Sunday, July 30, 2017

Sleepy Sunday

This morning after a particularly rough night, I am staying home. I estimate the total amount of sleep last night was less than three hours. When your heart is out of rhythm falling asleep can be tough. You feel the pounding in your chest or the sloshing about that sometimes produces a drowning kind of feel. The skipped beat is also alarming. Couple this with a cat who could not settle either...which makes for a long, long sleepless night. I have been fortunate that many nights I only experience the flutter effect but here on the countdown to cardioversion, it is feeling more like afib at times. No matter it is all out of sync and I'm looking forward to syncopation.

Buddy also had a temper tantrum this morning and took a couple of good swipes at my arm. It has been a long time since she has done that. Roy said her actions were probably a result of me sleeping later and her desire for treats and porch time. I wasn't following her schedule. I admit, I started crying cause it hurts and it hurts emotionally. Sometimes crying comes not so much of the action but because of frustrations that have built up. It is disheartening to have worked so hard these past few months, eating right, exercising and taking better care to have this rhythm thing crop up. Since this began in 2008 I think I internalize more often than before. Periodic outbursts from frustration kept things in check, but I can't have periodic outbursts anymore and that is not a bad thing. It has been a helpful thing. I'd like to be all spiritual and say I have given everything over to the Lord....I try to but not always successful. I saw this quote on FB yesterday, "Over thinking is a special form of fear. This fear becomes worse when adding anticipation, memory, imagination and emotion together." Many times I have been told I over think things. It's true yet I can go to the other end of the spectrum of "it doesn't matter." I used to say that I didn't care but really it doesn't matter seems to be the better description. So this morning I sit in front of this computer, probably overthinking the coming week, internalizing fears and feeling like I am walking on a tightrope. Not that I have ever walked on a tightrope, but I have seen movies where it has been done.

I ventured over to the Fresh Market yesterday. They are advertising more prepared meals and that includes better selection. It is true. The deli is better than before. The spring blend coffee had been marked down 50%, so I bought a few more packages. The spring blend is one of Roy's favorites, but he is off caffeine right now after a dental appointment and before a Dr appointment. Sometimes it seems one person in a store becomes the bane of existence while trying to traverse the aisles. One lady seemed to be filling that role yesterday for several of us. She should have gotten a cart to hold all her purchases. She fumbled about tying up cart traffic throughout the store. I tried my best to stay out of her way but we met up in produce, deli and bakery.

Well, Buddy just now got her porch privilege. It is still coolish outside. On my FB feed this morning two posts were in line and it seemed ironic, both about endings to new beginnings. A long time member of HFBC passed away from pancreatic cancer yesterday morning. It seemed like he passed so quickly after receiving the diagnosis. There was such hope because it had been discovered in stage 2. He was a member of the choir and his now grown daughters were with him in the Christmas Pageant each year. He was the smiling Roman soldier, although Roman soldiers weren't supposed to be smiling. He had a great passion for life, his family and his God. The numerous no overwhelming response to his family on FB is unbelievable. Such kind words for such a kind man. His almost life long friend wrote a moving tribute this morning about Bill and included his quirkiness, which good friends are required and wont to do. The very next post is about a woman who is retiring after 35 years of employment and ministry at HFBC. The last 13 years she has been Pastor Gregg's executive assistant. She now passes the torch to CourtneyS who will do a fabulous job. It won't seem the same without Mary on staff but she now joins the retired and will wonder how she did everything when she had her job.

The baby bunny has been out in the back off and on all day. The grandma rabbit was around last night. Even the groundhog got in on a visit and even though he was eating weeds, I chased him off. Last night Buddy and I were treated to a wonderful display of birds. It is intoxicating to take it all in. The sun was setting and covered the field across the way that brought out all the different hues of green. It is sad that beyond the trees, the land has been surveyed and perked. Soon the building of more houses will begin. I saw the cows from that pasture loaded up into trailers the other morning on my way to workout. It made me sad to hear their cries.

My heart didn't race as much yesterday as it is today. I have taken my meds and hope the slow down will kick in. A nap is crossing my mind and my eyelids are feeling a bit heavy. It dawned on me the other day that this week I have eaten Mexican food more often than ever here. Kind of like being in Houston. No Turkey Creek lunch today since I stayed home from church but my tuna salad sandwich hit the spot.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Rain+Cooler Temps=Birds And Other Observations

With cooler temps and a gentle rain, I ate lunch on the front porch Friday. Both the front and backyard are filled with cardinals in all shapes, sizes and coloring. Baby Foo Foo is in the backyard eating bird seed that the birds have dropped or scooted off because it is not their choice or favorite seed. The doves are the worst with this.

Thursday evening our Sunday School class had a party. Gale opened up her beautiful home for a Mexican Fiesta. Everything was delicious and it was such fun.

I saw Taylor yesterday and he did restorative work on me and I did core work. I will be so relaxed and stretched for my cardioversion. Instead of the usual of running errands, I came on home and enjoyed the rainy afternoon. After a really busy Thursday, it seemed I needed a day of rest. I had my yearly eye exam at Optix on Thursday and all is well, except my vision prescription has I needed to order new frames and lenses. I went with a blue frame this time. I still like the frames I am wearing and I think I'll have the lenses changed over in this pair after I get the new glasses.

It is interesting to watch things from afar. Not be in close to the action or in the know about things happening or movement within organizations. If you want to, you can watch and draw your own conclusions as things move forward or backward or even stagnate. You can take what little that is known about the situation and draw all kinds of conclusions. You can watch social media and pick up the insults and put downs that are crafted in a not in a too obvious way to express dissatisfaction or anger.  You can watch a not so surprising ending to a season for several and could they not see the direction life was taking or did they see it and decide not to express their fear or view. I hope for happy endings. Watching from a distance can either amuse or it can become a focus that consumes way too much time and energy. Right now, I watch amused and wonder how it will all turn out. I don't have a pony in the show, so no vested interest other than knowing I used to be smack dab in the middle of stuff going on and relish the fact, I don't have to participate anymore. Many times I end up praying for the ones that are going to hurt the most from the changes but there have been many that have gone through the same type thing and their stories of victory can encourage tremendously.

Last night I talked with Roy about a conversation I had Wednesday at the hair has bothered me somewhat. The Wednesday conversation, not talking with Roy about it. Without going into details, I had to beg off from the discussion because of an already elevated heart rate and it wasn't so much the topic but the actions and attitude expressed before the "topic" was broached. This is something that I experience every other visit at the salon and maybe just maybe, it is time to find another salon and stylist. It's not that my hair is that complicated, but I stuck around because  in a pinch I could buy hair product there...but thanks be to God Nordstrom carries the product and no shipping charge and all the while earning points toward Nordstrom Notes. It's all good in the product arena of life.

Our area is enjoying a bit of a respite from summer this weekend with lower temps and less humidity. the flowers and trees in the front yard were needing a bit of water, so I am thankful for the rain we had. The birds are hanging out probably waiting for a new delivery to the feeder, so I must move on.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

A Smattering Of Thoughts

Sunday night in choir practice began with the song No More Night. An oldie but goody. No More Night, one of the first songs I learned in choir at Houston's First Baptist so many years ago. The choir sang without sheet music and there weren't any prompter screens with words. I checked out the music to memorize the words for my first Sunday in the loft. Nervous...but thankfully the choir wasn't depending on me for my sure, strong voice. Brought back some good memories as we practiced the song for a later date.

It is looking very probable that I won't be having a cardioversion tomorrow. Fell through the cracks there at Asheville Cardiology but encouraged with the conversation I had with a scheduler this morning. In fact, she just called back and the procedure is scheduled for next week. Once again kindness was the chosen path when feeling so frustrated and uneasy. Proverb reading is helping those anxious thoughts not translate into angry words and attitude. Also telling her the relief of not cancelling a hard to get hair appointment and she laughed and said we must go to the same salon. I'm feeling more at ease now and the valet tradition continues...With all the construction at Mission, valet parking at the heart center is complimentary, which is hospital talk for free! Whoo hoo! Valet parking was the deal maker years ago for me going to the Med Center in Houston.
Ah Wednesday morning....I slept really well. In fact I think it could have been the best night's sleep in a while. Buddy's cooperation is always key for a good night. Also with atrial flutter you don't have the heavy booming feel that robs one of rest. My hair appointment isn't until later so I have the morning to ease into the day.

So far the most taxing thing has been taking the garbage can down to the road. Well, that part wasn't hard, it was just getting me back up our road to the driveway that took a lot out of me and created a rather good sweat. On the way back from a quick grocery store trip, I got the trash can and slid it into the back of the truck. That robs me of the use of the backup camera. So, I had to do it the old fashioned way like I did when I was a kid, backing up five miles in the snow only using side mirrors and rear view mirror. I carefully backed down the driveway and stopped midway to pull the can out, place it to the side and then complete the backup with a camera in full use. Yes, it has come to this, I am writing poetic about trash can delivery and removal. Bet you can't wait for yard waste removal postings.

Talked with Peggy yesterday and we exchanged recipes. No, really, we did. Doesn't happen often but it does take us by surprise when our conversations go in that direction. Lisa P and I were texting all things bird and bird related. She has a feeder now and has a cardinal sighting which can be really special in her part of Texas. I'm enjoying these young cardinals hanging around here. They are beginning to get their coloring now so flashes of red streak across the sky. I have another baby bunny foo foo coming to the backyard. There is a rotation of five rabbits it seems and last night I noticed a mama bunny spending a lot of time in an indentation part of the yard and with the binoculars I can see the tops of the baby bunnies ears moving about in the tall grass.

Well....the day awaits and the sun is peeking through the overcast sky. I have become the kind of believer I thought less of when I was a teenager when it comes to parking in Biltmore Village. Yes, a prayer for a close enough parking spot, not to wear me out getting to my hair appointment, has been included in my morning prayers.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

No Surprise No Waste

I would like to blame Janet Jackson and Publix grocery store for the out of the rhythm heartbeat that has come to visit. Back in the day, when Janet began a song...which one escapes me now, she said give me the beat...maybe it it What Have You Done For Me Lately, which after hearing it numerous times in the grocery store caused me to download it from iTunes. It is only a matter of time for me to break out in full dance mode while pushing that cart up and down the aisles. Good grief, when I have it playing in the car...totally in dancing in the car mode. So far no one has reported erratic dancing while driving.

When I went to the cardiologist in April, I almost went dramatic and thought maybe a small overnight bag might need to accompany me. Such wild afib going on. Came home with a follow up appointment. So when that appointment time arrived yesterday, no thoughts of anything other than routine filled my thoughts. Yes, I had been experiencing a little heart flutter but nothing too major. Yes, I had been a little more tired but attributed to the hottest part of the year here. That annoying heart cough thing had increased, but nothing that had me worried. My ankles not swollen, no extreme fatigue... Since April I've paid more attention to caffeine intake, cutting back sugary desserts, except for coconut cake at The Blue Rooster, and been drinking lots more water. I have turned down Vivian dessert...that tells you how serious I have been! Many meals have been salad, a little protein, and fruit. I've lost weight...been working the appointment results yesterday took me by surprise. The hint...when the stethoscope remains over your heart for a longer time than usual. The other hint, my pulse was 142. EKG, and bada bing bada boom, atrial flutter. Never had atrial flutter diagnosis.  Atrial flutter is a better organized out of rhythm heart maybe there is hope for me with a better organized out of rhythm thing, there is hope for organization for other areas of my life. So, a  cardioversion is in order and will be done next week. This better work I am cancelling a hair appointment for this.  While this totally took me by surprise I know none of this surprises God. So, there is a good chance if the radiology map had been ready for my implants that I would not have had the procedure on Thursday as planned because of my pulse. Yep, no surprise to the Lord.

Where I get a little nervous is a new hospital verses the familiar Texas Heart Institute. A new to me Dr and staff and I am going into the procedure with a lot less information than I am used to having. I can't help but wonder why they haven't done an echo cardiogram. Why so quick to cardioversion, although that is not a complaint.

So, I have done what they told me to do as I left, to keep calm, keep cool and relax. Saturday was a totally relaxing day. I got brave to take my pulse and BP. BP was better and pulse was down somewhat and at times the machine did not detect any atrial flutter. Brenda and her mom dropped by for a minute and brought me supper from J & S Cafeteria. Delicious!  I took BP and pulse before Sunday School this morning and it was good BP but pulse up a bit. I only went to Sunday School even though I heard the A/C had been replaced in the sanctuary. Just visiting a little in the hallway after class, the heat got to me. Angela, associate pastor's wife and friend, called me yesterday to check up on me and see if I needed a ride to the hospital for the procedure. So appreciated that call and she also shared with me that she had visited the Cornell Bird Lab. They made the app I use to call in the birds for Buddy. Sounds like a wonderful place to visit. After Sunday School I headed over to Turkey Creek Cafe for lunch. Today, fresh to order fried chicken was on the menu and I got me some fried chicky legs, fried green tomatoes, creamed corn, collard greens, pinto beans, a little mac and cheese and a little mashed potatoes. Yum! Oh and some fresh sliced tomatoes.

We had a brief rain shower this afternoon and every bit helps. After lunch I headed over to the grocery store because I had forgotten to buy bananas for the next few days. The skies were dark in the northeast when I pulled up and when I came out of the store the skies were a much darker hue, thunder and a threatening look. Weather alerts are going off left and right on the phone. Roy is calling me too and sending me pics from The Nord as he was there buying new shoes to wear to the office. With Nord in town shoe shopping isn't as painful and as time consuming as it used to be for him. 14 narrow is a difficult fit to find. I got home before the heavens opened and for that I am thankful.

Roy was a little disappointed yesterday when he left Bible study. He leads and teaches it now and they are going through Mark I think. Anyway, they were at Jesus and the 5000 men, five loaves and two fishes part. He had suggested that the Elisha and widow woman with sons, who owed creditors story in the OT was a type of the feeding of the 5000. I thought it was an awesome insight when he shared it with me yesterday and last night right before heading to bed I looked all that up. I told him this morning not to be disappointed with the group's understanding of that, but be happy that it meant so much to me. And guess what, this morning as I opened the quarterly to read the lesson for today, it was Matt 14 and the feeding of the 5000. No surprise to God at all and I was able to share what Roy had gotten out of the lesson he taught yesterday. No waste at all.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

There Seems To Be a Theme Here

It is 3:30 in the afternoon and it has been quite the exciting day. From the start, let me be honest with you...I do not like creatures, reptiles, vermin or any other kind of nature. I love cute nature. And there was a day when something like this would have happened and the For Sale sign would be in the yard and I would have packed my bags and headed over to the Inn on the Biltmore Estate to wait for the end results and report.

Last night, right before dusk, I noticed the birds didn't have any water in the birdbath. I got a pitcher of ice and went out to give them water. I also put water in the back birdbath. I think I added a little bit of seed to the front feeder and then I came back in through the garage and shut the garage door. A little later while sitting on the front porch with Buddy, I kind of heard this loud thumping noise. I had brought out the little speaker and just though a bunch of birds were hanging around and making noise cause my bird calls were calling them in. Later in the evening, after coming in I kind of heard a loud thump and thought it was Buddy. This morning while drinking coffee I heard a thumping noise again and I went to see if Buddy had come back in the, but I had pulled the recyclable bag out and thought the noise merely could be the sound of bottles settling. After taking my time and easing into the morning, I opened the garage door to go out and put bird seed in the feeders. Oh my goodness! The corner where the birdseed is kept was a mess. The one night I didn't put the feed back in the container tightly...  I deduced with my citified eyes that things had been thrown to the ground, a fruit fly trap package had been opened and strewn about. Strawberry baskets and been moved...I didn't think this was the job of a mouse but maybe a squirrel, seeking revenge, or a raccoon. I was leaning toward raccoon after my experience with them two years ago. Apparently, my choice of yard decor was not their choice. So they threw it about the yard.  But I am kind of new to all of this and learning my way about. So before I called Roy or phone a friend or text a friend, I called Orkin. The call was recorded for quality purposes. The young woman getting the info and everything else was just so nice and yes...I did the old lady nervous thing...I started talking way too much about everything...then I said to her, I'm so sorry, when I get nervous I talk a lot...without taking a breath...and giving you details that you don't care about because there is nothing that you can do about it. Ugh, I hate when I do something like that. Guess it is kind of was a pride thing because I was so happy that yesterday when the service checking out at Academy was sub par, I almost said...hey, you know Academy began in Houston, TX...and I am wearing an Astros shirt...did you ever think I might be a secret shopper John and Sheila? But I didn't say that and just went on my merry way. So back to this most engrossing I texted Bill and Vivian. Then I called Roy and he said he would order mountain lion urine for me...I thought he had and he said no that was a joke. Hey, I am in dire straights here....come on! He ordered fox urine with expedited delivery. He said, call Brenda because Vivian was at a Mary Kay Director Meeting or call Inez. So, I called Brenda. She and Larry came over, inspected the scene of the crime of unlawful entry and found raccoon, uh...DNA...but I will say this does a raccoon poop in a garage...yes, it does. Then Brenda found a paw print. Larry looked throughout the garage and felt pretty sure it was gone. Then all the snake videos and such came to mind and I asked him, it wouldn't be hiding under the hood of the truck would it? He doubted it but looked for me and showed me no paw prints on the battery or anything like that. I heard from the Orkin guy about an hour ago and they were on their way. They will inspect the attic and crawl space and elsewhere. That will be complete peace of mind for me.

When I talked with Roy he reminded me of a story from the long ago when we were first married. Roy traveled quite a bit and the apartment we were living in had carpenter ants in the linen closet. They lived in the door and nothing got rid of them. So every morning I would get up, grab my Bible and read Psalm 91 to them, letting them know they could not live there and told them they had to leave in Jesus Name. Them I kicked the door to let them know I meant business. I did this month after month. One night, we came home from church and when we turned on the light in the bathroom. all those carpenter ants were out of the door and in and around the bathtub. Quickly, we began killing them. So he said, go out there and read Psalm 91 out loud. A little nervous, I just read loudly through the door and was getting ready to go outside to read when Larry and Brenda to the rescue and detective work.

You know that peace of mind thing I wrote about? It has been anything but.....

It is now Saturday morning. It has been a whirlwind since I began this post. I wish I had never called Orkin but it is what it is. We are trying to determine if what they said is true or not or if they are just trying to do work that might not need to be done. Funny, nothing here ever gets done in a hurry in the area. No push, but Orkin is pushing and I have turned them over to Roy. Here's the deal, Roy is easy going but when someone starts to push him to do something, he doesn't stay all that easy going. When a company tells you there is damage etc to the crawl space and they want $12,000.00 to fix it...well you would like to get a second opinion. This started because a rogue raccoon got into the garage and it has dawned on me, even if there had been a problem, the two guys who came out would not have fixed it. They are just inspectors. They didn't even want to look in the if there is such a problem below wouldn't a look see in the attic bear notice? And why do they want to begin the process so quickly and they kind of poo pooed, seems to be a theme here, the notion that Roy wants our contractor to look before okaying work? One guy said, yep, let a guy from Lowe's come in...they can't even get the materials cause they are not licensed to do so. Uh, no our contractor isn't just some guy standing outside of Lowe's with a sign, will work for money. Gee whiz!

In the midst of all the stress I was trying to keep relatively calm. One of the hottest days temp wise we have had this summer. I think dealing with all this was just the icing on the cake and the stress and heat spilled over...unto the next post....

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Drives, Road Kill, Bunnies , and Matters

We have a new routine around here and it is called Buddy's porch time. She ate her treats, sat in my lap for a moment and then made her way to the front door. This morning I let her out on the porch before all the meowing began. Last night we sat on the porch with the small Bose speaker and called the birds. Our front feeder and around the swing was filled with cardinals and a few tufted titmouse and Carolina wrens. She stayed out there until almost dark, resting on the glider and taking it all in. This does tire her out and she is not as restless before bed or throughout the night. As we are experiencing our warmest temps of the season, we have hit 91, and yes, Houston friends are laughing at me. They have to be thinking 91? 91 is a low temp in the morning. See, I am truly acclimating.

I decided a little trip to Johnson City seemed to be in order yesterday. The drive is one of my favorites, although I say that about almost every drive, and I do miss Academy Sports and Outdoors not being closer. Since it seemed right to also join in another Houston startup, Carrabba's for lunch, the plan was made. To add to the Houston representing, I wore an Astros shirt. Once arriving in JC, the first stop was Barnes and Noble. Mixing it up a little since it is usually the last stop before returning home. Sometimes in a smaller Barnes and Noble there are unique to the area things to find and this store has one of the best Bible selections around. Onward to Academy where I found a few things such as HOT Slap Ya' Mama Cajun spice. Not for me but for a certain wily squirrel. It was time for lunch and it was delicious. There is a Kohl's across the way from the restaurant  and while Kohl's is not usually a shopping stop, it seemed like the thing to do before leaving JC. I found a pair of pink capris deeply discounted to $19.50 and a shirt 50% off and that is without a Kohl's card or coupon. The clerk checking out shoppers asked me if I was from Houston because of the Astros shirt. She was too, in fact her great grandfather was one of the major developers for The Village, River Oaks and Briarwood. For non Houstonians these are some of the most wealthy areas in Houston both in residential and business. I wanted to ask how did you get here to JC and working a register in Kohl's? She was an older lady with classic features and her makeup impeccable. Most of the families involved in development of Houston way back in the day are still around, still own homes in the area they helped develop. The ride back included a brief stop in Erwin to get some cheap TN gasoline and a stop at Publix to get more of the sugar sweet or sugar kiss cantaloupe. My new obsession.

Had a book waiting by the front door, thank you UPS, Wendell Berry's book, A World Lost. I've read it before and gave it away in the book purge of 2011. But a description in the book of Andy Catlett's aunt has ruminated in memory and while I could not remember her name or from what book she came from, going to The Google helped narrow down and eventually find it.

Love these ease into the morning days. Nothing concrete on the schedule, which makes this one quite happy. Tomorrow holds workout and a follow up cardiologist appointment.

I think Janet Jackson and Prince are on a music loop at the grocery store. A little What Have You Done For Me Lately gets me up in down those aisles in style. No, I haven't broken out in full dance mode, but I can feel myself getting closer to that.

One of the groundhogs had gone on to groundhog heaven after becoming road kill yesterday. I think by the size and location of it on the road in front of my neighbors house, it is the little groundhog that sat on my neighbors porch in the mornings. Saw one of my bigger ones yesterday and chased him off with a shout. Not a mighty shout, just a kind of get out of here shout. Last night the baby bunny and a little bit bigger bunny were both dining in the backyard. At first I thought it was Mama Foo Foo but she was in the front yard. Little baby bunny approached the other rabbit timidly...moving closer grass blade upon grass blade. After some tedious maneuvering, they touched noses....held that position for a few seconds and then the bigger bunny made a chase move toward baby and then went back to chowing down on clover. Baby bunny kept following the bigger bunny. Bigger didn't want to hang out with baby. Yes, I might have had a few tears come to my eyes and walked away for a few minutes. When I came back to the window baby was eating by itself. I've gone to The Google this morning to find out more about this bunny behavior. Yes, when one is easing into the day, there is time to read about rabbit behavior and let Buddy spend extended time on the porch. She's inside now as the day is beginning to warm up.

Several blogs I read have been doing a season of life theme. Interesting reading from women of all ages. Have been thinking about this in my daily Bible reading and journaling. Thinking about the season where I am and listening closely. One thing that has come to mind is this, throughout life I have been prone to say, too many times, "I don't care." Most of those times truly I didn't. The risk was worth the consequences. There were times of saying I don't care and yes...there was a lot of caring going on but one has to don the mask. It seems now the don't care has transformed into it doesn't matter. There is a whole lot of difference in those phrases. Well, I have the morning to contemplate. Have a good one y'all!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Random Things

This post might just be filled with random thoughts and questions that might be answered or might not.

A couple of Sunday mornings ago, when the sanctuary or worship center or where we have big church....who knows what it is being called these days, VBS decorations covered the stage and planets were suspended over the congregation or worshipers or here's all the people (from the long ago make a church with your fingers) game (probably some new term that I'm not hip to.) Where I was sitting the perfect opportunity to take a picture of the cross before me, the world behind from the song I Have Decided to Follow Jesus, presented itself. I should have taken the picture after church but I forgot.

Why is it so difficult to find a hammock stand? Peggy gave us a hammock as a housewarming gift. The two trees that we had planned to hang the hammock from had to be cut down due to the fact one was too close to the house and the second tree was a trash tree that was causing all manner of tree havoc. I found a stand at Lowe's but no one to help me take it to the check out and into the truck. I was not wanting a repeat from the whole swing loading time with the not so pleasant person who wasn't too happy she had to help us load the truck. I could order one from Amazon but I fear for the correct delivery. USPS delivers so much of their stuff now, I could see them trying to stuff that huge box in the mailbox. I jest...kind of... Today, we had an Amazon delivery and even now with the easy access to put the box inside the porch or beside the door, scary mailman only puts it in front of the garage door. Most of the time we get notice that the package has been delivered but we don't see it for another few days. I asked the postmaster at the post office about this and as nice as the man is, he had no answer for me. But, I do like they have a candy dish for customers. Really, what a nice touch. We don't know where your package is but have some Smarties. I mailed a package today and when asked if it anything liquid or dangerous or fragile is in the box, I accidentally touched yes on the screen. I feared that agents were going to descend on me for saying yes. Why can't all these terminals coordinate? One kind you have to wait for the green light, one wants you to push this button and another terminal wants you to push another button.  The guy laughed at me and said well...what's in the box. I told him...nothing dangerous at all...and he said we will just say it is fragile then and added he could tell just by my reaction that there wasn't any reason to worry.

Buddy has come in from the front porch which means I can quit air conditioning the whole neighborhood. Buddy has found a huge patch of sun right behind my chair. I reached down to pet her and I noticed that one of the small butterfly bushes was shaking violently. Of course that is a sign unto me that a groundhog, I believe it was Chuck, was right beside my deck, chowing down on a butterfly bush...What! Since Buddy is right here and she cannot be trusted to stay put, I had to yell at Chuck to get the heck out of here. I'm yelling like a crazy lady, get out of here...NOW! No chance to grab a bad lime to chunk at Chuck. I looked for groundhog repellent today at Lowe's. Oh there is plenty to be found for every other known animal but groundhog.  Someone suggested I get bobcat urine or some other predator urine to scare them off. Where does one find bobcat urine? Now that's a job I wouldn't want to have...OK Nancy, go out there to those back cages and see if you can get some bobcat urine in a bottle. Then we can sell it. Sure thing boss!
Roy found mountain lion urine for me. What!? Amazon sells it. Fox urine for squirrels, coyote urine for cats....unbelievable! We did lose one of the groundhogs today...I think Chuck Jr is now considered road kill. God rest his soul.I saw him this afternoon upon returning home. This looks to be the same groundhog that sat on my neighbors porch in the morning.

Buddy has been on the front porch and I have been watching out the back window. I did go out to the porch with my portable speaker and we really called in some birds tonight. Lots of cardinals and Carolina Wrens.

I have had a fun day and look forward to having another day tomorrow with nothing on the schedule but what I want to do. I'll write later about my adventures today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Songs and Sights

We got out of choir early this evening...not too early though, but early enough for me to run by Sonic with a lot of others who were on the same wavelength to get some ice cream for National Ice Cream Day. I just needed a little taste of the cold stuff on what has been a rather warm day. Since I had ice cream it called for the long way home and the sunset....well, it was just perfect for this day. Buddy and I have been out on the front porch. The fireflies have kept her amused but she'd rather see birds.

Oh happy day that Turkey Creek Cafe is open again on Sundays. Today they offered a farm to table service. I went with the all you can eat offering because I wanted to try all the veggies. They were so good and I had meatloaf but also had the choice of fried white fish, cooked to order, and pulled pork. I love that they are open on some evenings too. I forget about them around lunch time and by the time I think, that is where I'll go...they're closed. Marissa has persevered and she is doing well.

Even though I took two naps this afternoon because chunking bad limes and lemons at squirrels and groundhogs is exhausting, I did have time to get things picked up a bit in my project room. Things were moving right along until I came across one of my favorite books of all time, Walking On Water by Madeleine L'Engle.  Stopped and read just a bit and once again inspired by her words and thoughts.

I can tell something is see, I have this God size dream of having another home here for ministry purposes...not official ministry types, although they are included. I shared with John Bolin what God has placed on my heart but I knew it would have to be something of His doings, I was not going to manipulate circumstances and situations to get a home. The economy has come back around here like gang busters and homes like what we looked at in 2014 have doubled or tripled in price. This week I was about to give away some things that I have planned on using in the dream big house and it hit me, many times when something is near by God's design, is the time I give up or doubt. Yes, I am taking this as a sign unto me that God has not forgotten the dream He placed in us and that I should stand even stronger in thanksgiving and praise, thanking God He has provided.
The sound of Mike the Mower Man is a lovely greeting this afternoon. The grass and weeds have grown with the uptick of rain we have had, although not as much as other regions around the area. I wonder if he has come across any of my thrown fruit in my constant combat against squirrels and groundhogs?

My workout with Taylor was good this morning. Worked on core and balance. He is also helping me keep scar tissue at bay. For this I am thankful. Afterwards I made a quick trip to the bank, Publix and CVS. I am in a salad mood and I am trying to go with that as long as my mood goes that way. I picked up some fresh eggs from Aunt Jenny via Vivian. We are in the warmer days and most afternoons you can find me reading or working on the computer. Buddy has stirred from an upstairs nap and looks to be determining what she would like to do next. She would really like to go out onto the porch but it is too hot to be air conditioning the whole neighborhood.

And now on Tuesday morning Buddy is doing the same thing. Taking a little nap on the front porch. I sat out there a while drinking coffee and conversing with a Carolina Wren. Using the Merlin App, the wren and I had quite the conversation. And yes, I found this to be fun. I am contemplating the day ahead and if I am getting out and about or if I am sticking around home. I'll make that final decision later. For now I will enjoy the songs and sights of the birds.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Conspiracy, Nature and Fun

Coming from a long line of conspiracy buffs it is something I fight off all the time. It seems our family line is gifted with taking minute details, that have nothing to do with each other and weave those details into a fabulous tapestry of conspiracy. Since I am not a practicing conspirator the weaving doesn't come easily to me anymore. Yet, the "gift" lies right beneath the surface of life. There are offshoots to this gift, being able to see past the obvious and there are downsides as well, overthinking things. The other night I had to fight the urge to link these unrelated causes and effects and I knew what had caused the tweaking and aches. I have never been prone to panic attacks but since experiencing heart issues, I've had a few in the past few years and the Doctors have told me it is quite normal. So I aggravated a muscle around my shoulder blade. I knew when I did it and before going to bed I used the detox gel I love and some Bio Freeze. That combination was sensory overload. So tweaked muscle plus over use of gels and sprays plus falling asleep on my arm=thinking I might be having a heart attack...when I knew good and well I was not having one. If you don't fight the theory off you begin imagining aches and pains and symptoms. Upon awakening the next morning all signs of muscle tweak was gone, I did my workouts and that is that but I have to confess I didn't sleep well that night. A friend asked me if I called Roy during the night while experiencing all this, ah no. Deep into the night is not Roy's best conversation time, much less compassion time. No, I talked to God about it all and reminded Him, I do look forward to the day of being with Him but I also thanked Him for letting me live here in God's country and I wasn't quite finished with living here yet, if that was alright...

Thursday, I got to see the work and results of the grand re-opening of the Fresh Market nearby. They certainly made better use of their space and the prepared food/deli has expanded and looks very appealing. They still had some of their spring coffee and I bought a couple of packages cause Roy loves that flavor. Fresh Market closed in Houston much to the sadness of many friends.

I saw a glance of her yesterday morning...there in the mirror. Every once in a while I see my mom in my features. I am kind of a mish mash of family...sometimes I look like both my grandmothers, sometimes I look like my father but mostly if there is a glance to be caught, it's my mom's features. I like it when that happens.

Our area received a welcomed surprise yesterday of an afternoon thunderstorm. The radar, yes I am becoming a weather nerd as well as a bird nerd, showed showers to the north and south of us. Many times rain coming from the northwest gets torn apart by the mountains and the atmosphere kind of makes the rain jump over Asheville and reform once again. Then Black Mountain and surrounding areas get the deluge. Several have told me this area is known to the old timers as dry ridge. I call it the Cinco Ranch split cause the first year we lived in our home there, in the midst of drought, rain would form and split to go to the north and south of us. I was so thankful for the rain for many reasons but specifically I wouldn't have to water the flowers before going to the women's ministry event at church.

Which was a lot of fun, the event last night. We made a square of wood come alive with comforting words. So there was painting, drying, placing our vinyl onto the prepared plaque, painting over everything with another color choice, and sanding and distressing our work. The evening was named Salty and Sweet, so the snacks met every need and gave us the sugar rush to do the work. I have to admit the tedious work, which can put me over on the NancyMon stress scale, was happily outsourced to kind friends who bore my burden so to speak. I would still be there trying to finish up my piece if I hadn't had help.

Before the rain yesterday, the backyard was teaming with nature; two groundhogs, three squirrels, baby bunny foo foo, and about 6-8 young cardinals. Of course the doves were around and a mockingbird came in to make an appearance.

The Anniversary Sale is about to begin at Nordstrom. Well, it actually has for card holders. Long ago you had to be at a certain level to have the early access. This year I wasn't particularly interested but I did a quick look see on Thursday and found much to my delight and surprise that Nord carries the hair products I like, Oribe. Since I love Nord Reward points I ordered what I needed and of course there is the free shipping.

Thankful for an easing into the day Saturday.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Rambling In and Out of The Mountains

It is feeling rather warm today and there is less humidity today and tomorrow. Once last night I awoke and saw that the fog was rolling in big time. Sure enough, this morning there was thick, dense fog to be found everywhere. As the sun begins to burn through it, the morning clears with sunlight. I overslept this morning. It was one of those waking up early things and turning over thinking I will sleep only thirty more minutes and it turns into an hour and a half. Still got ready and made it to church on time. Not having much of a commute helps.

My house cleaning screeched to a halt on Saturday. After mopping upstairs and downstairs, and using my Norwex stuff, I realized the vacuum cleaner wasn't picking up anything as it ran. Uh, oops, I haven't cleaned the filter in a long time which means, I have never cleaned the filter. So after washing the filters, who knew there were two, they had to dry. We had rain in the late afternoon so with the filters drying, it was too good of a day to waste cleaning, so I converted to the reading portion of the day.

Another accurate hit on a squirrel with a small apple.  I do have compassion as I let one of the squirrels finish its drink of water. The only squirrel that gets the chunking is the one so slow to give up ground and leave. The beauty of it being the apple rolls down the hill and I retrieve it for another shot for another day.
Well, now it is Tuesday evening. Sometimes life gets in the way of writing but that's ok. All three readers of Monablog have to find something else to do until I am able to sit down and think through things or go with the consciousness of thought...which can get me in trouble.

Today, I did a fun thing. I got up early, not a fun thing, and left the house around 8:20. Off to the Biltmore Park area to Another Broken Egg. Dena and I discovered the ABE goodness while in Rosemary Beach several years ago. When I get a chance I head that way cause their menu is a variety of breakfast goodness. Today, I went with the traditional breakfast. Delicious! Then to Barnes and Noble where I hit the jackpot in all things reading. Yes, just what I need more books to read when I haven't read books I already have. A little farther down the road and boom, you are at Target. They had one box of the little solar mason jar lights left, only they hadn't marked it down like the other Target. The summer things were on clearance and getting ready for school is taking over...which means I won't be at Target too often in August or the beginning of September. I went to Hobby Lobby and found a bowl 60% off, the regular 30% off price. Next up on the day in south Asheville was a trip to Southern Chicks which is really closer to Hendersonville but then it is just one big ville around here. Lots of cute stuff, all reproduction stuff and yet that did not stop me from buying a couple of things. Very cute in the metal and farmhouse genre. So then I traveled back toward Asheville toward the visitor center on the Blue Ridge Parkway where I thought I could buy a senior park pass but no....have to buy one at a park where you pay, like the Carl Sandburg house. Three years ago I went and turned right around when on the path the sign said snakes live here. That's all I needed to read. I did find a couple of cute t-shirts and decided to go home the long way on the Parkway. When I got to the Pisgah Inn where I had planned to stop, take pictures and peruse the gift shop only it was pouring down rain. I had a rain jacket but decided to keep going down the road and exited at NC 215, which is one of my favorite fall drives. Summer is not too bad either. The waterfalls along the way were full not like the little trickles of years past in the drought. Once I got in Canton, why not go ahead and go to Ducketts Produce Stand. Then why not go onto The Blue Rooster for a late lunch. I did the farmer's supper of five veggies, mac and cheese (counted as a veggie here), collards, green beans, lima beans, and fried green tomatoes. Coconut cake may have been a to go thing....

Uneventful drive home except taking it all in because it never gets old, the mountains and valleys. My goodness the corn looks wonderful! When I got home I unloaded most of the truck, sat a bit, talked with Roy and then went to the front porch with Buddy. Got my bird app going and calling the birds. Most responsive Carolina Wren and Carolina Chickadee. Of course Buddy cannot get to them and she looses interest and just wants to nap.

Tomorrow the Parkway has road work shutting it down to one lane. That is one of the reasons I chose today to enjoy the ride. I love days like today, at my own pace and interests. I like these kinds of days with friends too, but today was just an opportunity to get in the truck and ramble about.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Travel Its Path, Find Rest For Your Souls

 Jeremiah 6:16

This is what the Lord says:
“Stop at the crossroads and look around.
    Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.
Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls.

There is a road that I travel almost everyday of the week. It is a winding, curving road. The scenery runs the whole gamete from houses and farms, rivers and valleys, trees and vegetative overgrowth of every kind of weed, both beheld in the beauty of flowers and in the world of just plain old, ratty tatty, ragged weeds. There is a house and the man that lives there...well, I have seen him outside many, many times. He never ever has a shirt on. What's with that? Even after several years, there are bends and turns and squiggly  yellow signs warning drivers to slow down for the curves ahead, that can still take me by surprise. When I come upon that wiggly squiggly portion of the road, I cannot help but think of the day when two drivers were trying to draw me into a staged fender bender. It would have worked except for the grace of God. I was distracted and in deep thought because Roy had called and I happened to be in the grocery store. He told me that Adult Protective Services had called him at the office. He was none too happy about that and he interpreted the conversation to be that of, who is going to take care of these antics and complaints about my father. He suggested I stop whatever I was doing, go home and call them back from the house phone...being that I was in NC and a NC number would show on Caller ID. A wave of nausea came over me, no make that several waves of nausea. The usual began, me shutting down, drawing inward, gathering the emotional wagons once again to fend off an attack. An untrue and mean attack. Driving home, thinking about and praying for the upcoming conversation with the authorities, the near accident attempt happened. But oddly enough, I missed the intended victim and the second person involved jumped out of a truck that had pulled to a stop on the side of the road. He was yelling I saw everything! I saw everything! Only there was nothing to see cause nothing had happened. Maybe this was supposed to be a sign unto me that the empty, untrue accusations that were a waste of time and taxpayers money would be empty, void...the set up wasn't going to work according to the plan. When I talked to the lady investigating the claims I asked her to call my brother. He could explain what was going on since I had not seen nor talked with my father since March 27, 2012. Doug talked with her, referred her to another investigator that had worked this case just a couple of months before and asked her to call back if she had any questions. We never heard from her again. The story isn't really about all that, it is about that place on the road that brings me to thankfulness and praise every time I wind around it because God protected me that day and turned something meant to be sinister to nothing at all.

There is usually a crossroad to our decisions on how we will react. I love driving the roads around here because there are so many moments that have been special taking in the scenery and beauty of this area that we get to call home. When I come to these places, I tend not to think firstly of the issue or problem that brought me to drive but rather to recall the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living...and at those places sometimes I stop...well, not on the wiggly squiggly portion of the roads, but a safe spot to pull over and be grateful and give praise to God.

Yesterday, another chance to remember as Buddy and I made our way to the vet's office. Yes, the time I dread, mani/pedi time for Buddy. Roy and I decided not to give her a chill pill before her appointment. Sometimes, I think the stress of getting the pill into Buddy adds to her behavior. Waiting for the pill to do its work we have to make sure all the hiding places are inaccessible. Instead, I quietly closed doors during commercials as she and I relaxed in the bonus room watching TV. Watching TV during the day is not a normal thing for me but sometimes I watch before going to bed. So Buddy settled in nicely. She even let me carry her downstairs without a fight. With new knees I think the certainty of my steps is the reason why she didn't squirm. Didn't fight me going into the crate and she didn't meow chaotically as is the norm. As we made our way to the appointment I realized I hadn't been on this particular road since that fateful night in April when my tooth broke. With Publix so close I rarely go to The Fresh Market, which is on the same road as the vet. Lots of changes happening as the economy in the area picks up. But as we rode along I was able to be grateful that there is an urgent care dentist in the area, that we have dental insurance and came to realize, sometimes I am little dense, who am I kidding? Sometimes??? Anyway, my frustration with the timing of getting appointments and procedures clearly came from my lack of attention or urgency to secure a dentist here in a timely manner.

And at the vet appointment with the techs that have all the notes on Buddy and the procedure to remove her from the cage, I said something that they probably took offense to. They always want to take the crate apart to which I respond, just open the top of the crate. The look on their faces says, no one is that brave. So, I undid the top, heard their gasps as I reached into the cage and petted Buddy. I should have taken her out but instead looked at them like...see. So, they put a towel over Buddy to get her out and then this mat over the towel. I think this adds to not calms down Buddy. The trimming was uneventful and for this I am happy. They weren't too happy that I hadn't given Buddy a chill pill, so I said, her vet in Houston has driven a team in the Iditirod Race in Alaska numerous times and says if I can do that, I can trim a cat's nails. She doesn't towel Buddy at all. I love how they treat our pets but sometimes they are a little too zen for me.

It is so entertaining for the most part...yes, even squirrels but not so much snakes, watching nature happen among the butterfly bushes and around the bird feeder in the backyard. These young cardinals siblings are skittish and throws the everything off as other birds scatter from the nervousness of young birds.They are usually out kind of early...Early in interpretation of the morning riser...anyway, they seem to have lots of fun together. The special treat last night, the Bunny Foo Foo's eating together as a family. Mom had her baby with her while dad ate near the gravel road keeping an eye out for predators.

So this Saturday morning is feeling like a brunch morning. Roy said he almost called me earlier while he waited for Bible study to begin. I am so thankful he decided against that. Again there seems to be the conspiracy not to let me sleep in by Roy and Buddy. Buddy cooperated this morning so that left Roy to be the rogue conspirator...thankfully, he came to his senses.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Re-purposed Skill and Training

The day you don't think there will be any rain...there is rain. Overcast and cloudy most of the morning, then we had a little shower and the sun came out bright as can be. I turn my back to the window and the next thing I know, thunder, which brings Buddy down the stairs lickity split. Our living room is rather dark but the rain has let up some. These little early evening showers will help to keep flowers blooming and trees green. Oops, that last little bit of lightning felt a little too close.

I was so tired from driving to and from Charlotte last night. Vivian and Bill had asked me over but as much as I love them and banana pudding, I had to take a rain check. For a moment the thought of doing some laundry made a brief appearance in my thinking but thankfully, I came to my senses and opted out of doing laundry until later.
Awoke to a foggy morning. The alarm clock, Buddy, kept going off about every fifteen minutes. I think Buddy and Roy have a conspiracy going not to let me ever sleep in or sleep late. With knees fixed I think I could sleep like a teenager again. Well, except for the whole Buddy and Roy conspiracy thing.... I am happy for a ease into the morning kind of day. Nothing on the schedule but a trip to CVS and to Publix.

I had music going loud last night and missed Brenda's call. Vestal Goodman was belting out Looking For A City and What A Lovely Name. Brenda was stopping in at Vivian's and then she wanted to stop in here. I texted her when I heard the VM and said I'm here come on. I was working on the front porch getting more of those little clips up to install the last strand of mason jar solar lights. Think I will finish out the whole porch so I can use little Christmas lights when that season arrives. Those won't be solar though. There weren't any leftover fireworks last night either. It is refreshing not to have days on end of fireworks. When I went to workout yesterday, I saw the firework set up in the yard of a neighbor down the road. If they had been outside, I would have stopped and thanked them for the beautiful display they had on the 4th. Brenda came over and we visited for a little bit. Both of us have had, not busy schedules, but rather full days in the recent week.

We could have had a prayer meeting yesterday at the gym. Judy C and Inez were there. Judy is working with Taylor too and is seeing results like I have seen doing his workout and stretches. I need to fix my playlists on my music cause somehow I lost the ones I had when I hooked up to the new computer to download music into the phone. No biggie to do. But I really liked the order of songs on the old list.

Yesterday, something must have been going on out here. While at the Exxon station, two unmarked police cars with sirens and lights blazing went down the highway. When I made my turn toward Weaverville, I saw several sheriff patrol cars along the way. On my way home from CVS there was a sheriff right across from the Post Office. Felt very safe going in to get our junk mail.

So thankful that the Indigo Buntings were around here for Lisa P's visit. She would love watching these young cardinals around the feeder and yard. There are two sets of young un's. The younger ones frequent the front feeder and are a bit more skittish. Constant bird fights keep Buddy interested in continuing porch life. There is a Carolina Wren looking to build a nest and truthfully, those birds seem interested in being close to human life or they know a good thing when they see it. I have discouraged it from building a nest between two cushions on chairs on the back deck. We hardly use the deck because of that whole underground railroad for animals thing going on underneath it. Right now at night there seems to be a colony of frogs living under the deck. Their loud night time serenade comes in like high def surround sound in the living room, which is a bit disconcerting. Yes! Dis-concert-ing. I am so not going to write, did you see what I did there? OK, I just wrote it but as narration not as look how clever. There is a guy on Twitter that adds that so often and I would unfollow but then I must get a buzz out of seeing him write that so many times about his blog posts and articles. Yes, he truly respects his audience. But I digress...Carolina Wrens, that is what I was writing about...well, I'm done but I will say Carolina Chickadees respond really well to the bird calls on my phone. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have become a bird nerd.

Several friends have asked me if I am going back to playing tennis with new knees in place. I can emphatically answer, NO! I would have to develop a lob game and I just can't do that after being beaten by older ladies who only do deep lobs. No fun at all! No one has asked if I would go back to playing softball and I bet there is a senior ladies team around here somewhere if I checked, but no softball doesn't interest me either. But it is good to know I still have mad throwing skills. Since becoming the Crazy Squirrel Lady of Buncombe County, part of my job, nay, duty, is to keep squirrels off the bird feeder. How come bird feeder is two words but birdbath is not? Again, I digress... So yesterday, in the rain mind you, I was so upset with this one particular squirrel, who looks at you, puts his paw over his heart and I imagine him saying, "Elizabeth, I'm Coming!" (Sandford and Son reference for any millennials reading this. Old TV show)  This squirrel is becoming quite used to all the noise I make in order to chase them home. So, I picked up one of the little apples that Roy picked off our trees, went outside and perfectly timed the throw to hit that squirrel right in his....squirrel butt. He jumped so high and ran so fast up the hill, to his home far away in the neighbor's tree. Yes, softball skills are being re-purposed into a viable mountain skill.

I'm thinking that driving SequishShawn might be good training if I ever decide to apply for a job at the Biltmore. They are hiring laundry workers right now but laundry doesn't seem to be my passion. I think it would be fun to drive a shuttle bus on the estate. Vivian sent me pics from her brother, who is the longest tenured employee on the estate, of all the bears in the upper parking lot the past few days from the early morning before the estate opens. Anyway, I would have to think of some corny jokes to tell while driving the shuttle, so maybe I should work on those.

Speaking of laundry, the machine has stopped and it is time to load clothes into the dryer.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Fourth and Fifth

The drive home from Charlotte is always kind of sad no matter who I drop off at the airport. Unless it is someone who gets on my nerves, then it is a happy time...that's never happened...well from the drive from the Charlotte airport. Nah... But when I see the mountains rising in the distance my heart soars cause life in the mountains is a dream come true. Today as I made the drive into that beauty I was listening to the choir and orchestra of HFBC and listening to them sing and play How Great Thou Art. Truly an experience and I love the last note when I can hear my friend Dana sing that high note or is it me? No, it is Dana.

Why oh why did I look out the window this morning and think I saw a black stick? Soon I knew it wasn't a stick but a snake. A Florida black racer snake out there toward the end of the driveway twisting his head this was and that. I called Roy to look and he was nonchalant about the whole thing. I stepped away from the window and came back...dang...where did that snake go? Roy went outside with a hoe in his hand to investigate. He knows where it might be living so this will push the timeline of getting the land by the driveway landscaped. I went the whole summer last year not seeing one snake on our property...they are here but I didn't have to see them.

Last night we finished up our work outside...well, all that we are going to do for now. Roy got the trim painted. We hung new lights along the stone steps. Roy also trimmed some of the shrubs in the front of the house so Buddy and I can have a better view of the bird feeder out front. Then he trimmed some of the firs that have gotten so big, only because we needed to see the road better. Roy grilled steak kabobs and veggies last night for supper. It was all so good especially since I had some Taste of Texas seasoning for the steak.

Yesterday morning was an early one for me. I had my CT scan and impressions appointment with the oral surgeon. I love that they run on time and so I had a little time to kill before my workout session with Taylor. The Dr. is so nice and I think he will do a great job on the work that needs to be done. At the workout with Taylor I learned a new workout on the TRX and I knew that there would be muscles screaming their displeasure this morning...I was right. In fact they were rather perturbed with me last night. By nightfall, neither Roy nor I felt very good. Him from getting hot while working outside and me working inside for a hot body.  I wasn't that hot outside. Ha! It was and I could work till the return of Jesus and enjoy a hot body for one second before the rapture.
I enjoyed a wonderful display of fireworks last night. All through the valley the reverberation of the fireworks sounded. The new houses on the ridge had a great display. I went upstairs to see if Asheville's fireworks were visible but only some of the highest in the sky. What's nice is everyone stops shooting them around 10:00 pm.

On the way home from Charlotte, I stopped at the Cracker Barrel in Morganton. Even in my sadness I was able to beat a horde of children to the restroom and did so without breaking a hip. We had stopped for lunch there on the way and I saw a few things I wanted to purchase. So, I waited till coming home to do so and to see if I still wanted them. Nothing big just little North Carolina items.

The morning is passing quickly, so I better get moving and start the things I need to do.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Little World

Yea! I can add pictures again to the old blog. Makes me very happy.

Ah, Sunday afternoon after a good little nap. No choir tonight so we will be hanging around here this evening. We went to Sunday School but didn't stay for church. With limited time to get some things done we took advantage of getting to La Cantina in Biltmore Village before the crowds. La Cantina is the closest thing to Texas style Mexican food in the area. Their queso is so good. Then we went to Target and Home Goods. Roy found a new carry on piece of luggage for apple season. On the way home we stopped at Sonic for happy hour drinks, Diet Cherry Limeade Powerade. That drink kept me happy while Roy ran into Walmart for his ice cream and some angel food cake for our strawberries.

Thursday night after we got home from our very fun day, we stopped at Lowe's to pick up the swing...hopefully assembled. We got a little nervous when it took so long waiting and then they told us they couldn't find it. Alas, finally found we took the swing home and we got it down to the stand and got the rest of the chains attached and hung the swing. The ground level makes this swing a swing for tall people but we have some booster stairs to help those short in stature.

Yesterday we got a little later of a start than planned but we did finish the stair railings on the stone steps and Roy got the trim painted around the front storm door. We did a little weeding and some planting. By the time we wrapped all that up it was too hot to be outside doing manual labor. We planned to get some more outside things done in the evening when it turned cooler but we got some rain showers that provided about an inch and a half of rain. Our azaleas said thank you as well as the roses that were planted. Roy made his delicious tacos for supper and then I spent the rest of the evening playing around on our new laptop. Roy transferred my iTunes onto the laptop but it won't let me download a lot of music to my iPhone because it can't find the original encryption or something like that. Dang! Looks like I have to buy Al Green songs again for my phone.

I have become the squirrel chaser of Buncombe County. Two of them run away but one hangs around even if I come out of the back door with my trusty cane in hand. Now it was fun chasing that squirrel out of the bird feeder with the vacuum cleaner running. Roy says I have too much time on my hands. No, I am easily entertained.

Brenda stopped by on Friday afternoon with this great dessert. It is like banana pudding but also has pineapple in it. Very good! Roy and I left for church to help cook and serve the VBS Family Fun Night at the church's picnic shelter on the top of the hill. One of the most beautiful views around. Roy helped cook 750 hot dogs. I was a bun opener and sometimes helped get the hot dogs in the buns for easier distribution. It was a very fun evening with friends. Lots and lots of kids (and some brave adults) went down the slippery slide down the hill onto the softball field. We left tired and carry about the fragrance of smoke.

This morning we had KHCB on Alexia and I heard one of my favorite songs from the way back. It is from the musical Natural High, a 1971 folk musical for youth. It is the first one I ever participated in. I leave you with these words as we need to tackle a few more projects in our little world.

My Little World

Oh God of the stars, the sun and the moon
Oh God of the wind and the sea
Though You’re everywhere
How amazing it is
That You can be here with me

The uncharted craters of planets beyond
You know like the palm of your hand
And yet You’re concerned
With my little world
Oh, help me to understand

I know that miracles happen to people like me
The moment we dare to believe
For we are the objects of God’s mighty love
Far greater than our little minds can conceive

The stars could collide
The sun could grow dim
The whole universe pass away
Still nothing can change the promise He made
And Christ in my heart will stay.

(repeat chorus)

Yes, Christ in my heart will stay.

Written by Ralph Carmichael. © Bud John Songs, Inc. 
All rights reserved. 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Out With The Old, In With The New

This might be my last blog post written on this laptop. Roy bought me a new one, installed most everything and he's just waiting for me to be awake enough to learn the ropes. This laptop is old and slow and the font size and page jump around too much, large to small to extra small to extra large. I only know a couple of things that I want on a computer so we treat buying them like we do when we buy cars. Roy goes, looks, then takes me to see once he has the fundamentals of what we want nailed down, whereas I like the bells and whistles...which doesn't make for a better price at the dealership or online.

I believe the GPS in our Tundra takes you on the road less traveled. You would not believe the route we took to get to the Costco in Spartanburg. It would have been so much easier taking the exit off I 26. The same thing happened yesterday when we left Grandfather's Mountain to go to Valle Crucis to see the original Mast General Store. She took us up through Banner Elk. A scenic, curvy drive that we loved. We used Google Girl to leave and we took the route that I remembered. When we encountered stopped traffic, I then understood why we went through Banner Elk. Tallulah Toyota wants to avoid stop and go traffic at all costs. She is always suggesting another route to the Charlotte airport because of the usual backup at a light in Gastonia where all the world meets, everyday in cars and trucks.

We have so much that needs to be done around here but we took a play day yesterday just because and because the weather forecast was perfect for a day in the high country of NC. We left a little after 9:00 heading for our first stop Grandfather's Mountain. It is a beautiful drive and a lot of road work in Burnsville is done. We had the double score on the entrance fee, discount for seniors and being a Biltmore Passholder. They give you a CD to listen to as you begin the assent to the top of the mountain. We put the CD in a little late so we were ahead of the narration. That's when we decided just to drive up the mountain without it. First stop at the museum and nature center, with a restaurant and restrooms. Oh and the most important stop in any trip, the gift shop. The restaurant is apply named Mildred's Grill, after Mildred the Bear, who I believe just passed away a few weeks ago from cancer. We grabbed some lunch there and we were entertained by the hummingbirds at the feeders attached to the large windows. Roy talked to many of the staff there getting information for the week long photo workshop they do at the beginning of June. We also visited with a couple who volunteer there. Retired and moved from the Mississippi Delta., where it is hot, just like Houston. Now this is such a Mississippi thing...all southerns try to connect with people that you might know but people from Mississippi seem to be the ones that try the connection the most. They ask where you are from and we give our answer which usually includes Houston. They asked what kind of business Roy is in, and he answered oil and gas...which up here I always add, not fracking. The woman then says, here is the connection...we have a nephew by marriage in the oil and gas business in you know _________? There are millions of people and a whole lot of oil and gas companies in Houston. What are the chances we know him? Well, none...we didn't know him by his nickname or real name. I love that about Mississippians. The gift shop has a lot of cute things and that is always a plus. Then we drove up the mountain to the swinging bridge. The temperature change near the bridge is cooler by far. Roy went across the mile high swinging bridge but I did not. My accomplishment yesterday at the bridge was climbing the steps up to it rather than taking the elevator. My heart was all a flutter from that exercise. Roy tried to start climbing up the rocks on the other side, there is no fence or guardrail, and he wavered a bit, lost his balance carrying his camera. I thought don't make me come over that bridge to make you stop trying something that is clearly for the young or those who have excellent balance. We had just had a conversation on our way about what are young jobs and how someone has to have a clear transition plan in place.
Well on this rainy Saturday evening, I am writing from my new laptop. Love the keyboard! Roy has loaded pics and music on it so this makes me very happy. We worked outside this morning and did so until it was just too hot. Roy painted the trim around the storm door and I kept on painting the hand rails on the stone steps. We did a little bit of weeding and then came inside. We are enjoying this rainy evening that has cooled things off as well as watered the plants, which they really needed. Roy made his famous tacos tonight.

So new laptop and hopefully without the jumping page and fonts.