Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Three Day Catch Up

Well, it has been a few days since posting and that means I have been busy without a chance to sit down and write my thoughts.  In the evenings when there has been time I have been so danged tired that the thought of writing anything just wore me out.  The spirit was willing but the flesh was no way.

Saturday morning I got stuck in a horrible traffic mess on the way to the airport.  I checked Google and the report was three really bad wrecks in a stretch of a couple of miles.  That proved to be a wrong report but the wreck I passed was horrific and the remains of burned overturned cars and a scorched median and road relayed a terrible story.  We learned later that three people died in the accident with a tanker truck full of gasoline.

I picked up two at the airport Roy and Buddy.  It was time to bring Buddy to the mountains and Roy did yeoman's duty in doing so.  He was hoping for a flight that wasn't too full but the plane was overbooked.  He thought about a leash at the last minute on Friday evening, so he ran to Kroger to get one.  He had bought a body collar for Buddy earlier and he was so glad he had the leash because security made him take Buddy out of the official Southwest Airlines carrier and then while he held her, they tested his fingers for gun powder residue.  Other than that difficulty Buddy did ok on the plane.  Roy chose a seat on a row with a mom and child thinking at least the little creators of noise would be together. Buddy slept through the flight of which Roy was so thankful for.  His term, the mean flight attendant not the friendly ones, came over to him and told him in no uncertain terms should Buddy ever come from out underneath the seat.  I told him he should have asked her if a tiny little cat sized oxygen mask would come down from the ceiling in the unlikely event....then I thought people have been thrown off planes for less than that.  Good thing he had Buddy and not me.  Since we knew we could not go back the way we came because the freeway was closed from the wreck going toward Asheville, we decided to take the scenic route through Traveler's Rest.  Buddy was not enjoying the beauty of the back roads even though she was traveling in style, in a big pet play pen complete with food, water and potty.  She finally settled down and we got her here to her home in the mountains.  At first she was hesitant about the stairs.  Finally she went up them but was afraid to come down them but now she acts like she has been queen of the stairs all her life.  She has already found sunny places and hiding places.  And she has taken over a bit of Roy's man cave.  She gets the pillows just so to be able to look out the window.  We stuck around home the rest of Saturday to help her adjust.

Sunday we went to church. It was VBS celebration Sunday, so the kids sang songs they had learned during the week and Pastor Jeff's sermon was so good.  There were a lot of guests there to see their kids or grand kids sing.  We didn't go to the picnic shelter for the cookout afterwards but headed over to KFC with all the rest of the good folks who had been to church and fried chicken sounded like it would complete the morning/afternoon.  Then we made the dreaded Wal Mart trip but stopped by Lowe's first to pick up a few things.  We bought a swing while we were there and it should be ready for pick up today.  We thought the $10.00 assembly charge was more than fair.  Roy had fun bringing in an electric scooter basket from the parking lot at WM.  We entertain ourselves so easily.  We brought groceries home, regrouped and headed over to The Fresh Market.  Both Saturday and Sunday evenings had blackberry picking from the front of our property.  Think we might have enough for a cobbler.

Yesterday we headed over to Waynesville to look at a table and to go over to Mast and see about some casual shoes for Roy.  We bought the table and it will be delivered this week and we also found shoes for Roy which is a huge miracle!  Size 14 is not always easy to find.  Then we took 276 over to Brevard and then onto the Pretty Place.  Roy brought one of his cameras and took some great pics.  We stopped at Mud Dabbers and got the last apple baker.  We found out they can hardly keep them in stock.  We found a few other pieces that we liked too.  We were both ready to eat so we headed over to Twin Dragons for lunch.  We also made a produce stand stop.  We went back 276 to the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped at The Pisgah Inn for Roy to take some pics and for me to peruse the t-shirts.  I almost always find a shirt there that I love but not this time.  We meandered on the parkway for a bit then got off.  Since I did this part of the parkway last summer by myself I don't freak out as much about the tunnels but they still bother me.

I was pooped when we got home and Buddy and I spent a lot of time on the couch.  She exhausted by her naps of course.  We had planned to go up to Johnson City today and also go to the Tri Cities Airport in the area.  Roy found some cheaper flights on Delta with a plane change in Atlanta.  Think it will be a great option but not so much in winter months.  Last night I asked if we could take an easy day today instead.  So, we are going to get some work done around here and run a couple more errands.

So there is the catch up for the past few days.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Life, Cows and VBS

Here I am at the computer and with so many things to take care of today but sometimes I feel the day isn't complete until I sit down and write either here on Monablog or in my journal.  If I were to write in my journal at this moment it would be jumbled thoughts, myriads of questions and a little playing connect the dots lining up moments and seasons, noting the bad but more so being jubilant over the hand of God throughout the moments and seasons.  I am so thankful this morning, filled with gratitude and wonder because God is faithful and ever present.

One thing I do know, I have got to stop investing emotionally in the cows across the road.  Throughout the day I was back and forth on the little white faced calf and its mama.  When I awoke and saw they weren't there and then read the about the behavior of a calf in the first few days of life, I felt good and victorious that the struggle of that little one had been a totally natural occurrence.  Later in the morning I saw the single cow standing near the place where the calf had laid down....I wasn't feeling so confident about its future.  Later in the afternoon I thought I spied it off in the distance and made a note to get some binoculars.  When I got home from VBS I didn't see it but when I was on the phone I looked across the pasture and thought I saw it playing with another calf.  See, I am exhausted in keeping up with this little one.  It will drive me crazy or crazier as some might think, to be emotionally involved with these cows but watching them graze and interact with one another is quite entertaining.  Layer upon the view, dusk and fireflies...well there you have a whole evenings entertainment.  My neighbors above us bought a new horse.  He is beautiful!  Dark brown with a black mane and tail.  I am surely not getting involved with the horse adjusting to his new pasture and horse friends.  I have Buddy to think about because she will be here tomorrow.  We didn't follow the adjustment procedures recommended when we moved to Katy with her but maybe this time we should.  She has never had stairs and two floors to have the run of.  Maybe we should just start her off in the bonus room because she will be limited on the places she can hide.

Good Saturday morning!  I had to stop yesterday because there was a lot to do to prepare for Buddy.  Oh and get Roy's shirts from the cleaners.  I also made a stop at the car wash.  Then when I came back from errands there was a lot to do before leaving for VBS.  I believe taco night was a hit at dinner.  It was a fun week serving and meeting new people.  I am glad I will not have to wear plastic gloves any time soon though.

The temperature was a bit cooler last night because of the rain cooled air.  I decided to make another trip down to the front part of our property and pick more blackberries.  It was hot but not as unbearable as the previous evening.  I picked for about thirty minutes, trying to reach over and get some of the bigger ones.  I rearranged the seed in the bird feeder and cleaned out the tube feeder.  I was going to pull a few weeds but the rumble of thunder got closer, so I shut the operation down and retreated to the front porch to rest and enjoy the breeze.  I tried not to look at the cows even though two of them stood close by the road at the lowest part of the fence to wish me well when I left for VBS.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Observing Country Life

This morning I have the hymn O Love That Will Not Let Me Go on replay in my head.  Not a bad song to have playing.  I'm kind of hearing the Cynthia Clawson version...which I love.  Since I don't want to ruin it, I'm not singing along out loud.

My brother texted me Tuesday morning that my father had fallen in the night and broke his hip.  He wears a life alert, so he was able to call for EMS.  They had to break into the house to get to him. He did have the presence of mind to tell them he did not want to go to Ben Taub but wanted to go to MD Anderson where he has been treated previously.  Doug and I talked a couple of times during the day and then he texted yesterday that my father had successful surgery. As many know we are estranged from my father after a series of false allegations and culminated when he had his lawyer serve us with papers that essentially severed any relationship that was left legally and emotionally in 2012.  Since that time we have had to respond to Adult Protective Services, Houston Police and the Constable's office numerous times and respond to the false accusations and of course their investigations always prove the truth, we have not stolen or taken anything from him, we have not been at his house and I don't show up in the middle of the night messing with his stuff.  Yes, there is some dementia involved but it is difficult to find the line between dementia and how he has lived his whole life. Ours was a very difficult childhood and the things inflicted on us would have been reason for prosecution these days. We are thankful we had our mother and even though the journey was hard, God brought us through the nightmarish storm that was life back then and we are a testament to God's love and faithfulness. I can only support my brother in prayer as he makes these difficult decisions in the days ahead.  The Doctors have concluded and rightly so, my father cannot return to living in his home.  He hasn't been taking his medications properly and Doug found out that last week our father filed a missing person report on Mom.  She passed away in 2011.

So yesterday, even though I have remained calm and did all the right things to minimize my heart going into afib, it went into afib.  It is exhausting.  No energy at all.  I read a lot yesterday and last evening I began to feel my heart go back in rhythm.  Thus, I could not work last night at VBS. Combine this stress with the heat wave we are experiencing in the area doesn't make a conducive and quick healing.  I was looking out the window yesterday afternoon and I believe I saw a mama cow and her newly born calf in the pasture, away from all the other cows.  The calf was wobbly and moved a bit before deciding to lie down in the tall grass in the shadow of the mother.  Only mama cow kept moving away, little by little.  Mama was on point, not even grazing.  I could see the little calf's face because it has a brown body and a white face.  Soon, I could not see the mama cow but I could see the top of the head of the calf.  Of course I went into who owns the field?  Where do they live? What should I do?  Till the sun went down, I kept an eye on the top of that head but happily the mama cow was nearby in the slope of the land and her presence only known by the swishing of her tail.  This morning after I prayed for VBS, I got out of bed and went to the front window...no little head, no swishing tail.  Hmmm....it was time for me to go to Google to find out what happens after a calf is born.  Well, I am feeling a little bit better about what I observed but keeping an eye out for a little brown calf and its mom.  Country life...I'm observing and trying to learn.

The blue indigo returned yesterday and another bird that I am trying to identify.  The butterflies are abundant in numbers and new cardinals are dropping in to see what all the fuss is about...good grub and water.  I'm keeping my eyes on the blackberries and watered the apple trees last night.  To do that I just have to turn on the outside faucet.

Well, this observing country girl better get moving.  Buddy will be here Saturday.  Hopefully she will adjust to this adventure and country life like me.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Once Again...Two Days

It's a beautiful Tuesday morning out here in the country.  The little wrens and sparrows have taken over the bird feeder, at least for now, but it won't be long before the doves and cardinals stir and come for breakfast.  It has been a while since I needed to water the apple trees and the flowers out back, but I did that last night when I got home from helping serve dinner for VBS.  I did a little fruit inspecting too and the plums are coming along nicely.  Can't wait for Roy to get down there and pick us some plums.

There were several choices for the day yesterday but I went with looking for new eye glass frames.  I had Googled and researched options and I decided to try Optix in Weaverville.  I loved working with Susan and Summer and I believe I received the best attention to detail concerning frames and lenses that I ever have.  And it was fun while doing all of that.  I liked that they don't carry the big names in glasses and that they buy frames that ophthalmologists and opticians design. It is as close as you can get to buying local.  I have never liked the glasses I bought last year mainly because I cannot see at night with them, so I wore my older glasses all the time.  Susan told me that with my prescription, I should have never had rimless glasses because of the distortion and refraction error.  Anyway, the new glasses should be here in about two weeks.  I ended up getting two pairs, one very traditional looking and the other a kind of fun frame, yet it doesn't make me look like the old lady in funky glasses that are too trendy for her years.  Afterwards I went on the hunt for a topless...scared you didn't I, cat litter pan.  Roy told me to try Tractor Supply and boom, there they were.  I mean really, what doesn't Tractor Supply carry?  Oh, I will tell this funny on myself...when I was looking for Optix I thought they were located in an old home that had been redone beautifully because of the Optix sign in the side yard.  Usually, when it is a house, I kind of drive away...but bravely I parked in the limited space and went up onto the porch.  I thought how kind of them to think of children to have little play tables and toys on the porch but when I got to the door and looked in through the glass, I could see it was a home not an office.  Man, I got into my car lickidity split and as I pulled onto the road, I saw the office right there behind the house, up the hill.  I confessed my misdirected stop to Susan and she said that is the Dr's house and she is used to people stopping there first before realizing they have made a mistake.  At the time I thought the house and office stylings looked similar.

Last night was the first night of VBS.  I arrived at 4:45 to help serve.  I didn't get a hairnet but I did get plastic gloves.  I also got a little overheated and had to take a time out.  I hate when this happens because it is a reminder that I am farther along health-wise but not as far along as I think I am.  It was a lot of fun though and I will go back tonight and hopefully think of a way I can stay cool.  I am excited to help and I am enjoying getting to know and meet people at church.

Well now it is a beautiful Wednesday morning.  When I came downstairs and looked out back there was a huge cat sleeping on one of the rocks.  He was so big that at first I wondered if it was a bobcat or something really wild.  No just a big orange cat who better have not eaten any birds for breakfast but he is welcome to all rodent type creatures.  So I guess the birds seeing the big orange cat decided to dine elsewhere.  When I opened the back door the cat scurried off....  The cat didn't phase the butterflies who probably felt a little safer without the birds.  Circle of life right here in the backyard.

Last night at VBS I fluffed a lot of turkey and ham to make sandwiches for the volunteer's dinner.  I stayed much cooler last night by bringing my little personal cooling fan and wearing a bandanna.  It is fun working and serving and now I am even official because I got a VBS t-shirt last night and if you know me at all, you know I loves me a good t-shirt.

Monday, June 22, 2015

And Sometimes You Get Bean Dip

Summer officially arrived yesterday but we have been experiencing summer unofficially for the past week or so.  Even so, it still isn't as hot as Houston and the mornings and evenings here are relatively cool, so you do get a break.  After church I ran a few errands and the heat zapped me of energy.  When I got home, I ate some grapes to cool me off and sat under the ceiling fan in the living room.  I also took a thirty minute nap late in the afternoon, so I was a bit worried I would not be able to fall asleep at bedtime.  Uh, not a problem.

It's been a while but it is time for a Nancy Nerdly report.  A new set of cardinals has joined the feeder group that visits on a regular basis.  They are a younger couple and the girls are having territorial flights of fight, yet the male cardinals simply eat together at the feeders.  No commentary is needed here.  It seems each week a new flower burst forth from what seemingly looks like greenery.  The butterflies have arrived in greater numbers and the crows have moved on.  They must have gotten discouraged the week we were gone.  The regulars have returned but I keep looking for the indigo buntings to return.  I pulled weeds on Friday and I promise you new ones have sprouted in the former weed's place.

I made a dent in getting things rearranged and put up from the stuff I brought back with me from Houston.  Because I work at a leisurely pace and ADD distracts me too much, there is still more to do but it will get done.

VBS starts this week at Newfound.  It is done at night, so no ungodly hours of having to be up and ready.  I am volunteering to help serve dinner to the VBS workers.  Not cooking, but serving.  I can only hope I get to wear a hair net.  We have been beset by so many obstacles preparing for this week.  Pastor Jonathan's father passed away and unexpectedly the passing of a friend's husband on Saturday.  It rained hard when the neighborhood VBS blitz was scheduled...so with this much opposition from the enemy, we are believing God for a mighty move this week in VBS.  Pastor Jeff preached from the theme verse yesterday which is in Isaiah 30.  The verse being used is also the theme verse of a group I belonged to, Sisters to the End.  We vowed to get our colonoscopy done at the same time...so the verse, you will hear a voice behind you telling you which way to turn to the right or to the left just seemed to be a good theme verse for the procedure.

After running errands yesterday afternoon I headed over to the Mexican Restaurant in Weaverville for a late lunch.  I was prepared for bad service because when I dine alone there, that is what usually happens.  Much to my chagrin the waiter who is the worst at ignoring was the waiter for me.  Father's Day crowd was nonexistent and much to my surprise, the least favorite waiter did a more than decent job keeping up with ice tea needs and the like.  He even brought a bowl of their delicious bean dip to the table.  I still don't know why sometimes you get bean dip and sometimes you don't. As I ate lunch I read FB posts of friends who shared their fathers and praised them for being such great dads.  It is even better reading when you know some of those dads and the info being shared is true, even the pictures of the dad and family from my childhood that were held as a measurement in our lives by our father, who said daily, 'why can't you be like the ________ kids?' One day I responded back,'why can't you be like the _______ father?'  That conversation went well.  One of the first things I read on FB yesterday was I John 3:1, see how much the Father loves us by His lavish love.  I can testify that although my brother and I had a less than dad, we have a more than Father.  One of the best days in life is when I finally believed that above referenced verse and released God from the unfair comparison and standard of my earthly father.  It didn't free God (cause He is already free), but it freed me and although it was a tough road to get to that belief, it is a worth it road because God used what was meant for evil toward me by my father into good and able to be used in the kingdom of God.  Love me a run on sentence... To quote Elisabeth Eliot, God used my suffering for His good.  All these years not caring for her style and views...and I was foolish to get hung up over wearing dresses...but I confess, I just ordered one of her books.

So after considering several options for the day I believe I will go get some new eyeglasses.  I have the prescription but needed to wait so our vision insurance picks up part of the bill.  Oh to quote the every popular song from the 70's..."to see Thee more clearly, love You more dearly, day by day"...and sometimes you get bean dip.


Friday, June 19, 2015

Happy Happy Friday

Another foggy morning in the mountains and I am safely ensconced at home.  I had considered doing a little bit of a road trip today but the likelihood of thunderstorms and also due to the fact I am easing into the day, doing things around here became Friday plans.  I would like to seriously get the things I brought from Houston put up and away.  Most of that will be easily accomplished but several tasks require me doing some prep work.

Last evening, I went outside to restock the bird feeder and pull a few weeds.  I pulled only things I knew to be weeds because the delightful timing of flowers blooming here might have been stymied by my desire to be weed free in flowerbeds and along the driveway.  The edge of the driveway I was working on drops off on a slope and there was some concern that while pulling weeds I just might tumble down the hilly slope from the driveway.  It would be Jack and Jill all over again, but no water pail would be involved.  Since I was now at the top of the driveway that connects to our one lane road, I decided to walk down to the mailbox because, "you've got mail!"  How did I know I had mail? The scary looking mailman leaves the door of the mailbox open so you know you've got mail.  That seems counter intuitive but the system seems to work around here.  It was all catalogs but I duly did my duty and shut the mailbox door so the scary mailman would know I got the mail.  We get few things here other than advertisements and our Charter bill, which I am trying to switch to an ebill but as you know I wrote about that previously.  In the midst of weed pulling I inspected our wild blackberries and found one ripe one.  So, I took it and ate it and it was good.  I'm now officially on blackberry watch.  When they ripen I will probably officially become the cranky old lady in the yellow house because I saw three of the neighbor kids inspecting the blackberries at the front of the yard.  Looks like I need to find my $3.00 cane from Mast General Store to shake it at them and yell, 'get out of my blackberry patch!"  Actually, I will never be able to get back into those bushes because of my lack of balance and proximity to the road...maybe I will work out some kind of a fair share cropper deal with them.

I finally made the much put off trip to Wal Mart yesterday.  I tried to shop as quickly as possible.  Just about done and I heard rumbling thunder...another mountain rain storm cropping up and I thought just maybe God was mad at me for being in Wal Mart.  Coming out of the store low dark clouds perched over the shopping center greeted me with another thunder rumble.  It seems to me that our family has had a few go arounds with lightning, my grandfather was struck by lighting and lived and I was nearly struck by lightning about twenty years ago while walking our dog.  South Asheville got the brunt of the storms while we got a little bit of rain.

It's a new day because I am wearing Bermuda shorts.  Finding shorts long enough when you have long legs can be difficult.  We are experiencing unseasonably hot temperatures and they will keep on into next week.  This home is not as energy efficient as our home in Katy, so I am trying to do what I can...So I am sticking around today cause I'm not quite ready to venture out in public...dang, I should have waited till today to go to Wal Mart.  I might have met the requirements for people of Wal Mart. Nah I would need a couple of tattoos and maybe a ciggie.  

Thursday, June 18, 2015

It Goes Without Saying...The Food

This morning I posted the blog entry I had written yesterday and because I got involved with projects, I didn't come back to the blog till this morning.  I had ordered several pictures for the bedrooms upstairs and I had brought from Katy several pieces I had hanging at the house.  The picture for the mantel barely fits but it looks good.  I also put up another piece over the couch and then I started rearranging and adding different elements to the wall.  I might just complete this today as I have given myself an evening to think through rearranging pictures from a wall upstairs.  This project is turning out much better than I expected.  I was successful getting Lowe's coming as an e bill but not successful for Charter.  No matter what info I put in, even the account number, nothing happened. The bill comes to the house address and thus upon returning home, it was soaked from rain showers.  It is the only bill that comes here.  If I have learned anything from watching Roy deal with Comcast I know that this is going to take a phone call and frankly, I'm not into giving it that much time.  I also got suitcases unpacked and put away.

In hindsight, I wish I had read or paid attention more to Elisabeth Elliott.  Of course I knew of her and an influential Sunday School teacher when I was in high school tried to get me to read some of her books, but I found her style of writing, of course I was so mature in high school, difficult and gave up after a few chapters but I liked reading quotes attributed to her.  This is not unlike now, I love Ann Voskamp quotes but her style of writing makes it difficult to read her book.  Every once in a while I would listen to her on the radio and I liked her forthright, no nonsense style of tackling subjects and how we should live our life in Christ.  But I had this one thing that bothered me more than style of writing, it was this...she believed that women should wear dresses all the time.  This was difficult for a teenager like myself in the 70's to like because so many had fought so hard for the right and or privilege...depending how you looked at it, to wear pants...nee, pantsuits. Years later while on staff at church I worked with one of her well known protegees who was holding a support rally in the church fellowship center.  I had on pants...but when I returned for her event that evening to work at church, I wore a dress and she was much more friendly toward me.  The past few days as I have read her obituaries and tributes by others on the effect she had on their lives, I wonder...would I like reading her books now?  If I had ever met her in person, I probably would have really liked her and I might give it a go after all the hoopla is done with and people go back to life as it was when they didn't think about Elisabeth Elliot for years at a time.

It is now Thursday morning and it happens to be a very foggy morning.  We had a good rain shower last evening and I could tell from the fog forming last night that the day would begin shrouded in moisture.

After spending Tuesday around the house I decided to get out and about on Wednesday and a return trip to the Amish store near The Farmer's Daughter felt like a good idea since the store would be less crowded.  Farmer's Daughter is only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  The drive is gorgeous.  I used the trip up as prayer time and praying while driving through God's country as a back drop is wonderful.  There weren't many cars on the road either which is a blessing with 6% grades and run away truck ramps.  Neither did I observe any falling rock, so all in all the drive was good.  When I  to the store I walked around up and down every aisle.  Then I came back for a basket and began shopping.  I had thought ahead and brought a cooler with ice, thus coming home with some delicious things.  There are a lot of produce stands on this road but only two were open.  The rest open in July.  I stopped at both and will definitely return to one and probably won't go back to the other.  When I got back to Jonesborough  it seemed right to take a little tour of downtown.  It will be a go back on the list.  Old drugstore and quaint downtown with a few interesting shops.

I had the good fortune of being invited over to Bill and Vivian's for supper.  They had leftovers from Aunt Mary's soiree that afternoon.  Several of Aunt Mary's friends from her church in Morristown came to see her.  Everything was delicious and the meal was topped off with homemade strawberry ice cream...that was sooooo good!  We sat on the back porch and watched the rain.  So relaxing...then Vivian had the best idea to drive through her pasture to go to the open pasture on the far side of the farm.  She told me the view from there was totally different and she was right.  Oh my, first of all it was fun to drive through the pasture and second of all, it was so beautiful.  We saw the first of many bunnies for the evening.  The sunset was spectacular after the rain so we took a drive up on a road that has fantastic views.  Vivian told me stories of who had owned the land or who had lived there or the relative that built some of the houses.  Oh my, it is so interesting.  As we stopped to view a home that I have always loved, a car came up behind us and clearly they needed to get somewhere and didn't want to be behind a tourist from Texas.  So Vivian told me to turn left on a road because chances were good, they weren't going down that particular road and she was right.  This road truly is the road less traveled because most of the farms in that area were bought up by TVA and they planned to turn the area into a lake.  They have never developed the lake so the land is filled and overgrown with nature.  Vivian told me never to drive that road by myself and I will do as she has said.  The few cars that were on the road were kind of surprised to see us and had to move back to their side of the road.  We stopped and looked where an inn had been long ago, built for the hot springs that are in the area.  The road ended into a very familiar road, one I hadn't been down but recognized the churches we passed.  It was the road with the list of Baptist churches complete with miles apart information.

I loved yesterday all the way around.  The beauty, the friendship, the history and of course you know it goes without saying...the food.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Flowers and Fireflies

This is definitely turning into an ease into the day kind of day.  The past three weeks have been full and filled with wonderful times, Doctor visit times, fun times and contemplative times.  Officially there is nothing on the schedule today.  I am planning on spending the day around home, working off and on and reading more on than off.  Of course I have loved the past few weeks but I will equally love a day at home with projects that aren't too much on a time schedule.

Mike the mower man is here so that sped up the timeline of jammy day.  My eyes, ears and heart are bent toward Houston this morning.  Several times during the night I woke up to check on any coverage of the storm on my phone and I can always live stream the coverage from the local stations of Houston.  Many friends from Houston First are going to NYC on a mission trip and they leave today.  There have been some delays with flights but from the looks of things they are having a lot of fun waiting.

Most evenings while Dena was here were spent out on the front porch watching the colors change as the sun set behind us.  The pasture across the way turns several lovely shades of greens and yellows...Sic Em'...yes green and gold flung afar.  One late afternoon we were treated to the most spectacular rainbow I have ever seen.  The colors were vibrant and for just a bit, there was a double rainbow.  We could see the beginning and then end of this rainbow.  I tried to capture the brilliance from different angles, but an iPhone can't capture the true beauty of God's creation.  As the sky turned to dusk, fireflies would make their presence known.  Each evening there seemed to be more fireflies than the previous one.  When I was a child I remember those summers spent in Illinois and the evenings were filled with the brilliant lights of little beetles, fireflies are beetles who can fly.  A glass jar with holes punched into the metal lids were easily obtained and the chase began of collecting those little lights in a peanut butter jar.  It is always tempting as a child to want to keep those little lights in a jar for our own entertainment and delight but early on my Grandma B sat down with me on her front porch to explain why those little bugs should be freed at the end of the night.  She told me they were meant to be free and when they are flying in freedom their little lights grew brighter because they were with others of their kind sending messages back and forth.  They would never glow as brightly in the jar no matter how nice I made it for them and consequently I would cause their death  at the expense of my entertainment and good intentions.  So each night I ran around in her side yard chasing after the lights and when it was time for me to come into the house, it was time to let them fly free.  I haven't thought about those memories in quite some time but this week that memory became as vivid to me as the colors in that late afternoon rainbow.

I have metaphor-ed before the seemingly dead plants or plants that looked like weeds in our backyard that are really beautiful, colorful plants.  Spring takes longer to arrive here but it arrives boldly and colorfully.  If I hadn't listened to friends that have lived here all their lives, I would have pulled up plants and they would have never had the chance to show off who they really are.  And I have seen myself and life in the story of those plants.  When I remembered the firefly story of the past, I knew just like the flowers, my story is in the trapped fireflies, that I had been held captive by boundaries enforced and in place by others just like those fireflies had been held by me.  The light within me had grown dim by being trapped and placed in a position of not being able to use the talents and gifts given to me by God. This is not about rehashing hurts and disappointments of the past but the joyful rejoicing that the lid of my life has been opened once again.  I am experiencing the joy of the Lord again.  Dena and I had interesting and deep conversations throughout the week along with those just plain silly conversations full of laughter but she one day she said, you are at home here.  It's as if this is where you should have been all along.  I don't know that I would appreciate this gift as much as if being here before now but I do know the lid of the jar of life is open and I'm enjoying the moments and can see the hand of God in this whole thing.  I think if I remained there life would have withered on the vine instead of being expectant of how the Lord can use me.

Monday, June 15, 2015

An Early Morning, A Quiet Afternoon....

It is a lot quieter and not as much fun this afternoon.  It doesn't seem possible that a week has already gone by but Dena had a flight this morning to return home.  We were on the road by 6:30 am to Greenville/Spartanburg.  It is an easy drop off there but it was also a sad drop off.  I busied my thoughts with the adventure of finding a mailbox once leaving the airport.  All the mail goes to Greenville first so I decided to cut out the middle man.  Once that adventure was completed it was back on the road with a stop for cheap gas in South Carolina and then breakfast at Another Broken Egg in Biltmore Park.  It was a delicious breakfast but a rather quiet one.  While in the area I also made a quick stop at Barnes and Nobble.  I stopped at the grocery store close by home and then came home, put up groceries and then I took a long nap.  There is so much to do around here since I brought back a lot of stuff from Katy and I chose fun over organization for the past week but I'm thinking I won't start the majority of the work until tomorrow.

On Saturday we decided to shop local, really local.  We had breakfast at Turkey Creek Cafe and then went across the street and picked up the bench I had painted to match the kitchen table.  Looks great!  We did a downtown Weaverville stroll and then a Fresh Market stop.  Since we are all about lunch, we decided to go to Moose Cafe and then have ice cream at The Farmer's Market.  Good choices for the afternoon.  We hung around here for the rest of the evening and tried to go bed early to be up in time for church.  I could not wait for Dena to visit Newfound Baptist.  I was excited for my new friends to meet my long time friend...notice I did not call Dena old.  Introductions were as fun as I had hoped they would be and it was good to be back after missing two Sundays.  I didn't sing in choir but sat in the congregation with Dena for church.  We heard a great sermon by Pastor Jeff and he even made a John Bisagno reference in his sermon, to which he added there should be one person here today who knows that name.  Yep, yahoo!  Dena got to meet Pastor Jeff and a slew of others but we were soon off for Dena to check in for her flight and return to Turkey Creek for lunch.  Nap time beckoned and then laundry screamed out to me once I awoke.  Dena packed up her suitcase and we had time and the inclination to get some queso and guacamole at the Mexican restaurant in Weaverville.  The guac was some of the best I have ever tasted.  We drove around some of the back roads to see the sunset over the mountains.  God gave us a good surprise with a deer jumping across the road right in front of us.  Dena got some great pictures.  We actually stayed up and watched the fourth quarter of the basketball game.  

My thoughts and prayers are for Texas today.  Lots of unknowns but a certainty is rain, lots of rain.  Houston and the surrounding area has already had a lot of rain in May, the wettest month on the records.  Not unlike Asheville in the winter, a storm in the Gulf means the grocery stores are picked clean of bottled water and bread.  My favorite storm food is good donuts, so thankfully, I am not there gaining weight.  I am doing just fine in that department since being back in Houston and with Dena this past week.  That's why I stopped at the store today, to get salad.  

This just about wraps it all up well except for the work that needs to be done.  

Friday, June 12, 2015

Quick Catch Up

Good Friday morning!  It is a busy week and I haven't been taking the time to write but I am hoping to grab a few minutes now.  Dena and I have had such a fun week and the time is going by much too quickly.  We make sure we grab a lot of porch time because it is such a blessing to sit on the porch, view the scenery and laugh and talk to our hearts content.  We've been to A Day in the Country, Brevard (twice), Lake Lure and The Pretty Place.  Today we are picking up Vivian and heading over the border, Tenn border that is, for lunch and shopping in an Amish store.  To sum up the week, eating, shopping, laughing, talking, rocking and sleeping.  All the things we love to do.

I am glad Dena is our first house guest.  Even though my love for this state began in childhood because I loved reading stories that took place in North Carolina, it was Dena who actually got me to the state in 2002 and since that time made many return trips to this area.  I told Dena the other day if we hadn't been friends, I doubt we would have a home here.

Yesterday, we made the drive past Brevard to the North Carolina/South Carolina border to one of my most favorite spots, The Pretty Place.  Vivian introduced me on our first Wednesday excursion and it will be my joy to introduce this sacred spot to friends.  I could tell Dena was getting a little nervous as we wound our way on a narrow mountain road not unlike how I get nervous when she drives me through some of the roughest parts of Houston but I assured her we would find the place at the end of the road.  I think the drive was worth it once she gazed across the mountains from the open air chapel.  A young man was there sitting on the first pew reading his Bible.  We loved seeing that.  It was a good day to visit because there wasn't a lot of people there.  It is a special place and you can feel the spirit of the living God there.  Maybe a little glimpse, a tiny glimpse of what Moses experienced.  Across the mountains we could see cloud producing rain but it matters not what the weather is when you go, it is downright beautiful!  We left when the rain seemed to be approaching and it would not be fun to drive the narrow road in pouring down rain.  So we left and then stopped at the Mud Dauber's Pottery Shop.  I think it is a new favorite stopping point for me.  About twenty eight potters contribute to the stock and we were able to watch the owner work on a lidded casserole dish.  As interesting as that was the call to shop was stronger.  Both Dena and I found a few things that needed to come back with us.  Then we made a quick stop in a store in Brevard that we had missed on our previous trip.  By this time the rain was catching up with us, so we were off to the Biltmore to eat an early dinner on the veranda at the Inn.  Pizza, special fries and a cheese and fruit tray.  It all hit the spot.  We walked through the shops at the Inn and then drove to the lagoon to see the geese and goslings and then over to the lamb barn to watch the moms with their little lambs.  Just as I backed into the driveway, the heavens opened.  So I guess the rain thought we were so much fun it needed to follow us all the way home.  We soon found ourselves on the front porch watching the rain fall.  It was so relaxing that I went to bed very early but Dena stayed up to watch the basketball game.

I hear Dena stirring upstairs so I will conclude this post.  I think Dena will return home nice and relaxed...except she keeps looking at realtor.com....maybe she's not returning....no she is and she isn't looking at realtor.com.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Happy to Be Back in Carolina

Sweet home North Carolina....Yes, I know the song is Alabama but this works...for me right now.  It is a quiet morning here.  A few birds are coming back to the feeder that has been empty for about a week.  I made my first coffee in our new coffee maker and it is not bad but I will wait for the coffee expert to give her pronouncement when she stirs and comes downstairs.  

We had a good trip back.  Dena kindly consented to do the early morning, hard driving day so on Sunday morning around 4:00 am, I picked her up.  With the additional hour of ETZ, we arrived in Chattanooga around 7:00.  Had our traditional dinner at El Matador and I was asleep not too long after returning to the hotel.  Since we had done the hard day, Monday we were able to be more leisurely in departing.  As always, we enjoyed the back road ride through the mountains.  We stopped in the Hazelwood area for lunch at Bourbon Barrel Beef and Ale.  This is where Roy and I had a bad dining experience but I have been back because I believed we had a fluke experience and that has proved to be true.  The food was delicious and that gave us enough strength to shop in Robin Blu. We stopped at the furniture store so I could return the fabric samples and order the chair for Roy's Man Cave.  We did a brief walk through in Mast and then began our final descent for home.  It is one of the most beautiful drives.  I gave Dena the tour and then we unloaded the car, rested a bit and then headed out the door to the grocery store but we made a stop in at the car wash club first.

We came up with this fabulous idea to buy fruit, cheese, and crackers to make a fruit and cheese tray because we usually eat our biggest meal at lunch time.  This is perfect for an evening snack.   We took everything out to the front porch, enjoyed the breeze and watched the cows and the cars.  It was a perfect postlude to the day.  The fireflies are a bit more numerous now and that was a great show.  The front porch portion of the day came to an end when the light rain shower turned into a brief thunderstorm.  We cleaned up the kitchen, watched a little TV and then said good night and retired to our rooms.  I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow.  There was still a good bit of light rain, That is a soothing lullaby.

We have made tentative plans for today but everything is subject to change and hour. That's a good way to start a vacation for Dena.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Tick Tock

Friday morning in Rancho de Five.  Nail salon and then highlights and cut at Emmanuel with a quick trip to Target thrown in because I forgot a few things on the last trip.  Yes, I know there are Target's in Asheville and I've been to both but I know this Target better thus I will spend less money because I will go directly to the products I need.  Well, that is the plan anyway....

Kathleen, Peggy and I met at Lupe's yesterday for lunch.  We had a blast and in having fun, I also got to eat at one of my all time fav places.  Instead of running a few more errands after lunch, I opted for home and I am so glad I did because in the span of fifteen minutes, I received very good news.  First, the cardiologist office left a message that my echo cardiogram was perfect!  Nothing abnormal!  The result surprised the Dr because on Wednesday he was painting a picture that I really wasn't ready to hear about.  I am not a professional but I have had enough of these things to remember what a healthy heart sounds like and at the beginning of the echo it didn't sound healthy but by the end I was thinking hmm...that kind of sounds like a normal beat.  Give me a beat...little shout out to Janet Jackson.  Then right on time I got a text from the GP that my results were posted on my patient portal.  Everything was normal and several things were marked as very good.  I knew if my kidney test results came back anything less than stellar I was to call the cardiologist...and thankfully, I didn't need to make the call.  To say I am thankful is an understatement and I knew none of this surprised God although it surprised me when things weren't looking too good on Wednesday.  Hey, good thing I am not God.

It is now Saturday morning.  Roy needed his shirts from the cleaners and with this being graduation weekend, going over to downtown Katy will be fraught with horrible traffic, so I went before my nail appointment.  Even had a spare fifteen minutes to browse KT Antiques.   I had a wonderful and much needed pedicure yesterday.  Lisa is the best and since I tend toward ingrown toenails, yes you needed that info to continue reading, she worked really hard.  I left with beautiful toenails and comfort for the big toes.  She is such a joy.  Since she took so much time with my feet, and now that they are beautiful I have the needed requirement of bringing good news...you know...how beautiful are the feet that bring good news.  Here it is, the good news, I am almost finished with this blog post. Anyway, I went straight to Emmanuel instead of making the Target stop.  As always, great to see Stevie and let the master stylist work on my hair.  Cut and highlights were much needed...well highlights for sure but I had just had a haircut three weeks ago and it was looking pretty shaggy...Then the dreaded Target run in the land of stick figures and minivans.  Both were out in force by late afternoon.  The first day after school is out looked a lot like Target right before school starts.  I grabbed a few things and headed toward home.  Last night we spent a quiet evening at home, Roy working on a few things and I began the gathering process for things returning with me to the mountains.  Then I stayed up too late watching a couple of my very favorite Seinfeld's.  Not like I haven't seen them a million times before but I realized that these episodes are twenty years old.  They stand on their own and we remember the technology of the 90's.  The big reveal this week has been Jason Alexander divulging the reason George's fiancee was killed off, he did not respond well with her comedically.  

So, the clock is ticking down on my return.  This has been a fun week, a fun last couple of weeks but today is the hottest day so far this year.  The brief time I was out in the heat yesterday affected me last night with a racing heart.  So it is time to go back but I go back with great love for my husband, fun times with friends, good shopping finds, knowing that Lisa P has booked her trip to the mountains, looking forward to Emily's visit in July and an always fun road trip with Dena.  All these things are wrapped up in God's kindness.  For this I am thankful.  As John Muir wrote, "The mountains are calling and I must go."

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Friends, Fun, Doctors, Shopping, Eating...Oh My!

The time is going by quickly here and I have been having tons of fun, getting Dr appointments knocked out, eating at my favorite places, shopped but I have not done one lick of work toward packing things that are coming back with me.  I have to get this stuff done.  I know it will all get done but I need to accomplish this without stressing out big time.

Tuesday evening was the most fun.  Peggy did such a thoughtful thing, she invited friends over to her house so I could see a bunch of them on this short trip here.  We all brought something for taco salad, dessert and drinks...Cokes, water and ice tea of course for a good Baptist gathering.  She and Bill have the most fun house and even in the short period of time while I've been gone, looks new stuff has been acquired.  Bill loves antiques and has a antique store in downtown Katy.  Oh my goodness!  We all had a blast and you wanted to be in every conversation happening.  I love groups of friends who have history together.  Peggy has taught, worked with and has loved each one there.  We told camp stories and much to Dena's patience, CourtneyS and I relived all our favorite Teen Girl Squad quotes and songs.  We laughed about Barry Manilow concerts and going to the rodeo together.  Lots of talk of pageant days and of Celebration (Christmas 2015 with choir and orchestra)  With these friends you don't say goodbye, you just say..ta ta or see you later!  We had dessert at the dock and if you kept out of the grass, you didn't get mosquito bites.  The sunset as always, beautiful over Lake Bain.  I looked at these friends and cherished friendships and I couldn't help but think that these long time friendships prepared the way for meeting friends in NC.  When I went to our Sunday School
Class Pot Luck in April...this would be in NC for those who have ADD like me, I loved hearing their stories of friendships from early on in life and even now how some of them are not only friends but related by marriage.  One of the sacred threads of life is our friendships and who we are privileged to do life with.   Throughout my life I have been gifted with the best friends and that holds true not only in Texas but now in North Carolina.

Yesterday was the last of my Dr appointments...the cardiologist.  When I arrived there were only two men in the waiting room.  I have never seen so few patients waiting there.  Got the call back behind the golden door, answered all the questions they asked and then came vitals and the EKG.  Funny, my blood pressure, while good numbers all three times, was different from the previous two readings.  Then came the EKG...and I knew something was up when they took a second reading.  It is ironic that I have gone there feeling really bad and everything was just fine and yesterday I am feeling tip top but everything isn't just fine.  They read the monitor printouts from the device implanted in my chest and then decided I should also have an echo cardiogram.  I do not like getting echo's done by the tech in his office...I have had tons of these done in the last seven years but this guy makes me very uncomfortable.  I love my cardiologist...he took a lot of time with me yesterday, asking me so many questions and mapping out the course of action.  At first it looked to be a sooner than later action but when my heart muscle proved to not be weak, we were able to adjust the time line.  Bottom line, I have been in afib more than I realized.  He said most women underestimate afib but if you have a mental disorder or personality disorder, you overestimate the afib.  Whew!  Confirmation that I am normal...  no comments please!  So I am back on blood thinners and I need to take better care of my compromised immune system.  And although I am pretty good at not going past the parameters set by him, I need to be a little more strict with myself.  Next year I will probably have another ablation and they will replace the monitor in me that does even more than the one in me right now.  The Dr read out dates to me from the recent past from the monitor printout and asked if I remembered what had happened on that day...and I recalled what had triggered it on each of those days...something really stressful on all accounts.  It is not devastating but I am rather shocked by the news.  I've lost weight, I feel good but my heart is not joining in that line...all the time.   I know that none of this is a surprise to God and I am trusting Him with it all.

The heat here is beginning to get to me.  I don't know if it was processing the info from the Dr yesterday but I had one of those cardio panic attacks in Macy's yesterday.  After leaving the Dr office, two and a half hours later...by the way, the waiting room was packed out when I left.  I wanted to apologize to all sitting there because I had caused the backup but you know all of us are in there because of heart issues, so I didn't want to upset anyone and I didn't want to run to the elevator.  Although it would be more like a saunter for all of us on all accounts.  It happened at the Chanel counter and I use quite a few tissues because I was sweating bullets and trying to calm down.  When I got the bill for all I bought, I was surprised I didn't go right back into an episode.  It costs so much to be beautiful.  The clerk was trying to get me to upgrade to an anti ageing serum but I told her I had already aged and was beyond help.  Before going to the Galleria, I did stop in at Whole Earth and The Container Store. You meet the nicest people in Nordstrom and I ran into my friend Laurie and her oldest son.  He was bored out of his mind while we did the quick catch up but I mentioned to him zip lines, kayaking, and fly fishing near our home and he got interested really quick. Ah nature, it beckons to us all.  Nordstrom Bistro has changed its name to Bazille.  What?  What is a Bazille?  I have heard Brazil and bazillion but never Bazille...but I don't get out much.  The menu is the same but now they have added the calorie count to what they serve.  A cup of the delicious crab bisque is 400 calories and a bowl 700.  Roy, Debbie Downer, also added, what is the fat content?  I went with the 325 calorie crab stack and ginger peach iced tea.  I did a little more shopping in The Nord and then began the trek home before traffic.  I stopped at Whole Foods in Rancho de Five and picked up a few oils and bottles, then around the World Market in record time.  Of course I knew I had to make a stop in Home Goods while here and found a few things that need to go back to NC with me.  I had done all these things, been out of the house since 9:15 and I was pooped.  I knew Chris would still be here at the house cleaning.  Since Roy threw me under the bus about her washing a rug that needs to be dry cleaned and consequently cause damage to the washing machine because it was too heavy for the machine, I was dreading seeing her but I knew I had to get home and rest before meeting Dena at Red River for fried shrimp night. Chris was just fine with me and I enjoyed catching up with her and Dena and I decided to meet at 6:30 which gave me about thirty minutes to myself and put my feet up.
So today before meeting friends for lunch, I am easing into the day.  A rather hot day, but easing none the less.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Tuesday-Dentist and Shopping...

An ease into the day morning here in Rancho de Five.  The sun is out and I can hear the roaring of the garbage trucks.  It hasn't taken too long to get back into the swing of things although I could have sworn we had a new dishwasher but alas we don't.  The dishwasher in the Ander House has digital musical prompts and I think it sounds like Camelot when I push the start button.  Since Roy isn't musical and tone deaf, he can't appreciate the musicality of the dishwasher.

It is tempting to rearrange some things here but fresh on my mind is Roy's "contributions" of rearranging things at the Ander House.  I just came behind him and put things back the way I had them.  We are so alike now in many ways but our organizational types are still opposite.  We had a minor disagreement, no it was a minor discussion of why I kept the back porch light on all night.  I reminded him that it is dark as pitch in the country and we have a lot of light on our front porch and driveway from our neighbors, the least I could do was light up the backyard.  I think light deters crime and he thinks light just shows the way.  Of course he does not think this way in Rancho de Five.

Last night after our delicious dinner at Luby's we made a Target run.  I had kind of planned on doing that tomorrow afternoon when I have to be out of the house because Consuela is here.  We were going in to pick up Swifters and drink cups but when Roy grabbed a basket, I knew we weren't making the quick trip.  Target is one of the few places where I saunter.  On a side note, I came up with a new name for Roy, Saunter Claus because he is prone to saunter, Lord I feel it.  Prone to saunter and aggravate the one he loves.  No not a quick trip but a focused trip...I may go back anyway tomorrow or I may go to the Target close by my dentist office.  We are big into motion lights around here and our Target is depleted of said stock.  Apparently, others are finding motion lights a nice way to stumble around in the dark as well.

It was a successful morning at the dentist. Everything looks great.  Carol and I have been friends since high school so I don't call her by her Dr name but she amazes me with everything she tackles and achieves.  In her spare time after leaving her successful dental practice each day, she goes home and writes papers and reads books because she is taking online courses from Liberty University...she is in seminary.  After my visit there I went over to Macy's in Memorial City to see if there was anything I couldn't live without and yes, there were a few things.  I ran into the bathroom just before leaving Macy's and dag nab it, I got locked in the stall.  I wasn't desperate enough to crawl under the door but finally with a swift kick to the door and a hard push I was set free.

 I have been craving gingerbread men from Three Brother's Bakery, so I stopped in there to pick up some men, gingerbread men that is and then headed home.  I confirmed my cardiologist appointment tomorrow and I will get a day off from appointments on Thursday.

This will not surprise anyone but I haven't even started getting things together to take back with me.  I am kind of waiting until after Consuela leaves tomorrow before gathering up stuff.  She will just put it up...

It is hot, like 90 degrees hot today.  The heat truly zaps out the energy in me.  The light at Spring Green and Falcon Landing is so welcomed.  Of course it has been in operation the past few months but it does take the risk factor out of that intersection.  Here, I think we all are used to cameras being everywhere, recording our every move.  In the Asheville area, you don't see cameras at every intersection.  It's kind of nice really.

With that I will end today's update.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hot Town Summer In The City

My first full day back began early.  I had a Dr. appointment in the Memorial area and had to remember how long it would take and bring back the skills of driving with a million other people on the freeway.  It is not the same thing as driving the Leicester highway.  I saw a little bit of road rage on Voss as two cars kept pulling in front of one another and then slowing down...thankfully and ironically, they both turned into the Second Baptist parking lot.  The appointment went well and I actually like them not having all the facts in front of them but I did blood work and the dreaded urine sample at the end of the visit.  Over the past year I have felt the discrimination of the elderly and today at the Dr office, they asked me to respond to a form and take it with me into my visit.  I checked off the things like I understand if I bring up other ailments I will be charged for two visits etc...  They didn't ask for the form so when they came back to give me the shingles shot, I handed it to them and they were like...why do you have one of these forms?  Apparently I just looked like I would try to cram in a bunch of things on a visit by the receptionist.

I ran a couple of errands after the appointment and grabbed a quick bite at Escalante's.  I have been craving their salsa.  Peggy came over this afternoon and we had a great time laughing and getting caught up on life.

The heat is already getting to me just a bit.  Really, it has been a long time since I have seen 77 degrees so early in the morning but I am cool and safe in the house.  Buddy seems rather happy to have me around and let me know by sleeping most of the afternoon.

We got back yesterday around 12:30ish.  Our plans were altered when we needed to have a dead tree removed, so we stayed around another day.  This kind of put pressure on Roy to come back on Sunday but he got everything he needed to do and he was off to the office this morning.  I took a crazy long nap and didn't do too much after doing all that driving.  We made it to Covington Louisiana Saturday night, had dinner and walked through Hobby Lobby.  Then I was asleep by 6:30 pm.  I can't remember the last time I went to bed before the sun set.  There were a couple of wake ups in the night because we were monitoring the weather in Houston and watching if the roads between us and home were passable.  We left the next morning around 6:30 and didn't have any difficulty in getting home.  We did have one kind of happy and funny incident.  We decided to forgo the CB breakfast stop and just pick up donuts or something along the road.  We stopped in Batten Rage, what Siri called Baton Rouge  at a Dunkin Do-nut shop.  Before stopping at DD we stopped at a Shell station.  There was something weird about the pump so we left.  After getting our coffee and donuts Roy decided to use the bathroom but I was encouraging him to use the one at the gas station.  That's when he told me that there was a good chance there wouldn't be any bathrooms at the station.  Come on, I said...really?  A station right off the freeway without facilities.  Well, Roy knows Louisiana and guess he should because when we stopped at the next Shell station and I went in to buy a Diet Coke, there weren't any bathrooms and only a very small case of canned Cokes.  I left rather quickly and Roy was standing at the pump laughing.  He was so right and I apologized.

Roy gets to read a lot when we drive and he finished up a novel that was interesting but not well written.  That's what happens when you keep download freebies off of Kindle.  I do a lot of thinking when we drive and I thought through these past couple of months, the changes, the fun, difficulties, and the differences between two places.  I've settled in but I think with bringing back things to the Ander House, I may have to settle in all over again.

Tonight we ate at Luby's.  Nothing but the finest cafeteria food but I had kind of missed it.  Now, I won't miss it because not too much has changed.  The veggies are the same as always and since I have eaten some of the best fried chicken in NC, the chicken tenders were not that appealing, so I went with roast beef.

Tomorrow is my dentist appointment and I need to check in with the cardiologist to make sure I still have an appointment on Wednesday.  He is a great Dr but his receptionist makes a lot of mistakes.