Thursday, February 2, 2023

Oh To Welcome February

 Wouldn't it be wonderful if our medicines we take said, may cause balance instead of may cause dizziness? Everyone of the meds I take notifies the user about dizziness. It is a wonder I can even walk with all the light headiness one can experience. 

While reading through the notebook my mom made me, that I saw for the first time how much friendship meant to my mother. She even wrote about my grandmother who found being a good friend and having good friends a priority in those busy days of the depression and WWII. My grandmother and her friend Ruthy were unlikely friends. When they were younger they met halfway between their two houses in a field. Each one of them with sandwich in hand to get in lunch and a quick visit before returning to take care of their chores. As they got older and making their way out to the field more difficult, they depended on their telephone conversations. Ruthy was very hard of hearing and my grandma wasn't too far behind in the hearing arena. Every morning and evening they talked mainly to make sure the other one was safe. My mom told us stories of her adventures with her friends while growing up. Her story of her friend who lived across the road were humorous. They loved to eat tomatoes and onions right out of the garden and they wondered why no one wanted to play with them after they had eaten their garden delicacies, on bread. My mom had a friend, with a car, but the only thing, once it stopped, even to let someone out of the car, it would die. So whenever this friend had a group with her, she would slow down as much as she could, and mom and her friends would jump out of the car so that her friend could get on home and the car could die there until the next adventure. Good thing these girls lived out in the country. These stories and memories of Mom had me take assessment of me. I used to be a really good friend to others but now I am a mediocre friend at best. I worked harder at being a good friend but not so much now. Reading and remembering her stories might just be the jumpstart I need to make some changes or maybe more like fine tuning. This is in no way written for others to say, oh that's not true...yep, it is. 

Just saw where Cindy Williams has passed away. She was Shirley to Penny Marshalls Laverne. A long time ago when their show was in the top 5 shows, a survey was done to see what, other than nostalgia, drove the popularity of the show. Women watched because they wanted to have a friendship like these television characters or they had a friendship like Laverne and Shirley and loved watching the adventures of these two in Milwaukee along with their family and friends. Sadly most wanted a friendship like what was shown on the show.  

We so enjoyed the 5th Sunday night at church. A group from a nearby city sang southern gospel songs and led us into spirited worship. First song, a Happy Goodman song and I so wanted to go Vestal Goodman with them but only one problem, I don't have Vestal's voice. I love southern gospel music, but don't listen to it much. Afterwards we had soup and sandwiches fellowshipping together. 

John 7 was the lesson yesterday, from Jesus' half siblings trying to push his buttons, to the Pharisees, Sadducees, and the crowd asking a whole bunch of questions. Not questions of trying to get to know Jesus better but in disbelief and accusations. 

Free Willie! Yes, we rejoiced that his recovering days have concluded. The Boys are once again free to roam about the house. The hissing has stopped and good nature play has resumed. Oh, there are few fractious moments but for the most part just boys playing chase. We picked up a few new toys for them and they are having great times with those little stuffed animals and such. I will have to say though, the favorite of them all are tiny pinecones or bottle caps. Every other day we go through the house picking these items up to be redistributed at a later time. 

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This morning because I needed to get out of the house for a bit, I chauffeured Roy to his work out and I then went to Big Lots and Ingles...meeting up with him at Publix. He has an appointment this afternoon and neither one of wanted to mess with the truck...so, great idea launched.  It has been quite some time being at the Big Lots. I went in only looking for one thing but came home with more than the thing I went for and they didn't have the item I had in mind. The pet throws were marked down half price, so I picked up four more to use if we need to with the Feral Fam. Looks like the hotel will open for them tomorrow with rain and a good chance of snow. 

John 8 is proving much more interesting than expected. John uses the Jewish Leaders trap with the woman caught in adultery, notice the man isn't even around or caught. From what I've read, it was a total set up and the leaders made her a pawn in their trap to trip up Jesus and the effect He was having on the people...then we go to Jesus proclaiming, I Am the Light. John uses this dark trap to contrast with Jesus, The Light. 

So happy that our generator is communicating with us once again. After a couple of round abouts, the link corrected and the notifications coming. It always disturbs the Feral Fam a bit but the older ones are used to it. 





Saturday, January 28, 2023

Ode To A Week

 Our snow day was more like a snow morning. Not complaining but thankful for a little snow and then a lot of clearing by the afternoon. Today, the beauty of a coolish to coldish morning with bright rays of sunlight. All the windows that face south are letting the bounteous beauty stream into the rooms, especially upstairs. Seems like all The Boys have found a window to bask in the warmth.  Mr Mo upstairs and GMoey and Willie downstairs. Willie Tonka is growing so quickly it seems. He is also more trusting. He realizes that we aren't putting him up every time one of walks by. Last night he even sat in my lap without an invitation and just now he sat on the end of the couch for some pets. We have made huge strides. Mr Mo is becoming my lap cat. Sometimes I feel like he gets the short end of the deal. Willie wants to play constantly with him but naps and sits with GMoey, who will take Willie down a peg if he is just the least little bit rowdy. This morning as most mornings, Mr Mo and Willie come a greeting when I open the bedroom door. Roy gets up earlier and he closes the door so that The Three can't come in and wake me up. The best decision we made was, no sleeping with us at night. Loved it with Buddy, but for years I slept only an hour at a time, with the persistent wake ups from her. 

Started studying this morning on this week's lesson. I will touch base on last week's lesson a bit and then go right into Chapter 7. Bread in chapter 6 and living water in chapter 7 with a whole lot of accusations and questions going on before we get to the part we are supposed to teach. Loving, loving the context we cover in these lessons in John. I saw that after we finish John, Jeremiah and Lamentations in the summer. Oh boy but I ordered study books this week, really early, not to compete with other teachers doing the same thing. 

Checked in with friends from Houston to see how they fared with the rain and tornadoes. So far, all is well. 

I found out a couple of months ago one of my favorite artists from the area has passed away. No way we could afford her original work but we did buy some prints...that were pricey but we brought the prints home, had them framed and they gave me great comfort to see scenes of this land I love. Those prints keeping me company in Houston keep me company as well here. Many of her prints were from acreage that the Biltmore owns. The amber grass of winter and fall, the flowers of spring and summer and always the blue skies. 

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I never got back to the blog this week. Willie had his surgery and we are coming to the end of his segregation of play with the others. Houdini had his collar of shame off before being home for any amount of time. We put his cat onesie on him and we have a leash attached to the onesie. We had plans to be out most of the day today but punted on that when we realized that the Boys are not back to normal yet. Mr Mo is having a difficult time and has regressed on all the progress that had been made with his attitude toward Willie. Willie just got his last dose of medicine, so we are on the road of less supervision and freedom once again for them all. I guess for us as well. Roy did yeoman's duty yesterday. I had a couple of things on hold at Christy's Crafts and since she was open I made the trip out that way. The drive is beautiful and the gift as I was leaving, two deer grazing in a field. Maybe the better gift is, no one behind me so I could catch a few pics. We see deer and turkeys many a day but it still is so special. After having such a fun conversation with Christy and then with one of her local friends that arrived right before I was leaving, brought about memories while driving back to Burnsville. Earlier in the week I came across the "grandmother" book that my mom made for me. She was doing books for the girls and she wrote by hand in a notebook for the me, the contents of the grandmother memories. I was thinking, she didn't write anything really personal to me in the book and then I saw the deer. As soon as the photo shoot was over, the thought hit me, she wrote it all out in her handwriting. That is a personal note if I've ever seen one. She had also included several black and white pictures. 

Talked to Roy once the phone had coverage and he encouraged me to go onto Lamp Post Vintage because Willie and GMoey were asleep and Mr Mo was behaving. Did a quick stop and found a couple of cute items as well as two more jars of apple jam. Checked in with Roy and he asked if I would stop on the way home at Ingles and pick up a few items on his list. Well, yes, it will be a joy. So a stop in Mars Hill and since I was that close to Marshall, I made a stop in Penland's. My friend Georgette, it was her week to work, so we had a great visit. Then I came home. A much longer jaunt than I had planned. Delivered the cold stuff at home, then ran to Brenda's real fast to drop off a couple of things to her. Then, I went on duty with The Boys, giving Roy a bit of a deserved break. He knows I try to limit my coming and goings in January and through about half of February. Been working since 2009 on the advice of the Houston cardiologist. 


Monday, January 23, 2023

Kitten Fuzz and Memories

 Underneath all that kitten fuzz, is a skinny cat. Willie has thrown us a few surprises in the last week or so. He has been playing with Mr Mo quite a bit this morning and that is good to see. It took Mr Mo a little bit of coercion to accept Willie. GMoey kind of looks after Willie and that kind of makes Mr Mo jealous. 

A day makes a difference. I struggled with reading the lesson for Sunday. I've written recently how this time around Lifeway has chosen huge passages of scripture for context but narrows it all down with the text or the meat of the lesson. It feels so undone and when that happens, I tend to spend more time teaching in the context rather than the verses of the lesson. I was telling the class on Sunday many times I lay out the place, main character or main group, Jesus' reply to the situation and then let those words bring us back to thinking on these things. This week we context the feeding of the 5000, Jesus sending his disciples off in a boat and Jesus and Peter walking on water. Then, we are to jump in as the crowd, kind of like the Samaritan woman thought about water, and how they are thinking when Jesus talks of the bread he is saying hey here is one more thing off your list to work for but He is speaking of eternal and deeper things. 

Everyone on our little road puts their garbage cans out on Sunday evening for a Monday pickup. Our neighbor texted us yesterday morning. Someone had on purpose or accidentally ran into all the garbage and recycle cans. He had put everything back into the cans for us all. Such nice neighbors. Waste Pro didn't empty our trash can though. Oh that Waste Pro but Roy found a bumper and part of a hood a little farther down in the ditch along the road. Maybe someone hit ice, who knows. Waste Pro says they'll pick up our trash tomorrow.  

Seven years ago this week while on the way back to the mountains, I changed up the way of coming back. I didn't stop in the familiar Cracker Barrel, but decided to stop at the one in Lafayette, and that stop changed the plans and by the end of the week, we were returning to Houston. Instead, after having my hip replaced there in Lafayette, not at the Cracker Barrel, Roy and I returned to Houston to be under the care of my orthopedic doctor as well as a one story home to recover and do home rehab in. Everything I worked on to get better was driven by the determination of returning to the mountains. Even my PT knew what I was working toward because he was from East TN. This broken hip also opened the way for bilateral knee replacements later on in that year and because of meeting out of pocket expenses, the 20% costs that we would have paid were covered. Part of this John 6 lesson could be titled, what are you working for? With that hip I was working for it to be strong and provide functional living but there was a deeper and spiritual layer. It wasn't just about the present but it was about factors for the future. Jesus is trying to let the crowd see it wasn't about bread here, but He being the Bread of Life and for their eternity  Good thing God is patient about us finally coming to the truth to see what He says and Who He is. 

These Three Boys are just so funny at times. My niece, Erin, sent a kitty cube and some mouse toys for the boys. They are having a blast! Two of them get into the cube and wrasle/wrestle while the third cat sits outside of the "ring" to tag team one of his cuzbros to join in the fracas. The other funny thing is one can tiptoe into the kitchen and the boys can be up in the bonus room and somehow know, someone is in the kitchen and the possibility of treats or food is in the air. 

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Two days in a row eating out or bringing home takeout. We rarely do that anymore. Thursday evening deacon and wives dinner at The Fireplace. Friday, on our way home from Burnsville we stopped at High Adventure BBQ for brisket and sides. Delicious. 



Monday, January 16, 2023

Snow Melted, Sun Returned and Life Is Good

 All of WNC is waiting...the thrill of hope...of snow. 🎵Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow🎵 Our skies look like snow skies and the mist lying low upon the pastures, but no snow as of yet. Two of the three boys are with me, but they are napping and not too excited over the adventure of snow. The hotel opened last night and The Feral Fam has checked in. We are even letting KH in because he is looking not well and dang, even as heartless as he has been against so many of these ferals I have loved, I refuse to be heartless and let him suffer when he is feeling poorly or in winter. Summer, all bets are off of me not liking him or his antics of maim and hurt. This just in, light snow falling now. It's not sticking but lovely to see. Tiny little flakes but welcomed. 

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Snow update, still falling on Saturday morning and it looks as if we've received around 2 inches. Not getting above freezing today and the snow is supposed to end around noon. With our main road being resurfaced this year, it is difficult to know the new icy spots. I think there is one right in front of the house. Our neighbor with the snow plow moved so how our little road is, haven't a clue. We have a couple of snow shovels that we can clear our driveway with. With sunshine predicted in the afternoon chances are we won't have to shovel and that southern exposure will begin the melting process. 

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Once again the weekend has passed and we are welcomed by a beautiful sunrise on this Monday morning. Roy caught me up on the football game from last night while The Three chased each other in and out upstairs to downstairs and back. Willie gave us some concern over the weekend, but he seems to have bounced back from whatever was ailing him. When we went to church yesterday, we left them home alone, not behind the bonus room door. They did well. We were only gone through the Sunday School hour since January is my semi hibernating month for good health. 

We were in John 5 in Sunday School. A favorite chapter. With the iffiness of the weather, I wasn't too sure if many would brave the cold. Thankfully, others braved the temps so I wasn't alone in class. My teacher brain felt a little scattered yesterday but I think the lesson made sense. Years ago, Kelly F told me about a memoir of Barbara Brown Taylor, Leaving Church. Spoiler, Barbara doesn't leave church but she works through the burnout and repetition of joyfully serving the Lord but she doesn't experience the joy. The story she tells of trying to help the birds that flew into glass or otherwise injured and her frustration of not being able to help them back to health until she had success with one. A starling no less. After several attempts for him to fly off back into bird world, from the atrium outside her office, she realizes taking him to a park for release is best. It is also how she saw her style of ministry and that she wasn't releasing people who had been helped by her, to live their lives outside of her realm of influence. Did she enjoy this aspect too much, keeping people too close for her influence. Thus, began her journey of finding where God wanted her and could be used the best with her talents and gifts. She is a professor at a small college and she has written several more books. Also, the young woman who used to call the church and trap people into hours long conversations. She just wanted to tell her story, she really didn't want help, well the way help was offered. She got unsuspecting church members to take her home only she didn't let them know right away, she really wanted to shop or see something. Then when pressed she'd say, I don't know how to get to my home, I forgot my address etc... There in John 5, Jesus approaches the man who has been lame or sick for thirty eight years and asks him, do you want to be well? The man explains why he can't be well cause he cannot get into the pool fast enough to be first. Interestingly, when Jesus tells him to rise, pick up your bed and walk...the man does as he is instructed and is instantly healed. By picking up his mat, Jesus is telling him, you're healed. You don't need to sit by this water anymore. We also looked at the crowd around him, sick, blind and lame. I am so encouraged by some of the ladies in our class. The range of things, bad backs, cancer, breathing issues, heart issues, stomach issues and more, they carry on. They do the work of the kingdom in the capabilities they are experiencing in this stage of life. After class some of us mentioned others in our church who hold fast, doing things for the Lord, without a whimper or a waller. As I face the future, I want to be like them, staying strong and forward focused.  This healing on the sabbath began the intensity of the Sanhedrin to follow Jesus' every move.  

Halfway through January, hibernation month for me. Thankful for a hubby that loves to grocery shop and convenient to do so cause where he works out is in the same shopping center as Publix.  Keeping a low profile has become much easier since keeping myself at home and entertained during the pandemic. Truthfully, I am never bored at home. I am thinking of starting the next project on the list, today. As most Mondays I do a reading of what the lesson on Sunday is about. Seems like Lifeway skips over a lot of really good Gospel of John stories. 

We have Willie's snip snip surgery on schedule and for this, I am thankful. This morning all three were asleep on the twin bed. Doesn't happen too often and as Willie looses his kitten fuzz, we don't think he is going to be big like his cuzbros. 




Thursday, January 12, 2023

Cats and Snow, Maybe

 Upstairs in the front bedroom is a wonderful room. It has double windows, a window seat and a great view of the valley and a long range view of the mountains. We have a cat bed on the window seat and several times in the last week or so, when a kitty is in the bed, the neighborhood hawk flies low, casting his shadow on the room. It is an eerie, daunting and majestic all at the same time. If Mr Mo is asleep, he doesn't know that window glass keeps him a little more safe while he sleeps. Well, hawks can fly through glass but hopefully our neighborhood hawk finds enough field mice in the area. Speaking of sleep, Mr Mo has fallen asleep in my lap. He gave up on helping me blog this morning. His thoughts were just too deep and not understood or communicated by his typing. 

Free Willie is in full force today. He and The Boys are chasing each other, generally playing together and sharing treats, reluctantly. They all are still sleeping in the bonus room at night cause mama needs her sleep but we will gather them together sooner and shut all the bedroom doors earlier. Just takes one kitten hunt under a bed for one to adjust the plans. Then adding the other two to help...well, that didn't work quite the way we wanted our plan to be. Mr Mo and Willie do much better together in the free roaming of the house. 

It was haircut week and had a fabulous appointment with Tammy. Afterwards, I took a box of books over to Ann D. We got to visit a little bit before she headed over to her appointment. Since I was relatively close by, seemed like a good day to go to The Fresh Market. It was. Headed on home. 

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Monday morning with The Boys. Mr Mo is on my lap and GMoey is on the couch looking out the window. They have ditched the energizer bunny for the moment. Willie is full of kitten power but has decided to nap in the twin bedroom. Making a place of his own. Rambunctious and chasing each other all morning up and down the stairs, it is welcomed quiet for now. Mr Mo and GMoey fought most of the morning when playing turned a little too lively. Think they just made up and for this I am thankful. 

With the Samaritan woman studied, we head into John 5 for this Sunday. I haven't studied John 5 in a long time but it was front and center during the beginning of the heart journey. Used it for a devo in Ministries Staff devotions and in a Bible study. This time around I am seeing it so differently but then the Word is active and alive. I remembered a story told in Barbara Brown Taylor's memoir, Leaving Church that fits John 5 perfectly and it's a miracle, I found the book on the first bookshelf. 

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Wandering hither and yon yesterday totally wore us out. Willie had an early appointment to complete his shots and then we hit the road taking care of our errands. We picked up some BBQ that was delicious in Madison County. We will return that's for sure. Great sides, along with regular sides, fried okra, green beans, mac and cheese...collard greens...yummy! Also, the sandwiches are made with Texas Toast and not buns. 

The forecast is for snow beginning in the evening. We might get 2-3 inches where we live. We haven't had any snow this winter season, just cold temps moderating into warmer temps. Looks like we will open the hotel for the kitties to combat the elements. There is a fine misty fog this morning and it makes the pasture across from us even more picturesque. 

While cleaning out a storage tote the other day, I came across the email sent by my father's lawyer after she had served me papers on his behalf of  legally cutting off our relationship. She was asking on his behalf and her own family experience to reconcile. What? There was a time I would have done so because I always wanted to give him a chance but this time he had gone too far and just the wording of the email didn't include reconciliation on his part. I had read through the email and added comments to it, where there were lies and really no hope. This would begin once again because that is what he did best, keep things stirred up. The morning after being served papers, I woke up singing, My Chains Are Gone, I've Been Set Free. Seeing that email was such a surprise but it was a chance to thank the Lord for rescuing us from his schemes, devices and lies. 

A huge temperature drop tomorrow. We shall see if we get snow...



 

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

Fog and Rain

 Both mornings of the new year have started out foggy, very foggy. Like August fog, thick in places, hard to see ahead on the road. This morning we don't have to be out early but yesterday we were driving in the fog on the way to church. I was happy to see a truck turning into the church parking lot because that helped me tremendously to make that left turn. The fog isn't actually a morning fog because it rolled in during the evenings. Not too many fireworks going off because you couldn't see the beauty in the sky on New Year's Eve. 

The new year started in John 3 for Sunday School. I've never really thought too much about Nicodemus in the chapter, although he is a main theme. Sometimes, there is a slight prejudice against some of the people in the New Testament because I picture them from Pageant years and from other church's productions. Biblical acting, being over dramatic to make the point clear to the back row in the balcony, thus when I read I automatically default to that picture. After studying Nicodemus coming to Jesus in the darkness of night, I'm looking at him a little differently, well a lot differently. He has become more than a character to set the stage for probably the world's most famously well known verse, John 3:16. He asked "how' questions not 'why' questions to Jesus. This guy was well educated, a leader, and rabbinical thought has held he was one of the third richest men in Jerusalem. 

We have entered into the closed period of time here in the mountains. Local shop owners will shut down for most of January and into February. Restaurants will have limited hours or close during the week for a couple of days. While not thought of as small town charm, it really is a huge part of the charm. The busy season including lots and lots of tourists begins in spring and lasts through New Years. Some businesses like antiques or shops that spotlight local artisans need the break to rest then replenish for the coming spring. 

Saturday, TCM had all the That's Entertainment movies plus That's Dancing. I think the first installment is the best but the others hold riveting performances as well. Watching Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire and Ann Miller are my favorites. That Ann, she was the fastest tapper in all of Hollywood. She led a sad life by all indications. Picked the wrong husbands too. While I was not a dancer I have always appreciated dancing. It did remind me that I did get the chance to spoof dance and maybe those are the best memories of dancing I could ever have. 

Mr Mo got a bad case of the yips this morning. With GMoey and Willie in the bonus room he was chasing a figment of his imagination, I hope. The big day is coming to Free Willie to all the rooms of the house. He has grown quite a bit and while still a kitten, he can't get into too much. These three boys have all been introduced to the house this way and it certainly has helped...well, it has helped us. 

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It is already Wednesday and we have been busy with those things in life that can occupy attention and time. We are feeling a bit ahead of the game, so to speak. Our travels throughout the area yesterday were met by drizzle, mist, rain and sunshine. It was also time to take care of the filters for the air purifiers and we were happy to find what we needed. 

It is a rainy day and after lunch, I'll continue working on the lesson for Sunday and then pick up the book I am reading. Trying to make it last long because the story is so good. 

Saturday, December 31, 2022

Hudson Cream and Swedish Clean

 The last day of 2022 started out well. A couple of weeks ago while in TN we bought Hudson Cream Flour, self rising. On several Appalachian FB boards, I read the comparison between it and White Lilly Flour. Roy made me biscuits this morning with the Hudson Cream Flour and y'all, I cannot believe I am saying this but, the biscuits were lighter and fluffier than when using White Lilly. When you top those delightful biscuits with homemade strawberry jam, deliciousness to the tenth power. We had eggs and bacon with them, what a great way to celebrate the end of a year. 

On Christmas Day I read an article on Swedish Death Cleaning and how on Christmas it is the best to approach your elderly relatives with the thought, maybe they should consider this. Maybe on New Years, but not Christmas morning. 𝅘𝅥𝅯 Clean out your house, oh hear your relatives voices, O cleaning is fine, throw away all your junk🎵  Not being one to hold onto things with clenched fingers, I am one who over decorates but at some point start thinning things out. I am quick to throw out old make up and stuff, but the weakness lies in paper, pens and office supplies. There are years I could outfit many a office. We just made a trip to Goodwill and almost every place in the truck was filled. Not so much clothes or books but lots of other things. 

Thursday, after being home for a week due to below freezing temps, we decided I needed to get out for a little bit. Did me some good that's for sure. Although, staying home didn't bother me much or really at all. Got a couple of books finished and started a new fiction read. Also began a non-fiction book. Several small projects that have been bugging me finally were taken care of. The snow that remained on the sides of the hills or where the sun's warming takes longer than usual due to the shade was quite plentiful. We got back home in plenty of time for Roy to go workout as well as stop by Publix.   

2022 started out in tenuous days that developed into a few months. A few health scares for both of us. We began the year without inside cats and now we have three. Roy settled into retirement much easier than either one of us anticipated. Roy went on a mission trip to Vermont, became a deacon and settled into the quiet life of rural America. 

Roy brought home fresh strawberries and so I am thinking a little strawberries on biscuits sounds nice. 

Happy New Year Blessings for 2023! 

Nancy's Monablog