Saturday, October 29, 2016


Okay, so I didn't put the laptop up last night as planned and this morning I am compelled to sit and write for a few minutes before spending this last autumn day in the mountains. For the joy of the big picture of how much better I will feel and my prayer for the trickle down from this surgery is, I will feel less stress on my heart. Sometimes it is difficult to perceive the source, is it knees or heart that causes me consternation when I am out and about doing things. It is probably a combo thing and I am hoping with the rehabbing of my knees I will be able to work on functional fitness and feel stability and strength while traversing this beautiful land.

So the Ninevites keep coming to mind from last week's lesson in Jonah. Well, not so much them as God's mercy and timing. Brenda and I were talking about the lesson at lunch yesterday and in my Bible translation, the NLT, the word arranged is used multiple times. And it is used in reference to God, God arranged a great fish, God arranged for a leafy plant, God arranged for a worm, God arranged a scorching east wind.... Those words, God Arranged became as beloved to me as reading But God....  As per usual, the 2:00-3:00 am window of waking up and answering nature's call, went right on schedule last night or rather early this morning. I was so concentrating on not thinking about what I had to take care of today to finish up the to do list, that my mind was kind of like a blank canvas. As my head found my cool, soft pillow a thought plowed through the blank canvas I was trying to preserve and the thought was, look how easy it was for God to arrange but just how stressful, futile, time consuming, and chaotic it was when Jonah and then the ship crew tried to "arrange" life and the desired end result. Nothing....nothing came of it that is good, just frustration, confusion and hopelessness. Even in the arranging Jonah knew...the cause, he was the cause...  We are wont to try our hand at the future and timing of days but when God arranges...well, now, that is surely going to be the way. Even Jonah, the angry prophet, found rest under that shade until things didn't go the way he wanted it to. God arranged for the big fish but when it was time to let Jonah go to do His work, God ordered the fish to spit Jonah out on the beach.

This thought gave me great peace for the coming days. I can look at many times where God arranged...for my life....God arranged for Roy's life....God arranged for friends and family lives, and sometimes when I questioned the arrangement from God, I have always seen and known it was for His Good Pleasure. Like Jonah after being rescued I can get upset with the change in plans...Jonah did what God told him to do and then he saw that God wasn't going to destroy Ninevah but have mercy on the people because they repented and turned to the Lord.

You know I don't use Monablog to teach Bible studies or use it as a platform. Usually I don't just come right out and share things like this until I have meditated on it and given it time, but today, I felt compelled to write this, to give hope to someone who might need to know that God has everything arranged for you, stop trying to control circumstances that throws you into chaos. Rest in obedience and don't take the detour of the adventure of the "big fish." OK, now I am laughing because it seems like churches are a little too concerned about appearances these days....look the part, dress the part, be skinny, use lights and smoke in the service part, and all the presentation stuff we can get wrapped up in...and Jonah, probably didn't look the part when he went to Nineveh. Been in a big fish for three days has to be a tad rank...but then maybe his appearance, although not right in people's perceptions, was just the right arrangement from God to get the people's attention and then their response to repent and turn to the Lord. Nothing like some good old seaweed to complete the outfit or arrangement of the Lord.

Friday, October 28, 2016

For The Joy, For The Joy, For The Joy!

For the joy, for the joy, for the joy... My mantra today as things wrap up around here. There is a little room left in the back of the truck for a small bag and for the bushel of apples I will buy on Sunday to take to Roy. Got Dena's picture she bought loaded and wrapped in a moving blanket. The boxes Bill wrapped up and the huge wooden bullet is tucked in safe and secure. My two big suitcases and two five foot storage containers loaded and ready to roll. One winter coat...uh, for my return home and a few books I forgot to pack. Got my meds sorted and stored, jewelry I might be inclined to wear packed and socks and pants I bought for Roy...loaded a box of food in the back, crackers and such as well as what I had here of Buddy's treats. For the joy, for the joy, for the joy.

Today Brenda and I went to lunch at The Twisted Laurel. Yum! Then she took me to the Post Office and to CVS to pick up a prescription. We came back here and cleaned out my refrigerator and she went home with some good stuff. Of course I have eaten a lot of good stuff at her house or even delivered here at home. Brenda left, I loaded more into the truck and talked to Roy and to my brother Doug. Brenda called and she was bringing over supper to me. Delicious as I was just feeling a tad hungry.

Sometimes you just feel like God does something special for you. On our way into Weaverville, we saw a horse in a playful way, laid down on the ground and began scratching his back with the dirt. It was a beautiful sight to behold. Then this afternoon the air was filled with lady bugs, I mean really there were hundreds of them just around my driveway. They say when you see a lady bug it means good luck...well, seeing that many might just multiple that.

Doug and I continue our family mystery pursuit. I am thinking it would make a good book.

Well, I am closing this post down. Have a few things to do and then I will pack the laptop up as well. For the joy, for the joy....I keep telling myself that but I am really feeling so sad to leave for just a while this wonderful and beautiful land.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

If You Made It This Far, Bless You!

Like sands in the hourglass, so are the days of our lives...a famous opening line for a long ago soap opera. I didn't watch it but loved General Hospital for years and years. My mom watched GH and early on she liked to watch The Edge of had a dramatic intro as well. So like these sands, the time is dwindling by for me to depart this land I love. Yesterday, after dropping SequishShawn at the dealership for his 5000 mile checkup and Vivian picking me up for a lovely breakfast at The Moose Cafe, I ran an errand at The Biltmore Estate. I hadn't been over there for a while and thought I would enjoy the drive around the estate and take in the color. First stop, The Barn Door which used to be called the Mercantile. The store now has Made in America products and products and art produced by local artists. Since I was there and it is time to renew my annual pass, I took care of that. I dropped into the Traditions shop for just a second. That used to be my favorite shop on the estate but it has dropped out of favor over the last year or so. I only think it is because I have changed. Basically, I am a tshirt and book girl, with folk art touches that has become a style I call rustic chic. More emphasis on the rustic, not the chic. I like that the decor of our Ander home is more playful in nature than to be impressive with taste, good taste. Do I still want backsplash in the kitchen, of course, but it is not a high priority. Am I thinking of changing a few things when I return, yep! It is the carrot I need dangling in front of me to rehab well and as quickly as well makes possible.

When I returned home yesterday afternoon, I came home to a wonderfully clean house. Jan came while I was out and about and worked her magic.

This morning I am easing into the day. I went to bed early but a dream or something woke me up...wide awake in the middle of the night. Then on cue I had the biggest cramp right above the back of my left hamstring. Those are so painful! It took a while for sleep to return.

Roy and I went over some insurance forms last night that had come in the mail along with some info about upcoming surgery. We got tickled about a few of the things and we both were thankful that the probability of a "depends" late night moment is probably less than with the hip. Thankful that the hospital is nearby and not a long drive on I 10.  Speaking of which the safety moment that Roy's company sent out today is titled Slips, Trips and Falls....a timely message for me to review. In fact I thought a lot about that yesterday as I cut across a patch of grass by the Outdoor Center at Biltmore. There was a day I would not have had to be so cautious and watchful with those constant reminders for my brain to talk to my feet.

Today as I work around here and then take some time to read or return to the blog or answer a text, I am deep in thought. This gift that Roy offered me has done the work it was intended to do. Just this summer my numbers and checkups were the best they have been in eight years...well except for a little weight gain. Darn you fall food of the mountains! The panic and rush of planning ahead for traffic and for slow downs is not an everyday occurrence here. Well, except for those Friday through Sundays on I 26 south of Asheville. The pace of life is slower and life and activities are so much closer. What was so important to me in Houston, isn't even a blip on the radar here, although sometimes when I see things from afar and with a different set of eyes, I'm worried for my friends...there is a lot of Kool Aid to be consumed if one is not careful. Presentation is a huge thing in Houston...right home, right decor, right church, right clothes, right stores, right mentality...and presentation is important here but it isn't obsessed over. In 2014 when we bought our home and began this journey, I knew there would be changes and some of them difficult but I also knew there would be changes that would be good and some of them easy. It is like the mountains were the glass slipper and my foot fits it to a T. These past few days I have committed to memory scenes and friends and produce stands. My love for produce stands jumped exponentially. Next year I am determined, as far as it depends on my part, to only make one trip back that way. It is time to move to doctors around here cause as Roy tells me weekly, my life is here, this is where I live...and I am here to be well. I am here for him and the exciting life we will share. It's kind of like I have gone to prepare a place for him here, but he better not rearrange the refrigerator again when he is here. That's a joke...kind of.

The recurring theme of my life has been since the age of sixteen, God has so graciously gifted me with wonderful friends. All this life, each stage and season, God has seen to it to bless me with friends. That has been true in Houston and it is true here in NC. I am enjoying the story unfolding here with friends, many of whom feel so much like family and I hope that they feel the same about me. I love learning new things about this place and I think I have brought something to the table too...only, we don't know what it is, yet. I have been dropped into friendships with some of the best bakers and cooks on this planet. Yum! And their influence is changing me...I fix dinner here almost every night and next year I want to learn how to can and put up stuff. I wanted to learn all these things this year but when I knew surgery was on the docket, I decided that all that learning could wait.

I was slowly learning this in Texas but here it has been the fast track, to experience life. To experience joy. To take in the scents and fragrances, learning that everything isn't a photo op to be carried around in my phone. There are places to go to and then share with my friends who come up this way to visit. There are places to eat and places to see and share with my friends who grew up and have always lived here places, I have discovered.

This is already too long and if you made it this far...bless you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Sunday and Tuesday on a Wednesday

Ah Sabbath day, some rest, but some work needs to be taken care of. I am happy that LSU won last night because I knew I could not stay up and watch the game past halftime. When I awoke around 2:00 am, I checked the score and went happily back to sleep.

We were packed in Sunday School. Every chair was occupied. Great lesson on Jonah and I don't believe I ever realized before, we don't know how the story ends of Jonah, Did he choose to be angry and die or did he repent and keep on. I sat in Karon's chair today, in the corner, which reminds me that I broke my mother's heart when she realized I spent a majority of first grade in the corner because I talked a lot in class....with my neighboring classmates. I sure am going to miss the class. Today, I tried to once again take those mental pictures of people and scenes to get me through those rough days ahead.

I received a dinner, I mean supper invitation last night. Brenda asked me over and we enjoyed a delicious supper. Most of the day had been spent packing and going through things. I was able to put together the things I will need after surgery and with the temps remaining rather warm in Texas, I am packing for warm, cool and cold weather. Then of course books and magazines and things to keep me entertained and amused. Later this week I will gather up the things that Roy has asked me to bring for him and a few Buddy things too.
Well, it is Tuesday morning and I'm finishing up breakfast. I would like to get some projects wrapped up today and it is looking very likely that they will be completed even though I am blogging before working.

Last Tuesday I saw spectacular colors in the mountains going toward Tennessee and I did a little of that drive once again on Sunday afternoon. I must have caught the peak day because on Sunday many of the trees no longer had any leaves remaining due to the fierce winds we had on Friday and Saturday. Yesterday, around the Waynesville area the leaves were brilliant with color, so probably by the end of the week around here in the lower elevations, the leaves will display such beauty.

Thinking through the coming months ahead and the hard work needed for a good recovery, I am also thinking that I have spent most of my life in constant pain from my knees. This painful journey began in high school, playing volleyball and not getting our knee pads each year until our first game of the season. The coach's flawed reasoning being, if we will dive and dig without knee pads in practice just think how much more we will with knee pads in games when it counts. No coach in their right mind would do that today. All through my young life I was out there playing volleyball or softball or tennis. As the years went by the pain increased, it changed the way I walked, it changed the way I sit and rise, it changed the way I changed everything. Thankfully, along the way surgery and holistic methods have eased the pain somewhat to a whole lot but at the end of the day, it was still there, my constant friend, pain. I used way too many Advils when I played tennis and then when heart issues overtook knee pain, I could no longer take Advil and Tylenol didn't do a thing. So I endured and hoped. At the age of 54 I went to see a well known orthopedic surgeon hoping to have some relief but advised me to wait as long as possible before having knee replacements and he added he was taking my x-rays to a conference because I had the worst knees he had ever seen for a 54 year old. So here I am eight years later and I am tired of knee locks, knees giving way, pain when standing, pain if sitting too long...and as I heard so many times in this journey from those who have gone before, you'll know when it's time. It is time!

I do not want to leave here but the big picture helps me. Most of the books I am bringing with me are fiction and nonfiction that have to do with the this area to keep me motivated to get back here and echo the words of John Muir, "the mountains are calling and I must go. It is just not the mountains but friends who have become like family to me....uh good family because with my background sometimes family is not a compliment, but it is this time. Sunday morning in Sunday School, every chair was occupied and we even had a few absent. Our class is filled with loving, praying and encouraging women....who also are a whole lot of fun. What a blessing and joy to have found Newfound Baptist Church! It is with joy I anticipate coming back home here and serving these friends as well as serving with them.

But going back to Texas, as much as I don't want to, will be pleasant months spent in a very beige land. I say this after a good friend who lives in Atlanta visited us and she noticed just how beige Rancho De Five is...due to a very strict HOA. At the time I didn't see it...but overtime the beigeness came to overtake my view on this. But in Texas waiting for me is a hubby and kitty and friends far and near and it will be fun being there with them. In January when I am more mobile, I will go back to my Community Bible Study class and study Isaiah. In the words of Peggy when she had her knee replacement, she was going to become the biggest gym rat around. I echo those words as well.

Packing for Texas is packing for three seasons, which can all happen in a day. It will be in the 80's when I return. Then those famous loose clothing essentials for knee replacements wear about the house. I then have to think about post surgery when one can get out and about and then of course pack warm clothes for the two days of winter and for my return trip back home, where it will still be cool, right into the month of May...which I hope to be back way before that.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

He's A Way Maker

Today old people writing checks at the grocery store and white trucks and cars have been the bane of my afternoon existence. After hearing from the cardiologist's office, I was free to roam about the country but really only needed to roam to the grocery store. Just as I pulled out of the garage, a light rain began and light rain is welcomed but a nice steady rain would be wonderful. I just needed a few things at the store but with Ingle's new improvements, it seems check writers and cashiers are not on the same page. So to make the time go by quicker, I decided to be helpful to the man behind me in line who was using a motorized cart, which as Monablog readers know are my second arch nemesis after minivans. I think checking out took longer than the whole shopping trip. So Ingle's has added to their take out options to compete with Publix which will be opening across the street. I tried the orange chicken today...not Fu Garden good but very tasty and will be a repeat. Anyway, on the trip to and from the grocery store, white trucks and one white car pulled out dangerously close in front of me. For a nano second, they moved up on the arch nemesis list and replaced minivans.

I love that Peggy brings her camera just about most places she goes. She gets great shots and perspectives. I only carry my phone with me, so many times the shots I want to capture just have to be captured in my heart and mind. Today was one of those days because the sky was winter gray, with creases of foreboding streaks of silver and black mixed throughout the sky. It is darker than when it looks like rain on the mountains, no it is winter sky announcing cold temps and wind. The wind is blowing rather hard and we are under a wind advisory until 6:00 pm. I'm taking pics of the changing leaves and foliage. Just the other day the red bud tree and plumb trees were in full green foliage. With the wind, those leafs have blown to the ground. It happens so quickly, especially the plumb trees.

This morning was spent in prayer and on the phone with doctor offices. My GP had already sent me an appointment time in my patient portal for my pre-surgery check up. She is either leaving the practice of medicine altogether or she is just leaving the Methodist Hospital System in late November. This was her first available appointment which is after joint camp but not too distanced. I also got the right person to talk to at the cardiologist. Funny, in July when I was there for my checkup, the receptionist and I talked about the yogurt she was eating. This same receptionist in the past has canceled appointments by mistake or taken messages and it has taken a lot of tenacity to finally get a call back. Before she put me on hold I told her I had tried some of the yogurt she was eating that day in July and thanked her for introducing me to that flavor. Do you know I got connected with the right person and without too much of a wait. Oh yogurt, what a great subject matter. I talked with the nurse who does clearance for surgery. She asked if my GP could do my EKG along with the lab work because that would expedite the process since there weren't any available appointments in my time frame. She also assured me if I needed an echo, those were not difficult to schedule. She called me back a little before noon to let me know she was faxing back an approved for surgery clearance to my orthopedist. Wow, what a difference 24 hours makes. Yesterday afternoon, I was reacting to the misunderstanding of my part in the process and felt ill and shaky. I went over to Vivian's just to visit and de-stress on her famous back porch and it did the trick. Then, I asked FB friends to pray for this situation and just like we learned in Sunday School a couple of weeks ago, I laid out all the papers and information just like Hezekiah did and handed it all over to the Lord. "For I cried out to him for help praising him as I spoke." Psalm 66:11

I'll touch base with the ortho doctor office on Monday or Tuesday. I'll continue to gather and pack things. I was talking to a Houston friend last night and I told her it is like I have to pack for three seasons, warm, cool and then prepare for a possible blast of cold. I'm packing for rehab and extended home time but also need to pack for before and then way after on surgery. I'm having trouble finding a couple of shirts I like, so I will search again.

Hopefully this next week will not hold the stress of these past few days and my adrenaline can be replenished. I had come to the point yesterday morning that if surgery had to be postponed, I was just fine with that, but so happy when the pieces fell together and God made a way when there seemed to be no way.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Before Another Day

This morning's sunrise was majestic and colorful. The golden beams of light were just kind of topping the trees while the rest of the sky found itself in hues of pink and fluffs of fog. I took a few pictures, began editing them and when my view returned to the sky, it was like when the fog comes rolling in, when the fog comes rolling in... Now the little valley in front of the house is filled with gray, cool fog, covering up familiar landmarks but it shouldn't be too long before it all clears off.

Yesterday Dani and Scott stopped in on their way into Asheville. It was so good to see them and to catch up. We had lunch at Stony Knob, took a quick drive into Marshall and then they needed to get on their way.

My brother has started me off on a mystery. He told me a family story I had never heard that surprised us both. With most of the ones who might know some facts of the story have gone on and the few remaining unable to remember details, there was a vast plain to cover to find any details. Late Tuesday evening I began researching, trying to find information without joining Ancestry...that's what I am trying to do for now because I want the free trial during my recovery. I was able to find a few things but the most exciting is we now have a name. My friend Kelly is the genealogy research expert and she is helping me find a few things because I have hit a dead end...literally...looking for an obit.

My plans for the day just changed and that is alright by me. Jan was coming by this morning to clean the house but due to an unforeseen change in her plans we have rescheduled for next week. That works well for me since company and visitors are gone and the house relatively clean, I can start working in earnest on packing and taking care of things on the to do list. I would love to have all that taken care of by the weekend so I can enjoy next week to the fullest.

I always enjoy my Texas friends stopping in but when they leave I am left with the realization that I am going back to hectic, chaos, frantic, crowded, beige, and flat Texas. Then I remember that right now Roy and Buddy are there and friends. More importantly, I know God is there. If I had half a chance to backout of knee replacements, I think I might take up the opportunity but it will be in the long run, after a time of pain and endurance, be the best.
Now it is Friday morning. The temps have turned cool and crisp for the next several days. We got a miniscule amount of rain last night but every little bit helps. No fog rolling in, just low gray clouds that brighten the sunrise. I am waiting for doctor offices to open and get started on the day. I have to get clearance from my cardiologist and from my GP before I go to joint camp. I think we had a bit of miscommunication between me and the orthopedic's office. She told me in September it was all a go, so I thought it meant clearance but alas no. Yesterday, I was frantic with this news and prepared a bit to leave for Texas earlier than planned if I need to. Roy and I have prayed and we have asked friends to pray and agree with us. This morning I am more settled and prepared to postpone surgery if it gets too hectic. But I have asked the Lord to make clearance or timely appointments. I love how my FB friends have reminded me He has gone ahead of me.

Once again in Katy Roy has had to deal with smoke alarm issues. What is it about us that smoke alarms go off for no reason at all. It was the same alarm that had a compromised sensor that caused the problems. Once again, Roy had to call 911, because that is procedure. I asked him if they took his picture and phone number to put on the wall, do not respond to this guy and his smoke alarm sensors. Haha!

Well, I will wrap up this post before it goes into another day.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

It's All How You Look At It

The colors of fall are popping right now. I took a little jaunt up to Tennessee and you jaunt on roads in higher elevations. I might be a little prejudice but the North Carolina colors seemed just a tad brighter than those in Tennessee. Before I could jaunt, I had to clean out the trash can because a sack full of garbage had been emptied into the can, sans the bag. So I had the fun and disgusting job of putting all the gunky trash by hand into the bag. The joy of coffee grounds, banana peels, apple cores, and such transferred back into the bag...let's just say I am glad I caught it before it got "ripe." Then I ran an errand for Bill that didn't go quite as smoothly as hoped, but errand completed, After that, I made a quick stop at Barnes and Noble and they had the magazine and several other fun things I had been looking for. I was finally able to head out on my jaunt and the colors of the trees were spectacular! It made up for the repugnant garbage can clean up. The produce stand I like over there in Tennessee is only open till tomorrow and then they are closing down for the season. Slim pickings there but I made another stop at a stand just a bit down the road and found some Arkansas Black apples that looked really good, so a few came home with me. I detoured home via Wolf Laurel and Mars Hill. The river road is so beautiful now, so that was the way I came home.

Well, I have put up the cushions from the firepit and chairs for the season. The tarp we used last year has seen better days, so that is another thing added to my list of to do's. I did get some leaves swept up and I took down the extra lights we had around the railing. The lights have seen better days too, so they will be thrown away. I have enjoyed watching the birds as I worked since they were oblivious to me until the last minute. I had a dove zeroing in on my head and it averted at the last second. Whew!

When I got home in March I put up a suitcase filled with winter things. I decided I could just take them out of the suitcase as I went along but now a lot of that stuff needs to come out of the suitcase, so it can go back in the suitcase. I have found the pants and jacket I have been searching for. Nancy, my sister in law, called me this yesterday to check in with me and to coordinate plans later in the year. She had her right knee replaced in December of last year and she is also a nurse. So, she was giving me a lot of helpful hints and questions for the doctor and staff at joint camp. She attended a camp before she had her surgery in Nashville.

Our friends Dani and Scott are nearby and will be stopping by on Wednesday. It will be so fun to visit with them and I think we are going to have lunch in Weaverville.

Roy is trying to get his CLE hours in for the year and has a great chance of getting his ethics hours in one sitting. He is trying to do all the in person seminars and that will leave online courses to finish out the hours he needs and he plans to do that while I am recovering.

The sunsets have been so beautiful of late. With all the clouds and the brilliant blue skies, combining as the sun sets below the mountains have made some picture worthy sets. Although, I haven't taken pictures of many, just trying to remember them for a time in the future when I am in flat, beige, rancho de five.

Doug and I talked yesterday and today. We are like detectives trying to figure out a family mystery.

So, back to normal around here, laundry and the like...

Sunday, October 16, 2016

A Nap Is Calling And I Must Go

It's quiet here at the Ander House or The Red Roof Inn or even The Dew Drop Inn. Just the sound of the dishwasher and it's cycles disturb the tranquility. Peggy and crew left early for The Biltmore, Glad she woke me up, cause I might still be asleep. I got up and began getting ready for Sunday School and didn't plan to stay for church this day cause I be tired, but I am tired due to fun and laughter.

Bill and Peggy got in Thursday and John and Sherry on Friday. While Peggy and I worked on our Mildred and Gertrude lines, Bill went to the airport to pick them up. We tried to do a meet up at Sky Top Orchard, but three million of our best friends were already there and no one was surrendering a parking place... We flipped plans and headed over to Waynesville for lunch and then up to the Blue Ridge Parkway. I had made that drive on Wednesday just to check the color and wow, on Friday it seemed as if everything popped out overnight. This has been a late leaf change season due to drought and heat.  Saturday they went to Little Switzerland and several other places and returned home to gather up our things for the program, go over the lines and relax for a bit.

The Ladies Loving Laughter event was a hit! The tables were decorated beautifully in fall themes. The food was out of this world good and the desserts...they were from a galaxy far far away...dare I say they were heavenly? Our part of the program turned out well and we had a ton of fun and of course I just know my friends here learned all kinds of new ways to budget for the holidays and for ministry. Meanwhile, Roy had traveled to Baton Rouge to go to the LSU game. The President of his company offered him tickets that were really, really good! His friend that was to go with him had a last minute crisis and so Roy headed out by himself, early. He found parking which is hard to come by on game day and spent the afternoon on campus enjoying the festivities. His tickets were in the club, so he had complementary food and drink, which included ice cream. He was one happy LSU Tiger alumni. He had hotel reservations in Lafayette but with traffic closures and all those happy fans, he nearly had to go to Hammond before getting back to heading west. I talked with him this morning and he was so happy he went. I'm happy because he bought me a t-shirt and a LSU moleskin notebook. He just texted me he was at Buc-ees, so he is almost home.

We were sent home with to go portions from supper last night. Yum! I had tortilla soup and had the spice cake Brenda made. The tortilla soup recipe is the one I make and Judy W nailed it! It made for a very delicious lunch. I'm thinking of taking a nap here in a minute. Actually, it feels like my body is demanding me to take a nap. I keep seeing things I should do, so maybe that's why I need to close my eyes.

Mentally, I am checking things off the list that happen before I return to Texas. While I am checking off things, my mind is waging arguments against me because I'd rather stay here but I reason with it, with facts of the matter. Meanwhile, I'm trying my best to keep all things heart related in perspective so that I go into this next season as good as I can possibly get. Tuesday, I check in with the Orthopedic office to see what remains to take care of and get my last minute instructions before joint camp. I hope to rehab well and fast.

Sunday morning drives to church is one of my favorite drives, even though I go that way several times a week. On Sundays it seems there is something new and different to appreciate. Today the clouds veiled the mountains thinly, but you could see the outlines of the mountains coming through the mist. This morning I noticed the change in the trees and bushes in the backyard as we come closer and closer to the last days of fall colors and into the silvers and grays of winter.

Well, the nap is calling and I must go.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Tuesday Morning, Not The Store...The Actual Day

This is a total ease into the day kind of morning. Yesterday was busy and so much fun and I think I am a little overdrawn on my energy supply but it will get replenished. I would have been more overdrawn if it wasn't for fabulous friends who jump in to help, without me even asking. Vivian and Brenda to the rescue in so many ways and I am so thankful for them, not because they rescue me but the love and kindness that dwells deeply within their spirit and cannot help but overflow into other's lives. Just how God designed us to be.

Sunday afternoon Brenda came over to help me with cookies for Mildred and Gertrude. The tried and true way that Peggy and I have made them over the years has been using Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookie dough. Guess Pillsbury has changed up the recipe a bit because tried and true did not work. All the cookies looked alike, a blob of various sizes. Oh my...Brenda went back to her home and brought the ingredients and recipe to make the cookies, because you know I didn't have half the stuff that was needed. We made the Nativity cookies out of her delicious Christmas cookie recipe.

Vivian knows that baking and cooking are not my best things and how overwhelmed I can feel with it all. She asked if she could make the salad for me and then offered to make the guacamole too. That kind gesture freed me up to finish up last minute cleaning details and to concentrate solely on the main dish...which turned out well, although my chili gravy was another story. Think I am giving up on it.

Sunday evening after Brenda left I sat here and cried, not sad tears but joyful tears. I am so thankful for being a recipient of such wonderful friends. I cried those same tears last night after everyone left. There were ten of us last night working on the cookies and we had a blast! Laughing and having fun. It reminded me of the time the BRD's helped us decorate cookies at one of our dinners that included a fried chicken cook off. I mean really, what a great combination.

Now things around here are quiet, but it won't be for long, the Bains and Bryants will be here at the end of the week. Thankfully, I have just a few little things to take care of for their visit...well, a grocery store trip which isn't a little thing but it will be easy. The temps are fallish and I will be heading out the door to enjoy some autumn scenes and temps. The leaves are very late this year in changing color but it is still so beautiful. Yesterday, I read Psalm 16 and it was just the right Psalm at the right time. "The land you have given me is a pleasant land. What a wonderful inheritance! I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me."

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Whirlwinds and Countdowns

It has been a whirlwind the past two days. I drove to Charlotte late Thursday afternoon to pick up Roy. His was a late flight so we had made reservations at the hotel and I am so glad we did because little did we know about Hurricane Matthew when we made these plans several months ago. The hotel and all of the ones surrounding it were full of people who evacuated from South Carolina. I read that most of Charleston is in Asheville. Roy's flight was a little early and the hotel bus picked him up and brought him to the hotel. We were up early Friday and made our way home to do the things Roy could do. We got a lot of outside stuff taken care of as well as a few indoor chores. We worked hard with little breaks and went to bed at 8:00 pm so that we could be up at 2:00 am to be on the road by 3:00 am. Buddy made the trip back with Roy so we had to get the chill pill down her, three tries, and get her situated in her travel bag. The trip to Charlotte had quite a good bit of rain but my drive back was easier because I was driving ahead of the worst of the weather. To keep my concentration on the road, I said both my lines and Gertrude's lines as practice. It be dark out on the roads.I contemplated driving through Granny's Biscuit House when I filled up SequishShawn but opted to come on home and have breakfast here. It seemed a little too empty and quiet when I came in the door.

So here it is a Saturday, with overcast skies. Perfect background for a reading day but work calls. I just have a few major things left to do and I needed to wait until Buddy left for Texas. I will get cracking on that stuff soon enough. I'm contemplating a short nap. My eyes are tired from early morning rising and heavy road concentration.

On Thursday I decided to make a Barnes and Noble run and a Whole Foods stop before heading on over to Charlotte by the way of Morganstown for dinner at the Cracker Barrel. Like always I waited till the last minute to pack as not to upset Buddy, but she caught me and I hurried the process and did something I have never done before, I forgot to pack undergarments, well undergarment. Me, the one who overpacks everything, forgot. And in the process of bringing the suitcase down the stairs I heard a noise, not an alarm so much as a warning sound. I wondered if it was coming from the neighbors or was it some kind of warning in the upstairs. I know this, I cannot leave until I know the origin of the sound. It kind of came and went and then it dawned on me, that maybe the sound was coming out of my suitcase. It was! In the clanging and banging of getting the suitcase down the stairs, something had hit the button on the electric toothbrush and it was the sound of it vibrating against different things causing the come and go sound. After our smoke alarm debacle, we are not people who should be trusted with buttons. Thankfully, I arrived at the hotel before dark and realized this was the most crowded I had ever seen it...and well, it was filled with people from South Carolina.

The animal kingdom is alive and well in our backyard. The small groundhog was out today eating the remains of a sunflower, squirrels, chipmunks and birds are plentiful. The wind has picked up quite a bit and it is truly making me wonderstruck watching those birds fly so quickly and turn on a dime in the air.

I have finally had the chance to clean off my desk this afternoon. Just need to dust. I have a script to look at and a book that is hard to put down. I have tons of stuff to do upstairs, but I'm not quite ready to get that busy.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I'm Nancy Mon and I Approve This Message...on Pollentics

Oh October 5th, you are such a beautiful morning! Our little cool snap has sent the hummingbirds on their migration, so the hummingbird feeder will be taken down, cleaned and put up today. Mike the mower man must have fixed his lawnmower because when I returned home yesterday, the grass had been cut and the weeds, weed eated.

Got the nicest surprise last night! I was reading and the phone rang. Thought it would be Roy cause it is the normal commute time phone call. It was Lisa P. We text all the time but it has been a couple of weeks since we talked. Two and a half hours later, we had covered all the bases, even though the Astros didn't make the playoffs. What a nice way to spend an early part of the evening catching up with and making plans with Lisa P. I have about a week and a half to play before my surgery. There is Mexican food to be consumed and fun to be had.

Yesterday was also fun because we did the extendomatic birthday celebration for Gale, Sunday School teacher extraordinaire! Brenda and I met Gale and Judy at the Ingle's parking lot and headed over to The Blue Rooster for an early lunch. It was Gale's and Judy's first visit and they liked no loved it. We were able to sit in Laura's section, so that made lunch even more fun. We were kind of on a schedule so we had time to pick one place to go after lunch and we kept in mind there was road work on I 40 going back into Asheville that had traffic backed up for miles. We chose the Main Street Mercantile because they have such cute things and because it is right off NC 276 which is the backway to get home. Yes, I felt just like a local cause I knew how to get us back without using the freeway. The Main Street Mercantile was a hit too.

Roy has this new obsession with smells, fragrances, and mostly pollen. He has never been sensitive before and just kind of breezed through life without even noticing smells, fragrances and mostly pollen. Occasionally, he would have a reaction to perfume I wore and even one time as I tried out a new fragrance from a sample, he reacted with the words, "what stinks?" when I came to bed. Yea, all that sweet talk from Roy will get you every time. I think this sensitivity to smells obsession began in 2014 when we looked at a house in Canton and our real estate agent Brian drove us past the papermill there. That put the kibosh on that house, even though I don't think we were that interested in it. The compelling factor of the house was the fact the older couple selling had put in many upgrades when they built and the market could not absorb those costs. You were getting a lot of bang for your buck but there was that papermill close by in Canton. In this season of politics and the mendacity of the candidates, I am going to be more concerned with Roy's obsession and be interested in pollentics. Instead of dismissing his concerns for pollen in the house, I am going to be a representative of the house and support this war on pollen. He swears he can perceive pollen at micro measurements. He is constantly washing blankets and such because a bit of pollen dropped off him when he came into the house after riding his bike. We have air purifiers and Katy has a dehumidifier as well. No longer do cheap air filters do the job, we have upgraded to allergen catching filters. I am training myself to never mention smells, fragrances or mostly pollen in Roy's company because it sets off his sensitizer and we are into the land of pollentics before you know it. When we returned to Katy this summer and the fire alarms were sounding off the warning in our home, he smelled fire, he smelled something burning and when the fire dept showed up and did the search, it was a sensor in one of the alarms that had gone bad. Pollentics will do that to you...make you believe something that isn't really there. I will have to put my foot down if he decides to turn the laundry room into a decontamination unit, I'm thinking of something out Monsters Inc. So look out mold spores, oak pollen, ragweed, and tree pollen.  Look out leaf mold. We are on point! We are on march! Our goal in pollentics is to wipe out all allergens and the lingering effects for now and for later generations. Cleaner air for cleaner homes, a chicken in every pot and an air purifier in every home. No more Febreze use. Glade will be used only as a scenic description of trees. I'm Nancy Mon and I approve this message.

Monday, October 3, 2016

In A Minute....Soon...OK, Now

Greetings October! You're my favorite month of the year. Seems like we have turned a corner temperature wise and with nights in the 40's it makes for great weather. With such a beautiful day I had to get out and take in the sights around these parts. And as a treat I ordered gas station pizza for lunch. Now I feel a nap calling out to me but I will try and resist the urge to give in.

Slowly but surely I am crossing off things on my to do list. Most everything is just some little thing but I have procrastinated on taking care of them.
Well, greetings on Monday morning. It is a cool morning with temps warming up to 77 today. Not too bad. The birds in the back are singing and I do believe this little cool snap made the reluctant hummingbirds move along in migration. Haven't seen them in the past few days after being a constant resident on the welcome sign shepherd hook.

Last weekend not fun football, this weekend, fun football cause all the teams we like won. Baylor in an unusual fashion and LSU in a bold statement. Texans barely squeaked by. I only got to watch LSU and followed Twitter for the rest.

My friend Geni H wrote something to me on FB yesterday that has had me pondering and giving thanks since reading it. She said, "I love your life." I responded back, I love it too. I take the garbage down to the road in the truck and after safely depositing the bag I took a little drive around our area. Got to see the cows from across the way up close and there was a huge group of turkeys down the way. I said hi to the camels, elk, and watusi and then I was treated to a gorgeous display of the sun breaking through the clouds over the mountains. In city slicker terms all these things are around the block from us, although they are very hilly and long blocks, nevertheless, so enjoyable to take in.  I love my church and especially my Sunday School class. I did not sit in my usual seat for two reasons, I wanted to sit by my friend Gwen and I wanted to have a different perspective. Gale, our teacher, was on a much anticipated birthday trip with her daughters and Judy did a fabulous job just like always. We are breezing through Isaiah after being in I and II Kings for several weeks. I have never been a fan of quarterlies in the past but these now are really good.

I have stopped over at Vivian's and made a trip to The Fresh Market. Mike the Mower Man was working on his mower and will be back tomorrow. I had lunch and now I am procrastinating getting back to work around here. I'm wondering why candy corn tastes especially good in the fall?

The leaves are turning more colorful as they days go by. Such beauty and a few wildflowers are holding on probably until the first frost. Such a wonderful time of the year. But even in the most wonderful, colorful time of year, I need to clean the house. I a minute...soon...ok, now.