Johnny kindly vacuumed, mopped, cleaned the kitchen, and we both dusted. He left for his regular Sunday night drum gig; he'll be back at 8:00 pm.
I'm burning soft, Japanese incense on a window sill in the living room. I often do this 1-2 hours before we have guests over, to freshen up the air. I'm listening to good cleaning music; actually, great music period. Rain is barely falling outside, yet the sun is shining as it settles down for the night. Thunder mumbles every so often. The wind chime is singing to itself. Sweet Thai Delight tea is brewing (for me). Maroon plastic cups, Coke, Sprite, and a box of organic microwave popcorn packets are sitting on the counter. A jug of Arizona iced tea is chilling in the fridge. The coffee maker is ready to go with freshly ground dark roast coffee; sugar, Truvia, and spoons are nearby. Half & half is in the fridge, too — a staple 'round here.
This casual hospitality setup is for Evening Prayer in our house tonight. Our Church is kind of a hub for people who live all over Houston, but prefer how we worship. So Evening Prayer is held in different homes around the city, and tonight, we're hosting friends that live on the west side of Houston, or in Katy where we live (a suburb). They will bring a snack of some sort, we'll do Evening Prayer, then sit around and chat, drink red wine, cocktails, or coffee and tea. Three of my favorite kids from our Church will be joining us, so I'm bound to laugh a lot — they crack me up.
The last time Johnny and I hosted Evening Prayer a few months ago, a small, very malnourished cat kept trying to come in our front door every time a guest arrived, and every time a guest left. She was skin and bones, quite literally. I think y'all know the story pretty well by now via my Facebook and Twitter photographs. She is deaf, and we couldn't find an indoor-only home for her, and honestly, we didn't pursue many shelters. The little lady stole our hearts. We call her "sweet old girl," as the vet said she is older than we thought — probably 10-12 years.
Lily Belle looks much, much healthier now. She is filling out. She is eating, drinking, and well, pooping a lot. I only mention that because it's astounding what such a little body can do, and boy, does it reek. Sorry if that's TMI. Surely you parents (and/or pet owners) are not phased by such information. I can only imagine the diapers of our future . . .
But as you can see below, Lily has made herself at home. We're learning how to communicate with her, mostly by lots of eye contact, hand motions, and cuddling and scratching under her chin. She purrs a lot. She sleeps a lot, too, but every once in awhile, she hops in and out of a cardboard box-house we made for all the cats, so there's play left in her yet.
As for tonight, cute stray kittens, cats, puppies, dogs or otherwise better not come near our property. We love Harley, Milo, and Lily, but we're ready for little humans now. Then maybe a puppy.
Happy Sabbath, y'all. It's been a good one for us. In Sunday school, Aaron is teaching the book of Job, which I'm actually excited about. In Church this morning, we sang a hymn by my husband ("Arise, O Lord"), another by Sandra McCracken ("Thy Mercy, My God"), and Deacon Lawrence quoted an entire Bob Dylan song at the beginning of his sermon ("Gotta Serve Somebody"). It was a great sermon, too.
[Bob at Onion Creek, in our Church's neighborhood.]
[My second favorite stained glass window at Church.]