Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pink Handout

Some of the recipients saw me singing along with "Gimme Dat" and dancing on the corner as I waved the Free Bibles sign. 

I wore pink today.  Someone sent me a pink safety vest, and I had a hot pink sign.  I took them both. 

I had a case with a little over 60 Bibles.  I had a feeling it would be a *better* day. 

I was right. 

For one, we had a great ride.  The driver was wonderful and enjoyed eating his ice cream as he drove. 

He also took Antoine.  I have been wanting a "new" spot in Acres Homes.  Gulf Bank @ Antoine was suggested, but I saw for myself it was a horrible median.  Victory, or West Tidwell, are much better.  I always hear of people getting shot over by Tidwell. 

When the driver realized my plan, he slowed down so I could investigate each option.  Once I saw Tidwell, though, I was very happy. 

We got out and I got Ron locked and loaded.  I had a little trouble pushing him - I kept bumping into jagged parts of the sidewalk.  The impacts nearly caused Ron to drop the case! 

I saw a lot of people begging in the vicinity.  When they saw us they realized we were competition of some sort, and began glaring. 

Welcome to Fondren. 

I got over to our median, happily empty, and setup.  The drivers began gaping as I donned my pink safety vest and unrolled my hot pink Free Bibles sign. 

I handed out my first Bible within a few minutes.  We worked for over an hour (we arrived early).  I handed out 40, but 50 total (more on that). 

I had a cheerleading section this time.  At one point, an older black lady rolled down her window to gape at me.  I headed over and she waved me off, nicely.  I backed up and headed over to a latino lady who wanted 2.  As I handed them over, the older lady began yelling encouragement.  I thought it was very sweet - she even pumped her fist at me and waved as she drove off! 

She had an interesting story to tell at church! 

I heard a car honking to my left as I worked.  I waved in the general direction and went back to work.   They began honking again, and shouting.  I looked back and 3-4 young asians were hanging out of the car windows, waving and grinning! 

I had a couple other cars, clearly Christians, wave and grin as they saw me. 

This is what they saw:

I had some recipients who were a lot of fun: one Nigerian guy had his window down (poor people never have power windows, or air conditioning, making them easy to serve).  I had just found a FOE/BIC mixtape (Gospel Rap made with artist's permission) CD.  I asked if he liked rap, he said yes.  I asked how many Bibles he'd like, he said one.  I handed the CD over along with the New Testament. 

He took it, but looked at me reluctantly.  "But I don't have any money" he said apologetically. 

"Good!" I replied briskly!  "I wouldn't take it!"  I grinned at him, told him I'd be praying daily, and headed off as he thanked me. 

Another lady really wanted 2 Bibles.  Her car was in such bad condition she had to open her car door to receieve them, but said she didn't have any money.  I told her the same thing as she gaped at me. 

Southwest has a rather aggressive panhandler population.  I have discovered I have to stand back about 10 feet from the curb so the cars feel "safe" approaching. 

Of course I had people who said no.  One said he didn't want a Bible because he wasn't a Christian.  I said he could always read it and make his own decision.  He made a blunt refusal and drove off. 

A panhandler stopped working his corner and came to watch us for a while.  After about 15 minutes, I felt led to go over to him.  "I don't want no Bible" he said. 

As I turned to go back to Ron, I saw a man get out of his car and head over to Ron (whom I'd left alone), attempting to give him money!  I started yelling no repeatedly and got over there. 

I told him "We don't want money, we want to give you this!" as I handed over the last whole Spanish Bible. 

Ron's talking book machine acts as a boom box if you have a flash drive containing music.  I brought my music. 

One of my favorite Bible Handout songs is Gimme Dat by Ambassador.  Ron laughed as I sang and danced the first time. 

About 45 minutes later, I'm tired.  I'm hot.  My brains are cooked.  Everyone's waving me off like a gnat.  He cued it up again and all the people who'd just said no got treated to a little show!

I think people are getting used to me now.  Instead of gaping in alarm, they're chuckling at me and grinning at the crazy Bible lady. 

Good.  Like I told Ron, nearly everyone who laughs at me will also take a Bible! 

I was about run out.  I decided to hand out two more Bibles and then wrap it up. 

I handed out one. 

Then a guy from church came running up.  He saw me as he rode past on the bus.  He got off and came over, wanting to help. 

"I'll set you up!" I told him.  I gave him a plastic bag with a sack of Bibles, Ron's sign, and my extra "Garment of praise"  (safety vest) 

To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
He ran off to another corner.  I restocked my own Bibles and watched him work for a minute.  "He's a natural" I told Ron. 
I started getting dizzy - almost out of Bibles, I decided to wrap it up.  In the meantime, our church friend had distributed 10 Bibles of his own.   That's what I meant 40 + 10. 
"I had a lot of fun" he told me.  "I'd love to do it again".  I could tell he meant it. 
I went to the gas station and got a couple of large Diet sodas (I had drunk a quart of powerade on the way to the handout spot).  As I pushed Ron back to the church, someone honked and pulled in.  I got out a Bible, figuring someone had doubled back for a Bible after all. 
Nope, it was my aunt and uncle.  She took the photo.  We talked for a while, figured the wheelchair would fit in their trunk, and agreed to meet for lunch after church. 
We had fun. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

Your tongue

The #19 party machine has started up again. 

I asked Ron to call the police.  He was on the phone, chattering. 

I would have hung up, called the police, and then called my friend back.  Once the people get started it is impossible to think, and very loud. 

The music has the loud Mexican "polka" beat. 

Ron, after he hung up, said "Oh, I thought it was your music".  Did you LISTEN?  Have I ever listened to that stuff?  Do I ever play my music that loud? 

He's been drinking.  Ron drinks every day "After 12".  He has varying degrees of sobriety from that point onward. 

If he calls the police he always thinks it's "cute" to say "Come out and make him stop or I'll have to kill him".  Or "I'm going to commit a crime if you don't...." 

I don't think it's ever a good idea to make threats, to the police, on the record.  You know?  Just not bright. 

But when he's drinking he thinks it's "Cute" and funny.  "I'm blind and in a wheelchair.  I can't do anything and I'm just letting off steam." 

[facepalm]  Anyway, I asked him to call the police, a couple times, because I had already taken my meds and I don't do well with interacting over the phone with the police.  I end up having them repeat things - because I hear them, I just don't get what they're saying. It's frustrating for me and them. 

It's especially bad for me if I have any kind of background noise.  I even turned off the TV.  Ron comes rolling up about halfway through the call and starts making comments.   I asked him, with progressive levels of frustration, to please be quiet. 

He gets very upset if I talk in the background when he's on the phone.  I reminded him of that when I finally hung up. 

Then he lit into me.  I was so rude.  I was mean.  God was going to get me for my terrible behavior. 

Why?  Because I asked you to help, you told me to stick it, and I did it myself?  Then you came out and pestered me and I asked you to stop? 

Who's the bad guy? 

He was really surprised I had called the police myself.  I told them I was disabled to cover any "stupid".  I was clearly very weary and told them I just wanted to sleep.   Which I do. 

This has NOT been our week for neighbor relations.  #7 with their wild party ending up in the freaked out drunken teen banging on our door in the middle of the night (Sunday night).  #2 cutting down a perfectly innocent tree at the behest of his landlady, then leaving the pile of clippings in front of my house (Tuesday).   Last night #6 had a wading pool party with lots of happy shrieking (that one I didn't mind because they're bonding).  Tonight, it's the #19 party machine. 


Is it a full moon? 

Ron, when he's being ugly, likes to attack my faith.  To tell me I am so awful, a terrible Christians, such a sinner, hypocrite, etc. 

Tonight he kept raving about the pastor's sermon about "the poison tongue" - all this because I asked him to please be quiet while I was on the phone.  I understand the head injury makes him regress, but sometimes I swear he's like a 3 year old. 

The pastor was referring to verbally abusive behavior, and to gossip. 

Anyway, he was verbally abusing me as he talked about "my" verbal abuse of him.  He's calling me a hypocrite and the music's banging and I almost started laughing. 

My life.  [shaking my head] 

Climbing out of the hole

[Gibbering]  It's been a rough couple days. 

Battling depression, for one. 

Two days ago, not a bad start: I got to sleep in and watch a couple episodes of Supernatural, after my shower and God Time. 

Then it all went to hell. 

Guy-with-a-truck-take-one.  NO COKES.  A vending business.  In Texas.  In the Summer.  And they don't have a single can of Coke on the premesis? 

I did buy snack items, and the OTHER drinks we needed.  I had already cleared off shelving (I have 2 shelving racks in my corner of the stockroom), so I'd have an easier time putting the drinks away.  We ended up buying about 15 cases of drinks, in addition to my snacks. 

We went in and worked third shift, putting things away.  Not a bad day overall.  Except for no Cokes. 

I like working third shift.  Ron and I agree we'll do it more often.  It's the afternoon/evening shift. 

I didn't sleep well.  I forget why. 

Woke up yesterday, a different guy-with-a-truck.  Got the Cokes.  The nice warehouse employee came over on his own and helped.  I tipped him. 

Got to work, unloaded everything myself (the driver had recent surgery and cannot do lifting, besides, it's my problem.  He drives).   Whoo.  My whole back half was feeling pretty worked today. 

LOTS of complaints.  Where have we been?  I made a joke about cheating with the third shift.  Bugs in the coffee machine.  Gnats. 

Time to blow the lid off: it's a very common problem.  Bugs in the coffee vending machine. It's very warm.  It has sugar and powders.  It has used coffee grounds.  It has moisture.  It's a bug's dream.  My repairman told me this.  "I've never seen a coffee machine without a bug problem". 

I had employees AND management very unhappy.  I explained we would fix it, and we did.  I put up some flypaper and a glue trap on the floor.  For obvious reasons, we cannot use poisons.  Ron did a deep clean on the machine itself, and I took out the used coffee grounds, the source of the "problem".  

I explained all this to the employees, management, and union rep who had gotten in on the problem.  Yike. 

Then I had various other complaints: one snack machine doesn't have all it's labels.  I explained they don't make the labels anymore.  She told me I "had" to put labels in there. 

She is in management, and it was her second complaint on the subject.  Not being stupid, I bought some stick on labels and "fixed" it.  Even though, when I told her I'd make labels, she said "Don't do that". 

If you want the labels, I have to make them.  It wasn't that hard.  The machine looks very happy now.  Especially stocked. 

Oh, yeah, TONS of stocking.  Of everything, except the coffee machine. 

For some reason, no one wanted coffee (laughing hysterically). 

I just had a lot of small, nibbling issues.  When I left I felt beat up, worn out, and very tired. 

We went to Walmart and I got my label supplies (I fixed the label issue today). 

I had a very hard time falling asleep last night.  Problems and worries kept running through my head.  I was exhausted and my illness amplifies when I'm sleep deprived. 

I had a rough night. 

I got up and did my God Time as best I could.  Shower and all that. 

I asked for some prayer support.  I figured I could use it.  One of my sponsors told me he's sending me a case of Bibles.  Someone else told me they are giving me something for "the work" but I can't reveal his name.  Or her name.  It could be a woman. 


Things were a lot better today. 

One of my customers told me "I can always count on you" (for a good meal/snack).  I was very touched.  I got everything stocked. 

People like my Fiber One Protein bars so much I need to buy more.  I'm very attentive when my customers are purchasing so I can fix problems, and I caught one as it happened. 

The other vendor and Ron had a great time hanging out in the stockroom.  Good.  Ron and I got everything done.  The guy from Dr Pepper came out and wrote up our old vending machine, aka "The Choker" - we may get another shiny new one like we did the old one. 

So, customers were happy.  Machines full.  Things good with the other vendors. 

Best of all, no trips after work - just going home.  We did that. 

I took a nice nap and feel a lot better, and finally have time to blog. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Hater's Puppet

Haters want to start race wars. 

I'm not playing. 

A good example, I was "aggravated" by two different latino neighbors this week.  Do I hate latinos?  No.  I think the particular individuals were immature.  That's a big difference from hating all of them. 

You know what?  I totally understand why they risk everything to get here. 

This is what they can expect in Mexico, and how many make a living.  Garbage picking. 
If they're lucky, they might live here,
These are HOMES, with several per household:
NO utilities, running water, ameneties.  They throw their slop buckets full of human waste down the hill.  The slums reek of rotting sewage. 

I've been there, on mission trips.  Horrific. 

Contrast that home above to this "Section 8 Housing" project in America.  This is considered a "bad" one.  The caption on this photo refers to this as "one" of the playgrounds in the complex.  Notice the satellite TV dish? 

Where would you want your child to live? 

I get the completely human desire to give one's children a better life.  I don't hate them. 

Jesus told me to love everyone, so I will.  However, I understand as well as obeying God. 

We need to shut the border people say.  Keep those people out of our country! 

Well, guess what, buddy.  You're going to need a time machine.  The tide has turned.  If you want to do that go back about 70 years and you ought to fix it.  It's too late now. 

America has prospered from all the "illegal" activity.  I know for a fact virtually everyone in my family has hired an undocumented worker at one point or another. 

Regarding that, the Bible says treat your employees fairly, give them their wages, don't cheat them.  I try to hire citizens when possible. 

Latinos also have amazing compassion and empathy for Ron.  Ron is often embarrassed by their outpourings of kindness and occasional monetary offerings (which he always declines).   My next door neighbor is an amazing father to his 5 children.  He spends quality time with them even when exhausted after a hard day's work.  He values his wife, he works 12 hour days, often 6 days a week, to provide for his family. 

We will have conflict everytime you get different cultures mixing.  It's inevitable. 

I don't understand the all night-loud-music "birthday parties".  I'm sure they are horrified by my lax yard care.  But we're here now and we're learning to live together. 

When I read articles "Illegal child infects classroom" I know it's just the haters trying to create a race war, just like they did with the Trayvon shooting last year.  Black vs White didn't work to well, so it's Everyone vs. Latino right now. 


I will not be a hater's puppet. 

I have my own mind. 

Mount Brushmore

I slept pretty well.  I heard someone playing music, but it was down pretty low and I slept so I don't mind. 

I waited until an appropriate moment and talked to Ron about the mountain of tree trimmings in front of our house.  We have a pile, about 4 feet high, 3 feet deep, and 20 feet long. 

Ron decided to call the landlady.  "Oh, I told him to trim the tree" she replied blithely "Heavy trash will take them tomorrow."  Ron suggested she come by and look, because this is even worse than last month's pile, which we were quoted $50 on removal. 

"I'm not paying" Ron told her grimly "For this one."

She mentioned, again (said this last year too) they are trying to "get rid of" the tenants.  They came in fall, 2010.  She's had them for 4 years.  She must not hate them that much. 

We emphasized, overall, he's not a bad guy.  This is our only complaint.  Had I been on the phone I would have played up the "wheelchair user needs to get on the van" angle, but Ron chose not to do that. 

Ron had mentioned someone had pressure-washed the house, which is 20 years old this year.  "Oh, we did that - hired someone, because we're about to paint."  The house is in clear need of a paint job. 

Ron was worried they are getting ready to rent it, or sell it.  I don't think so.  She told me once the house was their fallback plan if "things got really bad, financially". 

I know the black middle class has suffered horribly the last several years.  If anything they would be coming back. 

The house is bad-enough looking they probably got fix-it letters from the homeowner's association.  We got one because they didn't like our trim, several years ago.  We had to hire someone to paint. 

Anyway, lots of drama too early in the morning. 

I was proud of myself for waiting to talk to Ron about the problem.  One of my favorite secular self-help books: "Contact, the First 4 Minutes".  It basically stated the first 4 minutes set the tone for the whole encounter. 

If I go straight into complaints the minute Ron wakes up, he's going to wish he hadn't.  If I make loving chatter for 5-10 minutes, first, he won't feel "dumped on". 

It seems to work very well. 

I checked the mail.  I got a very nice letter I won't share.  Suffice to say it was fan mail.  I don't need to inflate my ego, so I won't.  I'm glad I make people feel better (hopefully you, too!). 

I also got a package from an internet friend, about 200 tracts.  Yay!  Tracts!  They are very nice full color tracts, which I'll definitely use packing my Bibles.  I can also give some to Ron if he wants, but he's pretty loyal to "Where will you Spend Eternity" Link

We went to Walmart.  Ron was upset his sure-thing "one hour at Walmart" had been hacked to half an hour, but our pickup was late so I got my hour anyway. 

I made a deposit, I need to buy some things online: vending machine labels, if I don't make my own; and maybe another deodorant crystal stone. 

I hunted up Spanish Bibles.  I am a stalker.  I found 5 and put them all in my cart.  If I buy a whole Spanish Bible online, it costs me $3-4 plus shipping.  If I get it at Walmart it's $1.88 and I don't even pay sales tax. 

I got some more yogurt, etc.  Cat treats.  Spent some time among the air fresheners.  I think my house has a wierd smell.  I ended up getting a Febreeze "Fall Favorite" even though it's July.  It's a Sandalwood/Chai, shouldn't affect Ron, and makes the house smell OK. 

I bought some cheese dogs and whole grain buns, a little ice cream for me, some for the drivers, and checked out.  I was pretty hungry so I bought a breakfast sandwich. 

Ron wanted a hash brown so I got one. 

We had a good ride home but the drivers are having some difficulty navigating Mount Brushmore in front of our house.  Ugh. 

So, I need to do my God Time (woke up with a pretty nasty headache and didn't feel up to it either this morning or just now), eat my rice pudding, take my meds. 

I'm not sure if our truck day is on for tomorrow.  I heard Ron talking to the man and it sounded like a cancellation.  I have yet to find my back brace, which has me a little uncomfortable. 

However, I've done lots of heavy lifting for years without a problem. 

Monday, July 21, 2014

Someone's at the door

I've had worse days, I remind myself. 

However, the last 36 hours have been pretty awful. 

Ron, tired of arriving "early" at church, decided to "fix the pickup", without telling me.  That resulted in a very late pickup and a tentative drop off half an hour after church start.  Ron was very upset and agitated. 

I had to deal with that on top of my own disappointment.  I don't think I ask for much, and didn't think it was that big a deal, arriving half an hour early.  I like to "visit". 

Ron made some phone calls and got very upset at the driver.  We ended up getting there 10 minutes before service.  He apologized but the driver wasn't happy.  And that, my friends, is why "church ladies" have such an awful reputation on the service. 

On the way home from church, the driver's computer broke.  The computer has a list of trips and information about each.  It also has GPS for each trip.  He has to "arrive" and "perform" trips as he arrives and loads the passengers.  He had to use the radio for all that, plus getting directions.  It took forever. 

Our ride home was estimated to take an hour.  It took two.  Some of the other clients were getting fussy because they had been riding half an hour.  I wanted to yell at them "I've been riding two!"  I didn't. 

The driver took the wrong turn and went hours out of the way.  I begged God to put His love in my heart because I really needed it.  I did what I could to be kind to him.  At this point, I had been riding for about 3 hours total. 

We had a turnaround trip at home, we were going to work.  I barely had time to change my shoes. 

We went to work and stocked what we could, then came home.  I rode a total of 4 hours. 

I noticed #7's oldest, across the street, was having a party.  He likes to have friends over to play pool in the garage - he's the adult son of the homeowners.  The current companion had a black sedan with the doors open and loud music.  The young man lives with his parents, teenage sister, and little sister (maybe 7 years old).   It was getting late and we needed to sleep, and that bass was traveling straight to my bedroom.  Ron called in a complaint to the police, and the homeowner's association. 

I figured maybe the parents were out of town and he was "off the chain".  He had made some noise on Saturday night, too. 

I just assume parents will tell their kid "Turn it off, we don't live in the ghetto". 

I heard the little girl running around and shrieking.  Apparently the parents were home, condoning this party, which had the appearance of a classical Mexican birthday party - loud music, lots of alcohol, loud until the early hours. 

If you asked my neighbors, none of them could tell you the month of my birthday, much less the date.  I'd certainly never keep them up all night, "celebrating".  I can't imagine anything more selfish but it's pretty prevalent in the culture.  I believe #2 is preparing for his annual blowout. 

He's currently piling some kind of brush clippings in front of my house in the street.  I guess I'm supposed to pay someone to haul them off, again, but I won't.  If I have to I will call the landlady and have her deal with him. 

He only cares about his landscaping when it's his birthday - I guess because his "friends" give him a hard time.  He'll spend weeks preparing for the party (he has this year).  The rest of the year you'll find 3-4 foot high grass everywhere. 

Back to #7.  I couldn't sleep for the music so I read Son of Hamas for a while.  Boy, he had an interesting life.  I read several chapters.  It seemed to be pretty quiet, so I went to bed.   I had to get up at 4.  It was already after 10. 

Something woke me up around 11:30.  I got up to wander up front and look out my peep hole. 

Suddenly I heard loud banging on my door and someone ringing the doorbell.  My immediate reflex: don't open the door. 

In some bad areas, thugs will target seniors and disabled by banging on their doors in the middle of the night, hoping the befuddled victim will open the door and allow entry for a home invasion burglary.  If the victim is lucky, that's all that occurs. 

I was not going to open that door.  Ron woke up and got in his wheelchair.  "Who's that?  I'm going to find out!" 

I told him no, if he wanted action please call 911.  He turned on his cell phone. 

We figured it was drunk kids from the party. 

I went up front, lights off, and looked out my spy hole in the blinds.  I saw a young man, the owner of the black (loud music) car, laughing hysterically in the driveway. 

Aha, I thought.  I was right.  That's a pretty nasty trick.  He got in the vehicle and drove away. 

The doorbell rang again, relentlessly, banging on the door, and I could hear a teenage girl screaming.  I told Ron to call 911. 

Let's take a moment.  You know Ron is disabled.  You have seen him, just as we've seen you.  You see he's in a wheelchair.  What in God's name do you think a blind man in a wheelchair can do for you? 

I made some jokes today about Ron using his "ninja powers" as people snorted. 

If you wonder what God would have me do, everything in my soul was saying "Leave it alone" and "No". 

I looked out the front window again.  The girl was on her cell phone, talking agitatedly.  Later, I saw her lying on the ground and rolling around in the driveway, which I thought very odd behavior. 

#6 occasionally runs errands at night - maybe to the pharmacy.  They leave the house for about 10 minutes and come right back.  As they came back, the girl jumped in front of their car screaming. 

It sounded like "He shot my Dad".  Turns out she was saying "He has a bat". 

Remember, the guy left a good 5 minutes earlier. 

The police came.  The party broke up eventually.  After about an hour and a half, it seemed quiet enough to go to sleep. 

Ron wanted to know what had happened.  He called the police.  Apparently, the driver of the black car, very drunk - got a baseball bat and was menacing people at the party.  After terrorizing them, he went out in the driveway, laughing hysterically, as I saw.  Then he left. 

Presumably #7's family know his identity and intend to press charges. 

I was pretty furious.  You buy a house in a decent neighborhood and then you want to bring in your willfully ignorant, criminal, thug friends.  Not only that you want to disturb hardworking people who are just trying to live their lives. 

Hopefully #7 has learned some lessons about the company the oldest is keeping.  Hopefully they have learned lessons about serving alcohol at parties. 

I say it constantly: I've never seen a person bettered by the use of alcohol.  It just brings out their worst.

I minister to ignorant people.  I don't have a problem with that.  I do have a problem with clearly affluent, educated adults, choosing to thug-identify and bring would-be criminals into my life.  And Ron's. 

If you want thugs, Houston offers plenty of neighborhoods.  But no, you only want to be a bad boy at your convenience. 

I barely got 3 hours sleep, and had to go to work. 

I was dying to go bang on their door at 4 AM, and wake them up.  I did my God Time instead. 

"God" I told Him.  "I don't have it today.  I don't have any love in my heart.  I am bitter and resentful.  I am angry.  I am frustrated I have to deal with losers.  I have to go to work.  I don't have it today.  I know You say in the Bible You won't hear me if I have bitterness and anger - but please hear me anyway and take it away." 

I felt better enough after that to do most of the prayer and Bible study portion of my program. 

For instance, I am seriously excited.  Voice of the Martyrs offers an opportunity to become a prayer partner for a "front lines worker" in high-persecution areas.  I signed up. 

I got a guy in Columbia.  Now, VOM was very clear: they don't want me to "out" him.  I won't.  He's a nice Latino man with a family.  I will be praying for all of them.  I put him in the front of my God Time notebook along with some other missionaries. 

I'd already taken my shower.  Thank God I didn't need to shave my legs. 

I got dressed and went to work. 

The other vendor wanted a meeting - yike. 

No, it was OK.  He wanted to talk abour raising prices.  Our guy from the state was demanding it, but the other guy had been balking.  "Talk to him direct" I told our boss "He won't receive it from us". 

So, prices are going up a nickel, pretty much across the board.  It's the first time in several years.  I'll have to look it up but I think it was 2008-9. 

I'm sure the population will scream. 

I helped Ron with his end of things, stocked what I had in snacks, did my inventory, and left to go to the warehouse.  Our guy-with-a-truck has been meeting us at the warehouse, and giving us a ride back to work.  Ron assumed that would happen, without asking "Joe". 

He called Joe, after the deadline to make trips, and found out, to his horror, Joe was taking overtime today and wouldn't be able to help.  We didn't have a ride to work. 

Paratransit was able to do it but it meant waiting at the warehouse for over 2 hours.  Ron doesn't like the crowds so we waited outside. 

I finished Son of Hamas.  Good book. 

I listened to my music.  I sat in my folding chair and watched over a dozen people, literally look down on us as they entered the store. 

That made me feel special. 

I was so exhausted - and fatigue is really bad for me.  All my Bad Thoughts get amplified.  The driver to take us to work wasn't very nice and broke my folding chair.  I was just so weary. 

We got to work.  I had to tag and stock about 100 pastries. I did that.  I stocked my candy and helped Ron with the food machine (adding bottled drinks).  I didn't get a chance to do the cup-a-noodles but they'll live. 

I took the gummy candy out of (snack machines) 1 &2, and put them in #3.  They weren't vending properly and I don't want anyone ripped off.  I am passionate about having happy customers.  #3 is good for vending wierd snack items. 

Everyone was complaining about the coffee machine. 

"I just don't have it" I told Ron. 

When everyone left, I opened the machine and did an inspection.  It had plenty of coffee beans, and ground coffee.  "Weak" it may be, but it's not my fault. 

I think people get accustomed to the rocket fuel served at gas stations, and expect it from our machine.  It can't do that.  Anyway, I'm not going to accept the stress for that right now. 

When we go back to work, we can do some test-vends and see for ourselves. 

Finally, time to go.  I was so happy to see the vehicle already pulling into the driveway.  We boarded and came home. 

I got an hour nap but woke up hallucinating, I think.  [sigh]  Now I need to figure out dinner and take my meds. 

I wryly noted #7 has apparently fled the scene.  Normally they have at least one car in front of the house.  Not today.  I think they are hiding. 

I believe #6 is going to go to talk to them.  The girl undoubtably scared the crap out of his children, screaming and banging on his door.  Then she jumps in front of his car, screaming hysterically about a guy who fled 10 minutes before. 

#6 and #7 are both Mexican, so he'll have more impact than Ron or I, for instance.  I would love to go over there with Ron in the wheelchair and yell at them about bothering cripples. 

However, God wants me to pray instead, so I will. 

I just wish my life had less drama.  I do everything I can to minimize drama in my life.  I got rid of quarrelsome internet folk, don't interact with the neighbors, follow the Bible, take my meds, avoid bad drugs and alcohol. 

I just want, to paraphrase the Bible: work hard with my own hands, mind my own business. 

I just wish other people's drama could stay off my property. 

Friday, July 18, 2014

I never abused anything

I think I'd have an easier time writing this post about my sex life. 

I have always, always, sought my Dad's approval, and to a lesser extent, that of my adoptive Mom/Stepmother.  If you know about my upbringing you may find that pathetic, or infuriating. 

I do. 

Dad's always had the "conventional" view of success: good grades, good college, good job, good spouse, good family. 

I'm a high-school dropout, a couple years of part time community college, no degree or certificate.  I'm self employed and making a very modest income.  I can't even drive.  I'm dependent on public transit.  I have post-traumatic stress, brain damage, and a couple different flavors of "crazy". 

In some ways, I did make the grade.  I bought a nice little house without asking him for money.  We've kept it for over 10 years during a horrific recession.  We have our own business.  I do evangelism.  I take my medication as directed, "very stable" per my doctor, and live a sober lifestyle.  In fact, I never abused anything other than caffeine.  I'm a "good wife" and caregiver to my very disabled husband. 

The above are "pleasing" to the "parental units".  As each event occured, they let me know they were proud of me. 

But, like a lot of kids, I want them to be thrilled with me, all of the time. 

I think it bothers them, on a basic level, that I never had a child.  Dad doesn't have any blood related grandkids.  He has 4 "steps". 

Anyone knows I could not mother.  Any child I had would have ended up in foster care, assuming they lived that long (I am a carrier for Bubble Boy syndrome and some nasty variants).   On a logical level they know I made the right decision, marrying a "fixed" man, but... 

Dad recently told me "I always wanted you to be an engineer" (had things been different I would have gone into the medical profession) "But an evangelist is a much higher calling." 

So, I thought I'd tell him all about the evangelism.  He was polite today but he said something that really cut me. 

"I know it's important for you to get positive feedback on these things". 


After I hung up, I took it to God.  I know I want their approval, and feel like I never really got it. 

"You were my daughter long before you were his" God told me.  "I created you, this way, for this purpose." 

Wow.  Good point. 

So, now, do I shut up about my work altogether?   I think I'll just wait for them to ask. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The person I needed

A cab driver was badly hurt this week, and lost one or both of his legs. 

I empathized, and sent a care package with some comforting items to him, care of the cab company. 

I don't think it's a big deal.  I always vowed I would be the person I needed when my life went to hell, the shoulder to cry on, the comforting hug, etc. 

When I know someone's hurting, I'll do what I can to help.  Especially if the Holy Spirit is working. 

Now, I knew it might be a little baffling to the cab company, so I put my phone number on the return address label, in case they had a question.  However, I had gotten someone to agree to pass it along. 

I wasn't surprised when my phone rang this evening.  I was surprised to hear the Operations Manager of the company on the line. 

More to to find out that he and "the entire staff down here" were "very touched to get your package today".  He mentioned he thought he found me on Facebook.  I mentioned the Free Bibles sign and he said "I figured that was you." 

He said a lot of nice things, which I won't repeat, because I'm just doing my job.  Sharing God's comfort in a dark and ugly world. 

"You're the only person I know who would do this" he said "Besides my sister". 

I paraphrased this:
2 Corinthians 1:3-5
New King James Version (NKJV)

Comfort in Suffering

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

After thanking me again, we hung up. 

I really don't think I did anything remarkable.  But God is using it for amazing good already.  Well, then, He gets the credit.