Friday, September 30, 2016

I Say Sir, I Do Believe Fall Has Arrived

When I woke up this morning, pre 8:00 am thank you very much, the temp was a chilly 48 degrees outside. As I am wont to do, I could have risen with the very popular song from the musical Oklahoma on my lips, "Oh what a beautiful morning..." I made the orange cinnamon vanilla coffee I bought yesterday and Buddy just released me from lap nap duty. The coffee is delicious and I should have made orange cinnamon rolls to go along with it but just the coffee is fine. This beautiful morning is also my first sweatshirt wearing of the season...sweatshirts are the new robe.

Yesterday, I decided to get out, run errands and take in the ever changing scenery of my favorite drives. Trees are getting ready for their vibrant fall catwalk. Last year and now this year, I read the articles of the hows and whys of changing color...but I don't retain that knowledge, but I do remember the scenery and the views from the mountains to the prairie  I mean porch, from the car. Also it was good to do this before the October rush of tourists...notice how I have gone all know after being a tourist for about twelve years. In all those twelve years we never did an October visit.

I think Buddy has gone to a pre-winter mode. She is back to sleeping in the front window where the sun is bright and the sleeping is warm. It is too hot in the summer time for that particular perch. She spent some of her nap time in lap time with me. I have to make sure before I sit down and she was waiting for me in my chair this morning, to have my cup of coffee in hand. We read Proverbs 3 together and I think I got more out of it than she did...but you know the Word doesn't return void. A couple of weeks ago I read that verse in Ephesians to hold tightly to what is good. In Proverbs 3 I read hold onto wisdom tightly... that seems like a good combination to traverse this life. Sometimes we hold on tightly to things that really don't matter, so there isn't enough grip strength to hold onto good and wisdom or maybe it's not having room to hold onto what is truly needed.

Yesterday, I found myself in a craft store which is not one of my usual spots but that is where one goes to purchase a glue gun. Who knew there were all different kinds and sizes of glue to run through the gun? I do think in most of my craft store trips, some crafters do not know the eighteen inch personal space rule. It didn't matter what aisle I found myself on, people were just a little too close for my comfort. Maybe they thought I had discovered something that they had overlooked or it could be the aisles aren't very wide and a lot of them loaded with free standing displays and that cuts down maneuverability.

I had an interesting conversation with a waitress yesterday. The peak time had long passed and just a few of us stragglers were having a late lunch. Somehow our conversation turned toward friendship and her story. This lady works a lot to help keep her family supplied with food and shelter. She rarely has a day off or time to spare but she told me that she and her friend will meet for coffee early on Saturday mornings. The setting for their conversations over coffee is a picnic table that has a view both of nature and of ordinary life. She related how just that short bit of time buoys her spirit and attitude each week and makes the load a little easier and the time gives her a bit of fun. I asked if they texted during the rest of the week and the answer was rarely. We also visited about the two ladies who work at the orchard usually in the bakery part. In 2014 the local paper wrote a story about their friendship. I love being there when they are working and it is a delight to eavesdrop on their conversations while helping customers. I was there once when they discussed lunch. One of them had gone on an errand and told the other one she might bring back lunch. Well, lunch came and went so the friend still at work had an apple muffin so she could take her meds. Her friend showed up with KFC and that chicken dinner was a prized lunch for sure. Funny, how they gave each other a difficult time about whether or not lunch was coming and the drastic measure of eating a muffin...for meds and they laughed as they each took a bite of chicken and then began to ring up the customers.

New bit of knowledge, woodchucks, sometimes known as groundhogs, can run really fast. Ah life here in the country and the mountains.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Make It Stop- A Short Lived Rant

Please know this blog post is a bit tongue in cheek, with mild frustration and some throwing hands up to surrender because it is just too much.

This morning I awoke at 7:48 am after a fitful night of sleep. My brain is on overload and I try not to think at night about everything coming up and all that needs to be done. Most of it is mindless ordinary stuff but it is the amount of that mindless ordinary stuff that is keeping me awake throughout the night. It's like a math problem...Nancy has so much energy to get these things does she divide the time and energy so that the train arrives in Seattle at 6:37 pm? Add to the mix knowing how I need to enter pre-surgery to be in the best possible health so that my body can endure five to six hours of surgery. Everyone's concern is my heart being able to take that amount of time being under anesthesia. That means I need to control, haha, what I can to keep me from going into afib in the here and now. To help me not have a major episode, I have new add to the mix of meds that already slow me down considerably... Just to remind me of why I do so well and be able to do what I do because I stay in the parameters set for me and rarely venture past the line, I had a minor panic attack on Saturday while visiting the lovely alpacas. No one would be able to discern that I was having one but my momentary goal in life was to get to the truck, sit in some cool A/C and calm down. It has been a while since I have had one and I used to experience them mainly in Macy's or on the way back from Macy's walking to the Nord in The Galleria. Alpacas and shopping, who knew? No, and I am not going to go into detail but anyone who has dealt with major heart episodes knows exactly what I am writing about. For the past few weeks I have been having conversations in my mind that I probably will never have but I think I should because I need to be prepared and not caught unawares, you know just in case.

So, this morning Roy calls a little before 8:00 am to ask my opinion on something and once I have helped him with his thing, he gives me a difficult time that I have nearly slept till 8:00 am in the morning! I mean, I don't have anyplace I have to be, why not sleep till 8:00? He asks me is it Buddy? Are you worried about anything? Are you thinking too much? What is your caffeine intake? Are you eating properly? He is the quiz master! Getting a talkin' to at such an early hour does not set the day's attitude to calm.

And so this morning as I have sat here, reading, and trying to get a handle on my attitude I realize it is too much! To add to real life concerns there are lectures on social media about who to vote for or how could you vote for. So many people are unhappy with the state of their worlds and taking measures that hurt and harm others, believing this will right their personal world. The church world is snapping at each other...over voting or liturgical matters or submission or forgiveness and what does that forgiveness look like? Former pastors who crossed a line and are negotiating their way back with spin and a narrative to make the path of return without perils or loss for them. For weeks conferences or events are publicized on social media and then there is hardly a follow up worthy of the weeks of bombardment to report how it turned out and what good came out of the time. And I am a t-shirt kind of girl, own way too many and t-shirts would be considered a part of my love language, but come on does every new initiative or theme have to come with a t-shirt and then corresponding accessories that can be purchased to continue the theme?
OK,yesterday was a tough mental and emotional day. Pet peeves, real peeves and peeves of the moment kind of took control. Even in the "make it stop" mood yesterday, I believed good would come out of the day. I was not disappointed. Gwen and Harold stopped by on their way to his chemo for a quick moment. If I had gotten started on the day as I had planned, I wouldn't have been home and would have missed their visit. Then later in the day when Roy and I talked once again, he shared he was asking about the 8:00 am wake up because he is concerned that I am not getting enough rest and sleep. It is unusual for me not to fall asleep the moment my head hits the pillow but I do remember a time in high school and college where I went through this insomnia thing. Maybe I am becoming like a teenager again. As for the bombardment of opinions and issues on social media, well..that isn't going away anytime soon and I tried today to just look at the cute pictures and read interesting articles that don't have a thing to do with well...everything.

I'm in no way copping out but yesterday was just one of those days that comes to all of us every once in a while...where it all starts getting to you. Today, I saw one of those experiences from the Andy Griffith show happen right in front of me. I stopped in at one of my favorite places to eat to grab a veggie plate. The hostess was seating another party and the family behind me were a bundle of nerves and impatience. They had never eaten at the restaurant and kept asking me if I knew for sure you waited to be seated. Yep. The family was seated a few places away from my table and their impatience and their voices could be heard all over the room. The waitress was trying to be as accommodating as possible in suggesting what was a "fast"and good. She tried to explain the specials or other fast items and finally after the man's belligerence, she calmly asked where they were from, not the south, and then explained that in the south sometimes people and things and services are a little slower because it is worth the time to stop and pause for a bit. That seemed to quiet them down. It also was a good reminder to me, to keep noticing and enjoying the moment instead of projecting myself into what the near future holds.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Flowidity and Fluidity

It is a hazy morning, not quite foggy, not quite overcast, not quiet sunny but for not quite, it sure is quite pretty. The forecast calls for rain later and we surely do need the rain. Even after a year and a half of living here, the rapid rate of evaporation still baffles and surprises me. It mainly affects the efforts of keeping the birds hydrated. This week's forecast is also calling for cooler temps which means we will be more into the seasonal temps that are normal instead of these higher temps of late.

The news of Les Miles being fired broke yesterday afternoon. While it seems changes need to be made at LSU, it is sad how it had to come about. From all I have read the flaw of he and Cam Cameron not adapting to the changing offenses used today became their downfall and the ills of the lack of offense but he produced winning defenses. He dug in his heels. I will miss his witty comments and his quirkiness. He seemed to be a good man. All kinds of rumors are out there who LSU will tap for the next head coach. I had to break the news to Roy. He is kind of on a news fast as well as a football fast. He was surprised to hear that LSU had pulled the trigger only after four games, but he seemed to expect it happening at the end of the season. Art Briles as a candidate is being batted around. Whew! Can you imagine the offense under his tutelage?

I watched a few snippets of comedy from some of the greats in their time and then I saw snippets of some of those greats in now time and it was difficult to watch. They would deteriorate into doing things that used to bring them laughs. The laughter produced from their antics now sounded more like a nervous laughter...from the audience. Like sympathetic laughter because the comedian doesn't seem to know what to do. I have admired Steve Martin at how he has maneuvered through the times. You don't see him doing, "Well excuse me!" unless it is some parody of making fun of himself and the schtick that made him famous.

Even though the comparison is flawed, both Les and the comedians of former glory have dug in their heels to resist change. Football is football and funny is funny but it is true that change is change and one must stay fluid to stay current, if that is important to one's livelihood or influence.

I was flipping channels Saturday night between the LSU game and TCM. The movie With Six You Get Eggrolls was on, which was the last major movie Doris Day did. At the end of the movie, there is commentary or facts about the movie that might not have been known. Doris Day wanted to keep acting in light of what had made her famous, she had a tried and true vehicle that brought her fame...only the younger audience didn't identify with it. There were scenes trying to give a take on modern life complete with hippies. The commentary also stated that the same year Yours, Mine and Ours had been released and had done fairly well, now this Doris Day movie felt also ran and warmed over. Doris realized she was not in touch with modern film making and she retired.

I have always admired how Beth Moore has remained fluid and current. I will always love her for taking the majority emphasis of women's ministry from fashion shows, teas, banquets and an inspirational message to bringing women to  the Word of God and the in depth study Bible study. There is a memory that I think of often. I was talked into attending a women's retreat at church way, way back in the day. I didn't want to go, I barely knew the women I was rooming with. On Friday night we had to get all dressed up for dinner and the program, which I believe included a fashion show and then we changed into regular relaxing clothes for the rest of the retreat. The hotel we were in had an atrium and I remember looking out the window that early Saturday morning onto the atrium and watching Beth Moore lead a few early risers in aerobics. I thought to myself, I wish they had her speaking instead of leading aerobics. I respect how she handles her speaking schedule and wanting to not always stay around in the Bible Belt. She has subtracted things from her schedule that has only brought more freedom for her and a greater expansion of her Bible teaching to others.

Reading FB and Twitter, yes I have Instagram but rarely, if never used it, the interesting thread is older ministers, both male and female, working be relevant...with it..worth reading. I love Liz Curtis Higgs' presence on social media is well done and true to who she is. Others are trying, overly trying to say things to be retweeted and liked. I'm talking about nationally known, been around people who have to desperately hold onto relevance.

So, I am the first to admit I am not as fluid as I wish I were and there are sometimes when I think it would be so much easier if we could go back to the day when you knew you were the age of wearing short waist dresses, kind of like Aunt Bea. But, then that wouldn't make me happy and I don't know that it would make anyone happy. The freedom to choose and to wear is so much better now.

We are ending the day with rain which is so welcomed. I got caught in it while running a couple of errands but it turned out well because Judy and I went back over for a taste test at Vivian's. Her chocolate cake was like the Nord's....maybe even better. I did get to catch the rhythm of the rain on our new metal roof...nearly put me to sleep but alas I stayed awake to fix some dinner. Hopefully, it will rain some more tonight.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

A Little Friday and Saturday

The long and winding road that leads to my door....Okay, the road isn't long or winding but it is steep and exhausting. I just got back from a trip down to the mailbox. We have little important mail delivered here but sometimes when Amazon uses USPS and if the package is small enough, the scary mailman leaves it in our mailbox, with the door open so we and all who pass by know we've got mail. Amazon texted to let me know the package had been delivered and it had been left in the box. As I have been making more trips up and down our road, it is getting easier to traverse and it is easier if one follows the slopes that aren't as steep and are easier to maneuver.

The calfs that would be considered teenagers in human terms looked to be creating quite a ruckus across the way. There was a lot of running and head butting and taking of sides. It was amusing to watch and quite entertaining. In fact, I grabbed the binoculars to get a much better ring side seat.
Well, we all know what the asterisks mean...its another day. Saturday afternoon to be exact. I got out about this morning to visit Jazzy Alpaca Ranch, just a short jaunt away from our home. I love that in a ten minute time radius I can see cows, horses, alpacas, elk, bison, camels and watusi. And yes, even chickens. Jazzy had an open ranch, rather than an open house to come and see their alpacas. The owners are jazz musicians who retired from traveling to play...and all the alpacas are named after jazz musicians. I loved it but even though it was in the high 70's the sun proved way too much for me and I had to cut the visit shorter than I wanted to. I also forgot that there would probably be hills and inclines, and yes, there were. The views of the valley were beautiful! The alpacas are kept separated, non pregnant females, pregnant females, males, and stud muffin males, which get to do all the procreating with the females.

Thursday evening Vivian had Judy and I over for a tasty supper. We came hungry and went home very full. Vivian made recipes from an issue of Southern Lady, wow! So good. The only thing that wasn't from the magazine was the coconut pie which is from her grandmother's recipe box. Always so good, always so delicious. We sat out on the back porch and visited and laughed. A very fun evening indeed.

This week has been a very easy going week and I am thankful to be able to have time like this. This morning in the heat is a good reminder for me that I feel good because I stay in the parameters set for me. I had planned on going over to Marshall for an art show but know better than to push. It is more the heat that worries me and probably has the biggest effect.

It is difficult to believe that Truman Capote's ashes were sold today at auction, and as a bonus the clothes he died in comes with the ashes. He went for $35,000 today.

Buddy has risen from her umpteenth nap today. She's eyeing my lap where the laptop is occupying right now...I bet soon enough she'll be right beside me.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Lovely Read and Scene While Dealing With Ordinary and Frustrating Things

Maybe my frustrations today come from messing with our non cooperative printer. It has plenty of ink but will only print yellow highlights. There are times when I love technology and there are times when I just don't. Printers have never been my strong suite and that goes with copier machines and although not technology but is used by technology, Excel. Thankfully, my days do not consist of these things anymore, but dang it when they do. So for now I will memorize my script like Abraham Lincoln did, sitting by the lap top each night and waiting for the post office to deliver a hard copy to me.

I finished reading A Wrinkle In Time this afternoon by Madeleine L'Engle which won the Newberry Medal in 1963. It is really a young adult book but after reading a biography of the author I know she wrote with adults in mind as well. It is not my ordinary choice of subject matter but my goodness, this is a great read and so thought provoking and relevant today. I found the book in an antique store for $2.00 and that $2.00 was well spent. Because of Wrinkle in Time, I am reviewing yet again and loving even more Walk on Water. Such jewels and treasure of wisdom in the book.

Finally, nearly a year later, Blossman sent someone out to clean up and remove inspection pieces for our propane tank. It is looking good and the young man working on it did a great job. Now if we can get Charter to bury our cable line after a year, we will be doing good.

I also used my new mop. Yes, I know jealousy is running rampant right now. All I will say is this mop is a much better mop and makes the job easier. These simple days around home have done much for me. Yes, I am already in a slower pace mode but the extra rest and time for reading and contemplation has ministered healing. I think I have a lot of anxiety over the knee replacements and I keep packing down the excitement to have it done along with the knowledge that it will be one of the hardest things I have ever done. I'm trying to stay present in the here and now and not take the what if journey. My prayer along with many other prayers concerning this is, I will be able to sit and stand normally. It has been way tooooo many years since I have been able to do that. It might be like having to learn a new way to walk after hip replacement, keeping my brain in communication with my feet cause as we grow older the brain stops talking to the feet. That ain't right!

I am going a little later to pick up the picture that Roy had made onto canvas for me. It is one of my favorite pictures from the year 2010 when we were here for Christmas at the Biltmore. It snowed nine inches on Christmas Eve and Roy went wandering about in the snow and took this awesome picture of a cardinal, sitting on a low branch in the snow. This morning I saw my first cardinal really taking advantage of the bird bath. They are at the feeders and in the trees all the time but this morning the bright red cardinal, at first hesitant, then cautious and finally all in the water, flapping wings and splashing water all about. It is one of the finest scenes of God's creation I have ever seen.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Two Things I Have Learned and Happy Birthday Dana D!

This morning I am delighted to report I will not have to throw away the Eggo Waffles I bought last week at the grocery store. Thankfully, those waffles are only good through October whereas the recalled ones are dated November 21 or 22. Whew! Close call...

I received my first weather alert about fog this morning. There are many, many foggy mornings in the mountains, but none of them have warranted an alert. Thankfully, I am easing into the day and conserving gasoline by staying home this morning. Now, I did get out and about yesterday, doing my best to conserve. Slower driving speed and some of the time without using the A/C. The Fresh Market was nearly deserted and Ingle's wasn't as busy as usual. In fact, lunch time in Weaverville is always a fun fest of traffic and yes there still was traffic but not like most days when cars are bumper to bumper. Roy called early this morning and retold a conversation of the morning at the office concerning the pipeline leak. Interesting insights from those in the business and I will need to be a little more patient while this pipeline gets back online, gasoline trucks run a regular schedule and going to the gas station isn't a big deal, nor requires a lot of planning and contingency plans.

Vivian dropped by yesterday afternoon. She had a bowl I had accidently left behind from a choir party a week or so ago. The bowl is actually a pottery brie baker but it came in handy as a candy dish holding peppermint M&M's. We were hearing our Christmas music that evening and we were to bring our favorite Christmas snack. My favorite Christmas snack is what anyone else makes or brings but I didn't think that reasoning would fly. I also took more than M&M's.

I am also happy to report I survived eating grocery store sushi for lunch yesterday. That's always an iffy proposition, but I've been craving that epicurean taste for a few weeks.

Today is my friend's birthday. Yes, Dana D is to be celebrated today. There are many things to love about Dana, she has a wicked sense of humor, sarcasm is a second language, she can hit high notes musically, (high notes high notes, it's up the scale she goes..whistle, whistle whistle...high notes, high notes), she's a thoughtful friend, a loyal daughter, a fabulous mother and an all time encourager. One of my favorite memories with Dana is from the way back when I taught high school seniors in Sunday School. As teenagers are wont to be, they were wiggly, giggly and let's face it sometimes rude. In opening assembly, probably in today's vernacular it would be group gathering connection actual occasion span, when someone was in front of the group talking or mattered not to these seniors, who I now realize are in their 40's. Our director Mickey, came up with a great idea. He asked Dana to come sing for our opening and I got to play the part of rude high schooler #1 but played as an adult. So Dana starts singing, she is in on the plan, and I stand up and ask those around me if they would like a donut? Peggy's daughter Jenny was sitting next to me and she told me to sit down. So, I did and I said to Jenny, do you think I can hit that same high note as Dana? And to Jenny's mortification, this low note alto tried to match those soprano notes. That is when I pulled out a lemon from my purse and said, watch me disrupt her singing. That is when I took a bite of of the sliced lemon and made the, ewh, that is so sour face. Dana, never broke or laughed but I know she wanted to and we taught life lessons in group gathering connection actual occasion span. Happy Birthday Dana!

I am still having the pain in my neck and shoulder and yes, I realize, it is usually more that I am a pain in the neck but this new muscle rub, besides smelling sweetly of honey, seems to be taking care of the pain. Last night in one of the many wake ups, I felt the a little more rub and went to sleep and tried to remember in my sleep not to rub my eyes. In the middle of the night I awoke remembering I had left out a "standard" Mildred and Gertrude line in the script I sent Peggy. So, I will fix that and resend.

Last night the backyard kept me entertained for quite a while. The little bunny is new to the mix. He or she comes around in the evening and chases away the doves from scattered bird seed on the embankment. The hummingbirds are still here fighting one another for territory. The cardinals have welcomed a young couple to the neighborhood, the black capped chickadees still take nervous trips to the feeder and then back to the nearby tree. A few sparrows and house finches come by at least twice a week and the gold finch is working their way through the last remaining drooping sunflower head full of seeds. The squirrels and chipmunks have been absent but they are returning slowly but surely. I seem to think they might be victims of black rat snakes and when the snakes recede the squirrels and chipmunks return. I read this morning if you see spiders making their webs up high, lots of snow to be had. I've had two huge spiders making their webs up high...webs are still there, spiders have gone to spider heaven. They were huge and I didn't want to see them in the house for any reason. I also read about persimmon  fruit and if the inside looks like a spoon, going to be a lot of snowfall. So, two knew things I have learned.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Good Day Monday

One of the loveliest things about this pre-fall, yet kind of hanging onto summer time is the beginning of leaves falling off the trees when a breeze stirs and with just a few yellow leaves fluttering in the wind. The joy is driving through the showering of leaves. Right now, it is just a few but in a couple of weeks, it will be more than a smattering and the colors will be vibrant reds and browns not being confined to the yellow leaves of now. Of course with this gas shortage, I can only remember with great fondness that kind of driving that I experienced on Thursday and Friday of last week.

And this shall be a sign unto you...a sore throat is my immune system's way of telling me to pull back. This morning I woke up with a sore throat and made the decision it would be better for me to stay home than go to SS and church. I worked hard in the garage yesterday. There have been a lot of early mornings and this whole insomnia thing keeps showing up a couple nights a week. And then the Buddy factor but she wasn't so much a factor last night.

Last night I made jalapeno cornbread to see if I like it better than the cornmeal I get from Georgia. Mainly thinking about making the cornbread chicken enchilada bundt pan thing. It is very tasty but I think I should have left it in the oven for another ten minutes, so I have put it in the oven to see if that firms it up a bit.

I beat my neighbors today in taking the trash down to the road! And I didn't use any gasoline to do so. I put the trash bag on the mini hand truck and rolled it on down the road. The gas shortage must have curtailed the caretaker visit at the house above us. Although they have cameras everywhere and keep an up to the minute view of their property.
This Monday is beginning overcast and gray. We've had light rain but it has been enough to enjoy the pitter patter of rain on a metal roof. Maybe to celebrate the new roof I should watch Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, which is a favorite old movie. It looks like a winter day and the look gives the hint of what's to come. The feeling of not having to be up and ready is also wonderful today. The coffee I selected today is from The Fresh Market and it is Pecan Pie. Very tasty! I am considering venturing out for a few errands later. Need to run by the cleaners and a quick grocery stop.

Football was fun to follow over the weekend. I watched the LSU game and followed the Texans on Twitter. I did the same for the Baylor game Friday night, followed Twitter and friend's FB postings. Baylor, even though they are winning just doesn't have that umph they've shown the past few years.You can only declare fun football when your teams win.

I strained a muscle in my arm last week and I found this great muscle rub from It blends honey, peppermint, rosemary and whatever else to soothe those aching muscles. I love the fragrance since it not like the usual menthol eucalyptus scent. I'll use more today because I have a bit of a crick in my neck which probably is due from my sore arm and trying to sleep comfortably with it.

Our little post office is a hub of activity. I have mailed several packages in the past few weeks thus being there a little more than usual. It is such a friendly place and you know, you don' t say that often about a post office. Not only do we experience friendliness but the view of the French Broad River from the parking lot is wondrous and the sound of the river, which tends to be on the shallow side is relaxing and soothing. You don't even care if you have to stand in line, which rarely is past two deep. The parking lot rarely full but I have got to get off the same schedule as this cute little old lady who parks way too close to SequishShawn and there is ample parking available...not next to one car or truck, but she chooses to park next to me. With her cane and shuffling about I don't even see how she gets in and out of her car, that is mere inches away. She is just so cute toddling up the slight incline and through the post office door.

I have been reading and thinking about satellite church campuses and all the structure that goes into those campuses being successful with ties to the "mother" church yet keeping or having an identity that makes the site unique or in sync with with area the campus is located in. Hats off to those in planning and praying through all that it takes. Even greater props, I saw Erwin McManus use that old school term this morning on Twitter, to the members who work so diligently each week making the campus a go especially if they are meeting in a school or other building where they can't leave things around, so to speak. It all has to be picked up and stored just to be put up again on the next Sunday. Campus pastors have the hands on work of just that being, the pastor without all the sermon prep time. The articles I've read stresses the burnout rate of pastors in bigger churches. Really, with this structure it is more managing even though much of the work is delegated and thus maybe for some the burnout comes from less pastoring and giving more attention to the business aspect of being a church. No matter the profession or vocation, burnout is hanging about trying to nab and capture thus discouraging and breaking wills and spirits of those who labor. Lots of work and love going on.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Is This Trip Necessary?

This Saturday morning's plans have changed all due to a pipeline in Alabama. The colonial pipeline to be specific that runs from Houston to New York, that supplies most of the east coast with gasoline had a leak that was discovered September 9th. The pipeline is in the midst of repair but while that will take some time into next week, we here on the east coast will deal with a possible shortage of gasoline for the next week or so. Now you would think this Houston girl would have been the Paul Revere on this for sounding the alarm, but it was my friend Brenda who called me. She told me what her sister had experienced with the gasoline situation in south Asheville. Brenda was on her way to CVS to pick up meds but she would keep me appraised of the station situation as she drove. Are you kidding me? I was gathering my things heading out to fill up SequishShawn. Our phone conversation was getting broken up rather badly, due to the gasoline, the squirrels out here weren't running fast enough to keep the cell lines open. I went to the Exxon station and there wasn't a line but I had passed lines at Ingle's and another station whose name escapes me right now. And who should pull up to another pump but Brenda. I was in the midst of texting Bill and Vivian, away from the pump because cell phones and gas pumps can be volatile, to fill up their cars. I read about the leak on Twitter earlier in the day but it didn't phase me when it should have. At first I thought it had been a refinery fire, but that didn't seem right for a refinery to be in the middle of the state of Alabama. Usually refineries are found along the coast due to easy access from pipelines and tankers. It felt a little like preparing for a hurricane. So, while driving to the Exxon station I called Roy just to let him know what I was doing, being out later and nearly dark Friday night. He didn't seem that concerned and told me what was probably happening and the scheduling of deliveries, telling me a big picture story, when I wanted him to listen to the "how this is affecting me story." And what I was doing and the adjustments I was making for weekend plans. When I got home I sounded the alarm to several friends and fixing to settle back in for the night, when Roy called. This time I could hear the concern in his voice because he had Googled the story and at first he thought maybe his company might have an interest in the pipeline but after researching it, they do not. Then he told me I had done the right thing by filling up the truck and he agreed with my change in plans for Saturday. You see, yes I am finally getting back to my first sentence in this very long paragraph, I had planned to go to Robin Blu today for their annual yard sale and 25% off everything in the store today. But that is in Waynesville. Even though this "crisis" should only last a week, that little part of me being a responsible adult and preparing for unexpected emergencies (are any emergencies really expected?) is in play. When I would watch Bugs Bunny cartoons as a kid, several times the phrase, "Is this trip necessary, would show up in the dialogue. I asked my mom what that meant and she explained about rationing in WWII. So I have asked myself, is this Saturday trip necessary?  The plans have changed, I am easing into the day and a garage project I have been procrastinating might get a little attention today. And maybe just because I am paying more attention to this, it doesn't seem that there are as many cars and trucks on the road as usual. It is a quiet Saturday morning in the country.

Yesterday, while running a few errands, I heard a discussion on one of the comedy channels on Sirius radio. Now the man speaking had a heavy country/southern accent and some people will dismiss what a funny redneck is saying, but his soliloquy drew me in. He was talking politics or maybe it was more talking about the candidates. What he said made sense...although he kept repeating himself after making valid points, which takes away from the effectiveness of a major point. Before I paraphrase what he said, I am not dissing or endorsing this candidate nor am I implying I endorse her opponent. But what this radio redneck said was this; Hillary's handlers are just trying to get her across the finish line and they will deal with any illness after she has secured the presidential vote. Like all candidates running for major offices and probably minor ones too, they have made promises to major contributors who want a return on their money and they can't keep those obligations if she is not in the office and thus might hurt any contributions for that party down the line. The guy went on to say because Hillary has been known to lie or it is her campaign on issues, this was an opportunity to tell the truth, set the record straight but he understood the risk of that, again referring to those who are in power behind the scene. I never thought about the notion it could be just getting her across the finish line. If he talked about Donald Trump faults and discrepancies, I missed it cause my errands came before the ending of the program. No, it is not rather convenient, it's the truth. Grocery shopping, ahem...trumps sitting in a truck listening to a radio show.

Reports are coming that fist fights are breaking out at some service stations and that cars are lined up while others are throwing caution to the wind and driving madly about trying to find gasoline. Meanwhile I have made a huge dent in the garage project and have even enjoyed some porch rocking time. The wind and temps aren't too bad. I fixed some lunch, ordered some stuff from Sephora and have generally enjoyed the day. I have lots of clothes to fold and put away from doing the laundry the past few days.

Roy found the cutest birdhouse for next spring and the guy he is buying it from will paint the roof red. I think the house will go out in the redbud tree. Once winter arrives and the forsythia is just bare branches, we will clean out the blue bird house and put some red tin on the top of it. I'm sure I will find a few more houses for these birds I love. On a sad note, I found a deceased butterfly in the backyard last night. Its wings were so soft and this little butterfly was sporting some rocking polka dots.

Probably in the next few days I will ask myself several times, is this trip necessary? I will be thrilled when the gas supply returns to normal and I can resume the drives about the countryside.    

Friday, September 16, 2016

It's Friday!

It was a long night or an early morning or both. Buddy had trouble once again settling down if I decided to move one iota not to her liking. Around 5:00 am I pulled myself out of bed and the truth is I could have done that at 4:00 am cause there wasn't any sleep for the weary. I came downstairs and read a little but didn't make coffee because the plans were to go to Corner Kitchen for breakfast before my hair appointment. Sometimes I get so enthralled with a certain Psalm and Psalm 65 has been on the repeat read these past few weeks. Lots of nature in this particular psalm. A few shout outs about the harvest time too. Verse 11 in the NLT, "You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance." We all know and we are all praying for those we know on the hard pathways. We may even be experiencing the hard pathways ourselves, but I love that even then, the hard pathways overflow with abundance.

The past three nights have been rough for sleep. I've been active and doing things but my brain wants to keep on working through the night and sleep has been fitful. This is not a usual experience for me. My head hits the pillow and I'm out but in the past few months I have really struggled with falling asleep. Add in the Buddy factor too. So, it was still dark when I came downstairs this morning but from my view of a front window I watched an incredible sight. As the light began to make an appearance the skies became a wispy gray with gray clouds accompanying the morning. I looked out again several minutes later and the gray skies had been overrun by the fog making slow progress across the valleys and pastures. The speed of the rolling fog sped up much quicker than before and all I could see were dim outlines of what might be trees but for the area in front of our home, it was pure de fog. While this grand picture is playing out in the front, a much smaller stage is observing the huge spider that has been working on its web for the past couple of days. In that dark, gray atmosphere I could make out the workings of that spider, speedily constructing a larger trap for the plentiful amount of insects available for capture. Both the fog and the spider socking in and nabbing victims. The murkiness and haze began receding into those nearby valleys. Even this morning while mostly clear around here, the vapor lingered down the road and especially on the shallow water of The French Broad river. I was so tempted to stop and take a few pictures but with the fog so thick, I was a little nervous to do that.

Got the usual at Corner Kitchen. After breakfast I walked around Biltmore Village, The brick sidewalks are difficult to traverse when one needs to keep their brain focused on communicating with my feet. I carefully walked down to Mountain Merch, and a little tempted to buy a t-shirt, but talked myself out of that. It was a bit of a jaunt for this energy conserving person to Wink but I got there and was able to cool down before my haircut. On the way home I stopped at Home Goods, which is always a fun trip.

Friday early evening...OK, that spider was so scary, that I took it out last night with some wasp spray. It did the job.

I am thankful that Josh made it by today not only to pick up his check but to pick up all the scraps of metal and supplies on our neighbor's property. The caretaker usually comes every other weekend and this be the weekend that they'll be caretaking.

Last night I went to bed at 8:00 pm. I was exhausted and barely could keep my eyes open. I fell into a hard sleep three times in forty five minutes...two Buddy awakenings and a phone call from Roy....which he is so fortunate that I heard cause I was so asleep. I slept till 8:00 am. Now I really, really needed this! I did ease a bit into the day but not like I am wont to do because I needed to make a trip to the grocery store. I came home, had a fun conversation with Lisa P and then Josh came by. After he left, I was off to the Post Office to mail two packages, came home, finished up the Mildred and Gertrude script and now thinking about fixing dinner. I found this ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach today and I think that is my dining choice.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Soon And Sooner

The day didn't go as planned but it worked out really well. We are still in the learning process of how things are done here in NC. Our inspection on the truck is due as well as property tax on it but not until October. But, you can have the inspection done three months before it is due. That information, if passed, goes straight into the state computer, so that when you pay the property tax it shows you have passed the inspection. For the first three years it is just a safety check, then it goes into more details like we are used to in Texas. So, the dealership said we could just bring the truck over and they would take care of it... This morning, my first stop of the day was the dealership and when I got there, the tech guy said it was a two hour wait...and told me to find an inspection garage or location near me instead of sitting there for two hours. I knew this info would not set well with Roy but I called him to let him know. I did the Facebook asking and several said to go to Swann Tires which is close by the house. So instead of going straight home, I did errands along the way, one of which was stopping in at Whole Foods. I stocked up on locally made elderberry elixir for the Texas journey later on. And I also got some sliced oranges. Came home, ate lunch and was pulling out of the garage when two of the roofer guys pulled onto the gravel road. They were there to finish up the roof over the front porch.

The inspection took all of ten minutes and since the roof guys were still working on the house when I passed by, I went on into Weaverville to take care of a few things there. When I came home, they were gone and we were left with one fabulous red roof. I drove down a nearby road to take pictures from a distance and then later this evening I ventured oh so carefully out into the yard, with my cane in hand, to take close up pics. Facebook had reminded me that yesterday was the one year anniversary of falling while spreading wheat straw. I was extra careful. Our next project will be the front porch but we are waiting till next year to begin that project.  I have picked out a few pieces of tin from the scrap pile and Brenda gave me a great idea when she called this evening. If I find some existing bird houses, just wooden ones, I can put the tin scrap metal on as a roof to match the house. I love that idea.
It is a little after 5:00 am and I'm awake and up but not so willingly. Buddy was a royal pain for most of the night, so bits and pieces of sleep. And then about thirty minutes ago a pain, not Buddy, has kept me awake, so why fight it. At first I tried watching some I Love Lucy on the Hallmark Channel but it is not one of my favorite episodes. I could watch some on Hulu but if the TV hasn't been on it takes too long to load. Yes, first world problems. Almost everyone to a person who has had knee replacement has told me, you'll know when it's time and here of late, my knees have been screaming, it's time! But not yet, two months from today.

The script for Mildred and Gertrude is just about complete and last night I looked through my Millie suitcase and found a song that we rewrote and only used once or twice. It seems like a good fit for this presentation. I texted Peggy last night and told her as soon as I fix a few lines and add the song I'd email the script to her. We haven't done this in a long time, I am thinking the volunteer breakfast for LPM volunteers several Christmases ago is the last time. We will do this a month from today for the Ladies Loving Laughter at my church.

The book Mountain Born came yesterday. It is written by a woman, Jean Boone Benfield who grew up in this area. It is on my stack of books to read while recovering from knee replacements. It is so tempting to start it.

It is still dark outside but the sun will be coming up soon, but not sooner.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sauntering Into The Rest Of The Day

Because this idea has been rumbling about in my mind for several weeks, I finally decided to make the beautiful drive back over to Little Switzerland. One, I had a couple of errands to run and two, I didn't want to be around and listen to the noise of progress up on the roof. It is a beautiful day in the low eighties, which means it will be cooler in the higher elevations. The treies around Burnsville are beginning to turn just a smidgen. I think I say this just about anytime I'm going farther into the countryside, but even with all the road construction, it is one of my favorite drives.

Today would not be the day to go into Asheville because Donald Trump is holding a rally at the US Cellular Center. Which seems kind of strange because Asheville proper is pretty liberal minded but ten minutes outside the city, in just about any direction, you are in conservative country.

So I had a fabulous time in Little Switzerland. I ate lunch there and brought home orange cake. I found a Mary Lee Settle book I have never read. Years ago I searched for First Editions of her Beulah Quintet...this is before the Internet and it was such fun to search through bookstores in Houston and as we traveled to find all five books. So, I am looking forward to getting into that book which just happens to be a first edition. I did not realize there were other little shops around the Little Switzerland Inn, so I made a stop there. The lady at the bookstore told me there were tons of cute shops there and four shops doesn't constitute a ton to me but that is minor when they had really cute t-shirts and sweatshirts and some of the most beautiful gifts. In October that area will be inundated with people. Today, just an a bunch of old men on Harley's were the presence. Everyone else was either with friends or retired couples. I think I was the only single person at a table but that's fine with me. I always bring a book or have some deep thought to jot down.

I came home via Mars Hill and Marshall. That too is a gorgeous drive. I was going to stop in the new Mars Hill University bookstore but really, I knew I would buy a t-shirt and I had already gone past my allotment in Little Switzerland. I drove through Marshall just because...because I love that town, the way it looks, the little shops, the river, and the close proximity of train tracks.
It is now Tuesday morning and the morning I decide not to get up early because the roofers are coming, they came early. Even with the really thick fog...I think this might be their last day here. It looks like the back of the house and the roof over the porch might be all they have left to do. The mornings have been so cool, it's a waste not to use them being on top of a house with the sun beating down on you in the afternoon. I've got laundry started and I'm drinking coffee, so the start of my day is alright.

Yesterday, I texted two of my good friends from high school days and invited them to come out for a visit next year. We all can get so busy, I wanted to get them penciled in on the calendar for sure. Beth lives in the Seattle area and Mimi lives in the Brenham area. We had a great time and flux of texting last night. It was such fun and I think we will have the time narrowed down by the end of the month of when they will come for a visit.

I am losing in the race of trash bins to the road. My neighbor is getting his two cans out earlier and earlier on Sunday afternoon. At least I beat the Floridian to get second best can placement. Really, shouldn't I have first right since the cans are placed on my property that is really easement so I guess we have no ownership rights. Last night I picked up the bin and placed it in the back of the truck to get it back into the garage which means I blindly back up on my driveway. Wasn't too bad last night. The sky was so beautiful with the sunsetting behind the mountains, that I just needed to get out and capture that beauty. The Watusi cows were close by the road and I got a few good pictures of them. The elk were active as well but not as close to the road.

The fog is dissipating and there is coffee to drink and books to read but guess I should do a little house cleaning before I saunter into the rest of the day.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Weekend and Monday Morning Recap

Getting the trash ready and rolled down to the road is a struggle...Not so much physically but my neighbors have become such early birds with getting their trash to the road, it makes bin placement precarious with traffic and with rocky/rolling terrain. Most weeks I can just bag it and take it down in the truck but this week we did some cleaning out and thus a little more trash than usual. If this is the biggest problem I face, then life is pretty dang good.

The red roof is still a work in progress. I so hoped they would be finished on Friday but we are probably looking at Monday or Tuesday. I love the change it has made to the outside of our house, giving more of a farm house look.

Yesterday was a very social day, a very fun day that took a lot of energy but it was so worth it. Lois and Judy did the annual Breakfast on the Porch and it was fabulous as usual. Several of us stuck around afterwards and had a wonderful time laughing and talking. I returned home and took a little nap and then began looking around the house for something to take to the choir social that evening. There for a bit I thought I would be bringing only peppermint M&;M's but I had some goat cheese and Triscuits...found my cheese server and I was in business. We heard the Christmas music the choir will be doing and I loved every song but sadly, I will not be able to participate since I'll be recovering from knee surgery.

It was difficult to get going this morning but love of my Sunday School class and oh well yes, God, got me going. We are in I Kings and we are studying some of my favorite stories in the Bible. My favorite study of the Divided Kingdom was several years ago in Community Bible Study. Loved the indepth look and all that we learned. Gale brought a great lesson this morning. The quarterly took a different take of the Elijah, Ahab and Jezebel story...heard it taught many ways but the view was after a "mountain top experience" Elijah"s view of what he thought would happen and then didn't meet his expectations, he turned inward and became very self absorbed and self centered. I left and didn't attend the service because of the whole 9/11 emphasis. I have been so careful not to see certain pictures of that day fifteen years ago and have been successful for about fourteen years, that is until today. The pictures of the people falling or jumping out of the World Trade Center wrecks me.

So, I went to the grocery store before all the church folk were released from their sanctuaries. Still, there were a lot of folks at the Ingle's. That whole trip might have been a divine appointment because of the conversation with the produce clerk. Think a seed was planted this morning. I came home, had lunch and a nap. Did some reading and then some trash gathering and trash toting and now I'm working on this post.

The other day on Facebook my friend Lisa Mullins posted Romans 12:9-10 and it was one of those moments were something in those verses grabs your attention and you find yourself thinking and meditating on the words that took you over. "Hold tightly to what is good." You know, I never thought about this much...but there is the need to remind us...hold tightly to what is good because it is so much easier to grab onto what is bad. We can trend bad, not like robbing a bank or taking a life, but hurtful words and actions. Hold tightly to what is good is so important and in turn helping other to hold tightly to what is good is what the rest of the verse is about, taking delight in one another and honoring each other.
Good Monday Morning! The morning holds the wonderfully cool temp of 59. The low clouds and fog drape the valleys. The dogs next door are barking and a cardinal is sounding his call. I overslept a bit but it doesn't matter because the roofers are not here yet. I hope they arrive soon and get started and get this project wrapped up.

I'm thinking about making an excursion this morning. It is such a beautiful day. Once I got home yesterday afternoon I was pretty much ensconced. I napped and read. I also did some work but being a sabbath and all, I restrained. My energy depleted and needed refilling. I also require a lot of alone time and yesterday afternoon and evening is just what I needed.

Well, breakfast time is a calling. I just heard a truck door close...maybe the roofers are here.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 11, Life Changing Day In Two Different Years

If you don't know our 9/11 story, it is here .  If you don't know my 9/11/08 story it is here

The first part of September every year since 2001, I stop and give thanks. Life changing day September 11th. Even though I am thankful on all levels, I still deal with "what ifs" and it can affect me, make me weepy and all the emotional things that go along with this. I am seriously considering just going to Sunday School this week and not attending the service. It will be a time of prayer for the nation and for other things, but the background story is from that day in September 2001.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Our Happy Anniversary Day!

Thirty nine years ago today, the sound of my mom stirring in the kitchen preparing coffee for everyone else fast asleep in the bedrooms made the start of the day way too early for this non morning person. On my wedding day I was given the sofa bed and thus when the lights illumined the darkness of the early morning, I was awakened, although it would have been lovely to sleep in on my wedding day. This morning the start of the day came early. I would love to hear my mom stirring once again in the kitchen and instead of a sofa bed I woke up refreshed and without the nagging back pain that comes with sofa beds. Who knew that thirty nine years later, I would awaken in our home, in the process of getting a red roof  in the pastoral and rural expanse in the mountains of North Carolina?

Those days in the long ago leading up to the day where we pledged our love were chaotic and challenging. I don't think the bridal day luncheon thing was in vogue back then, at least not with the crowd we ran with. Even the reception was low key, cake, coffee, punch and those soft pastel mints and I'm glad that is how it was. After our rehearsal, we all gathered for the rehearsal dinner, well all except for Roy and I. His grandmother insisted we go back to her hotel room and get her wedding gift she had brought us before we came to the dinner from the church. She was a make that mean and nasty sort and knowing the ruckus it would create if we didn't do her bidding, we opted, no, submitted to her will. Roy wasn't happy with her at all and I was making a mental note, don't ever go visit Roy's grandmother. The gift she couldn't wait to give? The ubiquitous knitted brown and orange afghan that were oh so popular in the 70's, that would go oh so well with the woven cane bentwood rocker we would get for Christmas. Now here is the ironic part of this whole thing. My father, who kicked me out of my bedroom for wedding guests, my father who spent more money remodeling their home than he would offer to pay for the wedding....the man who wasn't pleased with the idea of me getting married, made everyone wait outside and in the lobby for our late arrival, no one was to sit down for dinner. That is one of the more thoughtful gestures offered to me by my father, even to this day.

So here we were two babies getting married, I had just turned 23 and Roy was 25. We thought we were so old and mature. Maybe it's a good thing we didn't have a clue about what life holds, we were young and in love and determined. When you marry someone you better be in love with them cause there are those days no matter how much you love them, it is hard to live with them and not let those quirky idoscrencies capture your attention with the end result of saying something like, "do you have to breath like that? Why do you make that face? The toilet paper goes over the top not from underneath." We even survived the "goal" years. Roy is a plan man and thus he has mapped out goals for most of his life. He writes them down, he talks to me about his goals which in turn affects our we goals. He used to ask me constantly, what my goals were. In fact, there was one booth at Los Tios where he seemed to ask me that question every time we sat there. Gee, talking about goals ruins the whole chips and salsa thing. I called it the goal booth. Now, I have goals both big and small, long term and short term...I just don't like writing them down or talking about them. So Roy would ask me, what are your goals? To which I would respond with the most shallow goals ever I would respond, to have fun, to be popular and to have lots of money. Roy suggested that my goals did not seem to include him to which I'd answer, you're the lots of money part. Sometimes he would ask me what my short term goals were and I would just tell him my short term goals were to get him off this subject. Seems like when Los Tios remodeled their restaurant and the goal booth was no more, so went the way of Roy's goal questions. But I know differently, he realized I did have goals and he sees them better now, even though I don't write them down or even talk about them much. Besides my goal of straightening my knees before I walk seems rather trivial and hollow in the grand scheme of things.

I love Roy more today than I did thirty nine years ago. His influence has made me a better person and his love has captured my heart. Roy makes me laugh and his safety moment emails are genius! He works hard and provides a great living for us. Roy's compassionate heart for others in need is huge! He is full of surprises yet so consistent daily. He is not a macho man but he is one of the strongest men I know. Roy is generous and discerning. I love our conversations, he makes me think and ponder. He makes me feel safe and believes that I am capable in so much more than I believe myself to be. In the recent past I have had several friends say to me, Roy is a good man. He is! He is the love of my life and my best friend. Here is to many more years together, loving God, one another, others and life. There isn't anyone else I would rather do life with.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Organic Versus Artificial

Whether you live in the city or in the country the term organic is thrown about in marketing, conversations and of course by description. We are familiar with it defining food, how it is grown and what is and is not used in the process. I was thumbing through a local publication whose sole purpose is to promote Asheville and the surrounding area. This monthly publication can help you plan out your itinerary for festivals, fairs and concerts. It introduces you to artists that create in the area. Since the economy has returned to a robust state around here, the magazine has more than in the past advertisements for planned communities in the mountains or on the rivers. They all have amenities of community get togethers, private hiking trails, swimming pool, playgrounds and the like. Most of these communities are gated. When we first started our search for a home here, similar communities were in the running, but then I remembered we don't play golf or bridge or 42. I also had a feeling that the community would have that gossipy feel like I experienced while playing tennis at a club. Exclusive doesn't have a lock on gossip but it seems to thrive more so in that kind of environment.

Really, everything being offered exclusive since there are limited amounts of lots, country feel, community feel, hiking trails, landscaping and of course a HOA to keep the artificial look and feel in line is all artificial to the area. You can experience Asheville and all the trendy places and return home to your trendy artificial mountain home where you are the same person as when you arrived. This would not be an organic experience, it seems to be mostly a manufactured experience. Nothing wrong with that because that's what many want. Not me. Living here in a rural area without a nearby fast food stop but just gas station pizza if you are craving fast food is just fine for this I don't really cook often girl. The pace is slower. The important things of life are just that, important. Don't think I am being all Pollyanna about this because there is staggering poverty here and drugs and alcohol play into that many times. Our serving at church is more hands on and personal or at least it has seemed that way. I have a jaded view of sorts though. Today, a tractor slowed down traffic and I wasn't disappointed at all. Since I usually drive, I don't always get to take a long look at the beauty of freshly baled hay, fields waiting to be baled, cows gathering in the shade, horses spirited in play and farmers working their crops. I was behind a trailer this morning filled with huge, HUGE pumpkins and gourds. It is that time of year. It won't be too long until the little flowers in the fields turn into brightly colored pumpkins. Yesterday, I stopped at the peach orchard in SC to see if any peaches looked good. Yes, found a bag that I am quite happy with but sad that this will be the last week of the season for them to be open. They are bringing in the last of the crop. Today, at Barber's Orchard, they still had good looking honey crisps but the bin where all the corn has been was empty. Tis the end of the season. I look forward to produce stand season and feel sad when they begin to close down and wait out winter then revive again with the arrival of spring, which is later here than in Texas. Yep, you can experience all that even if you're living in an artificial setting but you might not appreciate it as much. Weaverville has apartments being built but the article I read in the newspaper gave us great hope that our area will not become overdeveloped like south Asheville. The western slope makes building any large infrastructure difficult because running water and sewer lines out this way would take a whole lot of money.

I went back to an antique store in Waynesville to buy the biscuit cutter I saw...only it was gone. I know better than to leave something behind if I am really wanting it. I did find another one though in a different booth and I found a wonderful find, a German ricer. They are stronger than American ricers and can make some interesting things. I also stopped at Belk's because the socks that I bought Roy were a hit with him and he is interested in having a few more pairs. Funny, I found a lot of other things too. I tried to stop at Mast General Store but the parking was worse than usual. So, I headed over to have lunch at The Blue Rooster. Delicious as always and with that I headed back toward home and hoped the roofers had made a little more progress. They had. I love our red roof!

My friend Brenda has gone to Atlanta to take care of a cousin who had surgery today. Both the cousin and her husband are not in the best health. She had told me about a couple of stores in Waynesville that I hadn't been to before and she was right, I enjoyed walking through them.

It is good settling back into routine. I will be working on the Mildred and Gertrude script for our October date and I picked up a few things that we need for that at Target yesterday. Well, I had better check the bird feeders and restock them for the birds.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

What's All That Beeping Noise?

It's exciting to have all new smoke alarms and a few extra added in for good measure. Now if the roofers would show, that would be double excitement here at the old homestead. I needed to get some of Roy's shirts to the cleaners and I took my Mildred dress too to get all spiffy for the October program. It is such an ugly dress and I acknowledged that fact to the lady behind the counter. She just kind of brushed off the remark but I really cared that she knew I knew. The couple ahead of me in line had forgotten to open their flue on their fireplaces. So Saturday morning they started the fire and the result is having to have all your window treatments, notice the interior design reference by yours truly who pretty much says curtains, and several quilts and throws go to the cleaners to get out the smoke smell. In our conversation, we discovered we are all from the Houston area. They are from Clear Lake and she said her husband's family was a founding family of Pasadena...which, you know...all I could think of was Stinkadena.

Since Sprint got all uppity about the booster we have, it went in the UPS envelope they provided and I dropped it in the UPS drop box by the pharmacy. Since I parked in the pharmacy parking lot to use the drop box, I decided I should go in. I am so glad that I did because they carry Bio Freeze and that is good to know. Love that stuff and it makes me feel soooo good! A quick trip to Tractor Supply and I was back home. DC and Roy were hard at work with the smoke alarm replacements. I let them be as I had a couple of things I needed to take care of.

Now we are Wednesday evening. The roofers came late yesterday and early this morning. Lots of cutting and fitting but you can see the red roof across part of the roof. This morning they were feeling optimistic but that soon faded into reality of maybe finished Friday or Monday.

This morning as we were trying to leave the house we heard this beeping noise. We think of smoke detectors of course since they were all replaced and two battery ones were added into the mix. Roy called DC but as soon as he made the call, the beeping stopped. We gathered up our things and headed out on the road. As we rode along the way we kept quizzing ourselves on what could it be? Our conversation gradually went away from that problem and onto more fun things to talk about. On the way home I stopped at the SC Shell station, $1.69 gasoline, then onto Sky Top checking in on the candy crisp apples. None, so I left empty handed and made my way toward Target.  Just as I had pulled up into a parking spot, my cell phone rang and it was Karen from my orthopedic's office. I had left her a message that Roy would try and stop today to deliver the honey crisp apples I promised her in July. She called me back because she wanted to make sure we knew she was in the office and not out due to the holiday week. We had a great visit and everything is falling into place for surgery. I did not take the vow of not shopping at Target but I had told Roy I wouldn't use the bathrooms to make him happy. I had to break that promise today cause when a sister has to go, she has to go. I was the only one in the bathroom so I guess that is a win for Roy's wishes.After Target I stopped in at the local Barnes and Noble and the magazine I have been waiting for finally arrived. By now, I am getting hungry and it is time to consider lunch. So why not The Moose Cafe?

The lunch crowd had dwindled, so it was immediate seating and a booth to boot! With that great view of the Inn on the Biltmore Estate. This group of friends came in and they were all older, way older than dirt yet one of them had a baby carriage that was enclosed and then covered by a blanket. None of these people seemed to be strong enough to take care of a baby and that is when I heard a dog bark. The lady shushed the dog, Burner I believe was the name. That dog was right next to me in a baby stroller. I didn't say a word because even with Asheville being so dog friendly, most places still enforce service animals inside restaurants not your pet. That table's conversation was all about how a major store hadn't played by the rules with them and they were mad...irony, that they weren't playing by the rules either. Like the line in Greater Tuna..."glass houses."

I made a mad dash to the Farmer's Market and then came the beeping. It had been going on all day one of the guys told me. So I did what I only knew to do, call DC. He kindly agreed to come over and sleuth out the case of the baffling bleeping. A little later there was a knock at the door, it was DC and he knew where the problem the trash can. Roy had taken out the trash this morning and in the bag were all the old smoke alarms and one must be resting on a button. We are just city people trying to live in the country. So thankful for friends who help us along the way with our real or imagined crisis'.

Yesterday, I heard the most shocking story that I have never heard before. There are layers and layers of family history and secrets underneath a lot of dust and now I have questions. I don't know that there is anyone who can answer or give credence to these legends and stories. I am not at liberty to discuss but dang it, wow! Put the pieces together and some things start making more sense.

That's it for now.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Another foggy beginning to the day. It is also a quiet morning but it is a morning filled with frenzy. Not us, but the birds in the backyard. Just like last year the cardinals are increasing in number. The cover from the trees next door and the lush landscaping in our backyard make it conducive for the birds.  This morning besides the cardinals, there are the black capped chickadee, gold finch, brown thrasher, house wren and of course the ever feisty, ever combative hummingbirds. I saw a hummingbird take on a cardinal and the hummingbird won.  Roy has been up since 6:00 am while I pulled myself out of bed a little before 8:00. It is nice to come downstairs of coffee and orange cinnamon rolls.

We took a short drive last night right before sunset. The sky turned that grayish blue with all the pink hues floating in and out on the clouds. Some of the clouds seemed as if they were lying right on top of some of the mountains and the familiar blue of the Blue Ridge Mountains took its cue and began decorating the layer upon layer of fuzzy blue to the long range scenery. We marvel each day that we get to experience this beauty and wonder. The watusi cattle were close to the road last evening and so Roy got to see them up close. We also caught a quick glimpse of the elk too but it was the horizon and sunset that wooed our attention.

It wasn't too long after I ate breakfast that we began working out in the backyard with a cool breeze blowing if just for a brief time. Roy got a lot of the huge weeds pulled by the new trees. I cannot believe how quickly weeds grow here. Mike the Mower Man began working in the front yard. We bagged up yard debris as well as gathering up boxes that accumulated over the past several months. Roy loaded up the truck, we made a Sonic drink stop and then went to the dump. Roy did some more weed eating and then came in to eat leftovers for lunch. He really likes the cornbread chicken enchiladas we made last night. He got the well filter cleaned out. I did some vacuuming and picked up a few things upstairs and now we have both settled into a nice afternoon rest.

Of course it is now Tuesday morning, so with roofers coming and the like I will end this post...haste.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Saturday Going Into Sunday

We rejoice at the Baylor and U of H wins but it is looking like LSU will have a loss for the first game of the season. Baring a miracle of course. Roy has gone upstairs to watch Hulu because he loves watching shows without commercials. Ah college football, it is good to have you back.

Today has been a fun day. We started out at Lowe's taking care of getting new smoke detectors and a few other things we could not live without. There is a new Sonic that just opened on Wednesday right by Lowe's. I had never noticed it and asked Roy, has that Sonic always been there? (This is before we knew that it had opened on Wednesday) Roy said, yes, it has been there for years. What???? Anyway, we stopped to get something to drink and found out the real story. Fortified with Route 44 drinks, we headed over to Waynesville to pick up some fruit. Man, the bakery line was long but not the fruit line. Since Roy hadn't eaten at the Haywood Smokehouse, we stopped there for lunch and we got a great surprise. Brenda and her sister Rhonda had come in, so they sat with us and we had a great time eating some great Texas BBQ. Roy and I went to Main Street Emporium and found a few things. Even Roy thought it was worth the stop. We made our way home and worked a bit in the backyard but Roy decided we should call it a day when his legs started cramping. Hey, he is the one with good legs, so who am I to argue.

In Monablog fashion, it is now Sunday night. We have had a full day but we also had some downtime as well. We went to church this morning and my Sunday School class had 22 this morning...on Labor Day! We had to bring extra chairs and we even had a few regulars absent today. That room is always warm but it was extra warm today. We were all fanning at some point in time. After church Roy and I punted on eating at The Fireplace and opted for hamburgers since we knew we were going to cook later on. We decided rest is what we needed and finally got to work around 4:00ish. We worked out back for a short time and then worked in the garage. As we finished up, we headed to the kitchen to make the cornbread chicken enchiladas in a bundt pan. It turned out really good! While the light was good Roy took his camera and a rocking chair to the end of our road to catch some beautiful pictures.

This morning before we left for church I looked out the front window and there sitting on a branch of forsythia was a beautiful cardinal. I was able to grab a few pics of it. Roy has also enjoyed watching the hummingbirds duke it out over territorial rights to the feeder. The gold finches are back, along with house wrens and lots of cardinals.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Go On, Take A Chill Pill

Buddy is knocked out from her chill pill and from her mani/pedi visit at the vet. I'm exhausted from a very rainy drive for most of the way from Asheville to Charlotte yesterday combined with the late arrival of Roy's plane and then our early departure from Charlotte. Roy is tired from taking care of some office related matters and well...his late flight and has been relaxing but he just went outside to weedeat and pull some weeds. Where he is finding the energy I do not know but with temps in the low 70's it is a good time to do those things. He checked his apple trees too.

The plan yesterday was to leave here in plenty of time to do a little shopping in Charlotte before checking into the hotel. I happened to take a look at the radar and realized I should probably leave sooner than later if I wanted to avoid the heavy rain and I thought I had done just that until I got outside of Asheville, you know in the gorge area with the steep grade and the rain came down abundantly. It let up just a bit when I stopped at the Cracker Barrel for a late lunch. I couldn't resist the pumpkin pancakes...they were yummy. I got back on the road and it started raining again. I saw a bad wreck with flipped cars on 321 on both sides of the road and then in Charlotte saw near misses of two wrecks right in front of me. I opted out of the shopping plans and went straight to the hotel. Good thing I packed books and magazines to occupy me but I found myself watching college football because it has been too long. There some exciting games. I also watched a little PBS because they were doing a program of highlights of fun things to see here in this great state. The weather affected Roy's flight just a bit and it was nice that the hotel shuttle picked him up from the airport and delivered him to the hotel. We were watching the radar because rain from the former hurricane known as Hermione might bring some torrential rains and I had pretty much had my full of driving in hard rain. We left about 8:20 and made it back here 10:30ish. Roy needed to work for about an hour before he could officially declare himself on vacation.

Because Roy loves the KFC buffet that is where we had lunch. Then we made a stop in at the grocery store, got some ice cream at DQ and picked up a prescription. Once home we immediately got the chill pill down Buddy, not a fun thing to do, and waited till we needed to leave for the vet. Buddy was still feisty but not as much as the previous times. I am glad to have those nails trimmed because even when she is just trying to use her paw to get your attention, her nails can catch hold of you. Not fun.

After doing a little yard work Roy decided he would like some gas station pizza. So, we ordered it, finished up in the yard, drove by elk and then picked up dinner. It was very good as per usual. So, now we have settled in for the night. Buddy is groggy from her chill pill. Roy is making coffee for in the morning. And then Brenda called. She and her sister were back from the apple festival in Hendersonville and she brought us apple cider donuts...yum! Perfect ending to a wonderful day.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Welcome Foggy September 1st

September has started out on a foggy note. I have kept track of foggy mornings in August because local lore says how many foggy days you have in August is the days of snowfall in the winter. I do think this mornings fog is the worst I have seen in quite sometime...not that I have seen that much fog, but I've seen fire and I've seen rain...a little James Taylor for your foggy morning reading.

When I got back from running an errand yesterday, some Duke guys, not from the university but from the power company, were pulling out of our driveway. They had left a door flyer explaining they were going to trim my oak tree...only it is not my oak is on land that our neighbors own. Told the Dukies that info but they still have to trim the tree due to the close proximity to electric wires. I'm all for that cause if the tree fell toward us, it would do some damage. It is a huge tree. Mary Joyce, neighbor, was telling me about the night lightning hit the tree next to the aforementioned tree. Only a stump remains to remind us that this mighty tree once stood tall.

I saw a bird encounter like I have never seen these past few years. The black capped chickadee usually travels in a flock of similar sized birds. So you'll see wrens, finches, and chickadees together quite often at the bird feeder and in the trees. So this black capped chickadee perched on top of the shepherd hook where the food is, takes a pensive glance over its wing looking at another chickadee resting on a limb in the butterfly bush. The bird on the hook flies over to the other bird and head butts it, right underneath the beak. What!!?? Are you kidding me? And then the aggressor flies right back to the hook and acts like nothing happened. There is still the flight and fight of the hummingbirds as well.

Speaking of Dukies, they are here and it looks like they made quick work on trimming. They are also working on trees close the road. The sound of fall in the air, chainsaws. You can hear them a lot recently because of several new houses being built out on the ridge.

Well the day is calling and there things to be done and places to go.