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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Wringing in the New Year

As I reflected upon all the events in my life that took place over the past year and considered a resolution or two, I discovered that my biggest problem has been (especially over the past few months) that I consistently allow the enemy to steal my joy. If I had to make any resolutions, one would be that I don't allow the enemy to steal my joy –and the other - that I keep my coffee table clutter-free! My prayer to usher in the New Year was that I would do my best to not allow the enemy to steal my joy and that I would have the self-discipline to be a better housekeeper.

This day started out like any ordinary day. Olivia and I spent some time together reading books, playing games, and we talked to Grandma on the phone. Every time something was placed on the coffee table, I made sure that it was immediately returned to its designated spot and was beginning to feel really proud that I was successful in keeping my coffee table clean. I cooked a delicious dinner of pork roast and sauerkraut. We ate while listening to some lovely music on the stereo....and then....Brillo man decided to work on a project….

Yesterday he had decided that we needed a different toilet in the master bathroom so he went to Home Depot and purchased a new one. I’m thinking that he was inspired by Sara and The Mr. After all, they’re getting a whole new bathroom – he at least wanted a new toilet. He also bought a shop vac (wet/dry) and some plumbing supplies because he plans to change some pipe locations in the basement.

Okay –so we’re installing a toilet – on New Year’s Day. How many folks do you know who celebrate a New Year by installing a toilet? Brillo Man got to work. The only problem was the old one just didn't want to give up its post because he had a heck of a time taking it out. The bolts just wouldn't budge and he ended up needing a grinder to grind down the screws. No problem! He had just purchased a grinder yesterday too!

In the process of the bolt removal, he set the grinder down when he was finished and accidentally singed the carpet threads. Not to mention that the base of the toilet cracked and broke – leaking the last few cups of water all over the carpet. We managed to lift the toilet into a giant garbage bag and get it out the door without dripping water all through the house. And the toilet is – out the door. Literally. Just outside the door. (I’m hoping that no one comes to visit today to find a broken toilet on the doorstep….) Throughout all of this, I was amazed at how calm I was remaining –no enemy is going to steal MY joy!...

I quickly got to work tracing the base of the new toilet to make a pattern so that I could cut away some of the carpet which would be necessary for the new toilet to set in place. The boxes which served as packing for the new toilet were outside, so I grabbed a heavy-duty utility knife and headed out the door. I cut away at the box and got a big enough piece to make my pattern. After tracing the pattern, I reached for my heavy-duty utility knife which I had just used five minutes earlier to cut the box apart. It could not be found – anywhere! At this point, I’m beginning to get a little frustrated knowing that I just used the goofy knife and it couldn’t have gotten up and walked away by itself. But I vowed to remain calm and I wasn’t about to get freaked out by the fact that I’m losing my mind and can’t remember where I put things five minutes earlier. Nope –no enemy is stealing MY joy. After a thorough search which lasted 15 minutes (at least) I finally discovered the knife on top of a piece of furniture where I don’t remember placing it (although I obviously had). Argh.

Okay – so I cut my pattern out and proceed to mark the carpet in the bathroom so that I can cut away the excess. I’m down on the floor and realized that I had forgotten to grab something to use to mark the carpet. Those of you who know me know that once I’m down on the floor, it is extremely difficult for me to get back up. I’m like one of those ladies on those “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” commercials. (It’s an MS thing….) I perused the bathroom and remembered that I had an eyeliner pencil in the vanity drawer. Ah ha! This will work!

I traced the outline onto the carpet and cut the carpet away. Then I noticed that there’s a huge black/brown line that isn’t going to go away because I drew the line just outside of my cut line instead of just inside. Great. We’re now going to have a new toilet sitting on a carpet which looks like it has a dead body crime scene outline around it. Oh well. Maybe I can research online how to get eye liner pencil out of carpet. (And no, Mom, Oxiclean didn’t work –tried it.) This is going to put a whole new meaning to “ring around the toilet”. The carpet will be marked forever- good thing it's the master bathroom and no one will see it except Brillo Man and I and at least it matches my eyes...but I still haven’t allowed the enemy to steal my joy…

Meanwhile, I could hear Olivia downstairs saying something about her singing bear and her Blue's Clues dog being ruined! “They’re ruined Dad, they’re just ruined!” The next thing I know, she’s running into the bathroom saying, “Mommy, Mommy, there’s a big flood and my singing bear is ruined! What are we going to do?! It’s really a big mess Mom, you HAVE to see this! My singing bear is ruined!”

Coincidentally, after shutting off the water source to the toilet, the increased pressure caused a pipe fixture to come apart. (Later we discovered that it had not been glued at all). We had an inch of water on our basement floor. Water had been POURING out of the pipe –all over our furnace – right onto the electrical ignition box – all over our digital satellite recorder box – all over the shelves where we store all of our games – and running from there – ALL over the entire basement. What a mess!! Joy – remember…keep your Joy…

Fortunately, (no, miraculously) Brillo Man had just purchased a dry/wet shop vac. We got to work, moving furniture, taking up carpet, moving boxes out of the closets and repacking things that could be salvaged into plastic bins (which we had purchased just one week ago). While Brillo Man sucked up the water, I grabbed some towels and soaked up as much water as I could – wringing them out into a bin and dumping the water outside – over and over and over and over again. I did so much wringing that my hands looked like prunes and my arms and wrists began to ache. Not to mention my knees and legs from all the bending and lifting and carrying water-filled bins out the door. But, I still had my joy…

Olivia poked her head down the steps and asked if we were done yet…I just laughed and said, “Oh no, we’re going to be at this all night.” Brillo Man said, “well, at least you have a sense of humor about the whole thing.” I told him it was either laugh or cry and I was choosing to laugh. A few minutes later, I started laughing uncontrollably while exclaiming, “I’ve got it! I’ve got it! -The title for my blog…Wringing in the New Year! Get it? w-r-i-n-g…” That even made Brillo Man chuckle.

Three and ½ hours later, we had most of the water sucked up and the games and toys all laid out to dry. We sat down to rest. I told Brillo Man that a few days ago, I had been praying and asked the Lord to help me to choose joy –to not let the devil steal my joy – that no matter what situations I encountered in this coming year – I was determined to do my best to not allow my joy to fade. Brillo Man looked at me with this look which said, ‘what in the world are you doing praying something stupid like that?!’ I smiled and said, “It could be worse – just look at how wonderfully the Lord prepared us for this by causing you to buy a grinder and a shop vac yesterday –and by purchasing all the pipe fittings to relocate the pipes – because now you have the supplies to fix the leak! God is good!” (I think he wanted to throw something at me at this point!) I looked at him and said, “Hey, I’m not screaming like a lunatic! I’m laughing! I’m not letting the enemy steal my joy!”


After our rest, we came upstairs to discover that Olivia had helped herself to a cupcake. What you don’t know is that Olivia doesn’t like frosting. Since I was downstairs busily wading through an inch of water, she took it upon herself to remove the frosting and wipe it all over the ottoman in the living room! She told me that she had the frosting all over her hands and she couldn’t wash her hands because there wasn’t any water. It wouldn’t have been so bad except that earlier in the day, she did the exact same thing – claiming that she couldn’t reach the napkins to wipe her hands. Frosting from two cupcakes smeared on the furniture in one day. Needless to say, Olivia wasn’t so joyful when she was told she had to go to the naughty spot.

She said there and said, “I just don’t like this day. This is not a good day. I don’t like this family. I don’t want to be in this family.” Normally when she’s in the naughty spot. I don’t acknowledge anything she says, but at this point, I was exhausted and I snapped back, “Well, too bad you don’t like this family, because this is the family that God gave you and you’re stuck with us.” She looked at me for a few minutes and then said, “Well maybe God will let me borrow my cousin Makaya’s family…and besides, you’re being a big meany because you’re making me sit in this naughty spot.” I just smiled at her and said, “But I still have my joy! Now come over here and help me clean your toys off the coffee table...”

....what did you do to (w)ring in the New Year?!

And my soul shall be joyful in the LORD...
-Psalm 35:9a

12 comments:

KayMac said...

Spot Shot (carpet cleaner in a can)....will clean anything! i even use it for laundry when I can't get a stain out...that is usually discovered after the item has been put thru the dryer.

Ok, you are amazing...i would have lost my joy...ummm...way before the water in the basement!

Happy New Year!

Jada's Gigi said...

Oh lord, what a day! Dare I say "Happy New Year!" ? lol

Margie said...

now that was funny! thanks for the laugh, and at least it was clean water, imagine if it was a sewer back up :)

Pat said...

Your cracking me up here sister! It's a lot funnier when it happens to someone else...hey nothing stole your joy though!
That eye liner business was sheer genius!
I gotta give you the parent with the most joy award for the Ms. O frosting caper. I would have to be placed in the naughty corner myself after that for loosing my cool! Who ever heard of not liking frosting? Doesn't she know that's the only reason for the cupcakes existence...to hold the frosting?!

Lori said...

Oh wow...congrats on not losing your joy over a day like that. I'm afraid a day like that would not have such a happy ending at my house. IF I would have survived the toilet install and the flood the cupcake caper would definitely have pushed me into some psychotic outburst.
Here's to happier days ahead in the new year.

Mrs. Mac said...

Your "joy" spilled over my way. Let me wipe my tears (of joy) before I electrocute myself at the keyboard. Brillo man reminds me of the mouse in the book, "If you give a mouse a cookie" ... one chore leads to another. I'm with Pat ... I'd have gladly gone to the naughty spot just to escape the "joy" for a while (hugs) ... THIS WAS WAY TO HILARIOUS

tina fabulous said...

congratulations... youre life is now an episode of "i love lucy". :)
the broken toilet would make a lovely planter for the backyard, daily reminding you of "the joy that almost wasnt, but then was".

i'm w/ olivia on the frosting. it hurts my brain.

Sara said...

i think you are turning in to me. may God help you.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe you're my daugther because I would have lost it right from the start. You're behond hope. (dad)

My kid can beat up your kids cupcake said...

You see frosting, I see Jackson Pollock.

http://www.pennygardner.com/art_appreciation.html

This too can be fixed said...

Too many characters in my name stole my joy......


My kid can beat up your kids cupcake....

I'm confused said...

The first time the word cupcake was cutoff...So I posted "this too can be fixed".


I am not losing my mind,I am not losing my mind,I am not losing my mind,I am not losing my mind,I am not losing my mined, I am not losing my mined, I am not loosing meye mined, I am not loozing mi meyend...meyend, meyend, meyend, meyend....voices voices echo echo echo.....Beuler Beuler, anyone anyone. Are you losing your mind? Beuler are you losing your mind?