Friday, February 27, 2015

Leadership, Team and Birthdays

There is so much talk about leadership today.  Some of it is helpful and useful and a lot of the theme of leadership is just that talk.  After a while, listening to someone tell you time after time that they are a leader, anything else they say...which might be really good becomes just like Charlie Brown's teacher or something said by Debbie Downer.  Yea, you so have my attention...uh did your spidey, I mean leadershipy senses tell you that I mean opposite of that?

We don't refer to ourselves as a team either mainly because one of us would always be on academic suspension or conduct detrimental to the team.  Besides, we would rather be thought of as a family.  But I guess team is the term used when someone needs to make sure that others know they are the leader of the team, band, club or I guess family.

That's what I love about Roy.  He, for a lack of a better term, is a great leader but instead of reminding me verbally, he lives it out everyday.  Some think he is a push-over and that I can run a muck  over his thoughts and decisions.  Nope, not even close.  He asks for my input and likes to hear my take on decisions and such.  He is secure enough as a man to have input and ideas, my goodness gracious from his wife of all things and he is steady, thoughtful and very protective.  All things I like in a hubby.  The way he lives life makes me want to live his way, well except for all that math and excel stuff, but you get the picture.  If you refer to your family as a team, good for y'all.  It's just not our preference.

So today is Roy's birthday.  He loved his card from me and it really was perfect for this season in life.  It had all the good stuff you want to say about your hubs and a bonus for us, the word amazing was included on the inside message which means I added another amazing because Roy really is amazing, amazing.

Today, I have been going through my shoes and I'm excited to have found several pairs I bought at the end of the season last summer, so I am good to go.  All the heels are heading to KCM cause my knees and sense of balance are not what they used to be.  The lamps ordered for our bedroom came in yesterday and they look to be a good match.  Purposely we picked lamps that will work here or there, but the new ones are packed and ready for moving.  The guest bedroom is running out of storage room but there isn't really too much left for packing with the exception of books.  Thankfully, we can put those boxes in Roy's study and I don't plan to work on those until later.

Last night Dena and I grabbed some dinner and much needed catch up time.  My goodness, the conversations kept on rolling.

Roy is on his way home and we are going out for his birthday... like not a real celebration place, we will do that next week.  Oh, you know Mexican food or Luby's are always considerations.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thankfully, I Acted Right in Line at the Target

I did something this morning that I haven't done in a long, I didn't cook breakfast, well a breakfast of pancakes or eggs or bacon, nope I made a Land of Sugar run to get a haircut.  I haven't had to do that for awhile because Emmanuel opened a Katy location, but Stevie is out of the salon tomorrow, so we switched me over to Land of Sugar today.  I got out and about early because it is a Chris day, so a quick breakfast at Black Walnut and then I hit the road to run a few errands before the appointment.  Golly gee whiz, I had not been on 99 since they made it a toll road with entrances and exits and I was pretty happy about the whole trip.  First to Super Target.  We have one here, but this Target always seems to have what I am looking for.  Like motion detector lights.  So helpful at night for this wandering one, but at the same time Buddy likes walking by them and turning them on, repeatedly much to the chagrin of Roy.  Also some remote control light dealies.  With everything on my list taken care of, I headed over to the checkout area.  Two, yes two whole lanes open for the whole store.  So, there was a little bit of a line.  The lady in front of me had cornered the market on sweatshirts and they happen to be the brand that I we got to talking and I shared I cleared out the Academy of those very same sweatshirts when they went on sale.  That was the quickest part of the line because she was a bargain shopper and not that there is anything wrong with that, but if a clearance item wasn't ringing up correctly, the whole process stopped as they checked each and every sweatshirt or binder, not bras but three ring binders.  I'm sorry but I have been laughing for five minutes over binder.  That is what my nieces called bras way back in the day.  And the discount triple check was for 9 cents or 5 cents...I almost reached in my purse and handed the lady a dollar but you know we had that conversation about favorite sweatshirts.  Finally, when two items were found not to be discounted and she felt quite sure they were, she opted to look later in the store for proof.  At least my phone worked in that Target so I was able to check email.  There wasn't a flaw to my checkout, so boom, out to the car where I found out that the black blankets we use to cover things in the back were not there.  Let's see?  Who took them out of the car and didn't put them back?  I believe it was my precious, darling husband.  Ugh!  Since there was still about forty five minutes till my hair appointment, I went over to the local Christian bookstore and looked about.  And who should come into the store right afterwards?  Yes, sweatshirt friend.  We laughed and told each other we were not stalking but believe me, I was so thankful I didn't go huffy puffy over the wait in line.  Oh, my, what a great encouragement to this lady would have that been?  I think I would have had to go all, I came over here to find the answer to life's questions and act like I was a seeker just to get out of bad behavior.  Thankfully, like I wrote, I didn't have to go to lying in the Christian bookstore to save face. Not that I would lie in the Christian bookstore...

Great time at Emmanuel and I stocked up on product.  Then a quick trip to Whole Foods.  I think that Whole Foods is better than ours.  That store is huge!   My tin ceiling tiles were framed and ready at Hobby Lobby, so I picked those up on the way home.  I also had a painting of some lambs framed and the price on the register didn't seem right.  Oh, now I have become the bargain shopper.  No, I knew she hadn't charged me for the lamb picture.  The clerk was taken back, she said no one every corrects a not enough price.  Really?  Cause Just As I Am was playing in the background...I didn't really notice that till I left.  Many think I don't look at receipts but I do and if I hadn't caught the mistake then, I would have gone back after looking at the receipt to pay...but then you get the sales clerk in trouble and you don't want to do that, but you don't want unpaid merchandise hanging in your home.  So, that was my adventures today and as always, it is wonderful to come home to a clean house.  

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Wednesday Update

It is in the 30's and the sounds of lawnmowers fills the air.  Ah, Rancho De Five you truly are an enigma.  The look of winter with the sounds of summer.

As I wrote yesterday I knew getting angry in the parking lot at the bike store was going to come back and bite me and it did, oh around 1:00 am this morning.  The erratic, slushy beat of a heart out of rhythm.  Sometimes it is just irritating but last night was the kind of afib that keeps you away because of the loud pounding in the chest and also those brief thoughts of, if I fall asleep will I wake up in heaven?  I finally decided instead of thrashing about in the bed and Roy didn't stir one bit, I would get up and take the dreaded medicine that helps get the heart back in rhythm.  It did the job.  If there is any getting out of sync, mine usually happens at night.

In good Monablog fashion, it is now Wednesday morning.  Still cold and overcast, but no mowers on the green space.  I packed up things yesterday until I ran out of bubble wrap, so another trip to Costco is in order.  I would go today but Roy really likes making Costco runs, so I will leave that to him.  The moving company is bringing big boxes and wardrobe boxes later this week.

We have come to the program Fixer Upper on HGTV quite late but we have enjoyed watching the previous shows and getting caught up.  It has kind of taken over our previous must watch TV, House Hunters.  After watching several episodes, I realized that for our NC home, they would have opened up the kitchen into the family room and we did consider doing that.  But at the end of the day and this journey we decided that the NC home would be totally different than our home out here in Rancho De Five.  We enjoy the open concept but I am a nook person and the farmhouse feel of the Ander House, that's what we've decided to call it, just feels right.  Of course the feeling will be better once we get furniture and the like into it and also a back splash in the kitchen.  Oh yes, and getting us in there.  Back to Fixer Upper....It is interesting to see how they do things and design rooms, which probably worries Roy that I will see something new to do to the house.  I would like a stone fireplace instead of the marble one that is there now and we have plans to redo the master bathroom, replacing the bath tub and separate shower into one big walk in shower.  I hate to admit that for about a day I thought we should put in one of those walk in and sit down tubs.  Roy was totally against it but then on Fixer Upper, one of the homes had a "senior adult' bathroom and I came to my senses...uh, no, big shower is great.

Well, it is time to get to work and then I do believe some reading is calling out to me....I may answer the reading before the work.

Monday, February 23, 2015

We Make Everything Groovy

Well, I took a walk on the wild side today and bought something rather impulsively.  I'm actually kind of excited about this purchase and I will be kicking it old school on my manual typewriter.  Sometimes with the creative journaling I do and no that doesn't mean I embellish stories in my journal, well not all the time, but a typewriter font is so cool for some of that kind of work.  I know when I get to NC, I won't have a printer for a while and I'll be using a computer I don't really like.  We are waiting for Windows 10 because we do not like at all Windows 8.  So today, as I pack up boxes and look for something fun during my breaks, there was research to be done on manual typewriters.  Oh for a bit I considered buying an original but decided to order it from The Vermont Country Store because they stand behind their products.  So, yes that is the wild side from Rancho De Five.

Speaking of wild side, we picked up Roy's Terratrike at the bike shop...near the hood.  Roy had them put 24 inch wheels on his trek which enables him to ride on trails and grass without getting stuck.  It is very helpful out here by the lake and water feature with scores of children, adults, bikes and trikes on the trails and paths.  This will let Roy maneuver better around them.  When we dropped it off last weekend, it was done without incident but yesterday we had a little scare.  We were putting Roy's trek in the back of Sequisha and I had moved from the back door up to the side of the car to help guide the wheels into the proper place.  I could sense there was a car driving up slowly behind us and my street smarts kicked in, on full alert.  I am probably just a incident or reminder away from PTSD. As the car began to slow in the approach, I turned to see if there was anyone behind us to catch us unaware.  The two ladies in the car asked how fast Roy's trek would go.  That seemed kind of strange because the conversation did not begin with, I have been thinking about or we have seen these before, do you like it better than a regular bike?  Roy approached cautiously while I kept my finger on the alarm, not that it would do any good because no one ever pays attention to car alarms.  I kept my eyes peeled for any movement from any other side of the car and believe it or not, I was ready to take a bullet for Roy.  Roy was kind but abrupt to them and he turned back to arranging the trek in the back...that's when he rolled that thing over my fingers twice and the chain was rubbing against a white rolling cart we had purchased before going near the hood.  These past few years I have been calmer and slower to react because health-wise I cannot afford anger but in that moment of pain and stress of the situation, I reacted complete with a cuss word I'm not too proud about but there for a moment, angry, quick to react, mad Nancy appeared and both Roy and I believe that reaction that included some pent up feelings scared the be-jabbers out of the ladies in the car and their posse posed to rob us.  There in that moment I experienced the fear that became all too regular before we moved to the condo.  All those feelings from the attempted car jacking, the fear of being followed while I walked the dog and the summer of riots at the pool, shootings in the neighborhood and a loaded gun thrown onto our front yard flooded my being and took over emotions for that brief time.  I think at first Roy thought I was upset about him running over my fingers but then he knew.  I apologized to him and we returned home.  I returned home exhausted and took a nap and really for the rest of the evening I ensconced myself in Downton Abbey. Now when I get angry or stressed, blood vessels break because my circulation isn't good due to my heart overworking.  Only as I began to fall asleep that night did I put it all together, the quick anger.  I remember my therapist once told me anything that causes immediate anger is transference from something or someone in the past to the immediate.  In the moment I couldn't see that attacks and fear from my childhood, then to the years we lived in our townhouse, returned with a vengeance, in a moment.

One more wild side and then I will be done.  Around 3:00 am I heard water running.  Roy was in the shower, so I went to tell him it was 3:00 o'clock, he didn't need to be up yet.  Because he was stopped up with the temp change and because he said he stunk from trek riding, he needed to get up, shower, so he could breath.  He came right back to bed.  And then in about an hour and fifteen minutes, he was back up, taking another shower to get ready for the day.  I don't think he was sleep walking because he knows he did it, but for a good hour of sleep, he had to take care of things first.  And he wonders why I stay so tired?  Between he and Buddy, I think I am awake every two to three hours.

That's our wild side.  Stay tuned for dishwasher unloading, laundry, and other wild side activities...maybe a trip to Luby's.  We are wild things, we make your heart sing, we make everything groovy.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Just a Mirage With a Dream and a Study

Another one of those odd happenings this morning where life and dream intersect.  As per my usual habit, once Roy leaves for the office I turn on the radio which is set to KHCB.  Sometimes I'm awake and listen but most times, I sleep through Charles Stanley.  This morning I slept through Charles and only awakened when the PSA for Black History Month and this morning's story was Mahalia Jackson.  That is where life and dream happened.  I was dreaming that Roy was going to investigate a noise he heard in another part of the house and in the dream while waiting to see if anything was wrong, I timidly said, Roy?  I heard a deep sounding noise that began growing in strength and sound and I screamed waking myself up.  The noise?  The beginning of a song by Mahalia Jackson timed perfectly to the dream where Roy is needing my help.  My scream woke up Buddy, who is so brave, not...she jumped off the bed to tunnel underneath it to her fortress of napping.

Thursday evening when I came to bed, I forgot I left my boots right in the direct path of the bed.  I tripped and thankfully didn't wreck me or the nightstand.  Sadly, only Roy's sleep was wrecked because all the noise woke him up.

Thankfully, nothing eventful has happened this morning.  It is a quiet, peaceful morning.  Roy has Bible study and another co-worker's funeral to attend.  In between those two things, he has ethics continuing education for most of the morning downtown for his law continuing education requirements.  His law hours are harder to come by than his CPA hours since his office offers CPE courses at lunchtime to get their requirement in.

Our core group's discussion of Luke 15 was awesome.  I love the insights of the women in our group and we have a good mixture of young and let's say, more seasoned women.  In reality both brothers are far off from their father, the younger son in the distant land and the elder brother close in proximity but far away in heart.  My goodness, he is just out there in the field probably rehashing every wrong or insult he has imagined or believed but he misses nothing.  We learned through our homework that  when Jesus began speaking his group contained tax collectors, notorious sinners, Pharisees, and scribes.  The religious group probably didn't give much attention to the sheep and coin parable because they didn't associate with shepherds or women, but the last parable of the prodigal son got their direct attention.

Well, it is back to work packing up books and boxes.  I am on my last big box and now I know what boxes to get from the moving company.  Happily a lot of things are going to KCM.  I was delusional to think I had simplified...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Beautiful Wednesday

This has turned out to be one very beautiful day.  Getting in a little sunshine while running errands was rather nice.  I kind of thought the Kroger would be busier since this is Wednesday but it wasn't and I got the added bonus of running into my core group leader from CBS.  She and I must be on the same schedule since we have run into one another at CVS.  Since there aren't Kroger's nearby I am stocking up on cotton balls and Kroger Cherry baby aspirin.  It's not like Roy couldn't bring that kind of thing to me but that is one less item to be concerned about before flying.  So today, since I didn't want to look like a total freak I only bought five packages of the baby aspirin.  We have time to load up on each one of our trips.  This is why I have NC brain, it is remembering little things like this.

Yesterday was another day of packing boxes but really not that many.  I worked on homework and read a greater portion of the day.  While filling out change of addresses for several magazines, I came across articles that really needed to be read.  All the exciting places to see nearby.  One story was about route 276.  I drove part of that route from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Waynesville in August.  Oh my, such a beautiful back road.  I came across the Whistlestop Market in the article and it was to the Google cave to find out more.  Putting that on my things to do list.  Roy will love all the photo ops and I think I will like the scenery and country stores along the way.  I'm thinking we might want to have a freezer.  Oh my, I looked back on their FB page at all the fresh strawberries, blackberries and peaches.  I have also been researching antique stores and the adventures that await.

For Lent I am reading the book, The Crime of Living Cautiously by Luci Shaw.  If you asked Peggy she would tell you that I live too cautiously but if you asked Dena she would say many times I throw caution to the wind.  Funny, adventure looks different to each person.  On our trip Peggy told me she thought I lived in fear and it might look that way.  From experience I know pretty much how much and how far I can push myself before going beyond the parameters that the cardiologist has set for me.  So stress and getting hot are not the only hazards for my attempt at healthy living.  I have to keep in mind how hard my heart is working as well as it going out of rhythm, which exhausts me beyond words.  Adventure to me is moving to NC with only knowing a few people.  Adventure is learning to see things so familiar differently.  Adventure is taking in all the roads and mountains looking for nuances that might have been missed on other trips.  Adventure is learning the rhythm of life...I love this quote found in an old travel journal from an antique store purchase, "Every land has its own special rhythm and unless the traveler takes the time to learn the rhythm, he or she will remain an outsider there always." Juliette De Baircli Levy

I'm saddened to hear the news of the passing of Marie Miser.  Faithful through the years at Westbury Baptist.  I hadn't really thought about her for years but she was gracious and so kind.

Monday, February 16, 2015

President's Day Here in Rancho De Five

I've been playing with a new app on my iPhone and iPad, Waterlouge.  It is only $2.99 and lots of fun.

It is a cold overcast day out here in Rancho De Five, but it is a tad bit colder in Western North Carolina.  I've been texting with a few friends up there.  They are hunkering down for a winter storm. We hope the electric lines hold keeping the water pipes warm in our house.  Mercy!

Roy's office has today off so it has been nice having him around today.  I have been packing boxes. I think he has cabin fever because he left to get batteries for watches, pick up a few things at Sprouts and fill his car.  He has been fine tuning his taco sauce recipe and I think this past weekend he hit the right combo of ingredients.  Delicious!  We had leftover tacos today for lunch and they were still quite good.

Last night like millions of others I watched SNL 40.  For the most part it was entertaining but it was sad to see Paul McCartney and Paul Simon try to sing songs from their portfolios and unable to carry those sustained higher notes that one can carry with a younger voice.  Some of the stars have aged well and others, Chevy Chase, have not.  I once read a book on the early days of SNL and the young comediennes disliked older, established comediennes coming in and trying to be funny.  I wondered if that thought of times long gone made an appearance in their thoughts leading up to the show?  I love Martin Short when he is in character but don't particularly care for him when he is appearing as himself and he can't help but slip into various characters which makes his performance forced and too over the top.  Loved the opening and the Jeopardy sketch.  Jane Curtain at the anchor desk was too short.  It was on Saturday night I saw my favorite sketch from all the years of SNL.  It is Steve Martin and Gilda Radner at a disco club and when their eyes meet from across the room, we hear the tune Dancing in the Dark begin and thus a beautifully choreographed dance complete with Steve Martin like comedic dance moves inserted is comedy at its finest.  The writers and performers respect the intellect of their audience and the beauty and comedy merge at the right moments to create cultivated laughter. More and more I truly understand that although physical comedy is funny, it is not my style.  Guess I would fall into the camp of observational humor, so of course I loved the Jerry Seinfeld part in the show.  Really, they could have cut thirty minutes off the show and it would have been fine.

Well, Roy is back home and probably wants his computer back.  That's ok, I have work to do and books to read.

Happy President's Day!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

A Few Valentine Thoughts

This morning I awoke to a private concert from the mockingbirds.  They must know it is Valentine's Day because their songs were a medley of chirps and songs.  As Buddy and I were enjoying the lovely songs, well I think Buddy slept through them, Roy was in the bathroom getting ready to go to Saturday morning Bible study and when he heard me stirring, he too joined in the Valentine greeting. We talked for a few minutes and then he gave me a great Valentine gift as he shut the door to the bathroom and says, you don't need to hear me brush my teeth on such a beautiful morning.  That my friends is love!  Especially because Roy makes a whole lot of noise when brushing his teeth.  The other gift he is giving me today is taking my car into the dealership for service...that is love too!  And to top off the morning I found a beautiful Valentine card by the coffee maker.  I love him!

It is unlike me not to have sent out Valentines this year because it is one of my favorite things to do but as I have mentioned before I have Carolina on the mind.   When I say Carolina on my mind, it is not so much living there but all the logistics that need to be in order for everything to happen.

Thursday mornings when Chris is here my usual schedule is to get on out for the day beginning with breakfast at Black Walnut.  Then with the available time I usually head over to Target before all the minivans take over the parking lot.  This Thursday trip was to be a rather quick trip but you know Target, there was so much more than what was on the list.  Since I had taken more time looking, I was kind of in a hurry to check out.  Ah yes, I know you can see where this story is going.  I picked the line, the worst line because ahead of me was a bargain hunting, coupon clipping, price checking, complete with ten gift cards mom in yoga pants.  Dang!  What was I thinking?  It was painful my friends and of course this story comes complete with her not prepared to pay for her things.  So the digging begins in her large tote purse.  She finally finds the debit card.  I asked her during this whole line waiting thing and I asked her innocently, not rudely, do you drive a minivan?  She responded with yes, and it was almost too giddy with excitement and she followed her giddy response with, why do you ask?  It is good to be able to think on your feet cause I just said, you'll need a minivan to hold everything you bought.  The paying process finally ending, the clerk began the checkout process on all my goodies in the cart, when minivan lady discovers she hadn't paid for her Red Bull drink.  I offered to pay for it so she could be on her way, you know pay it forward and probably private penance for asking if she drove a minivan...she declined and put the Red Bull back in the refrigerated case.

I got to thinking about Target last night, yes I am so exciting like that.  Really, it was more thinking about my mom.  When a Target opened near our neighborhoods, she and I were quite excited especially when we learned of their Dollar Days promotion.  We had never seen anything so wonderful in shopping adventures.  She and I looked at the ad and made our lists, then headed to the store.  We started out together getting the big items and then began working our way to the checkout where the lines were extremely long.  The beauty of shopping with a partner, we would take turns waiting in line with each other's carts while we picked up the last few things on our list.  Of course once shopping like this became the norm over the years, the crowds thinned out and we didn't have to be so precise with our shopping.

It is now later in the afternoon.  Roy and I just got back from running a few errands which included a stop at Office Max.  As we checked out the young woman said to us Happy Valentine's, are you doing something special today for her?  I told her, he already has.  He went to the car dealership and sat there while my car was being serviced and he is making tacos tonight for dinner and he has loved me every day for almost 38 years.  He's done enough for one day.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Thinking of Here and There, Mainly There

It is looking like North Carolina outside my window this morning...well, only because of the fog.  I think that North Carolina foggy mist has seeped into my brain because if it doesn't have to do with the move, I don't have too much of an attention span.  Or at least it is a much more limited and shorter attention span.  Yesterday, I was able to finish up a couple of projects at home thus more boxes are ready to be moved.  There is a lot of hard work ahead and this weekend Roy has suggested we go through our storage unit to see what if anything from it will make the journey.  So much of what is in the storage unit besides Christmas decorations are boxes upon boxes of posterity.  Letters from my mom and the like...those remembrances of her that I treasure.  Oh and lots and lots of photos.

On Monday I attended a memorial service for Richard Bell.  As our pastor said, an all around great guy.  It was my privilege to work with Richard and Sandy at the Downtown Wednesday Bible Study. So many weeks Richard and Sandy would come wearing the same shade or complementary colors of clothing.  On those few times they didn't I would ask Sandy, is everything alright?  You and Richard are wearing opposite colors today.  To me Richard was one of those men who is larger than life.  If a problem arose at High Point, I knew Richard could and would take care of it.  He was the first face of downtown Bible study, because he liked working the cash box and greeting everyone as they came in.   Roy filled in for bridge with the Bells and had a blast doing so.  Every Sunday morning as I would gaze across the congregation from the choir loft, I always looked for Richard and Sandy in their regular place.  Sometimes I would see them before Sunday and I'd tell them, you are going to LOVE this week's music.  Richard loved the Lord and he loved serving Him.  He was a generous man and his generosity will touch others throughout the rest of time.

After the service I spent a few minutes at the reception and then headed up to CourtneyS office.  So fortunate to be able to spend her lunch hour with her in the beautiful spring like weather out in the Oasis.  Then a quick trip to The Fresh Market and Barnes and Noble.

I was tempted to stop in at the cult, I mean Pottery Barn, on my way home.  I get free of them for three years and now I am in with them hook, line and sinker.  On Monday, the 20% off desks, combined with a PB gift card and a $250.00 credit reeled me in to order a desk I have been salivating over for months.  Not salivating on the desk actually, anyway, I ordered the desk and I await the phone call to schedule delivery.  Of course hope springs eternal that this delivery will go much better than the last one, the scheduling of it to when we are in North Carolina.  With all the discounts the desk became cost worthy and knocked off a whole lot of dollars.

It is now Thursday.  Chris has been here so the house is clean.  I've been to breakfast, Bible study, Hobby Lobby and Whole Foods.  So, I will wrap this post up.  Thankful for a beautiful cool day.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Trip Recap

It has been a while since last posting.  Instead of my usual writing in the mornings, I read.  It was a good trip.  It was a fun trip.  I enjoyed Peggy experiencing the Inn and watching her take in the land that I love.  Due to Monday's bad weather we didn't get as much done at the house as I would have liked during the week.  The following days were too beautiful to be working inside a house.  I am contemplating a return trip before moving day.

On Thursday the furniture we had purchased at Christmas time was to be delivered but the store was short on help, so with a reschedule for March that freed Peggy and me to go to Waynesville.  The Mast General Store in Asheville is ok, but the one in Waynesville is my favorite.  It doesn't hurt that the drive there is beautiful.  Since we knew it would be too tempting for me to not to buy things for the house, we decided to return to the house on the way back to the Inn and drop the items off.  Generous Peggy gave us a hammock for a housewarming gift.  We have two trees in the front yard off to one side that is perfect for hammock days.  We also went over to Robin Blu and Nettie's Bakery in the Hazelwood area of Waynesville.  We dined in Weaverville at the local Mexican restaurant which is good by NC standards but ok by Texas standards, then headed back to Biltmore to finish up packing for the return trip home.

Many of the days were just downright cold with temps in the teens most mornings.  Of course, I love the colder temps but Peggy is not too much of a fan.  Adding to the cold is the fact that I need to have hotel rooms at a cooler temp because the heat takes a toll and then I begin fighting off that lightheaded feeling and the rumble and jumble of a heart working on going out of rhythm.  Peggy asked me if I live in fear, not doing things like I used to which can be frustrating for those who want the old me back.  I don't think of it as fear but have been taught to view the caution I have to take as a good parameter which in turns gives me good life.  I hate giving up days to recover from overdoing, especially if it is something I am not really all that interested in.  Now something I am interested in?  I am willing to pay the price from time to time.

We spent time driving around the countryside looking for old barns and interesting photo ops.  I do that a lot for Roy too.  On our way home Peggy and I went through the book Listography answering the questions and not answering the too personal of questions.  That was a lot of fun and full of good memories and laughs.  Even the stories we have heard and told a million times brought laughter.

Since getting home I have been working on packing boxes with things that need to go north but won't disrupt the house.  It's interesting for sure.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Tuesday, The Day After Snow

Good Tuesday morning!  The sun is out and all looks right with the world except it is 22 degrees out. I don't mind the 22 but we will need to check on black iced roads before we head out for the day later.  Our plans are to go to the house for a bit, then see Vivian and then do some driving around for photo ops.  I can't wait to see all of Peggy's pictures.

I had to call it a night around 10:00 last night.  Our new friend Patricia went up to her room and Peggy was trying to finish her project on the computer.  While I was doing my nightly grooming and reading, Peggy worked in front of the fireplace but got involved in conversation with our shuttle mate Sonny and a sophisticated lady from Charleston, who was visiting and trying to read her devotion for the day.  Sonny is a retired Harley dealer who now runs and plans entertainment at motorcycle rallies...bands, not any other kinds.  Well, to our knowledge.  We learned more about him from his phone conversation in the library than we did on the shuttle.  His wife had kicked him out of the room so she could watch The Bachelor.

Since we didn't have to be anyplace at a designated time, we took the opportunity to sleep in.   Sleep comes easier and deeper here in the mountains and especially at The Biltmore for me.  I think it has to do with Buddy not waking me up every two hours.

Well, good Tuesday evening.  I'm sitting at a distance from the fireplace.  Our friend Patricia and her granddaughter are reading by the fire and so is Peggy.  We have had a very fun day.  We had breakfast and then went downtown to Malaprop's to pick up a book I had ordered.  Of course there were a few more things to pick up as well.  Then we went over to Mast General Store in Asheville where we found bargains galore.  We drove over to the house and worked for about 45 minutes getting things done with the rooms upstairs.  Peggy is a great worker and get things done.  Love her!  After all our work we made a quick stop at Vivian's to say hi.  Then we had the most fun driving up and down New Stock Road.  Peggy is taking pictures of old barns.  We turned onto Peaceful Path and the road quickly turned into a private road.  Peggy wanted me to continue on but I had learned from several here to respect those wishes unless you want a shot or two fired over your head...hopefully over your head.  She thought I was afraid but I told her it was respect.  We went down another road and got to talking to a man who was out walking.  He told us where we could find another barn up his road.  While Peggy took pictures, he and I talked.  I told him about Peaceful Path and he asked me , do you know Charlie M?  He motioned toward where we just had been.  I responded no sir.  He said in his southern drawl, you made a wise decision.

Picture taking works up quite the appetite and we made our way to The Moose Cafe.  Delicious!  So we have meandered about all day having fun.  I think I will sleep good tonight.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Monday Evening at the Estate

I find myself where I began the day, in front of the fireplace in the lobby of the Inn.  A few more people now than at the early morn.  Yet, it is still quiet except for the loud talk coming from the small bar area.  Classical music plays in the background with the clink of utensils hitting the plate as people dine this evening.

The weather played a huge role in today's decisions.  Our plan had been to work at the house.  We left the estate with the sun breaking through the overcast sky.  I noticed that sleet or snow was peppering the windows with that little clicking sound and as we got closer to the house, the clicking of sleet soon turned into the delicate flakes of snow.  And the snow began to fall at a rapid pace.  It still wasn't big enough flakes to show up in pictures but the snow fell, no rather it was blown sideways parallel to the ground.  Big gusts of wind came through with the front and the temperatures were falling at a quick rate.  We got to the house and Jonathan and his wife were waiting for us.  We came inside and discussed the front porch and the options availabe to us.  When the local people are concerned about black ice and needing to leave, one takes the hint that another work day at the house would be better.  I made a quick call to the furniture people and rescheduled furniture delivery for Thursday afternoon.   We thought about making a quick trip downtown to the bookstore.  I have a book there I ordered but the thought of trying to find a close parking place in the cold didn't bode well in my thoughts.  So, we came back here and drove around the estate.  We shopped in Antler Hill Village and ate at Cedric's.  We decided that we would go over to the house mainly to shop since the crowds would be nonexistent.  I think we both found some lovely things that couldn't stay here.

With the early mornings of late, a nap sounded like a good idea.  Ah rest, it was a great nap.  We have been hanging out in the room.  Peggy is getting every update on Sport's Center concerning the game last night.  So much to discuss when the obvious was to run the ball.  This all leads to coming down here.  I need a fresh Diet Coke and will pick that up soon.  We may grab some dinner, we might not.  Tomorrow doesn't have to be an early morning and it will probably be best to let the roads and temps warm up a bit before adventuring out into the great outdoors.  It is supposed to be a warmer day.

Peggy is getting much needed computer help from a lady sitting on the couch across the way.  I hardly use a laptop anymore, I couldn't remember anything to be able to help. What is so funny is she said, let's go down to the lobby and see if some young one can help me with this computer.  Our new friend Patricia is 76 years old.  So here I sit, writing my blog in front of a roaring fire, happy to know we have three more days here and just a little work to do at the house.

Roy just called and he has a lonely cat dogging his every step.  Buddy isn't used to being by herself all day since I'm usually at home.  He will have a long evening ahead until Buddy loses interest in him.

Oh, one last exciting thing, Edward got to meet Peggy.  What is so wonderful now is the laid back feel of this season he can spend a little more time with us.  His birthday is this week.

Arrived! We Are Here!

Good morning from the lovely Biltmore Estate.  I have made myself at home by sitting in front of the roaring fire and sipping on coffee.  It is one of my favorite things to do here and I miss this in the spring and summer when the fireplaces aren't in use.  It is a quiet morning with few if any people in the lobby.  Usually there is at least one man sitting by the windows with his phone talking business.  Guess everyone is still asleep or at least pondering the dumb play by Seattle last night on the half yard line.

Peggy and I are having a fabulous trip.  We left early Saturday morning and headed east and then north.  We talked, sang and danced all the way to Ooltewah where we were staying for the night.  The lovely Erin, niece extrodinaire came by and visited with us.  Lots of laughs.  After a good night's sleep Peggy and I headed down the road.  Since the weather cooperated, we were able to take the back way to Asheville.  When I knew Peggy could go with me on this trip, the back road and the road to our home is what I thought about because I knew she would love them.  I was not disappointed.  She took some great pictures along the way.  We grabbed a quick lunch at Turkey Creek Cafe and then headed to the house.  Oh my, the granite looks wonderful with the hardwoods in the kitchen.  We unloaded the car and then drove about the area to scout photo shoot locations for Tuesday when there is supposed to be abundant sunshine.

It began to rain so we took that as our cue to head over to the Inn on the Biltmore Estate.  Peggy didn't realize that we would actually be on the estate.  It is always fun to introduce this place to others and of course it is always good to return.  This is my twelfth visit to the Inn.

Today, we will go back to the house.  I have an appointment with our contractor and a piece of furniture is supposed to be delivered.  Think we will work on setting up the kitchen since that is both our strong suites.  I would also like to put together everything I brought for Roy's man cave/bonus room.

Well, quiet time in front of the fireplace is coming to an end.  I will go back upstairs and then Peggy and I will go to breakfast.  My friend Edward texted me while we were on the road to see how everything was going for us and that's when I told him we were on the way to the Inn and we would see him Monday morning.  He is such a blessing and a good friend.  I can't wait to have he and his wife for dinner at our house.  I would like to serve them as well as he serves here at the Inn.  I hope I can live up to the high bar that has been raised.