Friday, November 17, 2017

Our Little Corner Of The World

This has been an exciting twenty four hours. When we last left the girl with the Waste Pro problem it seemed like some resolve had begun. As I pulled onto my road to go on down to the main road, I saw this little glint of silver reflecting from across the street and down in the ditch. My friends the cows doing a neighborhood watch duty informed me the wear abouts of said trash can...yes, it had been thrown, rather emphatically, across the way, down in the ditch. I got out of the truck and waited for the traffic to die down a bit...and why did Nancy cross the road? Yes, to get to the other side. It was a miracle to have that few minutes of quiet and no traffic to get the trash can and bring it back. I finagled it into the backseat and headed back home with it and place it safely in the garage. Then it was second try to leave without a distraction. Monday will be interesting with Waste Pro to see if there is once again a problem with them picking up the trash. What an ordeal.

I made a quick stop at The Fresh Market and Target before heading on over to Charlotte, with a Cracker Barrel stop along the way. It was dusk when I hit the Queen City and my first stop after being in so much going home traffic was Barnes and Noble. Last time I was there I hit pay dirt with bookish finds, this time, not so much. I did use my free drink coupon for a lemonade ice tea and with that I headed over to Nordstrom thinking I would do some shopping and have dinner. It was such a disappointing experience. Nordstrom seemed to change when they took the pianos out of the stores. I had soup and pizza at the Marketplace Bistro. It is usually such a joy to eat in the Bistro, even in Charlotte, but poor service, dirty tables and all kinds of yelling going on in the kitchen. I looked in a lot of departments and not one person spoke to me. Everyone that worked there was on their phones. Didn't seem to be anyone in the shoe area either....and then when you can walk through the makeup and fragrance area and not be asked by at least two people if you need was a miracle, not one person spoke to me about any products I might be interested in. I would have tried on shoes if I could have found someone to help. These days I really enjoy my Nord experience to be online. I got my private shopping experience invitation but it is still for Houston. I had thought about changing to Charlotte but nah, not worth it...oh the ten points per dollar spent is and I hope they offer that on other days besides the big Christmas shin dig they throw.

So Google Girl took me back to the hotel a very interesting way...I know know where all the exotic clubs are in Charlotte. Oh my....Happy to get to the hotel and settle in till Mr Precious Cargo arrived. There is a new system in place for pick ups at the airport and he said it is not any better than what they had before.

This morning we opted for brunch at CB and then made a stop at Publix for a few things. We got started on Christmas decorating and pulled out several trees and bigger type decorations. It felt good to make a small dent in the task ahead. We dropped off LSU vs Tenn tickets at Noel's and headed over to Turkey Creek Cafe for supper. Now, we are home. Buddy is sleeping, Roy is watching TV and I am writing this post and taking care of a few things in between paragraphs. I had my first sugar free Russian tea of the season and it tastes so good. It is a cool night and will be turning colder by Sunday.

I love our conversations in the car because the subject matter is all over the place. Helps my ADD. Anyway, we got to discussing the matters at hand in the world. I am really not a very political person but I watched all the cable news last night and I am glad it is not a habit. In our talking I said something to the effect of not being political and Roy disagreed with me, because he thinks my political is more about church matters and he is right on that. There are things that bother me tremendously. Then Roy said something brilliant, in my opinion anyway, he said we need to remember we are not to act like the disciples but to be more like Jesus. We act like the disciples all the time...that might not be a good thing. You know, not being in unity, not walking in love, taking pot shots, making sure everyone knows what we have done...of course for the Lord...talking only of ourselves, you know...falling short of the glory of God.

Well, before write too much and then have to apologize, I will stop....for now. Buddy has moved back onto the arm of the chair, Roy just came downstairs to check on is all good in our little corner tonight.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Not Worth It

So yesterday, I lost my composure just a bit knowing that I really cannot afford to do that. Over little things...nothing worth my health but I didn't "nip it in the bud" as Barney Fife used to say. We have never had a problem with Waste Pro until this week. With our neighbors we have about three to four trash cans waiting on the road every Monday morning. Only one trash can was emptied. I called on Tuesday and they said the truck was having problems on Monday, they would be out within twenty four hours to pick up the trash. Yesterday, the other trash can was empty, ours was still full. I called again, had to leave a message, then I filled out the email form and called again, this time answered by Haley. I should say rude Haley. She took the info and hung up on me. Y'all I was pretty steamed before talking to her but when I called, I was pleasant, not confrontational. Late yesterday afternoon Waste Pro called responding to the message I had left. We will see if the trash is picked up today. I could really use the trash can because I have been cleaning things out in the garage. This in itself is not loosing composure but then you couple it with, the attempted delivery of a package by the USPS. They leave packages here all the time, barely on the porch or against the garage door and sometimes they even cram a package into the mailbox which is hard to get out because I'm fighting the rim on the inside of the mailbox. Plus, living on a busy road, one doesn't always get a lot of time to work on removal of packages because you are dodging passing cars. This same USPS says Amazon packages have been delivered on the weekends, when they have not and show up on Monday or Tuesday. Amazon had texted about the attempted delivery. I went outside, no attempted delivery notice had been left. Great! Thirdly, I realized on Tuesday evening that not all my bags had made it home from Lowe's the week before. Missing bag contained Christmas lights and a few decorations. I knew the odds were against me, but I was going to Lowe's to see if anyone had turned in the bag....not hopeful at all....

Eureka! The bag had been turned in at customer service there at the Lowe's. It took a bit of the edge off my non composed emotions. Ran a couple of more errands but here's a funny thing in the midst of all this junk. On the way to Lowe's a small Dodge turquoise truck was in front of me, with only one tail light working and he had to be the slowest driver, the history of the world...hyperbole anyone? For the most part this doesn't bother me around here but read above paragraph to know why this was getting on my nerves. Here is the kicker, God has such a sense of humor. I turned he went onto wherever he was going. Do you know on my return trip home, yes once again he was in front of me. I thought if he turns onto the bridge over the French Broad, I am going to Marshall...cause there are a few things there I need to pick up. He turned, I drove onto Marshall. For the beauty of the earth calmed me down...but in Marshall there wasn't one parking space to be had, so I began the drive back. Roy called and I took the chance because he is in work mode, told him everything that was happening. He gave me back my own advice, pray and ask for favor with these people. Went to the post office, the package was there as well as another package I have been waiting on. The late afternoon call from Waste Pro at least assuaged my concern with the lack of trash pickup. Then of course the Lowe's miracle.

Years ago when I first saw my cardiologist, he asked me what is stressing you out? I jokingly responded, my hair. He said, your hair isn't worth dying over. I think about that most ti
mes when I get stressed over little things and medium to big things. Yep, especially since I had the freak episodes with afib this weekend. I take such precautions after they happen. Not worth it at all and if worse come to worse, we can take the bags to the landfill, cancel Waste Pro and I'll schedule in that weekly trip down the river road...

My therapist used to remind me that emotions take energy and because of my limited energy, I need to choose wisely when it came to emotions. Sometimes, she said this after I hadn't used my emotions and energy wisely and I would respond....well, it amused me, it was worth the expenditure. Even sometimes I had used that energy going to my fearless zone...which is not a good thing. Nothing yesterday was amusing or was just dumb of me to do because I needed the energy to finish putting away fall decor and moving toward Christmas.

On a related seasonal note, the call I have been dreading came this morning...CourtneyS heard Merry Christmas Darling first this year....second year in a row. Note to self, must break streak...

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Happy Kneeversary!

Tomorrow will be the one year anniversary of bilateral knee replacements. Excited to be one year out from a dramatic life changing procedure. Those three weeks, one in the hospital and two at the rehab hospital were some of the toughest and hardest weeks but I knew the end result would be worth the pain. Last week while going through a basket of books that accompanied me to Texas and back I found the small notebook they give you at the hospital to make notes and there in that little notebook, loved the use of lined brown kraft paper, was a list of times...and in a wobbly, sedated handwriting. I have no clue what I was keeping track of. In the hospital I had to have two units of blood and I still believe I got the blood of a petite woman who is always freezing because my core temp has not been the same since.

The other night looking through last years printed version of Monablog once again such an overwhelming sense of gratitude because the Lord answered my prayers of arranging to have the right people in place for the best recovery and to be like the little girl that Jesus raised from the dead. Believe me after all the years of struggling with knee pain, life seemed dead. He took her hand, she stood up and walked, people were amazed and then....give her something to eat. The food was really bad at Methodist Katy, but they started me out on solid food. None of this broth and Jello diet. Also, don't let people's opinions of your recovery written in the official notes determine the outcome. The hospital PT wrote me off the minute they stood me up and I fainted...see needed two units of blood reference. Her notes affected the future PT's attitudes. I am telling them I am motivated, very motivated and they are reading notes that might say otherwise. Even overcoming that situation was such a God thing because after reading the notes and talking with me, the interviewing PT person at the at rehab hospital placed me with the PT person who got all the tough recovery and unmotivated people. That was fortuitous for me because she believed me over the notes written about me and Jasmine and I hit it off from the first workout.
At least I am consistent in that it seems to take a day or two to write a post these days. Buddy just came downstairs for her early morning snack and has headed back upstairs for another nap. I had thought about going several places today but opted to stick close around here. It's not like I don't have things to get done around here. Last night I made a huge dent into getting small Christmas items up in the house. In the midst of this I realized I did not come home with all my stuff I bought from Lowe's. Maybe someone turned the bag in but somehow I doubt it. At least I got home with most of the the things I bought.

So, happy kneeversary to my two knee replacements. So happy to be here rather than there last year. Once you get past the surgery pain it gets easier and just like so many told me, every three months you see marked improvement. I'm also happy to have found Taylor and he has helped me so much with functional fitness. My balance has improved as well as getting a natural walking gait back. And as a serendipity, my left shoulder soreness and pain is pretty much gone. Taylor knew exactly what was causing it and the stretches he helps me with has improved my rotator cuff immensely.

The day beckons and I am sure the birds out back would like a refill in the feeder.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Fall Away With Christmas On The Horizon

The sun beaming through the front window is almost blinding when it hits the sheen of the hardwood floor this morning. Seems like in the summer the sun's beams are the most radiant from the stairway window. It is so wonderful to experience four seasons. It might have been the coldest night so far last night, well coldest for the fall season.

My workout with Taylor yesterday was very good and my muscles are telling me this morning that they might not be agreeing with my brains assessment. My triceps and shoulder muscles got quite a good workout on the TRX. My balance work seemed very improved too. So, I was a happy camper leaving workout and going to the grocery store. Since we've had cool temps this week it seemed like a taco soup kind of night. So, while I was there I got everything to make the soup. In fact, when I got home I immediately started fixing it so it would have a good amount of time to simmer. I used my new stock pot to make it in. I really got this big stock pot to make tortilla soup in which I will probably make sometime next week.

While I have the impetus to go through and clean out closets, I am going with it. My closet is looking about the neatest, well ever, here. Still some work to be done but the space is becoming more manageable. It is a small closet. The linen closet got a rework done as well.

Roy has CLE today, where he gets all his ethic requirements in. It will be quite the adventure with several events happening downtown today. His plan, park and walk the majority of the distance to the courthouse. Oh, I just found out he doesn't have to go to the courthouse, the Harvey rain kind of shut that down. CLE will be close to his office building.

I am glad that so many put positive things on Twitter because it helps with all the negative things going on in the world today. It seems odd so many are shocked by all this revealed bad and criminal behavior. I am not shocked but I am saddened over it. It is just not Hollywood or politics that has a corner on this behavior, it is across the board. We all have stories to tell, sadly this is the truth of abuse and/or harassment from family members or friends or strangers. I read something the other day written by a female seminary student and she discussed the men's ministry class she was the stereotypes of behavior justified what was being taught. Years ago while working in Married Young Adult Ministry while on staff, I remember a retreat we did. A well known couple in marriage ministry, whose name I can't even remember now, were the speakers. It was so clear that the woman had a greater spiritual understanding than her husband. There was a session where they divided the men and women and the husband to demonstrate a point to the men, had them laugh for a prolonged time knowing that his wife would come find out what was going on. (the room had those folding dividers in it so you could hear anything that was above a normal noise level)  I had to leave the session early to set up for the next thing and I found Roy sitting outside in the hall. Before I could even ask if everything was okay, he said, I cannot in good conscience listen to that man because he is really teaching on how to manipulate situations to get the end result you want and I don't believe a husband should manipulate his wife or a father his family. Wow! Yep, I got a keeper for sure. There are good men among us.
Well, it is Tuesday morning and I was writing the above on Saturday. Originally, I had included a story about something that had happened to me while working at church and I let the blog sit until now because I had qualms about sharing...never said a name but I tried to make this person unrecognizable but it seems a daunting challenge. The story was just an aside to make the bigger point but for now it will remain dormant. I have saved what I wrote. This is not a stay tuned for big news paragraph or trying to increase readership on my blog because that doesn't matter to me. In the past when I tackled more edgy or dicey subject matter I had many responses that what had been written had been so helpful to another. So for now it stays in the draft file.

So Saturday, I went to the Open House  at a local store and had a blast. I was able to find locally made gifts that are so cute. Then I went to The Fresh Market. I forgot it was Thanksgiving meal sample day and the parking lot was almost full. I got what I came for and didn't sample a thing. It was such a beautiful day I decided to drive around a bit and ended up in Johnson City. I really do miss being living near an Academy.

I had a freak afib situation early Sunday morning. A really hard coughing jag put me into afib. I took the meds that have never worked before and this time they worked. Guess I caught it early enough but the hour and a half I was awake took a lot out of me. I made it for Sunday School but did want to chance another episode happening in the choir loft. It gets really hot up there even with new A/C.

Seems like a good day to work on getting more of the house ready for Christmas. So last night a bunch of fall decor got put into storage bags, ready to be put away in storage containers and then next week when Roy is off we can get the Christmas decorations up. I am one of the entree houses for our Women's Ministry Christmas Progressive Dinner.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Adventure Awaits...Or Adventure Can Wait

Good morning! The not usual sound of sirens awoke me this morning. Usual for Texas living, not so much around here. The view from the front bedroom today is one of my favorites in that the mist lies low in the valley but not covering the whole landscape. The neighbors trees are changing rapidly from faint autumnal colors to a vibrant display before they simply release themselves from the tree and fall to the ground. It is such a joy to experience an actual fall.

Yesterday, I decided to go to Micaville and visit the One of a Kind Gallery. It is one of my favorites. The goal, to buy Christmas gifts and I'll admit...I found something for me too. The drive was kind of a misty then rainy back to misty kind of drive. But...there was about a mile or two that was totally socked in and foggy. It was so dense and thick that the only guide to keep me going was watching the white line on the side of the road and hope that anyone ahead of me had turned on their lights. So thankful it was just a short span on the road. I stopped in downtown Burnsville on the way home to peruse a little antique shop I like and then going to what used to be an antique shop that had an enormous amount of books. The owner has downsized her space doing away with the antique portion and she has come to the decision to sell or just close down the store by the end of the year. The owners sister has a cute line of sheep cards that I have purchased over the years...I'll be sad to see them go. I happened to go there because at the previous antique shop mentioned in the above paragraph I found a Gail Godwin book as well as a signed copy of a Wilma Dykeman book. In the great book purge of 2011 I let several books written by Gail Godwin go and now I wish I hadn't done that. Funny, I had been talking to Peggy and had said I wasn't buying anymore books for a while. So, guess this has to be looked as a serendipity. I headed on to the jewelers to pick up watches that needed new batteries. Think about five had bit the dust over a good bit of time. Then I came on home to fix breakfast for a late lunch and I began going through books and sorting the keepers and the ones I'm sending onto good homes. I hate to admit that a basket of books and such that had gone and returned with me from last year to keep me entertained while recouping from bilateral knee replacements hadn't been touched since returning in February.

Yesterday marked the sixth anniversary of my mother's homegoing. Out of the pain and despair of Alzheimer's but I miss her. She would have loved NC and all the colors and plants and trees. Oh my goodness, she would have loved watching the birds in the backyard.

Last night while going through books I found my bound copy of Monablog 2016. I thumbed through it a bit and relived those rehabbing moments from November 15th and on. I didn't write too much but when there were moments that I was awake enough to do so, I had written those things that had made an impact. Those words of fear but knowing the Lord was with me and those moments of frustration that only encouraged me to keep working so hard. And reading and remembering those long dark nights....glad that is all behind me and I have enjoyed the joys of pain free knees.

Well the rest of the morning and afternoon have been spent on worthwhile projects. A closet is neater and the linen closet is better organized. There are several more bags of things ready for Salvation Army, if they are open after the remodel or the nearest charity. I had my first Sprite Zero with Cranberry today and we have officially entered the flannel sheet season.

Yep, last night I had great plans to get up and get going out of the house but I needed today after the fun and adventures of the open road yesterday. I have also stopped by the welcome center of NC recently and I have a few more places to permitting before next spring...if not spring road adventures await.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

The Value Of Leaves And Flannel Shirts

On this rainy Tuesday morning with the background noise of traffic alerts messaged from my phone, the sound of distant thunder breaks through. I just heard a low rumbling of thunder but not five minutes ago, Buddy and I saw the light flash from lightning. Lightning that my weather alert just told me was about a mile away. The mist so heavy no discernible silhouettes of the mountains can be traced. The low valley fog covers everything. It is simply beautiful.

I am glad I took a quick pic of our maple tree the other morning because most of those red leaves are lying on the ground. When I took the trash can down to the road Sunday evening the fragrance of pine filled the air. The pine trees across the road are beginning to lose their needles or as it is called around the south, pine straw. The hint of pine straw invited me into remembering the Christmas season is not too far away. Thankfully, it did not throw me into a panic...Christmas coming soon. I am also glad that the fragrance of wild onions did not instill a sense of panic for me the day Mike the Mower Man cut the grass. Guess, the panic would have been overcooking a roast or something.  Our plumb trees and Bradford Pear Tree, which we should really have cut down according to gardeners in the area, is just now beginning the Baylor part of their season...where the leaves are both green and yellow. 

Last Wednesday on the way to get SequishShawn new shoes, a beautiful buck stood along the side of the road. Behind him, trees and before him, a large pasture of green, green grass. He wavered almost deciding to cross the road. Both the car coming towards me and I stopped to let this beautiful deer decide what to do. He chose to go back into the trees. Good choice...  One the Sunday that Beth was here we saw about five or six deer playing in the front yard of a home along the way. Such a special thing to see.

The Farmer's Almanac online today has an article, The Value of Leaves. Interesting because Roy and I had a conversation about leaves this past week. Yes, friends, our conversations are that edgy and real. He wants to bag up the leaves, I want to use them in flower beds and on the tier in the backyard. FA says use those leaves and even tells how to compost them for better usage. And that's where my brain kicks in and thinks, just another potential home for no composting for me. Yesterday, I noticed yards covered to the exclusion of seeing grass with leaves and FA says too many leaves can smother your lawn. So basically, it seems like most things in is all about moderation. It is also about burning yard waste as several fires were being watched with care, I hope, with people clearing all the limbs and leaves. These past few days of yellows and browns of the scenic landscape almost convinces me that these few days of autumn might be more spectacular than those coveted days of October color here in the lower elevations.

This past week was also monumental, at least for this child, in finding out how long 75% of propane in a tank lasts. Without even having to do math! Friday afternoon the generator guys came out to check on the generator, add oil, clean the elements and update the software. Who knew all those components are needed? Well, the generator guys. So that is when I asked about the propane to electrical factor after hearing that the propane tank is at 75%....which I have learned in propanage language is nearly capacity...that means that the electricity provided by generator could be used for two weeks. That there is some good news and news that I can use.

I have got to stop this cute flannel shirt obsession...maybe this spring. At Robin Blu yesterday they had the cutest flannel shirts but sized L/XL which usually means in the real world that is a medium. I was looked at it just for the cuteness sake. The clerk came up and made conversation about the shirt and I said this will not fit me...and she responded because you are so tall...I said no because I am so deep and wide. Oh no she exclaimed but I saved her by saying at least I am not as deep and wide as I used to be. So, when I went to Mast General Store afterwards, I found some of the cutest flannel shirts with good color combos and little details that make them different from farmer brown type flannel shirts...which I love wearing around the house. So yes, I bought two when back in the day I would have bought four. So as we bid a fond farewell to produce stand season, we welcome with open arms flannel shirt season.

Monday, November 6, 2017

That's About It

After spraying for all the Japanese beetles that had waged an assault on our front porch, the scene this morning was reminiscent of the scene from Gone With The Wind. The front porch was covered with dead and dying beetles. I didn't want Buddy to mess with them so this beautiful Saturday morning, I vacuumed up the beetles for her front porch enjoyment. She has been meowing for the front porch lately but it has been too cold or rainy or buggy for her to be out there.

With the door open for her entrances and exits off the porch, the morning is filled with the sounds of cars and trucks and the occasional logging or dump truck. Sometimes the calls and songs of birds make it through the mechanical noise but I love both sounds in the mornings. Two different ways of hearing life.

This morning the light seems a bit different in the back, probably due to overcast skies with a promise of sun, but I also think the light seems different because the background colors have changed. With rain last evening the leaves are turning into that last bit of autumnal brown which casts a back lighting for the remaining yellows and reds. Last night at our Embrace Women event, Tonya spoke of this very thing...showing our colors, showing Christ in our lives. She said even the mossy browns play a pivotal part in the brilliant colors of fall. The grass and some trees are newly amber, cinnamon, terra cotta and ginger but they're not dull or boring or plain...they are a mixture of palettes letting the reds, purples and yellows display their last bit of glory before the beauty of leafless and dormant trees become the landscape for winter.

It was such fun watching online the Astros parade in downtown Houston yesterday. Since Roy's building was in the thick of things, the company gave the option of working from home. Roy took them up on that offer because he needed to be at the house for the A/C heater check up and didn't think if he went into the office that he could arrive home on time. What a parade though! The city thinks there were close to a million people crammed into every available spot to catch a glimpse of the champions riding in on huge firetrucks. Of course the dang politicians have to hang out with the team as well. I watched the parade and the introductions of the team at the rally, but stopped watching after that. So happy for the city. Peggy called yesterday and said the vibe of the city is so happy. Man, Houston needed that lift after enduring all the rain from Harvey.
Well, it has taken till Monday evening to get back to the good ol blog. We have had the fall back happen and LSU, though looking kind of good, lost to Alabama. Sunday was the kickoff to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering and today was friends and family discount day at Mast General Store.

Yes, today I went over Waynesville way after working out with Taylor. decided to stop at Blue Rooster for some lunch and then headed over toward Belk's and then a stop in the Hazelwood area to do some Christmas shopping and I hit pay dirt. Then I went over to Mast. I found a parking space, that SequishShawn could fit in and headed over to the store. It was busy but nothing like it is in full blown leaf time of October. So if you had the coupon, you could buy four items and get 25% off each one. I found some shirts and two long sleeved t-shirts. I had fun looking around but was ready to hit the road and head back home. We've had mainly an overcast day with little bits of sunshine. The ride to and from was particularly beautiful with the sun hitting the golden leaves with just the right touch to create a dazzling and radiant light off those leaves. It is difficult to keep your eyes on the road seeing so much beauty.

Even with the extra hour of sleep, I did not sleep well on Saturday night. Buddy was too active for me to settle with any amount of deep sleep. It was a struggle to get up for church but I am glad I did. I cannot help but think of that church in Texas that had such devastation hit it in what sounds like a family incident that provoked this man to go off the deep end. It is so hard to comprehend and Twitter is a buzz with sides facing off on heated debates.

That's about it for today...

Thursday, November 2, 2017

What A Day November 1st!

I am so tired but so happily tired. Last night Newfound Baptist Church had its Fall Festival. I signed up for Trunk or Treat after having so much fun doing that several years ago. I had been thinking about the theme for the back of the truck and I had some good ideas but as I am wont to do, I waited till the last minute...but eureka, the last minute theme that came together was a rather cute one. I took some of my sheep, a lighted trellis, battery operated lanterns, a bale of hay, a bucket and basket, red gingham checked table cloth and some metal pumpkins and came up with the sheep herder, rancher or farmer theme. Add a lawn chair to that and you have trunk or treat. Roy and I had bought a bunch of candy at Walmart and I just about went through it all plus a bag of candy from the church supply. Such cuties in costumes and then there were costumes I didn't all. That's ok. Just like in 2015 the children were so well mannered and almost to a t, didn't forget their thank you as they moved along to the next trunk. We finished up about 8:00 pm. It was easy getting all the sheep stuff stowed away in the truck and although temp wise it was a pleasant fall evening, it took a while for me to warm up upon arriving home. I heard 800 hot dogs were prepared and I had was good.

Once I arrived home it was unload trunk or treat and load up oil change stuff for the truck appointment this morning. ShequishShawn had a 8:00 am appointment. Got there, filled out the paperwork and then hopped into Brenda's car to go eat breakfast. We tried CA in Weaverville. Good food and great prices. Then Brenda took me over to Harris Teeter because I hadn't been there before. Great store and there is a Duck Donuts nearby. We bought some of their made to order donuts for later. We then made a stop at Sanctuary of Stuff and I found a couple more of the cute flannel shirts, alpaca wool socks and a picture of a bear, in the top of a tree painted on burlap. It says Leaf Peeper Bed and Breakfast. Too cute to pass up, that is for sure. I hung it in the living room and all the colors go perfectly. We made a quick stop at The Cottage Door and the gift shop at Reems Creek Nursery. Over to the mechanics and SequishShawn was ready with his new dancing/driving shoes. We finished out the day with lunch at Turkey Creek. I learned a lot of new places to visit this morning. Who knew a day with your truck being serviced could be such a fun day. Of course all the fun from last night and this morning caught up with me and I zoned out once I came home. Grabbed a little nap and contemplated getting a few more things far it has been all contemplation.
The Giants win the pennant, the Giants win the pennant... No, the ASTROS won the World Series last night!!!!! Please excuse the over usage of exclamation points but it seems well deserved for a city and a team that has waited 56 years for this to happen! If you grew up in Houston the usual in sports, except for the two years the Rockets won the NBA championship, was to prepare the, "we'll get them next time" mantra. More disappointment and heartbreak when it has come to our hometown sports team doing well but that all changed last night with the Game 7 win of the Astros vs Dodgers. I teased I did my part by only following on Twitter till they made the second out in the bottom of the 9th. Only then did I feel like it was safe for me to watch the last out. YES! They did it! I was clapping and screaming and scaring Buddy, but I didn't care. This lifetime lover of baseball was so happy last night. Before going to sleep I thought about all the hours of time I spent in the backyard as a child with my father's flat baseball glove throwing a ball into the air and catching it time after time...even sometimes throwing the ball onto the slanted roof to practice catching. That lasted until one of my parents came outside, telling me not to do that. It would harm the shingles. I watched the Cardinals play with my grandfather on TV during the summers I spent in Illinois. Then of course when the Astrodome came into being, dressing up to go to a baseball game and the must see tour of the Astrodome when family came to town. Roy has always been more of a college baseball fan, but he would go to games with me at MMP and watch the occasional game on TV. I cried tears of joy last night! Feeling all the happiness and joy of #earnhistory. I told Roy this morning I am going to need a t-shirt.

Do you remember the 1st night of November?  Party on, say do you remember...Astros won it all on the 1st day of November...

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Remnants From A Trip Of A Lifetime

Last year on this date I was in the Chattanooga area making the trip back to Texas for bilateral knee surgery. The 30th was on a Sunday and I went to Sunday School, then headed out with SequishShawn loaded down with three and a half months of clothes for three different seasons. Warm, cold and rehab attire. I would arrive on November 1st, have a little time for catching up with friends, getting all the last minute medical appointments taken care of and attending Joint Camp. Emotionally, it was a hard drive to Texas because just watching me walk, it was obvious that something needed to be done about those knees but I really did not want to leave the mountains. I didn't know it then but I do now that these would be some of the most difficult days of healing and rehabbing and learning to walk correctly. I would do it all again in a heartbeat because the quality of life is so much better with energy and walking. Just to think this process began from a trip of a lifetime.
Last year on this date I was on the road from Chattanooga to Covington. Yes, once again I stopped writing being distracted by a day with no schedule. A much needed trip to the grocery store, well stores and a stop at the Post Office. I got some vacuuming done and also put up things from our Costco trip. Buddy stayed close all day. Think these long daily absences of the past two weeks affected her a bit.

We were able to get some yard work done last week. The butterfly bushes have taken over in the back. Roy trimmed them back a bit and he also trimmed some plants in the front yard. We loaded up about five bags of yard waste and took them over to the landfill. We left enough cover for the birds in the back so they feel safe by the bird feeder.

I haven't written much about Beth's visit here. We had a blast! We have known each other since the sixth grade and became friends in high school. We were those two girls who laughed a lot and found joy in just about everything. We have been friends apart longer than being friends together. We traversed about the mountains enjoying the scenery, friendship and conversations. Seems that we both, although not similar in comparison, experienced a chapter of life, closing...but just not closing but beginning a new chapter of life. We are making plans for her next visit.

On the way home from Charlotte on Sunday, the clouds and sky certainly complemented the silhouettes formed by the mountains. Add in the fall colors and it was a visual delight. I stopped for breakfast at the Cracker Barrel and had one of those moments in the rather mundane task of throwing away the to go cup from the Holiday Inn Express. Cause it was just one of those moments in January 2016 that changed the course of my life...the end of my shoe caught a metal piece by the trash can and I fell, breaking my hip in Lafayette Louisiana. I'm making my brain talk to my feet as I walk. As I approached the front of the building, a gentleman was walking up at the same time and he arrived at the door before me and waited with the door open while I threw away the cup. Such a kind gesture and I didn't trip or fall while doing that mundane task. It did make me think though, if I hadn't fallen in January, I probably would have kept putting off knee replacements. I wouldn't have gotten healthier. I wouldn't be enjoying life as much as I am now. I've written this before but it truly was a trip of a lifetime. 

Monday, October 30, 2017

A Little Snow And A Big Astro Victory

I wish, wish, wish I could have stayed awake to watch the Astros in the World Series game last night but two and a half weeks of nonstop fun and action caught up with me yesterday afternoon. Upon arriving home from the morning drive from Charlotte, wave upon wave of exhaustion wore me down to nothingness. Sensing that I would need today to also recuperate, I texted Taylor and canceled today's workout.

This I know for sure, I do not miss living in a big city. With two trips to Charlotte this week, in rain and in traffic, this point is surely emphasized. Their shopping mecca is very Galleria like but not knowing the ins and outs of the area...put me at a disadvantage. I finally found the Barnes and Noble near the South Park Mall and it is a good one! Came home with lots of bookish treats. Then to the mall to have lunch at The Nord and use one of my triple point days. I drove around to the Macy's and did a quick perusal, not because I didn't want to spend more time there, I did, but it happened to be a crummy Macy's last Monday. I'll give it another shot but it reminded me of the Northwest Mall Macy's in the feel and this mall has Nord, Neiman Marcus, and Dillard's too, so it came as quite the shock. In the midst of this shopping trip I kept an eye on the weather. Beth and I had left Asheville in the rain and experienced even heavier rain on the road. That same system was headed over Charlotte's way. I managed a quick stop in the Billy Graham Library to shop their bookstore and then headed over to the hotel. Wow, I got there just in time because the rain came down hard with lots of wind. I really liked the room we had. Can you request rooms at Holiday Inn Express? This one had a couch in it and the room was nicely laid out in design.

Where has October gone? The days are cool and the nights are cooler. The leaves are turning and changing late this year so it has been fun sharing these sights with friends and with Roy. Roy and I have had so much to get done and I think there are just a few little things that didn't get resolved but the big check off items have been checked off.  But we did have Bruce come over to begin the process of planning for the back deck becoming the screened in back porch, heaters checked and serviced for winter, DC came over and fixed the light in the bathroom, bought a TV for our bedroom, new software installed and a WiFi boost operating. We also had an epic Walmart shopping trip. And speaking of epic shopping trips, we did a Costco run in Charlotte. That Costco has to be the busiest one we have ever shopped in, topping Houston by the hundreds. We had dinner at a Longhorn Steakhouse just down the freeway from Costco. Lots of traffic there too.

Oh, yes, when Bruce was here, he checked out the crawl space for us. Remember in July, when the Orkin guys were here and told me just how bad the crawl space was, calling it a vermin and mold apocalypse catastrophe of biblical proportions? Well, they lied...I know shock upon shock. Even the heater guy mentioned that our crawl space was in good condition. Should I send Orkin my Dr bill and cardioversion out of pocket expenses because they put me into afib with their talk...knowing full well I would not go down to the crawl space with them to check it out. A tip off to me was this, the pace of life is much slower here. That is good and bad...cause I enjoy the slower pace but when it comes to getting something done, nothing is done quick. There is always a wait. These guys on a Thursday afternoon wanted to get this job started on Monday morning. Nothing around here gets done that fast.

SequishShawn is getting new shoes this week. I cancelled our service appointment with the local Toyota dealership. I haven't felt confident in the service there since the dealership was bought out. We went to the car repair shop down the way where we have gotten inspections. They'll change the oil for $10.00 if you bring the oil and filters. So they'll do all that and align the front end and of course the new tires.

I am perfecting my roast recipe and the perfection is mainly using Taste of Texas Roast Seasoning. I thought I might make tortilla soup but didn't get around to it.

We took Buddy to get her second steroid shot Friday. We were successful in getting the chill pill down her two hours before the appointment. She was mellow but still a little feisty. Friday night she slept it off and we could tell by Saturday morning she was feeling oh so fine.

So, I have eased into the day this morning. Happy that the Astros won and having a little snow in the backyard.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thursday Catch Up

The squirrels are running kind of slow out here in the country this morning. WiFi is spotty at best. Finally, screens actually pulled up, a little slower than normal, but I am somewhat connected to the Internet.

October temps have returned here and that is so welcomed. Cool to cold mornings with pleasant afternoons. There is a predicted warm up coming but nothing too warm to bear.

My friend Beth arrived on Monday and we have been seeing and going and talking and laughing pretty much from the start of our day to bedtime. We have enjoyed some delicious meals, even one here at the house and we have been enjoying God's creation throughout the area. You can tell it is October in all the popular places because there are more lines and cars at most places. Yesterday, we traveled over to Grandfather Mountain. We stopped in Micaville on our way to do some shopping. Both of us came out of the store with some purchases to support local artists and the economy. My favorite, an infinity scarf made of flannel. The trees are a lovely color in the higher elevations. We enjoyed Grandfather Mountain and Beth made the trip across the mile high bridge. Too many people for me to walk across. Then we headed over to Valle Cruses to eat a late lunch at Over Yonder. Dena and I had planned to do that when she was here but sadly we visited on a Tuesday when Over Yonder is closed. Oh my goodness, such a cute place and delicious food. The roasted okra appetizer was fabulous! Then we went over to Mast General Store. They had some Keen boots in my size that I have been looking at online. And yes, they turned out to be as cute in person as they were on the website, comfortable another purchase. We also went down to the Annex and shopped the tent sale but only came home with candy. The drive back home was beautiful with the sun setting behind the mountains. 

Tuesday we were in the Waynesville/Hazelwood area. We had lunch at the Haywood Smoke House. Ah brisket smoked Texas style. We headed over to the Blue Ridge Parkway and enjoyed the sights along the road. The traffic wasn't bad at all but we weren't over by the Pisgah Inn.

Today we are taking a more laid back approach to the day. We will stay in the area and see some things around here. So, here is just a quick catch up and if I don't write this stuff down I will forget.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Fall, Faith, Football and Baseball....

The past several days I have sat down to write a post and my attention diverted by fallish things. It is lovely to be diverted by fallish things. The view from the front porch becomes more autumnal each day. It has been sad watching the smoldering ashes of the old red barn that has been salvaged for barn wood and then burned to the ground because it must be cheaper than hauling everything off. It has taken a good two to three days for everything to become ask. I drove by the remains yesterday... All done for progress as more homes will be built on that side of the ridge. The man that owns the pasture in front of us still has big trees on the far end of his property that kind of keep all that covered up, at least for now.

Buddy gave me a little bit of a scare yesterday. She was no where to be found. I searched in all her regular spots as well as former regular spots. Then I searched the improbable spots. I mean really! I looked under the beds and behind things in our closet...well, my closet cause it isn't very big and would not hold clothes for both Roy and me. Meanwhile I am texting with Lisa P and CourtneyS because The Bad Seed was playing on TCM. Finally, after searching everywhere and then realizing I hadn't locked the storm door to the porch I did what every person who experiences unrealistic fears does; I concluded someone had stolen her off the front porch. That's when I called Roy cause I know I can't go down Unrealistic Valley Road...With his logical mind in gear we mentally checked off all of Buddy's favorite places. He gets louder as he gets more analytical and he was still in work mode. I then did what I should have done early on, put him on the speaker phone and start walking around the house...boom, Buddy shows up. We still don't have a clue where she was and I'll be watching her for the reveal...

Such a nice break from all the news, bad and good, to watch the Astros win game one of the ALCS against the Yankees. Eastern time zone makes it so difficult to stay up and watch these games to completion. The Auburn vs LSU game is an afternoon game and I think the Astros play in the late afternoon today.

This week I have been thinking about how much truth we can learn in an "aside" comment in conversations. Like an example would be, " we are going to go camping, even though you don't want to." Beginning with the red word even, that begins the aside comment that is usually said a little lower than the first part of 'we' in the phrase. Over the years I have taken notice of this aside thing while listening to preachers or to sermons. You can get a feel for the direction of the sermon whether it be an agenda sermon or truly a pastorial sermon in the aside. In conversations with friends and acquaintances, the aside tone reveals some of the truth or frustrations of the friendship. Like, "we can go anywhere you want for dinner, cause we are going to go where you want to anyways." Sometimes aside comments are unintentional, just words jumbling out that might have been thought about or over but never meaning to say them out loud. Or it could be the aside words are there to create conflict and have a person respond and thus the aside word just causes escalation.

This morning when talking to Roy after the Bible study he leads on Saturday mornings, he talked about Jesus and Judas and the accounts of Judas' actions in the Gospels. I love to hear Roy talk about the insights into the scripture he gets as he studies for each Saturday morning. He mentioned that basically Judas had anger issues and when he was reprimanded by Jesus to let the woman anoint Him. Roy said he thinks that might be the thing that put Judas over the edge. Interesting discussion.

And now I can go to sleep happy that LSU came from behind and won against Auburn and that the Astros beat the Yankees today in a dramatic walk off fashion.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

A Pleasant Re-Cap

The phone awoke me this morning and I had overslept. So, it will be computer church or old school radio church this morning. A friend reminded me that I could remit to the front porch, with such a beautiful view and have church there. Yep, that sounds like a plan. It is a cloudy morning and the roads look as if we had rain at times through the night. It was a long, short night of sleep. Buddy and I couldn't get on the same wavelength about bedtime. I had been over at Vivian's for coffee and cake with some of her family. Well, I had water with my cake but the main event was the coconut cake. Such a pleasant evening especially after the nail biter game of LSU vs Florida. LSU won by one point. So, it was taking me a little while to settle down and once that happened of course Buddy had moved past that and wanted to stay up and meow...which means go downstairs and give her a treat.  She finally decided to settle down herself but it was fitful sleep there at the get go. Speaking of Buddy, she has joined me in hopes of helping with the blog post.

Again, I tried tackling the change of clothes for change of seasons yesterday. This year I am more inclined to be more generous for the collection of clothes to give to Salvation Army. So, there are several piles of; to go, to keep, thinking about which pile this article of clothing will go to pile and the what in the world was I thinking pile. In Texas linen can go long into the fall season and this year here, I've worn linen longer since it has been warm but this weekend the linen is being stored until the next season.

The rain has started and it was more gentle a few minutes ago and has progressed to steady. I should probably get the trash out before it progresses to heavy.
I know you all have been waiting for this news, I did get the trash out but it was in rain, but not in the heaviest of the showers. Since I was out on a school night I haven't gone down to the road yet to get the empty trash bin...but believe will happen today...Tuesday.

Why was I out on a school night? Our Sunday School class, I mean Life Group served at the Hospice Center last night. We served supper to the families and friends of those who are there with loved ones and the staff. Inez. Velda, Gwen, Judy C, Brenda and I went to represent our class, our church and our Lord. Judy W cooked the lasagna and rolls for us. The Solance Hospice Center is such a well thought out design and their great room is comfortable and comfortable art pieces of quilts and stained glass cozy up that great room. We met some of the kindest people as we served supper, dessert and sweet tea. One lady, Doris, was from Kentucky. She had come to sit with her sister as she transformed from this life into eternal life. She was an interesting woman and a grateful woman. She said, we have a place to stay but having someone thinking of bringing us supper is just wonderful. Another lady shared that when her youngest passed away from cancer, she and her daughters cooked up a huge meal and brought it to the hospice center as a thank you for all the love and care her loved one received. It is a humbling experience to serve when those you are serving are facing a huge loss in their lives very soon. Honestly, I was happy to help provide dessert, Inez's butter pecan cake was a huge hit with nothing but crumbs left, but I wasn't too sure about actually serving...being there. The rhythms at the end of life is not something I have been keen to be around since a traumatic childhood experience of being locked in a funeral home with a body, lights dimmed and the ghostly sound of the dead, being voiced by my father to scare oops, I mean to tease me. So through the years I have experienced and envisioned unrealistic fears related to the end process but through the years help has been extended by others to help me. Serving last night was one of those big helps.

After dropping off Brenda and Judy and the food we had picked up from church, I parked the truck and walked back to the serving area checking for any scores from the Astros game. Yes! They had come from behind and won the game. That is such good news especially for Houston recovering from hurricane devastation and JJ Watt being lost for the rest of the Texan's season.

The red barn down the road which has been torn down and parts salvaged for barn wood, caught fire yesterday afternoon or maybe set to fire for removal. The flames from the embers blazed on even into the evening, visible from the front porch. I hate to see that barn be destroyed for new little homes being built everywhere. So glad that Roy has taken several pictures of it throughout the last few years.

I checked our rain gauge yesterday and we had almost two inches of rain from Nate. We had wind as well but it is south and east of our area that received the most damage. The sound of chain saws filled the air as tree limbs were being trimmed down and disposed of. It is still warm and humid, very Houston like feeling but they say a cool front is a coming. 

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Three Whole Days To Write About Fog Or No Fog

Another coolish, foggy morning. The sun is burning off the fog. The birds in the backyard are jockeying for position on the feeder and in the birdbath. Lots of cardinals and Carolina chickadees with a good mix of titmouse thrown in for good measure. Buddy has retreated upstairs after visiting the front porch, had some treats and sat on my lap for a good while. Love mornings like this and I don't ever want to take them for granted.

Yesterday, I remembered just for a bit, last year at this time. It was a time of preparation for guests and for the much anticipated return to Katy to begin the process of bilateral knee replacement. Last year I soaked in all the mental pictures of this land and views to keep me company on those long rehab days but while recouping I did not pine for this mountain land because it would be wasted energy. If anything from this heart journey is knowing how to better use the daily energy given to me. I had told myself it might be three to four months before returning and just settled in with that.
Here it is Friday morning. The sky had pinkish hues as the sun rose. Just that little bit of fog hanging around in the valleys. Yes, fortunate to see it but then went back to bed. As Buddy feels better her nocturnal habits that I don't particularly get rest from are increasing. Guess that is the price for her to feel better. In fact she was aggressive this morning and I don't see that too often. I checked her box and she is still going to the bathroom but guess I will take her to the vet sooner than later to get another steroid shot soon. I am contemplating the other vet recommended to me.

The strangest thing with the computer this morning with programs popping up and words disappearing. Before calling in the cavalry I did the best thing, reboot. It took some coordination with the jumping of programs all over the screen but it got taken care of and now on the second try there is no jumping about.
Now it is Saturday morning. No fog but overcast. We are hoping for some rain but not too much from Nate. Just read the forecast from Ray's Weather and the mountains could get 3-5 inches beginning Sunday night.

Brenda had invited me to go with her sister, daughter and her to the Erwin Craft Show yesterday but I knew Wednesday night that I would have to decline that request. I'm still being cautious in regards to heart health and the heat. The constant reminder is that I feel good because I stay in the parameters that are set. The sesamoid bone in the ball of my foot feels inflamed so doing a whole lot of walking wasn't going to remedy that. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the day even getting a lighting project done. Can't wait to hear all about the day from Brenda and all the fun things they found.

So I spent the afternoon doing something I rarely do anymore, watch the TV for an extended amount of time. But it was for a good reason, the second game of the ALDS was on and the Astros beat the Red Soxs! They are up two games to zero and will play tomorrow in Boston.

Talking with Roy lately has made me feel like a football coach's wife. He is into major recruiting for his company at La Tech. The softball player, makes me already know she's good people, accepted the intern offer for the summer. He is already planning the February recruiting trip. Roy said yesterday this feels like it will be a year round emphasis along with the myriad other things that are his responsibility. It makes me so happy he is happy doing what he loves and is still fun for him.

This week I have watched the reports from Las Vegas and heard the stories last night on 20/20. I think this is the first time I have seen all the pictures of those who lost their lives at a concert in Las Vegas. Such evil in the world and the authorities are baffled to know the reason why this man did this horrible act. They have torn apart the facts of his life and he hasn't left anything for them to understand him.

Buddy is a little restless this morning. She had a good night but this morning she can't decide between the porch or her first morning nap upstairs. She has also tried to help me with typing this morning on the blog.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Several weeks ago I set a small butterfly free from the entanglements of a spider and its well crafted web. At first glance I thought it was dead and just twirling in the wind but signs of life were evident and I began to cut the ties that bound that poor butterfly. It didn't really matter if the butterfly stopped flailing or if it continued this avenue of exhaustion, without outside help it was doomed. I watched the little butterfly as it realized freedom had been had, it didn't fly off to flee the web up so high on the garage but it floated down to some flagstone and it rested...really, really rested and it looked so rested I reached toward it to see if it was still alive, it began to move its wings in case of the immediate requirement of flight. The image of the butterfly caught up in the web, twirling helplessly because parts of its wings were bound has come to mind often since that day of releasing the captive. Of course this is an obvious metaphor signifying so many fights and traps we encounter everyday.

Yesterday, after a great workout with Taylor, I headed over Waynesville way. Since lunch is the second most important meal of the day, I stopped in at Blue Rooster. After a delicious lunch it seemed to be a Belk kind of day as well. There I found some serving pieces that I have found I needed in the past few months. In fact they were some of the same that Ace Hardware in Katy had in January. Also some workout clothes were found and purchased. Since it is just down the road, a quick stop into Barber's Orchard for ornamental gourds and little baby pumpkins. Oh and a few apples. Then I thought well, I am so close to the Blue Ridge Parkway I should take the long and scenic way home and check out the fall colors. So on a Monday, look how Baptist I am, Blue Rooster, Belk's, Barber's Orchard and Blue Ridge Parkway. If you are Baptist you know exactly what I am writing about...

It has been a long time since I had been on this particular part of the parkway...oh so Baptist today...  The last time was years ago, back in our tourist days, when Roy and I picked up the parkway in Maggie Valley. In retrospect, it was probably around 276 there was a detour and those winding and twisting roads scared us coming down the mountain. Now, I love that road, 276. The sky was particularly brilliant and the wispy clouds radiated against that blue blue backdrop. My newest playlist is a compilation of songs done by California Baptist University and the Choir and Orchestra of Houston's First Baptist Church. The parkway wasn't too crowded and long stretches of road where no other cars were in view. Devil's Courthouse overlook was crowded otherwise it was a quiet and peaceful drive with the sun roof open. Planned on going on to graveyard fields but decided to turn around and head back for 215 into Canton. That too is a gorgeous drive. Since it was toward late afternoon the sun radiating off the yellow and red leaves demanded a few pics needed to be taken. I didn't stop at the waterfall but did take extra time around the Lake Logan area.

So today, with the exception of putting something in the mail, I stayed around the house. The long needed clean out of the closet under the stairs finally got some attention. At one point it looked like too big of a job to sort through and tidy up. Happy to report it got done and it is actually a workable closet now that doubles as a pantry since we have such limited kitchen storage. I am really trying hard not to rush through the book, The Last Castle...about the Biltmore Estate with an emphasis on Edith Vanderbilt. I also go a short story anthology today and I read the first story while eating pizza from The Fresh Market.

The story from the was rather timely and profound to tie up things neatly in a bow as it were. Funny thing, the person in that short story sure could have used someone to remedy their situation... kind of like that butterfly I told you about in the first paragraph needed a rescue from the spider and the web. Sometimes it is searched for and sometimes it is a serendipity.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

What A Gift and No Trip Of A Lifetime....

It is a balmy 52 degrees this morning. Too cool for Buddy to sit on the porch so she decided the start to her day would begin on my lap while I sipped some coffee. I missed out on celebrating national coffee day because I had an early start to that day. Most times I want to sip coffee and ease into the morning. If easing is too tempting, I just don't make coffee and that keeps me on the straight and narrow, focused on the day.

The difficult and emotional week with Buddy's health certainly were coffee mornings. I don't believe I have cried like that in years because tears are usually not my go to emotion. The time lent itself to remembering those moments and times Buddy was the healing influence during the past twelve years. This morning she was rather entertaining as she found a piece of elastic string that hadn't fallen into the trash can when that was the intent of said string's destination. She played with it like she was a kitten. Those little things that bring so much joy....

So this week's activities especially crossing the swinging bridge at Grandfather Mountain has generated a lot of congrats and disbelief. I have been there two times before. With Roy, he crossed that bridge like it was nothing and stopped himself from climbing up those rocks on the other side. That's a good thing cause if I had to cross the bridge to ask him not to climb the rocks...well, it wouldn't be a celebration of accomplishing the feat. When we were there the climb up the steps kind of took me by surprise since I had been feeling good since that major bout of afib in April. My heart felt fluttery and my knees felt weak, so I took pictures and occupied myself until Roy came back over the bridge. The second time I found myself at the bridge was when Dena was here. The third time was the optimal time and although it was not a bucket list thing or even something I desired to overcome, it felt like on the inside that it was a symbolic thing for me to do and for me to remember on down the road when faced with scary things. It was also encouraging to have company on the bridge that wasn't going to make it swing or sway because I think Malcolm was feeling the same thing, it just seemed like the thing to do, to cross it. Especially when an older couple in their late 70's go across it like nothing and it was their first time visiting the bridge. As we climbed the stairs to the bridge, a lady told us that she had done it and she is afraid of we were getting all the right indicators. It is an eerie feeling when in the middle of the bridge the sounds coming from the metal railings make it feel a little disconcerting. Roy and I have fallen in love with Grandfather Mountain and I think on returning trips the decision to walk across that mile high bridge will always be fraught with fear and prayerful consideration. Several have asked did I pray while walking across....well, the Bible does say pray without ceasing but after praying before taking that first step onto the metal bridge, my whole being concentrated on making my brain talk to my feet, because not all those metal slats are even and all it would take would be one little toe trip to make it a trip of a lifetime.

This week I also received an unexpected gift from a Facebook post by a friend from high school and college days. Surprising the article she shared because it seemed to be further from the truth of her childhood but more like the one we experienced. So, I have written several times about this summer being kind of an ensconced summer both emotionally and physically for me as I struggled to put some feeling and thoughts into words. The emotional tussle and the wrangling seemed to be a daily thing. It is not from a forgiveness mindset but rather the closing of a very long season of life...the victories, the mistakes and misunderstandings. OK, mainly the manipulation and passive aggressive behavior of said person. Then noticing any type of behavior now and reminders of days long ago just stirred something up whether I thought that behavior was in me or feeling like it from others put in me in my flight mode...reminiscent of those long ago days I would quote and find great comfort in Psalm 55:6, "oh that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away and be at rest." Of course thinking of that verse now I know the noise, well, of the sound of doves flying away. It isn't a quiet flight...never thought of that before. Just like I always thought doves were kind of peaceful birds...but they can be rather aggressive at the bird feeder. Lots of head and neck pecking going on upon their own kind and other birds. But I digress....this blog post my long ago friend posted put all those emotions and thoughts and feelings of the summer together in a well organized way and what I had been doing all summer got wrapped up in a few paragraphs. I don't think the time was wasted though because there was a lot of conversation going on with the Lord. There are many things to take away from this ensconced summer...good things. But then at the end of summer, right after the beginning of fall on the calendar, the gift came, spoke to my heart, wrapped everything up in such a compassionate way and now to experience my favorite season, autumn. I haven't even used the word autumnal until now....

Friday, September 29, 2017

It Has Been A While

Well, it has been a while since sitting down and writing on the ol' blog. Keeping an eye on Buddy took me away and the wonderful visit of Malcolm and Lisa made computer less attractive when there is fun to be had. I thought maybe I would write on Tuesday afternoon but I found myself engrossed in reading rather than writing. On Wednesday I needed to make a trip up to Johnson City and Brenda went with me. I got to introduce her to Academy Sports and Outdoors. We did the Houston thing and had lunch at Carrabba's. Then she showed me a couple of places coming home to stop for good eats in the country and then did a quick tour of Erwin before heading out to Mountain View to pick up a few things. All the fun caught up with me on Wednesday night and it was a really early bedtime for me. Thursday came with an early trip out of the house for my haircut. The appointment wasn't early but parking in Biltmore Village sometimes dictates early arrival just for parking. Even with an early arrival almost all the street parking was gone. So with that, I just paid to park like I am wont to do in the afternoons over that way. I had a little scare while parking. I had my choice of spots and I chose the easiest one to back into and then be able to get out of. With me, there can be a lot of going forward and backing up so I waved over at a man sitting in his in the main aisle to go ahead. He shook his head no and sat there. Of course the thinking is, big city crime has come to the mountains and the thought lingers this guy is going to rob me. Then I realized he was the parking guy making sure people were paying for their spots. Whew! Breakfast was at Corner Kitchen. Then a quick trip to make a deposit at the bank, look around the t-shirt shop and look around the Southern Craft Guild store. With the time drawing near to my appointment it was a quick, very quick walk through Talbot's and a good shopping trip into Williams Sonoma. Then finally it was haircut and highlight time. Yes, after three months of the experiment, if I grow out my hair to its original color will it be the same color as my brothers which looks really it wasn't to be. So, highlights are part of the whole beauty routine again. On the positive side, I don't have that much gray hair.

Before returning home yesterday I decided to do a drive through the Biltmore Estate. It was a lovely day but I had no clue some kind of outdoor extravaganza was going lots of traffic but the sheep were out. So a quick stop at the pasture for photo-ops and then leaving to come back home.

When Malcolm and Lisa were here, we went to Grandfather Mountain. We went to the top of the mountain, to the swinging bridge. Malcolm and I got the courage to go across which left Lisa the job of documenting the journey over and back. I never stopped or looked around because of the whole afraid of heights thing going on. But I crossed the bridge and bought the t-shirt. I also met up with Malcolm and Lisa on Sunday. Since their visit here was so short they opted for the Biltmore on Sunday morning and then I met them for lunch and we did the west ridge tour. That is one of my favorite tours by far and they only do them in September. We saw a bear in the cornfield.

Such a whirlwind of days and especially after the week with Buddy's health being up and down and all over the place. She seems to have responded well to the shots and this looks like steroids are her new normal.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Do You Remember?

Buddy is on the front porch checking out the birds or sleeping through the antics of birds and bunnies in the yard. She has come in several times and sat on my lap...till the call of the wild stirred her from purring slumber. I wish the call of nature would get through to her and that today she can, uh, take care of business. She is acting normal in everything but that. I will call the vet office in a little bit because she might have to have help in getting everything up and running again.

Just talked to Roy and he will be heading back from Ruston in a little bit. He and two coworkers have been at Louisiana Tech recruiting in the accounting dept. They'll go back next week for career day and schedule interviews with candidates they would like to talk with. Roy doesn't talk much and he was so hoarse last night from all day conversations and presentations.

Yesterday, I got out to run some errands. It is that time of year for buying candy for our church's fall festival. That is always fun. So a Target run was in order. Somehow, I came home with much more than candy yesterday. I also stopped in at Home Goods and at Barnes and Noble to get my free Starbucks drink for the month of September. My choice, lemonade ice tea. It was a very warm day.

Today I watched two funerals online. Both people servants of the Lord and they both have left a legacy. This is the third funeral I have watched online this week.

The good news is that today Buddy did her business and I could not be happier about that. The Dr had told me to call her if Buddy didn't begin eating and doing her business. So, eating began yesterday and business was taken care of today. So now I will remember that it was the 21st of September...a little Earth, Wind and Fire for the day. Roy and crew were on their way back home when I texted him the good news. Since he was driving, he had John read the text to him. They had a good laugh and when a friend from the office called him with a serious question Roy greeted him with the salutations of, Buddy pooped. His co-worker had no idea what any of that was about.

I read a really great blog yesterday or maybe it was a newsletter, I don't remember. What I do know is it spoke to me in this season of life. How appropriate for this last day of summer. This would not be how I would choose it just like I wouldn't have chosen heart issues that began a huge restorative work in me nine years ago. I also think the Lord is using this season with Buddy to refine me. It has been good to slow down even more and to ponder. I wrote about this a little the other day and the words still don't come easily trying to mush through emotions but I know I will come through this. I have the wonderful therapist Cheryl Simmons to thank for that all those years ago and all the hard work we did then. Eugene Peterson's newest book is also a wonderful guide in scriptures as I adjust. I think the thought of maybe loosing Buddy tied in because that little gray kitty had a huge role in my getting well. Buddy is not out of the woods and neither am I, but we are both close to wrapping this season up. Health issues are becoming good health again. Back to my workouts too. I should have noticed in April when I broke a tooth that maybe heart things would follow along cause that is how stuff began back when.

So today I'm feeling the Earth Wind and Fire...remembering the 21st day of September.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Holding Onto Hope

The trees are beginning to change color. Mainly yellows but a few red and orange leaves peek through. Although it feels like the last gasp of summer, there is a feel to the air, that the temps are going to be changing soon. We were spoiled last week with October like temps but our area is back into the 80's which if fall in Houston but here...still feeling like summer. There is a wild onion fragrance in the air and it mingles in with the fragrance of fresh hay and grass being cut. The mowers have been working the roads around here and the huge heavy equipment to cut down small trees that sprout up overnight along the bigger highways are working at a faster pace because fall then winter will soon appear. A parcel of land nearby the post office was cleared out this summer. Wooden stakes and yellow and orange construction tape dotted the land. Then in just a few weeks time it seemed, that cleared land was once again overgrown and unrecognizable as having previously been cleared. A couple of weeks ago, they must have cleared it again, everything cut back. Seems to be a lot of activity along the river road of houses being renovated and property for sale. Houses aren't on the market too long these days and it makes me wonder when I look on Zillow or what's the matter with houses that drop their price on a regular basis, even if it is just $100.00. Knowing what I know now about the area, I think some of these houses are surrounded by sketchy neighbors or areas. Shocks of shocks, some of these homes are so overpriced to begin with especially if one needs to tear out all the 1960's touches. While we were looking for a home to buy I saw some of the wildest colors and wallpaper. Thankfully this home and the home we put an offer on didn't have any wild colors or wallpaper that needed to be replaced.

The vet called this morning concerning Buddy's blood and lab work. All in all it was a pretty good report. Not diabetic, no kidney problems have shown up but she needs to eat something. The Dr said even though she did a good amount of, uh, business, yesterday, she needs to do more "business" before Buddy is considered out of the woods. Buddy has drank a lot of water and nibbled at some treats but not interested in her food. She is such a finicky eater. She doesn't like wet food or soft treats. She will play a little and I am trying to have her do that to maybe help her out. I know when I would have knee surgery and come back to tennis I would remember the pain when I moved a certain way on my knees. It took a while to convince myself that the pain wasn't going to be there like before. Even with the knee replacements last year, in rehab I thought the same thing. The pain was surgical pain and when that was more night, no more pain. I am too much of a realist though to think that Buddy is going to go back to the cat she was. In cat years she is 64. There is still a hint of sadness in my spirit that these days are few and need to be cherished and enjoyed with her. I hope my spirit is wrong on this one but as Roy said, we have been given more days with her and that is a gift.

There is a ton of stuff I need to get done but writing these past few days has been so therapeutic. There are several ideas running through my mind and I have put those to paper, yes really wrote them out, not on the computer. Another coping mechanism is reading. Every once in a while a book review grabs me and grabs me out of the usual genre that I find myself reading. So this morning there was a review on a book about Bette Davis, written by her ten year assistant who worked for her until Bette passed away. So, after reading the review, it was off to the Google and there I read several interesting articles about her life, about her tumultuous life. Much of that tumult was self induced and because of these wild, dramatic mood swings, she was persona non grata  in many places around Hollywood including studios. I watched a few episodes of Feud, the story between she and Joan Crawford and a Vanity Fair article this morning gave a little more background to that story.
As per Monablog habit, many times one days post goes into the next day. It was a rough night and I was so happy to see the morning's light and have Buddy still with us. She took a downhill journey yesterday afternoon and evening. So weak, won't eat, hasn't pooped, has some tremors and being strange. She couldn't be found in familiar places. Her reactions and actions were not Buddy-like. Last night on TCM Good Morning Miss Dove was on. I remember reading that book in my grandmother's Reader Digest Condensed book one summer. Then I saw the movie years later. So it set a nostalgic tone for me while watching. When it was over I went to our bedroom and Buddy was sitting in the spot where she sleeps on our bed. It was like she was waiting for me. She has NEVER EVER done this. I thought she knows...her time is limited...she laid her head down immediately on my arm, which NEVER happens and I sobbed. She had those little tremors going on which doesn't seem like it is a good thing. But then during the night she did something she hasn't done since last Thursday, she got up and left. She did this several times during the night and I chose on the side of hope that this was a good thing and not a she's going to hide thing....  This morning, she was not by my side. She didn't come greet me like she normally does in the mornings when she hears me stirring. While coming down the stairs I heard a little weak meow. As I came toward her she moved into the kitchen, where her food and water reside for her dining pleasure. She had eaten half the food in her dish. PTL! Hurriedly, I made my way to her litter box hoping to find poop, not yet but I have hope. She has asked for treats and she is back to drinking a lot of water.

I felt good about her prospects today so I even left for a bit to run a couple of errands. Now it is evening and she still hasn't done her business, but I am holding hope.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Loving That Little Gray Kitty

Throughout this morning I have thought, wow, this time yesterday.... Glad to be twenty four hours away from yesterday. Yesterday began around 4:00 am when Buddy woke me up...she was in pain and she had trouble with her back legs. We came downstairs and she laid so quietly on my lap while I cried, no sobbed. The whole weak back leg thing reminded me of our dog Tiff's last day on earth and I began to think that this would be Buddy's. The crying must have bothered her because she slowly took the steps upstairs and hid. When she hid, that made my sobbing more intense. This was not good and I waited to call the vet once their office opened. Meanwhile, I found her hiding spot and I began to get cleaned up and ready for the morning ahead. The time passed slowly...I found myself out on the front porch praying and thinking while watching the fog gently roll away.

This whole adventure began Friday night when I gave Buddy a stool softener that leaked a bit into her mouth instead of going down her throat. This caused her to foam at the mouth and run. She ran into the bathroom and I was able to clean her up a bit as she settled down. Buddy was not happy and neither was I. Early, middle of the night early, Buddy woke me up. She threw up several times. There was a bit of a tremor going on but she settled and then slept most of the day Saturday. She didn't eat much but she was drinking water and went to the litter box once. Sunday, she seemed a bit better. I could tell because when I carried her and put her someplace, she didn't stay there but moved. Then came 4:00 am Monday morning.

I was beating myself up emotionally over the whole Friday night incident. Out there on the porch I felt I heard the gentle whisper that things would be fine. I couldn't see how that was even possible. I texted Roy and then cried on the phone when we talked. I texted Peggy and Lisa asking them to pray for our situation here. Finally, 7:30 came and I called the vet. You see I had vacillated on whether to call our regular vet or try someplace new. Buddy has been having issues for over a year and most visits, if she takes a swipe at them, they are done with her. Yet, a new vet might not be so quick to help her....I felt in my heart that I should call our regular office and pray that we see the right vet for Buddy. The Lord answered that prayer.

So I told the office the situation, through tears. I am ready to whisk Buddy up and get there as soon as possible. They had an opening at 9:30. Two hours more to wait. Because of the dense fog I left a little earlier than normal. Good thing because we were slowed down by a tractor on the road and then a truck pulling a loaded down trailer.  It was the quietest ride with Buddy ever.

We were called back to the little waiting room and the tech asked questions about Buddy etc. The Dr came in and from the get go, she was proactive on getting some answers. She looked at Buddy's records and stated this had been going on without any real progress. I told her I had not given Buddy a chill pill cause it felt like that would be too stressful on her. They made their first attempt to touch Buddy, strike one...she said we are going to have to sedate her to do anything and I agreed. I might have suggested a nail trim and maybe a few weeks early on her shots so that another stressful visit wouldn't be in order. The Dr agreed. So the reinforcements came to hold Buddy down and the good Doc got that shot in the first attempt. After a little wait she returned with Buddy's x-rays. Quite a bit of arthritis especially in her left hip which is causing lower back pain and it is painful for her to poop. So she is holding onto it as long as possible. They said when they got her ready for the exam, she pooped big time but still had trapped gas which caused the throw ups. The Dr explained the course of treatment and then told me to go run some errands and return around noon to pick her up. They were going to do blood work and let her wake up before releasing her.

I made a quick trip to the grocery store and home. I kept Roy in the loop, Peggy and Lisa kept me entertained with texts. That helped. On the way back to pick up Buddy, just down the road a small fawn had run onto the road and had been hit. Several people stopped to move it and I lost it once again, tears. Buddy received a huge amount of steroids and will have to have a shot every six weeks or so. Another option is to give her steroids in a liquid dose here at home. The steroids need to do their work because this is the only option to help her have a comfortable life.

Buddy so glad to home went upstairs directly and fell asleep. I did likewise.

Buddy is slowly but surely returning to the land of the living. I re-introduced her to water and food last night. She's not much interested in the food just the water and treats. The Dr should call today with the results of lab work to rule out pancreatitis and something else that I don't even know how to spell or say. Buddy, well she
pretty much didn't want to have anything to do with me yesterday but thankfully she timed it perfectly after I had fallen to sleep, to join me, sleeping on my arm just like the past few days hadn't even happened.

I know this post is long but I will wrap it up with this....that Friday night incident that I felt had been such a mistake and that I was so mad at myself over...if it hadn't happened...I think it would have been too late. This sped up the timeline and as Roy said last night bought us some more time with her. I tell y'all...I love that little gray kitty!

Sunday, September 17, 2017

No Box Living For Me, Please

The foggiest of foggy days is happening in our area. When you glance out the window upon first waking up and all you see if fog, dense know it will hang around a little longer than most early morning fog. I like watching the familiar trees, houses and scenes reappear slowly but surely in such a haze. We can hear the birds, we just can't see them.

Our long time pastor of Houston's First Baptist Church, Brother John's wife passed away this week. The outpouring of memories on FB to the family are heart-felt and deep. Oh and numerous... The memories almost down to each one remembers her laugh and how she could light up a room upon entering it. So many have shared their recent Celebration memory. The end scene of Jesus resurrected and welcoming all those dressed in they come running to him. And so many wrote about the expression on Uldine's face as she truly lived out her part as she had in life, running to Him in full worship. My path didn't cross hers many times during the years but she did ask Peggy and I to be a part of an evening extra skit for a church women's retreat. I think that is where our parody of Love Lifted Me came from...I don't remember but I do remember we had fun. So many times we read or hear people use very measured words for one who has just passed away. Trying to say something nice or trying to overlook a quirk that got on everyone's nerves but not so with Uldine. The feelings of people expressed are just the truth and not the truth as they are trying to convey. She touched so many lives with kindness.

I know this will make everyone jealous, but I went to the dump yesterday with several flattened cardboard boxes and two bags of filler from said boxes. This year I have tried to cut back on my ordering thus cutting back on the disposal of cardboard in an ecological way. But there was a few weeks when the sales were too good especially things for the home that just couldn't be resisted.

This morning I read the last in a series of blog articles on the different seasons women find themselves in. This has been a good read because the seasons named weren't the usual ones we see in this kind of series and each of the women, both young and not so young, gave great contemplation to the subject they were given. Today's post on stewarding what God has given you in this season, was exceptional. It didn't go the predictable path. Now is there is something that gets my admiration, when one chooses not to do the predictable thing. I have spent a majority of life trying not to walk the predictable. Although, there are many things predictable about me. We all have that but mainly when others are trying to put us in a box, so that they can understand or manipulate their interactions with us...the size of the box has to change, cause I'm not going in the one you've prepared. These past few months as I have wrangled with a few emotions and thoughts and plans, I have realized the first five years of life and the last five years are the seasons that I experienced the least amount of being manipulated and fighting so hard against it. Now it has brought about a hyper sense of that when it feels like someone or something is trying to extract a response that is not organic or generated out of my free will. The fear of being dominated and cajoled into an image that is not me is absolutely terrifying. Thus one of the constant themes of this life, don't fence me in, don't try to make me into something I'm not and don't try to define me by a box. It is funny that throughout the weeks of out patient therapy this year, the PT said almost every time, don't over think this. But, after working with Taylor these past months, the overthinking came in out patient therapy because it didn't feel like all the information and the cause and effects hadn't been was's from the book of's what everybody does...but the lack of background info triggered the overthinking on my part. So maybe this season...see I didn't forget the beginning of this long one of eradicating overthinking...refining responses...walking in love and kindness...and yes, not fitting or adjusting to any box kind of living.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fall Back To Summer And Strange Dreams

Another coolish beginning of the day. Sun is out and all about is bright with the changing colors of the soon to be fall season. The trees of our far down the road neighbor are the first to display the changes in the fall and in the spring. This year more of his trees are showing signs of fall instead of the one tree that in the past few years announced the end of summer. They all are joining in that chorus.

One closet has been worked on and others are awaiting and wait they will cause today holds more than closet cleaning. I did get more things ready to take to Salvation Army. And two flannel shirts that I bought at a deep discount at the end of winter are hanging in my closet ready for another burst of cool temps. Our nights remain in the 50's but the days ahead hold 70's and 80's.

I see another friend is starting a blog and like most blogs will probably be abandoned in a short time. The season of writing to be discovered, well writing a blog, has moved on. It is best to be tweetable in 140 characters or less these days if one is looking for discovery. And the mystery factor of why the blog is being written is for tomorrow's reading. I don't know if that is a design to build up readership in the short term or what. Like I have written before, I write this blog for me but if others enjoy it, for this I am thankful. Writing is an outlet and something I enjoy. Believe me, there is nothing I stay at for long, short attention span, but Monablog is ten years old. I don't write as often as in the beginning but some of that is due to a better control of a filter on my thoughts and things don't get put out there like back in the day. Don't have too many ponies in the show anymore but I still observe a lot of situations that I wish to heaven I could write about, give an opinion and then add grow up to the end...but you know, filter. No, I did not write this for you to tune in tomorrow to see what I am observing and giving thought to.
Well, it is tomorrow. I had a few errands to take care of in Weaverville and then in Woodfin. Seems like there should be a ville on the end of Woodfin since so many towns and cities in this area are a ville. Once home all the cold stuff got put away and then these happy feet were prone to wander, so wander I did. It was feeling like a Blue Rooster fried chicken type of day, so that's where I went for a late lunch. Delicious as always. Wasn't feeling like an orchard stop but did go to Belk and then to Blue Ridge Books. I have had some books to bring them for the longest time and finally remembered. They have a used books section. Since I was giving them the books and not wanting any credit they took them. They are in the process of moving over to the Hazelwood area. That makes me really happy because Blue Ridge is one of my favorite bookstores but it is difficult to get to and parking limited. I perused the store then headed over to Mast. Fortunately, a truck pulled out of a prime parking space and I was there for that moment of claiming it for SequishShawn. Waynesville gets rain when no one else around the area does. It seems more times than not, it rains on me in Waynesville.

For the rest of the evening I read and relaxed. Knew I needed to go to sleep early cause the gutter man could be here at 8:00 am. Of course, he didn't come at 8:00 and I am still waiting and I am feeling a nap coming on for this afternoon.

I woke up this morning laughing because I had a similar dream to one my mother had years ago. This is one of my favorite stories my mom told on herself. In real life my mom was pretty darn funny but she tended toward the introvert side of life. She didn't like being called upon in Sunday School favoring answering or reading when it was her choice. She had a dream she was in Sunday School and her teacher asked her if she knew where they had left off reading a verse from the Bible. In her dream she responded, how in the hell would I know?! Now that is humorous because she didn't cuss. Once she called me a jackass and it broke my heart. I probably was acting like a jackass but when you are 15 why would you want to take your younger brother to AstroWorld while being with your friends?  My dream fortunately, didn't take place in church but I was with friends. When asked a question I responded back in part by using the f word. In my dream I was mortified that I had responded with such a word but my friends acted like I used that word in conversation all the time. In the dream they told me, everybody uses the word, we just don't like everyone to know. What? In my defense I didn't eat anything weird before going to bed last night.

Well, the gutter guy is here and starting to work. Buddy has gone upstairs to continue her nap in peace and quiet.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Which Way Does The Wind Blow?

The past few mornings the view from the front porch our home has been quite breathtaking. The combination of fog, shadows and sun, with some of the trees in the distance beginning to change to fall colors makes me stop and take in the loveliness of creation. This morning the skies to the west are a bit ominous with the last remaining bits of Irma in the area. No school today due to downed power lines, trees down and the last little bit of wind. Our area did not experience a full brunt or even much of a side hug from Irma but most of the overcast day contained light to steady rain. I had put up all things that could become flying objects in a gust of wind. The birds seemed a little confused only being able to find one feeder and one birdbath with water. The squirrels are totally disoriented because their play area no longer has furniture for them to chew or relax on. With our plans to have the back deck rebuilt, covered and screened in, we no longer had real use for our fire pit group and we found a great home for that set and our backyard swing to go to. We don't have the plans drawn up for the back as of yet but this helps with storage and not having to give up precious real estate in the garage for cushion storage this winter.

I finally broke down last night and turned on the heater. It was so cold in the house. Now that is an unusual statement from me because I am hardly ever cold. It took the edge off and this morning the downstairs is warming up cause I turned on the heater down here. Cinnamon coffee is helping take the edge off too.

Almost every September 11th on the good ol' Monablog, I share the story of two different years where the miraculous happened. Days that held life changing moments and appreciation. Yesterday was no different, I remembered and gave thanks.

The wind we were supposed to get yesterday has seemed to show up today. I just went outside to feed the birds and add back the other feeder and birdbath. It is more protected from the wind back there so I haven't felt like I could return everything in the front yard yet. Lots of wind whipping through the trees. Alert after alert comes through texts of trees and power lines down around the area. I still haven't perfected knowing where streets and roads are but I am getting better in that knowledge. This morning I told Roy it felt like a stick close to home kind of day with all the wind, downed trees and power lines.

To keep combating the chill, I made some decaf coffee. That is not a usual thing for me to do. I still think the blood transfusions I received with bilateral knee replacements were from a petite, freezing, decaf drinking kind of gal.