Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mud, Ketchup, and Paint

The sun is out! We've had a rainy, hail-ey, stormy week so to finally see the sun again - ahhh! And the weathermen are promising that warmer temps are back on their way, so I hope they are right!

Of course, with all the wetness, comes mud. Nasty, icky, brown mud. You know we have this huge basement project going on right now which has meant the displacement of much of the dirt from under our house. Paul is dumping most of it on the far end of our yard, in hopes of leveling out the yard. But there's still dirt all around and on top of the driveway, the steps, the sidewalk, and other parts of the yard. When it rains it turns to mud. There have been times that I have slid out to my van because of all the mud on the cement driveway. This project cannot end soon enough!

We're having a problem now with our neighbor woman. She's a witch. We didn't know that until this past week. Now we know. She's throwing a fit because of her 6" of property that Paul has to drive on to dump the dirt at the far end of our yard. 6 inches! It's a long story, kind of, and I'll spare you the drama, but suffice it to say - I won't be surprised if the sheriff shows up here one day. I just hope I don't have to bail Paul out of jail. The thing is - I know that we are supposed to show Christ in all we do. I keep thinking, "We may be the only Jesus she ever sees" but then I wrestle with my strong desire to just punch her in the nose! So pray for us, that the Flesh will not prevail.

Well, I got my contacts Monday. I haven't stuck anything into my eye since 1999. I'm kind of questioning why I thought I needed to start doing it again now. In fact, Paul watched me last night, battling this little piece of silicone, smaller than a dime, and asked, "Why are you putting yourself through this?" I whimpered, "Because I want to be pretty!" He sighed and said, "And what makes you think you weren't already?" Of course, as I looked into the mirror at my swollen, runny, bloodshot eye, with all the make-up washed off by the tears leaking out of my eye as I attempted to jab it with the contact, I couldn't miss the irony there...

The thing is, this pair of contacts are not right. I can see to drive, but I can't read. Or rather, I can see large objects coming at me, but don't ask me to read a stop sign. I know it says "Stop" because I recognize the color and shape, but I can't actually make out the word. I called the dr. Tuesday morning and he suggested I pick up a pair of cheap reading glasses. So I did that. They didn't help. They just magnified the fuzzy letters - and gave me a headache. So finally, in frustration, on my way home from Ben's class Tuesday, I stopped by the doctors, and told them I needed to be seen.

I am hopeful now, though. Dr. S has ordered me another pair of trial contacts and he promises that my vision should be crystal clear in them. Part of my problem in that I tore my left contact while learning how to insert and remove them. He says I need to keep my nails short. We'll see about that. Longer nails and contacts are part of the whole picture! My friend Melissa nodded sagely when I told her this last night and said, "Yep, you can either have contacts or long nails." She has worn soft lenses for decades. I'm used to the hard lenses, which were a little more durable. But, it may be a moot point anyway, since my nails rarely stay long - they're always getting broken. So the torn contact is affecting my vision. But the prescription wasn't quite right, either.

I found out, too, he ordered me single vision contacts - but I'm in bifocal glasses. I asked him about that and he had a long explanation, none of which I remember. But evidently, it was intentional, anyway.

So, I'm only wearing the contact now, when my eyes cooperate, for times I'm going out in public and not planning to have to read anything. My new ones should be in by the 19th.

The good news is that I bought a really cool pair of sunglasses! I'm so used to only having prescription sunglasses and there are many more options in the non-prescrip. glasses. I am having so much fun wearing them and then casually shoving them on top of my head when I go indoors. That is so much more convenient than having to immediately fumble in my purse for my regular glasses and switching them with the prescrip. sunglasses whenever I go in and out.

While I was waiting for the dr. Tues. something caught my eye in the waiting room. A middle Eastern family came in and they were talking some strange, foreign language. They were all in Western clothing, even the wife, but she wore a head covering. I think they may be called "hajibs" or something like that. They fit pretty snugly over the hair and all you see is the face. So I figured they were Muslims. But then I happened to notice the little boy's shirt and it read, "Jesus is my treasure." Whoa! I don't care how far behind on the laundry I got, none of my boys would ever wear a shirt that proclaimed, "Allah is my treasure"! So I eventually deduced that they probably were a Christian family (which would explain why they were at this particular dr's office - in the yellow pages, it's called, "Family Christian Eye Care." But the head covering must be more of a cultural thing in some middle Eastern countries and not only an Islamic tradition. And if they are from a predominantly Muslim country, it might make more sense to wear a head covering anyway, so as not to draw attention to yourself and your Christian beliefs.

I shopped for 11 hours last Sat. with my friend Melissa. What a marathon! But we found everything she needed for this weekend - a dress, undergarments, jewelry, and shoes. She's going to look so good! We wouldn't have needed any special undergarments if it were possible to find something remotely modest on top in dressy clothes. I am not kidding - everything she tried on was cut clear down to there! I am no prude, certainly, but still - to think that there is anything remotely beautiful about flashing what ought to be private is just foolish - and worldly.

My feet were kind of numb by the time I got to bed, but it occurred to me then that even a year ago I would not have had the stamina for a day such as what I had. I am feeling SO much better than I have since before getting pregnant. I don't want to take that for granted.

The next day was Easter and we had to get up an hour early to get to the church's breakfast. I had to serve drinks - otherwise I would have been sorely tempted to skip the whole thing. Apparently, the lack of sleep was hardest on Sam. When we picked him up from Children's Church, Debbie (who had also shopped for part of the day before with Melissa and me), who is leading CC this month, told me that Sam almost immediately fell asleep right at the table and never once stirred even with 17 other preschoolers in the room! Poor kid!

This is week 4 with my Mirena. It's my PMS week and I've noticed a few times this week that I've had some really intense anger flashes. Normally, PMS just means I'm irritated and I've learned in recent years it's best not to talk to anyone that week - because otherwise, I'm going to end up apologizing the next week! But this has been different than mere irritation. It reminds me of the year that I was on the pill after Ben was born - similar symptoms. I sincerely hope that this is NOT because of the Mirena because I don't want to have to have it taken out. Plus, I agreed to give it a year to see how I liked it. I don't want to be flying off the handle one week a month for the next 12! And if I do get it taken out, then I'll either need to have the ablation surgery done or suffer like I have been for the past two years with my cycle. I'm so ready for menopause!

At the same time, though, I can't blame everything on what's happening inside my body or even outside it. I've read this before, and then last fall a speaker at Ladies' Retreat brought this up, too: When you squeeze a ketchup bottle, what comes out? Does the pressure you're putting on the bottle change the contents? Of course not. What was already in there is what comes out. And it's just the same for us humans. When the pressures hit - whether it be a result of drugs, outside forces beyond our control, hormonal changes, or whatever - what's already inside us will be revealed. Scary, huh?

I'm painting the boys' room again today. It sure would be nice to get that finished. Of course, I can't find the masking tape - I can never find the masking tape, no matter how many rolls I buy - so I strung electrical tape up where I don't want the paint to go. That stuff is hard to work with because it's so stretchy. My fear is that it may remove the new paint that I don't want to come up, too. I hate painting. Have I mentioned that? Of course, once I am done in the boys' room I need to do the downstairs bathroom. Then, the front of the house needs it, as does the garage. And then I plan to paint the back of the neighbor's steel shed that faces our yard. Oh, and then I've decided that since I'm not going to have a kitchen window for a few years, I really need to lighten up the walls in there, which will be a major project.

I can't get away from it! I have been painting continually for 11 years now, since we bought our first house. My idea of luxury someday will be to move into a finished condo where not one single thing needs to be drywalled, mowed, sanded, or stained. And then my eighty year old self will squint my eyes, look critically at the living room wall and say, "You know, green might be a really pretty color for that wall..." And then I'll slap myself upside the head and say, "Snap out of it! Eggshell is perfectly fine color for that wall!" And I'll sit down in my recliner that I don't have to brush cookie and pretzel crumbs out of first, reach for the remote that is exactly where I left it, and flip on a home decorating show and cackle at the fools on there that make painting look like sublime joy. I can't wait!

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