Thursday, April 30, 2015

Oh How Wonderful

I was looking forward to waking up this morning to the sound of rain but so far no rain, just beautiful sunshine.  It could rain later in the day and the only reason I am anxious for the rain is because of our newly planted apple trees.

Yesterday was the official one month anniversary of being here in NC.  I celebrated by going to The Regeneration Station, antiques and junk, and making another visit to the Antique Tobacco Barn.  While nothing caught my eye at Regeneration, a few small things were purchased at ATB.  Since I was so close I made a quick visit to Home Goods.  I need a few throw rugs in the kitchen but nothing has caught my eye.  I did find a rug for the back deck entrance and a large wire basket to hang out in the garage by the back door.  I also ran by Whole Foods.  I took the scenic way home and I also chose that route to find the nail salon and spa that had been at the spa night Saturday.  

Purposely, I haven't really journaled for this first month.  I wanted to give me time to settle in and to see with new eyes all the new experiences I've had.  Just like clockwork, I woke up being a little more pensive and reflective today.  Each morning I have awakened to new mercies and a huge amount of thankfulness and appreciation.  I am grateful for a slower pace of life.  Sometimes I laugh when I see on Twitter what is called "traffic"around these parts and it is what Houstonian's would call open road.  The kindness of people here is overwhelming and I am using overwhelming in a good way.  Now Home Goods, it is like every other Home Goods, narrow aisles, so it becomes every woman for themselves. The thought of bargains and close confinement doesn't always bring out the best in one. There doesn't seem to be as many stick figures on the back of minivans here which of course is always something I will appreciate.  You don't see a lot of stick figures on cars.  There is more marathon, save the trees, and diversity bumper stickers in Asheville but out here in the country there doesn't seem to be as many of those.  

Last night while eating my salad supper, I watched the birds at the feeder.  It was a veritable birds on parade.  I knew I had heard a woodpecker earlier in the day and lo and behold, he came to the feeder twice last night.  Mr and Mrs Cardinal dined last night but not together.  The two yellow birds dined a long time, together.  Apparently,  no babies to keep one home on or near the nest.  Even a blue bird made a brief showing.  Lots of robins, wrens and sparrows.  Nerd Nancy sat at the table with fork in one hand and bird book in the other.  The young bunnies were out last night playing in the pasture above me.  What a wonderful view at dinner time.  

Most of the late afternoon was spent in the garage, tearing up boxes that either I will take to the dump to recycle or put out as recyclables with the regular trash on Monday.  The box situation seemed to be getting out of hand.  I also took the time to rearrange a few things in the garage.  Parking is going to be much easier with many of those things up and out of the way.  You should have seen the sheer muscle of me ripping and tearing up those boxes.  I counted it as exercise.  There are a few more from the house that need to be taken care of and that is on the agenda for today.  

My care package from Roy should be here today.  A few magazines, decorative items and medicine.  Great timing on the meds cause I am down to the last pill today for my knees.  The essential oils have helped me so much.  I am not a fan of their fragrance but less pain trumps fragrance these days. It is about time for me to make another batch and when I do I am making some up for a couple of friends here.  Hopefully, they will see as much relief as I have.

Now, it is Thursday morning.  There were so many things I wanted to accomplish yesterday and I just about met my goal.  The bedroom with the queen bed in it still needs work but not as much as it did yesterday.  I assembled and moved the PB desk for that room too. Not an easy task but it went ok because I take breaks.  I hung a few more pictures too.  Roy will no longer be a vagabond because I got his clothes put away in the dresser.  First I had to make room by rearranging a few things.  More boxes flattened and a few more things patiently waiting in the garage made it into the house.  By the end of the day I felt a good porch rocking was deserved.  What a beautiful evening.

I also hung a new bird feeder out back and the small birds are liking it better.  It is one of those tube kind that keeps squirrels out.  Think they like the compact size.  So, this morning it is a very popular place.

Mike the mower man is coming by with extra hoses and sprinklers to water the apple trees.  I appreciate his kindness with this.  Cause if it doesn't rain today, the chance of rain isn't too good for the next few days.  Which is great but not for the apple trees.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Just Call Me Joanna Appleseed

When I woke up this morning it was 36 degrees.  I saw the frost warning last night and covered up my plants and brought the apple trees into the garage.  Since it is now 42 degrees, I think I will unwrap and take out the plants.  It is the end of April and I still haven't worn capris.  Yes!  This is so wonderful.

Since it was such a beautiful day yesterday, I tried to be out in it as much as possible.  My first stop Tractor Supply in search of a watering can and a small galvanized bucket.  She shoots and scores because they had what I was looking for.  I did take a moment to look at the fruit trees but they had peach and pear trees, no apple.  There was only one checkout line open, so it was a little wait but it didn't matter.  When it was my turn the guy at the register told me he liked my shirt.  Yes, I was all dolled out in a long sleeve LSU Tiger shirt.  He was from Baton Rouge, so we talked a little Tiger talk during the process.  While leaving he yelled out, 'you have a good day sweetie.'  I have been called sweetie a lot by women here but this is my first man sweetie.  He kind of put a little extra step in my day.  And yes, I told Roy about it last night...there is nothing to it all but he marvels at how many people have seen the light and moved to this area.  Next stop Ace Hardware for A/C filters and then grocery store.  I had planned to stop at Lowe's on the way home to look at their fruit trees but since I had some items that needed to be refrigerated, I kept on moving.  Roy called while I was home checking in on the apple tree process.  Just call me Joanna Appleseed.  Anyway, I gave my report and he encouraged me to go to Reems Creek Nursery before going to Lowe's.  I finished up my lunch and he texted me he had called Reems Creek, talked to Ruth and he gave me the names of the kind of trees I should buy.  So, off I go.  With the help of Jackie, we got two apple trees for cross pollination, loaded them up paid for them...and I was on my way.  I did stop at Lowe's for another hanging basket because I found the cutest little hanging basket stand at Ace Hardware.

When I got home I worked on the bird project for the top of the kitchen cabinets.  I had found these rustic/rusted bird silhouettes in the garden shop at the Biltmore.  They are too small to be seen without a little boost.  My friend Judy mentioned she had scrap wood in the basement for her grandchildren to build things and so I asked if I could have just a small scrap of a 2x4.  She brought it and a cedar piece on Sunday.   I arranged the birds on the wood and began attaching them.  It turned out really nice and I would put a picture on the blog but neither Roy nor I can remember the password, so the laptop won't let me in to pull pictures.

It is a wonder that I get anything accomplished because I am so mesmerized by the activity in the backyard.  More birds have found the feeder and I have seen a few more bunnies from a distance.  They mainly stay near the gravel road of my neighbors.  I think the little bird who thought he could has given up on the window and for this I am thankful.  Yesterday, on the way into town, I saw a horse lying on its side in a pasture.  Another horse stood nearby.  Now I have seen horses lie down but this looked like one dead horse to me.  It upset me so...and I'm thinking what can I do?  Yep, it is like those kinds of situations where we want to do something but have no expertise to be helpful like the times I have been in the audience at church and see a choir member faint.  I step into the aisle like I'm going to rush the stage and it dawns on me...what the heck am I thinking?  There are nurses in the choir and strong men to help the lady out of the loft.  Yes, Nancy from Houston, who owned a horse when she was in junior high school but doesn't know one thing to do for a sick horse wants to be of assistance.  I continued on but saddened at the horse's demise.  On my way home I looked in that field knowing surely there would be people attending the horse or burying the horse but thankfully, that horse was up and moving, standing there with other horses.  Guess this horse has learned it is more comfortable to sleep splayed out on your side than having your legs up underneath you.  Well, there was a bunny trail but long time readers of Monablog are used to these numerous side trips off subject.  Back to the birds...anyway, as I watch these birds eat many of them are looking for the seeds that have fallen to the ground and don't look up to even see the feeder.  Or, they know the feeder is there but feel more comfortable being camouflaged by the dirt.  Here it is again, a faith lesson for me.  Am I content to be a ground feeder of the Word or am I willing to take chances by looking up and then moving up to the east side.  A deluxe apartment in the sky....oops, moving up to where the seed is plentiful and with bountiful choices.  Something for me to ponder as I roam the streets and stores today looking for some kitchen table chairs.

In the late afternoon, I sat out back instead of on the front porch.  Just trying to get a little vitamin D.  My mom would have loved that back deck.  She could turn a desert into a garden and she could coax life abundant out of her flowers and ferns.  I think gardening was very therapeutic for her.  The few years she and my father lived in the Texas Hill Country were some of her best bird watching and gardening years.  We joked that her flowers knew not to get used to a place because she would move them to another bed in a heartbeat.  She loved watching her birds and her letters were full of stories about the goings on of her little bird friends.  I sat out there yesterday and a few tears may have fallen.  I miss her so much but she is healed and with Jesus, so I know I will see her again.  Before moving here I read that many believe that when you see a cardinal, your loved one is thinking of you and happy for you.  I don't know how much of that is true but when I see these cardinals in the yard, I wave and tell my mamma hi and I love her.  

Monday, April 27, 2015

Frightening the Little Bird Who Thinks He Can

I love Psalm 84.  It is one of my all time favorites.  While packing for the move I came across a Bible I used in college.  Psalm 84 was marked and underlined so much, one can barely read the words anymore. I like the part about the sparrow finds a home and the swallow builds its nest and raises her young at a place close to God's altar.  The sparrow represents those who feel insignificant, because back in the day and probably still, they are considered a lesser bird.  The swallow was known to be flighty and had a difficult time coming to rest.  So both those who feel insignificant and those who can settle, find meaning and rest in the lovely dwelling places of the Lord.  Psalm 84 has come to mind these past few days because of the little bird who thinks he can. For the past few days this little guy has bumped against the window repeatedly.  You can hear his little hits all throughout the downstairs.  At first I thought it might be the new refrigerator making noise but it is the little stubborn bird or stupid bird.  Haven't quite decided his mental status.  This morning coming down the stairs I heard his little rhythmic beat.  I stood at the window a long time to deter him.  Hey, nothing is scarier than seeing me with Bozo the Clown hair first thing in the morning.  He has stopped for a bit.  I am nervous to look because I hope he hasn't knocked himself into the next life.  Of course I went to Google to find the why of his actions.  He is probably defending his nest and thinks his reflection is another bird or the superstitious meaning that someone you know is close to imminent death...yea the bird.  I told Roy about the superstitious beliefs and then poo pooed the whole I am not superstitious...then the thought came to me, oh yea, I'm the one who washed my same league tennis clothes together because I had an undefeated record that season.  OK, sports superstitions don't count.  I hear the little bird again.  It's time for Nancy Bozo Clown hair to do her work.

Saturday evening, I went to the WM event, Moore Life Spa Night for Paige Moore.  She had a double transplant of kidneys and pancreas last year.  This was to raise awareness to be an organ donor and to help out with all the costs of a transplant.  Wow, a women's event to help and benefit someone, how novel.  Instead of dressing up, services were provided to help with preparatory work before dressing up.  You could sign up for mani/pedis, haircuts, chair massage, glamour makeovers complete with a glamour shot and you could buy yourself a BBQ dinner while getting all of this done.  I was on time because I at least could get a manicure.  It was a good thing I broke my Nazarite vow the night before and shaved my legs because I surprised myself for signing up for a pedicure the first thing.  First you apologize the to nail tech about the condition of your feet, a lot.  Then you reconcile yourself to the fact your feet are going to be part of her work stories she tells others,.."you wouldn't believe the feet and nails of this one gives me the creeps just to think about it but......"  While I waited for my manicure turn, I noticed the hair stylists didn't have anyone in their chairs.  This is where I walked by faith not sight.  I have gone to Emmanuel Salon for eons, years, for all time and my scariest thought is trusting someone other than Stevie to cut my hair.  But, my hair was in desperate need of a trim.  So, I did it, I sat down in the chair and asked her to cut a bit of the length and to texturize the hair on the top.  I think it was a test of faith when she asked did my stylist use scissors or razor...Scissors, please!  Here is some more faith for mirror to watch.  I am very pleased with the cut.   While waiting for my manicure turn, I visited with the ladies.  Oh my goodness!  That might have been the best part of the evening...well except you know, the whole reason we were there.  I had a blast!  It felt like we had known each other for years instead of a couple of weeks, with the exclusion of Vivian cause I have known her almost a year and we always have a blast.  There were baskets made by different ones that were up for silent auction.  I had my heart set on one of the baskets, don't laugh Houston friends, but it was the one full of gardening supplies, a tray of flowers to plant and three herb plants in little pots...that were hand painted with beautiful birds.  My friend Velda upped the bid and I had to top it significantly or I would have had to run back and forth the whole time raising whatever number was put down.  The evening included Paige's testimony of God's faithfulness to her.  Very powerful!  Then the big reveal of who won the baskets.  I am happy to report that the gardening stuff came home with me.  Velda asked me about it last night and I had to tell her my dog Killer was guarding everything...and I should have added my other dog Auntie Maim was there too...I think that maim would be a good name for a dog...ha ha!  I'm cracking myself up this morning.  Must be the Bozo hair is making me think I am funny.

Now this piece of news deserves its own paragraph.  I drove home in the lingering last gasps of dusk.  I have not backed into our driveway in the dark before.  This is good news for those of you coming to visit this summer.  Anyway, I backed in, down the hill and into the garage without nary a scrape.  I think it was appropriate that the song Shouting Time came on the radio just as I pulled into the garage.  Thank you Lord!  It was a victory!

Church was good. I love my new Sunday School class.  Pastor Jeff preached on the love of God and the choir sang We Believe.  The loft didn't seem as warm as it did last week but it was a cooler morning too.  After church I had lunch at Turkey Creek Cafe and it was good...ham, scalloped potatoes, fried green tomatoes, creamed corn and pig pickin cake.  Don't worry it is just a name, it is a vanilla cake with whipped cream, mandarin oranges and pineapple.  It was a bit overcast with some rain in the future but I went onto Target and got things for the house.  It started raining on the way home.  Great time for a short nap and then gather up the garbage for Monday morning pick up and then get ready to go to choir.  It was dark, dark after choir practice and once again the pulling into the driveway hovered in my thoughts.  Another good report, I backed down and only had to make one correction.  Hey in the daylight sometime it takes several corrections.  The solar lights lining the driveway are helping tremendously.  Sadly, Shouting Time was not on the radio when I pulled into the garage but I am happy none the less for success.

I wonder if my neighbors can see into our bay window?  I think they can if they are in closest pasture to our home because if they can see in, they must be wondering if their new neighbor is crazy?  Six feet tall, six feet wide with Bozo the Clown Hair, arms outstretched jumping around trying to scare off the window thumping bird.  It must have worked at least for a bit.  Well, there are apple trees to be bought and flowers to be put out, with a little reading thrown in and of course as always, working to get things in their place around here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Two Days of Stuff

The morning temps have just now reached the 40's and no I am not complaining.  This time I took the freeze warning seriously and covered some plants with the heavy moving blanket that Lowe's left here accidentally.  I have uncovered my plants and put the blanket back on the front porch for them to pick up if and when they deliver to our area.  The doves must be building a nest.  They are hard at work in the back picking up building material while mama cardinal eats the birdseed that has fallen to the ground out of the feeder.  These birds around here are fast flyers.

Even before the new table gets here I have decided it is going elsewhere in the house.  So that means I need to unload a bookcase, move it and load it back up again,  I shouldn't have started thinking about doing that right before going to bed because the unusual happened that I didn't fall asleep the minute my head hit the pillow.

The blueberry/lemon scone made a delicious breakfast.  These scones are huge!  But I think about eating salad last night and everything fits into place.

A month ago today, the movers were at the house packing things up and getting furniture and boxes in the ready position.  It is hard to believe we are nearing our first month of our new normal.  In Robin Blu yesterday, I arrived at a slow time at the store.  It wasn't ten minutes later that the store was filled with shoppers.  The lady working at the counter was very interesting.  She worked for Disney for 34 years doing graphic design work.  She only left when Disney downsized its workforce and she has done a little bit of everything since that moving from California to Florida with Disney and to North Carolina after she retired, not knowing a soul.  She and her husband have done the antique business thing and she has freelanced design work.  Now, to keep current and get out and about she works part time at the shop.  Really, Robin Blu is a must stop just because they carry such cute inventory but in that ten minutes we briefly shared our stories of coming to the mountains.  After hearing my journey, she was quick to add, someone or something must have been looking out for you because if I knew then what I know now, we would have settled down and lived in a different area.  Sounds like they live in a higher elevation.  I was able to share with her it was God watching over us and leading us...She didn't really want to hear about God but He is my story and I must include His watch care and leading in it.  Especially since she asked me so many questions about my heart and she marveled at my coloring and radiance.  Thankfully, it was one of those days that I didn't break out into a hot sweat because the lights in that store are so hot...the only radiance then is the glistening of sweat drops.  Of course I panic because I think they think...I must be shoplifting to break out in that kind of sweat.  I haven't included a good old sweat story in a while here on the old Monablog and it felt like it was time.

Of course the above was written yesterday morning and I didn't have a chance to come back and complete it.  I got to working out back while the temps were really cool and the bumble bees weren't hanging around.  I got three rail boxes done.  Then, I decided another trip to Lowe's was in order.  Originally it was to get a few more plants for the boxes but they had already mixed containers of geraniums with other plants, so I went with that.  I made a quick stop in at Walz-Mart for salad, DC, and a two quart pitcher.

The weather being so nice called for another afternoon of sitting on the front porch watching cars go by and cows go moo.  This morning it is overcast and it has been raining.  I am noticing a few flowers blooming on the tiered area of the backyard and most of them are yellow.  I didn't know that when I picked yellow flowers for the rail box.

I have several projects on the schedule today and then tonight is the Women's Ministry event.  I am looking forward to it.  This week I became FB friends with several from church.  Oh and I need to read my SS lesson.  I keep forgetting to do that since I haven't had a quarterly for years.

The birds have kind of discovered the bird feeder.  They have discovered the seed that has fallen to the ground when the wind spins the feeder around.  Oh this news flash just in....some of the red headed wrens, sparrows and a yellow bird have discovered the feeder this morning.  The cardinal is watching it all but hasn't made his move to come on down.

If I don't get to moving, I will just sit here and watch birds all day...and there is nothing wrong with that but since I am in the home stretch of getting things arranged and put up, I move onward.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Driving Down the Smokey Expressway Smiling All the Way

As this day draws to an end, I think it has been a wonderful day.  The sun was out and the temps didn't get past 68.  Several years ago I bought a "spring sweater" that is totally useless in Texas but came in quite handy today.  The idea of going to Waynesville has been in my mind for several days and today was the best day to go.  I realized that it had been just about a month since I've gone down the road that leads to I 40.  The last time I was on it, snow greeted us.  Today the dogwoods and other trees in bloom decorated the roadside.  The azaleas are bursting forth in color.  All the animals were out and doing their animal thing like horses and cows grazing, goats climbing, sheep and lambs just being darling and so it goes...  Fields have been tilled and gardens have been planted.  The whole drive was alive with beauty and wonder.  The trees on the tops of the mountains are starting to leaf and the brown and gray is slowly being absorbed by verdant and green life.  It is just almost too much to take in.  Contrast the blue skies and the brilliant white clouds, it makes driving on a twisting two lane road kind of difficult.  I think many had the same idea today because Waynesville was a tad busier than usual on a weekday.  Parking wasn't as easy of a find either but soon enough, I was in Mast General Store walking through the home items.  There have been many items I have wanted to purchase in the past and since we are here now, today was the day to pick a few of those things up.  I window shopped for a bit and then did some walking around town.  Not too far from Mast is Massie's Furniture and of course I was drawn in.  I really liked the showroom and enjoyed everything available to decorate a home.  They are the nicest people in there and I found myself asking a few questions about several of the tables.  One in particular, made by a man in Tennessee just for them.  I loved the dark pine and darn it, I didn't measure the spot where I felt this table would fit in perfectly.  Kevin measured it for me and gave me his business card.  I told him I would call him back and we could purchase over the phone if it all worked out dimension wise.  I walked through an antique store that was mainly dishes but it had some interesting artwork.  Think I will wait on art for a bit.  If I can find more Wendy Whitson prints, I will be one happy camper.  I came back to Mast and made my purchases and then headed over to the Hazelwood shopping area to stop in at Robin Blu and just make a look see into the bakery there.  Robin Blu was having a store wide discount on everything and jewelry was 20% off for Mother's Day.  They also carry candles like Anthropologie, so I picked up one for home.  Since the bakery is just next door....I went in and got a lemon blueberry scone to go.  They wrap up everything and put them in a box.  The lady came back with my scone box and said, two of them were sticking together, so I am giving you two for the price of one.  Wow!  Thank you!

I drove back the way I had come only making a quick stop at the Exxon station.  Then I stopped at the newly opened antique store nearby and then went across the street and ordered the big salad to go.  I mean if you have two scones, one should surely eat a salad for late lunch/early dinner.  Half of the salad was eaten and I ate on the front porch since the temps were wonderful and the air heavy with the fragrance of spring.  I measured and then called to reserve the table I liked so much.  It will be delivered sometime next week and oh, it is free delivery.  Yahoo!  He didn't even want my credit card number yet because he will only charge me on the day it is delivered.  Wow!

There are still plenty of things that need to be done around here but the worst is behind us.  Well, that's not true....the dresser and closet in one of the bedrooms needs to be gone through and arranged.  I'm finally at that point of thinking more about decor than boxes...although I could make another trip to the dump but the boxes are really big and heavy.  No, those can wait a while.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Refrigerator, Mary Broke A Glass

Got the Lowe's early morning wake up call but this time with good news that our refrigerators will be delivered today.  They don't know what time yet but it will be nice to have non frozen food to eat.  Even at the lowest temp in the refrigerator part, it is way too cold.  I mean, I like crispy lettuce but frozen just isn't good.

Yesterday, Vivian introduced us to a wonderful place in Hendersonville, A Day in the Country.  In this house is lots of shopping that appeals to everyone's taste in jewelry, home decor, food...just all kinds of unique items.  Before we shopped we decided to fuel up at the little restaurant there.  Oh.My. Goodness.  For my Houston friends it would be a cross between Tiny Boxwood, Ashland House and The Bistro at The Nord.  I had the chicken salad with tomato basil soup which was so yummy!  We split a piece of Lemon Curd Cake and it was slap your mamma good!  I can't wait to take friends there especially Dena but we will have to get her past all the jewelry before we can eat.  I was telling Roy about it and he would love the food but hate that it feels like a ladies who lunch place, so we decided we would get the food to go and have a picnic.  Judy and I loved it!  Judy is in my SS class so I had fun getting to know her.  Our next trip is going to be to Cade's Cove.  I've read and heard about it but never have been there.  The girls liked my driving and Sequisha is such a comfortable ride so for this next trip I will supply the gasoline and car and they will be in charge of the picnic lunch.  I am getting the better end of the deal.

Yea!  Lowe's just called and they will be here between 12:00-2:00.  They just called again, now it is between 10:00-12:00.  That's even better.

I've written this before but it bears repeating, the pace of life here is more serene and peaceful yet the time goes by so quickly.  I will be involved in a project only to look at my watch and see it has become afternoon.  For the past couple of weeks as spring is showing off the deep greens and colors, I have looked at a couple of our trees and thought, I think they must be dead but the trees just like so much of everything have the slower pace of budding and blooming.  I have learned not to cut back the Hydrangeas because the new growth draws nourishment from those dead looking stalks.  Some of the shrubs around the deck looked dead to me as well and I am so happy that I asked around about these trees and shrubs because that is when I learned the timing of spring in these parts.  It gets so warm so quickly in Houston that everything bursts into spring very quickly while around here it is a metronome beat more like a saunter.  The view from the front porch changes every day.  We have a big fir tree beside our driveway and it must be like a condo for birds.  I think there might be several nests and it looks as if the birds enjoy the lyrical movement of the tree in the wind.  In the late afternoon it seems the birds are singing the most and the loudest.  For the first time I saw a blur of a yellow colored bird.  Nerd Nancy needs to pull out her Carolina bird book. There is a fascinating view from just about every window and the wild life, the outdoors kind, thank you very much, keeps me quite enthralled.

The refrigerator delivery was quite the ordeal.  All this time I have been thinking the small refrigerator delivery would be the most complicated part but the width of doors here isn't consistent and the delivery guys had to take out and then bring in the refrigerators through the front door...which means across the front porch and through the unyielding path of ups and downs, complete with ants, from the driveway to the front porch.  Wow, they did great but it took a lot of twisting and turning to get things settled.  They were the nicest men and I gave them a tip and the last of my Goode Company Pecan Pies.  It took almost two hours but everything got moved in and they left.  I had a bunch of paperwork to take care of and then I was off to The Fresh Market...but there sat the Lowe's truck along the side of the road.  I went over to see what happened.  They had been telling those in charge that the brakes were just about shot on the truck and as they were going down our steep road, the casing fell off and slashed their right tire.  The other guy had gone to get a rental truck and the tow truck was coming for the Lowe's truck.  Gee whiz!  Glad their brakes held on our driveway.  When I returned from The Fresh Market, they were just leaving in the rental truck for the rest of their deliveries.  Going to be a long day for them.  That pecan pie is going to taste really good tonight.

I learned a new way to The Fresh wasn't too scenic but it was quite industrial.  Saw some railroad tracks I would like Roy to take photos of.  Roy is kind of ticked right now at a well meaning person saying things about our decision of me moving up to NC and eventually, several more years down the road, Roy retiring and joining me here.  Only, they made it sound to be a much sooner happening more than later to someone at Roy's office.  He is not a happy camper right now.  I know I continue to write this almost every time on the blog, but I cannot express how much better I feel up here.  The amount of energy I have, should I say it?  It's amazing but not amazing, amazing.  Well yet.  I put on a pair of shoes this morning that have been tight in the past because of the fluid I retained due to poor circulation.  Dang it if those shoes are very loose and I was unable to wear them today because they kept falling off my feet.  Roy has certainly afforded me this opportunity to recover and have a life outside of our home.  I am so grateful for his sacrifice and I am so thankful to the Lord for His healing hand.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rainy Day Recap

Maybe, just maybe, we have seen all the rain for today.  Yesterday, was mostly rainy, constant but not heavy and this morning I heard just a little rumble of thunder before the rain came again.  I was awake early knowing that Lowe's would call around 7:00 am with news of our refrigerator...and they called but the refrigerator didn't make the truck.  He is going to call on Wednesday morning and hopefully delivery will come Wednesday or Thursday.  After taking the call, it was back to sleep.  We are eventually going to replace the current roof with a tin roof and when it is raining, I may never wake up.  It must be the combo of mountain air, mountain rain and using my mountain energy that gives me wonderful and deep sleep.  The sun just peeked out behind the clouds and looking up at the window on the stairs and through the lace curtains, the window looks like it is made from diamonds...but it is lingering rain drops.  No diamond windows here.

Being in new country is learning weather patterns.  In Houston winter weather comes from the north and sometimes west.  Summer most everything is coming up from the gulf that influences rain.  It seems to be a similar pattern here and even the predictions can be wrong, just like in Houston.  Even with all the rain, the soil here dries out much more quickly.  So that means if I am putting out more solar lights, today would be the day to do it.

Saturday, I stayed around home and like I have written before, even then the time went by so quickly. I was feeling a little weak on Saturday and took things easy.  Sunday morning was here before you knew it.  Got ready for SS and church.  Sunday was my first Sunday in the choir loft at Newfound and there is a universal truth, all choir lofts must be hot.  Thankfully, we do not wear choir robes and I am totally into my spring/summer wardrobe of linen, so the heat wasn't unbearable.  Another universal truth of church choirs, the altos have to be the friendliest and funniest in choir.  I have met some really nice altos and yes, I have met some really nice sopranos too...but the few, the proud, the altos have to stick together.  There aren't any back row altos because the bass and tenors sit on the back row.  We have three rows in the choir room and loft.  It was especially fun last night at practice to sit between two strong, music reading altos.  When that happens, I always sound better.  Ha!  We are singing We Believe next Sunday...I'm feeling at home.  One of my favorite songs of the evening was Alpha and Omega because the alto part is in the low range.  Bless those song writers!  And the Spanish in the song is not too hard either.  Come back to me high school Spanish....nope, it's gone.

Next Saturday evening is the Embrace Women's Ministry event and I am looking forward to going.  Gee, I haven't said that in a long time because most women's events are pretty much the same.  This one is different.  It is to help with medical expenses for a double transplant for one of the women in the church.  It is a dinner/spa night/silent auction thing.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun while helping someone.  When we first joined Newfound, I received a card and handwritten note from the WM that ministered to me in a profound way.  Word must have gotten out that I can't tie a bow or do the fruffy kind of things and for this I am grateful because based on observations, there are many talented women in the church who have mastered these talents.

Before leaving for choir practice Sunday evening, I saw something wonderfully and extraordinary out the back window.  The area above our deck is tiered with rocks for better water flow when it rains.  Above the tiered area is a gravel road which belongs to Jennifer who lives on the horse farm above me.  I don't know where the gravel road leads to on their property but there is a lot of animal life on that road.  Sunday evening I watched two young rabbits play.  Out in Rancho De Five we have lots of rabbits but these on Sunday were having the best time.  The only way to describe their play was one rabbit would charge at the other one like a bull to a matador and just when you thought they would collide, the one little bunny would hop over the charging one.  More like a big jump than a hop.   They played like that for quite a bit of time and I had a better view from the upstairs.  I had to get ready to leave but I could have watched them for as long as they were willing to play.

The bad weather went to the east and south of us and we had just a brief period of rain while the sun was shinning.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Daily Info Not Needed but Thanks for Reading Anyway

Good Morning Saturday!  I slept in just a bit because I was too wired to go to sleep last night.  Don't know why I was so wired but it might have been due to the fact I ate dinner later than usual.  I had thought about getting up and going over to Turkey Creek for breakfast but there is delicious stuff here and having a pajama morning isn't sounding so bad.  I had thought about going to look at a couple of shops in Weaverville today but I have plenty, yes plenty around here to keep me occupied.

Lowe's called yesterday at 7:05 am to let me know the refrigerator we bought should be in and delivered that day.  That is good news really since the refrigerator here is freezing everything even on the lowest setting but as good as that news is, I could have still celebrated that a little later in the morning.  A little later the delivery company for a chair I had ordered called and wanted to know if they could deliver it today instead of next week.  Sure thing, so I hurriedly got ready for the day and headed out to the dump.  I am so glad I pre-loaded the car on Thursday.  When I got there the scales were being fixed but the girl behind the window was outside giving instructions to those of us who had come.  She recognized me and asked if it was still packing boxes and materials and I responded, yes.  She offered me this solution because looking inside Sequisha she knew that there was only a trash bag full of packing material and she blessed my heart noting that we had made three trips out there already.  She offered me this gift and I almost didn't take it because I was more than willing to pay the $10.00 but since I had very little packing material, she offered to let me put all the cardboard in the free bin and then put everything else in the regular bins for free.  While reaching for the $10.00 I heard in my spirit, accept this gift.  So I did.  It was much harder work and more time consuming and I was thinking I am not going to make it back in time for the delivery.  And the free cardboard bin is accessible by steps and I made a few trips up and down but thankfully my athletic skills of old came back and I was able to throw that folded cardboard over the top and into the bin...only having to re-throw just one box.  After getting everything deposited into the correct bins, I was off with some time to spare to the Post Office.

Who knew so many words could be dedicated to being down in the dump(s) and learning something from the Lord in that experience?

The chair was delivered by just one man, in a van, down by the river...oops sorry, a little SNL Chris Farley slipped in.  I helped him bring the chair in and put into the room of my choice but he could not take the protective wrapping off per the contract.  I need Roy for all this fine print stuff.  At least it wasn't hard to get off and there wasn't anything to put together.  The chair looks really nice in the front room.  It is just the right size for the space.

With the chair delivered, I was able to go back to the Post Office and mail a package to my niece Megan and then run the rest of my errands which included a stop at the bank, gas station and grocery store.  Yep, living the high life here.  I had planned on stopping at the Mexican food restaurant for some queso and chips but at the store I saw some queso that looked pretty good.  So I picked up a bag of Tostitos and hoped for the best.  I had the queso with the tacos last night and it was good, really good.  It is the white cheese queso like at Jimmy Changa's or Escalante's.  

In the late afternoon a storm was a brewing over the mountains in the distance.  The temps were getting cooler by the minute and the air was graced with the scent of rain, flowering blooms and cut grass.  This has to be heaven for the senses.  The mountain disappeared behind the rain for just a little bit and I was mesmerized by that view taking place right there from the comfort of the front porch.  We got some rain a little later in the evening but nothing significant.

While waiting for the chair delivery I did get some things taken care of and I learned something new, there is a blue bird house on the front of a support beam of the front porch.  Now that's exciting along with the plenteous sightings of cardinals.   A few of the wrens have taken advantage of the small birdbath on the back deck.

Thank you for reading today for all your shopping, delivery, birding, and dumping information.  Stay tuned, it will only get better....I hope.

Friday, April 17, 2015

The Playful Mundane, Time Passing Quickly and Mrs Freeze

Yesterday turned out to be one of the most fun days.  There isn't anything out of the ordinary about the day, but everything fell into place and those happy little errands woven together made the day satisfying.  The day began early, well early for me.  I got up, dressed and out of the house before 9:00.  First stop breakfast at Turkey Creek Cafe and some of those delicious pancakes.  Marisa, she owns the place, and then Penny who owns the shop across the road joined me for breakfast.  We had such a good time laughing and telling stories.  The time went by quickly and we were all kind of sad having to break the party up since they have businesses to be run and I had shopping needing to be done.

Biltmore Park was my next stop.  It is kind of like City Centre in Houston, open outdoor concept. Since it was early enough parking spots weren't quite the premium they are later in the day.  Barnes and Noble had the book and magazine I was looking for.  Score!  In previous visits I have noticed a 'paper' store farther down the way from B&N.  My first thought, oh I can drive down there and then it came to me, I could actually walk.  Now this is a no brainer for most but even that distance used to put a cramp into my lifestyle.  So, I put my purchases in Sequisha and I walked down to the store, without sweating, without complications.  It is a cute store but I'm glad we never made a concerted effort to get there before because while it was cute, there wasn't anything in there that interested me into a purchase.  I walked back on the other side of the street and stopped in at Francescia's and found a little plaque saying, 'It is well with my soul.'  Next stop of the day, the Biltmore.  Oh my, the tulips are open and gorgous colors in their gardens.  Trees and plants abloom with wondrous colors.  My first stop, the garden center.  Because it wasn't raining and the temps were good, the garden center was a happening place.  No close parking so it was up to the adjacent parking.  Oh my goodness, again there was a day and it wasn't very long ago, that the trip would have been scuttled because I could not do the distance.  Nailed it!  Even the walk back up wasn't too bad and I had several items with me in a bag.  Then it was the beautiful drive to Antler Hill Village on the estate to look for a similar piece of framed artwork to go with the one I bought when Peggy and I were here.  The only one they had left was the one I had already bought but the trip was not in vain because there are always a few cute knick knacks to bring home.  And again, I had to park a bit of distance away and walked the walk but I didn't talk the talk because that would just look weird, me talking to myself...out loud as I walked the walk to my car.

I stopped at the Antique Tobacco Warehouse just to look around.  There were a couple of small things I liked, a lamb picture (no surprise here) and a milk bottle from a dairy here in NC.  As I rounded the corner to go to the other side of this huge building, I saw what I have been looking for.  The perfect table to go into the bonus room i.e. the man cave for Roy's coffee maker and even better it was under a $100.00!  I asked two gentlemen who were shopping together for pieces to go into their rustic cabin they had purchased, to help me get it into the cart.  We had a nice conversation about antiques and I shared with them about Round Top and Warrington and they shared with me that my table was a good purchase and it is from the 1950's.  I tried to find Regeneration Station which is close by and I saw the sign...a little Ace of Base for you this morning....anyway, I saw the sign but didn't quite figure out where the arrow was pointing.  So, that is an adventure for another day because I went to Home Goods to find some things to go with Roy's new addition to his man cave.  I found what I was looking for and to celebrate the day, I stopped at Chicky and tried the Lemon Freeze with Diet Lemonade.  Thank goodness, there isn't a Chicky near by because I love lemon and I love soft serve ice cream.

Like I wrote previously, the time went by so quickly.  It was already 3:00 and I had done a ton and walked a lot and wasn't even tired.  When I got home I was able to meet one of the neighbors as he and his young son sat on the edge of our lawn waiting for the school bus delivering his daughter.  His name is Mike, he works on the weekends and his wife works at the hospital during the week.  I unloaded Sequisha and then loaded her up with boxes and stuff for the dump.  Yes, a dump run is in my morning schedule today.  Several deliveries and purchases with lots of cardboard and packing material.  On Thursday, my designated pajama day, I put together the bench I ordered.  It may go with the kitchen table or it may go at the top of the stairs.  Leaning toward top of the stairs since it is there now.  I also brought the new table upstairs and after cleaning it up a bit, put the coffee maker on it.  Once I get the mugs washed and placed, I will post a picture of it on FB.  Oh back to Thursday, I hung a lot of pictures and only at the finish did I have to do a re-do on placement of the nail.  I'm an eyeballer for hanging stuff but if Roy had helped, we would have measured and thus...a lot less pictures would have been hung.

If you are even still reading this because it is full of what I did on Thursday kind of stuff, the theme of the day was even the mundane was fun and playful and the time went by so quickly.  It was a day of temps in the high 50's and I thrived in that.  Maybe I am like Mr. Freeze from the Adam West Batman Days...Mr. Freeze was an add on villain toward the final time of that program...grasping at villainous straws.  I need to correct one thing, I would be Mrs. Freeze.  OK....that's good.  And to further confirm that, I did have a Lemon Freeze and not a Blizzard yesterday.  Oh, I need to correct one more thing, in no way shape or form did I participate in any villainous ways yesterday.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Another Day in Paradise

I am still trying to find some kind of routine here but with things always needing attention and not having put everything in place, I kind of free lance during the day of what needs to be done.  Sleeping here in the cool air is doing this body a lot of good.  In the evenings when I have finished with my tasks for the day, it doesn't take long soon after sitting down for my eyes to grow heavy.  I'm sleeping later too.  Usually when I have been here,mornings come early for me because I know my time is limited to a week.  Guess the old body knows we are here for longer than a week.  The hills are becoming a little easier to walk, at times and just when I think I have mastered backing into our driveway, I have a major meltdown in that skill.  Happened last night but through that I learned something new to use when backing in.  Right before the sunset, I put out some solar lights along the edge of the driveway, so that will help as well...well it will help when the sun comes out to give those babies some power.  I also put out the shepherd hook in the back.  While I was out and about yesterday, I made a stop at Lowe's to pick up a few things.  I have never been that interested in hummingbirds, but I got a feeder and some sugar water.  I also picked up a few plants to put into containers.  That way if we have another frost, I can put them in the garage.  The dogwood tree in the back is blooming something fierce and the red bud tree is too.  Kate, previous owner, told me that some years the plumb trees are heavy with fruit.  I hope this is one of those years.

Last night I made tacos for dinner.  They were good but not Roy tacos good.  I bought the standing shell because of late the other shells crumble at the slightest movement.  The evening before that, hot dogs.  I am a gourmet cook!  Ha!  I will have leftovers tomorrow because tacos two days in a row doesn't whet your appetite for the spice without a day in between.

The fragrance in the air around here is intoxicating.  I am glad I don't suffer from allergies because the mixture of fresh cut grass and the perfume of blooming trees is just wonderful to take in on the porch in the early evenings.  The tree frogs are in full voice and thankfully, the mama cows across the road have calmed down since their calves were removed from the herd on Saturday.  They are back to their normal grazing habits.  I have noticed the cows across the road and the sheep on down the road have discernible paths.  They walk the same paths everyday to get to the fields of green grass..

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tuesday Happenings

Looks like the rain is over for now as the skies attempt to clear.  Weather here is a bit like Texas, if you don't like it, just wait a bit for the change.  This will give me the chance to get out and about a little later.

Yesterday, the grill was delivered and Bill changed out the smoke alarm downstairs.  That freed up the afternoon for a little bit of grocery shopping in Weaverville.  I was cruising right along when Roy called.  The APS lady wanted to get a statement from me and Roy wasn't too convinced that this is all she wanted.  Good grief!  Nothing takes the wind out of you like that kind of news.  So as I traveled back home, I had a little encounter with a ya-hoo.  I don't know if it was the Texas license plates or what, but watching what he did in front of me, my instincts kicked in.  Yes!  Watching all the ID TV and Datelines came immediately to mind.  With the skill of a race driver the car made an abrupt tire screeching turn and it looked like he was in hopes I would t-bone the back end of his car, but I made a defensive driver move and avoided the whole thing.  The truck in front of him pulled off to the side of the road immediately which made me believe this was a set up to bilk insurance money.  Thank you Lord for quick reflexes.  I called the lady after putting away the cold items.  It was pretty much just that kind of call, asking me questions like when is the last time you saw your father or spoke to him. They seem a little taken back when I can give the exact date.  Then she asked the reason for the non communication.  Same song, the hundredth verse.  The conversation took a bit of energy out of me and even though I was calm, there are somethings we cannot control but I didn't add to my rising blood pressure.  That sealed it, the rest of the evening was a wash but when you are reading a great book, it doesn't seem so bad that you didn't get anything done.  It did accomplish an early bedtime, so that was a good thing.

Mike the mower man is here now.  I think he is fertilizing the grass today too.  I haven't had a chance to buy apple trees, but I will get that done before he returns next week.

Since I had a delivery scheduled yesterday with no time frame, I was unable to attend my first meeting with the Asheville New Comers Club.  I am making sure that I don't have anything next month so I can attend.  They meet at First Baptist downtown and by the website, they offer all kinds of groups and activities to participate in.  They have a book club!

I love watching all the birds off the back deck.  Yes, I brought my nerdiness to NC and I have a bird book I consult if I don't know the kind of bird that is visiting.  We have several bird families that have made some of our trees their homes.  We have a couple of wren nests in the front and I believe there might be a cardinal nest in one of our big fir trees.

It looks like another trip to the dump is in my future.  Unwrapping the pictures the movers boxed for us is causing quite the cardboard build up in the garage.  Several pictures have been hung and I am waiting on the delivery of some furniture before determining where some of my favorite pieces will go.  When Peggy and I were here, I bought a picture at Traditions and it isn't quite big enough for over the fireplace.  That means the picture I had intended for the dining room will now be over the fireplace.  If they have another painting similar to the one I previously bought, those will look good over the sideboard.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Secrets of the Seasons

It is an overcast morning here in the mountains.  The forecast over the weekend indicated a high chance of rain today but it's looking like most of the rain will come tomorrow.  We are supposed to have a delivery today but other than that information, there isn't a time frame, so I guess I will need to hang around the house.  That's fine, there is plenty for me to do and lots to take care of.  I feel like I am on the cusp of finding my routine here.  I'll have to tweak it but I won't really know until most everything gets put away.

So I had this plan for Saturday and that plan got totally blown out of the water.  What sounded good was to get up early and go out for breakfast, then run a couple of errands.  I'd return home and do more straightening and wait to hear from my sister in law Nancy and her friend Barbara.  They had come into town to take in the sights and we had made plans for a late lunch.  Just as I was finishing up with my hair, my smoke alarms pierced the silence of the morning.  Since they are all so close together, I couldn't determine which one had gone off.  I checked both the up and downstairs for any sign of smoke.  The alarm went off for just a few seconds and quit.  Thinking it was maybe a fluke or had something to do with my hairspray, yes I am so logical with these kinds of things, I still had my plans ahead.  Seven minutes later, the smoke alarms went off again.  Now I knew, plans would be scratched as I called my friends to see if they could come over and help me determine the problem.  I started taking out all the batteries because I figured they needed changing anyway.  Bill came over and looked at everything.  The detector in our bedroom isn't the easy install kind and he was able to get the battery out of it.  We made plans for him to return around 1:00 to take care of everything.  Meanwhile, I went to CVS to buy new 9 volt batteries.  On my way I made a list of things we don't have here at the house that are basic supplies.  What better place than CVS?  Well, there are better places and better prices but my mind was in the get basic staples mode.  Got the batteries and then wandered up and down the aisles picking up various and sundry items.  Before checking out I went through the basket taking inventory of what I had procured on round one of stocking up.  Let's see, laxative, Imodium, ear wax cleaner, sore muscle spray, band-aids, flavored water, and various other personal need type items.  It was a mix of weird stuff that surely would get a 'glance' of amusement or suspicion especially when it is easier to buy these things when they are surrounded by groceries and much less inspection is given.  Sense of humor to the rescue as the young man began ringing up the items and I said as he was putting things into the bag, "well, it's the weekend isn't it?  You've got to live every once in a while."  And with that, I left the store.  I was able to get the batteries changed out and only had trouble with the detector in our bedroom.  Bill and Vivian came over a little after 1:00 and Bill got it all taken care of.  I am so thankful for good friends who came to my rescue.

Nancy and Barbara came just as Vivian and Bill were leaving, so it was fun for everyone to meet.  Nancy, Barbara and I went out to lunch at Turkey Creek, did some shopping at the antique store across the road and then drove around a bit to see the scenery. We returned with to go dessert from Turkey Creek and ate it out on the front porch.  The weather on Saturday was Chamber of Commerce perfect.

Sunday morning of course is Sunday School and church.  I went back to the same SS class and I really enjoy those ladies.  They are funny, deeply spiritual and serious.  That's a great combo.  After church, I had been invited by Vivian's Aunt Mary to have lunch with them at her house.  Oh my, everything was so delicious.  I loved hearing the stories of growing up on the farm and cherished memories of their loved ones.  Loved them all but I kind of liked Aunt Mary's story of her pet goat Suzy the best.  I came home and took a short nap and then did everything I needed to take care of before Vivian picked me up for choir.  Success was mine this trip down the driveway with the garbage can and I put it in the right spot.  Hallelujah!  Vivian picked me up early to drive me around and show me some farms and homes in the general area.  The back roads of NC are beautiful!  In fact, I think this was my first time to sit in a passenger seat.  The rolling hills, old barns and farm animals cover the landscape.  Extra benefit,the many plants and trees in bloom,  We went to choir and like most good choirs I have known the sopranos outnumber the altos but our small group of altos held our own...mostly.  We worked on several songs and then it was time to go home.

This weekend was a good reminder that we don't control or even manage anything.  Sometimes I can be feeling too self sufficient and the Lord reminded me that we need one another and we live His life in community.  I am learning the secrets of the seasons here, like don't put out bedding plants until after Mother's Day.  We will have two more potentially cold spells when the dogwoods bloom, and they are doing that now and when the blackberries bloom, which will be right around the corner time wise.  Then it is safe, frost season is over.  Secrets of the seasons...since living in Texas and only knowing two seasons, summer and then the three days of winter.  I had no interest in secrets of the seasons because it is no secret is just dang hot most of the time.  Just this past week everything is blooming and greening up.  The view from the front porch is much greener today than it was this time last week.  Secrets of the seasons, that is resonating with me this morning because we have those seasons in our walk with the Lord.  We read Hebrews 1:1 in SS and Acts 1:1-8 in church.  My attention was drawn to various ways and various times, many times and from time to time...the Lord spoke and showed up.  We discussed the walk to Emmaus and I saw things with new eyes....and new eyes of the heart and that is one of my favorite passages in Luke.  We know the secret things belong to the Lord and in this season, I want to notice the various, many and the time to times with Him.  

Friday, April 10, 2015

Happy Friday!I

Good Morning from the mountains.  I have a "winter view" of sunrise and as more trees begin to bud and leaf, I won't be able to see it as well.  The skies are becoming a little more overcast as the rain nears us.  The radar shows we should receive a good soaking and as it keeps moving east.  Lowe's called early this morning and our refrigerator isn't in yet, so that frees me up a little more than I had anticipated.  Of course there is work to be done around here but there is always an opportunity to get out and about in a 'new land.'

Our deacon to our family stopped by yesterday to drop off the new member packet.  He and his wife are fellow Texans that followed their dream of leaving behind the heat.  My SS teacher called on Wednesday just to check in with me.  Wow!  I'm not used to having all this personal contact from church and it is a rather nice experience.   I told Dena about the SS teacher calling and she joked that she had called me on Sunday.  Dena was my friend before she taught Dayspring, so that doesn't count as an official call that can be checked off on the envelope.  While Deacon Bob was here, Vivian stopped in and we all had a great visit.  I loved that Vivian and I got to visit a while after Bob left.  She told me of more places that she wants to show me and I am really excited to see everything.

If you are wondering where all the honey and bumble bees have gone, I believe you will find them on the front porch of our house.  We have these huge forsythia bushes below the porch and they are drawing bees, birds and butterflies.  No birds and bees hanky panky going on but I cannot say the same for the cows across the street.  We also have this tree blooming in the back that I thought was a crepe myrtle but Vivian told me it is too early for those to be blooming here.

What was supposed to be a rainy day on Wednesday became a beautiful sunshiny day.  The birds singing, the breeze blowing and I was happy sitting by the window in an upstairs room.  I took advantage of the good weather by picking up the solar lanterns from Sears and then wandering down to Barnes and Noble.  Yes, what do I not need?  Books and yes, I bought two.  It's a sickness and if I can be really vulnerable here, I bought another journal.  Although, I bought this one for the quotes and Bible verses in it.   Then off to The Fresh Market for a few things.  Since the day had turned out to be rain free, a trip to the dump was in order.  So, I filled the back of Sequisha with all manner of boxes and packing material and made my way to the dump.  It is such a beautiful drive.  Really, it is!  The lady at the check in asked about Roy and I told her he had gone back to work, so it was just me today.  I tried to make him believe I got a better rate but it just wasn't happening.  Since I was close by Weaverville, I went to town and had lunch, then stopped at Ace Hardware and Tractor Supply.

One of the things that our deacon, Bob, told me was how fortunate we were to move into this area.  He shared his story of he and his wife coming here and our story sounds a little bit like theirs.  I cannot thank God enough for His kindness!  Bob was telling me about the different areas around here and Roy and I had looked in those towns and areas.  One had more of a north-Floridian feel, one area is rather clannish and if you aren't family, you aren't worth the time and he said in Asheville, it has become such a conglomeration of fellow pilgrims to this promised land, he said you might not ever meet anyone actually from the area.  We are in an area where family farms and land still are intact.  There are some new comers, like us, but the people are friendly and welcoming.  Our stories of coming to Newfound Baptist were similar as well.  Last August I had planned on visiting several churches but after one visit to Newfound, I wasn't interested in visiting anyplace else.

I can already feel a difference in how I feel.  When I get tired, it is a good kind of tired from work and from stair climbing.  The past few days have been warmer than usual but the humidity is so low it doesn't feel like it is in the 80's.  And now with the delivery of the recumbent bike, I can be tired from lots of exercise   Fortunately, it is in the bonus room which doesn't have a closet.  So it is a pretty far piece from hanging clothes on it...well, yet.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

And Now a PSA for Dealing With a Difficult Person

I'm taking advantage again of not having a set schedule to ease into the day at a rather slow pace.  I woke up early and spent a little bit of time working on getting those small things that are strewn about put away.  All that is pretty much what is left to do, small things.  Roy and I did get a lot done last week.  Well, I still have my closet which is not a small thing but it will get done.

Today is the release of Melanie Shankle's book, Nobody is Cuter Than You.  It is a book on friendship and how friends have changed the course of her life.  I ordered the book and it should be delivered sometime this week.  This is a book I could have written because friends throughout my life have been lifesavers and anchors in the storms of life.  Storms come and go but I am fortunate to have life-long friends that come with sticking power.  Do we talk everyday?  No.  Do we email everyday? No.  But we can pick up right where we last left off.  The thoughts of my friends this morning is especially powerful and poignant because if it is April and I'm in North Carolina, you can bet the farm we will get a call from Adult Protective Services investigating the false accusations by my father.  They called last week and Roy returned their call yesterday.  He said it was a short conversation when this case worker heard we have not seen or spoken with him in three years and hearing that I am in North Carolina pretty much closed out the case.  She never told him what the accusations were but we can guess with precision accuracy though and that's fine with us.  Throughout the years in the ups and downs of dealing with him and experiencing the hurt and abuse of a unstable person, there has been a God-given blessing with friends.  They listened to my complaints and we prayed through so many situations.  Then as years continued and his interruptions weren't so impactful and menacing, friends helped me think through situations and how I could handle him without fighting or arguing or getting really mad, because that is usually what people like him want, a confrontation so that they are able to unleash all their toxic words and thoughts.  Then two major things happened, I started going to a therapist who gave me the correct tools for his situation and I released Roy to tackle my father head on and it was kind of funny, my father didn't know what hit him because he saw Roy as a weak and not worthy man.  He had never seen "work Roy" and he was quite unnerved having to go through him to talk with me.  (We were in the midst of my heart issues and knew stress was a factor that triggered really bad a-fib)  Conversations with my father totally did me in and it would take several days to recover from them.  Marty F called me the other day as she was driving home from California and I had a chance to thank her for listening and praying and then I apologized that she had to listen to all that junk.  She was so gracious in her response.  Beth R in Seattle listened to me a whole lot and of all my friends, she saw the damage being done up close and personal.  Mary Madeline let me escape many a day through phone calls or by coming to her home.  I am ever so grateful that her mom let me come over and hang out with them.  And you can fast forward to the present, Peggy and Dena let me tell them the latest incident and then we laugh and go on with life.  In the aftermath of hearing from Roy what the phone call was all about yesterday, I wrote the following yesterday afternoon:

If it is April and if I am in North Carolina you can almost bet there will be a call from Adult Protective Services investigating accusations brought against us by my father.  Only thing every time they have called with the exception of the first call, I have been in North Carolina.  Again, he says we have been over at his house moving things, taking things or harassing him.  Once again we state we have not seen him in three years and he severed the relationship with papers given to me by his then attorney.  I haven't a clue if any of his posse remains or if he has run them off as well.  We again had to explain that he is a notorious liar and can sound reasonable.  Then we share with them his hatred for me since the age of five. It gets a little less painful every time we have to tell that story because really who wants to explain the deep hatred of a mentally ill man, who has been this way all of his life.  Back in the day he could cover his tracks and lies, but he isn't that adept anymore at keeping info from whom he wants to and what "stories" he shares with those he has deemed usable in his weaving of facts and lies to make the whole conglomeration his truth.  Every time he reports us the spotlight on him gets a little hotter.  A guardian needs to be appointed for him because he doesn't trust his family to care for his well being.  It was not lost on me that when we left on March 27th, it had been three years since that fateful day.  God is the God of details.  Since that whole box debacle in September, the eyes of my heart and understanding have been opened.  Things from the past that never made sense finally made sense because his hatred for me has been continuous, not here and there like I had always believed.  I now understand my mother's predicament and how showing too much compassion toward me put her in harms way, because he is and was a genius at emotional abuse.  Where our treasure is, there our heart will be also.  His treasure, his heart has always been money and possessions.  If he felt he couldn't compete with anyone from church or the neighborhood, he just tore them down to others to justify his ego.  Many times I think he was friends with those he felt he was better than insuring his savior complex would remain in tack.  Truly, I wish he could have gotten help at some point but with a personality disorder, nothing is ever his fault.  He would have to admit he is wrong and that is something he doesn't do.  Well not like normal folks, instead he takes the victim role until he thinks he can once again dominate and intimidate and overpower whomever his target is at the time.

I share all of this for those who might be dealing with a person like my father who is constantly churning and stirring up conflict and strife.  There is a good life apart from people like this and it is a difficult start to the journey because you have to set boundaries when they haven't been used to you doing that.  Give a lot of time to prayer because without the Lord this is an impossible journey but He does sustain and give hope when we feel utterly hopeless.  You can know you are loved and have purpose no matter what they have said to you in the past.  Ask God to bring friends into your life that will pray with you and then cheer you on because we are over comers!  Don't burden your friends with all the details though, because some of that can only be understood by you or if you don't understand it, can only be processed by you.  God is there and He gives us the resources and tools, most importantly His Word.  Also, ask the Lord to reveal to you any of "your persons" traits in you. I will share with you that I was going down that same path long ago because that is all I knew and in hindsight see that what I had been taught was for my own detriment and destruction.  Shake that junk off of you, read the Epistles and see what life in Christ looks like especially in relationship to others.  Really study God's love and what that looks like and then receive it for yourself and then share and give it away.  You'll be much better for that.  And God is faithful because He has given me friends here that bring much joy and fun to life.

The day is in the later part of the morning and I am still in my jammies.  It could be a pajama day though.  I am almost bruised from pinching myself that I am really here and really enjoying the peace and pace of life and the beauty of God's creation.  

Monday, April 6, 2015

Little Confirmations Here and There

Good Monday morning!  This is my first day where I don't have an exact schedule to follow.  I need to go pick up some solar lanterns we ordered but maybe that can wait till later or another day this week.  I still have to pinch myself in the mornings to believe I get to wake up to such a beautiful sight of God's creation.  The horses that live behind us are in the pasture closest to our back deck, so it has been delightful to watch them eat and then canter about.  On their own.  It must be the cooler temps that keep them lively.  It is doing that for me.  My search has been about finding my essential oils that I know made it here but have since disappeared.  I put them someplace safe.  My hope is that they didn't get thrown away by accident since they were in a Whole Foods paper sack.

Little by little things are finding their right place and for those things that I haven't a clue about, off into a closet until further notice.  The biggest task at hand is my closet.  There is much to be done and organized.

Don't you love those little confirmations that the Lord gives?  I didn't get up for the sunrise service but had my own little service here at the house.  As I got ready, the web cast of Houston's First played and soon it was time to leave for Sunday School and Sunday School starts at 9:45.  Hallelujah!  Yes, it is still called Sunday School here so I'm not constantly correcting myself to use the relevant term.  I went to a ladies class and enjoyed it.   The ladies genuinely liked one another.  I learned two things yesterday.  In Bible times, when the lambs were born, the shepherds caught them and didn't let them touch the dirt.  Immediately the lambs were wrapped in swaddling.  So the angel told them the great good news in terms that they would understand.  The teacher said they tell this story when you go to the shepherd fields in Bethlehem but I must have missed that both times I have been there.  The other thing that I brought home in my heart was during prayer time as they discussed a woman who had recently passed away and wondered out loud if she had anyone left family wise.  I think I might be the only person near by that isn't related by blood or marriage to someone at church because it seems that way in their talking.  The teacher prayed and she used the term 'belong.'  We all belong to someone and others belong to us which includes not only family but friends.  I've never heard it put quite that way but it is going to become a part of my vocabulary.  The ladies in that class gave another confirmation with the temps outside in the low 40's, not one of them came in with a coat and as soon as they possible could, they took off the jacket that went with their outfit declaring, it is too hot to be wearing a jacket.  I think I will fit in just fine.  An added bonus, I came home with a Quarterly.  Wow, it has been sometime since I've had one of those.  We are in the Minor Prophets but had a two week trip to Luke for Easter it looks like.  The message by Pastor Jeff was good, Empty Promises, an empty cross, an empty grave and empty clothes.  When he used a story about Nordstrom and their renown for customer service as a pivotal illustration for the Easter story, I knew God had placed us at the right church.

Vivian and Bill invited me to their Easter lunch with family and I had a blast.  I also received an invite from another church member to join them for lunch.  Wow!  Anyway, we enjoyed a delicious feast of Easter favorites and had a great time of visiting and telling stories over dessert, which by the way was awesome.  Don't be jealous but I had a little of all.  That included Italian Creme Cake, lemon pie and strawberry pudding which had angel food cake in it.  Yum!

I thought for sure I would take a nap but upon arriving home, I began to do a few things to contribute to the arrangement and organization of the house.  Not too much, because I promised it would be a day of rest after a very busy and full week.

It does feel good to be able to sit down and write a few words.  I missed doing that last week.  I better get moving to get some stuff accomplished today.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

A Quick Check In

Finally, a week after arriving, there is a bit of time to blog.  We have been so busy, the first of the week taking care of a lot of to do's.  On Wednesday the cable and internet was installed and it was the day that the moving van arrived.  I couldn't believe how many boxes were coming out of the trucks, yes I said trucks.  Thankfully, the second truck only had a few items.  The movers had to unload from the huge van into U Haul cube trucks because of the curves and narrowness of the street.  Having a steep driveway with a big ol' dip at the end of it doesn't help anyone with big trucks.  They backed in...I will say it again, they backed those trucks up our street with the curves and drop-off.  Wow, just wow.  Since Wednesday afternoon we have been going through boxes and getting things kind of settled in.  Roy tried to do all the knee work so I wouldn't have to try and do those kinds of things.  Officially, we made three trips to the Bumbcome county land fill with Sequisha filled to the brim with cardboard boxes.  There is only one trash pick up per week, so we needed to get these boxes pared down.  I have enough for another load on Monday.  Oh the thrill of it all.  Roy said we should drop the garbage pick up and just take the bags over, $2.00 a bag.  I might just consider this when I attempt to push the trash can down the steep street and then back up again.

We joined Newfound Baptist Church on Sunday and we are so happy that we did.  Next week I am going to choir practice.  Today, as we were coming out of Turkey Creek Cafe we saw a fellow chuch member we had met last Sunday and her name is Troy.  She reminds me a lot of Jaye Martin and now that I think of it, they have something else in common.  Troy's husband is Terry and Jaye's husband is Dana.

Last Saturday night Vivian and Bill had us over for a delicious steak dinner.  Oh my goodness, dinner was delicious and the company fabulous.  Another couple Dot and Noel came over for dessert and they too go to Newfound.

Bringing furniture from home makes the Ander House feel very homey.  I told Roy we were saving a lot by doing this. In fact there is just a few things to get.  He commandeered he red desk for the queen bed bedroom and is using it for the TV. It looks good, so we are rethinking the furnishings for that room.

There is so much more to write but my keyboard is acting up on my iPad.  So this is it for right now.

Happy Easter!!!