Thursday, March 26, 2015

And Me Without a Tissue

Chris just left and the house is sparkling clean and feels so fresh.  A contrast to the past couple of days as the fragrance of cardboard filled the air.  There is a slight echo to some of the rooms.  Several are concerned that Roy was left with just a couch.  No, living room, bedroom, second bedroom and study are in tack.  If we have time we will move the back patio table to the courtyard later this evening.  The past two days were long and tedious.  I'm thankful that our furniture will be on its way and will be delivered next Wednesday.

I have shed more tears the past couple of days, more than I have cried in a long time.  My friends have sent messages, texts and phone calls that have overwhelmed me with such kind words.  Peggy brought me lunch yesterday.  Wow, that's a great friend.  Last night I went to choir to hear my friends sing and worship the King.  I wanted to see Dana and CourtneyS for sure... I even got to surprise CourtneyS.  Then John spotted me in the back of the room and asked me to come up to the stage.  Oh my, I walked up and I was a little nervous so I overcame my nervousness by stopping at the mic and asking if this was finally the time for my solo.  An emphatic no came from John.  He had the choir sing for me and to me.  They were working on the wonderful arrangement of How Great Thou Art that we have sung many times over the years...I sat in a chair and took it all in, my friends some for a short period of time and others I have known ten, twenty, thirty years and longer smiling and singing.  I wanted to take it all in, to remember it always because being there, seeing John's view is a privilege to be savored.  I sang some too but quietly because this was one of those special moments that don't come around often, those moments when time stands still and gratitude overwhelms and overwhelms in a good way.  We all have worshiped together, walked hard roads with one another and yes, dare I say it, we have as the NT tells us to do; "bear ye one another's burdens and so fulfilled the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2.  The song coming to a crescendo and nearing the end, I scanned the choir for Dana.  The girl has got her some pipes...and I knew she was going to get to hit that high note above all the other voices.  She gave it everything and it just about broke me in two because she held that note and held eye contact with me.  Then they prayed for me and wow, what an humbling experience.  I love em'.  I couldn't find Peggy and there she was on the front row, John blocked us seeing one another.  I looked around at her and with tears she encouraged me with all manner of hand signals to look elsewhere.  I did, not because she asked but because I would boo hoo even more than I was and me without a tissue.  In that whole experience I met a new choir buddy and loved getting to say quick farewells with so many beloved friends.  I don't think you can top being a member of Houston's First Baptist Choir, not because of the songs, or the sound or the production value...not because of the talented orchestra that lays down the beat for it is the people, from all walks of life, at different stages of life coming together as one big, ol' family.  Do we get on each other's nerves, you betcha!  I am sure there has been competition between the better and more talented singers...this is something that I wouldn't know about.  Back in the day I was chosen early on for any sport related game, but in choir I would be one of the last chosen for a team.  I just love music and I love to sing and best of all sing to the King with some pretty awesome people.

This morning, in the car, the rehearsal CD for choir was still in and started playing when the car started up.  I had several things on my do list, things to remember and things to make sure Roy has in his briefcase to bring with us.  Right there in the midst of things to do, the scenes from choir began to fill my mind.  Like the lady who held the "mirror" on Romper Room and would say at the end of the show, I see Ricky, and Cindy.  I see David and Marsha.  I see Judy, Emily, Marcia, Bri, there's Dana and CourtneyS, James, Diane, Martha, George...and then I realized, How Great Thou Art was the song in the background...again, no tissue with me with my history of few tears.  By the time I got to Black Walnut, I looked like a baseball player with black underneath my eyes.  Then it dawned on me, I will probably tear up every time I hear or sing How Great Thou Art, no matter the arrangement...dang!  I will never be able to forget these friends...  Not dang over them but really, it would be so much better if they had been working on Sanctus or something like that...something not heard anymore in most church services.

I should be packing up Sequisha and taking care of those last minute things...but this deserved some time.  That reminds me, I better pack some klennex for the trip there.  Houston's First Choir and Orchestra will be on quite a bit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Packers Provide Packing

The packers, not Green Bay Packers, but the mover packers are supposed to be here between 8:00-10:00 this morning.  This is where the pedal meets the metal and tomorrow will be full on with the truck being loaded.  Last night Roy and I were pulling together the few things we have the packers doing, three lamps and several pictures.  All the Wendy Whitson artwork and pictures we have bought over the years will be left in their capable hands, although I have packed and moved the smaller ones already.

Since this process of buying and then remodeling the Ander house began in September, I have purchased things for our home.  So lots of storage, linens, dishes, glasses, pots and pans (don't laugh, they will be used) and all sorts of other items and in doing so spread out the expenses of furnishing and supplying a home over the months.  Other than books and clothes, most everything else has been sitting in our second bedroom or on our church pew.  Drives Chris up the wall but she will be surprised to see all the big boxes gone and an empty casita bedroom.  The reading room will be empty too.  Then the dining room table is going up but the rest of the house is in tack.

I told Roy about Gregg's sermon on Sunday and about how the husband sacrifices to take care of his family.  Not that Roy doesn't already know all of this and I did mention the submission really, most think I am not...but those who know us can tell you the truth.  Buying this house to help me have good health and a better life is one huge sacrifice.  I mean really who would want to give up living with me seven days a week?  Don't answer that!  Roy has said to me so many times since 2008 that he hates to see me confined so many days at home because that spring/summer/fall heat takes it out of me and it also compromises my health.  I am so thankful for him, how He listens to the Lord, how important knowing and practicing the Word is to him, his desire to walk in God's love, and let's not forget how much he loves and how well he takes care of me, oh and Buddy too.

We are meeting with our contractor on Tuesday to discuss our front porch.  They can begin work April 13th.  That is sooner than I expected, so that is very encouraging.  The next project after is having a propane generator installed and converting the fireplace to propane.  Then next year I think we will have the master bath remodeled.  The bathtub is totally useless and we've been spoiled by having a huge shower in our Rancho De Five home.  Counter space is an issue, so redesigning the room for better spacing and maybe where the shower is now, having a linen closet put in for greater storage.

Packers are to be here between 10:00-10:30 now.  Think I got a lot of little stuff taken care of while waiting.  The packers have been working hard getting everything ready for a smooth transition to pack everything up tomorrow.  Wow, it is hard to believe that they have taken everything apart and have everything to be loaded.  I wasn't ready with two pieces of furniture, so they will take care of that tomorrow.  Whew...  For the most part I was ready though.  The men doing this are very nice and quite funny.

After they left and as I ate my salad, the phone rang.  I would have normally let it go to VM but in case it had to do with the move, I answered.  Dang, my GP office calling...long story short...I made an appointment for the week I am home for all the other Dr appointments.  Getting things done...

Monday, March 23, 2015

My Last Sunday As A Member of Houston's First

On the drive into church yesterday, I began thinking how First Baptist has been a part of my life since high school.  Back in the day with Spireno, my friends and I would bring car loads to come hear the word.  Sometimes after attending Willow Meadows on Sunday mornings, I would drive downtown for the 11:00 service.  I tried attending First when I was in college but the timing just wasn't right and FBC became a blur while living life, getting married and buying our first home.  That is until one of Roy's employees gave him tickets for the Christmas Pageant.  Not too long after that my brother began attending First and invited us to give it a try.  We did.  We joined in 1982 or 1983.  Those were the years of two by two and rushing from Sunday School to get a seat in big church.  When the Christian Life Center opened, that is where we began to make life long friends and not too much later in 1986 I joined choir.  As in all church relationship there were the ups and downs but my goodness that is to be expected as both church and church member grow.  Back in the day of church picnics and fun fellowships after Sunday evening church, Sunday School potlucks and choir trips up to the present day of Life Bible Study and snazzy church marketing slogans "biblical, relevant community," the message of the Gospel is proclaimed.  People attend and make friends and life is good.  I will say back in the day there were some stinker-roo Sunday School classes but when I finally found Cecilia Talley's class, I knew I had found a Sunday School home.  While Roy was finishing up law school, I began attending Dayspring Class and the teacher was Beth Moore.  I came but wasn't involved at first but then I jumped in with both feet.  Yep, that was a lot to think about on that forty minute drive in yesterday morning.

The choir sang one of my favorite songs yesterday, 'On the Banks of the Promised Land' and that song has kind of felt like a theme song these past few months.  When we drive across the French Broad River...oh promised land!   So fitting for the day because yesterday was my last Sunday as a member of Houston's First Baptist Church.  Next Sunday a new adventure awaits as we join our local, and believe me there are a whole lot of local churches between our house and church on that seven minute drive, anyway, our local church and begin serving the Lord there.  We are excited about new beginnings even though we will miss our friends back in Houston.  I was so encouraged to learn last night that the choir at our new church prayed for us and for safe travels this week.  So yesterday morning was filled with hugs, good wishes, plans for N C visits.  All these good words from our friends.  Of course with the good comes from others just questions with probably more wanting to know info than genuine interest in our coming days.

Since Roy didn't attend yesterday morning, I went to Life Bible Study to hear Dena teach her lesson.  I rarely attend class anymore but if I wanted to, it was always available.  Now, that won't be quite so easy.  Dena is an awesome teacher, one of the best, but the better part at least for me is, she is one of my best friends.  It was kind of sad yesterday, sitting at the table with friends knowing I would not have the opportunity to share with the class my love and appreciation for them.  Guess that privilege was lost long ago by several factors but for those of you in the class, those that sit around those tables, that do the yeoman's servant work, that love and pray for one another...I appreciate the prayers and friendship of all these years.

As I left class, Barbara Golden was by the door and I almost missed her but she called my name.  She encouraged me so much yesterday.  Thank you for those kind words Barbara.  You did not know how much the Lord used you and you were such a gift at that moment in time.  Oh and Linda Sproule, you were too.

And that was that, although driving out of the parking lot, I was so thankful for this church.  For Bible study, life long friends, life long lessons, being on staff, for music, for love, for laughter...for all these things and yes since we know we are to give thanks in everything, I am also thankful for the difficult people, hard situations, lessons learned and mistakes to avoid. Now it looks like this church will be the home church to the first announced Presidential candidate for 2016.

Oh, I will be back from time to time but as a guest or visitor...  For all these years of membership, for all the above and for all that I didn't mention in the above, take the high's a lot less crowded...Thanks Be To Our God!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Comfortable Shoes Make Me Happy Whereas Sunshine on His Shoulder Made John Denver Happy

I used to be 6' and I wore stiletto heels to the office.  I owned walking in those five to six inch heels five days a week at the office and on Sunday at church.  Saturday was Sabbath rest for the tootsies.  Now a days, one inch heels give me horribles because I rock them and by rock them I mean I can't walk two feet without stumbling or going off balance.  Oh how the mighty have fallen and I am talking about arches here.  In keeping with taking well planned breaks during this packing process and since Nordstrom has triple points, I checked out the website.  So this graceful gazelle, no really at one time I was, perused the shoes and used the filter, flat, comfort shoes.  My descent into the comfortable shoe season of life began with Merrill mesh clogs.  Liked them alright but after visiting Peggy in the hospital after her knee replacement surgery and having a long discussion about the shoes with a lady while Roy and I waited for the valet to bring the car...I knew I needed to find another shoe brand.  In the mountains many women are fond of the Keen brand of shoes and I have become a huge fan as well.  I have several pair, in several colors and wear them all the time but even in the mountains stores they think every woman wears shoes size 10 and smaller.  So, if Nordy isn't carrying the colors I like...I am pretty much sunk or if I am not one of the first to grab a size 11 off the Keen website.  Thankfully, I bought several pair at the end of the summer season deeply discounted, so this will not be a situation this summer.   So, I looked at comfortable shoes and found this brand Bzees.  They look like Keen shoes but the cost is significantly lower.  The reviews were great!  So, I ordered two pairs and they came Wednesday.  Oh my goodness!  Yes, these have to be some of the most comfortable shoes I have ever worn.  Light and supportive and cute...and they are machine washable. I've ordered a pair in navy that will be deliver to the Ander House.  Ah comfort for the feet, blog topic and conversations of sixty year old women.  Don't laugh, you'll be here one day.  I never thought I would ever give a second thought to comfort in shoes verses style.  Ugh, the next thing you know I will be wearing double knit polyester.  No, I don't think I really ever think I could go that far.

So, I got highlights and a haircut yesterday.  Next haircut will be in Asheville.  I think I have found a place to try but I asked Stevie to cut my hair just a little shorter to give me more time to procrastinate on going in for a consult and a cut.  Then Roy and I waited around all afternoon for the security guy to 5:30.  Oh well, so since I had on comfortable shoes we went to Luby's for dinner.  Then we spent an exciting hour at Costco.  Normally, I don't make the Costco trips with Roy but I wanted to help pick out the phones for the Ander House.  We just went with an upgraded version of what we have here because they offered five handsets.  Lordy, I cannot be running, ok that just cracked me up because I don't run...went the way of stiletto heels, anyway running up and down the stairs trying to get to a phone.

This morning the last of the lamps we are moving are boxed up and I think we will need to do one more wardrobe box.  Then the odds and ends I have no clue what to do with but know they need to come with me will get stuffed into drawers and the like to be moved and to be determined later where they go.  I think once we get the boxes unpacked I will find in the weeks ahead that I have probably been a little far-reaching with some things.  Here of late all kinds of racks and bins and wire baskets have had my attention.  No telling how many of these I have accumulated but they will be used.  The lady that owned the house before used wire shelving.  That seems to be a little more difficult to store stuff on.  So, we shall see.  I have found all kinds of neat things and can't wait to explore all the antique stores and such once getting settled in.  Of course I will be able to go longer with more energy because of cooler temps and these comfortable shoes.  Comfort ye, comfort ye my shoes.

Well, break time is over, back to work.  And it will be a breeze or should I say a Bzees in my comfortable shoes.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Little Boxes Filled With Ticky Tacky

This is a totally easing into the day kind of day.  Yes, there are things to pack or box up but thankfully, the remaining items are hanging clothes and the like.  I need to make some decisions concerning what goes and what stays and yes, will I be wearing it for the next couple of weeks.  Last night Roy helped me with getting things taped and ready to roll in the casita bedroom.  For now, my hands will be full with what we have packed and plan to move, so a lot of my lambs that have been collected over the years will make the trip over to NC another time.  The other items to be packed are papers etc that we want to keep in our possession and not the movers.  While packing the last of the books in the casita bedroom, I came across all my Golden Books from childhood.  There in the midst of them was the moving book that Mayflower gave me when we moved from the Chicago area to Houston back when I was a wee bit of a girl, four years old about ready to turn five.  I don't think movers wear uniforms or carry the big boxes with a strap wrapped around them.

Yesterday, I made appointments and follow up appointments with doctors and dentists when I return in June.  Still waiting on a confirmation from the knee doctor but we have a little time.  I think he closes his practice during spring break week.

Buddy and I had a little bit of a frightful surprise this morning.  I woke us both up with my loud declaration of, "just let me go, please!" yelling mad loud and from what I remember of the dream, I was mad.  My theme song should be Don't Fence Me In and that is exactly what was happening in my dream.  After Buddy ran off, I laid there for a moment, heart racing and with a slight headache which is a good indicator that my BP was up.  All from a dream....

Of course by now you know that this too will be a double day post, nothing remotely related to Abner Doubleday.  I should right now be getting ready for Bible study but since I didn't do very much of the homework, I can be late.

I decided to combine a trip into Houston to see the CBU choir at church last night with a trip to The Galleria, Whole Earth and The Container Store.  So after running a few errands out here in Rancho De Five, Sequisha and I made the journey into entitlement land.  The plan was to do the Whole Earth and Container store, then head over to the Nord.  Scored big time at Whole Earth finding several Flax items deeply discounted.  Then at The Container Store I had that inner conflict of, buying this will make me more organized contrasted with the stark reality of, who in the world do I think I am?  After two near wrecks in the parking lot because apparently no one can see a Black Toyota Sequoia, I made it to The Nord.  All this backing up on the driveway in NC is making me a better backer in-er and I nailed the back in.  I was quite happy.  I returned my dress and then made my way to the N Bistro for a late lunch.  I reminisced of all the crab bisque I've eaten over the years and continued on with the fries that came with the sandwich.  Really, who cares about a sandwich there?  The service was really sub par and by sub par, I mean really bad.  It was not busy, at all.  Before bringing the bill the waiter apologized and his manager wanted to offer me a free dessert.  I should have gotten a rain check but turned down the is too much for one person.  After lunch I headed to Macy's because I needed to buy a slip and hardly anyone sells them anymore.  It has been quite sometime since I have had a panic attack and if I am going to have one, it seems The Galleria is the place I am going to have one.  I think I get hot and then I have anxiety over being able to get back to my car.  Several years ago I had the most severe panic attack there and it comes to mind almost every time I venture out of the Nord.   It wasn't pretty because I broke out in a cold sweat that drenched my hair, thus sweat running into my eyes.  Ugh....  By the time I came to a place to sit, I looked like I had just stepped out of the rain.  This young boy was looking at me and I wanted to say, don't ever shoplift kid...this is what will happen.  Of course I had not shoplifted anything but while paying for stuff I keep thinking the sales clerk is going to ask to look into my other shopping bag.  Finally, composed, I left thinking the cold A/C in the car would do the trick.  So it was a slow go to Marshall's/Home Goods over off of Bunker Hill but it was a successful trip.

The CBU concert was fabulous!  Oh my goodness!  I was so happy that Roy was able to make it even though a little late due to a work event.  Even non musical Roy loved it.  When those kids come into the audience and sing, it is just a joy to hear the individual voice along with the others near by.  Afterwards, I stayed around and hugged some friends and visited.  Roy headed on home because it was fast becoming a very long day for him and 4;15 am comes very early.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hope Before, During and After the Wreckage-Then Surprise!

Oh welcome Monday morning, not too many say that, but this morning's sunrise over the prairie was panoramic beauty of God's creation.  It has been a while observing a sunrise out here.  The early morning phone call from Roy got me on my feet with a cup of coffee in hand to begin this day of earnest packing.  Although I have only begun the day, no packing has taken place of yet.

Saturday and Sunday packing, oh yes...we got quite a bit done.  We concentrated on the bigger projects that need two people and projects where one person has good knees and that would be Roy.  When we moved to the prairie a little over three years ago, we did such a purging and we have been good about continually going through things yet, I am surprised over the amount of stuff.  And, we aren't even moving a whole house load of stuff!  Before the weekend I have been working on getting winter things put away and going through shoes one more time to determine what goes, what stays and what will be given away.  I am thrilled not to have tons of paper items to go through since we have been trying to go paperless and we have been more organized with all of that.  It is also good to know in the back of my mind that everything does not have to go because we are not selling our Rancho De Five home.

Oh welcome Tuesday morning, the fog is receding and revealing an overcast sky.  The tree on the green space, closest to our fence has already began sprouting new spring leaves.  I promise on Sunday that tree was void of any foliage.

A whole lot of hard work went on yesterday and it is good to check off several more of the biggies on the to do list.  There would have been a whole lot more work going on except I am rather sentimental and as I came across a few things, I'd stop and remember.  Mainly laughing but a few tears came close to spilling.  I've been reading Stitches, A Handbook on meaning, hope and repair by Anne Lamott and her thoughts are weaving so congruently with my thoughts from the past few weeks and into the weeks that are to come.  This quote from her book, "a promise that we do endure, and that out of the wreckage something surprising will rise."  Early she writes about our hope during and after chaos and tragedy, after loss and unanswered questions and we are taken back to the empty tomb surely a beautiful picture of surprise for the women and the disciples.  We stand there grieving the empty but we don't realize that great hope and life come from that emptiness.  When we do see this, it is like wildflowers or bulbs that grow into beautiful flowers from beneath the rocky, hard earth.  As poignant as Anne Lamott is, she is very funny and into this deep moment she interjects that Mary, the mother of Jesus, didn't stand there at the cross and tell everyone, don't worry, He'll be back in a couple of days.

So...this out of the wreckage something surprising will rise hasn't left me while I work at packing things for the Ander House.  The wreckage in my life has been all too real, all too cruel and at times almost unbearable.  Some of it I have written about but most of it has been kept to my journals.  While I pack with anticipation of a great adventure, some of my friends are saddened by my departure, for a while.  I am too in a way, I will miss the close proximity of friends and although early in our marriage Roy traveled for great lengths of time, I don't know how this will feel now.  Back then, when we were adjusting to married life and dealing with the baggage we both had dragged into our marriage, we kind of appreciated the breaks, but now Roy and I are so much closer and have a deeper understanding of what makes us tick.  We loved each other back then but we really love each other now.  He is a good man in his desire for me to feel good and to have a better chance of living out life, feeling the best I can possibly feel and having a life that involves being able to get out and about instead of staying at home dodging the heat that creates chaos in my heart and system.  But back to friends, Roy was a nice detour, anyway, in a couple of months when I am settling into life in the mountains, life on the prairie will be going full swing.  More than likely that is when I will be saddened by my departure, feeling nostalgic and then probably miffed because my friends haven't come to visit yet.  Yep, patience is my best thing not really....did you believe me there for a moment?

OK, you know that thing I wrote about organization and paper...ha!  That is how I felt until today working in the casita bedroom.  Oh my goodness!  Several months ago I gave hundreds of journals, not used, but new to Dayspring, the Life Bible Study class I attend, rarely.  Anyway, I thought I had culled down the journals to a workable number.  Ha!  I live to laugh!  There too I found all kinds of stuff I use in my artful journaling.  I believe I could sell supplies online or open up a office supply/scrapbook/unusual papers a lemonade stand at the bottom of my street in NC.  You would know bottom of street since all the streets here in Rancho De Five are pretty much flat.  I could save everyone that twenty minute trip into Asheville or thirty minute trip into South Asheville.  Oh well, sorting through everything when I get there will help me be patient and occupied until my friends start coming up to see me and experience the peace and pace of the mountains.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Check It Off The List-Friday Edition

So, another thing checked off the to do list Thursday morning, yearly eye check up.  Very little change and all things eye related looks healthy.  But, there is nothing like a Dr appointment to make one feel really old.  It seemed like I was saying, "pardon me, will you say that again" about every other sentence.  The young man assisting me through the pre-exam part of the appointment probably thought you need to make an appointment with an ear doctor next.  Even having dilated eyes, when Dr. McCutie walked in...he is a vision of eye candy.

Since Thursday was a Chris day, I had to find other things to do but really the only thing I wanted to do was go home and sleep off the dilated eyes.  Everyone else is complaining about the dreary, overcast day but I was thankful for it.  Even with the gray skies, I had to wear sunglasses and being brainy and brilliant, what better place to take overstimulated dilated eyes but to a bookstore.  Then to Home Goods and finally Hobby Lobby to pick up the antique ceiling tin I had framed.  Turned out really nice.  In all, I had three ceiling tins framed and they will look so good in the NC house.  

On a side note, Roy and I have been talking about what to call the NC house.  Since it is located in Alexander, we called it the Alex house for a while but then Roy came up with The Ander House.  Of course we Googled the meaning of Ander and it is a Dutch word meaning other and different and second.  How perfect is that because it is our other house, it is a second home and it is different than our Rancho De Five home.  Here, open concept, there...the feeling of nooky rooms, nooky like in cozy not nooky like...well you know, although I guess all the rooms would be good for a little nooky now and then...but I digress.  Hopefully Ria can back me up on this being a Dutch word...maybe not used as much now, but I mean really I learned it from the Internet, it must be the truth.  No matter, it is still the Ander House to us.

While driving through B'ham, a Mercedes showed me some love on I 59 and their tire threw a rock right into the windshield.  It was a really loud cracking sound and I was surprised that the whole thing wasn't shattered.  The rock left a crack in the middle of the windshield.  After much discussion we decided just to get it repaired for now and replace it closer to the end of the year.  That is probably when Sequisha will become Roy's and we get a four wheel drive Sequoia for me.  So the guy is out there now doing work on the windshield.  Roy is on his way home from the office and now he can stop and get some packing tape for the big boxes the moving company brought us.  He kind of likes to be here for this kind of stuff but he is off the hook this time.  I just inspected the work and it looks good.  Yea!  Check that off the list.

Last night Dena and I met for dinner.  We always have to catch up on life and sometimes although we know what we want from life, we don't always know what we want for dinner.  She was thinking maybe I would want Mexican food but Roy made his world famous tacos for me on Wednesday I was good on that.  Italian or Chinese also sounded good.  It came to the choice of Chinese because both Dena and I needed to run into HEB for a few things.  Funny, how a few things can increase on those leisurely strolls down the aisles.  One of the things I didn't know I needed but am now the wiser for it is HEB 100 Calorie Packs of cheese crackers including jalapeno cheese crackers.  Oh my goodness!  So good!  That means I will have to stock up on these for NC since there aren't HEB's there and when friends come to visit, they will have to pack a couple of boxes for me on each visit.  Add new snack procurement to the list.

Roy and I have been to our storage unit and pulled some things for the migration.  We were able to consolidate a few boxes too.  That's always helpful.  While we were doing that we also stopped in at Target to get heavier strapping tape to use on the big boxes they brought us on Wednesday.  Check and done.

We have a lot of work to do on Saturday and Sunday.  Once we can check those tasks off the list, the things I can do without extra help will be done this week.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Home From the Mountains to the Prairie

I have returned from the hinterlands and I think it was warmer there than it is here today.  While stopping in Sulfur La and Buc-cees, which by the way was out of Diet Coke with Lime...grrr and brrr because it was cold outside at both places.  I came away from Buc-cees with a cup of coffee and I nearly spilled some coffee on my lap.  Since I haven't written much this past week and I know some of you are out there are thanking their lucky stars for this, but yesterday I spilled a half of a French Vanilla cappuccino on my lap, missing my shirt and phone which was very fortunate.  My jeans were darker in color and no one knew in all the fabulous stops I made, Chevron, Exxon, Shell, and Cracker Barrel that I had a coffee mishap early in the day.  Although one might have thought the lovely aroma of vanilla was quite overpowering if they got too close to me.  I only had to make one stop at previously not stopped at location on the way home.  Let's say I am thankful to be safe and sound at home.  I am being a little dramatic but I don't think I was in the safest of locations but Roy was praying Psalm 91 for me, so 10,000 fears fell to the side of me.

This trip was great for getting things done.  I stayed the first two nights at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate because I didn't think I would be quite done with everything in order to stay there.  On Friday, I left the Inn and ran several errands, Target and Pier One and oh Barnes and Noble because something from Barnes and Noble is so helpful right now in this stage of getting the house ready.  Dinner at Turkey Creek and breakfast there the next morning as well.  I will have to say I did not sleep all that well the first night in the house only because I didn't know regular "house" noises but after that night it was all good.  On Saturday I had to make a trip to the local Walz-Mart for cleaning supplies and cheap pillows for shams.  Also stopped at a cute store that opened just across from Turkey Creek Cafe.  She has antiques and all kinds of hand made items.  I did not leave empty handed.  The days went by too quickly and the work happened a little too slowly but all in all it was a good trip.

Many have asked what made me go alone?  Well, we had a mix up on a delivery and there are odds and ends that always need attending to.  I knew I would not be as tempted to play if I went by myself.  Oh, I did get some play time in.  Roy also got some things done for the house like getting the cable, internet and phone people scheduled.

It is good to be back in Rancho De Five.  Buddy was happy to see me and ran to meet me and then demanded treats.  Her happiness, although enthusiastic, must have worn her out because she has gone back to napping.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Quick Check In

From spring like temps yesterday to below freezing today, the weather in Asheville is not all that different than Texas.  I wasn't thrilled that I needed to be at the house this afternoon for furniture deliveries with the temperatures predicted to plummet and the misty rain turning into ice, sleet and then having snow.  Not that people up here are any better at driving in ice than in Houston, but there are more four wheel drive vehicles here.  I wasn't looking forward to driving back to the Inn in less than ideal conditions.  Pottery Barn was early in their delivery and Roy had the dresser rescheduled for delivery when we come back.  Of course we are the favorites in the neighborhood because the PB truck knocked down the cable wire coming up our street.  Roy called the cable company here to let them know.  I am thinking that our neighbors need to experience Goode Company Pecan Pie and we will bring some of those as a peace offerings when we return.

The drive back was uneventful, thankfully, and I even had time to stop in The Garden Center here and get some hand lotion that I really like.  Then I drove over to Antler Hill Village and went to the Traditions shop and of course found some very cute things.  Last night I went to the Library for dinner but tonight I opted for room service, salad, chicken tenders and french fries.  Delicious!  I've checked out the window several times but not seeing any snow flurries.  I had thought about requesting a late check out tomorrow but really, I need to get the day started off the Estate.

Just finished talking with Roy and since I have been on the go all day, I think it is time to go to sleep and it isn't even 9:00 pm.

Always A Constant Change

So, I'm writing this in my room at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate.  Surprised that I am in Asheville?  Truth be told, I am kind of surprised myself.  I had talked about making one more trip but had decided against that.  All it took was a messed up delivery and a few odds and ends that need to be taken care of and I was out into the fog at 4:00 am on Tuesday morning.  That fog was really bad all the way past Lake Charles and it was beginning to burn off around the causeway bridge across the bayous.  Very thankful for that!

It was a long day but an enjoyable day.  The quiet was nice and music was nice.  I even found David Jeremiah's radio show to listen to.  I stopped for breakfast in Sulfur and then snacked along the way.  Chicky in Meridian is closed due to remodeling, so lunch was punted.  I got into the hotel around 7:00 which is really 6:00 CST.  Erin came to the hotel and met me for dinner.  What fun as we exchanged Christmas gifts before going to 99 cent taco night.  Man, those tacos were good!  Erin will be in Houston this summer at Houston Methodist Hospital on an externships in the cardiology area.  So proud of her!  I came back to the hotel and pretty much went to bed after talking with Roy.  I woke up early and when I saw all the fog, a later departure was in order.  It is one thing to drive on flat highway and a whole nother thing to drive on windy mountain roads.  By 9:00 it was much better, so I hit the road making the usual stops at the Exxon station with the great coffee and the rest stop in Andrews.

So, unloading the car was quite the job.  I got all of it done and took a much needed lunch break on the front porch.  I had a delicious protein bar, cheese crackers with peanut butter and dessert, margarita jelly beans from Sunday.  Oh and lots of water.  Before the work began I got to meet my neighbor Donna and Jennifer and her dog Marilyn stopped as they were returning home.  Jennifer's significant other is a man.  I found that out in the conversation.  I also found out that the moving truck needs  to be careful of the over head wires and which direction they come from not to tear up the street.

I crashed after writing the above.  I had dinner and came back to the room, talked with Roy and was asleep by 9:00pm.  All the excitement of the weekend and then getting ready for the trip and driving, then unloading has finally caught up with me.  Roy says I always sleep more in the mountains but I also don't get as tired.

Delicious breakfast.  They are remodeling the buffet area so I felt a little like a fish out of water but it all came back to me.  Had a front row seat at the fireplace which was roasty toasty.  They've put in new carpet in the dining room and it looks good.

In a bit I will head out to the house with our friend Edward.  He has volunteered to help me today.  So thankful for that.  I just looked out the window and saw our friend Laurenzia, AKA Scrumptious, working valet.  So hopefully, I will get to see him today.

Hoping all the ice and sleet hold off until both deliveries come today.  Then tomorrow begins good weather again.  It was in the 70's yesterday.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

That Good Old Baylor Line

Two years ago today, March 1, 2013 became a life changing day.  After five years of tests, meds, and changes, this day two years ago brought peace and calm to my heart from a procedure called an ablation.  The procedure was successful and I had new life, energy and a calmness I had never experienced before.  

March 1, 2015 is a life changing day as well.  The celebration of my personal, long time journey completed a wonderful weekend when by decree I became an Alumni By Choice of Baylor University.  An adoption into the family of Baylor Bears, I can now proclaim Sic Em Bears not as a wanna be but as a truly adopted bear.  

This has been such an exciting weekend!  Now after watching the season finale of Downton Abbey and as the house has settled into quiet, I can ponder the wonderful memories of this time.  I have shed more tears in the past week than anytime in recent memory.  Tears of joy.  A long time dream that I had put to bed so many years ago became reality on Saturday.  Of course I know it is not a degree, but the decree came in a rather nice leather folder with a fancy looking piece of paper.  Didn't have to write a thesis, solve trig formulas or write a paper on what I did this summer and I know this ain't going to open the door for career opportunities, but it opens the door the significance  of new beginnings and closes the door on a too sad story that tried to define my life for many years.  

I am so thankful for my friend Peggy who took the time to write a glowing review of my life where it concerned Baylor to nominate me for ABC.  My acceptance letter came in July and I just didn't know if I would make it to February 28th but thankfully, I did.  

Bill, Peggy, Roy and I began our adventure early on Saturday morning, leaving for Jerusalem on the Brazos at 8:00 am.  Sanguine Peggy and I actually built in time in case of traffic or weather.  We arrived early enough to drive around the campus to see the new football stadium and classic Baylor architecture of the new buildings on campus.  We cruised the older sections as well and I remembered staying with friends in Russell, Collins and Memorial.  Bill suggested we go to the Armstrong Barrett Browning Library.  I hadn't been in it since high school.  Truly one of my favorites on campus.  

The luncheon was in the Student Union Building on the second floor in the drawing room.  Lovely, and well done.  Lunch included the usual and ubiquitous chicken and green beans of every Baptist banquet known throughout Southern Baptist history but it was really good!  The speakers were interesting and informative and the last one very funny.  When it came time for the presentation we went forward by groups of 9.  I was number 39 and as we walked across the stage, first shaking hands with Judge Star and the Chancellor, a little bio of why we were nominated was read.  When I stepped off that stage, I began to tear up and thus hoping my trip back to my seat would be uneventful.  At then end we sang That Good Old Baylor Line and ended with the Sic Em Bears...I began to cry again.  
Roy had kind of given me a hard time about this whole thing.  He didn't understand it, why it meant so much to me.  When I returned to my chair after receiving my decree, he looked at me with big ol' tears in his eyes and said to me, this really is special.  I had no I want to be an ABC.  Later on he told me, I have three degrees and not one of them was as nice or as meaningful as this program today.  

After the luncheon, we headed over to watch the men's basketball team defeat West Virginia.  Such fun and energy!  And we had really good seats.  

 Several weeks ago Peggy and Dena suggested we have lunch on Sunday March 1 to celebrate.  Those sneaky two surprised me with a celebration luncheon with some of my dearest friends of every tribe of former Southwest Conference schools and one Lancer of CBU...   I was shocked and so overwhelmed by the kindness of my two friends planning this and for such dear friends to be there to fling our gold and green.  Lunch was delicious, served family style and the chicken picata made the meal sanctified as a Baptist gathering.  Although one could say the margarita and pina colata jelly beans sanctified it as a Baptist gathering too.

I am so glad that God gifted my life with these two friends.  They make life fun and adventurous, deeply spiritual.  Each one of these friends has impacted and changed my life for the better.  They've encouraged, listened, laughed and talked me out of some stupid decisions.  Peggy said, we are not giving you a going away party, because you are leaving you should give us a party.  Of course not missing a beat I promised her when these friends come up to NC, I will throw them a party.

This new Bear is truly blessed!