I am recovering from the most awful poison oak that I have ever had in my entire life. And I still don’t know exactly how I got it. Either the dog, chickens or the children. Everybody who has seen this rash has instructed me to stay out of the poison oak. I know this. I have never once been in the poison oak. Yet, since we have moved to this house I have had it non stop. Usually just little spots here and there. I think mostly from doing laundry. The children are all extremely careful not to let it touch their skin. They wear long jeans and boots. But then those jeans get tossed in the laundry and I grab them not having a clue they are loaded with the oils from the plant, and a few days later I’m itching.
But this time has been horrid. I have a couple of patches that are the size of my hand and are so painful, itchy, and burning that I have thought I might loose my mind. I have smothered it with poison oak itch relief lotions. But there was not much relief. I had to wrap it in gauze because it was weeping so badly that it was soaking my shirt. Very gross. My whole body would involuntarily twitch from all the different sensations running through it. Then it seemed to be starting to get infected. That was when I talked to my doctor. Who quickly called in a prescription of Prednisone. With in 24 hours, the itching had almost stopped and it was already beginning to heal. Now it is looking much better. I’m hoping it doesn’t leave a big awful scar.
We set out Sunday afternoon to find a Christmas tree. The first farm we went to (which the children had seen last year and chosen for the place this year) was not opened yet for the season. So we headed down the road a way and found another one that was ready to sell Christmas trees to eager little children. And adults too I guess. We stomped around in our rain boots looking for the perfect tree. We have always had the challenge of trying to get the right size tree for the little corner it will stand in. They always look so small until we get them home and then it’s like they grew in the truck on the way home and now overpower the space intended. But this year, the challenge was finding a big enough tree. Since we don;t have nearly enough furniture in this house to fill it up, the space for a tree is as big as I want it. But this farm didn’t have very big trees. So we tried to find the biggest one, about 8 feet, and then the boys cut it down. Part of the fun for them is carrying that saw around thinking about falling the chosen tree.
Discussing the best way to fall the tree…
With the tree in the truck, we headed home for about an hour, which was just enough time to get the tree in the stand and standing straight and tall. Then we were off to the church to play the parts of the Nativity for a Living Nativity and Christmas tree lighting. We were asked to do it because of Julia. They needed a baby Jesus. And, well the rest of us could pretty much fill up the whole stable as angels and shepherds and a drummer boy. The children were thrilled to hear me say “Yes” that we would do it. They have spent the last few weeks discussing which part they would dress up as. The older boys immediately chose to be shepherds because there would be live animals. And Gabe wanted to play the drum, so that was easy. And the girls chose angels. And that left Eric and I as Mary and Joseph. The children were supplied with unlimited cookies and hot chocolate by the older ladies of the church. They didn’t want them getting cold outside. And Julia did amazing. We wrapped her up in swaddling clothes and laid her in a real manger on top of a bed of hay. She lay there and grasped at the hay. She would try to eat it every once in a while. I would hear people say “Oh my goodness, look at that, they have a real baby Jesus in there!”
I often wonder what Mary thought that night. Giving birth in a barn. I don’t think that was part of her “Birth Plan”. Had she brought along special little baby things for baby Jesus? Did she cry because they were surrounded by animals? That her Mom and midwife didn’t make it? All alone with Joseph, who had probly never even witnessed a child being born before. Had never even seen Mary undressed. I am so amazed with Mary. Her willingness to serve God. To help him carry out a plan that would save this whole world. So unselfishly.
I spent most of the day today driving around trying to find a hose to replace a broken one in our septic tank. Eric thinks we have about a day or two before it starts backing up into our house. Which made me very motivated to be successful today. After eight stores, 100 miles and 5 hours, a part has been ordered. Tomorrow I will find out if it was the right part when I pick it up. Oh, how I hope it is!