Saturday, April 19, 2014

I ought to be

I found it very sad. 

Today we got up.  I did my shower and went to the warehouse with Ron.  I needed things like trail mix and moon pies.  We got those, and I also got the Devil's Food Zingers. 

Dolly Madison pastries laid us off - fired us as a customer, because our orders were "too small".  Last I heard $200 a month is still $200 a month.  It sent us in other directions for pastry product.   A couple months later they filed bankruptcy. 

Basically everyone in Texas does a honeybun, cinnamon roll, and cheese danish.  It's just a matter of picking a quality product with a good food cost.  I also started stocking the Bimbo Conchas, which are very popular.  They're a less-sweet Mexican pastry.  I have a lot of Latinos. 

In fact, when my repairman came out I offered him anything from any machine.  He wanted a Concha.  Good stuff! 

However, we haven't featured the Zingers in a couple years now.  I hope my customers will be happy to see them.  It's the same product, with the nice stripe of icing, dark chocolate cake, and creamy filling.  Oh, I used to love those things.  Praise God they give me migraines now. 

On our way to work we had to ride with a narcissist client.  She kept primping in the mirror, applying strongly scented lotion, and engaging in loud speakerphone conversation.  I find that very annoying.  It's bad enough to hear one side, both sides is worse.  And it's always so dull. 

Ron and I were literally choking on perfume fumes.  I don't know if she had lotion and perfume, or just lotion, but it was toxic.  When I got out I reeked like a cheap hooker. 

I can only figure she was sitting in the backseat and applied lotion, which rubbed off on the seatbelt.  When she got a chance, she moved up front to the "good seat".   When I fastened the seatbelt the fragrance rubbed off on my shirt and hoodie.  It was so bad I seriously considered stripping down to my bra. 

At work. 

When they finish the stockroom, I plan to bring an extra-t-shirt and some large ziptop bags.  I'm sure this will happen again - it's happened twice this year. 

Ron and I plan to call "the boss" and ask him to add a message to the hold que, basically saying "Please do not apply perfume, scented products, or lotion in the vehicle.  It may make other customers ill."  They have other messages already - no ticket, no ride.  If you're not out there in 5 minutes you lose your ride... "don't be a skunk" would fit right in. 

It was just a very selfish act.  She was so focused on her external presentation, but every other word out of her mouth was "I" and "Me".  Not pretty. 

As you can see, I can't abide drama-queen narcissists.  God will work with me on that. 

The way I see it, if I'm clean and appropriate I'm ready to go.  Ponytailed hair, t-shirt, capris, slip on steel toed loafers.  My summer getup.  I might add a hoodie on a cooler day.  I'm ready to go. 

I don't get people who spent hours in preparation, spending a lot of money on cosmetics, skin, and haircare - then they go out and scowl at everyone.  I think someone with a loving spirit is far more attractive. 

Anyway, we got to work.  They still don't have a lock for our stockroom door.  I wonder if we will ever get one.  I'm waiting on certain purchases "Until we get a lock" - like a very large box of Jalapeno chips.  Clearly I don't want to leave it in an open stockroom, especially since it is a very popular selection.  I'd also like to get more bottled soda instead of running to the store every few days. 

They were painting the door, though.  It's a process. 

I stocked what I had.  As I stocked, two "casuals" approached the machines and bought merchandise.  I thanked them both.  They were shocked. 

A casual is a temporary, part-time worker.  They make $9 an hour. 

One, the man, actually asked me why I thanked him.  "My husband and I are both disabled" I told him.  "Without you I'm unemployed."  He nodded and walked off with his snack. 

Why is it so unusual for a vendor to thank a customer?   I'm making a living off the purchases.  I OUGHT to be full of gratitude! 

Friday, April 18, 2014

Black tomatoes

We had a pretty busy day today. 

We got up early and went to Academy.  Now, if I were at my ideal weight, with $1000 gift card, I could do some serious damage.  I love their clothing.  I caught myself slowing as I passed all the pretty colors. 

I kept going, I doubt they have 2XL anyway. 

I only had enough for a pair of slip ons, anyway.  I got these 2 years ago.  They're still in good shape. 

Mesa slip on steel toe

Great shoes.  At first I worried they wouldn't "work" with my usual outfits, but I've even worn them to church.  They're great.  They have lost a little support, though, so I got the new ones.  The old ones are good enough to donate, which I plan to do. 

I'd like to waterproof them, though.  That's about all I need to do.  I don't want to have a million old pairs of shoes.  That's hoardy.  I try to avoid obvious hoarderisms. 

I have two cats, for example.  Both fixed.  I try to rehome things I don't need.  If I can't, I throw them out.  I'd rather throw out something that "might have had some value" than have a big pile of crap in my house. 

As it is, I have to fix things up as much as possible before the big parental visit in about a week.  Happily, they do understand we've been working double overtime. 

After Academy, we went to the bank.  We were done in 20 minutes.  However, Ron "fixed" the trip, which meant we ended up waiting 2 hours instead of one.  It had a happy ending, we did get to Walmart. 

Dude, I am staying home this weekend.  No retail at all.  Walmart was pretty insane.  I got some stuff for work.  It came to $6.66.  Pretty funny. 

Ron wanted grape tomatoes.  I also got him some black cherry tomatoes, which he really likes.  I gres some several years ago and he adored them.  I think he'll eat these before tomorrow.  He kept saying no but when I gave them to him he ate half the carton, making obscene yum yum noises.  What else? 

A big bottle of Suave Moroccan Infusions shampoo.  I seldom buy the same shampoo twice but I'm impressed.  Food items.  Some protein energy bars, no almond or peanuts (hard to find!), for breakfast.  I also got some Nature Valley Breakfast biscuits. 

As a side note, my Belvita are finally starting to pick up sales, at work. 

I got Ron his tomatoes, drink mix for me, and a couple of lemons for my next henna treatment.  That pretty much killed the budget. 

We had a pretty short wait to come home.  I kicked myself, I'd forgotten to bring my oversized tote bags.  I had to schlep all the bags myself.  It's a lot easier to deal with one large tote. 

I sorted out the work stuff and put it by the door.  They like what I'm doing and I can get a lot of the stuff at Walmart.  Yes, we pay double sales tax, but these are not big dollar purchases.  I'm not worried. 

Neither is Ron.  He's full of praise for my ideas. 

It's nice to be appreciated. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Toilet!

Ron had great trepidation about me writing this.  "I'd rather forget it happened" he said. 

I always remind him he was suffering from head injury dementia, and some very legitimate frustration, at the time.

This story has been one of the few I'd never shared.  Today Ron gave me permission to share it. I do hope it helps some other caregiver for the head injured. 

Things get better.  Lots better. 

Let me set the scene.  Ron and I are in the hospital.  I'm there because he does better with me around.  When he wakes up disoriented (every time) I orient him.  I remind him he was in an accident, run over by a pickup truck, and in the hospital.  I sleep in a pull out chair near his bed, and basically live with him. 

He couldn't walk.  He had a broken leg and was partially paralyzed on the broken side due to a stroke.  He had a "very severe" head injury.  He still doesn't remember most of 2002.  He was in ICU for 3 weeks, in a coma.

He woke up and went through some of the various stages of head injury recovery.  One of the stages: angry and agitated.  He would (and does) slip back to that when he's very tired or frustrated. 

Ron clearly couldn't use the toilet while in a coma.  They had a solution for that.  As he woke up he didn't like that option.  Who would? 

So, they got him a bedpan.  It was marginally better but not much.  At least he could holler for it.  I'd get it and either the nurse aide or I would deal with the product. 

Ron had been promised a commode chair.  He was very excited about it but it wasn't happening.  He kept having to use the bedpan.  He was getting very frustrated, yelling "Toilet!"  "Toilet!"  He sounded so pitiful. 

Like anyone, he wanted to use the toilet.  He was tired of the bedpan.  I was happy he was getting better but Ron found the bedpan humiliating.  I kept asking and they kept giving us the run-around. 

We had to learn to "transfer" Ron, they said.  But they wouldn't teach us, and never gave a reason. 

One day Ron kept shouting for his toilet.  He sounded so plaintative.  "Toilet!  Toilet!"  It reminded me of bird cries.  I got him on the bedpan.  He told me to leave the room. 

I left.  I waited about 10 minutes.  I asked Ron if he was done and he shouted at me.  I waited another 10 minutes. 

I went back in the room.  Ron was on his stomach (I'd left him on his back, on the bedpan, lying in bed).  I knew it had taken Ron a tremendous feat to flip over like that, so soon after his stroke.  Wearing my gloves, I picked up the bedpan.  It was empty. 

"Ron, did you go?"
"Yes."
"Where is it?"
He smiled grimly. 
"I threw it!"
What? 
"I threw it!" 
What? 

I looked at his hands.  Yeah, he'd thrown it all right.  He later told me he took great care molding the product into a perfectly round ball before throwing it. 

Oh-kay.  I had to find a big ball of waste.  The product was lurking somewhere in the hospital room.  I looked to the left of the bed.  I looked to the right.  I looked under the bed.  I looked at the foot.  I looked by the head.  I looked in and around the other bed.  I looked around my fold-out sleep chair. 

Exhausted, I got ready to collapse into "my" chair, when I saw the stains on the wooden armrest.  Ah.  About to drop into the seat, I caught myself and turned around, finding the product in a position of honor. 

I almost sat in it! 

I was still wearing my gloves. I picked it up and flushed it.  I told the nurse aides that Ron had a bowel movement (they had to put it in the chart).  I also mentioned the flinging episode in passing and requested "something to clean it up".   They reacted with shock and horror. 

About 5 minutes later, a nurse in full haz-mat gear came into the room.  I explained I'd gotten rid of the worst, I was happy to clean it up, and he'd done it out of frustration.  She wasn't buying. 

Ron, I asked, what did you do? 
"I threw it". 
Are you sorry you threw it?
"Yes".
Will you throw it again? 
"No"  The nurse relaxed. 
Why did you throw it?
"I want a toilet!" he wailed.  "Sick of the bedpan!   Not a baby!   TOILET!" 

"I told you" I continued.  "He just wanted the toilet.  He got frustrated.  Can someone please work on getting him the commode chair?  He's going to get constipated, he hates using that thing.  Look what he did today!"  She went out.  I cleaned Ron up. 

About 10 minutes later a tentative knock on the door.  A Spanish lady came into the room. "You need clean?"  She held some rags and a bucket of disinfectant. 

"My husband" I told her.  "I clean."  I took the bucket and rags. 
She brightened up.  "YOU clean?"  I nodded.  "OK!  I come later!" 

I cleaned everything I could find and then some, devoting particular attention to handprints and the chair.  I poured out the used solution and left the rags in the bucket.  The lady came back and took it away, smiling widely. 

Well, he is my husband.  What was I going to do?  Lord it over her like some "royal", watching her clean? 

The next day they brought Ron a commode chair and worked with me on transfers.  He spent quite a while on his beloved toilet. 

When Ron came home, his father loaned him an old commode chair from a dead aunt.  Ron was thrilled.  A couple weeks later, he took it back.  Ron was devastated at the loss of his beloved "toilet" and Dad could never give us a good explanation. 

Ron's brother and sister had refused to help us, disowned us, and I think they made his Dad choose.  When he got dementia, though, they put Dad in a nursing home. 

In the meantime I had to tell Ron his Dad had taken "toilet" away, and we were back at the bedpan.  I ordered another commode chair off the internet but it took about a week to arrive.  In the meantime, he would hop into the bathroom on his good leg. 

Ron's a man who loves his toilet. 

In 2004, the day we bought the house, I caught salmonella.  I was violently ill for about a week.  "Toilet" got a few miles because I doubted I could make it.  I did, using the chair. 

Ron was a champ, emptying the chair for me and acting so sweet about it.  He even rigged up a little toilet paper dispenser and trash bag.  He was wonderful. 

You reap what you sow. 

Good Depression food

It seems odd to say, but I'm feeling better since I realized I'm cycling depressed. 

I only had a week's mania.  I've never had a better timed one, except the one when Ron left the hospital.  It lasted long enough, that's the importance. 

However, that means I'm depressed now.  Hopelessness, etc.  Not so bad today because I woke up with a NASTY headache.  I took some excedrin and drank a mountain dew.  300 mg of caffeine is good for a boost into low mania for a few hours. 

"Don't go over 450 mg" Doc tells me.  OK. 

If I know I'm depressed than I can recognize it and deal with it accordingly.  Last night, I did a henna. 

So what have I been doing?  Tuesday I worked 12 hours plus.  I came home, ate, took my meds, and went pretty much straight to bed.  Wednesday I went to Walmart, came home, and did a henna.  I used the "playful plum".  Not a good call. 

When I use "original" it comes in orange and fades to red after a day.  Playful plum has manifested as more of a dark brown.  However, I'm only 15 hours in.  Once I use shampoo (I rinsed it with conditioner, sounds wierd but works well), and give it another day, it may get redder.  If not, I'm glad I still have time to use "original" before my parents come to visit.  They really like my hair redder. 

I love my Dad dearly.  I can only recall a few times he complimented me on my appearance.  My wedding day, for instance.  He actually *liked* the photo of me with the red hair.  Yeah, I still want to make Daddy proud.  :) 

I was and am a total Daddy's girl.  Except for running off with Ron and the whole "living in sin" thing for 10 years.  But I know Dad is proud of me for not running out on Ron after he got hurt, for marrying Ron, and helping Ron manage the business.  He told me once he was very proud I had never asked him for money. 

Dad's money is his.  Not mine. 

As I see it, Dad only has one real flaw: he doesn't like cats.  Oh, well.  I bet Torbie tries to change that when he comes to visit. 

Oh, by the way, I did some deductive reasoning.  Torbie snores.  Every snoring cat I've had has been over 10, so I think she's over 10.  She gets a little stiff sometimes.  I feed her glucosamine treats, though, with fish oil.  She loves them and they do seem to help.  If nothing else they make a really good treat (2 a day). 

I was reading up on arthritis in cats.  Apparently warmth is very good for them.  I found a heated cat bed so I put a little money in my account.  Later today, I'm going to get one
She'll love it.  She adores my heated mattress pad, the sheepskin on the back of the couch, etc.  It makes me happy to spoil her.  I plan to put it on "her spot" on the computer room couch. 

I think that's one of the good things about cats and depression: not necessarily that I've gotten a surfeit of cuddles lately.  Not that I woke up yesterday to find not one, but BOTH cats in my bed, but they enjoy the little things I give them so very much.  They're just so delighted with the little things.  Treats.  A fresh bowl of high-end cat food (the cats have a choice between salmon, or duck), a cuddle.  It makes life fun, even when I'm depressed. 

I love the little southern meow Torbie does when she wants to get in my lap: Ma-YOW. I always pat my lap, encourage her, and she jumps right up.  She likes it when I rub her ears.  Old cats seem to love that, but Baby Girl (2 years old) will get pretty growly if you try it. 

Work has gone pretty well, with a few problems: no stockroom door (installed yesterday, but no lock); power outage on Monday - we lost about $40 in perishable inventory.  One of the managers said "You don't have to throw it out".  Dude (I didn't say this), it got up over 50 degrees in there for God knows how long.  I have to throw it out.  I don't sell anything I wouldn't eat.  No water line yet for coffee machine.  I don't care about that: but the customers do. 

It is a little scary for me to work with coffee drinkers.  They get very, very, angry when they don't have their coffee.  Of course it's an addictive behavior but one can't say that, of course.  It's a little alarming when they're in my face yelling. 

As a vendor, I would never use a coffee vending machine.  Too many problems.  You're better off bringing some instant - we have half a dozen microwaves.  In maintenance they have their own coffee pot.  Everyone puts in some money every month, or brings supplies.  The pot's on the burner all day and they seem to love it.  Perfect cup every time.  Kind of like the cop shows.  I don't say this of course. 

Today should be pretty simple (ha!).  We go to the warehouse, get some snack items.  Go to work and stock.  Go home.  That's it. 

Ron's giving me tomorrow off.  I got paid, put in my money for the cat bed and my recurring debit. 

Ron wanted more protein foods; so we got him BBQ chicken strips, chicken patties (cooked, you just warm it and slap on a bun), and nonfat milk for his shakes.  I make him protein shakes with nonfat milk and 2 scoops Peanut Butter Chocolate whey protein powder per cup.  He loves it.  He'll drink a quart of that a day (insane protein).  I also got sharp cheddar slices to put on the chicken sandwich, whole grain buns, etc.  He loves grape tomatoes so we got that; and V8.  That's about it for Ron vegetable.  For me, I got cheese sticks - I'll be eating all the other stuff too. 

I'm pretty proud of us; good food, easy to fix and minimal dishes.  Good depression food. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

When you fall in love

My faith has taken a real beating lately. 

I tell myself, focus on the good things.  The business is in a great, permanent location.  The machines are healthy. We do have a stockroom.  Sure, our area is tiny, and we don't even have a door, but we have a stockroom.  The other vendor has been low-key, and pretty delighted to hear I'd get sandwiches for them. 

I have to go out on a very busy and crowded loading dock to get the delivery.  The guy who gets the delivery has a disability.  It's better if I do it.  I have to go out there anyway to get my delivery.  It's easy enough to throw theirs on my cart.  They're right around the corner from my machines.  Not a big deal.  And God doesn't want me to be a hater. 

I just wonder why God had to allow Ron to hurt his back.  Hasn't Ron suffered enough?  It's horrible watching him try to get out of the wheelchair, yelp, and collapse.  I don't mind pushing him in the chair.  I don't mind the added physical activity. 

I mind, terribly, watching him suffer.  He had so many problems to begin with, why more? 

He's blind. 

He has over a 50% hearing loss. 

He is partly paralyzed on his right side. 

He has a head injury, with memory and impulse control issues.

He has neuropathy, and can't be touched on his back, chest, or abdomen.  Legs are pretty iffy too.  Feet are very painful on standing.  Allergic reaction to Bactrim.  Oddly enough, I'm currently taking said antibiotic for my bladder infection. 

I went through this about a year after Ron's accident - depression, faith crisis.  I went through it again in 2008 when he had the allergic reaction/neuropathy.  Last year when he got diabetic blisters from overuse of the back massager for his neuropathy.  This year with the back issue. 

I can't describe the sheer awful.   Watching him climb into the wheelchair, very carefully, from his bed.  Rolls himself to the next door bathroom.  Parks the brake on the wheelchair.  Groaning, stand up very slowly, back hunched, 90 degree angle to his legs, face towards the floor.  Pulling himself into the bathroom with his hands on the doorframe.  The same in reverse when he's done. 

Yes, I'm glad he can do that on his own.  I'm happy he's not in pain unless he tries to stand up.  He hates to ask me for help because he doesn't want to "bother" me.  I like to think I'm gracious about helping, and he's said I'm "wonderful". 

But he can't even stock sodas anymore.  If they get too high he'd have to stand, and he can't.  So he sits there with half a case of soda in his lap asking for help. 

It makes me want to cry, scream, and throw something very heavy out a window. 

It's just not fair.  I remember standing by Ron's hospital bed, 11 years ago, thinking "I could just walk away. No one would fault me."  But, my code, my faith, and my love for Ron have kept me going. 

That's not who I am.  But I recall thinking, bitterly, how I had enslaved myself - made myself a hostage to his health.  How Ron's progress, good or ill, completely defined my days, my every mood, my hopes and fears.  [shrug]  No one tells you about this when you fall in love. 

They don't tell you that you'll hurt as bad, or worse, when your loved one is suffering.  I know Ron goes through this when I have a bad depression (the moderate to mild ones, I can fake it pretty well).  I don't want anyone to think I'm the only one crying here.  I know it's incredibly hard for Ron, too. 

That's the other thing - it makes me love him so much, makes me so angry that he's allowed to suffer: Ron has such an amazing attitude.  He's calm, sweet, respectful, appreciative, and a real joy to help.  He doesn't get upset at stupid questions.  He's patient, he endures. 

I'll refer you back to my comment about throwing something heavy out a window. 

Sunday, April 13, 2014

God has always provided

Ron was lamenting the fact we spent my pay on inventory, even though I told him I was fine with it.  I told him, again and again "This is more important". 

At the end of it, we filled 2 food machines (we were told we'd only get one), 3 snack machines, 3 canned soda machines, and a bottled soda machine.  They look fantastic. 

We had to do that; no regrets, and Ron figured out a way to pay me anyway.  I always tell him I don't need much. 

I don't see any of this as special or heroic.  As far as I'm concerned, God has always provided, and always will. 

That's why I get a little frustrated sometimes.  I know some people online who seem to be in a constant state of financial crisis: "I don't have any money for dog food" - yet they're online, using a cell phone, driving a car. 

It makes me wonder about priorities.  I always buy pet food before people food, and I always have a reserve bag on hand (I use the reserve and put the fresh food as the reserve). 

When I went for Medicaid so I could get my wisdom teeth out, the social worker told me I could get food stamps.  "I have enough to eat" I told her "But thank you."  That's why I never took a disability check, even though I qualify twice over.  I have enough to eat. 

Someone else really does need that money, or they'll be out in the street.  Funds are not limitless.  Some will argue with that. 

Ron and I have pretty much always been poor, always lived from check to check.  Thank God they didn't have payroll advances before I was medicated.   We had some good years after they closed the deli but that all ended in 2008. 

We may or may not regain what we've lost, but I know we'll have enough.  For instance, our truly expensive home repairs have always come when we actually had the money available.  Even the cats only had problems when we had some money on hand to pay for the vet. 

God's going to take care of you.  I have to think He finds it a little insulting when someone who may or may not be managing their money properly, puts these screaming banners on Facebook.  "I'm starving!  I need money!"  People make choices and God does allow consequences.  One lady actually had a "friend" using very manipulative messages to try to "drum up" more money.  I would be furious if someone did that "in my name".  She thought it was great. 

Ron and I made some choices recently, to eliminate our landline, get rid of the data plan, and cut most of the cable programming.  I think they were good choices.   We are frugal.  We seldom eat out, and when we do it's a place with paper napkins and a dollar menu.  The cats eat a lot better than we do; salmon and duck.  That, to me, is how it should be.  I'm happy eating a $5 lasagne for a week or so.  I can make it last.  I have a $5 quart of greek yogurt.  That's breakfast every day - a little every da, just enough to make my meds happy (I have zero morning appetite but must take the Wellbutrin with food).   I don't feel I'm in hardship, or suffering.  I find it a creative challenge. 

After Ron's accident, I shared that I had been laid off, Ron's money stolen.  At the time, as his live-in and not his wife, I was not allowed to manage the business with him absent.  In the long run, that gave me plenty of time to devote to his care. 

I didn't ask for money.  In fact, I said no when people asked if I needed it.  I said I knew God would provide.  As it turns out, He did by encouraging them to give me money anyway.  I never once asked; God put it on them.  I only mentioned the "laid off" thing once.  God continued to provide for months after the accident, working on people's hearts as needed. 

So, I could focus on loving Ron, get him back on his feet, so to speak, so we could get back to work.  That's how God works. 

I wish I could tell the "beggars" out there - it's insulting to God.  You also need to take a hard look at your own priorities.  If you really can't afford pet food, you need to give your pets to a rescue.  I would never let my cats starve while I had a cell phone, computer, and internet service. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

What a dream

I talk a lot about my faith, but I don't usually label myself. 

I am a born-again Christian, and I believe in the pretribulation rapture.  I believe, very soon, Jesus will take the born-again believers (and those too young or unable to decide for themselves) to Heaven while the earth goes through the Tribulation - basically a time when the world goes to hell.  I suggest reading "Are we living in the end times?"  for more on that. 

I don't believe in dreams, which is rather funny.   The day after Ron's accident, I finally went home.  Someone else was there if he woke up (ha!  That didn't happen for weeks).  I slept.  I dreamt that Ron woke up, made a good recovery (all things considered, he did) and we started a new life together. 

Another time, before the accident, I was very angry with Ron.  I wanted to leave him but I just kept getting a NO everytime I prayed on that.  I had a dream: God told me "all your fondest dreams" would come true.  A little house and marriage to Ron.  That?  ESPECIALLY that, God told me.  In fact, I was told, Ron would DEMAND it. 

Ron, upon finding how I suffered because we weren't married, demanded marriage. 

When I was 13, I became intensely suicidal after being put on an antidepressant.  That's why they have the warnings now.  Anyway, I had planned to kill myself.  I couldn't endure another day.  I planned my suicide to the last detail. 

That night, before I fell asleep, I prayed and told God "If You don't want me to do this, You need to show me what to do.  I can't handle this on my own."  I went to sleep.  That night God literally wrapped me in His love, told me it would get better - this would be the absolute lowest point of my life, and told me to tell my guidance counselor about the suicide plan.  I did.  I got help and crawled out of the hole. 

I've had two rapture dreams I remember. 

One, I was very eager waiting for Christmas.  God said "You think Christmas is cool, wait until you see this!"  I ran to a window and looked out, seeing the start of a sunrise.  I was very excited because I knew the rapture would happen when the "sun" rose. 

That one happened a few years back. 

This week, I had another one.  Ron and I knew the rapture was imminent.  We started dancing.  That would be a trick with his back the way it is.  Anyway, we faced each other and danced joyfully.  All of a sudden I saw Ron transformed, and he was looking at me. 

Ron has never looked at me.  What a tremendous moment. 

Now, you can chalk it all up to a malfunctioning brain.  "Religious".  You name it.  But what a dream. 

"I can't take you for granted"

This is our stockroom right now. 
From the outside, of course. 

No one can get in, not even us.  [snort]  I hope that changes Monday.  It's going to really suck getting the sandwiches without my handcart. 

Here's Ron eating one of our new corndogs:


He said it was very good.  I can't eat a corndog right now, I'm a little queasy on the antibiotic plus all my arsenal of crazy pills.  I also added yogurt to the linuup (Yoplait) today. 

So this week has been a crazy haze of inventory, trips to the warehouse, and manic stocking.  Thank God I am manic.  I said it before: I have never had a better timed mania, except maybe the one post accident right before we left the hospital. 

Between our boss/consultant and the customer I met yesterday (more later), I have been adding more food items to the machine.  I have V8, cup of noodles, vienna sausage, corn dog, and yogurt (all $1 each), fresh fruit or pudding cup (60 cents), premium lunch (turkey and dressing, beef stew) $4.50, sandwiches come Monday, they are $2.25, various drinks, microwave lunch buckets $1.75, and more I'm forgetting. 

I even have sugarfree puddings.  I have a lot of diabetics and "healthy" types - that's why I sold out a whole sack of mandarin oranges in one week.  I also have a lot of people who want to eat better, on a budget. 

I even got a few bananas, they aren't quite ripe yet but when they are I'll put them out with the other fruit.  I see a lot of bananas eaten. 

Ron's been very supportive of my ideas - and as a result, NO ONE can accuse us of having empty vending machines.  Yes, we were guilty before, but like I told Ron, everyone's watching, and many blind vendors want our location.  We can't afford to trip. 

Snacks look great, and the last 2 days were devoted to building up canned and bottled drinks (in addition to food items).  I want to have something for everyone, in pretty much every budget.  If you want premium items I have them.  If you have a dollar I have literally dozens of choices, healthy and not.  If you want ethnicky I have that - a Mexican pastry is my #1 seller right now.  It has an incredibly good food cost too. 

So, they look good.  We have done everything we can. 

It's been a battle, though.  For the last 3 or 4 days, everytime we went to work the pickup driver has just had an impossible time finding us to go home.  We have clear directions.  We have cell phone numbers in the notes.  I stand there and wave my arm, and I'm told you can see me for quite a ways off. 

They just can't find us.  I have to wonder if some of them are playing games.  I wave at them, they slow down for a moment, and then keep driving.  I know they have spotted me.  Then, a couple minutes later, they come back and say "I didn't see you".  Yes, you did. 

My other favorites: "Were you waiting long?"  or "They said it was apartments" - I read the computers when I get in and they all say POST OFFICE, with our accurate pickup notes, and the phone number. 

If you're going to be late, don't talk about it.  Don't make excuses.  Let's get Ron loaded and go, please. 

One woman tried to make Ron feel guilty, going back to work, because he held a case of soda in his lap.  "Oh, you're so heavy pushing up the ramp".  Most of the clients in wheelchairs are well over 200 pounds.  Ron is 150 pounds plus a 20 pound case of soda.  I tried pushing him up the ramp today as he held 4 cases and found it very easy.  Anyway, that woman is just horrible, and very negative. 

Other rides have been very late, necessitating changes in all our other trips because our pickup would arrive before the drop off! 

I guess this is our new trial for now.  Speaking of: yesterday I got literally dragged off by one of the other vendor's angry customers.  She was screaming at me and saying we should be thrown out of the building. 

I listened to her complaints, noted the appropriate points (coffee machine not repaired, not enough sandwiches, items hanging up - that doesn't happen on my side of things).  I explained I am the cafeteria vendor only. 

"Well, you need to tell them..." I told her I HAVE, they don't LISTEN.  She got upset again.  I gave her the boss' number and said "He's the guy who kicks ass".  The boss wants me to do this, by the way.  I explained the other vendors don't listen to me but they have to listen to him. 

She was happy to get the number.  The only thing, I requested, please tell him where it happened, so they can fix it (all the problems were in the other areas, not mine).  She was happy to do that. 

I finished by saying, "I'm do my best to make sure everyone has a good experience with us.  If you're pissed when you walk away, you won't come back!"  She agreed.  "These days," I continued, "We can't afford to take our customers for granted!"  She shouted YES and gave me a hug. 

I guess I did alright!