Monday, April 28, 2008

too much time in the throne room

Last week I wrote of dancing around the throne with a plunger- little did I know that it was a prequil to a week of events. I was again invited to dance with dish detergent on Thursday and it was soo fun that I jumped at another chance Thursday evening. At that point I thought I was done and was VERY fine with the thought of time away.

Early Sunday morning I found that my time was not done, this time it was a call to a dance with agony. Stones, pebbles and rocks- all things we don't think much about - least wise I don't. I kick them, throw them, step on them and think little about their composition or make up. Ocassionally I will see a rock broken open to display a hidden beauty of crystals. Still I don't give alot of thought to them.

Yesterday morning as I realized my slight pain was not the start of a UTI but was rearing up to a kidney stone's cruise to Bladderland I thought alot about stones and crystals. Having passed a few before I knew what to expect, and wasn't looking forward to it. This was worse. I have birthed 4 babies, all without the modern drugs and helps, rather lots of breathing and pushing. So I breathed and pushed and moaned, still no baby. No relief from the pain, it seemed to just get worse.

It gave me time to reflect on the difference between birthing a baby and a stone. With a baby the pain comes in waves and if you have a monitor someone can prep you for the oncoming event. You know there is an end in sight and what the end will be. With a stone the pain comes and lingers and lodges and stays and then diminishes only to come again without a wonderful reward at the end.

Having forgone the trip to the hospital in the past, though the doc told me I should have gone I again was hesitant to go to a sterile place to agonize in public for the birth of my stone. Yet after enough craziness and laying out on the lawn in agony I went and oh was I glad! It was a short wait to get to the back and the drugs soon followed. I don't do drugs often but when I do need them bring them on- and they did! When the pain began again the hostess served up more drug cocktails to ease the pain- lala land of ease- hey maybe cruising wasn't so bad- as long as you have the cocktails to go with!

After a few hours and a trip to the CAT scan I was told that stone#1 had landed and I was free to go home. My kidney still ached but they assured me it was just irritation from the event. Home to bed and rest- ahh, its good to be home! Rest was not to last as it seemed stone #2 decided to launch himself down the path. Again, good drugs, thanks for the Rx doc, and I was a more comfortable hostess. It seems relaxing is one of the keys to hosting a stone party, so I settled in with my heating pad and a good book.

When the cruise was over I even had a prize to shake in my culture jar- a stone to analyze and understand why I was selected to host stone cruises!

I am hoping this is the end of the adventures for my week. Dancing and cruizing has worn me out (maybe the drugs have scrambled my brain a bit too). I am taking a slow day to rest and recoup. The drugs are packed away for another day, hopefully far in the future and the dishsoap is restocked lest the dance is called for again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Loving the internet tonight !

It has been an exciting 24 hours at our house.

Last night on a whim our son was sent under the house to check for leaks. Why? Just because we've had enough dripping adventure in our underworld to make us wary. And unfortunately he came back quickly with report of a spraying connection.

The adventure began as dear hubby unpacked his Home Depot/Lowe's plumbing department annex and found the right pieces and manuvered his way between stairs and through the shortcut to the underworld. Less than an hour later the master pipe sweater emerged wet, dirty and triumphant to have stayed the spray once again.

Have I wrote about how great he is- he has replumbed the underside of the house in copper when we found that the low grade pipe was pitted and dripping all over. He replaced the hot water heater and then went on to help a neighbor do the same. He is a handy hubby. He would love to rest yet the house keeps falling apart around him and calling him back for his attention. He is one who likes things done right so he is slowly but surely making the needed repairs and fixing the problems that where in the past the trouble spots were "fixed" but not truly repaired. He is a trooper.

Tonight, with the recent memory of plumbing panic in my mind I set to clear the organic material from an upstairs recepticle. It was not wanting to move, having decided it liked the nice round bowl of its inhabitance. I danced and sang and yet it still wanted to stay for the show. I called around for snakes hoping to scare it away, but alas, it seems no snakes reside in our neighborhood. :(

Finally, not wanting to greet my hubby with news of more plumbing drama I turned to the modern day encyclopedia- a google search engine. Alas, first hit was a mile long thread telling me that if I fed my bowl with 3 squirts of dishsoap and waited the next time I danced the guest would leave. For the really reluctant a chaser of hot water would do the trick. So, being the gracious hostess that I was I quickly served up dishsoap and waited. A jig here, a polka there and soon my troubles went down the drain! No chemicals, no burns, no mad dashes to the late night store.

So, tonight I am singing praises for the modern technology that brings answers to my fingertips when I am in desperate need. For all the organic matter that lines the highway of bits and bites tonight the daisy's and green grass shine forth and allow me to see the beauty amidst it all.

So, should you ever find yourself doing the throne room jig- remember 3 squirt and a hot water chaser will set the matter to rest.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Firsts at 44

This week I experienced a first - a painful sunburn in April!

I have realized that I never had a springbreak at the beach so no spring sunexposure in my youth. Little did I expect my Saturday afternoon gardening to bring about a rosy end!

Saturday I enjoyed a morning of soccer and yard saling. After returning home I decided to delve into the dirt. I have a raised bed garden but wanted a few more beds to plant in after last years' sucess. I had constructed the beds last week but they were yet to be filled. So I began to move bags of vermicullite and peat moss around and I found that my comfort level was sinking as my temperature rising. I dashed inside, threw on a sport top without sleeves and returned to my gardening. It was a wonderfully warm day- probably in the 80's and so I progressed from setting up beds/ boxes to circulating the compost bin, feeding plants, laying out hoses and on and on. About 3 I found my energy wain and by 4 I was done. So were my shoulders!

Can you say red! Tender and sore I have been for the past two days, but it is ok- my garden plots are ready for seed. Tonight we expect frost- the temp has hovered at 50 today- quite the change from two days ago. I am awaiting the peel, as I am sure it is to come. My lotion spreading bear is off to the mid west for a few days so I am left dry and a bit achy, but with much to do as I plan plantings and layout of beds and such.

I find that my time in the garden is so renewing. To play in the dirt settles me and gives satisfaction that doesnt come with housework. Maybe it is knowing that I have begun something that will progress, not need redoing in a few hours or days?! I look forward to the spring planting and the blossoms that follow. By mid summer my interest wains to just maintance and by harvest I am happy to see the plants head to the compost bin. I guess that is why I enjoy perrenials so much- stick them in and forget about them mostly. I love the punch of annual color in the flower beds that accentualte the short term color of the perrenial backdrop.

This year I was happy to find some volunteer offshoots of a few plants so I transplanted them to new locations to make a go at independent life. My mystery winter bloomer has finally been identified- it is a hellebores- though its blooms tend to be more light green than the rose or white shown in the books. Still I am happy to know its name.

I am contemplating what to do with the many vines that are around the house. One that is fairly aggressive climbs near the back porch door. We discovered a light under it when we first arrived and gave it the first "vinecut". After a year of watching it and trimming hard it just keeps going but not where I am wanting. I am not sure I am wanting to build more trellis so it may be time for a transplanting. Just not sure where the new home will be yet.

Last year I added a few small beds to the borders of the house and fence- just simple arrangements to add a bit of color and interest to an empty wall and corner. They seem to have taken well as the hostas have returned and now other plants are coming up. I am finding it fun to add a few plants here and there and establish plantings where there was once bareness. Paul dug a big hole and needed a place for the dirt to go so I am beginning to start a few spots under my favorite trees- front and back yard. I love hostas and impatients, so we'll see if I can get them to take root and settle into the new beds.

So, spring has come to Toney, complete with a false start and towels and sheets decorating the yard to show that I was too anxious to wait! With joy I watch the world awaken for another celebration of the beauty that tells of its wonderful Creator.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


This seems to have been a month of learning to be dependent. Not independent, not co-dependent but dependent.

I recall when the military did away with such an unpopular term- I was no longer "dependent" upon my sponsor (husband) but was now a family member. The name change did not change the reality that I was still dependent upon his wage earnings for daily sustanance. I chuckled within at the time of the lingo change.

As much as I acknowledge my dependence upon my husband there is a part of be that prickles at the thought of dependence. I want to be independent (at least in some ways) I find that part of me wants to make it on my own and survive well, but that seems to be impossible. That is a good thing.

God did not create me for independence. He created me for dependency upon Him. If I was able to make my life on my own I would not need Him and I would miss out on some of the greatest adventures of my life. Dependency is not easy, it is one of the most challenging things I am called to do. To give up my self and lay down my will for His. I battle against it, I fear letting go of control, fear trusting that another can take care of me. Yet He stands waiting and watching as I do my independent mess dance, until I come to the end of myself and surrender.

Fear has been one of the battles that has raged in my life in the past weeks. Fear of trust, fear of hurts and pain and old wounds reopening, old paths feared to be walked upon. I found that once I left the peace of trust and dependence "fear" was all too willing to take up residence and rage out of control. How hard it was to reign the fear in and remember Truth as I allowed "fear" to reign.

I generally don't think of myself as a worrier or fearful, but I think that is only because I don't really, truly look in the mirror of my life with clear glasses. When in the mirror I saw the truth of my heart and life it was ugly with fear. I had to acknowledge that though I say "I trust and don't fear", my actions do not always follow my words.

I went to a retreat where the words "faith" and "trust" continued to come up. Each one slowly building a defense against "fear" and "worry", knocking it down and replacing it with the truth of who God is, and how He is able to care for me and my needs. Reality was restored. My vision reset and sanity of mind returned. Ahhh, it felt good after spinning out of control.

I always chuckle at the ways God teaches and prepares me for what lies ahead. I wrestled with fear and then learned anew about facing it and trusting Him and others. That He is big enough, He is aware, He IS a strong tower to run to.

Since then I have realized a new area where I was operating in fear and made a conscious choice to operate in faith instead. To choose to honestly face my fear rather than deny its existence and yet allow it to reign over me.

Most recently another adventure in our house was revealed and my first response after shock was anger and then fear. As I shared of our discovery I renewed my "stinkin thinkin" with the reminder to myself that all things are filtered through the hands of God. That He has us on His potter's wheel and is using this house to spin us and center us dependent upon Him, to shape us into His image and mold us for His purpose. Just as He has used a donkey to get one prophets' attention in the Bible he can choose to use whatever he'd like to get ours. Even as he used a hot water heater to connect us with a neighbor He seems to be using this house to keep us dependent and needy before Him.

So, again I find myself dependent and needy. Hopeful and trusting, yet wrestling with my fear as it tries to reign instead of faith. I am positioning myself in a posture of dependence and hope in my Lord, as I know all this is too big for me. Now I wait with expectation as to how He will care for me in the midst of this season.

Yesterday I was encouraged by the sermon, it spoke of "Staying the Course"- enduring and perseverence- staying under the weight, standing up under the pressure. It was encouraging to remember that God uses life circumstances to draw us to Him, to grow our faith and grow us up.

I have been encouraged that in the past two weeks amidst conversations with neighbors I had three different ones remind me that we are NOT allowed to move without their permission! When I told my Bear about it he said "how is that relationship thing going??" I guess its going if the neighbors want us to stay.

Actually I love this location and the house is pretty cool if we overlook the little things like mushy wood and missing boards that are hidden under pretty. Actually if we were "normal" homeowners it probalby wouldn't be an issue, but we are wired for doing and we notice the stuff that others don't until its much worse. Ahh well, even as He wired us He has allowed that wiring to be used to keep us needy and honest and human and humble before Him- what an amazing God we serve.