Friday, October 30, 2015

Right Place, Right Time

Life is tough living out here in the country. The WI-Fi isn't strong and one has to reboot too often to count. Just made the trip upstairs to take care of that. Roy fixed it where it is much easier to do than how we had it before. For this I am thankful. I only needed some duct tape last night to be a to repair a light to be totally redneck in my approach to making the thing work. Aluminum foil did the trick, at least for last night. We will see if the light works tonight. I love the country life! But I love having all the comforts of city life close by. I haven't totally gone back to the land.

The gas man is here hooking up the line to the generator. This has been a much longer process than anticipated. They must have filled the tank one day when I wasn't here because it is 70 percent full and I learned this morning they fill to 80-85 percent on refills. The tank still needs to be painted but the guy said that with the weather we've had lately they are running a few weeks behind. I had a feeling that things would be in the works today and I cancelled plans. This waking up early in case someone comes to work on the thing is for the birds.

I do feel like I am back to the land of the living. On Tuesday I stopped in at CVS to pick up a prescription and while there I also got a flu shot. I tried to get a shot a couple of weeks ago but the grocery store pharmacy doesn't have a contract with our insurance. I figured with CVS being a national chain, it would be an easier process. The nurse was great and the shot painless but this is the first time I have felt bad after getting a flu shot. I woke up at 3:00 am feeling bad and never really went back to sleep. I stayed around home and tried to stay warm. Thus is was a soup and hot tea day for me. It also gave the opportunity to finish up a novel and start a nonfiction read, South Toward Home. It is a look at southern authors and how their home and sense of place shaped their writing. The author covers several authors I enjoy and others that I am familiar with but enjoy reading. Eudora Whelty would be one, not a fan of her fiction but have enjoyed her nonfiction. To misquote a quote from her, is that we need to know one place completely so that we can understand every place else. Basically, this ties in with what I have been working on this fall. Once again I feel like the disjointed is becoming understood.

Again, it comes back to the much simpler pace of life here. I attended another funeral on Tuesday. There is no marching in of the family...they are up front to greet those who have come to support them in the loss of their loved one. Then at the appointed time, the service begins. I did not know the woman who died, but I know two of her children. Ms Kathleen was 96 and when I saw her at church she was feeble and frail but I loved hearing the stories of her dynamic faith and love to her family and her church in her younger years. She kept that dynamic spirit about her until she took those last breaths on earth. We heard such loving words from two of her grandsons and her son played Beulah Land on the trumpet. Wow! God gave him the strength to play because it is difficult not to tear up when speaking but I can't even imagine what it would be like playing a trumpet. What a life honoring service and again I went away with a greater appreciation of the simple, without performance honoring of a loved one.

Once the gas man left I was free to roam about and run errands. I think I have everything ready for Trunk or Treat. I made the Walmart dash and have the ingredients to make sugar free Russian tea.

Each day the colors change and now the brightness of the fall is turning into a more muted overtone. It is all beautiful though. Not unlike the changes we all go through. Sometimes we get stuck and refuse to continue on the appointed course of things and other times we are ahead of the timing and all chaos ensues. Right now, I'm at the right place and the right time.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Catching Up in The Mountains

Ah, the morning after a great party. And when I came downstairs this morning all I need to do is put up the six foot table. My friends did the dishes and put everything up which is a challenge because my kitchen is not fully equipped like our kitchen in Texas. Before the fall colors find the ground and become compost, I wanted to have my Sunday School class over for a pot luck. I knew it would be tight but we managed and all the while had tremendous fun. I think there were twenty here maybe a few more and we counted this party as outreach because we want Vivian to join our class. Vivian even came a little early to help me with last minute things but where she really helped me is taking command over the kitchen and where to place everything. Afterwards she and Judy W did cleanup. She is so generous like that because she told me, you needed to be just where you were and getting to know everyone better. I also introduced the ladies to beef brisket. I had asked for it to be sliced but it was a combination of sliced and chopped. Of course if one is going to introduce brisket, Goode Company BBQ sauce is the go to sauce for me, so I ordered some. It was the best of both worlds for me, Goode Company sauce and brisket in the mountains of North Carolina. I believe it has been said before, nothing could be finer....

There are a lot of things I could have done better and sometimes the better gets lost to the what's important. My desire is to have a warm, inviting home and the breakdown comes into what needs to be done. I get lost and overwhelmed by the vast expanse of it all. I hope this is just the first of many get togethers in our home and with that, I will become accustomed to what needs to be done, the better, and still have fun yet not being overwhelmed.

This past weekend my brother Doug came to visit. We had a fabulous time and covered a good distance of fall color both north and south of where we live. We ate some good meals and stayed up way too late talking...yep, that pretty much defines fabulous time and when you throw in the fact that we solved the worlds problems...that is a bonus. He also brought with him more of the plates that my mom wanted me to have. I am so thankful to him for bringing them. He also brought the things I had ordered from Joss and Main that had accidentally been sent to his home when I didn't change back to our address after sending him something. It was my joy to introduce him to apple cider donuts. Erin and her college roommate will be coming in a week and a half and I am looking forward to their visit.

The past few days we have experienced the remainder of Hurricane Patricia and thankfully it has been light rain and nothing torrential. Of course it is a different story in Charleston. Our yard is looking green again without the yellow patches of grass. Our trees are brilliant in color and soon the dormancy of winter will overtake the landscape. It will all be beautiful. This past week the trees across the way are turning a radiant yellow and orange. October is beautiful in the mountains and it is my first October to experience this wonderment of change.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

All Warm and Cozy

I am awake and moving earlier than usual on a Monday morning. The A/C heat pump guys are coming today to replace the upstairs unit. No call on estimated time of arrival so I went with the "they could be here at 8:00 am" kind of thinking. It is 30 degrees this morning, frost on the ground and plants and the water in the bird bath is frozen. The sunrise had the pink hue to it and the clouds hung low in the valleys across the way. I am grateful and thankful to be here and to be able to experience this autumnal October morning.

We might have solved the mystery of the disappearing picture on the TV. First we thought it was the Samsung brand because of internet articles, then Roy determined it was more a cable provider problem and with that thought, a call to Dish might be in order to go with them and then on Saturday Roy called Charter. He never got a person but he told me to call and have a ping sent to our modem. So, I did just that, followed all the instructions but came to a halt when instructed to say continue when the date comes up on the front of the modem. Uh, ours doesn't do that. Since it was taking forever for me to respond, they sent me directly to a human being. They sent the ping and I didn't have nary a problem all Saturday afternoon and evening. I wanted to watch the Florida/LSU game without an interruption. The things we to me always went with pong but not anymore.

They guys are here to install the new heat pump. It is a chilly morning to be working outside. Since Buddy has determined there is a difference in temps between the first and second floor, she has been spending a lot more time downstairs in the mornings. She finds the sunshine and naps accordingly. My friend told me last night at choir she refuses to turn on the heater in October. I told her I had no choice or Buddy would be attached to me all day and all night trying to keep her little paw pads warm.

I have gone back to re-reading Gratefulness, The Heart of Prayer. There are only so many color pens to underline all the really good parts. I keep coming back to the chapter on  prayerfulness and playfulness. That there has to be an element of play in our work, serving and really everyday life and if we lack that playfulness, we begin to invent more rules for ourselves and instead of enjoying leisure time, we become work alcoholics or just come home after work and veg on the couch...Funny, it seems to me more people disdain the theme of playfulness as they age. Here he inserts that we do not dance to get somewhere, unless it is Dancing With the take, when we dance, we dance round and round across the floor. The author suggests to know that God has added playfulness into His creations, the author directs us to just look at the birds. Hmm..I think Jesus made the same comparison....Birds bring joy, they are fun to watch and really, they don't have a 'job' other than to sing their hearts out. This morning I am watching birds out at the feeder. The feeder is shaped like a porch swing and gives a lot of room. Sometimes the little birds and the doves use that feeder truly as a couch. They sit there, eat, swing and observe. Big ol' blue jays are in the mix now, so it is not always as peaceful as it once was in the spring. Work and play...opposites but we need to have play in our work...for purpose. It is not fiddling around, yet it is the most efficient way to accomplish work. When our purposeful work also is meaningful we will have a good time in the midst of it. You might be thinking, hey, Nancy doesn't have a job! Why is she talking about work? We all have work to do, some of it is livelihood and compensated monetarily but our other work is unto the Lord and for the Kingdom of God. No earthly compensation but heavenly. We have seen both types in church, those who are doing something because they think that is what is supposed to be done and those who serve joyfully, infecting others with that joy and strength.  I think I have been thinking about this because I realized when Lisa P visited, we approached everything with such a playful joy and attitude. We sing together, I get the most benefit out that joy, we laugh, talk in funny voices, make up stories about rivers and roads and in that playfulness comes our serious and meaningful discussions and conversations. She is probably my most playful friend.

As can happen on the good ol' Monablog, Monday has now become Tuesday. The heat pump installed yesterday is doing a wonderful job heating the upstairs. First night in a while I got to sleep how I wanted to because Buddy wasn't clinging to me for warmth. The work wrapped up in time for me to attend the Embrace meeting. Oh my, love those women and their hearts for God, others and service. In the midst of discussion for this the Christmas party, I found myself volunteering and offering my home for dinner...for about twelve women. You can cook or cater..I know you all know which way I am going on that. We will see how Tuesday night goes and if I can handle a few more. We have such limited driveway parking but the men of the church volunteer to drive the church vans and buses to take the ladies to the different homes. It is a progressive dinner with stops for  appetizers and dinner, then back to the church fellowship hall for dessert. When they asked where I lived, I said Waynesville and some kind of freaked...but then I told them the truth that I am about five miles from the church. Then I got to share how God redeemed us from Waynesville and making a horrible mistake. I got home later than I thought but the enchiladas leftover from Saturday, hit the spot.

Today I am running errands and taking care of a few things on the to do list. My brother is coming this weekend for a visit. I'm pretty much ready but need these next few days to do things that require electricity. When the gas and generator people are here on Thursday, I don't know how long it will need to be off.

The coffee maker got some grounds in the flow line and caused it to overflow. I caught it before it started down to the floor. So after all the clean up before having coffee, I only made enough for one cup. I am kind of easing into the day but not fully.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Yet Another Post on The Bad Seed

The first time I saw The Bad Seed was in college. Come gather little childrens and listen to how horrid it was back in the one had access to a TV other than what was in the lobby or large room on another floor in our dorm. But, one of our hall mates had a boyfriend that gave her a TV for Christmas. There were many a night we all huddled up in that room to watch a show. Only one night remains in my memory, the night we all crammed ourselves onto those twin beds to watch The Bad Seed. It started as a lark because the movie is filmed just like the stage play that developed from the book. So there is great overacting, if it is a movie. At some point we all became interested in the movie for the story of a little girl who killed without remorse to get things she wanted. The deeper story is watching the mother of the girl come to grips with her own unknown past being revealed and watching her daughter be the same kind of person that her mother, Bessie Danker, had been. The father has been called away to Washington DC, he is in the military, and the mother, Christine all alone except for her bossy and nosy neighbor and landlord, Monica. Without the dramatic overacting, the movie was really ahead of its time. Even while I was in college, the belief still held strongly it was environment not DNA that caused people to do unacceptable things.

Years went by and from time to time I would just happen to catch the movie on TV and as I am wont to do, I introduced the movie to friends...mainly once again for the dramatic overacting and the staged curtain call at the end that was tacked on because in 1956 and really the whole ending of the movie, unlike the book, the child had to pay and not get away with murder, for the audience sake. The fear was the audience wouldn't be able to determine movie verses reality.

This was the status quo for watching the movie until I introduced it to Lisa P. We began watching the movie on a different level and taking apart the dialogue and seeing what is really happening to Christine and her descent into despair of knowing her lovely daughter is a cold hearted murderer. We have discussed the power Miss Fern, who was a cowardly nerd, held over Rhoda...the child didn't ever want her mom to call Miss Fern who with her sisters owned the private school that Rhoda went to. All the characters in the movie, except for LeRoy, just see a lovely, polite and almost perfect little girl. LeRoy knows there is more to the girl but he is looked down upon since he is the janitor of the apartment house where Rhoda and her family live.

I didn't even know the movie was on last night until Lisa P texted me. Then I let Peggy and Dena know. Dena likes the movie and Peggy...well, let's just say what Sports Center is to me what The Bad Seed is to her. We'd both would rather be doing other things when those shows are on. So last night Lisa and I texted throughout the whole movie and we both noticed new things as we viewed. We laughed about the classic lines we have all come to love and quote.

In the midst of our texting and watching Roy called to let me know that Beth Moore was on TBN. I told him I was watching The Bad Seed and he asked, you would rather watch that than Beth Moore? Uh, tonight, yes I would.  Then I filled him in that she is going to have a TV show...and then went right back to texting with Lisa. At least Lisa had the TBN show recording. I don't have that capability and really don't need it because I don't watch all that much TV,

This morning while looking at FB I realized my college roommate Sherry, had commented about watching the Bad Seed together in college. I asked her to remind me of what she remembered and I am laughing this morning at the forgotten memory after the movie. We did a reenactment for a timid hall mate and as the story of The Bad Seed was told, several were in the closet ready to jump out at the most intense part of the story...they did...Eva scarred ran out of the room.  Sherry, who was barefoot came back into the dorm room and asked why there was water on the floor...Eva, who had returned said, she had wet her pants.  And there was poor Sherry standing in the midst of it. I have been laughing so hard this morning at that memory. How could I have forgotten that part of the story? Ya got to love FB and how it helps you reconnect.

I know I have written about The Bad Seed before and this probably won't be the last time. There are references throughout the movie of church attendance and Sunday School...mainly by the little bad seed herself. Christine doesn't ever call on the Lord or pray, she is influenced by her Freud loving, association by word, science and physiology loving friend Monica. Like I said, the movie was ahead of its time. None of this sadly would shock anyone in this day and time. Rhoda's weapons of choice were shoes with metal heel covers and pushing an old lady down five flights of stairs.

A side note, there are a few references about Monica dying soon in the movie..LeRoy says she is not long for this world and the impending information of Rhoda and Monica sunbathing on top of the building..Monica had love birds that little missy was interested in. Sadly, in real life, the actress that played Monica did die  in 1958 at the age of 65.  OK, so now I am thinking I am more the age of Monica. Ugh! Thankfully, we don't have to dress like older women did back in the day. All that dress wearing would have not been  something I would have liked to do.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Happy Friday!

I'm feeling really good about my Academy trip yesterday. Now it takes a little more planning than just driving a couple of miles in most directions and coming upon an Academy. The closest one is in Johnson City and it is relatively new. I stocked up on some cool weather supplies because really one can never have enough light jackets and warm gloves. I seem to loose both of those types of clothing more than anything else. The area is under a freeze watch for the weekend with temps dipping into the 30's tonight and below freezing tomorrow and Sunday. Thankfully, we warm up a bit but on Monday the new heat pump for upstairs will be installed and things will warm up a bit upstairs. I have already put the down comforter on the bed and it makes for some warm slumber. Buddy seems appreciative of it too.

With cooler temps I put out a bird feeder this morning and the birds have returned. Now we are visited by blue jays, which are just mean but at least they come over, get something and take it back toward Jennifer's fence. This weekend should be the first official frost which signals growing season is over. The produce stands are beginning to close up shop. There are few more varieties of apples to be harvested and then everything begins to take the long winter nap. With El Nino playing a part this year, our area has a 50/50 chance of it being colder and wetter. I have a good feeling that once we have this generator installed, it will be the warmest winter on record...because that is how these things work.

Anyway, I went to Johnson City yesterday and only stopped at the Barnes and Noble after Academy. I was feeling like I might eat lunch at the nearby Chili's but decided to head back toward home and maybe grab something to eat in Weaverville. Before crossing the NC state line, I stopped at Erwin to top off my tank with cheap gasoline and what better way to top off a lunch tank than with cheap Taco Bell. I got tacos and headed on down the road. The trees and the mountains put on a spectacular show of vivid reds, oranges and yellows. I thought of those who hunt for ginseng in the mountains. They are probably busy digging up the last haul because once the frost hits, that season is over. One stop here at Lowe's to get bird seed and I was on my way home. I had used everything up from the summer.

 I got on Goode Company BBQ site last night to order BBQ and some pecan pies. I thought about ordering a brisket and some sausage but the shipping was more than the cost of the food, so I am going to order a brisket from Hays Smokehouse. My Sunday School class is coming over for a pot luck supper one evening of the last week of October.

So, it was off to the grocery store and a dreaded Walmart trip. Got what I needed and Walmart had the Velveeta cheese shreds, so I think I am going to attempt enchiladas again tomorrow. For now the Amy's burrito is going to have to do the trick. I think I always associate Mexican food with cool temps and that's why I am going bonkers for it.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Simple Life Reflections

Moving to NC, in a rural area has been a soul restoring change. Life is simpler, the pace not as hectic, the daily canvass of absolute beauty, treasured. Really, I have already worn flannel and sweatshirts and I write this knowing many of you avoid wearing this type of clothing with a passion. I'm in autumnal heaven. It was 41 degrees when I awoke this morning and the afternoons are pleasant being in the 60's and 70's. Hearing, notice I said hearing not doing, about canning and putting up veggies gave me the umph to get a special, pre-programmed canning cooker type thing, since it was on sale and free shipping, for next summer. I'll be putting up salsa y'all. You still hear many grandparents being called ma-maw and pa-paw. Church is simpler but seems more powerful. Women's ministry events are simple and helpful and to experience them, delightful. Events aren't termed successful by numbers or how many tears were shed, but successful when hearts are changed and needs met. As much as I love living here and being so thankful for friends and finding a good church, as much as I love the simple and less hectic pace I saw something yesterday morning that hopefully will never leave me.

Vivian and I were on our way to the Cataloochee area when we came upon an emergency vehicle with lights flashing and a man in an orange vest directing traffic. You see a lot of cars being pulled out of ditches or up a long embankment, but the ditches on the side of the road might have only been about a foot deep. When driving past an accident, I rarely look but I did yesterday. There in the ditch laid a brown and white dog...dead or near death.  Standing over the dog was a black and white dog licking it as if to make it feel better or maybe saying goodbye. There were cows lined along the fence taking in the whole scene and it even looked as if they were honoring those two dogs having a moment there in a shallow ditch, along the side of a busy road.  And there, those two men had positioned their emergency vehicle to shield the dogs and to give the dogs time. Wow, that might not happen in a busy city or town. It would be quick to accomplish the task and keep traffic moving. I could feel tears welling and my heart moved by the love and concern of a dog for its friend and the compassion and patience of two men to let the moment happen yet keep traffic moving.

I told Roy about this scene last night and he grew quiet and he too was crying at the story of two dogs and two men and let's not forget the cows standing at attention along the side of a road.  No place is perfect and there are problems and issues in the area but the simple facts of living and dying, of respect for nature, mountains and people outnumber the problems and issues. Yes, I am aware of several homes that have all kind of old machinery in them. I'm glad to live here and serve here.

Writing of simpler times, I loved our visit to Cataloochee....kind of sounds like what Ricky Ricardo would have said if Lucy's name had been Catherine or Kate...Cataloochee, I'm home! Just an hour away, it is worlds away. Once off the interstate, you traverse winding, narrow roads with blind hairpin curves. My hands were sweating as we ascended. The light coming through the trees felt so sacred, like a cathedral made by God's own hands. There is a point where there is an overlook to stop at, probably just a place to let the sweat dry before making the rest of the climb. Vivian and a grizzled mountain man wearing several layers of flannel, yes a flannel loving girl would notice that, and they talked about hunting bears. Her brother had just killed a bear at his cabin in the Green River Gorge and she showed him a picture of it and he began to tell of his adventures bear hunting in the past few weeks. I was so drawn to his stories because his family had lived there in the Cataloochee until the park service bought all the land from the residents to make the park. Sounds like he and his family just moved over to the next mountain. We had come to see the elk but he was mad at the elk because nothing he used was keeping them out of his garden. Bear hunters use dogs to flush the bears out and these mountain men had some beautiful dogs. We continued on our way and came into the area where a church, school house, house and barn remain from that long ago community surrounded by trees bursting forth with color. A stream runs through the area, so the peaceful sound of water accompanied the view. Vivian surprised me by preparing a picnic lunch which was delicious. We had ambrosia apples as our dessert. I had never eaten an ambrosia apple and I hope to eat many more. Very good!  We spent a lovely afternoon there and only saw one elk, but boy, he was a big elk. My friend Inez goes there every August for a reunion held in the old church. She and her husband have a friend who is in his 90's that grew up there. I Googled the history of the area last night since I had lost interest in the Astros game and found out that Lisa P and my friend, Colonel Robert Love, of the Jackson Love Highway fame, had originally owned most of the land and sold it off in plots to families wishing to live there. It was a totally confined and self reliant community for many years.  Good thing cause going up and down the mountain in a wagon or a horse....well, let's say you would maybe only volunteer once to make that trip.

I had better get moving and start the day...what joy to do so because I have stone/grist mill grits from Louisiana prepared by Ms Vivian for breakfast. Try not to be too jealous.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

A Little Fall Drive

On a clear day you can see forever! Someone should write a song about that... Haha! But, this is a clear morning without any traces of fog. The temps are in the balmy 50's and are only supposed to reach the high 60's this afternoon. Oops, update it is in the 40's this morning.

With these great temps and sunshine I took off to paths unknown Tuesday morning. First stop was Slick Rock Store which I had seen on FB. It did not disappoint! Lots of lovely things made by local artists...not just pottery and the like but affordable jewelry, decorative gourds, fabrics, metal art and chainsaw art. The owner and I had a great conversation and we found out that we are both from Houston. He grew up in Friendswood and he met his wife at Sam Houston State. They have been here for about ten years. Out of the conversation he told me where to find some good Tex Mex in the a food truck that mainly caters to the local Hispanics that are here for apple season. He said word has gotten out throughout the community and the lines are long after work as people stop on their way home and pick up dinner. I got two tacos, one beef and one chicken. Oh my....the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. In some ways when I have complained about the lack of good Mexican food I have felt a little like the children of Israel complaining about being set free but starving and wishing for those cooking pots of meat and bread back in Egypt. Gee whiz, I have been given the opportunity to be set free from the long summer months of April-October, so I shouldn't be thinking about cheese enchiladas and the like... Not when there are apple cider donuts to be had and just discovered yesterday, pumpkin donuts...which I might like a little more than the apple cider. Along the route to the food truck are all kinds of apple orchards and stores...that is how I discovered the pumpkin donut. I passed a group of skinny girls, each with a donut in hand and I heard the now famous words I have heard on almost every visit...we can go back and get more...and the ever popular, I don't think we got enough, I am going back in a getting another know just to be on the safe side.

I drove around and found myself on the Blue Ridge Parkway and decided it was a beautiful day to go see Graveyard Fields. There were many times I wanted to stop along the way but the goal of getting to Graveyard Fields was greater than the various turn offs and over looks. I found myself on the parkway in the latter afternoon, so sun and time were the priority. I'm glad I kept on because the views there were wonderful. So many photographers with tripods set up to catch the sunset while I and my trusty iPhone took pictures of the colorful trees bent over with the great amount of wind. I saw some of the most brilliant reds that can't be captured by a photo but I captured the color with my memory. I came home the back way taking 276 into Canton and then returned home. Even with GPS I got lost in Canton but the ride was worth the time. I probably would have explored more but my gas gauge was getting lower than I like and needed to find a station to fill up.

There is definitely more traffic now because of fall colors but it was worth the trip to see these things for myself. I also enjoyed the prayerful conversations I had with the Lord all along the way. I do believe that this area is His fall home. On that same thought the blue jays are thick in the backyard this morning and they are huge.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Fog....You Got To Love It When You Don't Have To Go Anywhere

It is 10:00 am on a Monday morning. We are socked in by morning fog that gathers so beautifully over the rolling pastures yet obscuring the long range view of the mountains...or even the barn across the way. Of course this is being written by someone who hasn't any plans to venture out this morning or even later in the day. The mysterious spider webs that cling to plants and ground cover are numerous this morning and Buddy is fast asleep in her little gray bed by the window. All is calm and all is quiet this morning in our little house in the mountains, in a valley on a hill.

This morning the weather alert is all about fog and traveling on I 26 south. There in the green river gorge so says the weather channel is copious amounts of dense fog throughout an area that isn't fun driving on a clear day. Eighteen wheelers struggle to make the climb and many have to pull off to cool engines and breaks. Yes, that is so encouraging because yo, the struggle is real.

Since the morning theme here on the blog this morning is fog, I will admit to sleeping in today and being a bit groggy and foggy most of the morning. I successfully resisted Buddy's 5:00 am morning paw. Her morning treat had to wait an unbearable couple of hours. She also cuddled up with me this morning as I read but I know it is due to the cooler temps and not so much all the love. Although, yes, I think for a cat Buddy loves me a whole lot. And it has come to this, I am writing about a cat loving me on the old blog this morning. Must be due to the fog.

The past few days I have thought about the past few weeks. What fun to share friends I love with friends I love here. Such a joy to share what I have discovered in these mountains with friends who have traveled a distance to visit. Peggy's group was non stop, grabbing pictures at every rainy opportunity. We experienced a lot those few days they were here but Lisa P and I had a more ease into the day routine. Still saw a lot but when I asked Lisa if she would like me to go turn around in order for her to take a picture, she said no....I would rather imprint the scene in my memory than as a photo. Throughout the two weeks I have been so thankful and appreciative that the energy I needed to do everything was there, although I have to remember how to expend and when to conserve energy. None of this would have been possible in Houston but then there isn't as much to go see and experience fall-wise in Houston. I have come to this conclusion; for those who visit and want a more intense exploring experience, my advice is to either do a road trip or rent a car while you are here. You can explore to your hearts content and I don't have to wait in the car. A friend gave me this eise advice before leaving, do an overview for guests, then let them explore on their own. I thought no way, I will want to I see the wisdom in her advice and will proceed in this vein in the coming years.

While writing this I have been on black and white cat duty as it has perched itself underneath the butterfly bush waiting for unsuspecting birds. When I sound the alarm, the cat tries to come up on the deck to receive a morning greeting from me but I don't think it jumps like a cat with two eyes, so instead it tries to stick its head through the railings. Don't want a stuck cat. Anyway, I think I saved the lives of birds and a cat this morning. Buddy, slept through the antics and is not interested in the least.

It is almost 11:00 am and it is still rather foggy. I'm liking this. This week we should have lows in the 40's and highs in the lower 70's. My first October in the mountains and I learned last night that this is an exceptional October temp wise from a friend. She said last year's October was a rather cool one and I remember when Dena and I were on our way here last year, that the end of October had a snow fall in this area.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oh Yeah, I Do Have a Blog

Hi! My name is Nancy and I have neglected my blog for about two weeks but I have really good reasons to not have posted. The past few weeks have been filled with visits with friends from Houston. We have been here and there and all over. On Thursday, I took Lisa P to the airport and came home, drew Buddy into my lap and sat on the couch reflecting on the past few weeks. It was busy and fun, yet especially when Lisa was here, time built in to remember, talk and laugh without being on a schedule. I have about a week before more guests and I am looking forward to the week and I am looking forward to the next visits.

In between Peggy, Debbie and Kathleen's and Lisa P's visit Roy and I traded in the Camry and bought a Tundra Truck with four wheel drive. We had ordered it in July, it arrived in September and we got it on the second day of October. Love it and still learning all the new. Sometimes I forget we have the truck now and I have a half minute of panic because I don't see Sequisha but then it comes to me, we have Sequishshawn now. A four wheel drive truck needs a boy name.

Last weekend the Carolina's received much needed rain to break the drought but SC received more rain that it needed. Our area had predictions of ten inches of rain but we did not receive that much. Lisa's plane arrived at 10:00 pm at GSP and thankfully Vivian volunteered to ride with me. It is dark in the country that is all I am going to say but we got Lisa and arrived home safe and sound.

Sunday at Newfound Baptist held such wonder and power. God's presence and His signature were all over the services. The worship was strong and the Word brought by Pastor Jeff even stronger. All morning as Lisa and I got ready for church I could hear her singing and warming up. Oh my, how I have missed hearing her sing and I was so happy to share her voice and friendship with my church and with friends. I do believe there will be a return trip and the next time she is bringing Malcolm. Can't wait!

We had a fabulous week of visiting and catching up with one another. Oh my goodness, I haven't laughed that hard in such a long time. My laugh tank is filled once again and I think there is more in the reserve. On Tuesday Gale and Vivian went with us to The Pretty Place. Gale had never been and it was such a joy to watch both Lisa and Gale experience the surpassing beauty of the sacred place. We met some ladies from SC and of all things, they were tennis friends. Wow, talk about a blast from the past...traveling with tennis friends. Just talking with them was a confirmation in my spirit that just as God had led me off the tennis court, He is still leading me in this wonderful adventure here in the mountains. We lunched at Hawg Wild...very good BBQ and hush puppies????  Hush your mouth and chew those puppies. Very good! We came back via the Blue Ridge Parkway with a stop at the Pisgah Inn. On Thursday we made the trip to the Moose Cafe and once again, the food and the servers were a hit. We also had a little bit of time to make a quick trip to The Farmers Market where we found some purple hull peas just right for the purchasing. It too felt like CourtneyS was right there with us. We called her once while we were out on the road and had a great little catch up and a few good laughs.

Friday morning was an early one because I had a hair appointment in Biltmore Village. Afterwards, I went to La Cantina and I can't believe that they charge for chips and salsa now...and you know I paid for some chips and salsa. Maybe next time I will do chips and queso for lunch. Then I headed to Target, Whole Foods and Barnes and Noble. I came home and rested cause I am trying to get rid of the cold that Peggy brought with her. Just when I think it is done, the cough due to cold returns.

Today I plan to stay around home only maybe with a possible trip to the grocery store. I had planned to sleep in but Buddy had different plans and besides a funny late night call from Roy still had me laughing this morning. Already have laundry started and a book to resume. It takes place in Birmingham, so I am able to picture the scenes a little bit easier. It should be a rainy day today. Buddy has already curled up into her bed for that early morning nap. I have some pecan pie coffee ready to roll. This next week holds for great autumnal weather with lows in the 40's.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Friends Came to Town....Part 2

Well, tomorrow came and went and so did another day but not to despair I am up early on a Saturday morning. It is still dark outside and I have to admit I usually don't see this early of mornings but I had a very good reason to get up. Now, if I could only get going.

We are on the cusp of an epic rain event. So thankful that Joaquin took a jag to the east because I don't know how much more rain our area can take. Guess, we will find out today. These past few days have been gentle rain days with nothing extremely heavy. We are so thankful that we got those trees removed whose shadows ominously draped our home.  The rain is beginning to pick up a bit from the drizzle now to a shower. Thankful we still have power when many are losing theirs. This time next month the generator will be up and functional, so I won't need to consider power loss unless we are low on propane.

Let's see, I think I last left off telling about our trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We just about got to Mt Pisgah Inn but I turned too soon into a parking area for hiking. The weather was getting worse the higher up we went. More fog and rain. Since we only had about an hour or so of daylight left I made the decision to come on down from the mountain because on our return we would be on the side of the road where one could easily drive off the edge in the dark, rain and fog. On Monday we started in Waynesville and worked our way down 276 to Brevard and onto The Pretty Place.  It is a beautiful drive but a long one but it is always worth it to see The Pretty Place.  On the way back we punted our thought of a return to the Blue Ridge Parkway and instead stopped at the Mud Dabber Pottery Shop and then onto Brevard College where we saw several white squirrels. Peggy got some great shots with her camera.  We made a return to the Moose Cafe but our friend Robin wasn't working that night. Tuesday morning we out the door and on our way to GSP for them to catch their flight. We had a great time and these wonderful friends helped me so much around the house before leaving. Not only that but they showered me with lots of gifts and lunches.

Yesterday, Roy and I traded in our Camry and brought home Sequishawn the Tundra. We were told it would take 30 minutes top to take care of paperwork.  Ha ha, it is to laugh. Roy believed them, I did not. Our NC insurance agent dropped the ball on getting paperwork to the dealership. Also, Roy did not bring the title to the car with him. I asked him about that but he said we would not need a copy with us. Ha! It is to laugh once again. Anyway, it all worked out and we celebrated by eating lunch at the Moose Cafe. We spent the rest of the afternoon working around here. Roy installed a new shower head, I helped him clean the filter for the well...I had to go back to the wheat straw area and I was very careful with the stairs and the walk. I got as close to the crawl space as I ever want to get. Two difficult light bulb change outs and a few other things as we knocked out project after project. One project we didn't think about was Sequishawn fitting into the garage. He does, but we had to rearrange things to make that happen. It was for the good cause we got some things cleaned out and rearranged.

I better go watch the rain hit my window for a bit. Since we have not had a lot of rain since moving here it is getting used to the rain noises as well.