Monday, August 20, 2012

Needs Met

The fiancé tells me he only has two problems with me.

1) I worry he is looking for a slave not a wife.

2) He understands the difference between a Christian and a church-ian that I taught him. But, I don't respect church enough.

He then goes on to list all the reasons church is important. I agree with him. He then goes on the mention examples that prove he isn't a church-ian and his church doesn't put itself before God. Again, I agree.

We have had this conversation several times and I'm not yet sure what direction I will take it in, but I step out for a minute to get dinner. When I return he has a book in his hands. "The Best Path" By Ellen White. He says she is the founder of the Adventists and the book has yet to mention Jesus.

"This is a church-ian. This is what you were talking about! Now I get what you mean."

I agree and smile. I didn't have to say anything but he finally gets it. SO freakin' thankful!

I know his first issue with me is my own issue and I'm working to resolve those fears by discussing things like that with him and learning how he treats me.

But, his second issue with me... This was his problem, not mine. I didn't know how to explain that God comes first, then family, then church.

But, he didn't need to know any of that, because he already has those priorities straight. He just needed an example of a church-ian and God gave it to him!

Heat Wave

Saturday morning I wake up hot.  I roll up the blinds and open the window and then just sit on the bed trying to cool down.  I thought about taking a cool shower but I was too hot and exhausted to move.  All my muscles hurt like a fever.  I drank some water but my stomach didn't like it.  Lean my head out the window and I could tell it was even hotter out there.

No AC, no fan and 100 degree weather.  Thankfully I have two handheld fans I got last year.  The smaller one that my sister gave me lives in my purse and is my lifesaver on the hot and humid trains and buses.  The larger one sits on my desk but I haven't used it much.  Until now that is.  My hands are so tired now, but the handheld fan is MUCH better than nothing!



I felt like my body wasn't able to self-regulate its temperature.  I felt like I was over-heated and possibly heat-affected and yet I hadn't even left the house!  So I realized I had to take the shower even if my muscles all hurt.  Unfortunately, because my muscles were inflamed or whatever, I did hurt my back.  But, the cold water was nice.  Sadly, it didn't last.  I was hurt and exhausted from the shower so I sit in my chair and my temperature started increasing again.  I quickly felt out of it and hot.

However, once the sun went down, the temperature started dropping dramatically.  I was still pretty out of it for a few hours but finally closed the blinds most of the way but not all the way so some breeze could come in and I laid down.

Big mistake.

I immediately over-heated.  Thankfully I thought of putting my feet in a small tub of cold water and sitting in front of the window.  It worked.  With the breeze and the cold water, my temperature finally regulated and I was able to sleep.  I closed the blinds about half-way and went to bed.

I woke up Sunday severely over-heated, but thankfully realized it and knew what to do.  I immediately returned to the seat at the window and put my feet in a tub of cold water again.  The breeze felt wonderful and it took less than an hour to return to normal temperature.

I knew that it would be dangerous to overheat while away from cold water and its normal to overheat on the train so I stayed home from Church.  Public transport just isn't an option when its 100 degrees out!  The day actually passed quite well.  Only because I kept changing out for more cold water and kept my feet in it all day long.  I took a couple cold showers which honestly were not fun now that my lower back is hurt but it worked.  I made it through the entire day without becoming heat-affected.

I also learned my lesson from the previous night.  I didn't close the blinds at all and left the window completely open.  Yup, it means the high rise just across the street could see in, but it was too hot to sleep otherwise.

At 7:30am I woke up hot, stuck my feet in cold water for a bit and then went back to sleep knowing that today wouldn't be so hot so I could relax.

I want to go out and explore, but I also know that my body needs to recuperate.  Five years in the desert with constant AC means my body is not used to extreme temperatures anymore.  Might as well get used to it now since I won't be having AC in my new state either.  But, I will have fans.  LOTS of fans!  I didn't have the fiancé buy a fan for me since the heat wave only lasted two days.  I felt like it'd be a waste of money.  But, if the temperature creeps up near 100 again, even for one day, I am GOING to get a fan.  Apparently I need one.

And I must say, I have NEVER been as happy to see rain as I was today!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

screens

I miss screens.  Oh, how do I miss screens!

The advantage of having to walk up to the 4th floor every day is that the house should be bug-free.  Right?

I'll take some stairs if it means no ants, no termites, no wasp nests, etc.

But, without screens...

Apparently bugs with wings can fly this high.  Who knew!

Sure, open the window, roll up the blinds* and then I can lean out and look around which is pretty freakin' awesome.  Can't do that with screens.

But, right now, I'm not thinking that's worth it.

So, I'm calmly hanging out in the bathroom brushing my teeth enjoying the cool night air from the window that is nearly always left open.  When all of a sudden I hear a buzzing.  No, not just any buzzing either!  It's a wasp flying around the light.

Thankfully the door wasn't all the way closed so I pushed it open more and snuck out.  I hit the lights just as I walked into the toilet room.  I was stuck in the dark as I left the light off in there too as I wanted the wasp to go back outside.

I was freaking out.  "I don't want to get stung, it hurts!  I don't have anything for it, oh wait, yes I do.  I have Hexol** and tweezers."  So, I relaxed and tried to sneak out of the toilet room, but its too small so I had to stand up.  I turned on the light above the sink in the bathroom in the hopes of drawing the wasp to it if it was still there.  I took a few tentative steps into the bathroom but didn't hear anything so thought it might be ok.

On my third step, all of a sudden I heard it... ON THE GROUND!  CRAP, one more step and I would have STEPPED ON IT!!!  I backed out, pulled the door shut then switched the light off.

But, now what am I going to do?  A teeny tiny bug has me trapped in my room because he's trapped in the bathroom.  The window isn't fully open.  Will he find his way out?  Why was he flopping on the ground?  Did he fly into the window after I turned the light out and hurt himself?  If he did, how do I help him?  If he didn't, how long will it take him to find the window?

Should I give up and just go to bed?  What if the lady I live with goes in there and gets stung in the morning?  I would feel awful!  On the other hand, what can I do about it if he doesn't leave?




* Not sure these brilliant inventions can really be called blinds.  They roll up and down and when all the way down, there are minor gaps which allow light in or you can close them up and it feels like midnight even at noon.  My dream is to get them in the USA.  They are installed on the outside so it functions as effective security too.  My host family had them on the glass door to the backyard too.

Update: I braved the wilds and found no sign of any intruders! Oh why oh why couldn't this have happened during the day when the fiancé could have removed the wasp. I finally have a guy and I would think should fall under his jurisdiction, don't you?

http://midistores.com/produits/midi-stores-volet-roulant-alu-pvc-motorise-securise-fonctionnel-integrale/haute-garonne-31-muret-toulouse-fenouillet-blagnac-colomiers-rangueil-montaudran-beauzelle-mondonville-pibrac-cornebarrière-aussonne-aucamville-fonbeauzard-launaguet

** Hexol is just the most amazing product ever.  Back before pine-sol, my mom used it to mop the floors.  She also discovered its the perfect mosquito bite treatment.  I never travel without it.
http://www.hollowayhouse.net/products/74-hexol-16-oz.aspx

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

hitting

My boyfriend hits me sometimes.

After working with abused children for so many years, I have zero tolerance so every single time I tell him he may not hit me.  He responds with "of course I can hit you, you are my fiancé.  I'm allowed to hit you.  I reply, "no, you may not".  And I leave it at that.  But, so far it hasn't irritated me enough to force a full conversation about it.  But, I do want it clear that I am still in charge of my body and if I don't like it, it doesn't happen.

Then, the other day he hit me a couple times and I told him "you may not hit me"  He replied by hitting my leg a third time while saying that he can.  So, I hit him back.

He lit up!  He yelled, "YES! exactly!"  He grabbed my arm and made me hit his back again, only this time harder.  "I am your fiancé so you can hit me and you are my fiancé so I can hit you!"

And I realized that he wasn't hitting me, he was play-tapping me.  My years of being around abuse victims has jaded me.  All of a sudden I remembered jr. high when multiple guy friends would tell me that they loved hanging out with me because I could take a hit and that meant they could be friends with me.  Or the one time a guy cousin told me he liked another cousin better because he could punch her but I wouldn't let him punch me so he couldn't be himself around me.  I told him that I bruise easily so he couldn't punch me and why should that be a requirement in our friendship anyway?  He told me that it wasn't a requirement, its just guys are more physical so its easier to not have to worry about hurting a girl when hanging out together.  And then he corrected himself and said that actually being able to hit me worked just as well as punching her.

All of a sudden I didn't mind being hit at all.  But, I did make it clear to the fiancé that he must never touch me when angry.  He replied with "of course not, that would be horrible!"

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-fil-a

I LOVE Chick-fil-a.  Their chicken salad sandwich and sweet tea is quite possibly one of my favorite meals on the planet.  I think anyone boycotting them is insane because they are missing out on amazing food.

It is a fast food restaurant and the leader is entitled to his personal opinion and I have NO problem that he publicly expressed an opinion that I disagree with.  The more voices that are heard the better for the conversation.  I don't want to shut anyone up.

That said, I do have a problem with Christians flocking to support Chick-fil-a because they need to "defend" themselves from the attack of the boycott.  He's the one who said hateful things.  The anti-LGBT groups are the attackers.  You are NOT under attack.  I saw an article titled "Chick-fil-a haters demonstrate growing intolerance of Christianity."

Bull-Shit!  (and yes, as a Christian I have no problem using "bad" words when called for)

If anything, the haters are gaining their voices and fighting for their freedom.  It could also be titled "Chick-fil-a supporters demonstrate growing hatred of others."

Is that what you want to be known for?  Hatred?  Because that is how "the world" sees you.  That is wrong.  Jesus said we should be known for our love.  NOT our hate.

So Christian beliefs are being tossed aside.  So what?  If people do not want to live the way you think they should.  So what?  What should you do about it?

Jump on a bandwagon condemning them and trying to legislate their behavior?
OR
Fight for their rights alongside them and LOVE them as Jesus would?

So you think being gay is a choice and is wrong.  So what?  Unless you are dealing with same sex attraction, what does it matter to you?  (And if you are dealing with attraction you think is wrong, please see the link at the end of the blog.)

God did not say you should only love those with whom you agree 100%.  No, he said to love your enemies.  Your opinion on other people lives should not be shared unless they are your friend and ask for it.  No, the only thing that should be shared is love.

If you do not have any LGBT friends, then the problem is with you, NOT with them.  If you don't have any non-Christian friends, get out of your bubble.  Jesus didn't spend all his time hanging out with the pharisees!

Right now, if you post about your support for Chick-fil-a, you are hurting your LGBT friends.  Yes, I said HURTING.  They aren't attacking you.  You are attacking them.

If I have offended you, I truly apologize.  I am angry that Christians are known by their hate and every single one of us need to understand it's our fault and we MUST change.  You can de-friend me if you disagree with me, but why?  Why would you want to shut down the conversation?  Isn't it healthy to connect with those with whom you disagree?  I am friends with republicans, even teapartiers, democrats, libertarians, independents, and political haters.  I am friends with Christians, yes, even legalistic fundamentalists, Muslims, atheists, and more.  I am friends with people in many different jobs, in many different countries, in many different life stages.  Although I have a few LGBT friends, it is the community with the most difficult bridge to cross.  This stupid culture war between LGBT's and Christians means those I meet, even those I connect with feel a need to protect themselves from me wondering if I will hurt them like all the other Christians.  Where have we gone wrong?  How are they to find Jesus if his followers hate them?  Jesus loves them.  And right now, he probably likes them much better.  He always did seem to connect with the under-dog...

If you are interested in trying to love your LGBT neighbor, a good place to start is to connect with your fellow Christians who are LGBT.  Check out http://www.gaychristian.net

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Attack

Saturday was a household chores day.  We've been busy living life and watched a month pass without going to the laundromat.  He had told me we would do it together and as I had no desire to lug the laundry up and down four flights of stairs I gladly waited.  I used the washing machine here once and I'm used to hand washing while traveling so waiting a month wasn't a big deal.

Saturday afternoon comes and it is so nice having a guy around.  This is actually the first time in my life I'll be going to a laundromat but I know we'll be there a couple hours so I bring the iPad so we can play some games or I can write or read.  We walk a couple blocks with him pulling the suitcase.  We walk past a group of guys and they are hanging out in a couple torn out garages with lots of graffiti.  I'm used to gangs so I'm not bothered but I don't take out my iPhone to take a picture of a car part.  I really wanted to though.  It was awesome.  It was just the hood and front window of of a car with two doors attached sitting upside down in a garden area.  Crazy.

We turn the corner and go into the laundromat.  There are a lot of people out and about and its generally a lovely afternoon in the neighborhood.  Thankfully, all the clothes were able to fit into open machines so we only had to wait an hour and then 20 minutes for drying.



We walked around, sat in a greenspace for a while chatting, and regularly returned to check on the wash.  When it was nearly done, we stayed in the laundromat.  I tried to play a couple iPad games with him but he's not a gamer, not even for battleship, but we played with a couple apps and then he got a phone call.  I decided to Skype my sister.  It was noisy in there so I walked outside where he was.  Some teenagers kept noisily motorcycling around the block so I backed into a corner where the iPad and I were safe and I could see everything.  Then a car wanted to drive through the gate there so I crossed the street and sat on the curb near where the fiancé was on the phone.  But, he didn't see me.  He walked back inside but I was too busy talking to notice.  I NEVER use my iPad out of a building.  EVER.  This was the first time and I'm not sure where my head was.  I've never let my guard down before, but I think being with the fiancé made me feel so safe that for the first time I did relax even though I shouldn't have.

Thankfully, my screen had a reflection and in it I saw two guys approaching behind me on either side.  My hand already was holding the iPad underneath the case but I gripped my iPad with my left hand even harder and moved my right hand above it.  They grabbed the iPad.  For a flash of a moment I thought they might have it.  I thought "no way!  I have no way to replace it and I am not living without my iPad!" So, my reflexes took over and I used my body.

Thankfully I was holding my hand between the iPad and the case - a G-form extreme edge.  My hand wasn't sliding out easily and that gave me the time I needed to fall towards the ground and lay on top of my iPad.  They kept trying to grab the iPad but at this time it was safe so I had a moment to think.  I noticed they weren't going for my purse which was slung over my head and wouldn't move easily either or my pockets where my iPhone was.  They were purely focused on the iPad.  But the G-form case wasn't sliding on the ground and they couldn't get it, so I let go with my left hand and tried to push them away.  Tried to dig my nails in the hand of one of them and that didn't work either.  I remembered that I could scream at this moment but I couldn't think of the fiancé's name.  I breathed, remembered and screamed his name twice.  They ran.  I looked behind me and saw the fiancé just outside the laundromat looking at me in shock and I don't know terror maybe.  I stood up and by this time he was gone.  I knew he was chasing them.


A lady asked me if I was alright and I told her yes.  I walked back into the laundromat and sat down.  Another lady also expressed concern and shock that they hadn't gotten the iPad.  My sister was still on Skype so I told her that they had failed and I'd call her when I got home.  I then put it away.  As I did, the fiancé returned.

He was on high alert.  Pacing and angry at them.  Angry at me for using the iPad outside in a gang area.  Angry that stupid kids don't take advantage of free education and instead of working they steal.  He chased them because he naturally assumed they had the iPad and like the others was shocked that I still had it.  My elbows and knees were scraped up and he was compassionate about that.

Thankfully, unlike the US, here they aren't violent.  Physical crime is highly prosecuted whereas thievery isn't for minors.  The gang members I used to work with in the US gladly would have kicked me and tried to roll me over to take it.  Because it wasn't physical, I didn't even feel assaulted.

Using my weight to fall to the ground and protect the iPad comes naturally to me because I am a well-trained victim.  Parenting RAD means I know exactly how to protect myself whiteout hurting the aggressor.  Having my hand in between the case and the iPad and paying attention to the reflection on the screen come naturally because I am used to being a target.  Yes, I had used my iPad in an unsafe place, but my instincts were well developed thanks to parenting RAD, ODD, etc.

As one my awesome friends said:  I think, "ha. You want to TRY to pull that one on me? I'm not an *ordinary* mommy, honey; I'm a RAD mommy. I have seen it ALL and then topped it with coleslaw. So go ahead. TRY IT. I dare you." 

As such, I feel empowered rather than traumatized by this encounter.  I'm not your standard target.  Their friends will be making fun of them.  "Two of you against that fat old lady, wow, you've real lost it haven't you?"  LOL!

The dryer finished and he put the clothes in the suitcase.  He was still pacing and out of sorts.  The lady kept reassuring him that I was ok.  I started to realize that he was a victim too.  He hadn't chased them as a bystander.  Attacking me was also attacking him.  We were in this together.  Wow!


We left to walk back.  I naturally walked in front of him so that he could protect me as we turned the corner.  As we walked the block towards the gang, I noticed each store open and where other people were all the while confidently walking toward them like I always do.  I walked right through them rather than around and continued on my way.

We had intended to go to the store afterwards but he said he was too worked up so we just hung out at the house.  The couple whose house I live at were there and he was able to tell them all about it.  They asked me how I had kept the iPad and I showed them what I had done.  The fiancé hadn't known and although he didn't say anything he looked impressed.  Then he said that he hadn't heard me yell.  I asked how, because he came outside immediately when I called.  He said he'd just had a "thought" while transferring the clothes to the dryer and he turned around and saw me on the ground and ran.  That was definitely a God thing!  I told him that was incredible - that at the very moment I needed him, he came even if he didn't hear me.

He was still very stressed about the ordeal and I realized I didn't know how to help a victim process an attack.  I could have helped the attackers process it without a problem - them I know.  But, a victim?  I didn't need to process it yet because I was feeling so good about it, but he wasn't.  So, I just told him how thankful I was that he was there, that he was my hero, and that it was helping me knowing that we were in it together.

After relaxing for a couple hours, he asked me how my elbows and knees were and I told him they were just fine, and so was my heart thanks to him.  That the way he was there for me at the time and in the hours since meant that I was feeling great.  In fact, I was thankful for the opportunity to learn that we were in this together.  That is what he needed to hear and he was able to let go.

So, last night I didn't sleep.  Everytime I would use my iPad I would remember everything and I started to feel afraid.  I'm not afraid of some teenagers so then I got angry at them for making me feel that way.
Today when I left to meet him at church, I wasn't thrilled about going to the bus stop myself on a Sunday morning when most people were still in bed.  But, I've travelled as a single lady for many years knowing the risks very well.  I've prevented two other theft attempts on co-travelers.  This isn't anything  new.  I'm always very careful and I know exactly why it happened - I'd let my guard down a block away from a gang I'd already seen.  I wasn't about to start reacting out of fear now, so I left.  While waiting at the bus stop, I thought that one advantage of a Sunday morning is that no teen boy that I've ever known has been up on a Sunday morning.  But, when I got on the bus, I saw two black teen boys.  The only thing I saw was the arms and hands of the thieves, so I only know that they were black.  The previous stop is where the gang was at so if these two weren't the attackers, they very well could be their friends and since I walked through their group twice, they would recognize me.  But, probably its not them. 

For the next 8 minutes that I was on the bus, one of them was looking at me each time I glanced his way.  The other one never noticed me.  When we got off, I found that they weren't together.  This tells me that the guy who kept looking at me recognized me.  I waited until he got off the bus so I would be behind him and I didn't see him again.  Not once did I feel afraid.  The only fear I've experienced was the "what if" fears of the morning before I'd even left.  But, it did make me realize that all of them recognize me and I don't know any of them.  It's why I enjoy parenting RAD.  If I'm a target, I'd much rather know the enemy.  It's the only way to have any influence on their lives while protecting your own.

Thankfully, gang members here aren't the threat they are in the states and don't scare me at all.  But, I am thinking I should start hanging out with them so I can get to know them.



And, I have a new ad for g-form.  Have you seen their ad showing the iPad falling from space?
You must check it out now!

My daughter in a rage threw the iPad last December.  The smart cover came off and her story is that iPad landed on the cover which is what broke the screen.  So, after she finished paying for the replacement iPad, she also had to pay for the G-form extreme edge before being allowed to use it again.


So, I bought the case to protect from falls, but it also is an anti-theft device!  I wouldn't have the iPad now if it weren't for that case.  The way I was holding it gave me the time I needed and no other case could have protected the iPad on the ground with me laying on it, so even if I'd kept hold of it in another case I would have then damaged it.

The extreme edge portfolio came out after I bought the edge and I was sad because the portfolio is exactly what I had been wanting.  But, would I have been holding the iPad under the case if I had the portfolio?  Not sure, but it's on my wish list for future iPads.  The iPad is the perfect electronic for my daughter since it can be locked down so well and yet has so many educational apps.  I would love to be a multi-iPad family since I usually forget to lock down my iPad when I pass it off to her.


So, yes, I am including links and free advertising for g-form because they enabled me to keep my iPad.
Thank you g-form, the fiancé and God.