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You know those days when you are walking along, then out of nowhere you it a patch of ice and fall right on your bum?  That was my day, but my patch of ice was my eye.

Last night my eye began to hurt a bit, so I took out my contacts and decided to give my eyes a break for the night.  As I took my contact out the weirdest thing happened.  My eye hurt worse.  Usually it’s a relief.  But I figured it would still go away with a good night’s rest.  When I woke up instead of feeling better I felt worse.

Here I will insert my biggest rational fear.  I fear spiders, I fear snakes, and I fear other things, but those are all irrational fears.  However, I find this fear perfectly rational.  I fear going blind.  I got my first pair of glasses in first grade.  I realize that children are getting glasses earlier and earlier these days, but in my childhood you didn’t see four-year olds wearing glasses.  I still remember what it felt like to leave the eye doctor’s, look outside and see the world.  Who knew that you could see leaves on trees?  My eyesight continually got worse, and I got new glasses every six months.  I remember loving life every time I left with new glasses.  Reading every sign in sight because for the first time in a long time I could.  The first time I watched Forget Paris, I wondered if I had been as obnoxious as the father-in-law.  Finally in third grade I got contacts to try to stop my eyes from changing.  But my eyes continued to get worse.  I will say with joy that I have had the same prescription for at least the last 6 years.  But before getting to that point I’ve had many times at the doctor’s office being told that if my eyes got too much worse I’d have problems correcting them, fortunately technology always stayed ahead of my eyesight.  I was told I wouldn’t be able to get proper correction for glasses because the lenses would be too thick, but new technology changed the way lenses are made and I’ve never been stuck with Coke bottle lenses.  I do have to stick with smaller frames because the distortion at the edges would be too much for larger frames, but current fashions favor smaller frames.  I’ve always been at the cut off for the contact lenses I’ve needed.  When the strongest they made was a minus eight, that was my prescription, and by the time I needed to upgrade that prescription was available.  Yet, for a long time I seemed to me that my ability to have eyesight corrected to 20/20 was limited.  Someday I would have to give up life as a person who could read the signs.  And with that I would give up my current level of independence.  Even now that my eyes have stopped changing, I have great appreciation for the ability to see.  So an eye problem had to be dealt with immediately.

That posed a problem with one of my irrational fears.  My fear of doctors.  However, a rational fear will win out over an irrational fear when they are pitted against one another.  I had to go to the doctor.

But how to get there if I couldn’t see?  And what to do with my kids while I was at the doctor?  I needed help.  The quickest way for me to get help is to put out an APB on Facebook.  I thought against it for a minute knowing I would worry some people who are geographically unable to help.  My husband included.  He knows how much I hate doctors, so putting out a request for someone to take me to the doctor would catch his interest.  But I could put up one status and find out who was available, or I could start calling.  I went for the easiest route first.  Sure enough moments after posting I got a call from the other side of the world to see if I was okay.  And my wonderful friends in Alaska didn’t fail, while I was one the phone with him, a friend was calling to offer her services.  Can I say here that this was hard for me?  I’ll admit that one thing I like best about my eyesight it that I know how important it is for independence.  I would have to rely on others.  And today was yet another day during this deployment where I couldn’t take care of life all by myself.  I was crying as I wrote the post on Facebook.  Although, I was in so much pain I was crying before I wrote it was well, but while writing a few tears were shed because I had to ask for help.  Not something I ever do well.

The ER was a surprisingly good experience.  I got triaged right away.  Then the ER doctor called up to ophthalmology and got one of the eye doctor’s to see me.  And an orderly took me upstairs.  I have an infection in my cornea.  The doctor thinks with aggressive antibiotics I should be okay.  So for two hours I had to put antibiotic drops in every fifteen minutes, and after that I’ve been putting in drops every half hour.  I will also go back to the doctor tomorrow to make sure it’s working.

So I got to spend the day in my bedroom with my blackout shades pulled.  It’s a beautiful day in Alaska, and my eyes can’t handle light.  Sigh.  But my eye feels much better right now, and I can even see better than I could to start the day.  It might have been relaxing except that my alarm has been constantly going off reminding me to put in my constant drops.  And tonight I will even have to set my alarm for every couple of hours.  But it’s my sight we are talking about so I will totally obey the doctor’s orders to the letter. I’m ever grateful for my children, who have allowed me to take it easy and didn’t complain when I decided that sight was required for cooking and that tonight we would eat cereal for supper.

 

 

So I think one thing that is being lost in modern culture is treating women like ladies.  And especially teaching young women to treat themselves like ladies.  Recently it has hit me that I might just be a hypocrite on this point.  Am I treating myself like a lady?

Take my house.  Would I be okay having Queen Elizabeth over for dinner, and watching a movie in my living room?  Would I let her sleep in my bedroom as I have been taking care of it?  My bedroom is generally the least cleaned room of the house.  Mostly because it’s the last one guests will come into.  The downstairs is cleaned regularly, not enough, but regularly.  The kid’s rooms and guest room will made to be spic and span (as long as you don’t look under beds and in closets).  But my room, there exists a lovely layer of dust over everything.  And on my bed, where I put myself to sleep is a huge pile of laundry needing to be folded.  I clean two of the bathrooms, or have a child clean, two of the bathrooms in this house weekly.  But my bathroom…it gets regular Clorox tabs in the toilet and I do the whole after shower spray after each time the shower is used, but not much else other than that.  I would never let Queen Elizabeth see that bathroom, much less have her prepare her daily toilet in there.

Speaking of a daily toilet, that’s another area where I could do better.  I know that my super dry skin would profit by moisturizing daily, but lotion only happens when my skin is so dry it hurts.

Today, I also realized that if I’m going to treat myself like a lady, I need to be aware of what I am watching and reading.  I should only subject myself to that which is lady-like.

This goes for food as well.  A lady would eat food that tastes good and is healthy.

This year New Year’s resolutions didn’t go very well.  Deployment stress had me going from super high expectations, to über low expectations.  I think I’m finally at a point where I can think more clearly.  So I’m making a birthday resolution.  Over the next year I am going to work to treat myself like a lady.  My house will more reflect that a lady lives here.  Especially those spaces that are particularly mine.  I will dress myself like a lady.  I will conduct my affairs as if I am a lady.  I will eat like a lady and take care of myself like a lady.  I’ve already started.  My bathroom I clean and smells like lavender.  I am getting rid of some books and movies.

As a parent a side benefit I’m hoping for is that my sons will learn how women should be treated and my daughter will learn to treat herself like a lady as well.

So last week I bought myself some birthday presents.  I bought several sets of the Lego Friends.  Note to people shopping for my daughter, if that’s what you want to get her later in the year for birthday or Christmas, ask me what we have, although I will say duplicates will be welcome, we can always use more pink and purple Legos. Anyway, I was so excited.  Then it hit me.  Rush Limbaugh (get over the source and stay with me here) celebrated his wife’s birth week when they were married.  I’ve always thought that would be a fun tradition.  So I asked my husband if I could be allowed a birth week, instead of just a day.  He said yes, probably laughed at me at the same time, but my wish was granted.  After asking, I thought of course he’d be okay with it.  We’ve been doing unofficial Lori birth week for the past few years.  He’ll get me a present he’s so excited about that I’ll get it early.  Then there’s my actual birthday, when I get to open presents from everyone else and go out to a nice dinner.  Then there is the day we finally get around to eating my birthday cake, because we were all too stuffed from eating out to touch a cake.  I’m spoiled, I fully admit it.

Asking for a birth week is something I would have never done years ago.  Somehow I got it in my head that all the cool people didn’t want to celebrate their birthday.  They just downplayed it as another day.  So I downplayed it thinking I was too cool for birthday shenanigans.  Then, one year I caught myself dropping hints about my upcoming birthday.  I heard what I said and thought with horror this is what sad people do when they really want others to acknowledge their birthday but don’t want to ask for it.  Turns out. you know what, I want fun.  Please don’t confuse fun with singing waiters and waitresses.  But I do want the birthday tiara and all the fun.  Laughing, sharing stories, playing goofy games and eating lots and lots of birthday cake.  So I’ve stopped denying my birthday.  I fully plan to enjoy it.

So I planned to start the party train today.  Didn’t know how or what, maybe just putting together a Lego set.  But even though I got up early I didn’t have time today to do the whole birthday thing.  It’s not that I had a lot I had to do, it’s just that I spent the morning doing little things I wanted to do, like call some companies while they were still open since I could.  Then at about 2:30 when I was exhausted and didn’t want to get any more done, I still had the stuff that had to be done tomorrow left to do.  Clara’s room had to be made ready for her new furniture arriving tomorrow.  I had to finish the worship stuff for PWOC.  If not for the gotta do’s I would have decided it was break out popcorn, candy, and a movie at about 3.  But then it hit me, today isn’t the start of my birth week, today would be Lori’s birth week plus one day.  So all my hard work this morning was just knocking stuff out of the way so that I can really celebrate Lori’s birth week, without little things hanging over my head.

I have been very busy this week.  When I was finally wanting to write, my wireless was down.  As much as I have to share, it had to wait until I had use of my laptop again.  Let’s see if I can recap this past week.

Sunday was Easter.  Julie (you know the friend I rave about because she adopts me and my children once a week) had me over.  It was very nice spending the holiday with others instead of by ourselves.  Julie had a host of other geographical Army bachelorettes and their children over for dinner.  I love her heart to make sure that we weren’t alone.  There are days that she is the kind of person I want to be.  But then I’m so uncomfortable around people, when I have a group of people over that don’t all know each other there are awkward moments.  So I’m going to leave the role of happy hostess to Julie.

On Monday it hit me, the fifteenth was quickly approaching.  But with Tuesday approaching faster I had to think about PWOC instead of the IRS.  Especially when I was giving the devotion.  It was all good.  I knew what I was going to say.  Until Monday morning, when I felt like God was telling me to throw my idea out.  But there was stuff to do.  Children to teach, groceries to buy, and songs to pick out.  But all day I was praying, if I wasn’t supposed to share what I had planned, what on earth was I supposed to share.  Frazzled, at eleven, at night, I went to my Bible.  I had planned on talking about Abraham, giving examples out of Genesis.  But when I went to my Bible I found myself in Hebrews instead. After reading the verse that says “He went, not knowing where he was going,” And somehow my devotion wrote itself.

Then it was Tuesday.  As I drove to PWOC I totally felt the butterflies.  But I got there, got set up and everything was flowing so smoothly I had time to just hang out with my kids until their teacher got there.  So during class I was cool and calm, not nervous and jittery as I expected to be.  Then it was time for the Lori show, I mean corporate time.  It just felt like the Lori show with my singing, praying and leading the devotion.  I just felt like it was a lot of me for one morning.  I got laughs in the right places during my devotion.  I feel like people are engaged and listening when they are laughing so I went with humor.  But when I ended I felt like it just kind of ended.  I felt like I bombed and it was just humor and the message didn’t hit home.  Then as I went to pick up my kids I realized once again how much I need feedback for what I do.  It’s been a struggle doing worship this year.  I think I’ve been doing well the past few months because I haven’t received criticism like I was getting the first semester.  But there are days I just want to stand at the door and poll people, “how did I do today?”  Well, teaching is my thing, so multiply that feeling by 500 for how my devotion went.  I was dying for feedback.  How’d I do, how’d I do, how’d I do?  God must have sensed my distress  because as I was standing eating my snack a couple of women started talking about the devotion.  I’ve heard it said that an eavesdropper never hears good of themself, but I heard the word “eloquent” used.  I wasn’t trying to listen, I was just ten feet away.  The best thing I heard was that one person needed to hear what I had to say.  That’s what was important.  So yay. the devotion went well.

Wednesday, dun, dun, dun, tax day.  The first day since realizing I had to do my taxes now and I could get to them before 1.  Why is that an important time?  I needed some info from the East Coast and everything closes at 5, or 1 my time.  I have to say the time zone is my least favorite part of Alaska.  Possibly the one thing that I can find no good in, in Alaska.  I’m not a morning person.  I’m very much a night and evening person.  I don’t get around to doing paperwork stuff until 1 at the earliest.  It’s amazing how many days I’ve started right at 1 and realized I have to try again another day.  And 4 is when I think about calling friends and family.  That’s 8 on the East Coast where my dad lives.  But doing taxes every year paid off, I was done in no time.  And expecting a refund.  And just in time.  Clara had been falling out of bed every night.  I think she’s just too big for a toddler bed.  It’s time for a big girl bed.

Thursday after Bible study at church the two little people looked at me with innocent eyes and asked if we were going to eat at the Mexican restaurant we eat at every Sunday after church.  We hadn’t gone on Sunday this week, so I guess they missed it.  It was the little people, Xavier is much easier to resist.  But Austin and Clara, well, they are just more relentless than he is.  Okay, Clara’s the leader on that one, I think I could have talked Austin out of it, but Clara and her persistent stubbornness drove Austin to be more relentless.  So I told them I’d think about when we got home.  You know what they did, they played the next card and told Xavier we were going out to lunch.  They wore me down.  Then at lunch, I decided that since I was being irresponsible, I’d go all the way.  We would go buy birthday presents for me.  We had been talking about what I was getting for weeks, might as well get them now. And then we would go furniture shopping.  Found a bed I loved.  The bed is a set of drawers that you put a mattress on.  More expensive than just a frame, but the drawers are so worth it.  Then there was an optional headboard.  With built-in bookcase just big enough for all of Clara’s books.  In her small room, that would be a huge space saver.  I looked at other beds, and other much cheaper options.  But I knew that was what I wanted.

I don’t remember much about Friday other than talking with Chase.  I love talking to him.  Can’t think of anything better to do with my day. He gave me permission to get what would be best for Clara’s room.  Friday night I saw a commercial for the store I planned to get Clara’s bed from, the sale ended this weekend.  I knew what I was doing Saturday.

Saturday was full day.  Bought a bed, headboard, mattress and armoire.  She needs dresser, our last movers killed her current dresser and every day it is getting worse and is about to fall apart.  And she fell in love with the armoire, and well, I’m a sucker, plus it’s really smart spacewise.  Then we were off to a birthday party.  Sweet little one year old.  I had a blast.  There were tons of kids so my kids had fun too.

Today was spending Chase’s money day.  With a bed for Clara coming Tuesday, there were some things I needed.  I looked at our twin sized sheets, and only one set doesn’t have holes.  In a couple of days I will have three twin beds needing sheets.  I also needed a mattress pad.  And I needed a new wireless router.  And Clara wanted a bike.  And having just done the budget, we could handle all those things right now.

Ummmmm.  I don’t have much to say right now.  Why is that?

I’ve probably said it before.  I love my friend Julie.  I drive over to her house on random afternoons and she opens the door, welcomes me and my three children in to disrupt her whole day.  Other people may be on their way over, it’s all good.  When I come over, it’s assumed I’ll stay for dinner, and we more than double the size of her family.  She also always let my son borrow her husband so that the two of them can play Halo and get some male bonding time.  I want to yell and scream and shout that she isn’t allowed to move because I’ll be lost without her.

I love Alaska.  Saw a moose yesterday at the chapel.  Lets say that it was the closest I ever want to come to a moose.  I never felt we weren’t safe, mostly because she was far enough away and I was close enough to my car for me to get into safety if she turned my way.  The days are getting longer, and while I find it odd that the sun is setting later and later and I know it’s odd that there will come days that I never experience true dark.  But I’m okay with that right now, I love my friend the sun, and knowing that another December looms in my future, I’m soaking up his rays as much as possible.  I am actually looking forward to the odd days of no darkness.  And I’m sure by the end of July December’s darkness won’t seem quite as unbearable as I’ll have OD’d on sun by then.  No more snow on the streets, but street markings have been erased so driving is interesting at times.  The snow gone also means that drivers can break loose on the highway, I’m getting why Alaska drivers speed so much in the summer.  After a winter of being careful and dealing with snow, the road seems wide open and safe.

Then there’s the stuff not meant for this blog.  Political stuff, like the crazy election yesterday.  18 polling places ran out of ballots, so I expect to be hearing more from the mayoral runner-up, I’m not looking forward to that.  And there are the stories that aren’t mine to share, or this isn’t the forum to discuss because I get that there is a time and a place for different stuff.

It’s April Fool’s Day, so I briefly thought about writing a fake post.  Inventing a wild bear adventure, or something.  But I’ve never been much of an April fooler.  The closest I got was telling my friends that I would probably be moving for my senior year of high school.  The punch line, I actually did move.  I’ll admit on April Fool’s Day, I wasn’t yet sure we’d be moving, I was mostly trying to attract attention.  I did have a gut feeling that my dad would get the job all the way across the country though.

Today also happens to be Palm Sunday, a much more important holiday to me.  One for which I’m glad our church does something with the kids because as usual I don’t have any ideas.  We did discuss Palm Sunday over lunch, does that count as doing something?

Today was a nursery day for me.  We had babies.  Actual little babies.  Not the sitting up, nearly walking little people I’m used to in there.  Little, teenie, tiny infants.  One of whom was actually awake.  Not a good thing for this woman who has discovered that the biological clock is real and doesn’t care if you already have three.  Even as she was screaming in my ear I was thinking I could do this one more time.

Although the three I have have successfully wore me out today.  Literally, it’s only half past five and my eyes are closing as I type.  We went for another Sunday afternoon walk.  As I got a jacket I told the kids we were not going on the short walk we usually take.  We needed a longer walk today.  As we got started I told them we were not taking our usual route, Xavier the leader had to go a different way.  When we passed the street we usually turn on and Xavier turned us around, I told him we were not taking our usual route because I wanted a bit longer of a walk.  When Xavier began to take the next turn on our usual walk, I asked if where he was going.  Back up the street and home, our usual route.  I need to talk to his teacher about working on listening skills more.  So on the corner Xavier had to make a decision, where was he going to lead that would not be our usual route?  He came up with a new route that was over a mile and a half.  No problem for him, Austin and I, but Clara quickly decided he couldn’t hang.  So for half the walk I carried an extra 35 pounds, that half including the big hill.  It’s almost motivation to work out and try to lose that much weight thinking about the difference she makes.  Almost motivation.  Right now I’m gonna stick with just taking family walks.  My current level of tiredness makes me glad it’s Sunday, early bed times for the little people so I can watch The Apprentice.