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.
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.
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 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.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Attitude and Rain

The sound of gentle rain is most welcome. The sound of any rain is welcome and hopefully the afternoon and evening holds the hope of much needed moisture. It has rained off and on the past few hours but nothing major.

It is a new learning curve when it comes to appointments, especially anything medical. I am learning to accept the waiting associated on getting anything looked at or taken care of. In Houston they work you in when you have an emergency situation...not so much here. I cannot get into the root canal dentist until late next week and at a horribly early time. So, until then, it is soft foods for me.

Today is the day I have been looking toward, Dr appointment day and it would also be the day that an eighteen wheeler filled with dog food over turns right along my normal route. My spidey sense said to go the way I never chose to go and then made a zig zag free of traffic and I was just a little early for my appointment. Not old person early, barely early. Hendersonville and I haven't had too good of a relationship and even after finding a great medical practice, I still feel the same about that city. I had a good appointment with Andy...the good doctor and it was nice to catch up with him. When I left there, instead of hanging out and killing time, I decided to go home, rest and grab some lunch. I had fasted just in case there would be blood work. Soon it was time to leave for the cardiologist and they were still picking up dog food and traffic was still bad. So, I once again took the route I usually don't take and got to my appointment on time. I really liked the Dr and he was able to hook up my afib monitor to get a reading and yes, the first week of April was a doozy with afib. Wow, I knew it was bad but not as bad as the numbers proved. Back in rhythm but keeping a watchful eye on the flutters. Gave me some good instructions and I will see him again in three months.

I came home with a lack of caffeine headache but supper and a little bit of Diet Coke relieved the pain. I am pretty tired since I woke up at 4:00 am and could not go back to sleep this morning.

A good reminder in the cardiologist office waiting room...attitude is a huge factor. I was the youngest patient waiting but an older gentleman and his wife were just so darn cute. Neither one is very amble or nimble anymore but you would have thought he was still an athlete by the way he maneuvered around those slow motion.

Now, off to relax and get a good night sleep.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

A Quick Check In

Last night while enjoying the last of the leftovers from Vivian's wonderful dinner, I watched some of the Broken For You service at HFBC. A nice surprise to catch Lisa P leading in the service. I wasn't able to watch the whole service but did catch bits and pieces of it in the next hour or so.

We are steadily knocking things off the to do list. We took the first part of the week and played. Thankfully, the list of big things to take care of gets smaller over due time. Roy put together the above ground flower bed and I planted some bulbs and lined the edges with snapdragons. Yellow ones. We pulled the swing out of the garage and got it set up in the backyard sans the cover. It just gets in the way. The cover might go to the landfill today. One of the things we won't be able to do this week is hang the bird house in the red bud tree because it is presently filled with blooms and it is a bee and wasp hangout. Last night after we had finished the fence project we sat on the deck. The constant hum and buzz of bees treating us to a little evening music. Roy went upstairs to watch TV and rest and I took to the front porch to check on my friends across the street. It looks that some of the young male calves have been separated from the group which usually means they have been sold or will be. Those mama cows bellowing out their moos breaks my heart each time this happens.
It is now Easter Sunday afternoon. While I did not make it to the sunrise service I did make it to Small Group and church. We had a powerful service. There were cardboard testimonies at the end of the sermon and those are always full of rejoicing at the victory found in Christ. I had a lunch invite but declined so that I could come home and rest. I did fix an Easter type lunch of ham, potatoes and carrots.

We left for Charlotte a little later than we had planned. We stopped for a late lunch early supper at the Cracker Barrel. It was a quick turn around for me and I decided to return home on a different route. It is a little shorter even with a few traffic lights along the way and of course the scenery is beautiful. Even in just a week so many trees are leafing and the dogwood and sarvis trees are in full bloom along with the red bud tree. Upon returning home Duke Power, not mayo, came and installed our street light on our pole. Lots of light now on the driveway, in the front yard and in the backyard as well and all for the low, low price of $8.00 a month.

Friday evening became a little more exciting and not to plan as we had thought. Roy had cooked ribs on the grill and I had made fresh off the cob fried corn. While eating our supper I heard a crack and kind of knew it wasn't the rib, but a tooth. I quickly Googled urgent care dentists and found one open till 7:00. I called and they told me to get there as quickly as possible. I went without brushing my teeth. Never have I ever not brushed before a dentist visit. He thinks the tooth can be saved and it might involve a root canal. They faxed a referral to a specialist and I should know something on Monday morning. So soft foods are in order for a few days.

I keep thinking about the memorial service for Steve Seelig and how powerful it testified to how God can use us if we are willing to give our all to Him. Steve possessed a great laugh and sense of humor, he was one of the most creative minds and if a little is good, more is better. He tackled life with energy and a willingness. Over 4000 came in person to his service and who knows how many of us were online watching. Steve's life motto would be or at least one of them would be love God, love people.  He is one of those people who you think are so strong and big that they could defeat pain and death, but alas we do have that victory only through Jesus and not in our personality or creativity.

Well Easter 2017 is quickly coming to an end but I am glad that resurrection life does not.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lots of Lifting, Carrying and Doing

We have the windows open and we are being treated to a delightful concert from various birds and a few insects here and there. The first carpenter bee has been trapped in a bottle on the back deck. Many have met their demise on front porch. New feeders have been purchased and hung for the birds. Roy and I have been hard at work today. Originally our plans were to drive over to Grandfather Mountain but when we realized the scale of work ahead of us, we opted to stick close to home.

On Tuesday we started the day early with Cumin and Inez. They were our tour guides to Madison County. We saw such beautiful scenes up in those mountains. Homes that have been abandoned and stories of back in the day. Madison does have the nickname of "Bloody Madison." We stopped at their cabin and Roy took off up the mountain for pictures. He was gone quite a while and we were getting a little concerned. We finally were able to get ahold of him and he was supposed to make his way back to their cabin only thing, he went to the wrong cabin with a green metal roof. Soon all these texts from him came in one after another. He took a picture of where he was standing and Cumin knew exactly where he was. So off to rescue him while Inez sat on the front porch just a laughing. It is a beautiful place to relax. Once Roy was retrieved we went back down into Marshall for lunch. Then we headed to the Redmond Dam and points beyond. We so enjoyed our day with them and look forward to the next adventure. I'll probably write about this day again in the future. Roy and I rested a bit and then we were off to Bill and Vivian's for supper. Delicious as always. Our menu was ham, parmesan potatoes, green beans, creamed corn, okra, deviled eggs and biscuits. Yum yum yum! And coconut pie for dessert. We ended our visit by sitting on the back porch with the most beautiful view of the mountains.

Wednesday, we went to Optix for Roy to look at new frames. Summer found the perfect pair that will look so sharp on him. We ran a quick errand to Ace and to Ingle's, then off to Spartanburg for a Costco run you know, because we are easily entertained. Longhorn Steakhouse was calling our names so we went there and had a late lunch. I noticed a nearby Barnes and Noble and you know, you're supposed to go and pay respects to new Barnes and you. Then we began an adventure of trying to find Andy's office in Hendersonville. Truthfully, Hendersonville and I have not had too great of experiences and a trial run was needed and I am so thankful that we did one. It seemed a little more complicated than, just across from the hospital. With that taken care of we headed toward home with hundreds of our best friends on the road. Roy accidentally loaded his Dr Enuf drinks where they would shift and he lost a couple when they crashed onto the pavement. So we stopped at a different Ingle's to get another supply loaded in. Later in the evening Brenda dropped by with some Easter goodies and lemon pie. We all had a great visit. Being tired from a full day, I fell asleep easily only to be awakened by Roy kicking the bed when he got in it. About scared the pea waddlin' out of me. It took me a good bit to fall back asleep.

So today, we have been to Lowe's twice and to Sonic twice. Once to the bank and Publix and a quick trip to the Walmart. We brought strawberries back from SC and Roy thought vanilla ice cream sounded kind of good.

While we worked outside we listened to a lot of Steve Seelig's memorial service. How encouraging and fortunate to be one that knew him. He and Bonita sent me a message while I was recuperating from hip replacement surgery in Lafayette LA. It made my day cause that was a long week with great hope.  One year for the orchestra concert Peggy, Drew and I were reprising our roles of bandit, Lone Ranger and Tonto for them as they played the William Tell Overture. I had torn my plantar fascitis and could not perform. Steve filled in and made Tonto even better. He was so funny and his life touched many for the Lord.

We still have some work to do in the back. I am sure Roy is enjoying the break as he has had to do most of the heavy lifting and carrying. We have a new flower bed and he is also putting some stone liners like he did in Katy along the fence. Always trying to imped the traffic that comes and goes under our deck in the animal, reptile and bird world.

Monday, April 10, 2017

A Fun Day- Such a Witty Title

I remain so thankful and grateful to live here with such wonderful friends. Roy and I are so blessed. We were talking today about how many houses and how many different areas we looked at while searching for a home in NC. We were looking far and wide and the house we found and love today is only a half of a mile from the cottage we rented in August 2014. God knew what He was doing. I don't know if I would have transitioned as well living over on Balsam Mountain. I would have been snowed in a lot for sure.

Roy and I began the day with my session with Taylor. Roy worked out while Taylor and I worked on getting me stronger and of course more functional in daily life. Then since we had worked out it didn't seem too bad to go to The Blue Rooster for lunch. It was so very delicious! We headed over to Belk's because Roy wanted to get some new ties and dress shirts. We also found pizza cutters ands storage bowls. We headed over to the Hazelwood area to stop in at Robin Blu. RB is on the must stop and shop list when friends come to visit. I found a few thing to purchase and to come home with me. With Roy there, he kind of cramped my style on a few things that would be wall decor. A metal sign will get my attention every time. Next we went to Mast General Store and as we were pulling onto the back street to find a parking spot, a car pulled out of a close one to the store. Again, Roy found some things, exciting things like socks and a t-shirt. Since one lane is closed on I 40 going west we took the back route through Bethyl and kind of close to Cold Mountain. We went through Canton, which drives Roy's eyes and nose bonkers because of the papermill. I did locate Southern Porch which is another restaurant I would like to try. We came home and enjoyed some front porch time. Then Gale and Judy dropped by to pick up something to help a fellow Sunday School classmate. Karon also stopped in with a beautiful wreath she made. I cannot wait to hang it and it is too pretty to hand on the front door where I will never see it, so I think I might hang it on the backdoor, inside the house so I can enjoy it. It goes perfectly in the kitchen with the colors.

We decided to eat some black eyed pea jambalaya that I had frozen when I made it last month. Delicious! Roy is settled in upstairs watching reruns of Remington Steele. I happily blog and have a feeling I will fall into bed early this evening. Tired from such a fun day.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Checking In

Sunday evening. The towels are washing, the strawberries cut up, and a few other odds and ends done this evening around the house. It has been a very fine day. We went to Sunday School and church this morning. Judy taught a great lesson on the temptations of Jesus in the wilderness. A very good lesson. In church the choir did an Easter musical that has been so meaningful to think about and to sing. I think several of these songs will stick with me for a while. After church we came home for a few minutes and then decided to eat Mexican food at La Cantina in Biltmore Village. We strolled Biltmore Village and then headed over to The Biltmore Estate. The trees are blooming and the walled garden is filled with colorful tulips and daffodils. We walked around and took some pics. We also stopped in at the garden shop for something I saw a couple of weeks ago. We saw wonderful things, a momma and daddy goose with their yellow spiky feathered goslings. There were geese grazing in the fields but no lambs. We left with hundreds of our best friends and headed toward home. Roy was out of his breakfast sandwiches so we made a quick stop at Walmart. I stayed in the car and talked with Peggy on the phone. We got home and it wasn't too long until Roy mentioned he was starving and he suggested gas station pizza. He doesn't always request that, so I was happy to agree that it seemed like a good idea. It was.

Yesterday afternoon I finally went out of afib. I was so thankful for that to happen. The week had been difficult with a whole lot of shaking going on. My BP had been high and it returned to normal. Emotionally and physically I was drained of strength. I didn't do too much other than what had to be done. This bout shook me to my core. It has been years since I have experienced this much continuous afib. I wanted to be out and doing things because I have felt so good with new knees and working out with Taylor. So much gratitude to the Lord for answering my cried, along with Roy's and friend's prayers.

Late Friday afternoon I drove over to Charlotte to pick up precious cargo. Checked into the hotel and waited for the arrival. The plane took off late and so Roy got to our room an hour later than planned. We had been upgraded to a suite which was nice but the room was so stuffy. The hotel had been remodeled but it seemed only cosmetic. This is a huge hotel and they had one elevator off the lobby. Neither one of us rested very well and around 5:00 am Roy announced he was getting up and I said let's get ready and leave. That is what we did and stopped for breakfast on our way home. Last night I cancelled reservations we had made for the future at the same place and made reservations for where we usually stay. It was not a good experience.

Tomorrow we have a full day. We began working in the yard yesterday afternoon and will finish up that work sometime this week.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Joyous Celebration Today Verses Total Discouragement Yesterday

Last night was a whole lot better than the night before. Truthfully, I thought I might die Tuesday night, not because I am morbid or wanting to be all dramatic but because the pounding afib beat was the worst I have experienced in a very long time. No way to be comfortable with no sleep coming on the horizon. Heart rate up and down, so hard to watch. So, taking off the Fitbit is one of the best decisions I made yesterday. I went to the project desk and pulled out a journal and began writing a few things down. I marked a couple of verses in my Bible but all the while praying and thanking God He had heard my cry, petition, and prayers. After having a good day yesterday I was optimistic that I would go to bed and fall right to sleep. It didn't happen and there was a bit of tossing and turning adjusting to get into the least afib feeling position and finally sleep came. I only got up once and then slept till 8:00 am. Today I feel a little better than I did yesterday but not a 100%. Some of that is due to lack of sleep from the other night and even light afib which what it feels like now is exhausting. the Lord is at work in me and so are the drugs that I have available to help me. Also no coffee the past few mornings and drinking a lot of water.

I was reading a southern book review email and this particular publication said a new Gail Godwin book had been released and available on March 31, 2017. I went to Amazon to read reviews and the like. There Amazon said it would be June 6th for the release date. This made me feel a little better about keeping up with favorite authors but then a little sad that it will be summer before the book is released because you know, there aren't very many books in our house to be read. Oh, that lightning bolt was a little too close for comfort, although the storms have moved out of the area.

It is my favorite time of the day in this season, to sit at the kitchen table and watch birds, rabbits and squirrels out the back windows. Bunny Foo Foo and I must be on the same eating schedule. The crazy squirrel that sunbathes on our back deck just made an appearance. There must be a lot of clover up by the gravel road because Bunny Foo Foo spends a lot of time up there and then comes down for dessert around the feeder. Those bunnies love them some clover. Big Daddy cardinal has come and gone but he will be back. He comes around dusk and has a little supper when the feeder and the yard isn't filled with all the comings and goings of finches, wrens, sparrows, squirrels and bunnies.

After a disheartening yesterday, today is filled with joyous celebration that the doctor offices have called me back and yes, people get ready....appointments are coming with both a primary care doctor and the cardiologist. The appointments are the week after next and that my friends is a miracle. I know the primary care doctor from Houston's First Baptist Church. Roy was his eight grade Sunday School teacher and we watched a few soccer games the good doctor played in as an eighth grader. He isn't taking new patients but I guess the disappointment in my voice and the acknowledgment of knowing him must have swayed the scheduler to cut out a step that saved some time. Karen called me back this afternoon  just as a friend in Houston and I were texting about the doctor and how she and 32 other middle schoolers had a crush on him. I have an appointment with him the morning of the day I have the cardiologist appointment.

The cardiologist office in Houston came through. They called late in the afternoon and with the squirrels not running fast enough our connection was bad. She hung up. I quickly called her back from the house phone but the system had rolled over to the night messsage. About ten minutes went by and she called again, this time better connection. We went over what she was sending here and I thanked her because they are not used to sending referrals, they are used to getting them.

I think it once again will be time for me to demonstrate that just because someone is in their 60's, they aren't so old not to know how to do a few things. Both offices acted like GPS might be a problem for me to master....or maybe I just took it that way. I told them I would probably do a drive by just to know where I would be going...I hope they don't think that means anything other than finding the offices. Of course they were not here just a moment ago as I yelled at the squirrel when it got into the bird feeder. Now that is being an old lady if I ever thought about it.

Roy just cracked me up by saying, the things I have to do to get you a doctor appointment, teaching eighth grade boys Sunday School. Then he said don't mess this up because I don't want to have to go back to teaching student Sunday School again. I assured him it would be a life group or life Bible study now.

Pre-Fibrillation And Present

It is a rainy day here in the mountains. It is also a cool temp day as well. One day you wear linen and the next day comfy workout pants and sweatshirt. The rain has been consistent but not overly heavy. Our grass has not looked this lush and green in a very long time. The view across the valley is fresh and verdant. Colors seem brighter and the cows, well, they seem the same.

After a very long and rough night of little sleep and a whole lot of shaking going on...and the shaking would be my heart in afib. Afib can be worse at night because the heart has to work harder to pump blood all the way down to your feet and back. My heart rate was all over the place but thankfully not as high as it has ever been but the duration seemed to be longer. The Fitbit can really keep the numbers and I think I was stressing over the ups and downs of my heart rate. I came downstairs to sleep in the recliner thinking that might help. Nope. So I got comfortable on the couch, found a position that didn't make my heart shake, rattle and roll and had just fallen asleep when downstairs normal noises started waking me up. So back upstairs and I finally settled in for a bit of sleep around 2:00 am. Then I woke up to answer a few texts from Roy cause I didn't want him to think I died in the night. Afib can be so strange in that I didn't feel bad, no swollen limbs or ankles, and not fatigued...well from lack of sleep but the other kind of heart fatigue is horrible. Not bad enough to go to the ER, not that I ever like to do that, and yet maybe a little more involved than an urgent care place would know what to do. I texted a few friends and asked them to pray...Texas friends because of the time difference and the hour being late. I quoted scripture and sang worship songs. I prayed for others yet at no time during this inability to go to sleep did I feel like a know cause leaders wake up bearing a heavy burden or something. One thing I have done today is to take off my Fitbit. It has made it a lot less stressful.

My brother texted me this morning and said he finally had the funeral oked for Saturday morning, graveside. He sent me the three songs he had picked out via You Tube. He did a fabulous job with the music. It should be a short service as services go. I can only imagine that he will be so happy to get back to his home in Nashville.

The hotel/resort telemarketers have taken all the fun out of pranking them. They make the call sound so real and like you are talking to a real person. I only answered the phone because you know I am waiting for a call from Houston and it was a 713 area code. Dang! Anyway, the girl sounds like she is adjusting her headset and begins the call. Once again it is for a trip to beautiful Orlando and yes, we just might be the only people in the United States that don't want to go to Orlando or to Disney World. I tried telling her that cause I still thought she was live of course I had to hang up.

So I tried to make an appointment with a cardiologist here but have to have a referral. Talked to my Houston cardiologist office and waiting on a call back. Probably my best thing is to make an appointment with a GP up here and go that route...although our insurance doesn't require a referral to see specialist. The pace of medicine and seeing Doctors and having tests run is much slower than in Houston. I might could fly back to Houston and see my cardiologist before I will ever get in to see one here.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A Beautiful Day After The Rain

When you wake up because your Fitbit is celebrating all the cardio work you've done during the night, if the tell tale fluttering and lurching heartbeat doesn't alarm you, then you know you are awakening in afib. That is where I found myself this morning. So you wake up exhausted because your heart has been running a marathon. I got up, relaxed a bit and then got ready to go to workout training. I was out of afib but still lots of fluttering going on. So for only the second time I took the meds that help you get your heart into a smooth rhythm and then when I got to the workout I told Taylor maybe just stretches or something. We did an hour of restorative work with the jackhammer deep tissue machine and stretches. It was awesome! I also learned that of all the people he has worked with after hip and knee replacements I have the most range of motion of anyone. He is really surprised with my hip because it moves and functions like it had never been replaced.  Thank you Lady of the Lourdes hospital and thank you Jesus.

We are pretty much having a rainy day. All this rain moved off from Texas and through the south. Since we've been here there haven't been too many of these kinds of days. It has tapered off some but radar holds some yellows and reds if they move this way. The birds are really singing especially the cardinals.
We did have almost a day long rain event yesterday. The two years we have been here there haven't been too many of those kinds of days. Everything looks so green and spring-like. Around 4:00 the skies began to clear and we had a bit of sun to finish out the day. This morning the sun is out and it looks to be a beautiful day.

I think my heart is starting to get back into a good mode. A bit of fluttering and higher beats per minute at times but it is feeling like it has calmed down since this time yesterday morning. Thankfully, Fitbit did not congratulate me this morning on a great cardio work out through the night. I internalize more in the past years, so things affect me but not so much outwardly like they did before.

Sunday evening before choir practice Brenda came over and brought me supper. Of course I usually make three meals out of everything she brings. Today will be the third meal out of everything she brought, pork lion and gravy, sweet potatoes, baked apples, homemade mac and cheese, rolls and banana bread. She was here Saturday when my brother called with the news of our fathers passing. She had brought over homemade chicken salad for lunch. We visited a little more after the phone call and then I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening here thinking and praying. So thankful my father went peacefully after a difficult morning trying to breathe. So thankful for my brother being there and holding his hand when he passed.

Today is the service for a friend's son who was killed Friday night in a motorcycle crash. I could see the red flashing lights from a front window. It is a scary curve.