Sometimes, when the day-to-day routine is just humming along, seemingly on its own, without any extraordinary effort or unusually stringent supervision on my part, I forget to notice and be grateful in-the-moment for such periods of tranquil and unstressed living. Then, the Universe notices that things are perhaps flowing a bit TOO smoothly, and sends a ripple or two, in an attempt to tilt the harmonious scales back to a more neutral crazy/calm ratio. (And probably chuckles with cosmic delight at its own manipulations. Or, in the case of our week at Casa WestEnders, points its finger, sticks out its tongue, and shouts "Nah, nah--take that!" At least that's the tableau my overactive imagination cooks up...)
It all started when Husband--who you'll see is the beleagured recipient of the lion's share of the Bad Luck--engaged in the frequently-necessary, terribly fraught-with-peril chore of...helping the boys search the patch of weeds adjacent to our lawn for their lost baseballs. (The overgrown plot of land is owned by the county and not maintained, thus it resembles a small jungle each Summer...and tends to voraciously gobble up any baseballs/lacrosse balls/footballs lobbed in its general direction.) As happens once or twice a year, Husband came away from this task with a case of poison ivy. (Luckily, he seems to be the only one in our family sensitive to the three-leafed monster, but I swear he gets it just by looking at that blasted plant.) He immediately went into his usual drill, dousing the rash with alcohol to dry it (I know: OW...but he maintains that it's the best treatment) and calamine to tame the itch. Normally this is effective...but this time, the inflammation just continued to worsen, until his entire forearm was swollen...and oozy...and, well, you get the (icky) picture. Long story short: he ended up missing work for 3 days and having to obtain 3 prescriptions from the doctor to knock this sucker out.
On Thursday, when he was finally ready to face the outside world again, he was downstairs preparing breakfast for Riley. Suddenly I heard a loudish noise from the kitchen, followed by Husband calling, "Um, don't come down...just yet!" Turns out that in struggling with the toaster oven--whose hinges on the front door had been acting all uncooperative for about a week--Husband had pulled the handle (as one will tend to do when one wishes a toaster oven to, I don't know, OPEN and allow you to place food inside) and shattered the glass. All over the tile floor. No one was harmed, but the appliance obviously met its unceremonious end...and Riley did not receive his Aunt Jemina toaster pancakes. Meanwhile, remember that weird, fluke infection I suffered in my jaw in June? The one that the doctor was unable to explain or provide any reasonable insight into, other than "well, the antibiotic cleared it up, so that's good!" Later that same day I noticed an unpleasantly familiar swelling sensation...on the other side of my face. Reallllllly? Once is a "health...stuff...happens" kind of occurrence, but twice? That's an alarming trend, if you ask me. (And even if you didn't, since it's my...mysterious....thing we're describing.) Bright side: it appeared much less severe than the first incident. Black cloud: once again the doctor admitted to being stumped and could offer no further information or advice. My gut tells me something else is going on here that needs to be figured out, but apparently it's going to be up to me to do the research and/or act as my own Health Advocate until we get to the bottom of this to my satisfaction.
But, enough about me--finally Friday arrived, and we breathed a collective sigh of relief that we could put this crazy week in our rearview mirror and bid it "so long and good riddance" while waving a not-so-fond goodbye. Husband survived his commute home before the long holiday weekend, so we crossed our fingers that things could be turning around. As I threw dinner together, he took the countertop compost-scraps to be emptied into the larger outside bin. However, when he returned, he looked more considerably more shaken than a casual stroll in the backyard would seem to warrant. Almost as if he couldn't believe what he was saying, he told us that as he'd approached the house with the now-empty metal pail, he'd been swarmed by a mob of angry bees. You have got to be KIDDING me with this! He held out his hand--where thank goodness he'd only been stung one time--as proof of his misadventure. And then we looked at each other, our mouths hanging open in identical expressions of stunned disbelief...and burst into hysterical laughter. I mean, c'mon, the absurdity of the situation was just too much at this point. I couldn't even make this stuff up, I tell ya. (I did have to disagree with him on one minor issue, though: bees don't act that way. After examining the belligerent creatures--from inside the family room, with a nice solid pane of glass between them--and doing some apiary fact-checking on the internet, he concluded that they must be yellow jackets. I felt 100% reconciled to having him blast them to Kingdom Come, as long as they're not endangered honey-makers...)
Now let me take a second to point out with abundant thankfulness that none of these harmful events affected the kids. They skated through this minefield...unpoisoned, uncut by flying shards of glass, uninfected, and unstung. Evidently Husband and I had been the recipients of an unknown amount of extra good karma lately, and the equilibrium had to be restored. Heading into a brand new week, I fervently hope things are evened out now! And I'm perfectly willing to sacrifice some poison ivy...or yellow jackets...if it will help in any way...