Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Taking Too Much Time

Yep, it's easy on a Saturday morning. Yet, there is so much to get done but these quiet moments give strength and help me take care of the things that demand attention today and yes, maybe even those things that don't.

Lowe's called yesterday with the news the swing was in. I went last night to pick it up but they hadn't assembled it. I thought about that when paying for it, even though they added a note to do that, they hadn't charged for the assembly. The girl working the customer service area kind of handed me off to two people that seemed to be more in charge. The swing probably wouldn't be ready until Tuesday because no assemblers were working over the weekend. Told them that was fine, no hurry and I think that attitude was gifted by no assembly charge. The man said, you came out, we didn't have it ready and you've been kind...it's on us. Back to the parking lot and the cool breeze before a storm or rain enveloped me, so naturally that means it is a good time to walk through the Lowe's garden center cause it won't be oppressively hot and the number of people looking at plants on a Friday night seemed relatively low. Found a couple more daylilies and some knockout roses.

When I entered the workout center Friday, there was such a pleasant surprise standing at the check in counter. There stood my tall friend Inez. She had joined and getting an initial session scheduled. Well, that just put a little spring into my step for my workout with Taylor. So encouraged as he and I discussed how far my workouts have come since first starting out with him.

This morning I headed out to pull weeds since we had rain last night. It doesn't take long for evaporation to take place and the ground be hard as rock. I kind of started back where I have some flowers growing but moved on and started working on the weeds and vines beside the driveway. It is a massive undertaking and even though I put in a long time I barely made a dent. When the skies began to look like we might be getting some rain, I gathered all the weeds and junk into trash bags. I dug up so many rocks that I began an Ebenezer pile.

Several of us went to lunch and produce stand shopping on Thursday celebrating Inez and Judy's birthdays. It seemed like a Blue Rooster kind of day. It was a bit rainy but not too bad. I did a brave thing on Thursday, I wore white pants. I hardly ever, ever wear white pants. The propensity of spillage goes up significantly. I sat here at the house barely stirring because it meant I could mess up those pants before leaving and then what to do? I am happy to report that I made it through lunch, which included cranberry relish and shopping at the produce stand buying blackberries without getting one stain on those pants. I don't know how often I will wear white cause it is too stressful.

I'm having a hard time getting this post finished up, so I am going to post it. Having a great time volunteering for the meal serving team at VBS this week.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

A Top Five Favorite Hymn

  1. This is my Father’s world,
    And to my list’ning ears
    All nature sings, and round me rings
    The music of the spheres.
    This is my Father’s world:
    I rest me in the thought
    Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
    His hand the wonders wrought.
  2. This is my Father’s world:
    The birds their carols raise,
    The morning light, the lily white,
    Declare their Maker’s praise.
    This is my Father’s world:
    He shines in all that’s fair;
    In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
    He speaks to me everywhere.
  3. This is my Father’s world:
    Oh, let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
    God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world,
    The battle is not done:
    Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one.

When I was a child I won a book in Sunday School for knowing my Bible verses. It was a child's book of poems and hymns. I believe this is when I fell in love with this particular hymn as I would read these words over and over, yes and even sing them to myself. These words brought great comfort and they still do, even more so now living in the mountains of Western North Carolina. This is in the top five hymns that I love. 

Almost every morning around 7:00, a bird's song wakes me up. The bird must be singing in the red bud tree or on the deck because the song sounds like it is in the bedroom. It has been the Carolina Wren's song of late but this morning it was a new song from a different bird. 

With the rain last night the frogs have been more vocal of late. It sounded like one was in the house it was so loud. 

The cardinals have increased. Three young birds frequent both feeders. Their colors have not come in yet but they are fun to watch as they play in the forsythia. Mom and Dad cardinal aren't hanging as close as they were the first days that their young uns brought my attention to them. 

Yes, all nature sings and round me rings the music of their spheres. 

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.
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


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.
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.
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.
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.