books I checked out from the library took place in the area.  First there were the stories along the beaches but the stories soon changed to the mountain of Western North Carolina.  I fell in love with a place I had never been to and kept that tucked away in my heart.  When I first began reading Southern fiction, Ann Rivers Siddons and Lee Smith described the Outer Banks and the stories of the mountain.  Kaye Gibbons did as well.  I discovered Louis Rubin and the Voices of the South series published by LSU Press.  I subscribed to Literary Press Journals many from the North Carolina area.  I loved the stories.  Then in 1999 I finally got to NC and it was with Peggy.  I took in the scenery and the Biltmore but in reality those took second and third place with my attention.  I was distracted by our Chattanooga experience and knowing that there were huge problems at our townhouse at home and Roy making decisions he didn't like making alone, I couldn't quite focus on the here and now but what we needed to do about the townhouse and where to find the money to fix everything. 

Fast forward to 2002 when I went back to NC on a trip with Dena.  That love for a place I had never been to which had been tucked away for so many years, was reclaimed and dusted off on that trip.The mountains and the trees...their beauty drew me in.  From that year forward I found myself at first once a year, then twice a year and beginning last year three times returning to the area.  Yesterday, I wrote about reading Liz Curtis Higgs book, The Women of Christmas and how the voice of Mary made the baby leap for joy in Elizabeth's womb and that is precisely how I would describe what my heart and spirit did way back in 2002.  Roy and I even ventured into looking in the Maggie Valley area  to buy maybe in 2005 or 2006 but I decided at that time, I liked the Biltmore experience more than the owning something experience.  

This year through a series of events and choices, we found ourselves actually considering the purchase of a home around the WNC area.  We started where we had stopped years ago, Maggie Valley but we rethought purchasing a vacation home and began our pursuit of a home to live in and eventually retire to.  Today is the official moving day of the seller of our home and with all the appointments and deliveries scheduled in the coming weeks, we are beginning to feel rather excited to be at our home in the coming weeks ready to put our mark on the country jewel farmhouse in the rolling, rural valley.  

I am feeling good about all the plaid flannel shirts I own now.  I have always been a winter time clothes girl living in a summer less summer world out here on the prairie.  This also seems to be a big boot year for me...well truthfully, every year is a big boot year because I have large feet that need big boots.  No, I have a few more pairs of boots I picked up for a good price at the end of last year.  I am breaking out the red boots today.  Red boots, black plaid shirt=happy.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Breaking Out Winter Wear

Last night I broke out the winter bedding and as we added the winter comforter blanket to our bed Roy kind of made fun of me about putting it on the bed so soon.  Ha, who had that blanket pulled up to his neck this morning?

The greater part of the afternoon was spent in front of the fireplace finishing up the book In the Backwoods of Nowhere, written by Nancy Blankenship Owens.  Fascinating read of her mother in law's life.  What drew my attention in reading her story is what she didn't say in her recalling of those days, and reading in between the lines what underlying story she might be telling about her life. Alma, the mother in law, was painfully truthful about things like naming her eleven children and the decisions that had to be made to keep them in good health and alive.  I don't believe she ever said she loved her husband, she had good things to say about him, but truthfully other than working hard, he was a little self absorbed...that's my opinion.  Other than the obvious factors of life being harder without indoor plumbing, electricity, and being able to use every part of an animal as food, one factor I had never thought about until reading this book, many years she wasn't able to attend church because there wasn't one close enough to get to by foot.  Her husband rarely if ever took the family to church by wagon or car and he never attended one Sunday in their long marriage.  She tells the story of the Presbyterian Church that sent a lady missionary to their region to fact find low or no attendance by those living on their mountain.  With the news she brought back,the church bought property with an old building on it, fixed it up and church began with a minister tending to and preaching on Sunday at two campuses.  Multi-site churches are not a new thing at all since this took place in the 1930's.  Alma was asked what part of her life would she like to relive and her answer was being a part of starting that little church that grew from fifty people in the 1930's to over four hundred by the early 2000's and how she grew spiritually and came to a greater understanding of the Bible.

While going through the bookcases there among unread books was Liz Curtis Higgs book, The Women of Christmas.  I took a moment to skim through it and will sit down to read it later in the Christmas season but something she commented on came alive to me.  Several weeks ago we studied this in CBS, Mary and Elizabeth and we went through this passage with a fine tooth comb, but wait...there's more.  In the book Liz, I met her once so I feel like I can call her Liz, comments on the fact that Mary walked about a 100 miles to go see Elizabeth and with Mary probably being poor, she didn't have anyone accompany her nor did she have a 'runner' that announced to Elizabeth and speechless Zechariah she was only a few miles away.  No, my words not Liz's, but Mary kind of came in like Ricky Ricardo and announced, "honey, I'm home!"  Only Elizabeth didn't go Lucy with 'waaaaaaaah' or 'eeeeeh' to Mary.  John who hasn't been officially named yet, jumps in Elizabeth's womb.   These two women were so happy to see one another.  Now, I know that none of us are Mary did you know or Elizabeth, a modern day Sarah...well modern for those NT times...which no one knew at that time was NT times, but we have all experienced that sensation, with or without a baby in the womb of hearing someones voice or experiencing what will come to be a monumental moment or defining moment in our lives....the news, the experience, the voice, lends our spirit to do a little joy jump without any help from us.   Just thinking through that...and pondering.

I finally caved and turned on the furnace and it feels oh so wonderful.  Now, I need to get back to the fireplace where as soon as I sit down...Buddy will be on my lap.  She is certainly enjoying a good fireplace and lap on these cold days.  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Cool Wednesday Morning

The weather that I wait for each year has come a little early and you will not hear me complaining.   Right now I am sitting in front of the fireplace, enjoying the warmth from the fire.  Last year our fireplace had a contact problem and fires were a hit and miss and then mostly a miss.  This is really nice, sitting here and writing a post with a book near by.  Not just any book but a mountain book, a story of recalled days, "In the Backwoods of Nowhere."  Buddy isn't happy about being displaced by an iPad but she has had plenty of time on my lap today.

For some strange reason my eyelids and around my eyes has been dry and painful before my trip and at the end of the trip.  I called the dermatologist and got some antibacterial cream that is doing the trick.  So no make up today but my eyes are feeling so much better.

Today, the home in NC felt even more real as we began making calls to set up appointments while we are there.  Roy contacted a person recommended to us by our Realtor who coordinates and manages property for owners when they aren't there.  We have an appointment to see her, the flooring people, A/C Heater people and the plumber.  We are looking also contacting contractors who do counter tops and back splashes.  Oh and we have a name of a painter.  It is all coming together.  Roy also solved the mystery of the false delivery from Pottery Barn.  I am not too happy with them at all and hopefully talking to Roy lets them know we mean business and are tired of all this being jerked around.  Why do they have to have furniture that fits a need and be so dang cute?   My designer here sent me some fabric samples that I am going to take with me for comparison purposes.  I had to tell her the Alabama hounds tooth is going to have to go.  Roy isn't too happy and is never too happy about the state of football between Alabama and LSU and wouldn't like the color reminder in his home.

Because we hadn't seen enough of each other lately, Dena and I grabbed some dinner last night.  We had all our high financials to talk about and neither one of us had had Mexican food since returning home.  Las Alameda's, it is good for what ails you.

I ran a million errands yesterday and still have quite a few to take care of this week.  It is tough being gone a week only for a quick turn around.  I am hoping to take some books to the Bookworm today and get store credit.  Not that I need more books or store credit but I am going to ask if I can give my store credit to someone else to use.

Tuesday has now become Wednesday morning.  It's a beautiful morning.  One of the trees on the green space that is closest to our house has leaves that are turning a fallish golden.  This tree is the first to go fall and the first to dress in light green for spring.

When we were at the Biltmore, the daylight saving time switch didn't affect us much.  For only a few hours we had to remember the time was one hour ahead because when the return to standard time happened, our watches were set for it since we live in central time zone.  Coming home it has been a different story.  Not so much being tired but at 6:00 pm it feels like 8:00 pm.

I have just about finished reading "In the Backwoods of Nowhere."  Alma, the narrator and recaller of the book tells great stories and has a wonderful memory for someone nearing 90.  Mountain life certainly was hard back in the day.  So thankful that doesn't have to be the norm today.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Weather and Wonders

These pictures are from November 1, 2014.  The first two pictures are from Vivian's home and the other three are pictures the Biltmore Estate put on FB and Twitter.  All of them are so beautiful and we were so thankful not having to deal with ice and snow on our drive in but we were thankful for being able to see the accumulated snow along I 40 as we drove from Ooltewah to Asheville on Sunday.

Last Wednesday the tree raising ceremony of bringing the huge Christmas tree into the Biltmore House was exciting and my first time to experience the ceremony.  We made plans to be up early, breakfast early and be early for the first shuttle of the morning from the Inn to the House. Many had the early morning theme, but we actually accomplished our goals.  We had front row views.

Dena and I thought that most of the crowd would rush into the house to watch the tree being put into place in the dining room but it seems that the crowd's goal was our goal, to shop on Pass holder appreciation day with 20% off in the shops and restaurants.  We found seating in the courtyard and reevaluated our original plans.  We opted for a shuttle ride to Antler Hill Village to shop in Traditions and the Mercantile and that was a great plan.  It wasn't crowded and we were able to look and shop in relative ease.  Both of our phones were on their last %, so we headed to the Inn for a quick recharge and then made our way to the house.  The crowds had thinned somewhat and after shopping we ate lunch at The Stable Cafe.  I will just say that banana pudding with caramel was pretty gosh darn good!

Dena and I are alike in many ways but there are just as many opposite likes between us.  Give me a cold room, she'd rather have a warm room and by warm I mean hot but of course that is just my opinion.  Our taste in TV shows are not even very much alike.  She was all a twitter over the CMA TV show on Wednesday and a program on Monday, fifteen CW songs that changed the world or something like that.  I fell asleep at song 13.  Give me a Simpson marathon or Dance Moms or Southern Justice or Smoky Mountain Money....  The ironic happening on Wednesday night, Dena had CNN on and it was about 8:10 pm.  My quandary; tell her she is missing the beginning of the CMA show or let her turn the channel at 9:00 and be majorly upset.  The Eastern Time Zone thing can throw you off...  I decided to do the right thing and mention she might be missing her show...I watched more of it than I thought I would but alas sleep called out to me and I was gone.

If anyone decides to go to the tree raising, the best bet is to stay at the Inn and take a shuttle because we heard the line to get into the estate was backed up all the way to I 40 and the people in the cars missed the whole thing.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Good Time Had By All

What a great trip to The Biltmore!  Our prayer from day one; show us things we don't get to see and wow us with Your creation.  Let me tell you, God did not let us down and answered our prayer over and beyond what we ever thought we would see. Seeing Billy Graham and wishing him a happy birthday was the icing on the fake, I mean cake.  OK, we didn't see Billy Graham, but there for a moment....Even as great as that would have been, creation singing was just about the best show out there.  Beautiful autumnal colors, bright white snow and some of the most majestic night and morning skies that changed so quickly, you didn't want to leave the show.  We experienced warm temperatures to extremely cold temperatures, bright sun-filled days and eerie clouds of the front moving in.  In between the daily shows we also had great snacks, meals, shopping, meaningful conversations, laughter and wonderful visits with family and friends.  Add in converting Dena over to Burger King and the beginnings of her work to convert me to CW music...all in all the trip was just what we both needed individually and again gave us the opportunity to be so thankful for the friendship we share.  God is good!

I think Roy was anxious to have me home.  He does a fabulous job of taking care of things around here when I'm gone but the added attention from Buddy puts him over the edge. When I'm around he doesn't nearly get the demand, except in the early mornings while getting ready for the office, from Buddy.  He has been promoted to the privilege of lap provider which impedes any productivity he might have in the evenings.  But Buddy attention aside, it was so good to see him.

Thursday morning I had written a great blog post only to find out that I lost my connection and while I thought my work was being saved, it was not.  After that, it was just too difficult to want to come back and blog, so the iPad went into the suitcase.  Thursday, we took a leisurely time of reading by the fireplace in the library and in the early afternoon we visited with Vivian at her door to the cottage I stayed at in August.  Oh my goodness!  She made apple thingy for us and it is delicious!  We sat out on the back screened in porch and had a delightful time.  Vivian and I became instant friends this summer and I love to introduce friends to friends and Vivian and Dena are friends now too.  Love it!  When we came back to the Biltmore, I dropped Dena off at the front door of the house so she could see the tree all decorated that we had watched being raised on Wednesday.  The long standing time on Wednesday had made my knees a bit sore, so I opted out of the house and drove straight over to the Inn where I began the process of packing my suitcase for our Friday departure.  Dena got back rather quickly because at 3:00 in the afternoon there are hardly any people left at the house, so she got a front row view and was also able to have a private shuttle ride back to the Inn.  We once again ate dinner in The Library and then settled in getting geared up for our Friday departure.

Friday morning we left around 10:00 am EST and hit the road with great memories to talk about once again.  Since we weren't able to take the back way to the Inn, we took the back way from the Inn to Chattanooga.  Traffic was great, the scenery, spectacular.  Just two slow trucks to deal with and my missed turn for the shortcut to I 40, but we were on schedule.  We stopped for lunch in Gadsden  and realized we could continue going if there was a room available at the Brookhaven Holiday Inn Express.  There was, so we booked it and canceled Meridian and got to Brookhaven a little after 8:00. We must have gotten the last room because we had the handicap room.  Let me tell you, I welcomed that room with the easy access shower.  We didn't even turn on the TV.  It was lights out and we were up early to get through Baton Rouge on game day.

In the days ahead, I will add things here and there about the trip, but it was a great trip and probably my last extended stay at the Inn, noticed I said extended.....  

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wednesday Wonderings About Tuesday Wanderings

Good Morning from my usual place in the mornings, the fireplace in the library.  This has been a real treat to sit here and read and of course blog.  It is a quiet morning with a few voices and classical music as the background sound.

Yesterday, we took a laid back approach to the day.  Breakfast and then reading by the fireplace.  Well, reading for me.  Dena was updating her phone to a new system at work being the off site updater to learn what works and what hasn't been communicated.  After a few stops and starts I believe she is logged into the system and much has been learned for the full roll out.  My main reading has been a memoir, My Sisters The Saints.  A young woman's search and ultimate return to her faith through the words and guidance of long ago women saints of the Catholic Church.  I haven't know too much about these saints previously, but I have found their lives and their devotion to God inspiring.  The writer quotes many of them from their own writing from way, way back in the day and modern conveniences   no matter what century are a distraction to faith and focus.

Our first stop, Antique Tobacco Warehouse.  I could spend hours there but we didn't do that.  We did a walk through and each of us finding something small to bring home.  Then we drove to Weaverville and shopped at a quaint and cool shop, Sanctuary of Stuff.  A little more looking around the area and we headed back to the Inn because the Veranda had been calling out to us.  The artisan cheese plate and pizza was what's for dinner and I may have or didn't have a margarita to complete dinner.  It was a quiet evening with Dena reading in the lobby and doing some people watching and with me staying in the room since I was people watched out.  It was also an early to bed kind of night because we know today will be a full and busy one.

In the midst of beauty and fun my mind will turn to our drive in on Sunday with the vibrancy of the leaves against a background of white snow.   It full on became a reality that we owned a house in one of the most beautiful parts of the country.  I am not given to tears very often but a few tears formed in the corner of my eyes and the napkins from Wendy's did a fine job of mopping them up as we drove into the awe of the day.  These are the things and times that Roy and I never ever thought would be a reality or even possible.  First, building a house in Rancho De Five and now...a home among the rolling pasture land with the long range view of the mountains.  We have certainly been blessed.

One last thing before heading back to the room.  We had a little excitement on the way to Weaverville. The traffic on Hendersonville Road is horrendous!  Too many cars for too little of lanes.  As we maneuvered about the dense plenitude of cars and trucks, the experience of my outside mirror hitting another vehicle became a reality yesterday.  Another item to tick off the old bucket list.  An ambulance was over the line and in my lane at the light, but I thought there was plenty of passing room to get past, and as he turned and I moved forward the mirror hit his and made a loud noise which of course scared Dena something fierce.  I was a little braver because it wasn't on my side of the car.  We continued on only having to open the window and push back the mirror in place.  I blame my fall into the bathroom door at Mast on Monday for my right side's perception being just a little off.  And now that is what I must do, be a little off and get back to the room so Dena and I can go downstairs for a delicious breakfast.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Totally Fun Monday

Another comfort-filled morning by the fireplace.  It is not as quiet as yesterday morning because a couple are going through the newspaper and discussing current events.  This looks to be a routine and nothing saved for vacation.  I don't mind though because it is warm, the sunrise and sky are a beautiful golden and I am at my happy place.  We don't have a set schedule today, so we are easing into the day.  We might go to the Antique Tobacco Warehouse and then onto Weaverville for a little shopping.

Yesterday morning we met Kate to pick up keys and a garage door opener to our home.  She and I had never met but we had a great email relationship.   She is one of the kindest people and the three of us sat there and talked like we were lifelong friends.  Ironically, her office is just across the parking lot from our mortgage broker's office.  So Dena and I dropped in on Kent for a little visit.  All this time the seller was just a few steps away.  Love those little kind of surprises.

The cold temperatures affect tires and on our way Sunday we started our trip with the low pressure tire light on, but it soon went off.  Yesterday, the light was persistent, so after seeing Kate and Kent we stopped at a gas station and began the process of testing each tire.  Once again, God's kindness gave us a gentleman who asked if  he could do that for us since we probably looked rather comical.  We were on our way to Waynesville to stop at Mast General Store, Blue Ridge Books, Robin Blu and Barber's Fruit stand and Orchard.  Each stop was productive and we even caught the friends and family sale at Mast.  I also caught a face full of door there.  Mast is an general store with wooden floors that have little rises and uneven patterns.  Combine that with my unreliable sense of balance and the result is a flailing force of nature with long leg and boots bumbling and tumbling, no hurling toward a glass plate window.  The last thing to stop me was the open bathroom door.  I was so thankful that no one was in the bathroom because then the door would have been shut.  My right facial cheek, I want to be clear on which or what cheek, hit the door edge with a good amount of force and rearranged my glasses.  Thankfully, even with the noise of boots hitting the wooden floor and the slamming into the door, no one came over to see about me.  I was so embarrassed!  I got into the bathroom post haste.  It knocked me for a loop and I didn't feel like I had complete control of my facilities for an hour or so afterwards.   This morning no bruise, thankfully, but it is still sore.  I can't help but think of the Beatles song, 'She came into the bathroom window.'  I was almost part of the dyslexic Beatles and went out the bathroom window.

Dena was in country western music heaven last night with the top 15 CW songs that changed the world or something on being on TV.  I think my world changed on song 13 when I fell asleep.  For two friends who get along fabulously, who enjoy traveling together and going places together, we are total opposites on our choices of TV shows.  We find it quite funny and have had some good laughs over them.

Well, it is time for me to go back up to the room.  My blog post completed and I've totally been caught up on current events.  Thank you vacationing couple.

Monday, November 3, 2014

First Morning Sunrise and Fire...Oh and Scrumptious Sighting

Please excuse all misspelled words.  Spell check is not working on blogger this morning.

The day has already begun well.  I watched the sunrise from our window, got a seat by the fireplace and just now got a hug and greeting from Scrumptious.  He is my friend in valet parking.  Oh my, it is true that the early bird gets the worm.  Dena is missing out.  The fire is roaring and the coffee hot.  There are new furnishings here in the library area and this opens up the fireplace to more people to enjoy.  Right now, I am the only one taking advantage of a warm fire on a 22 degree morning.

God went over and above yesterday in the sights we saw as we drove in.  We usually take the back roads into Asheville, but we were concerned with ice on the roads, so we stuck to the interstate.  We were graced with good traffic flow even with two places that can back up for miles, especially over the bridge they are expanding right outside of Knoxville.  The autumnal brightness of changing leaves made the usually dull interstate brilliant and inviting.  The red leaves are especially lovely.  As we crossed into North Carolina, the snow accumulation was significant.  This must have been the part of the interstate that was closed on Saturday.  We took advantage of the threat of ice on roads by getting a much later start than usual from Ooletwah where we spent the night so that by the time we came to this part of the journey, the temps would be above freezing.  I pulled out the orchestra CD from our church First Baptist and the music and the scenary could not have been better coordinated.  The brilliance of the snow on the mountains magnified the magnificance of autumn leaves just a little past their peak.  It was difficult to keep my eyes on the road because of the granduer and color.  We were a part of that time where the delight and wonder of the first snow mixed with the graceful beauty of trees slowing going to sleep for the winter combined and creation sings.  Dena was taking pictures and I am so thankful for that.  The snow was so deep at the NC Welcome Center that it was closed.  Snow accompanied us just about all the way to the Waynesville exit.  We had asked God to show us things we have never seen and He did exceedingly more than we could ask or think.

Today I get to meet Kate, the seller of our home.  She will be moved by the 14th but we are getting a set of keys and garage door opener today.  We decided yesterday to take a drive by the house before checking in at the Inn.  It is a beautiful drive with photo ops around every corner and curve.  All the fall decorations by homes and in the fields were so welcomed after our disappointing time in Pumpkin Center Louisiana.  We saw a few homes that Roy and I had considered and we also took a drive down by where the camels and bison live.  Two ladies driving by told us we could drive up the people who have the camels and bisons driveway, that the people were the nicest and didn't mind, but we thought we might need to get along our way and do this on another day.

It is time to refill my coffee cup and do a little reading.  Then I will go upstairs and Dena and I will go to the delicious Biltmore buffett with the delicious grits....ah, this is so nice.