Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Happy First Day of Summer

Today is the first day of summer, the longest day of the year. The temperature here is a balmy 81 with a little breeze. Nice way to begin the summer, not too hot.

This is just an observation this being my third spring into summer in the mountains. No allergies, no colds or anything like that but I think the dry air, the lot less humid air on a daily basis plays havoc with my sinuses and throat. During this time of year, noises that I don't intentionally make just volunteer to show up and usually around the time I would like to sleep. Sometimes when I am breathing I could swear my nose is just trying to imitate the sound of a rotary phone...long distance dialing noise. It's horrible! Sometimes these little noises come from my throat and my throat does a pretty good job of sounding like a squeaky hinge noise of a door. Sometimes it almost seems like there is some kind of call and response going on between my throat and nose.

The day began early yesterday. With a 10:30 hair appointment I did as my usual custom to have an early breakfast at Corner Kitchen. Love that place and love their grits especially. Breakfast took a more leisurely course and left me with just a little time to kill in Biltmore Village. I went to  Talbot's. I think in my life I have stepped inside a Talbot's like two times and one of those times was with Dena when she was exchanging an item. Not my usual choice of stores to shop but it is close to the salon, so  what the heck....  So, I was greeted with a locked door and it was after 10:00. I heard the sound of a door being unlocked and a friendly saleslady greeted me by apologizing. She was kind and informative. I told her I didn't usually shop there and I was just killing time but she just took the opportunity to tell me all the items on sale were an additional 30% off. I began looking at the sale items and thought Talbot's has way too many things with stripes. I also realized it is more of classic and traditional look and I don't always lean that way. Given me linen is my spring and summer shout and flannel, boots and jeans for late fall and winter. Not being too impressed with the sale choices I began looking at regular priced items and then came back to the sale stuff one more time...very surprising that I then found two items, that I bought. One is a denim shirt and it is like I need another denim shirt but this one didn't have tencel in it. The other shirt is blue gingham check and I am all about gingham in this season of life. So while in the grand scheme of things, Talbot's is not on my radar I'm glad I took a few moments to look through the store.

After my haircut I headed over to Target going the back way. There is a repurpose/antique warehouse in the area and if there had been parking, I would have stopped. So, since it was packed out, I went to Target for a few things. I even remembered to bring the list of things for a hygiene kit to do for the fair ministry. Then I was happy to find a lot of outdoor accessories on sale, so I took advantage of that opportunity. Since I was in the area I made a stop at Home Goods too. Then to Whole Foods for some peeled and sliced oranges. So over the weekend I made up a little DIY spray bottle of spider repellant of 20 drops of peppermint oil to two cups of water, add a citrus oil for extra punch. Well, I didn't have a citrus oil but I did have peppermint. It works! So while at Whole Foods, I got some orange oil for the extra punch. Everything on the porch and soon to be on the back deck has such a lovely fragrance.

It was kind of exciting at the Whole Foods. They had discovered a shoplifter and had confronted the man. I had actually talked with the alleged perp while standing in front of the peeled and sliced oranges. He tried to shoplift some beer, they took it from him and told him to leave and they wouldn't call the police. Well, the guy wouldn't leave so all the chefs in their white coats stood guard at the doors. It would have been better if they had huge knives in their hands. A little nervous going out to the parking lot cause this guy might think I was being friendly when I said excuse me cause my cart was in his way, but in hindsight, he was probably using my cart as a beard trying to shoplift beer. The guy moved across the lot and I was on my way home.

For the past few days I have been a little nervous because I thought there was something dead under the propane tank. It was a miracle, so I thought, that the smell wasn't grossing me out. I didn't get too close and didn't really take a good look cause you know, it might freak me out or something. When I was over at Vivian and Bill's home yesterday I talked about what I hoped was not happening, that vermin and the like were taking a stroll down our embankment to visit. The groundhog has been here twice, huge groundhog, and it is squirrel city sometimes. Bill came over this morning to put some poison in the crawl space and didn't see any activity or evidence of mice or snakes. Then I asked if he looked under the propane tank...he said he did, didn't see anything. I pointed out where I thought I saw a dead thing and he reaches over and picks up an unattached tree root. Relieved and embarrassed but at least the mystery of the could be something dead and yes technically it was something dead since the root is unattached...is solved.

A couple of errands and all but the bank involved hardware or hardware type stores. Tractor supply for birdseed, Ace for decorative lights, and Reems Nursery to look at plants. Talked with a very informative employee and told me when the plants I am looking for will be delivered and it looks like it will be in the next several days.  Now at home and contemplating short nap...yes, the nap has it.


Saturday, June 17, 2017

Side Step, Side Step

The first year we were here we had goldfinches and indigo blue birds by the handful. Last year I think I saw one goldfinch but last year seemed to be the year of the cardinal and there were times the butterfly bushes were filled with six or more cardinals, all getting along and sharing. This year I have been so entertained by the cardinals and their young birdlings. Of course I went to the Google to research when the young ones feathers turn dark red for the male and brownish red for females. This year the goldfinches and indigos came back but not like the first year. Lots of small birds come to the feeders and they are all quite entertaining. The squirrels seem to have increased in number and there are times four or more squirrels are banqueting in the backyard. If one of them climbs into the feeder that's when I become the crazy squirrel lady, yelling and making noise for them to leave, well for a little bit at least. I had never seen squirrels tackling one another ever, that is until recently. They are serious about their food. Yesterday, while on the phone with Peggy, the biggest groundhog was chowing down on plants and weeds. I then became the crazy groundhog lady and yelled out at it. For a biggie, it sure moved quickly back into the safety of the weeds and growth at the end of the gravel road. The birds probably liked it better when I was up early because of the workmen building the porch and deck cause they were fed earlier. Now they have had to become more like brunch birds.

I belong to a FB group that is quite entertaining as well as educational learning the history the Appalachians. But there is one thing, there is a lot of snake picture postings. Dead ones, alive ones, what kind of ones, have you ever seen ones, the list goes on. Then someone posts a guide to venomous verses good snakes which is mainly shape of head and eyes. Uh no, not going to get that close to have determine this. I know that king snakes, black snakes, rat snakes are good snakes to have around. I saw a black snake shimmy across a road the other day and for a brief second I thought about running over it but it was a black snake, which means good snake. Every time someone says good snake I can hear the voice of Glenda the good witch from Wizard of Oz saying, "I'm a good snake.' I do believe I saw a black snake out back last night, up higher on the tier, hiding in the shrubbery. He made a little movement that got my attention. I finished up planting the last little flower and moved on with my work. Or it could have been a little bird that stirred and a tree branch. Again, I'm not getting close enough to determine exactly what moved.

Last night I started painting the stone step railings. Using a chestnut color that blends very well with the black primer. So I had to refigure how to paint, keep the steps covered, yet get down the steps without falling. The mistake yesterday was working on both railings and this morning brilliant one here realized you work on one railing at a time and use the other one for balance which means the tarp is folded in half only to cover half the steps at a time. It is already rather warm so a small section this morning and if the rain holds off, another small section this evening. Had a good moment while hunting for something old to wear while working today. Either I gave away and didn't pull out from under the bed storage some old stuff I wouldn't mind getting paint on. I found a pair of workout capris that were too small when I had knee replacements. Today, they fit and fit well, not just barely. So there was an unexpected encouraging moment.

Seems like I am seeing so many quotes and stories about letting something go that you love doing or have done for a while and thus promoting growth or opening up an opportunity for another to grow. I tend to worry a little about how will it affect things but if God is in it, there might be momentary discomfort but soon it is so obvious this was the right decision. Several years ago I sensed that the Lord was asking me to place something I loved at His feet and after months of wrestling with the decision, I obeyed. Then miraculously I saw nothing happen or so that is what I was thinking. Through several different circumstances I began to see how if I had held onto this thing, I would never be here in North Carolina. Living here is one of those things more abundantly than I could think or ask of the Lord. It was giving to the Lord something that I loved and treasured and trusting Him. I wonder how many are missing out on the more abundantly, more that they could ask or think? I am reminded of something Sandy Bell put on FB when a staff member left for another church in the city,
 BUT "Failing to move when God tells you to causes you to miss your destiny AND causes others to miss the blessings God has for them through you " ( Sandra Bell in my book)

And I would add because of you, cause you just might be the checker on the board that needs to move for more blessings to fall into place for others.




Friday, June 16, 2017

End Of The Week

Two days in a row of a change in plans and I am not complaining. Yesterday, Taylor had a flat tire on his way to the fitness center and his spare was flat too. He was waiting for AAA to come to the rescue. So, I headed toward Waynesville to celebrate my one year anniversary of discovering and eating at The Blue Rooster. I took the back way there and made a note to return home that way in order to stop at a produce stand that I've never visited before. Lunch was delicious and yes it is summer because even at 1:40, the only seating available was at the bar. Had a delicious lunch and got some veggies to go. I ran by the Belk's in West Waynesville. Our church takes up a collection of things for the people who work for the traveling fairs. We do hygeine kits, some volunteer and this year the need for socks and shoes is great. Since Roy needs extended sized socks I thought that is what we should give cause there has to be men working the fair that need the larger sized sock for size 13 and up shoes. Thankfully, Belk had the extended size crew socks and it buy one get one 50% off. They just happened to have two packages of them. I had planned on stopping in at the Hazelwood district but with cloudy skies and the thought of a produce stand, I hastened. hastened gladly, hasten so glad and free (hasten glad and free) back over to the stand. They had Bryson City strawberries and blackberries and some Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes came home with me. The skies looked like rain but we never got any at home. I moved the bird feeder and bath down to the level part of the yard near the new swing stand. I planted a few more flowers and then called it a day outside because of the thunder.

This morning I was up early for a hair appointment and since parking in Biltmore Village is an issue, I planned to go early, have breakfast at Corner Kitchen, walk about and then go to my appointment. Just as I finished taking my meds, a message from Christine came. She needed to move my appointment to Tuesday due to a babysitter issue. No, not a problem at all to change, so I wound up with more easing into the day without a strict schedule. After feeding the birds and such, I headed over to the bank and then to Ingle's. Here of late, the drive through lines haven't been long or taken a lot of time. Today, that record was broken by not one but two drivers. The guy in the old blue truck didn't even pull all the way up to the window, he stopped and almost blocked both lanes, The lady in the Toyota did not want to go to the second lane cause it is not the window lane but she finally, finally decided that remained her only option cause guy in truck wasn't going anywhere. I picked her line hedging my bet that she would be faster than blue truck. For once in my life I picked the right lane although she was having issues as well. The line of cars behind me continued to increase. Finally, the woman concluded her banking business and she was off. My transaction was short and sweet and when I left the blue truck was still sitting at the window. The grocery store wasn't too much better because every available way into the produce section was blocked. I chose to follow the lady who seemed to be moving the best but as I drew even closer to finally getting into the produce section, she blocked the grape section with her cart and said to me that she would be getting first choice of grapes, not me. Uh, I don't want any grapes but I did reach across her cart and picked up a bag of lemons displayed between the red and green grapes.
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All that patience wore me out yesterday and I never came back to blogging. I had a wonderful treat when Inez came over to see the porch and swing stand last night. So fun, just sitting on the porch talking. Buddy was in and out while she was here but Buddy settled down and watched the birds before we called it a night on the porch.

Today I worked out and then went over to Lowe's to order a porch swing. I ordered a low maintenance swing that costs a little more but has a great warranty and no keeping up with painting it. It should be here sometime next week and I also asked for it to be assembled cause you know Roy and I are outsource kind of people when it comes to putting stuff together.  I also bought some paint for the railings. Oh and discounted zinnias.

Now I'm waiting to see if it does or doesn't rain. We need the rain so I am not beginning a project just to have to run back inside if it thunders.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Working On The Railings, All The Live Long Morning...Into Afternoon

Well, there is good news from the oral surgeon visit yesterday morning. I really liked the Dr and staff. We went over everything and set out a plan of action. This morning the Dr called and said after reviewing x-rays and measurements they took yesterday, he wants to attempt putting in the implants with this grafting procedure. He thinks the bone is strong enough but if it is not, no harm, no foul, we will continue with the standard implant timeline. If successful, it could take six months off the schedule.

I had tentative plans for the rest of the day but a call from our contractor changed that. They would be at the house around lunchtime to install the swing stand in the front yard. Yea buddy! No problem. The process of installing that stand was so interesting. I mean really, what an art form of using a backhoe in tight spaces. The exact level and then setting of the whole thing. Using the bucket to tap the stand into the correct depth. Wow! It was fascinating. I haven't bought the swing yet but I am leaning toward a red one. At first I thought a metal swing but dang, the metal would be too hot some days.

Sunday night was not a good sleep night. Buddy woke me up at 2:30 am. She was so close and intent with a focused stare. Now that tends to make me nervous cause it could be something or it could be nothing.  Turning on the light didn't reveal a thing but Buddy's head tracked something unseen by me. Since this wasn't going to end quickly, I went to The Google to see what it means when a cat does such a thing. Well, the first article stated there were probably ghosts in the house. Uh...no...unless it is the Holy Ghost. The second article stated they could be hearing mice or other vermin in the attic, well that is if their stare is directed toward the ceiling. Thankfully, hers wasn't. Third article said it could be fruit flies...and the fourth said, it is a cat just being a cat. Finally, around 4:00 am she settled down and went to sleep. Thus, I went to sleep but knew I didn't have the privilege to sleep in since I had that early appointment. It was difficult to get up at 7:00 am and stay awake. One thing I have started doing in the morning is, when I first get out of bed, I look to my right and can see out the front window our beautiful view. That motivates and gets me going.

The guys just got here to install the railings for the stone stairs that lead to the....swing. They were thinking it would be this afternoon but so glad they are here early. Everything is primed for paint, so guess we will need to think on these things. I came inside after talking with the guys, told them to help themselves to anything in the garage refrigerator. They were arguing about math when I left them. Think a mentoring moment was happening but I was afraid they would ask me about, as Jethro Bodine taught us that seven gazinta twenty one, just what my math calculations would be. I couldn't help them cause my brain is already gone into, what color should we paint the rails?

To stop another Sunday night happening, Buddy and I spent the late evening into night on the porch. We were both mesmerized by the lightning bugs, obviously for different reasons. Those flying beetles with a light for a butt did not disappoint last night. You could see them across the road in the pasture. It looked like waves of light in our yard, not in a huge scale but a noticeable one. The songs of birds filled the sky with the loveliest of songs. We came in and Buddy headed straight to the bonus room for a nap. Porch sitting wears her out. To keep her company and to awake her every ten minutes, I watched American Pickers with a little Simpsons thrown in on commercials.

Random thought from errand running the other day, if I wore size small, I would never, ever pay full price for any piece of clothing. When there is a sale, that is just about all that is left unless you have a bunch of extra smalls included. Where are all these small people and why aren't they shopping? Us big girls know, if you want it...you better get there the day something is put out cause there are other big girls with the same mindset as you.

Well that above thought got me to thinking so I had to stop and look at a couple of things online. Then the railing was finished. A quick trip to the grocery store and a short little nap and here we are waiting for it to rain. If it doesn't I will need to hook up the hose on the faucet I have never been able to get to. I just heard thunder, so maybe there is still hope for some rain.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Observant Not Cynical.....

I just read a very funny article by a columnist for Garden and Gun magazine remembering summer camp and church camp in particular. She went to Girl Scout Camp and the summer her mother deemed her to be too cynical at the age of thirteen, she was bound for a Baptist encampment run by two old ladies. Reminds me of East Texas Baptist Encampment run by an older couple that Peggy and I nicknamed Sam and Son of Sam. We never saw them smile and they sat on their porch in their rocking chairs seething judgement. They were used to GA camp and maybe Jr camp, but they were taken by surprise when First Baptist Houston came rolling in with wild recreation and evening extras that are now staples in modern campdon. It was hot there and the food miserable beyond belief and we were thrilled to find big jars of peanut butter on each table but sickened when we tasted and see'd that the peanut butter was rancid. Oh, we were adults at this camp...not official campers. I do believe we introduced Skipper and Dolly to those Jr High campers, Skipper and Dolly are fish that can do tricks....and we found them at the grocery store in a fresh fish display counter...So you can see where this all led. Anyway, back to the column, the author hated church camp. She hated getting up early, didn't like to be forced into saying each morning what she was thankful for and all the emotional stuff that can come with camp. She liked Girl Scout Camp much better and her stories of Girl Scouts reminded me of Dena. Dayspring gave her a surprise 50th birthday party held at Peggy's. My job was to get Dena at that party so she could be surprised. I was halfway scared she was going to call and decline attending. She thought she was going to a surprise party for Carolyn, the director of the class and also an August birthday. We got her there and yes, she was totally surprised with people from her workplace, church and family in attendance. I had been in contact with her mom getting pictures and hearing funny stories from Dena's childhood. Dena was a Girl Scout and the letters she wrote her family from camp are some of the most hilarious camp letters I have ever read...mainly Dena wrote to remind them when they could come pick her up and to also help them keep in mind exactly what camp she was attending. In between the reminders she also shared she and a friend felt sick, but they weren't sick after all but she was happy to know who to find if she thought she might be sick....then of course her sign off was to again remind her parents when camp concluded, where and when to pick her up. I also love that her sister was writing Dena and making up all kinds of wild stories of eating out every night and how the cats had totally forgotten Dena and they loved Janet more than ever. There are only a few camps I truly enjoyed. Back in the day GA camp was held at Peach Creek Baptist Camp in the piney woods of East Texas. I did not like that camp at all for various reasons but I was always made to go. One summer while spending the summer with grandparents in Illinois, I went to their church camp...which was with other churches for a glorious week. Hopefully somebody has rethought the name Camp Ill-Mo. Camp clothing rules were more strict than any other church camp I had ever gone to. I remember my mother was furious when she found out that several had concerns whether or not my clothes would be camp appropriate. My Aunt Mary, new aunt by being the second wife of my Uncle Charles, my mother's oldest brother, was in charge of making sure I had enough pedal pushers...a blast from the past term for capris...and other summer camp wear. Why she was chosen for this endeavor, I do not know but I do remember having lots of fun with her as we shopped the dime store racks for camp clothes. My cousin Lois and I got to be in the same cabin and our cabin won every sport award there was that week. I also was caught by the dean of the camp hanging from the rafters of our cabin like a monkey as I moved around from top bunk to top bunk. Okay, I just looked up Ill-Mo and the camp is still around and it is called Camp Manitoubi now but still a part of the General American Regular Baptist Churches. I recognized the cabins that have now been modernized, so no rafters but they have A/C.

Once I got into high school and went to camp with Willow Meadows Baptist Church, I surely enjoyed camp. One year we did Camp Houston which meant we stayed at the church all week and did mission projects and such around Houston. Then we went to camp in Palacios, TX the next year. I returned home changed that is for sure. Wait, I think it was Palacios then Camp Houston. Who knows but the Lord made such a change in me that even my father noticed a life changing experience had happened for me. When my parent's church purchased a Camp, Camp Tejas, my father funded a scholarship for that camp for children who could not afford camp. Then when their church sold the camp grounds he continued funding scholarships and low and behold, it was now going through First Baptist because Cindy Pitt, the children's minister, would do what my father wanted. She told me about the continuing scholarships against my father's wishes for me to know.  Peggy and I went to children's camp one year to do an evening extra for the kids and got to meet the kids attending because of my father's generosity....only he was doing to them what he had done to my brother and I, sending them to camp with no spending money. I gave Cindy some money to give to the kids because it was my father's wish that those who got to attend camp be from families that had no other means to get them there. A lot of kids came from the children's home in Austin. Cindy convinced him to add additional funds for spending money.

It's funny, my father took the changes in me from loving camp, not from the work of the Holy Spirit. Even a few years ago when I had been called to meet his attorney, she relayed to me that my father was still upset that I had told him years ago, in elementary school, I mainly went to camp just to get out of the house. I don't remember saying that, but I probably did and wasn't smart enough to keep that info to myself. And just like the author who concluded that maybe what had been construed as cynicism merely was her observations as a fairly healthy, observant kid attuned to the foibles of human nature. Maybe too, I will change my mind that I have been cynical and instead change my thoughts to being observant and pretty good at being observant.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Onward!

With the gentle rains of yesterday and the breaks in between showers, I pulled weeds. I know everyone is jealous. I had done a dose of DIY weed spray with epsom salts, cleaning vinegar and blue Dawn dish detergent. Using Round Up is not my first choice especially after reading an article that the ingredients used are the main ingredients that causes Non Hodgkin's Lymphoma. And NHL is near and dear me because this was my father's cancer and fortunately he spent many years in remission. So the DIY spray did do some damage to the weeds and with the help of a rake and a shovel and some good old fashioned weed pulling, a small space was cleared. I might have gotten more weeds pulled but ADD kicked in and I found myself trimming back a small tree. It was very reminiscent of a fond memory at Cynthia's beach house. There was one of those tallow trees growing across the street on the edge of a neighbor's property. This tree was inhibiting our long distance view of the water. So we donned rain boots and set out across the street with a golf club, trimmer and maybe a saw...Cynthia and I worked on trimming that tree back. We used the golf club to bring the branch closer to us thus being able to make a dent in the foliage. Satisfied that we had done an adequate job we returned, climbed the stairs to the deck to look at our handiwork. Then we went back down the stairs, back to the tree and worked some more. Last night I didn't have a golf club but an old wooden cane I had used for blackberry picking. I pulled those limbs close to me and by using the leverage of the long handles and the rocks, I was able to do a pretty good job but it would have been more fun having Cynthia there cause we laughed ourselves silly while we worked. This situation, too, would have landed in the quite comical venue too.

During a weed pulling break I was so entertained by three baby squirrels playing on and around our neighbors huge trees. There seems to be an uptick in the squirrel population this year. Those three little squirrels ran up and down and around those trees with such energy.
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Saturday morning...I slept in and now I am easing into the day. Oh there is a whole lot to get done but I'm taking it easy with a full week ahead.

This laptop is on its last legs. The page and font size jump around like crazy and it is difficult to write many mornings. We have been talking about getting a new one but we tended to think maybe we would get a better deal in a month or so as people begin to gear up for school. Roy stopped in at Best Buy yesterday after having Sequisha's 5000 mile checkup. He found a laptop with lots of memory and good speed. So, he bought it and is loading software and security on it. It weighs about five pounds which in laptop world is heavier than most but I don't usually take a laptop with me because my iPad fits that bill.

The good news this week is, the land across the street where the cows graze and the old barn adds picturesque to the scenery, has not been sold and all the bulldozing of trees is making a way for a new and bigger pond for the cows. Whew! Brenda called to let me know that good news. She heard a tractor coming down their way and by the sound of it, she knew it was a big tractor. Her husband had told his friend, who happens to be the man who owns the land across the way, if he wanted to cut for hay on the additional acreage on the land, he was welcome to do it. So, he took Larry up on the offer and that is when Brenda visited with him about what was going on. This is such good news. I had kind of started looking on Zillow to see what's for sale around here and in Madison County. I can stop that now, although I do keep an eye on what's on the market. Sitting on the porch last night was more relaxing than it has been. Thursday night I had to come in from the porch cause it was too cold. From what the weather people are saying, yesterday might have been our last 70's for the high day until September. Next week in the low 80's. Yes boys and girls, reasonable temps to live, move and exist in.

Around here, and I've written about this before, there are a bunch of little churches, mostly of the Baptist variety. There is this one little white clapboard church on the way into Weaverville and on Sunday mornings when I have either taken a sabbatical Sunday or just went to Sunday School, there are about four trucks parked in front of the church. That number has held consistently.  This little church with the huge theological name must have decided that a friendlier name might be in order. A new sign with the new name, which happens to be the same name as two other churches in the area, has produced the same amount of trucks parked in front of the church. I read an article a couple of weeks ago that mentioned changing terminology from this to that creates more participation in church life. Uh, well...maybe not. Maybe we just want to believe that. I'm not a millennial so maybe that's why it doesn't matter what you call Sunday School to me because the meaning of it is not the name, it is the friends gathered together to worship and learn about God and along the way we do life together, have fun together and you can change the name a thousand times, we will still be our gathering of friends. Maybe the changing of terminology has the most effect on those making the "word" changes. At First Baptist Houston, they changed the name of one the rooms from Green Room to___________. I can't remember the newish name. (Maybe Reception Room?) The green room was called the green room because most everything in that room was the color green. When that room was revamped during the Capital Campaign, the color green was erased from existence, thus the rename, which escapes me now. Why? Because I called it Marriott Meeting Room G because the carpet or if you are a professional, the floor covering looked like it had come straight out of the Marriott Design and Decorate Book. It wasn't ugly, just looked like hotel meeting room carpet.

Well, that's a wrap for this post. Onward....Into The Day!







Thursday, June 8, 2017

Texas Feels and Mountain Glory

Lightning bugs about this evening. I read an article last year about these flying beetles and they stay in the same area and don't move from their ancestral home. That's why when progress comes to the country and the country becomes the city, you don't see them anymore. They don't move onto greener pastures. One night they were so plentiful that they made the firs into Christmas trees with their blinking behinds all around the trees.

This girl took off this morning to points north. It wasn't a case of homesickness but a case of missing Texas things. Johnson City has an Academy Sporting Goods store. They started in Houston and we shopped the original store since it was relatively close to our home. In this store they have the historical history done in a time line complete with pics. I am thankful I did not turn into my grandmother and start saying thing to anyone who passed by, I shopped there...I'm from Houston. Whew! I did find a few things that needed to be purchased and I had worked up quite the appetite that lunch at Carrabba's sounded good, another Houston institution. I took cooking lessons from Mary Carrabba and also from the Pappas matriarch, once they both taught in the same cooking class. They bickered back and forth the whole time. It was quite amusing. It was more difficult, but I didn't say anything while eating lunch to the server. Ah, mezzaluna pasta I have missed you. Dena asked me if I ordered any calamari? Their calamari is very tasty but alas I was by myself and couldn't justify an order. There are Carrabba's in Asheville but this seemed like these two stops should go together. I did stop and Barnes and Noble too.

On the way back home I stopped at a couple of produce stands. Ah yes, one of my favorite things to do. I bought some TN strawberries that I just cut up and froze. They are wonderful and little. Love little strawberries, they are so cute and so sweet. For supper this evening I fixed a tomato sandwich with Grainger tomatoes. Yum!

The evening is cool out here on the porch. It looked like south of us had some rain so it cooled off. It was just in the low 70's today. Usually I see deer on my way back home but only saw some turkeys. The lightning bugs have Buddy mesmerized yet frustrated since she can't get to them.  When I got home and after unloading SequishShawn, I took a little nap.
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Even though I was writing from the front porch last night, I needed to stop and take in dusk overtaking day into night. With so many clouds in the sky and with the different hues of blues, grays and pinks, it was a fabulous sight.

Another trend on social media is checking to see if your body is telling you something. Do you have a hangnail? These are the signs of underactive or overactive....take your pick from many ailments. Not to many of these articles are that helpful and you could fill up any leftover time from your it only takes fifteen minutes time worrying whether you should worry or not...So, instead of going to a Dr, ask FB if there are any old home remedies. Last night I stopped reading FB because there were too many "is this snake venomous" pictures or what kind of snake is this? Ugh! My neighbor has seen a large black snake and I know they are good snakes, eat the venomous snakes and keeps rodents at bay. I think that with our neighbor above us not moving his fields as much would mean those snakes and you have to assume there is more than one, are in those fields having a veritable smorgasbord of field mice to choose from.

I have Sirius XM radio in the truck. Sometimes when I am tired of listening to music I listen to the comedy channels. Here's the problem, with satellite radio going around and in and out in the mountains, you can lose the signal for a few seconds. With music you can kind of sing along in your head and be at the right spot when the signal returns. Not so with the comedy channels. You can be listening and just as the punch line or the great part of the story is being told...boom, lost signal. You can't get it back and unless you have heard the joke or story before...you don't have closure.  Lately, I have heard a few oldie but goodies of Steve Martin and Gilda Radner. Yesterday I was listening to Jeff Foxworthy interview a fellow southern comedian. It was entertaining of course.


Tuesday, June 6, 2017

If You Have Fifteen Minutes A Day.....

Tuesday morning...greetings. I was a little wired last night and it took a little longer to settle down and fall into sleep. Even after getting home from a meeting at church, I sat out on the porch taking in the dusk, the lightning bugs and the cows across the way being fed. The sun setting behind the mountains surrounded by clouds framing the beauty was worth the extra drive around on the way home from church. After rain the clouds arrange themselves on the tops of the mountains. I knew my camera on my phone would not be able to capture all the beauty so I took it it in knowing my mind and spirit would capture the essence for a beautiful memory to recall anytime I want.

Yesterday's workout with Travis once again a plumb line in seeing improvement in my knees and hips and having them do their proper work. We are truly fearfully and wonderfully made by God. I am so thankful for continued balance and functional fitness improvements.

If you have read Monablog for any amount of time you know that different things or statements or ideas that sound so simple, so easy...truly amuse me. Just scrolling through FB you can find all kinds of ways to fill your days fifteen minutes at a time. You can get rid of flabby arms at home, you can do exercise for those who have bad knees, all skin problems, taken care of in just fifteen minutes a day if  you do this or that. Products to lose weight, products to boost metabolism, detox in just a weekend. There are plans to read through the Bible by just spending fifteen minutes a day to accomplish that. Gratitude lists, prayer lists,blessings list, all good things and all can be done in fifteen minutes ...they go on and on...too many to list but it just might take fifteen or so minutes to do so here on the blog.  If we even for a short time took up every idea that only takes fifteen minutes a day, we wouldn't have time to do anything else. I have to admit though, I read some of these fifteen minute things and I probably use up about four minutes of that time span reading about fifteen minutes to a better life. That means if the online article makes you click through, oh let's say, fifteen pages...I am done with that and might look in the comments for someone to give a brief synopsis of the fifteen minute plan.

Beside the fifteen minute a day thing, there are all those questions we are being asked. I don't keep up with these things but the previously touted ideas on blogs is to ask questions might be making a comeback. The questions don't even have to be deep ones. Most of them are of the everyday variety. I mean really, we all want to give our opinions or be helpful but in the greater picture of platforms and recognizability, we are creating traffic and branding. And maybe just maybe there isn't a care for the information being given out so freely.

The workmen came today and picked up the mess of trash, unwanted lumber and the good stuff they had saved. It is nice having the whole driveway back. Much easier to back in. They have the metal pieces in for the handrail and for the swing, so that should be installed soon as well. Mike the Mower Man was here today and did a great job trimming. Even our neighbor Josh got out with his weed eater and cut down some of the weeds and such growing on his property in the ditch which is right in front of our house. Buddy and I have enjoyed some moments out here on the porch today. I just came in from spraying my vinegar, epsom salts and Dawn liquid detergent on the big ol' weeds and vines trying to take over once again.I stopped at Lowe's to get some white exterior paint to paint the trim around the storm door. Also got several good deals on reduced price plants like zinnias. Love those! I think I am going to clear some space on the tiered section of the back yard. There are several little trees growing and only a few will remain. The temps right now are perfect. The lovely sound of mooing and mowers fills the air...oh and the birds. They were especially loud earlier in the day.

There are several other things that are amusing me right now but my heart says...wait. We sure do say some stupid things in the midst of some really good things. So I will tell you our hydrangeas are going gangbusters. I'm seeing a few other places that need some knockout roses to fill in.

In the midst of all this amusement and questions and fifteen minutes I am thankful. Seem to have lots on my mind right now, sorting through things that makes me quiet and content. Anxious to close out a chapter and begin a new one. Anxious to put more things behind me and walk a new with new knees and a new attitude. Yes, I am quite thankful and if you will let me, if you only have fifteen minutes I can help your turn your distraught into.....nah. It takes longer than fifteen minutes.






Saturday, June 3, 2017

Easing Into Saturday

It looks like Buddy is heading upstairs for her first morning nap. She was a little feisty earlier but whatever was bothering her, probably lack of attention due to the fact I was asleep, has faded into finding her favorite sunny spot and drifting off with the sun maintaining vigil over her.

As I am wont to do, I am keeping my own vigil watching the pasture across the road. Thankfully, there are still some cows, it is just a smaller herd. The bulldozer didn't clear anything yesterday. With the activity over there it has affected the regular schedule of the cows and they are not where they usually are on the clock and in the field. Ah progress...

Yesterday morning Brenda and I grabbed a quick breakfast at Tommy's in Weaverville. The produce stand next to Tommy's hasn't opened yet and I wonder if it will. There was an older man clearing something out in the back when we left the parking lot. Maybe the not existent peach crop of South Carolina is part of the reason they aren't opening or most probably it is the age of the owners. Usually by now, I have been out to the produce stands across the mountains in Tennessee. Hmm...I need to rectify that. Brenda and I had a delicious breakfast and I dropped her off and continued on with the day. I knew I had a couple of packages at the Post Office that needed to be picked up and I had a few things that needed to be mailed. There were other things on my to do list but I was so sleepy from the lack of sleep the night before, I just came home and rested. Took a little nap too.

I did have a special treat yesterday afternoon because I got to talk with my brother for about an hour. He had been to Missouri to help Megan find an apartment for graduate school at Mizzou. They found one and she has a friend that lives there already. Always helps with a transition.

Speaking of transition, it is now the afternoon. Had a great workout and training time. My shoulder that has bothered me for years is coming along nicely and now with little pain, just a tinge here and there. We did core work and upper body as well. After working out I made my way to the library because I had some copies I needed to make and our printer is on its last legs. While I was there I had paperwork to prove I live in Buncombe County, so I came away with copies and with a library card. To begin my adventure of library reading, I can checkout two books and once those have been returned I am free to checkout lots more books. Yahoo! Then it seemed like a trip to Marshall was in order. Lisa P and I discovered these jammies made here in the great state of NC and here is the unbelievable price, $25-$27. I bought two more and a few other things I couldn't resist. Before heading into Penlands, I stopped at Wells Fargo to make a deposit and had a delightful conversation with the tellers. Next stop, Tractor Supply for bird seed and a few treats for Buddy. So, then Reems Creek sounded like a good idea. They are a nursery and had some beautiful plants I am considering. I also got the name of an area landscaper to come out and look at several places where we need some work done. I didn't come home with plants but with a few little items from their store. Reminded me a lot of enchanted garden.
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A beautiful Saturday morning. Buddy is squirrel watching right now. Until this morning she has not paid that much attention to them out there with the birds, but they have her attention now. I might have had raccoons in the back last night, up near the gravel road. It was not a good sleeping night for me but Buddy wasn't the cause. I was reading a mystery type story last night and of course it woke my brain up thinking on all kinds of things happening in the story instead of putting me to sleep. Guess that library air got into my system yesterday. The view from the library parking lot is filled with awe and wonder at God's creation. The ladies working there are so nice. My friend Angela shared with me last night that the library's magazine free exchange is really a nice benefit to checking out books and other things. I'm excited to have another resource to share my magazines.  I did look at the books in the NC section and I have some fun reading ahead.

This weekend I need to fill out all the paperwork for the oral surgeon appointment coming up. It looks like I am giving my doctoral dissertation by the length and in depth questions. I printed out a copy to work on, the last print job of a dying printer, and then will fill it out online and get it into their office.

Well, the day is moving along and I should join it.






Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Progress....

Today was bone density scan day and it was the easiest medical day ever. Now we wait for results. I was done in about ten minutes so I was off to other destinations and points.

Last night I was at a friends home for homemade banana ice cream. They had invited others to join in the fun so it was a lovely evening out on the porch as we solved world problems and then discussed health issues to the point that we became old people we were so enthralled with our discussions. Nah, we stayed young minded, but just barely. One of the things we talked about was going back in time to live a simpler life. I think I might have been the only dissenter because you really can't go back and it wasn't simpler back then either. Really, like I once read on a Beth Moore blog, her grandmother told her she liked the modern days. Life was hard, with less time helping appliances and scratching out a living....well, it was just dang hard. I think I agree with Beth's grandmother. Really, I would be dead maybe several times over because I have been privileged to experience modern day medicine that changed my life course. Life might have been simpler because it took a lot out of one, which means there is little energy left for fun or getting into trouble. When you think about how long it took to wash clothes or to fix a meal or to build a house...it wasn't simpler at all. Compared to Houston life here is simpler for many reasons. One is living in an area that isn't as populated makes things a lot easier. The pace of life is slower and even then it isn't all that easy to enjoy. Six weeks with this tooth thing just floored me cause I knew if I was in Houston I would have been squeezed in for an appointment to remedy the problem. It was hard not to think about that but then the end result is more satisfying that having a temporary crown glued on but having a tooth "built" to handle the load as we wait for the nerve to make the curve. Life is simpler in that produce grown locally is so much easier to obtain and this girl loves a good produce stand. Farm to Table restaurants aren't just fancy places but mom and pop places that have been in business for decades. Yep, it is a change for this freeway driving girl to be on the back roads and those roads have been built without any shoulder or extra room. If a big truck is coming toward you, you are hugging the side of the road for dear life. Out here in the country there are very few if any bike lanes. The roads are yellow double stripes and just this year it is legal to pass a bicyclist to ease around them. A tractor may slow you down but it doesn't really make you mad. The scenery is filled with so much to behold. The colors along the roads are in a changing time, from the white blossoms of the wild blackberries to the pink rambling wild roses that now cover culverts and line the road.

Sadly, I think progress is happening across the road. The herd of cows has been getting smaller by the week and I just looked out across to not find any cows out in the pasture. There is a bulldozer up on the hill and it has cleared out some of the trees and is smoothing out the ground. This probably means houses will be starting to be built soon enough. That has been happening farther up the road and while the economy is good here, people are taking advantage. I have suspected this change of events would happen but I was hoping it wouldn't be this quick.
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After I wrote the last paragraph I drove around to see if the cows were truly gone. It looked to be true. When I got back my neighbor was over at her mom's and we hadn't had a chance to visit since I returned from Texas. We talked about what could be happening across the street and she came over to look at the porch. They are thinking about doing something to their back porch. When I came inside and then looked out the front window, there were still a few cows. A truck pulled up near the barn and put feed in the feed troughs and those cows came running. It was not the usual guy I have seen there the past few years. This caused me to do some research last night on land around the area. There are three planned communities, one close to the river, one down the way (expensive home and lots in a gated community) and one more in Leicester. With the widening of the highway, you knew this would be coming. For fun I looked at houses for sale in Madison County and when I told Roy this morning I had found one I really liked, he said to me what he always says when I have expensive ideas, get a job....get a good job."

Well, the day is moving on just like progress in the country. Hopefully, it won't go fast but if it does I will still enjoy the life here even with new neighbors. Face it, it is hard to replace as good of neighbors as those cows have been.




Monday, May 29, 2017

Rain, Hair and Beauty

The afternoon has turned to cool temps and overcast skies. I think the rain is over pretty much for the most part. Buddy and I are being cooled by a breeze and Buddy is entertained by the various birds that fly close to the porch. Earlier this afternoon when it was rather warm, she sat at the front door indicating her desire for a porch visit. She won't stay out here by herself yet because if for any reason I need to go back into the house, she is pretty much my shadow. I love that she has discovered her new bed. It has taken her a while to cozy up to it. The birds are singing with such vigor, so maybe they are happy the rain has gone away for a time.

I listened to Second Baptist Houston on the radio this morning. Rev Young has been preaching on heaven. It was a good sermon. Of course the music in between the programs is what I like best. I downloaded some instrumental music today because if Alexa is being temperamental I can play music in the background.

One day,Tuesday, the power went off but our generator kicked in. Having no clue with propane and propane accessories, I asked Roy to look at the gauge to see if we were low. A little Carolina wren had built a nest under the cover protecting the gauge. Roy had to move the nest a bit and a little tiny egg rolled to the ground. You might as well put a knife through my heart at that moment. Then when the little wren came back to the now messed with nest and missing egg, she was distraught. She went into the nest several more times and then flew away. This wren was my morning wake up call singing so early in the morning. She has left and I am so sad. We never intended to harm but lesson learned. I mean really, what a smart little bird. Out of the elements, pretty much protected from a snake but it didn't figure on a propane gauge check.
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Well, I was wrong, we received a little more rain yesterday afternoon. Nice cooling rain that makes porch gliding so enjoyable. As I expected, yesterday was a totally ensconced day, not even going to choir practice. The afternoon included a short nap. The Godfather I and II were on TV last night and I watched a little of both of those movies but AMC has way too many commercials which extends a movie began in the evening into the early morning.

FB has been full of pictures of a much looked forward to day. Jason Swiggart pastors HFBC's Cypress campus. They have been meeting in a school for four years. Yesterday, they celebrated their last Sunday in the school by remembering all the good things God has done and last night the lighting of the outdoor cross on the front of the new building was celebrated. Jason is the minister I worked for at First Baptist. His sweet spot is people and he looks like he is doing well with a job of ministry in the midst of Cypress. Many of the people there now were in Young Marrieds when he was over that portion of ministry at First Baptist. It is a joy to see all of this. Chambers, their oldest son, just graduated from Baylor. He was my first assistant when he was in the third grade.

The backyard is quiet now which is usually a good indicator that the feeder is empty. It will be a little later for me getting out there to remedy that situation for them. Today is treatment day with the hair product from France...just like the coneheads. It is a thickening product for hair, an oil left in for 10 minutes, then after shampooing, a liquid product goes into the hair, no rinsing. I can kind of feel a difference but I don't know. The essential oil does smell good so that's a plus. The stylist at the salon says I need this, I'm not too sure but this is much better than the every other day stuff she suggested. Oh there was a day that I would have dedicated that much time to my hair but meh.

Because there were two years with drought, this spring has been especially colorful in the hue of green. The grass and trees are verdant. With that backdrop the rich colors from flowers and ground cover provide an exclamation point of beauty. Think I will get out for a bit and enjoy this beauty until the clouds gather once again to provide abundance. The weather guys are saying rain and storms later today.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

I'm Back.....

It has been a little bit of time since I have blogged partly due to being busy but more so because of the loss of a blog post that I had worked on for quite some time. It was a favorite and it seemed to be more than just this is what we have been doing but it held some descriptive thoughts and feelings. When I came back to the post to publish it...it was gone. Not in draft file, not anywhere, not here or there...Gone. The intense taste of discouragement grabbed me and I had no desire to come, sit before this screen and write again. Several days ago the stirring returned to write and and knowing to release the melancholy of loss would be most helpful. Sensing deep within my spirit that maybe all along that post was meant for me and not to share. So this Sunday morning, taking a sabbatical Sunday, I sit before the screen, with KHCB playing in the background and cup of coffee by my side. Buddy has decided not to come downstairs as of yet. She is ensconced in her blanket dreaming cat dreams.

The late night storms weren't as bad here as some we've had before. Lots of lightning and thunder but the rain seemed to be on the lighter side. Happy for the rain to help the newly planted azaleas that Roy put in this week as well as some knockout roses. We also planted some sunflower seeds that we harvested from last years flowers. I think I'll add a few more plants to the raised bed just in case none of the sunflowers come up. This past week has been rather rainy and we used the opportunity to do some projects that we've had on the back burner because good weather and roads calling out to us enabled us to go along our merry way. Roy put together this cheap, pressed wood bookcase with cubby holes, for things in the garage. Lots of parts for this "simple" bookcase and it took us all afternoon to get it together. We took the opportunity to clean out all the sawdust, obvious sawdust, from the porch and deck construction. Once the weather cleared we got some trees trimmed whose branches were obscuring our vision getting out onto the road. Saturday morning we gathered it all together and took it to the dump with so many other of our new best friends. The line was long but it moved along quickly. This week also included an A/C checkup and having a locksmith come to the house. Our front door lock and knob have been problematic. You never close the front door all the way because even unlocked, you were locked out. We were so pleased with the work done and we had some additional work done. We felt productive in getting things knocked off the to do list.

We went to the Biltmore Estate after a delicious lunch at The Moose Cafe Wednesday. We went for the ice cream and for a quick trip inside Traditions. The skies opened up and lots of rain fell. We waited out the worst of it with a group of senior citizens...we don't think of ourselves as part of that group unless there is a discount or close parking involved. I have noticed in past trips to the estate the tour bus groups pretty much resemble each other in that the ladies wear white pants...why? White pants are a magnet for stainage and messiness. Seems like most of the sightseeing is spent waiting and looking for the bus. These groups are traveling about the country, seeing things in fifteen minutes and using the rest of the tour time to wait for much anticipated busses. This group sent out a woman with an umbrella to scout out the situation...her report, no bus was found. So, they sat there staring off into space. The rain let up and we were up and out into the fresh rain cleansed air. They remained glued to their chairs, eyes fixed on the horizon waiting for that bus to take them to the next fifteen minutes of sightseeing. After we had made our purchases, we walked back to the truck and my phone rang but when I answered I couldn't hear anyone. This happened three times and I told Roy, I think this must be from the dentist office. Kind of makes me think of Paul's thorn cause this has been an issue.  Once we got to the truck I recalled the number and sure enough, it was. They had a cancellation at 11:00 and if I didn't mind waiting about an hour after my cleaning appointment, they would be able to work on my broken tooth and fill two cavities. Hallelujah! Not having to wait until August for this to happen and to have the tooth worked on before meeting with an oral surgeon in a couple of weeks...this made me so happy. It had almost been six weeks since the tooth broke, then maybe with an unnecessary root canal, with packing that only lasted six weeks, I was thrilled for a little closure. Love the dentist and his staff. They are so friendly and funny. Even with as much as I talk, keeping my mouth open for several hours was a little difficult. My cavities were in the front of my mouth. So with all the novocaine, my lips remained numb for several hours. I could not drink anything, out of a glass, bottle or straw without getting stuff all over me. It was rather comical. Because I hadn't had anything to drink since before my 9:20 appointment, afib made an unwanted appearance but it was soon dispelled by hydrating and getting some magnesium into me.

The past month has been busy and I am looking forward to a little down time in the coming days. I will make a drive by run to the imaging center for my bone density test on Tuesday. I kind of think I know where it is but want to make sure.

After a little rain, with no growth showing, this morning it is a different story about the sunflowers. The little flower bed has a lot growing, peaking through the soil. When they get a little bigger I might need to transfer and replant some of the plants. This makes me extremely happy.

I could blog more but y'all have to be tired reading all of this. Hopefully, you were able to read and not fall asleep.




Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Too Much Fun...Too Much Fun To Blog

It has been a while since I have written on the blog but having so much fun put a crimp in my time and nothing was written here. Lisa P came to NC and of course fun, laughter, conversation, chatting and solving the world's problems were all done while she visited. Her plane landed in the late night hours in Charlotte. We spent the night at a hotel there and we were up and on the road early to meet Brenda and Vivian at the Inn on the Biltmore Estate. We ate lunch on the Veranda at the Inn. Perfect temps to take it all in. The food, delicious. The scenery, breathtaking. I think Vivian was a little tired and wasn't interested in shopping at the Inn or later running around to view the sheep, geese and whatever else we could find to take a million pictures of. So we bid adieu to she and Brenda. Lisa and I had a front row seat to the sheep and little baby lambs that filled the fields near the lamb birthing barn. We took tons of pics and videos. Then we drove around the lagoon to watch the geese and all their young uns'. The day began to fade and we headed toward home but first we said hello to all the exotic animals that live down the road and around the corner.

Friday morning, Brenda invited us over for breakfast, so we didn't need any time to get ready and head over that way. She made three kinds of bacon, the candied bacon is my favorite, biscuits, homemade cinnamon roles, grits, strawberries, flour tortillas filled with cranberries, cream cheese and lemon, stuffed dates topped with a pecan, sausage and cheese rolls and jalapeno poppers. Oh my goodness! We were stuffed in such a very happy way. As promised from Lisa's last visit, Brenda began to teach Lisa how to make biscuits. Her biscuits turned out really good. Lisa also learned how to make sausage gravy. We waddled to the truck, made a quick stop at home to put up leftovers Brenda gave us for Saturday morning, and we were headed back out to Madison County. We stopped in at Penlands in Marshall and found such a deal on pajamas made in NC. Very cute! We did a little more looking around and then headed out to the country. We eventually made it over to Mars Hill and stopped in at Fiddlesticks. Cute shop.

Saturday, we went to Weaverville and then headed over to the Biltmore again. The sheep weren't out but we went to Traditions, the Winery and had supper at Cedric's. Lisa and I split a bison burger, she had salad and I had soup. Of course the delicious pretzel bread and lusty monk mustard butter were the bomb diggity. After supper, we went to see Vivian and Bill. She had made hummingbird cake and surprised us with homemade ice cream. She replicated the ice cream they had on Thursday, pineapple mint. It was good! Super good! We had a great visit, then headed back home.

Sunday, Lisa sang with the choir for our concert of prayer service. We sang Brooklyn Tab's Pray. Powerful! Pastor Gene is getting so much out of us as a choir and for that I am thankful. Since Sunday was Mother's Day, I cooked a roast in the crock pot and that is what we had for lunch. After taking a relaxing attitude toward the afternoon, we called Brenda and headed back to the Biltmore. The sheep were out and entertaining. Even the surprise of seeing Taylor, my trainer, and his family at the Biltmore made the afternoon special. Heard my name being called. There he was with his wife, children and in laws. Brenda, Lisa and I then went to the creamery for, yes, ice cream and then back to the Inn where Lisa wanted to make a final decision about a dress. She opted out on it and we were delighted to see bunnies and deer on our way out of the estate. We dropped Brenda off and then Lisa and I took another drive around to see the camels, elk, deer and watusi.

Monday morning we went to the gym. While I worked with Taylor, Lisa worked out. Then we headed over to Waynesville. Had a delicious lunch at Blue Rooster. Then stopped at Belk, Robin Blu and Hazelwood Soap Company. Since there is tree trimming being done on the freeways, we took back roads home. Once we got here we began to pack and get ready to head to Charlotte for Lisa's early morning flight home on Tuesday. Once Ray had packed up for the day, we left. Had a fun conversation with CourtneyS and then stopped for supper at Cracker Barrel. Got in, pretty much checked in with Roy and Malcolm, then we both fell asleep with visions of coconut cake dancing in our heads. Lisa was up and gone before 4:30 am. I dozed off and on and then got up and got ready to come back to Asheville and see the dentist. After seeing him I do feel like I am in good hands but also learned the news that the root canal could be a total waste of money. We shall see. So first appointment available, August. I will also see an oral surgeon and begin the process of having a couple of implants done. Started down this road but oral surgeon died and then we started the process of buying a house up here. So...now...here I it is.

Well, that's it for tonight. I watched Houston's First Baptist tonight as they release their new album. Blessed.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Erie, Panama, Root...What Is A Canal Alex?

It is always good to stop and take in a moment. I think several of us had that kind of moment yesterday in Sunday School, I mean Life Bible Group....or whatever the name du jour is in this relevant season of life. Our class is very special, but then maybe all classes have the thought that their classes are special or unique. There is joy in knowing we can all experience that no matter what the in vogue title is in the latest and trendy "church world" vernacular. Because really it is all meaningless without the people, bringing with them their particular talents or gifts to share and experience with one another. It is all about worshiping God as we gather, the unity of the Body in the bond of peace. When in the rehab hospital almost every night as I struggled for rest in the middle of the night, I would pull out my phone and look at and pray for each friend from the pics I took on the last Sunday before returning to Texas. Among those pictures is a photo I took at Gale's home, her desk, where she studies and prepares our lessons, whether they be Sunday School lessons, Life Group lessons or Life Bible Study lessons. I love to look at that picture and pray for her, great visual.

I feel that way about our choir too. Feels special and unique. We altos are the mighty and the few when compared with sopranos. They outnumber us. I love how Gene leads us and the music we are doing. A good combo of new, contemporary and a splash of older songs just to keep everything interesting and everyone in the congregation engaged with worship. Seems like I am reprising a familiar role, commentary. While practicing for Easter Gene said I've not experienced the sunrise service here...and I added well, here in NC, we do it early. Last night he mentioned the Memorial Day picnic and that he had not experienced that here, and of course I told him that it was much later in the day than the sunrise. We all had a good laugh. We were working on the song Untitled Hymn, usually associated with Adrian Rogers. Angela asked if anyone knew sign language and Lorraine said, I bet Nancy knows sign language. Funny thing, I took a class a long time ago, way before everyone started taking a class to do interpretive signing with the singing but I admitted I only remember how to sign, you make me sick, help me and where is the bathroom?
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Good Tuesday morning! I overslept this morning but thankfully Ray was later in arriving today. It was a full Monday and I even went to bed earlier than usual. Must have needed the extra rest. Had a good training/workout with Taylor. We concentrated on hip and knee rotation. Taylor mentioned that one of the therapists told him he was impressed with the work he is doing with me and how well I have responded to the exercises that are putting me back together again. I came home, ate lunch and got changed and ready for my dentist appointment. You know, you don't look forward to dentist appointments especially when a root canal is involved but on one of the loveliest days of spring, I was glad when they said unto me your appointment is at 3:15. The office has tons of music you can pick to listen to while having the procedure. It reminded me of my childhood dentist that had reel to reel stories to listen to while they examined or worked on your teeth. He had all the Dr Seuss stories. Yesterday, the choice was Carole King. Tina Turner was a close second but I didn't think I would sit still while they worked on me if I listened to Tina. So, Tapestry it was and the procedure was finished before getting through the whole album. Only got as far as Smackwater Jack, only missing Tapestry and Natural Woman. They also put those big sunglasses on you like you get to wear home after having dilated eyes at the eye doctor. It has been almost forty years since having a root canal and what used to take several visits took less than an hour. Hearing the drill and whatever other instruments they use...well, I thought I've been conditioned for the noise cause I've heard a lot of power sawing and drilling the last two weeks.

I had considered running an errand or two before returning home, but it hit me that I was emotionally tired. This whole tooth thing has gone on for three weeks and I'll still need to be careful and eat soft foods, which isn't really a bad thing, but next week I have an appointment with a dentist to begin the process and then complete the work and then do other stuff I have been putting off. I told the woman who answered the phone at his office that the dentist will probably be able to put his children through college once he is finished with the work. There are seasons of life where I find myself at the dentist weekly, then once the work has been done, I have a hole in my social life or so it seems.

On my way home on the river road right by the Post Office, the sheriffs were out in force, stopping us and doing a license check. I pulled out my registration and insurance info before being stopped by an officer. Handed him my license and he went to the back of the truck and looked at the license plate, came back to the window, handed back the license and told me to have a good day. I don't know if they are looking for someone or something specific, but it could have been just getting unlicensed drivers off the road. That scene was a first for me.

Thinking about sticking close to home today and get final preps done for Lisa's visit.




Saturday, May 6, 2017

Rain and Snow On A Saturday...We Just Got Rain

When I returned home this afternoon, Ray and I had a good conversation about Texas, guns, dogs, the right for Texas to succeed from the Union and we talked about the building process. It doesn't take too much time to get the beginning started, like the porch and deck. They tore out the old and put in the new...except for the remaining pieces for the covered porch floor. The deck went like gangbusters too with the concrete being poured and then the foundation of the new deck being built. The posts for the railing went up yesterday and today is the detailed work of getting everything prepared to frame in the door. Ray told me people get so impatient when it comes time for the detail work and he said it takes time and skill to do these things right. Since we built our home in Texas I am accustomed to the work slowing and progress being measured in inches rather than feet. Of course this is a broad brush stroke but we encounter the same process as we grow in our walk as believers. Most of the time when someone is new to the faith, things happen quickly and the foundation in the faith is laid but it is in the details, in the little things where a lot of change and growth are made. We grow impatient. I noticed the same thing with the glider and chairs that Doug restored. Taking this furniture that someone had grown impatient with and probably sold for a song and dance...from that to the finished product, lots of hard work in the tedious went into the pieces. We don't like the details to take extra time.
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Brrr...it is a cold but sunny Saturday morning. I was looking forward to sleeping in but a phone call woke me up, so easing into the day. I haven't had too many of these kind of days and miss easing into here and there but the sacrifice is a beautiful new porch. I'm tired but not fatigued. It is lack of long nights of sleep kind of tired, but I better get used to that cause Buddy will be back before you know it. She is going to love that screened in porch.

The payoff working with Taylor is multiplying. We, meaning me, have done a lot of core work and guess what? It is paying off in everyday functional fitness. He is giving a lot of focus on my left shoulder which has been an issue for over twenty years. As he was stretching it out and going through the process he said this is deep within the shoulder and the goal is to get it functioning again properly. Maybe even a bit of rotator cuff issues in the back. Learning the connections and connectors with our muscles and brain is interesting and keeps me on track. After my workout yesterday I headed back over to Antique Tobacco Barn to see if I missed on anything while we were there earlier in the week, since I could hardly concentrate until we got back for the glider. While going without any intent in mind some things did come home with me. Like a small wrought iron table that will go well with the set we found on Monday. This affords the opportunity for me to practice on a much smaller scale what I observed Doug doing. This table is also in better shape. Then I found something I didn't think I would ever find, a Biltmore Dairy Milk Box. The box that the milkman delivered your milk, cream and butter to. Now it is not the large metal box I have been searching for but with the Biltmore Dairy Milk bottles I have, it could make a lovely arrangement for flowers. There were two boxes and it was tempting to buy the older one but the lettering wasn't as plain as the one that came home with me. Added another Biltmore milk bottle to the collection and a tobacco stick stand. Don't know what that will be used, but for $16.50, how can you go wrong?

There is six inches of snow on Newfound Gap between NC and Tenn. Some reports are the roads will not be cleared until Monday around noon. The birds and squirrels have hung around here today. New birdseed will do that. I went out this morning and pulled a lot of weeds and then got out the weed puller for the hard to get weeds and the manual weed trimmer. I don't trust myself with the weedeater. A bunch of wild onions are growing out there and I returned to the house smelling a bit of onions. I swept up dirt and weeds and some of the sawdust that has accumulated. There is a lot to do in the garage but I cannot work on that till the guys are finished with the porch. I told Roy we need to start saving again so they can come back next year and do the back deck. We would like it extended, covered and screened in.

I got most of the cleaning done in readiness for Lisa's visit. Keeping up with tracked in stuff is a daily thing right now.

Well, I think the rain is over and I still have a few things to do before settling in.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Wonderful, Beautiful...

The squirrels are running kind of slow this morning which means the Wifi is not running very fast for the computer and pretty much not at all for my phone. Oh well... Anyway, other than Wifi things are moving right along. Doug left this morning after we put the glider back together and moved it and the chairs to the backyard. His phone died yesterday so he was anxious to get back home and get to Verizon. He just texted me that the phone started charging in his truck. Yahoo! Told him his phone need a vacay too. Except, Doug kind was busy the whole time he was here with the glider and chairs. He did a fabulous job. When we were at the Antique Tobacco Barn he asked me where would we start and I said, I always find things on the left side...and there they were...just sitting there waiting for me to see them from the distance. Doug looked at them, said they were in good condition, even with the rusty patina. Loaded them up and off we went to Lowe's several times but he left them ready to roll once the porch is He used hammered chestnut spray paint on them. Yesterday morning, after giving them the first coat of paint, we went to Stoney Knob for lunch and then headed over to Home Goods. We found cushions, pillows, and accessories. We were also dealing with a lady who wanted everything we touched. So we would have to put stuff in the cart even if we weren't decided on it. The trip to Home Goods was successful and lots of fun. Even got to show my creative side in the store and got the approval of Doug who told me he is stealing the idea.
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Another night of good soaking rain. The rain gauge shows almost two inches. Around 4:00 am the area lost electricity due to limbs and trees on the line. With the generator we didn't lose power and for that I am always thankful. But it is dark out here without any lights. I took advantage of the time and looked at the sky filled with stars. Beautiful! The grid power came back on around 4;20 am. So, it was a rather short duration. Duke Power is good with the text alerts too.

I got out early yesterday morning and had breakfast at Tommy's. Really, where else will you get a delicious breakfast of eggs, bacon and pancakes for $5.95? Then I headed back to Home Goods to see if they had put out anymore cushions and they had. Found a pillow and also found a cat bed for Buddy on the porch. Went to Whole Foods for elderberry syrup and sliced and peeled oranges. A quick stop in Barnes and Noble was worth it cause I found my magazine. Then Publix for a few groceries. I introduced my brother to sparkling cranberry juice.

While in the grocery store our contractor called and said the metal guys would be at our home that afternoon to measure and discuss what we wanted for the railings for the stone steps and for the metal stand for a swing in the front yard. The guys came by and we talked a bit, or maybe that should be shouted cause we were out in the howling wind. Again, it is so true up here, these workmen do not want to talk to me, they would rather talk with a man about these manly things of building.

The high today is only in the mid 50's and it will be cool through Monday. More like March temps and weather. There might be more rain today but right now the sun is out.

Today is a workout day. Each week I see improvement and Doug was so encouraging with his words about the progress I am making. And with that I better eat breakfast and get started on this day.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Rooster, Glider and Coconut Cake

Yesterday while cleaning and straightening things up in the kitchen, I took a picture of our kitchen table that is set into the bay windows. Saw an idea the other day about putting flowers in a wooden toolbox by using mason jars. So, I had this little one that I probably picked up at Target and used very small mason jars, also found at Target and cut flowers, not found at Target, and made an arrangement. Turned out kind of cute. This is the same table and window I took a picture of on an early Sunday morning, with the kitchen only bathed in light from a night light and contrasted with the snow outside the window. Turned out kind of cute. So this summer, I think I will take a picture of this same scene and then take one in the fall.

I am again defending the birds from stray cats wandering through. An orange cat just came through the backyard and chased off two Eastern Towhees either fighting or going through a mating ritual. Who knows? It all looks to be the same. Last night Bunny Foo Foo let me get kind of close. Last year Inez told me they get so drunk or enamored with clover they will let down their guard somewhat.

In 2015 we had indigo buntings visit the bird feeder then last year, we didn't ever see one. This year, I have seen one. I thought it was an indigo but put it on FB to get verification from my learned friends. I have seen a couple of hummingbirds too, so got those feeders out and then I found the ant deterrent.
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Oh Tuesday morning, filled with sunshine and cool temps, welcome. I noticed along the roads yesterday that the wild blackberries are in bloom and not by coincidence, the temps will be much cooler on Friday. For now the house is quiet. No one came yesterday to work on the porch because of the rain. That doesn't mean I wasn't working. My brother arrived Sunday afternoon and he is the guru of DIY projects. But I am getting ahead of myself. Anyway, he arrived and after a short meet and greet and hug, we were off to Addison Vineyards so he could see the views and do a wine tasting. We had a good time visiting with the owner and learning so much, not only about the wine making but the process of going into the business. Since I don't really drink wine much I only took a sip of the mead Doug tried. It was very tasty. We left and drove around the countryside both around here and in Madison County. The surprise of the day was supper because I had fixed a roast in the crock pot. It was a mixture of an old recipe and a new recipe.

Doug came with me to my workout but he decided to read and do some research for finding a porch glider. I have never used Craig's List and he found a set of chairs and glider, only to find out it had been sold. So, to ease the disappointment of missing out on that grouping, we headed over to Blue Rooster in the pouring rain. Lunch did not disappoint and we have another person who loves them some Blue Rooster. We went to an antique place outside of Waynesville which is really a hit and miss place. I have found some things there that I treasure but most of the time the place is a a huge miss. We got a few ideas yesterday for some things but we walked away empty handed. Since we were taking the back way home due to all the traffic because of land closures on 40, a quick visit to Main Street Mercantile was in order. Saw a couple of things that I might go back to purchase. We then took the back way to 40 and ended up going to Antique Tobacco Barn. I like to start out on the left side cause that is where I have found things I love and as we were beginning our jaunt I saw a glider and two chairs. Doug did the check of condition and declared it a good find. He also suggested we make an offer lower than the price. We walked around but I could not get that glider out of my mind. Then I got panicky thinking everyone who had entered the place was going to buy that glider before we returned to the front of the building. The owner accepted the offer and the glider and chairs were loaded in the back of the the truck and we were on our way. After we dropped off the furniture, we went to Lowe's to get the supplies that Doug would need to begin the work of restoration. Supper was Sonic and after that we started in. We bought a cordless drill but progress was slow and the evening wearing on. I found a corded drill in Roy's tool box and that sped up the process. Then Doug sprayed on the naval jelly. This morning we should get the first coat of paint on everything and then head out to do more looking and enjoying one another's company. I am up early to let the crew into the garage and I am glad Doug is getting some sleep.

So that's a wrap for now.

Friday, April 28, 2017

A Friday Morning Catch Up And Blogiversary

I went to bed early so the early morning arrival wouldn't totally zap me. I woke up a little before 5:00 am and finally got moving about 5:15. This is the morning I have been waiting on for almost two weeks, the endodontist appointment. They asked me to be at the office by 7:30 for paperwork. I rolled out of the driveway about 6:45 and checked the traffic reports. Today it looked like the roads were clear and the trip would take about thirty minutes. Sure enough I arrived about 7:20. I really liked the office, staff and Dr. Yep, there is a root canal on the calendar but I liked that he took time to talk with me about finding the right dentist for follow up work and for care. I mentioned the dentist that had been recommended and he couldn't say enough good things about him. So his office is calling their office with a new patient referral. I will follow up on that next week, about getting an appointment.

I was finished by 8:15 and decided to go to Another Broken Egg for brunch before heading onto Barnes and Noble. While eating breakfast, a regular type breakfast but they offer beignets, I could overhear a conversation in another booth. Two young men talking about the Lord and church. I was so blessed by their hearts for ministry. I felt the urging of the Holy Spirit to go over to their table and buy their breakfast. I was talking myself out of going over there and talking with them but I got up and spoke to them. They had already paid for breakfast but we visited for a few moments. One man was a pastor and the other man in a parachurch organization. I walked away and could hear them talking and being so encouraged, even though I didn't buy their breakfast. I didn't feel like I was to give them money for another meal down the road but was obedient to what I felt in my spirit.

After Barnes and Noble, I stopped at the Target in Arden. Found a few things. I decided to run by my usual Target because that store might have the linen pants I saw in my size. Boom! Scored two pair. They also had the tap lights the other store was out of. I can finally see in my little pantry. Since it was there, I stopped in at Lifeway. Once again I was reminded that I have better luck at Barnes and Noble finding things than at Lifeway. It is so sterile.

The sky was foreboding and there was a little rain and that convinced me to head toward home. Only Ray was here working. Bruce didn't like some of the flooring they sent for the screened in part of the porch, so they are waiting on a new delivery to finish out that part and begin framing in the storm door. I think he just finished up for the day. There might be the beginning of the steps up to the deck.
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It is a very, very foggy morning. It should burn off by 9:00. The field in front of us is filled and abundantly foggy. You can see better in the back but not by much. When the horse lady lived behind us and she let her horses out to pasture in the mornings, the sight of those dark horses set against the gray of the fog was magical.

I saw a bird last night that was a bright blue. Some other bird chased it off, so I hope it comes back so I can identify it with my handy dandy bird chart. All the  construction noise seems to be disturbing the birds so not as many are hanging around the backyard. The doves don't care and the cardinals come around several times during the day.

The crew isn't here yet and until the replacement flooring comes in, they might not be around. In the trash pile I found two good size pieces of the posts to use as a step for the back deck. It is easier with new knees but this makes it even easier. I have procured a few other pieces of scrap wood for various usages in the future.

The morning holds working out with Taylor and then getting ready for my brother who is coming this weekend for a visit.

My schedule has been a little disrupted, so I haven't been as consistent blogging here of late. Once life settles into routine, I'll be at the old blog more often. I have been writing Monablog for ten years. I started blogging in April 2007. Happy Blogiversary!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Early Mornings Mean A Porch Is Being Built

I've been everywhere man, I've been everywhere. Nothing like a little Johnny Cash to get the blog rolling. I am tired but it is a good kind of tired. This week and into next week will be early mornings with the porch crew here at work.

I don't mind the early mornings though. On Monday, the porch crew arrived and began tearing out the old porch and they were able to begin the rebuilding process. I was gone most of the morning dropping off things for the church yard sale and then my workout session. After that it was a few errands ending at the grocery store. I came home and got things put away and had lunch. I was so tired that I found myself nodding off while sitting up. That is unusual for me, so I decided to nap in the chair. The loud noises of hammering didn't stir me a little. It was then I realized I had a women's ministry meeting. I texted Tonya to let her know I might be late because of the crew working but thankfully, I was able to get away and get to the meeting on time. Once I got back home I did a little reading and finished up some laundry. By then I was ready to hit the bed for more sleep. A good night's rest but morning came fast and early. I began to get ready for the day which included going with friends from church out to Painter's Greenhouse and then to lunch.

Since the back of my truck is covered I volunteered to bring back plants for those riding on the church bus. Someone realized that it was Tuesday and Painter's Greenhouse is closed on Tuesday. Oops, plan B. We went to a greenhouse in Old Fort and I think the people there who were very elderly and not on the best of health side were happy to have the business. Then we went to Marion to another plant place and I got some beautiful Mona Lavenders. We ate lunch at the Countryside BBQ place and it was absolutely delicious. During the wanderings of our day both Roy called and our contractor called needing decisions regarding the front porch. So after our plan B day, Angela came home with me to measure the extensions for the twin bed bedskirts and for the king bed bedskirt. She has some great ideas on how to improve and for that I am very thankful. Then my next errand was to go to Lowe's and pick out a storm door. roy had done some research and sent me two that he liked. They had the one we both liked the best in stock, so it was loaded into the back of the truck and we came home. Door unloaded and then I got to look around at the day's progress. The cement truck had been here and they poured the concrete. They also removed the trees in front of the garage and two shrubs that housed wasps in the summer. Goodbye for sure! I was sad because the little house wrens had a nest in one of those trees and I sure hope those babies had hatched and moved on their way. I was just watching the house wrens at the feeder just now and hoping they aren't devastated over the loss of their home and nest.

I'm eating supper a little later than normal and my dining companions tonight are Big Daddy Red Bird and Bunny Foo Foo. The roses are beginning to bloom and the green is returning to the butterfly bushes. The newest cardinal, who I have named David Tassletop cause the young cardinals top knot is more distinctive and Big Daddy just got into a chase and fly off. Tonight Big Daddy prevailed.

Tomorrow I can set my own pace and take care of a few things. Then Thursday will be the early, early morning dental appointment. I am ready to proceed with the part of the journey.

We enjoyed a rainy weekend and our backyard rain gauge measured about four inches since Friday night. Everything looks so green and fresh. Sunday night we began working on the song the choir will sing with Lisa P when she is here.

Whether it be Texas or NC this thing is the same....why do people who pull out in front of you going 50 miles per hour, suddenly slow down to 20 mph once they've made the turn? Oh, this is beyond minivans, it is a way of driving for some. Doesn't matter what state you're in. This is a universal truth. This is also true of general matters you find on FB. Don't eat bananas, do eat bananas, coffee can save your life, don't drink coffee, do only these exercises, never do these exercises. Frankly, I find it all exhausting.

The day that began cool and overcast turned into a warm, sun filled day. The supper portion of my day is now concluded as well. I tried the Birds Eye beef lo mein dinner and it was delicious! Now to catch a little TV and get ready for another early morning....but these early mornings are bringing forth a porch!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Pimentos And Functional Fitness

This morning while driving over to Biltmore Village I got to thinking about some of the strangest things. It doesn't take much to amuse me. Somehow in all these deep thoughts the pimento came to the top of the whole thought process. What exactly is a pimento? How do they get those little red strips into olives and really does the pimento add that much to pimento cheese? You see, I knew I'd be having a pimento cheese sandwich for lunch. Upon arriving at home I went to the Google to see what I could find out. Pimentos are made from a red cherry pepper that originated in Spain. We associate pimento cheese with the south and the well guarded family secret to such sandwich or topping in celery. Pimento cheese started out as one of the first industrial sandwiches brought into the 20th century but when pimentos began to be grown in Georgia, well it was a new day for the pimento and for cheese, for that matter all other means of condiments and food items that find themselves mixed into the cheddar, mayo and pimentos. As for the olive....well, pimento stuffing was an intensive time labor thing so they take the peppers make a mush, form the little strips so that they can mechanically be put into the olive. So you see what happens when I get on a tangent. Really, who thinks about pimentos and for me they don't add any taste. They are kind of just pretty adornments for olives and in cheese.
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The fog began developing last night and this morning it is a slow burn off. I do see the baby bunny that the cat was chasing on Monday, so I am feeling good about that. There is clover in our yard so maybe it will make its way down for that deliciousness. The first buds on the rose bush are showing. It is one of those spider web mornings where you see them on the grass, in the trees, along the fences and in a few butterfly bushes. A little chipmunk has discovered some of the bird seed I threw out on the rocks this morning. Now the squirrel has chased off the chipmunk. And mama bunny is coming on the scene. I love the view from this back window.

I read a great article on functional fitness last night and it confirms all the things that Taylor is telling me.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 61 percent of adults aged 65 and older are limited in their ability to perform basic actions, like picking something up off the floor or reaching to grab a cereal box from the pantry.
You may not do these things in the gym, but don’t let that fool you: Many everyday tasks mimic basic exercises. They’re known as functional movements, and being able to perform them is crucial for a long, active life, says Jessica Matthews, senior advisor at the American Council on Exercise and author of Stretching to Stay Young.
“To ensure our continued independence and freedom to do both daily activities—including self-care—as well as leisure activities that we enjoy, it’s important to develop and maintain quality movement patterns.” That second part—maintaining—is especially important because if you don’t use them, you’ll eventually lose them.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

First Tomato Sandwich of the Season

My first ease into the day morning in a while. With Roy we are up and moving in the mornings because he likes to ease into the evenings. Then with regular appointments and medical appointments mornings have not been mine. Although it has felt okay to feel accomplished earlier in the day I am relishing this morning. It is overcast and a little rainy. The birds are singing. My coffee tastes delicious and I have done a little writing this morning.

I took a book with me to my appointments...ok, I took more than a book to be prepared for long waiting room interims. My iPad, magazine, protein bar, paper and some colorful pens accompanied me along with all the paperwork diligently filled out over the weekend. I had little to no waiting time at either appointments. At the cardiologist office I would have read in the waiting room but I am so engrossed in the story that I wouldn't have heard my name called to approach the front desk to turn in my paperwork and pay. Also you get your picture taken. So once that had taken place and I had returned to my seat, I had just settled in and boom, name called to go back behind the "golden door." John took me first off to the scale and I asked if he would take off the six pounds of metal and cement...like they did in Dr Morris' office...women nurses who empathized with the whole weigh in procedure and laughed when I said I would remove my seven pound jacket and my two pounds of keys from my pocket before stepping onto the scale. I don't think John did, anyway, he then took me to a patient room and told me Matthew is in there waiting for us. The doctor I was seeing first name is Matthew...I'm thinking wow! This is different, calling a doctor by his first name and the doctor is waiting for the patient. Well, ok, that morning I had called Dr. Morris by his first name Andy but I used both his name and title all through my conversations since knowing him pre-doctor. So when Matthew is asking me questions while John wires me up for the EKG, I think I am talking to the doctor. Oh silly rabbit, Matthew was a nurse as well. At least I don't think either John or Matthew knew I thought Matthew was the good doctor up until the time Matthew tells me the doctor will be in shortly. During the EKG I was a little nervous because I briefly thought back on the whole November EKG debacle of taking it six times to get a reading that would pass for surgery...a reminder to the reader, all one of y'all, that it was operator error not the state of my heart.

This morning I was reading in Ephesians 1. A phrase caught me, " God's kindness showered on us." Truly, my experience here has been multiple layers of God's kindness. In 2014 when I spent a month at the cottage on the family farm, I experienced and saw God's kindness in so many ways. Looking for His kindness or rather being aware of His kindness is usually there at the forefront. Remembering that it really costs us nothing to be kind to someone when really, we might want to smack them upside the head and say something hurtful. Oh, not that I have ever thought this, but you know, I have heard others talk of this. Oops, there is that lightning bolt again.

Well, the day has been lovely! The skies cleared and finally it warmed up. The birds, bunny and squirrel have been here for the last snack in the daylight hours, only to begin again tomorrow. There be a haircut awaiting me later this week but for now I do believe I will have my first tomato sandwich of the season. I am all a twitter with anticipation.