Thursday, July 31, 2014

Day 421


July 31, 2014

 Day 421


There's not a whole lot to report on this week.  It hasn't been all that crazy and I've actually gotten some things accomplished, rather than simply spinning wheels as I frequently feel like I'm doing.  Maybe this is what life is going to be like now that the house is pretty much done?  Or maybe, more than likely,  it's been an abnormal week!


David had three friends here Tues. and Wed.  This was a repeat of something he did with these same friends a year ago this week.  He tells me it is now an established tradition.  I didn't have to do a whole lot for them - a little bit of cooking, cleaned the bathrooms - that was it.  Teenagers entertain themselves, so that part was easy enough!


I had service guys at my house three days in a row.  Monday, our wi-fi was installed.  We are definitely enjoying that!  Once I pay for the devices and labor costs, it's actually going to be cheaper than what I was paying for slower, modem, internet before.  Tuesday, Sears sent a guy to fix my freezer display.  That didn't take too long.  He did try to talk me into an extended warranty, but I didn't bite.  I can't see paying $100 a year on a $500 item.  After he fixed my display, he showed me the "value" of his work that day (covered by the one year warranty) and it came out at $467!  Yeah, I don't think I would ever call Sears to come fix my things once we got past that warranty period...


And then Wednesday I had some audio/visual guys that I had heard recommended on WHO radio come out.  We've been having increasing difficulty getting channels to come in so I thought maybe we should have the antenna replaced.  It was there when we moved in and I'm sure it's past its prime.  The guys came out and right away, I just didn't care for their attitudes.  By the way, this is Traviss Audio I'm talking about, for my local friends.  Don't call them.  So, they tried to climb up to my antenna and couldn't make it.  The roof does have a steep pitch.  But I'm sure I am not the only customer in the Des Moines metro to have a steep roof!  These guys were just wearing tennis shoes.  You'd think they'd come with spike shoes or ropes or something.  Instead, they leaned a ladder against the house and took turns trying to run up my roof, only to slide back down.  I was not impressed and more than a little scared one was going to fall off (and sue me).


The one guy finally huffed that in all his years of doing this kind of work my house was only the second that he couldn't climb.  He then added that if I had newer shingles he probably could have done it.  Eventually, Will tells me I'll have to have the roof done, but he has assured me I am a number of years away from that yet.  You don't win points by insulting a customer's house!


I did have them take a look at the wiring in the wall for the tv (Will left an access hole so we can jiggle the wires if the tv isn't working.  Lately that's been ineffective, though).  They told me this one thingy was broken so they fixed that and you know, maybe that was the main problem all along.  Since they left, I've had perfect reception, other than channel 5, which seems to be on a permanent hiatus now.  They said the part they fixed was an $8 piece.  And they proceeded to give me a $73 bill.  Yes, not really happy I said, I would not recommend Traviss Audio!


I've got mixed feelings about all this.  I hate paying the money to have others fix things that Paul would have taken care of.  On the other hand, it's kind of nice to just get things done (antenna not withstanding) and not have to wait for him to get to it.  My problem is knowing who to call.  We just never called service people unless something was still under warranty, so I feel like I'm still in the dark quite a bit when it comes to this area of forced independence. 


I had a dream with Paul in it again.  But this was a different kind of dream.  In most, if not all, my dreams if he's been in them, I've been conscious in my dream that he's dead.  This dream the other night he wasn't.  He had a new job and we were moving into a nice house provided by his new employer.  So moving day came and we got all settled in.  Nightime arrived and we went up to our new bedroom and discovered that the previous tenants had not moved anything out of the room.  We commented to eachother that that was so weird - why would they move the rest of the house, but not their bedroom?  There was a door in the bedroom that lead to the basement.  So I opened that door and discovered the bodies of the previous tenants - husband, wife, and kids -  tied up in plastic, laying on the basement steps!  The dream, incredibly long and detailed, just went downhill from there...I think I'm still shuddering!


I wrote on Facebook yesterday about how I had to go through Paul's wallet again.  I had not touched that thing since I bagged it up, along with his keys and other pocket stuff over a year ago.  The pension people needed a copy of his driver's license, so I had to do it.  It was hard.  Those small things are so essentially "him," even more so than his other belongings I still have.  Hearing the jingle of his keys again, flipping open his wallet where everything remains (except the money!) just as it was the night he died is painful still.  I don't want to be rid of these things, but it hurts to handle them at the same time.  I suppose it's the same reason why I never finished sorting all my cards from him.  Although, speaking of cards...


I'm still tackling my scrapbook pages this summer and earlier this week I was working on pictures taken on my birthday a year ago.  In the last couple of years I'd gotten in the habit of scrapbooking birthday cards too, so I had to do the one that Paul gave me...the last birthday card he ever gave me...he wrote, "I'm so thankful that I get to celebrate your 42nd birthday with you and can't wait to celebrate 42 more!" or something to that effect.  It's kind of hard to remember exact words when your eyes are filling up with tears.  But he won't, of course.  I have already celebrated (too strong of a word - "observed" was more like it) one without him and every single other birthday I have will be without him.


Right now, I hate this.  Maybe someday I'll be thankful that life worked out the way it did, but I'm not there yet.


We are finally at the mid-point of David's Learning RX.  Today I met with one of the facilitators.  He showed me some testing results and wanted to know what I'm thinking, if I'm happy with David's progress, etc.  I honestly don't know yet how/if he's improved academically because we haven't done a whole lot of school since starting this.  But I'll be starting up again in a month or so and I'll be curious to see how his reading and comprehension are. He is scoring quite high in his testing at the center in those areas so I'm kind of anxious to see that in schoolwork.  I have noticed an increased sense of self-awareness and confidence in David the last few months.  Even the center guy I was talking with today commented on that.  He said David isn't so "nervous" anymore and just seems to have a higher self-esteem.  I would definitely agree.  It wasn't until the last few days that I thought about these things and began to wonder if maybe these are some of the promised results of our work.  For what I'm paying for this, I better have a whole new kid by the time we're done...But in all fairness, I have a feeling I'm not going to be able to grouse about the money (I don't anyway - I have never wanted David to think he was a financial burden).  David was heading to a more limited future because of his learning disabilities.  If this brain training has opened up the future to him, then it was worth every penny I spent, every hour it took at home, and every mile I drove.


Now that we have wi-fi there is a possibility I may be able to switch his home training (my job) to a web based program.  That would free up my time considerably.  We'll see if that works out or not.



Sam is healing up from his soup accident last week.  He's taken over the care of his own leg.  He ended up with two big holes.  At first I had gauze over them but he scabbed up quicker than I thought he would so when we removed the gauze, it ripped off the scab.  Is it really bad that my first thought was for my new carpet he was standing over? He was really bleeding profusely.   As I ran to the bathroom for a washcloth and bandages, I hollered, "Don't bleed on my carpet!  Hold your leg up!" 


My friend sent me a link a couple of days ago that took me to a blog post a mom had written about her daughter's burns from ramen noodle soup.  This child was severely burned all over her back and chest when the soup tipped off the counter and fell onto the little girl.  It never occurred to me that the soup was the culprit.  I figured it was the hot water that you add to the noodles and you can get burned by hot water anywhere.  But the ER staff told this mother that they see ramen noodle burns all the time.  Apparently, the noodles are coated with a certain wax that holds in the heat and makes them sticky.  So, they adhere especially heavily onto skin.  I had no idea.


I'm not going to take that kind of risk anymore.  There are plenty of lunch options that don't involve sticky, boiling noodles.  But, Lizzie and Sam are particularly fond of these soups and while I thought Sam might be ok with the idea of banishing them from our house, I figured it would be a harder sell with Lizzie since she wasn't the one who got burned.  So I had the two of them look at the pictures on the blog post of the  horrifying burns this little girl received.  Lizzie was quick to agree that yes, we should get rid of all our ramen noodles and never buy them again.  Sam didn't say much but a little bit later I found him crying.  He was sad because he still wants to have soup!  You would think that, of all people, he'd be fine with the ban!  But he's ok now and he was even the one who volunteered to go through the cupboard and throw out what we had left.  Kids!



The two of them discovered a pretty neat feature on my GPS this week.  The speed limit posts on the screen, along with the current rate of speed. When the vehicle goes over the limit, the current speed lights up in red.  Those two have been keeping an eagle eye on the screen all week long and whenever I even get just a single mile over the limit they gasp and holler, "Mom, you're speeding!"  During one ride, Lizzie even dramatically exclaimed, "You just want to kill us all, don't you, Mom?!"


  I think I was two miles over the limit.



This morning Lizzie wanted to go with me when I ran Ben into Genesis.  Of course, she was checking my speed all the way.  We were listening to music and my Tim Hawkins song, "Delilah, the Samson Version" came on.  It's a parody of the other "Delilah" pop song that came out maybe 5 years or so ago.  That one is about a pretty woman.  This one is about the Biblical Samson and Delilah.  It's hilarious.  The song is Samson singing to his fickle girlfriend, Delilah,

Hey there Delilah
This is your ex boyfriend Samson
And I know you thought that lifting weights
Made me so buff and handsome
You were wrong
It's cause I let my hair grow long
That makes me strong

Hey there Delilah
You came in while I was sleeping
And I couldn't feel you cutting
And I didn't hear you creeping
Out the door
You left my hair piled on the floor
While I just snored

Oh, what you did to me
Oh, while I was asleep
Oh, I'm a Nazarene
Oh, but you shave me clean
Delilah you're so mean


And it goes on from there.


  Lizzie has a Bible story dvd that was given to her sometime last year and for some reason, she and Sam are just crazy about the Samson and Delilah story on that dvd.  I'm not really sure what the appeal is, to be honest.


So we listened to it and Lizzie said, "But, Mom, isn't Samson dead?"  I assured her that yes, he's quite dead and has been for some time.  She was quiet for a moment and then commented, "Well, maybe he recorded this song before he died, then."


I am surely going to miss these days someday!  David asked me morosely this week how soon I thought it would be before the Littles grow up.  I hope it's a long, long time!





















1 comment:

  1. Oh Dear Sarah, I could have told you to avoid Traviss. We went there once. Never again. They were extremely condescending and crooked.
    I also have a huge problem knowing who to call for projects. We have a window leaking in our house that someone insisted he plugged up where it may have been leaking. But, if that didn't work, we'd need to call a roofer. The roofer said, "Uh no. Not a roof problem." Then I couldn't figure out who to call. I called the first guy back, and he said, "Sorry, I can't help you. It absolutely is NOT leaking in through the window." Thankfully, a guy Dave used to work with had a recommendation. He came out and found exactly where it's leaking. Guess where. Yep, the window.
    Your kids crack me up.
    I told Dave about your bag of Paul's pocket things. I said, "If I did that, I'd have to get a gallon ziplock bag." He wears cargo pants, so there are 6 pockets, and they are usually full.