Monday, September 29, 2014

Starting Out on a Monday

Today's must be done?  Well, it would be doing the CBS homework for discussion on Wednesday but I haven't been totally inactive on it, I have read Luke 2 several times this weekend in preparation to answer the questions.  This morning while reading the chapter again, something wonderful jumped out at me.  No not Buddy, well yes Buddy, but she is not what I am talking about.  I never noticed that  when the angels announced Jesus' birth to the shepherds, that the sign for them to know they had found the Messiah was so simple yet unknowingly to them and for all the world, so profound.  You will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.  From God's view, this is a huge sign, His only Son, come to earth to redeem us but a sign simple enough for the shepherds to see and share with others.  Sometimes when we see something so unbelievable we start to question and doubt, did we really see that?  But a baby in a doubts, no questions...just the good news that God had come down to dwell with mankind and not only to dwell but to save and redeem.  I loved that Mary treasured and pondered these things and thought of them often and our commentary suggests that Luke "interviewed" her before writing his account.  He got the scoop on Mary's heart and emotions on the birth of Jesus and he gives us that insight that the other Gospel writers didn't.

Yesterday, it was fabulous and fun.  Love the multi-gen Sunday's.  How special it is to worship God with the worship leaders being children, youth and adults.  Wow!  And we heard a powerful sermon from Pastor Gregg as we begin chapter 2 of Ephesians.  Since Roy stayed home to finish up our taxes, I texted Dena on Saturday to see if she wanted to go out to lunch after church and it all turned out so well that we had a Sunday where we could ride into church together.  That meant I would stay for Life Bible Study, which is has become not the usual for Roy and me.  I haven't been in Dayspring since maybe January or February.  Being out of class for that long one sees unfamiliar faces but yet you get caught up with those familiar to you, your longtime classmates and friends.  With the good comes the indifferent sometimes and I was reminded yesterday afresh why I had to drop off from attending Sunday School.  Nevertheless, it was a good lesson.  Next stop Molina's.  Love their salsa! I have been craving really good Tex Mex and Molina's fills the bill.  We had a great server and even got to sit at the table we like...and we spent lunch laughing and catching up.  Next stop, The Amish Craftsman.  While it is a little too soon to officially place my order, I wanted to get it all sorted through so that when we know the scheduling of moving some of our furniture, the timing of the things we ordered from them coincides with the mover's schedule.  Our last stop of the day before returning to Rancho De Five, The Fresh Market.  Love, love, love that store!  I'm thrilled that The Fresh Market's beginnings are in North Carolina and there is a Fresh Market not too far away from our new home.

On our trip in August, I bought a few books, surprise, in Blue Ridge, GA.  This weekend I began skimming one of the books, Creative is a Verb.  She has great pictures and great quotes.  I love me some quotes!  The author goes a little deeper in thought than most books in this genre.  Her thoughts on Yes or No, Not I'll Try.  I don't believe this woman is a believer but she writes beautifully on landing on and living in the land of I'll try, how living in that area steals away so much joy and living from us.  Then this morning I read Leadership Freak's article on Nuke Plan "B" and it reinforced the ideas from the book.  I need to give some attention to this and do a little more research.  It is very easy for me to say no and I have been learning to say yes to more things, but am I lying to myself and keeping away from adventure by resorting to the I'll try way of living?  Or the we will see or the let me think about it way of thinking.

I had a really nice surprise waiting for me on my phone.  The pastor from the church we attended in NC called and left us such an uplifting message.  I love the personal touch we have experienced as we have visited there.  They are doing an outstanding job of ministering to young families with children and the fruit of their love is a children's ministry running out of room.  This is a rural church in the land of Baptist churches on just about every corner and by way.  On a smaller scale it reminds me of the unity of the spirit and the bond of peace we experience in our services at First.  I love how First is reaching out to major unchurched cities, but there is such a need for partnership in rural communities where funds are limited but the spirit and the body are so willing to do the work.   Before going for my month sabbatical from Houston heat, I made a list of churches to visit in the area.  If they had a website, more than WMU for women's ministry and a heart for the lost, those churches were put on the short list...I never went past my first choice once I got there.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

On My Mind

Having a lazy Saturday is always welcomed.  Roy went to Bible study this morning and then ran to the grocery store for a few things.  Meanwhile at home I was doing laundry and going through drawers gathering clothes to take to KCM.  As the summer season ends, those clothes that I didn't wear or give a thought to go out the door.  There is a little more incentive this season because of the whole NC home thing.  As we decide what furniture will be moved up there and as we consider where it will be used, that helps the motivation to sort and send.  Seems to be on my mind a lot...what will be moved.

As dear readers of Monablog know, I am not a craft type person.  I do my artful journalling thing but I don't consider it a craft and besides I'm not good at it anyway.  So I picked up a magazine on my trip that has a craft thing that seems simple enough, simple enough even for this all thumbs person.  We were heading over to Hobby Lobby to have a couple of prints framed, so we picked up a new glue gun and a hole punch while we were there.  Then we made a trip over to Katy Hardware to get the other supplies.  I loved that Roy took the magazine in with us and read each item to the man that was helping us.  The man helping was an older gentleman and he was curious what I needed welding rods for, so we showed him the magazine.   As we finished picking up the last few items Roy read the last item on the list.  He asked, where do you keep your twill ribbon.  Both were a little puzzled thinking ah is that in plumbing or what?  I told them, I will find that at a fabric store or Hobby Lobby.  It must have been a slow afternoon there because the staff wanted to see and hear about everything.  Roy and I went to Junk Street Market and KT Antiques while we were that close by.

The birds seem rather pleased to have the person home that keeps the feeder filled.  We even have a blue jay hanging out with the doves and mockingbirds.  Yep, another bully at the feeder.  Some of these doves have been a little aggressive.  The mockingbirds were putting on an aerial show this morning which was quite enjoyable to watch while drinking coffee.

Roy is slowly but surely going through all the paperwork that has been requested.  We just have a couple of more things to send in on Monday.  We have our insurance squared away now after having to change to State Farm.  We couldn't find any Farmer's Insurance agents in the area.   The seller and I have had some lovely email conversations this week.  She is generously leaving us some of her things and she has also given us an opportunity to purchase several of her things.  We have discovered our mutual taste in artists from the area.   She also told me about the bison and camel farm on Ridgeview Road.  The view from that road is spectacular....and we have been too busy looking at the mountains to notice the 15 camels and 230 bison.   She also told me about a donkey farm in the area.  Lots and lots to take pictures of.

After lunch yesterday we headed over to Lowe's to pick up some paint cards.  We want to have the bonus room painted a soft gray and we also wanted to compare yellows for the other rooms in case we need to do more than just touch up.  Roy and I say we have North Carolina on the mind when we make a mistake or forget something.  

After the Thursday box debacle and beating myself up over taking the sentimental bait, I am doing much better.  I did the whole Biblical thing like David did and I encouraged myself in The Lord.  Again it wasn't anger at my father but anger at me for being blindsided.  So thankful that God is a loving Heavenly Father.   I have a feeling that some of those boxes had never been unpacked after my parents moved back from Georgetown.  The boxes were so old and many had been used by us when we moved into the condo in 1993.

Tonight I can't help but have the goodness and kindness of God on my mind.  

Friday, September 26, 2014

Isn't That Great!

When I remember my mom, I recall so many happy and good times.  She was a baker and giver of cakes, breads, and cookies.  She was known and loved for cards she sent, buying them long before a celebration happened.  Her gardens, flowers and yards felt just like a park.  A sense of calm reigned in her peaceful landscaping.  My mom had a natural sense of humor and a spark of whimsy.  I loved her creations that she sewed together to make nonsensical hearts or dolls.  She made Tiff, our dog, beautiful coats to keep her warm on her winter walks.  Tiff loved those coats and didn't want me to take them off of her when we came back in from a brisk, cold walk outdoors.   She was a quiet woman, with a gentle spirit.  She loved us and found the way to love us like she wanted to without drawing the attention or ire of my father too many times, because he didn't want her attention to be drawn to anyone else but him.  In her life she had given me her love and anything else she had to give materially wasn't a great concern to me because she had given and loved us to the best of her ability in a horrible situation and when she was caught or suspected of treating me like a beloved child, she incurred the attention of a cold hearted, mean spirited man.

So then came the boxes.  The first I heard of these boxes was from Roy who had been left a phone message from my father and maybe then contacted by my brother.  I could not imagine what these boxes would contain because when my parents moved to Georgetown, I had gone through all my childhood boxes and discarded or given away most everything.  After my mother passed away and when my father was still talking to me, he had given me "her things and her treasured possessions."  He had gone through her closet and drawers and in two weeks after her death everything was gone to Salvation Army So, I was puzzled at the contents of 6-8 boxes...for me.  Roy and I talked about them, the logistics of getting them, the emotional toll, the danger of them and came to the conclusion, we didn't want them.  He could give them to Salvation Army like he threatened.  And I thought, that is that.  Until a couple of weeks ago when the last person in my father's posse volunteered to deliver them to me.  We met yesterday at West Oaks Mall.  The thought crossed my mind, will we attract attention with moving boxes from a BMW into Sequishia?   Apparently not because I saw two other instances of boxes being moved from car to car in the parking lot.

So the boxes came home and oh the memories these boxes contain....a nylon belt/clasp from a camera bag, a blue belt, packages of elastic, Velcro, knee patches for worn out jeans, used up Glade candles, batting for quilts, pieces of felt, and embroidery thread that disintegrated by being touched.  Oh but there is more memories in those eight boxes, florist vases, Christmas seals from 2005, Christmas gift tags, gift bags, a pillow with all the stuffing coming out, empty jewelry boxes with the cotton torn apart, a large piece of coarse  fabric, a pin cushion, and an old trim line phone with the ear piece crusted over in ear wax. Oh the joy and happiness that I felt going through the boxes and dumping everything straight into the trash can.  Bug infested tablecloths and napkins and Christmas mugs encrusted with bug feces...all into the trash.  Cards sent by us and Doug's family....thrown away...they gone.  And who couldn't use another tote bag from trade shows?  Well, me...disposed of.  Most everything in those boxes that made the long journey to our home, had a short journey into the garbage can.  Three pound weights and wrist sweatbands...boom!  Gone!  At the end all that remains with me is, copies of birth certificates, immunization records, my mother's SS card, their wedding license, my mother's baptism certificate,a few pictures, three Christmas glasses, two salad bowls, and a swan planter in a pear tree.  I saved for Erin the Barbie bed made by my mom complete with comforter, sheets, pillows and cardboard constructed bed frame and for my brother, his boy doll from Aunt Goldie and a stuffed animal from childhood.

Now you might be asking, why did you accept the boxes?  Well, my father's friend mentioned the decorative plates that had been my Grandma B's and had been passed down to my mom and promised to me.  My father told her they were in the boxes. Just these plates from the dime store that my grandmother had worked at, bringing home a little bit of extra money for the family in bleak times.  Her splurge was to buy a nickel or dime priced plate every month.  I think my mother liked them because it was a bright and treasured memory of her mother trying to do something special for her much loved only daughter.  That was the hook.  I had forgotten about those plates that graced the walls in my parent's home.  And there you have it, I took the bait.  The only possessions that would entice my interest.

Yesterday afternoon, it broke me.  These boxes along with the conversations in the past weeks with this friend of my father's, who told me things I already knew and heard from my father.  But, it was the cold blooded way he told this friend, how he had connived, planned and put into motion his plan to kill my spirit and ruin me for anything else but to be of service to him.  This plan went into place when I turned five.  I cried and I was angry yesterday.  Not angry at my father because he is being consistent in who he has been and ever more will continue to be.  I am angry at myself for being swayed by those plates...plates I haven't seen in years, plates I had not remembered in the recent past and that had been promised to me by my mother.  Those boxes full of trash, leftovers and unwanted things are just a reminder that this has been and ever more continue to be my father's heart toward me.  I have pretty much insulated myself from experiencing those reminders throughout the years but I walked right into the trap set for me.  I'm thinking of so many Psalms written by David concerning Saul's deadly intent and pursuit of him and finding great comfort and solace in God's Word.

Today, I am experiencing those compassions and new mercies that are new every morning.  I am grateful and thankful for a wonderful, loving husband and he even brought me home a piece of coconut cake to cheer me up last night.  I am grateful for encouraging friends who have spoken words of healing into my life in the past but most especially yesterday.  Dang it, we will have a beautiful home in God's country!  I'm going to go all Ellie Mae Clampett on you and say Whooooo Doggies!  The Lord is good!!!  He restores the years that the locust devoured.  He restores my soul.  In spite of my earthly father and in spite of all the years it took for me to finally trust Him as  a good Father, God is more than enough and better than any earthly father, even those really good earthly fathers.  I will ever be grateful and thankful for Cheryl Simmons, the best therapist ever, who taught me the ways and tools to stay out of the pit.  She saved my life!

One of the best things that Cheryl ever taught me was, "Isn't that great!" as a response to irrational and angry accusations...I was remiss in remembering to use that phrase....

Others-we have boxes for you from your father.

Me- Isn't that great that he has boxed everything up?  Isn't that great it is all ready to go to Salvation Army?

There will not be a next time, but I will remember next time.  Isn't that great!  

Thursday, September 25, 2014

From Sunrise to Sunrise

This morning's sunrise has been absolutely beautiful!  All the clouds, pink tint and of course the big yellow ball itself fills one with awe over the handiwork of the Creator.  It was enjoyable to sit here and watch the sky change minute to minute, from glory to glory.

I had the strangest experience yesterday...  No really, not hyperbole.  I met with one of the designers that helped me with our little house on the prairie.  We were discussing what compasses a farmhouse look that is modern and not too camp in the way of furnishings and art.  She brought up the picture that I wrote about last year and if I labeled my posts, I could pull up a link but since I don't you'll just have to believe me.  I never really liked the picture and even after hanging it sideways, which I liked better, it went bye bye to another home, sold in last year's garage sale.   She asked me why I didn't like it....and this is where the strange experience I began to answer her, a picture flashed in my brain...a from my growing up had some of the same elements to the one I had never liked...only the one we had was abstract, my parents picture hadn't anything abstract about it.  In that flash, I knew why but wasn't going to say it out loud but some of my darkest days took place in the room where that picture was.  I have not ever, even one time, ever in my adult, move away from home life, ever thought about that picture...and there was that momentary flash revealing the deep, reason I had never liked that picture bought for our living room.  It felt like one of those TV montages.

This morning I had a check up with Dr. Carol Geer, my dentist.  All is well and that is swell.  We are at a good stopping point until next year.  Several months ago we had discussed going on ahead with some procedures, but my mouth and wallet say thank you for the break.

It is a good, no, great thing that Roy keeps up with the paperwork around here.  We are slowly but surely sending in all the stuff requested and he takes it all in stride while I freak out a bit.

Twenty four hours later and I find myself watching the beginning of the sunrise. The hue is bluer than yesterday with pink splashed all across the eastern sky.  The clouds are in layers making the view of them just that much more delightful to watch the minute by minute change. It is an early morning, with lots to do today.  Sitting here this morning with my mind filled with so much and my heart filled even more with gratefulness to God.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

This Is the Time Mary and Zechariah Must Sing....and me Too!

My mother wasn't a fan of musicals or musical theater.  I heard her say so many times, they are telling a perfectly good story and then someone has to go and ruin it all by singing and telling us the same thing but now musically.  Oklahoma was her least favorite musical and I liked to sing songs from it to aggravate and tease her.  Hmm..., maybe it wasn't the musical but my singing.  This weekend while doing Luke homework I discovered maybe for the first time that musicals are Biblically based since Elizabeth and Mary are talking and then filled with so much gladness, Mary bursts into song.  The other new thing is that most would have looked at Elizabeth's pregnancy as the true miracle, being old and what not...and it was a miracle but the birth of a Savior, to a young virgin girl is the greatest miracle and gift, even though through natural eyes Mary's pregnancy looks to be more like a disgrace.  Don't you know all the gossips at church were having a hey day talking about Elizabeth and Mary, of course disguised as a prayer request.  There is usually one in every temple or church group that wants to be the ONE in the know and that person usually is the dispenser of news, both good and gossip.   They are the ones that tell you something that was told to them in confidence and then says after disclosure, I am sure_____________ wouldn't mind you knowing.   Uh, if they didn't mind me knowing, they would have told me....duh!!!!  The value of having someone in your life that does that is for those occasions when you want to get some news out but don't feel like making a million phone calls, texts or you tell this person and they will single handily do the work for you.  But ALWAYS remember, do not disclose anything you want held in confidence.

We got the appraisal report back today and it's all looking good.  Roy and I have been discussing the pros and cons of keeping this house.  We are going to give it at least a year to see how much time I will really spend in Rancho De Five verses NC before making a decision.  Roy is working on the spread sheets to compare apartment living close to the office verses what expenses we have here.  We were happy to have paid off this house in April of this year.  At the time Roy felt the urging of the HS to pay off our house about a year ago, we naturally thought of all the negatives that could happen instead of a blessing while we paid it down.  So Roy will be comparing house expenses verses rent and general expenses.  He thinks we could save about $500.00 doing this.  Although I don't know if he factored in SW flights.  He said spread sheet and I happily went about thinking of fun stuff and nodding every so often and saying, uh huh, yes, oh sounds good.  So now I am rethinking furniture and actually thinking now of moving more furniture from here to there, especially the pieces from Amish Craftsman.   It will also depend on getting a generator up there.  Roy will be in NC a lot, for which I am thankful for but  I am torn of course because I love and will miss so many friends but hopefully, friends will be enticed to come up and see me sometime.    Moving also puts distance between my father and his false accusations and us which is a huge positive. Distance won't be a factor of being involved at a church.  Oh, a negative, I will miss, MISS choir, even though I haven't been able health-wise to participate in quite a while.  Since we will be on the east coast, when the webcast starts we will be in Sunday School.  Guess I will have to do long term what I did the month I was the choir and orchestra CD's over and over and over again and hope for more serving in three services on Sunday kinds of days.  Of course all of this is in the think through stage and we aren't rushing a decision.

As I continued with my homework I now know that Zechariah also bursts forth into song after saying a few words from his angel imposed silence.  Really, when it gets down to it, you can't help but burst into song when you give thanks and recount the blessings and promises of God.  Why, I feel like breaking into song right now....Aren't you glad this isn't a podcast?

Saturday, September 20, 2014

We're Having Fun

There isn't a shortage of old barns in the area where our home is located, and for that matter there is not shortage of Baptist Churches either.  I think Roy grew a little weary from me asking him to take more pictures of barns and churches.  Guess it is all that long ago training of bringing the tithes to the storehouse and also bringing your first fruits.  Although, I don't think I have ever seen anyone bring their first fruits or first born livestock to church...guess that's why there are barns and churches.  When I was a child I misunderstood the term tithes.  I thought the preacher was saying ties.  I was a little confused why the church needed so many ties and I knew my mom didn't own ties, so how could she give?  What the heck, how could I give?

All our inspections have taken place and all the results are good.  So thankful for that.  There are a few things that need to be addressed but nothing major.  This past week we have been discussing our strategy.  We have discussed waiting until March to begin any major work because I am not a fan of the kitchen tile and we have thought about replacing the living room and kitchen's flooring with hardwood that matches the rest of the downstairs.  New to the discussion is not addressing these things right now and look more toward getting our home furnished and ready.  This house does not have the backup propane forced air heater in case of loss of power, so we are looking into having a propane generator and converting the wood fireplace into a gas log fireplace...of course being from Texas, we think natural gas but it would be propane.  It's a new learning curve.  We have gone and looked at several options we are considering for the bonus room.  I like the bright and sunny feeling of the yellow throughout the house, so we will definitely be keeping that but we are considering the bonus room to be done in hues of grays and blues since that is going to be Roy's man cave.  Today I ordered dishes which is nothing new, but ordered more of  the same pattern we use here but I am kind of fond of it.  Some of the bedding has been ordered and some of it has already been delivered.  I'm keeping everything unopened so things will travel better when we go up that way.

Last night as we came home from having dinner with Emily and David, Roy said...can you believe it?  We are buying a house in NC!  I don't think either of us even ever thought we would be doing this at our age but it is doing things like this that keep you young and on your toes.  Using a lot of brain power to think and rethink decisions and we are having a lot of fun doing this.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Getting All Kind of Weird Up in Here

It is really all about the weirdness right now.  Well, today at least.  One, I am an idiot when it comes to things like smart phones and the like.  I could not understand why in the world, even with my ringer on, calls were not coming through.  This has been going on since returning home.  Yet, I could not understand what the little half moon thing was on the top of my screen along with battery etc...  So, I began to search my settings and yes, the little half moon thing means I have Do Not Disturb turned on.  I used it in NC because I kept my phone by the bed at night and not wanting to hear the vibration if an email or text came through, I put the silence thing on...only I didn't read that when you do that, nothing comes through when your phone is locked.  Ah yes, Sherlock...thus the name for the setting, Do Not Disturb.  I am now getting disturbed, by turning off the feature, not me personally.

Today at the Kroger it must have been take your spouse to the grocery store and argue in public day. The older couple that pretty much had the banana section on lock down while the clerk restocked bananas were downright funny in their fighting words to one another.  Their goal, was to use their basket and their wide, wide bodies to blockade anyone else from getting near the bananas.  While they stood guard, they were a fussing and a fighting and a feuding with one another....just then an older lady made a move toward the bananas and she was rebuffed...rebuffed I tells ya.  They told her they were there first and no one, NO ONE was getting first choice of the newly displayed bananas before them.  It is then when I decided to make my stealth move to procure a couple of bananas on their watch.  They did not factor in someone with long arms who could reach from behind and pick up a bunch.of bananas.  Thus, I made my move, looked them right in the eyes and said, 'yonk!'  Oh the mister was mad and he reproved his wife because I got a bunch on her side of the perimeter.  I moved on over to the salad section, with the gentleman in pursuit of me...and when I turned around I kindly told him to look, there was a breach in sector 11 and his right flank was exposed.  He looked down at his too short of not down there, thank goodness, no people are free to pick bananas when you abandoned your post.  He waddled back over, but it was too late...he and the wife did not get first pick.

The coffee aisle was a war zone of words as well.  People, please have your choice of flavored coffees discussed with your spouse before getting to the store.  When one spouse is tired of French Vanilla don't throw the coffee so hard into your cart.  I saw several other instances of husband/wife grocery store upheaval on other aisles and in other sections of the store.

With all this discord in the air, that's what must have made me nervous.  Yes, there on the water aisle I accidentally knocked a bottle of sparkling water off the shelf.  It clipped the edge of the shelving on the way to the floor which meant, the cap was partially cut off and when the bottle hit the floor, it was as if a fountain was flowing as the water shot up into the air.  It was all over the floor and all over me.  I went to look for someone to tell and the assistant manager just happened to be walking by.  I told her what happened and the mess I had made.  We walked over to a register where she promptly got on the microphone asking Richard to come with a mop to the water aisle.  I begged her to let me get on the mic and say we need a cleanup on aisle 3, clean up on aisle 3.  She told me I wasn't authorized and the water was not on aisle 3.  She smiled but I think she was ready for me to complete my purchases and leave the store without anymore incidents.  Jokingly I told her I was going to go over to the glassware/house-ware  section of the store.  A nervous tick motion seemed to take over one eye and that's when I made her day...I told her, I will pay for my groceries and maybe I should go do some 'damage' at HEB.  A huge smile and laugh overtook the nervous tick of her eye.

I had a momentary flashback of Murray's Grocery Store just across from my dorm at SWTSU.  Ma and Pa Murray ran the store and they were all kind of fun to aggravate.  Oh to hear, price check at register 2 once again from Ma Murray.

It was an all kind of weird day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Life Back on the Prairie

It is one of those mornings where if I squint just right and look to the right of the outdoor fireplace I can imagine myself viewing mountains and fog and it kind of feels like I am in North Carolina.  Even the clouds are cooperating with the whole scene.  Today is inspection day at the home we are buying.  Tomorrow is appraisal day.  But back here in Rancho De Five a beautiful sunrise is spreading across the sky.

Sunday, in the cool of the evening, Roy and I dead-headed roses.  We had kept up with the side yard roses but not those in the back.   We made a pretty good dent in getting them trimmed but need to go back out and do some touch up trimming.  We went to First on Sunday morning.  The worship music was over the top good and the choir special filled my heart with thanksgiving.  This is the first week I have heard the news series in Ephesians and the emphasis was on prayer and how to pray for one another.  But I kind of laugh with the emphasis of prayer and its importance, yet prayer is used to bring out the table, chair, notes, Bible and lap top for Gregg before the sermon.  You don't see that happening on the web cast, just the field of blue during the prayer.  Doesn't make me mad and I'm not legalistic about it, just kind of ironic.

After church we ate at Goode Company BBQ.  It has been a long time to taste some of the best sauce ever made.  Then we headed over to Barnes and Noble and eureka, I found the current issue of the magazine I love from the Netherlands.  Since subscriptions aren't available in the US yet, it is gold when you find one.  I found issue 5 in Asheville and now have issue 6.  It was a good foreign magazine day because the newest issue of a UK magazine was right there on the second row.  Roy found train and tractor books, so we left the bookstore happy with our purchases.  Then we made a quick run by The Fresh Market and picked up dinners for the coming week.

Yesterday I received an email asking if I could sub this week for one of the core group leaders at CBS and I am delighted to do so.  I have always loved the Tuesday leadership council discussion of the homework.  So thought provoking and love to hear all the answers and insights.  Luke looks to be as good as the Genesis study last year.  They gave us a completely different take on Luke and his orderly and interesting way he wrote this letter to Theophilus.  After that time I ran over to Whole Foods and did a quick look see through World Market.  I got a couple of ideas for the Alex home from the West Elm catalog and wanted to see if anything could be replicated on a more penurious scale.

We received the inspection report, nothing earth shattering or deal breaking.  Whew!  Now we need the wisdom to approach the seller on a few of the things that we feel must be addressed and again, thankfully, they are not huge problems.  We will get the ray-don and well inspections later this week but today is the appraisal.

I keep going back to the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth that we looked into this week in our homework.  This next observation is nothing new but the newness comes in looking at this scripture with new eyes and heart.  By doing a miracle in their lives and taking away the disgrace of not having children for Elizabeth, God blessed them.  But He has a big picture blessing from this kindness He extended to Elizabeth.  Her son prepared the way for His Son and turned the Israelite's hearts to hear and listen.  Of course that kindness to Elizabeth has had ripple effects throughout the centuries and today believers are still reaping the blessing and really non-believers too....they just don't know it yet.  In turn, this summer of seeing God's Kindness  naturally turned to wondering about His kindness' that I have received how will they multiply and bless others,  You can think about that in your own life.

The skies have cleared and the view is truly Rancho De Five.  Love those mountain views but I love the view out here on the prairie as well.

Monday, September 15, 2014

God's Kindness-Part 2

The theme of my month in North Carolina soon presented itself to me in the quiet, misty and fog filled mornings...the kindness of God.  This theme wasn't a blip on the radar before leaving on August 3rd.  Mostly likely the theme in mind was more like, a time away, a time to relax and renew...basically the things we were looking for as a return on the investment of this time and money but God....He had a better plan and theme.  Yes, I relaxed, enjoyed the cooler weather and my spirit renewed but it was obvious by the first day alone after Roy, Erin and Nancy had left, that God had His kindness in mind for the trip.

On Friday, I began looking at the homework for our study of Luke in CBS and while reading the first chapter the words of Elizabeth jumped off the page in verse 25, 'how kind the Lord is!"

Saturday morning I read an article on a blog, How to Deal With a Narcissist.  It was a random article and it was a random action to actually read it, but in the midst of Saturday, I soon came to know it was the kindness of God.

 Narcissists are masters at manipulation. They are often intelligent and charming when you first meet them. In the beginning, you hold them to such high esteem (of course to which they are fully aware) and they love to bask in your adulation.
But once you catch on to their tactics, and question behavior that is opposite of their once-charming selves, they become deeply threatened. They will then paint themselves as a victim and you as their aggressor, and expertly blame you for the relationship's demise, and all other misfortunes in their life....the Narcissistic Vortex.
You must remember, this vortex is a trap. By replying to him (no matter how negative), it feeds his narcissistic supply -- a.k.a, his false sense of self that he is better than you (or anyone else for that matter).  You will never change his mind. You will never get him to see your side of things. As long as you attempt to do so, you will forever be stuck in his vortex and unable to move on.
Learning how to deal with a narcissist can't be accomplished by reading just this one blog. It takes skill, practice, reading books on the subject and perhaps coaching or therapy. Whatever you do, don't try to learn this alone.
Saturday afternoon I talked to the last person in my father's posse.  He has run off everyone with his accusations and imagined conspiracy theories aimed at him by them.  She has volunteered to get the boxes he has for me and to bring them over.  At one time she believed all his lies and stories but after conversations with my brother, she knows now not to believe everything my father says and swears as truth.   As we talked and as she expressed hope for reconciliation, the words from that morning's reading tempered my replies because nothing will change, he will continue accusations and the fact is, he has lied to himself so many times through the years,  he is unable to distinguish truth and fact from his wild, made up fantasies of stealing and taking. In fact she is not really sure there are people who have bought his house and this is another ruse to keep living in his home when it really isn't safe for him to do so.  These past few years when APS or the police call, I thought his accusations and lies were cyclical but she said he accuses me of theft or deception every day that she sees or speaks with him.  Funny, she said she has found everything that he has ever accused me of taking, so then his accusations are, I come over and move his things.  Nancy, what do you do in your spare time?  Oh, I love to drive forty miles one way everyday to move pencils and pens and turn on water at my father's house.  REALLY!!!!  He is unable to see how ridiculous it all is.  
God's kindness on Saturday was reading a random article I saw on Twitter, helping me form my replies in love and truth and remembering wise words from my therapist, that I am not willing to go back to the trap of his narcissistic vortex.  The conclusion from this blog I read on Saturday on how to deal with a narcissist is to limit contact and communication and thus this has been the result.  And that my friends has been God's kindness

Friday, September 12, 2014

It Feels Like Bible Study

Even though the temps remind us that the calendar is lying to us, it began to feel like fall yesterday.  It began to feel like fall because Community Bible Study began.  After being a core group facilitator for two years it felt kind of strange actually arriving at 9:30.  The lobby of the church looked like an airport waiting area with all the hugs and greetings and smiles.  Everyone excitedly asking about summers and the latest news.  Finally they were able to corral us into the sanctuary so that the 2014-2015 study of Luke could begin.  I think each group is at capacity with 16.  My core group leader is new this year but she did a fantastic job.  I think our group will have great discussion because we had great fun and laughs during our first day of Bible study introductions to each other.  This is the first year that Peggy and I have been separated and it will be just fine, but we like to give the leadership a hard time about it.  Lots of friends were split up this year to be able to share the love....

After Bible study Bev, Eileen and I went to lunch.  Eileen usually has someplace she has to be on Thursdays after Bible study, but her schedule was open and we had one of our traditional short lunches and left the restaurant about 2:00ish.

I wonder if my birds here are mad at me because I was hanging out with other birds while I was gone?  Uh right, uh no, no one fed the birds while I was gone, so they are slowly but surely coming back.  I wonder if the cows here are mad at me because....oh wait, there are no cows around here. Since we are supposed to have some few hours of pleasant weather this weekend, hopefully some roses can be dead headed around here.  

Last night Roy and I went to dinner at 3 Olives since we had dinner at Luby's on Tuesday, anniversary, and Burger King, official contract day, on Wednesday.  We had a great time together and a great dinner.  Usually, I am not much of a fan for live music when you are trying to talk, but the group they had last night didn't blast you but enhanced the atmosphere.  Then we went to Target and Radio Shack since we have to keep our cool factor intact.

This weekend I will bring out the fall decor.  Last year it came out on Labor Day.  It is my most favorite time of year!  And next year, it will not only be a favorite thought, it will be an actuality of experience.

My hair is the longest it has been in forever and I am looking forward to my haircut today with Stevie.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

It's Official!

Because Roy and I are so cool, we ate dinner at Luby's last night...and it just happened to be on our anniversary.  Our 37th anniversary and I believe cafeteria food is what you give for that anniversary.  Actually, we celebrated while we were in NC and ate at a really nice restaurant.  With everything going on with the house, we kind of knew we would be occupied this week getting everything lined up paperwork wise.  Sure enough, we or rather should I say Roy has been extremely focused on this, while I have been consulting magazines for ideas.  Hey, we both are doing what we do best.  You do not want me reading a contract!

This morning, we are officially under contract with the closing slated for October 15th.  We are planning on going up that way around Thanksgiving, to talk to some flooring, painting, plumbing and whatever else guys.  We want to get on the schedule so that when the really cold weather is over, they can hit the ground running or painting or plumbing....  Hopefully one of the first things will be having the front porch screened in.

Tomorrow we start CBS.  They have separated Peggy and me.  Sniff, so sad.  Looks like they have separated several friends who like to do Bible study together...  Not being a facilitator this year, I can be rebellious.  :)    I am looking forward to studying the book of Luke.

Things are getting back to normal.  It was nice coming home with almost all clean clothes.  I have gone through the mail and have a stack of magazines to read.  Now that I am thinking of how we want to do our home, I am more interested in home magazines.  I think we are going to keep the farmhouse feel like the owner has done.  No HOA!  One thing we will do is have some swings built for the yard.  Unless we walk to the top of the hill where our street ends, we really won't be privy to sunset watching but I hear the view for the sunrises are fantastic.  This may make me a morning person after all.    I'm trying to get everything put away so it is easier for Chris to clean tomorrow.   I think our guest room may become a staging area for our move.  I found some silverware and a few other kitchen items on clearance at Home Goods.

Well, enough blogging for one day.  Got to move on and finish up strong....or look at another magazine.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Nothing Could Be Finer...Happy Anniversary!

We met working at Pennzoil.  He being an auditor and I being a....I don't know what my job titles were but I worked in Treasury.  We first met at a weekly Bible study at work.  My roommate wanted to introduce us but God beat her to the punch.  He left for Brussels and worked there for six weeks and upon returning he took me to lunch at Charlies 517 just like he had suggested before leaving the country for six weeks.  It was indifference at first sight.  At that lunch he sat across from me with his arms folded and asked me a million questions, like I was on a job interview.  I answered them with a bit of wit, humor and sarcasm, you know me being me, just keeping it real.  When we returned to the office he felt I was the shallowest person he had ever met and my thoughts concerning him leaned heavily toward his arrogance.  No harm, no foul, I got to eat at Charlies 517 which was quite all the trendy rage back in the day.  Yet, as disastrous as that lunch had been, we found ourselves visiting whenever he came to the nineteenth floor.  He asked me out for a date to a concert and I let him know I already had a date for it.  I saw him from a distance there at the concert....and asked him at work if he owned a white suit just making conversation to let him know I saw him.  Now let me remind readers who have only read about the 70's, it was a time of upheaval and unrest.  Men wore leisure suits and they broke with tradition branching out into pastels and whites in the dress suit apparel.   Thankfully, most survived.  Anyway, he thought I was asking that question because I was planning our wedding.  Uh, no Mr. Jump from 0 to 60 miles an hour in conclusions.  He asked me out again and I changed my plans to go out with him and we had a blast and as they say, the rest is history.  Roy is totally different away from his work mindset and he is still that way today.  Remembering the day being told I was to have my first cardioversion and I called Roy at work.  Instead of the compassion and assurance I so desperately desired, he is asking me do I have a living will?  Do I have a medical power of attorney?  Guess it was the crying that jolted him into kind and loving, not work focused mindset of Roy.   We started dating in October, engaged in January and married in September and we lived happily ever after.

We found out that living happily ever after was ruined because we got married.  I still marvel at the Lord's kindness that people can stay married for years and years and years.  Because I think sometimes we do our best to unravel that plan, not intentionally, maybe sometimes, but just out of the fact that besides the two shall become one thing that takes some time...not talking about the obvious of the two shall become one, but it does seem to work itself into the equation naturally....but two people bringing in two sets of luggage and most of the time opposites attract.  So there is all that opposite stuff that we loved while dating but seems to get on one's nerves the moment after you say I do.

Early on we decided to set some guidelines to help us when we were more angry or hurt than full of love and forgiveness....oh and patience.  We stopped blaming our childhoods and focused on the now and future of our behavior.  We wanted to go beyond what we experienced and saw and knew from our early years of life.  We opted to never to go  to bed mad at one another, never saying "divorce" in the throes of disagreeing and remembering we love one another...that the other person is not the enemy.  I would remind Roy, the Bible say he who finds a wife, finds a good thing and OBTAINS favor from the Lord, meaning he was getting a lot more blessing and favor from God just because he had a wife.

That little spark of love that was in our hearts at the beginning has become a fire like Disco Inferno, bet you thought I would make a musical reference to the song Pass It On because of the spark thing and I just might if given the time.

Today we celebrate 37 years of being married, being in love and being in like with one another.  We love each other more today than we did on this day 37 years ago.  We have more laughs and fun, more patience and forgiveness.  We have survived many events in our lives, disappointment, fear, danger, lack, prosperity, sorrow, joy, obstacles, great fun, health scares, and in it all we have learned that if God be for us, who can be against us...even sometimes when it is us that is against us.

If you can't tell it by now, I love him so much!!!  I am blessed and want to be that blessing back to him.  It is the fun of the little things, the joy of life, the mundane, the absolute vodka...just testing to see if you are still with me on this one, but the absolute love of a husband, the best gift from God, ever bestowed to me.  Happy Anniversary!  Here's to thirty seven more years together, some of which will be in North Carolina...nothing could be finer than to be in the morning, I mean spring time.

Monday, September 8, 2014

We're Back.......

We are back!  Houston pulled out all the stops in welcoming me back from God's country, rain, humidity and heat.  It's kind of like Houston was saying to me, leave again and there is more where this came from.  I'm taking my chances though.

We came back but not empty handed.  The back of Sequisha proved that to be true but not in the back of Sequisha but in our hearts and cramped fingers from paperwork, we came back with a house under contract.  The whole home adventure ran the range of emotions.  Our first full day we looked at seven houses and the next day we looked at three or four, I don't quite remember.  During the weeks I was there by myself, I would go out and do drive bys of houses that looked interesting from Zillow.  I was able to rule out a bunch so Brian and I didn't waste time.  I have learned a lot about North Carolina real estate in the past few months.  A major accomplishment was learning to drive the back roads and I'm still learning about treacherous driveways.  Funny, in April when all this began in earnest, I was looking at Burnsville, Mars Hill, Marshall, Waynesville, Swannanoa, Black Mountain and Hendersonville.  We found our home about a mile from the cottage on the farm where I was staying.  We started at condos with more of a vacation feel and quickly realized that our search was more about a single family dwelling and a home to retire to on down the road.  It was a fun adventure for sure.  I had looked at the home we have under contract and loved it, but I wasn't too sure that Roy would, so I guarded my heart and put it on the back burner.  When Roy came back last week, Brian scheduled it for us...and Roy liked it.  He did all the outside looks while I sat inside with visions of furniture dancing in my head.  The house had the top three requirements, view, room for guests and a man cave for Roy, or in this case a bonus man room for Roy...since there isn't any basement.  (So glad I waved my no crawl space requirement)  So basically, we have a home with a view, four bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, a bonus room, family room, dining room, living room, kitchen, eat in kitchen, front porch, soon to be screened in, and a landscaped back deck/patio.  We just need to get a few things done and then start looking at furniture so we can have guests once we start using the house which will not be until late spring at my best guess.

I have spent most of the morning putting things up.  I am now going through all the bags I brought home.  It's like I totally forgot things we bought in Blue Ridge.  So finding those has been a nice surprise.  It feels funny that I was gone for over a month but I am getting back into the rhythm of Rancho De Five life.  

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Getting Ready to Return to Rancho De Five

My last morning on the back porch and God is pulling out the stops with the scenery this morning.  Coming out here in the morning on this last full day is just as exciting and new as the first morning I came out here with coffee, my Bible and iPad.  Not only is Sequisha going back home stuffed to the gills, but my heart and spirit are filled and refueled.  Little did I know when I made the reservations in April to stay here at the cottage on the farm that I would return home with two friends formed from a divine appointment from our heavenly Father.   Vivian and Bill have taken me into their hearts and home.  We spent many a fine afternoon sitting on their back porch.  I am so thankful for them.  They are the icing on the cake for this trip.  Going home I know that I have good friends in NC.  I have thought and said often, Roy gave me the wonderful gift of a mountain retreat and the gift I didn't even know I needed, Vivian and Bill.   When Vivian is set free to roam the countryside when I return, we will have tons of fun!  She is recouping very well from knee replacement surgery.

While spending this month in the mountains, my Bible reading has had the influence of Proverbs, Psalms and the never too popular book Ecclesiastes.  Except I have noticed that it is the book of choice for many people this September.  Funny how book of the Bible can be cyclical in the popularity of its reading.

In this tranquility I have learned much.  God has directed my attention to the importance of kindness by His showing me what kindness looks like and He has encouraged me to show kindness when given the opportunity.   He has presented many opportunities this month, some times I have recognized it immediately and other times I didn't see the opportunity until after the fact.  Then when possible I tried to go back to be obedient.  The lesson of you can't help everyone but you can be obedient and help those who cross your path has made such an impact upon my heart.

Many might think this trip has been all about me, a self absorbing trip.  No, not really or not in the structure of it.  Spending the last three Sundays at a smaller church has renewed in me what ministry is really about.  Somehow in larger churches we see ministry differently.  It's more of a let me talk with you and pray with you, but rarely do we get our hands dirty to come along side someone.   Often it is said of people who are willing to do so, well they have a servant's heart.  Like that is the lowest rung on the spiritual ladder of ministry.   For a month I haven't heard the term cast vision or give leadership to and that has been nice.  Going to a large church, the pastor has to be more like a CEO than a pastor of a smaller type church, although the church here is a very good size.  I understand and accept that, it has just been refreshing to be in another type setting for a while.  There isn't a sense of entitlement from the various ministries here.  Just a lot of hard work but most of all showing and practicing God's love...just not quoting verses about it.

I am really going to miss the birds.  Oh my, they sing their little hearts out morning and evening.  I've seen hummingbirds up close and have enjoyed listening to the wrens.  Cardinals are a plenty here and so are robins.  Some of the trees already have leaves showing some fall color and once or twice in the past week, yellow and red leaves have been blown across the front of the car while we drive.

The drum line from the high school has improved over the several weeks I have heard them in the early morning hours.

We have just returned from lunch at Stony Knob.  Delicious food and we split a slice of carrot cake for dessert.  We ran a couple of errands and mailed Erin's package.  Now we are back and Roy is writing an email.  We plan to go out and take a few more pics this afternoon.  We also need to load the car and finish packing stuff up.  Tomorrow morning before we leave might prove to be full.

Now, a short nap is calling out to me.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Wednesday Wind Down

These fogged in mornings on the back porch are drawing to a close.  I haven't spent as much time out here with Roy now being here.  I think a lot of it has to do with the fact we have places we need to be and the mornings haven't been laid back.  This morning we are going to meet with the mortgage broker up here just to put faces with names and confirm in person what we need to have prepared.   It is pretty much the same kind of deal here but NC has a few additional steps and requirements to the process or it seems to me.  This is where the good old ADD kicks in.  I try so hard to stay focused when all this kind of talk is happening.

Yesterday we got an early start to the day.  We went to the Biltmore to get Roy a season pass and then we went to the Inn for breakfast.  Ah, such deliciousness.  William was there so I got his fabulous waffles too.  Since Roy brought his camera, we went out to the sunflowers and took a lot more pictures.  We just missed the sheep out in the pasture though.  After Biltmore we went over to the Tobacco Antique Warehouse and picked up one thing and then we made it back to the cottage with a little time left to rest before Brian met us to take us to see two more homes.

We only looked at two homes and one was nixed pretty quickly.  Strange floor plan and although it was on over an acre of land, it really wasn't what we were looking for.  Again, there should be a definite definition of what mountain view really means.  The other house we looked at, I had seen before but Roy had not.  We spent a good amount of time in that house and a good amount of time outside of the house.  OK, I did not do the outside part because it had been raining and I hope to never have to see the crawl space of any home.

Today we went to meet the mortgage broker that we would use if purchase a home in the area.  Very nice man and he and Roy were positively aglow when talking numbers, calculations, yield curves and amortization charts.  They discussed the pros and cons of everything mathematical.  I amused myself by reading FB and nodding when I thought the time was appropriate.  After several hours of that kind of thing, we decided to go back to the Biltmore and eat at Cedric's.  Then we had our dessert at the creamery which is always delicious.  Once again I got lost in Weaverville while looking for a Shell station but we finally found the station.  Shell kind of has the monopoly like they do in Rancho De Five.  After a brief but needed nap, I went over to see Vivian and I left when Bill came home with their dinner.   Roy and I have been watching Heaven is For Real this evening and I have begun the packing everything up process.

This has been one of the most wonderful trips and times of my life.  I feel healthier, better and have much more energy than I have at home.  The peacefulness of this place is just so satisfying.  Today, I have been gone a month and not until today have I fully turned my mind toward home to Buddy and friends.  Roy and I were laughing today because I might have a hard time easing back into Rancho De Five life.  It would be much easier to do so if I knew we had something tangible of our own to return to here but I don't know if that is going to happen this trip.  It's a process and it is faith.  If this year is not the year, then we know God has something better for us that we don't know anything about.   I do know this, that along with peace of heart and mind I have gained a new friend.  That was certainly nice of God to do for my sixtieth birthday.

In this valley all the noise is somewhat magnified.  You hear the crunch of gravel way down the road of a car pulling into their driveway.  Dogs across the way and roosters are heard.  When you walk on the road you can hear the approaching car way before it gets even anywhere close.  I love to hear the thunder rumble, it sounds very different up here.

Packing awaits and I can no longer delay.  I'm trying to take it all in and remember the views, the clouds, the sunsets and sunrises, the animals, the birds, and in all these things I remember and I am thankful for the kindness of God.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Loving Labor Day 2014

Labor Day 2014 is just about in the books.  We had a little later start to the day but we were rolling out about 10:30 to take the scenic back way into Marshall.  The drive follows the French Broad river. Roy found a lot of picture taking opportunities.  The leaves are beginning to turn their fall colors.  Lots of reds and yellows today.  We drove over to Mars Hill where Roy had a field day in a photo kind of way.  The students have moved into the University, so it had that college feel today.  Since neither of us had been to Burnsville, we decided that would be our next stop.  We grabbed a quick burger and began our time there.  At the beginning of my search Burnsville held first place in house hunting but as time went on and as we talked with our agent, we knew it was a little too remote for us, especially health care wise.  But today we had a blast in the historic downtown area.  Very cute shops, antique stores and an Amish Store, not furniture but grains, breads and the like.  As Roy was taking pictures he stumbled upon a store he knew I would love.  So he called me and asked me to meet him across the street.  We went to Off the Beaten Path.  Oh my, it is a book nerds paradise!  Also a sheep/lamb lover's delight.  And of course antiques.  I could have spent a whole lot of time there but it was getting a little stuffy in the store but we came away with some great goodies.  Everything was 25% for Labor Day.  We loaded up the car and hit the next shop where Roy found t-shirts.  We also went to a few antique stores that will definitely have return stamped upon my brain.  As it is we are going to be stuffed to the gills coming home.  Since we were so close to Spruce Pine we decided to make a quick drive through the town....lots of things are closed for Labor Day in all of these towns but Spruce Pine was just about closed down.  The drives are beautiful and if it hadn't started raining, we might have driven up to Mt Mitchell.  Instead we opted for The Moose Cafe where Roy had baked chicken with dressing and I had the veggie plate.  Since neither one of us has ever been to the farmer's market here, we decided to stroll through and we know we will return there as well.  Guess we got back to the cottage close to 6:00 pm.  Roy is trying to finish up a book and I am trying to stay awake.  Tomorrow, we have another busy day that starts earlier than today.

Roy and I so enjoy the pace of life here.  He told me a comment that Charles Finney made way back in the day about cities naturally being a place of hurry and hustle.  Tomorrow we will see the last two houses I have researched with Brian and on Friday we will see a home that is not even on the market. We are also getting Roy a season pass tomorrow to the Biltmore...  And we will take advantage of the opportunity to have breakfast and also for him to take pics of the sunflowers.  I also need to make a quick return to the Tobacco Antique Warehouse and see if one thing is still there that got my attention.  Yes, I know the adage, better buy when you see it but if it is still is meant to be.

Monday, September 1, 2014

A Very Pleasant Sunday in the Mountains

Sunday evening at the cottage...Roy and I are both reading, well actually now I am writing, but you get my drift.  He is finishing up his vacation book that has seen him through several vacations.  That means he didn't get the chance to read very much.  This morning at 7:30 Roy wakes me up to tell me I had better get up and start getting ready for church.  I reminded him we are in NC and church is 10 minutes away and it doesn't start till 11:00.  I let him sleep more but I got up to have coffee on the back porch.  Ah yes.  Soon Roy joined me and we had our breakfast together taking in the beauty of God's creation and creatures.

The pastor at New Found Baptist Church finished up his three part series on Genesis 14.  It was communion Sunday, so Mel and Abram fit very well into the picture of Jesus and the Last Supper.  Awesome sermon.  We met a few new people and were greeted by familiar faces from the last two weeks.  After church we tried a little place on down the road, Turkey Creek Cafe.  Last Sunday I passed by it and the parking lot was overflowing with vehicles.  This week we beat the crowds by a few minutes.  On Sundays it is all you can eat with the choice of three or four different meats.  So I did fried chicken and Roy had the catfish.  The sides were numerous and unlimited.  Mac and Cheese, green beans, slaw, fried apples, creamed corn, and more...and for dessert banana pudding.  Oh my word!  It was very good!  During the week there is the regular menu and I think Roy would like to get back and try breakfast or lunch.  The burgers are supposed to be some of the best.

After lunch we came back to the cottage and changed clothes.  Since Roy is not familiar with the Weaverville area we drove around the town and then we headed out around the French Broad and back to the cemetery with the big cross like a gateway to the mountains.  Vivian told us about the angel carved from a fallen tree there in the cemetery and we went to see it.  It was all done with a chainsaw.  Unbelievable details!

Later in the afternoon we went over to Bill and Vivian's because Roy and Vivian had never met.  We visited for a bit and then we left to try to find a spot to capture the sunset.  Roy didn't like the pictures he got so we will try again this week.  We realized all of the sudden we were starving.  So we made a mad dash before darkness falls on the back roads into Weaverville to pick up some burgers and get home.  We had a quiet evening as Roy is trying to finish up his book and I was keeping up with Baylor via Twitter and FB.

Our plans are in the air tomorrow but we have a few ideas where we would like to go.  Guess we will see which way the wind blows us in the morning.