Thursday, August 29, 2013

Thankful Thursday

Caution tape indicating a cautionary tale of water leakage, a faulty pipe, 
and an unsuccessful attempt to discover said leak.

Today the plumbers came to replace the water pipe for our house. They laid copper pipes from the intake valve at the curb to the uptake valve inside our house (terminology mine). First they fired up a ground-cutting machine and dug a trench about 12 inches deep across the lawn. Then they added a piece that came into our house through the crawl space. After that, they cut our water supply completely, disconnected the old plastic pipe,  connected the new copper one, and then reconnected us to the supply pipe coming in from the street.

The gentleman who was running the operation rang the doorbell about 10:00 this morning to inform us that they were about to begin. He also told us that he had found and killed a baby copperhead snake in the hole where the intake valve is located. He told us that copperheads "come out at this time of year." Really? Now I have to worry about stepping on a copperhead when I go out to walk Maya on the front lawn? Really??? I apologize to all the Buddhists, vegans, and other animal lovers out there - but I'm glad they killed it. I do not like snakes - at all.

Anyway, the leak has been repaired. The snake is gone. The trench has been filled. Tomorrow the inspector will come to make sure it has been properly repaired, and the plumbers will fill the hole and leave with a significant chunk of our savings account.

I am grateful for the home in which we live, the lawn out front, the trees, the people who are able to fix this type of problem, and the money to pay for repairs.

Three weeks ago, I made the decision to move Daniel's bed to another spot in his bedroom. He had been asking for a change for a while. He had also been complaining that he thought he was allergic to his bedroom. What? I attributed his odd assessment to normal teenage complaining - who is allergic to their bedroom? Apparently, he was. When I moved the bed, there was a horrible stain on the carpet. When I vacuumed along the baseboard, the front end of the vacuum cleaner disappeared under the baseboard. What the what???

Those are my fingers pulling back the carpet in Daniel's bedroom to reveal significant woodrot.

Two friends of ours, a married couple that does excellent home repair work, came over, 
ripped up part of the carpet, broke into the wall, and this is what they discovered.
Sorry the image is so blurry...

So I took a few deep breaths, apologized to Daniel for ignoring his pleas for relief from THE MOLD AND MILDEW THAT WERE TAKING OVER HIS BEDROOM, and invited our two friends to do whatever it took to fix the problem.

This is what that same spot in Daniel's room looks like today - fresh drywall, fresh paint, new carpet, and new furniture. After all, he was still sleeping in the single bed we bought for him when he was two. He outgrew it years ago, poor kid, plus we felt really guilty about the allergy thing.

I am grateful that we were able to find the problem and fix it before his bed fell through the floor and landed on the kitchen counter below. I am grateful that we know people who could fix the problem. I am grateful that we had the money to fix the problem. I am grateful for this house - leaks, holes, mold, old carpet, cracked countertops, and all. And most of all, I am grateful for my son, in whom I am well- pleased.

On Tuesday afternoon, I drove to Unique Boutique, a shop that specializes in post-surgical bras, silicone breast forms, wigs, and other items for women who have been diagnosed with breast kanswer. Since my surgery in April, I have been living the short-haired and flat-chested life. And I LOVE IT! No bras. No locs. No problem. I can walk, jog, jump up and down on the rebounder, do my jumping jacks, downward facing dog, and everything else I want to do without any painful jiggling. Yay!

But I decided to go get fitted for the breast prostheses just in case some day down the line I might want a bra and some falsies. The woman who fitted me was wonderful - funny, knowledgeable, patient, and kind. She said she had fitted a woman the day before whose pre-kanswer bra size was 50M. I didn't even know "M" existed as a bra size. I would imagine that a single one of her breasts was bigger than my head! What an image!!! When I walked out of the shop, I was wearing a bra with a full B cup. My falsies were bigger than my "realsies" had been.

I came home, made dinner, hung out with Kristiana and Steve for a while, and did a few errands around the house in the early evening hours. Before I changed into my pajamas, I called a brief family meeting at which time I introduced the family to my new friends... No one had noticed! NO ONE HAD NOTICED!

I am grateful because their lack of noticing confirmed my decision to not have reconstruction and not wear the prostheses. I am grateful that I am so comfortable in this new body of mine. I am grateful that my family loves me and doesn't pay much attention to the changes I have gone through physically. I am grateful for medical insurance that covers these things. I am grateful to be alive and doing so well these days.

(Don't get me wrong - I most certainly wish I were more noticeable around here. After we laughed at the size of my fake breasts that night, Kristiana commented, "This happens to you a lot, doesn't it?" She was right - in years gone by, I've had my eyebrows threaded, colored my hair, cut my hair, had facial makeovers, and otherwise made significant changes to my appearance - and most of the time, those changes go unnoticed. What does a girl have to do to be seen around here???)

What else am I grateful for on this Thankful Thursday?

I am grateful for the freedom I have to be sad, to be worried, to be upset sometimes - coupled with the freedom to feel better, to be grateful, and to have a renewed sense of joy.

I am grateful for the friends who call and write and pour out their hearts to me. I am grateful to be counted trustworthy and dependable enough to be asked to walk alongside them in their times of sorrow and distress. I am grateful for the friends I can call on who will listen to me, laugh with me, cry with me, and walk this life journey with me.

I am grateful for the hard-working, insightful, supportive chiropractor who is doing all he can to keep me from having a recurrence of kanswer and to restore Daniel's spine to top working order.

I am grateful for the bountiful peppery arugula, crisp romaine, red seedless grapes, organic apples, kombucha, green tea, blue corn chips and salsa, guacamole, whole grain bread, ripe bananas, and pesto vegannaise I have enjoyed in the past week or so.

I am grateful for the ability and opportunity to go for quiet walks on the cool mornings we've had this week.

I am grateful for my daughter's smooth entrance into her final semester of community college. It has been nearly five years since she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and at that time, we had a hard time imagining that she would even complete high school. She not only finished high school with distinction, but she has also proven herself to be an excellent college student with an average of more than 3.8. She is applying to one of the state schools here in North Carolina and plans to start in January. 

I am grateful for grace, mercy, peace, joy, prayer, laughter, handmade journals, friendship, pets, babies, watercolor paint, rubber stamps, ink pads, emery boards, dried cranberries, slivered almonds, and loose change.

I am grateful that there is so much more for which I can give thanks. 
Thanks be to God. 


Lisa said...

A wonderful post! Thanks for sharing these stories.

Sorry about the SNAKE and the water leak!!! Glad you got everything settled quickly. :-)

Kate S said...

love you, sweetie!

Levi Eslinger said...

It's really good news that the water leaks were finally repaired. Leaving them unattended would give you a lot of headache, not to mention the high water bills that you're gonna pay.


Lovella Cushman said...

That is certainly a lot to handle. Thankfully they’re all in the past now. It was nice of the plumbing company to come back and do a secondary check on their workmanship before declaring it sound. There are just some plumbers who go ahead and install new pipes and valves and never even do a stress check if they’re handiwork is actually working, or if other problems came from their work. As for the copperhead, I don’t think it would be any problem, as snakes tend to avoid people especially if they have no ways to conceal themselves. Anyways, have a great day!


Rudy Swanson said...

Well those are some multi-tasking plumbers! These plumbers mean business, as they quickly knew what to do. Perhaps they used a sewer camera to find out where exactly to dig? Either way, it was impressive work by your plumbers/snake killers.
Rudy Swanson @ Haaker Equipment Company\