30 November 2006

and man, I like to burn the midnight oil!

You Are Midnight

You are more than a little eccentric, and you're apt to keep very unusual habits.
Whether you're a nightowl, living in a commune, or taking a vow of silence - you like to experiment with your lifestyle.
Expressing your individuality is important to you, and you often lie awake in bed thinking about the world and your place in it.
You enjoy staying home, but that doesn't mean you're a hermit. You also appreciate quality time with family and close friends.

almost as good as my morning coffee

My bathroom has a "garden tub", I guess it's called--oval with jets. And, at first I thought that sounded great, and made a few efforts to enjoy the occasional nightly bath for unwinding and such. But, I just didn't get much out of it. I soaked in the warmth (which wasn't easy--I often added a kettle of boiling water since my bathroom is so very far from the water heater!), read my current book, bathed and got out chilled. Annoyed, I stopped doing this pretty quickly. I didn't feel "relaxed" or "refreshed" or anything good. It was a pain. I've never been a huge bath-taker, so I told my husband he could have the tub, I didn't care for it (and yes, he loves it--shhh!).

Secretly, I long for a claw-foot tub--I had the luxury one time and that, my friends, was wonderful. They are long enough to stretch out your legs, conformed enough to fit your back like the best of chairs, and deep enough so soak your body easily and entirely (and retain the heat!). Yes, that is a dream for "someday"!

However, I recently discovered a new love for my tub.


See, my shower rarely gets hot enough and the bathroom is just big enough to NOT trap the steam for added warmth. I never thought I'd miss my tiny bathroom of the old house, but . . . anyway. I like heat when I bathe, and it wasn't happening. Then one morning as the sun was spilling through my frosted window above the tub I was inspired to run as much hot water as I could (as in learning when to turn it off so as to maximize the heat and not worry about quantity quite as much). I climbed in. The bathroom was still cold, but the water was appropriately hot in comparison. I only spent a few minutes, but the heat soaked in and compensated for the chill above the water. When I got out, I felt . . . refreshed.

I was shocked. I thought it was a chance occurance and so tried it again another day. And again. And again. And each time I was enjoying my bath. The warm sun helped tremendously, but even if it's not awake yet, I like my morning bath. Short, but oh so warming. I can't take one every morning, but I can still get my coffee when I need it, so that's okay.

13 November 2006

rivers and life

This morning, much to our delight, my son and I reveled in Jack Frost's first real appearance. Something about the frosted glass covering the lawns and roofs of every home on the street feels fresh. I want to breathe it in, standing in the midst of that magic. Little B took a swipe of the grass and saw bits of white on his mitten. Here in the South, of course, it's a mild and pleasant 68* by late afternoon. But something about the early morning, when the mist freezes onto everything it touches...

And then there is the river. We live close to a large dam and I drive it at least once or twice a week. I was nervous at first, not being big into heights and bridges and such, but oh, I love it! (And, driving it and riding it are two different things, though I get a better view as a passenger...what a tossup--driver security or passenger view!) However, unlike my family who gazes out at the lake, I look longing over the river. One night, late, I was driving home from a close friend's house (she lives in the town on the other side of the dam) and it had rained a cold, hard rain that day. By the time I headed home, the rain had ceased, leaving an incredible fog over the river. I desparately wanted to stop and just gaze at it, but something about doing that at 11:30pm struck me as not the best idea...especially on a narrow dam. Today, I discovered a park that takes me to that lovely spot; I cannot wait to return. I do not yet have words for what the river is to me. It calls me the way the mountains do. I hear God's voice in its waters. That is something I need these days. This verse comes to me often when near the river:

Revelation 22:1
And he showed me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, proceeding
out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the middle of its street.

I have been quiet of late, here in my little blog-home. I have so much to say and yet the core of it really just doesn't need saying sometimes. So, I have spent time sitting, pondering and sorting within myself. We've been making big decisions in our family in recent weeks. The biggest of those is that I am officially job-hunting.

Moving was a huge stretch for us, and we knew that when we made the decision to come here. Our choice for a home would have cost us less, but in this town such a home would have been much older and most likely in a less secure-feeling neighborhood. As it was, almost nothing was to be found in that price range at all. Either up from there (we took the bottom of those offerings), or down from there (after a few quick drive-thrus, we had to eliminate them completely and move on). So, we are indeed in the house of our dreams a few years earlier than we would have probably planned. However, the most recent news from our old street includes probable gang activity and territory markings (some had started before we left, but it's increased even in the last few months) and one man about five homes down from ours said he had both of his cars broken into very recently. Living there, we had a very full one-car garage. And it was not full of a car, so both of ours sat in the driveway every night. I am grateful we no longer live in that area. The stretch of moving feels right and timely every time we consider it. We did not act rashly; we made hard decisions based on what was around us and mostly what our children's needs were.

Well above and beyond that stretch, Little B has been in therapy weekly since before the move. I will skip the inconsitencies and annoyances here, but our insurance allots 20 visits per year; since our therapist is out of network, we spend 16 of those visits meeting our deductible. See where I'm going? They pay approximately FOUR visits per year. Those were back in September, and we're once more paying for every visit out of pocket. Therapists are not cheap. This puts us way beyond anything reasonable in our budget and the hole has gotten deeper and darker recently. It has made us uncomfortable, and while we firmly believe we have listened closely to the Lord in deciding which house to buy and what therapist to use, the stretching is a little too tight and thin these days. And so, the need for a job.

However, that comes conditionally. I will not put my daughter in daycare. If she was old enough to go to school, I would be willing to look at regular, day time positions and pay a baby sitter for the one or two hours each afternoon that overlapped with my getting home. But, that is not the case here. So, I am looking at the irregular jobs. Yesterday, I put in an application for a night shift as unit secretary at a nearby hospital. It would only be weekends, and the idea of it secretly thrills me a tiny bit. The other choice would have been days, but I prefer to be home to see my family, even if I do sleep part of it away. I realize that particular job may not pan out, but I am looking for other night/weekend jobs that would generate enough cash flow to make a difference. Anything safe and during those hours I have to consider right now. Of course, finding those places is the challenge!

The other thing on my mind lately is an exhaustion I have felt for several weeks now. Most nights I sleep so deeply I do not know when my children wake up at night--that can be frequent, especially for Little B some weeks (Sensory-related issues along with occasional nightmares). Since becoming a mom, an extra sense has awakened me at the slightest sound coming from my children, though my husband's alarm could go unnoticed. However, that is not the case any longer. I have also been falling asleep earlier and wanting to sleep longer than I normally would. And no, I am not pregnant, though I spent a few weeks almost positive that would be the surprise culprit. However the tiredness still tracks me down. Fortunately, my husband has pitched in graciously. Indeed, I didn't know I was sleeping through those hard nights until one day my husband looked worn out and he commented that Little B had called out three times. Oh my, I felt awful. I'd slept so blissfully that night! And try as I might, I am still not hearing much though it's not as severe as it was about a month ago.

To my knowledge there are no other "symptoms" except a very occasional bit of light-headedness. I've come to the conclusion that I am probably just a little anemic. To that end, we're eating more red meat right now, and I find myself looking at boxes for the increased iron. If I don't get to feeling better soon, I will see a doctor, but this is my first shot. Of course, a good dose of caffiene mid-afternoon and I'll be up all night long (if I get the night job, I'll be rewarding myself with a latte those two nights of the week!).

I guess that's where I am right now. I spend much of my days changing diapers and perusing job sites at the moment. I'd be fine working from home, but "real" at home work is not so realistic and I've pretty much given up hope of that. I just need to work around my family so I don't sacrifice them in meeting this need.