Advice for those with bipolar disorder:

1. Develop a strong faith life.
2. Take EVERYTHING AS DIRECTED.
3. Communicate with your doctor. Be honest; if you are hearing things he needs to know, and it's a very easy fix! I know!
4. You're going to have to deal with side effects: remember they are worth it.
5. You are DEAD without your medication.
6. Avoid drugs and alcohol: they are mood poison.
7. Learn to laugh at yourself and ride the waves.
8. Proper sleep is vital; don't neglect it.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Patron saint

I couldn't believe it.  My nephew had posted an image of my birth mother on Facebook, talking about how "I didn't see her much, but she was wonderful". 

How? 

Another (apparent) family member insisted: " I admired [name] when we were first married. Then I grew up and realized the pain in her heart and I cried for her. I wanted so much to spend time with her."

What the?  At first I was angry, this is the woman who maimed me for life with her prenatal drinking.  This is the woman who, diagnosed with bipolar disorder, refused to take her medication.  This is the woman who literally smoked herself to death.  The woman found dead with a large bottle of vodka on the nightstand. 

For me, she maimed me, massively neglected me, ran off when she was caught neglecting me, denied custody by the courts but given full visitation, every time I learned to trust her she ran off again, and everyone acted like she was the victim. 

What about me?  What about the collateral damage?  I'm the one that's never going to drive or get a high-paying job due to my Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. 

But if I say anything I'll be "flamed" and probably unfriended (not that it would be a huge loss).  She had pain in her life because she was sick, and refused to take her medicine.  She had pain in her life because she drank, and drinking was more important than anything.  Years after her death, the survivors are canonizing her "because she was sad, and she's dead now".  Well, she died early because she made bad choices.  It's a miracle a serial killer didn't get ahold of her. 

My sister told me "Oh, she felt guilty about how she treated you".  She should have.  If I hadn't had my stepmother I would have grown up hating women.  "She thought you hated her."  Why?  She was never in contact with me. 

I don't hate her.  I found her head games very tedious "I'm so sorry, can you ever forgive me?"  Yes.  "I'm so sorry, Heather!"  Yes, you're forgiven. 

She never once asked which boy I liked at school, or whether he liked he back.  That was my stepmother.  She never gave me the talk about my period.  That was my stepmother.  I don't even think she knew when I did start my period, unless my stepmother told her. 

Because my birth mother was so highly emotional, usually drunk during her phone calls, and prone to playing massive head games, my stepmother would run interference for me, gauge the tempo, so to speak, and then pass her along if she was OK.  Otherwise she said I was "busy" or "out of the house".  This was back when we only had a landline.

Now, my stepmother, whom I always called Mom - because she filled the role, had her problems. But she's much better now and we have a pretty good relationship.  I'm about to try to post Christmas photos of Ron in the wheelchair for her, on Facebook. 

So, I'm not going to say anything on the post about my birth mother.  For one, the person writing is one of those guys who has bipolar, drinks, doesn't take his medication (It's almost enough to make me believe in generational curses), has posted a lot of "I'm suicidal but none of you cares, do you" type posts, just isn't managing his illness.  Just like my mother.  No wonder he venerates her. 

[name] patron saint of the bipolar, unmedicated, alcoholic. 

I have her picture up, and a small painting she did (abstract) in my house.  I had her pearls but I gave them to my niece, who will have far more opportunities to wear them.  I was glad I had when my house got robbed. 

I don't value things, I value time.  Which is why I was happy we found a kiddie cart when we went to Walmart today. 

We went to the bill paying center and paid the electric bill, then did some shopping.  I bought a lot of chocolate.  I am thinking to fill up gift tins with chocolate (assorted small foil-wrapped chocolate).  We can give them to the other vendor (now that he has his lap band out I don't feel bad giving him chocolate, and he loves it). 

I got a bag for Doc, who I see next week.  I am going to fake him out with a small tin of ribbon candy and give that to the office staff, make like that's it for the candy.  Then produce a 2 and a half pound "Santa Sack" of candy during our visit. 

I also need to save some money for the visit.  I pay cash everytime I go. 

So, Ron and I got what we needed for today, checked out, and had a good ride home.  I couldn't find that good bread today, so I was a little sad about that.  Other than that, it was a good day. 

I'm about to go make a salami/ham/and turkey sandwich with some sharp cheddar, I think.  Tomorrow we get up early for work and get our soda delivery. 

#2 is still purging.  I'm starting to think he's moving out.  On the one hand, I'll be glad to get rid of the hoarding and the rats, the general filthy nature.  On the other hand, the previous tenants have been pretty rough, too.  I am not exactly looking forward to another half dozen children screaming in the yard, trying to climb the fence, and another possible barking dog. 

Ron is calling the landlady to let him know #2 is "acting" like they are moving out.  It's possible he's just purging, but everything I have seen on Hoarders says that is really unlikely. 

She's going to have a horrific cleanup if they are leaving, so better to catch them and get a forwarding address while she can. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Dark Roast

Interesting day. 

I was up all night stressing out about the electric bill.  The billing lady at Walmart said she had to have a new bill, and cast a very skeptical eye at our $1900 "credit".  I checked the "extra" bill we had and it was for the old billing cycle, too.  Agh. 

I did not sleep well. 

I got up and we went to another Sam's Club, not our usual.  This one has Dark Roast Community Coffee, it makes a very good cup and the customers love it.  It is also an acceptable price point as well.  I went, bought a few other things for work, and got 25 pounds of coffee.  We shouldn't need to go back for months now. 

We had an hour wait before our pickup.  It finally came.  Then we had an hour ride to work.  We picked up an older lady with dementia, who lived at some apartments that flooded badly back in April.  She was asking the driver to take her to a different store than the one on the trip computer, and he told her he couldn't do it.  He had to pick up 2 wheelchairs (including Ron) and a guy in a walker. 

I had to give him my security badge to get us past the gate (I am allowed to do this per our police force at work), and he wouldn't give it back.  I had to get a little snippy with him "I need my badge, please!"  Then he handed it over.  Other than that it was a fine trip. 

We didn't have enough time to do all the stocking.  Ron had a temper tantrum because we had a communication difficulty, screaming invective at me in front of Mike (works for the other vendor), and one of my regular customers.  The customer looked at me pityingly later, and I grinned back at him as if "I don't let him get me down".  I tried very hard, not to take it personally, but he was a little ugly to me until he finished "his" stocking. 

I was so busy helping Ron I didn't have time for "my" work, but things looked like they would be OK for another day.  We will be back there at 5 AM on Friday morning, for hours, I will get it all done. 

We finally left and I took a nap when we got home.  I was exhausted.  I forget all that travel, and waiting, can be taxing. 

I got up and did my God Time, the Bible study portion.  Then I checked the mail.  We had a bill from the rehab hospital.  We had a bill from the ambulance company.  We had a bill from the electric company, praise God. 

I opened "the electric".  It said our last payment was $102, we currently owed them @ $52, and no credit, they showed that cleared off the account.  Good.  Perfect, in fact. 

I got home and opened the ambulance bill.  I was told it would probably run around $1200.  Nope.  It was $88.  I guess Medicare paid after all.  Praise God! 

Ron and I dreaded opening the rehab hospital bill.  I figured it would be between $5-6K.  I was wrong. 

It was $1288.  Considering he was there for 3 weeks, and all the pain pills he was eating, I think that's amazingly low. 

Thank God.  We had planned to go out to Arby's anyway - we have to make our paratransit trips the day before - but now we had a reason to celebrate.  Our ride came early and off we went. 

They left us there for over an hour (again!), so I walked over the dollar store.  I found some puzzles for my Dad (he doesn't read the blog), with designs he should like.  I need to work on "Mom" presents and something for my aunt. 

So, crazy day but I got some Big Issues resolved.  I'll be even happier when I get the electric bill paid tomorrow. 

Ron lost his wedding ring.  I'm not upset - it's funny, we are both very messy but he's always yelling at me for it.  I don't ever yell at him for anything other than staining his clothes.  I just need to get his ring sized - I have no idea of his old band size - and find something cute so we can "match". 

Awww. 



Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Black Cat nightgown

We got picked up late, to go to Walmart. 

I found a kiddie cart, folded the wheelchair, and put it in the basket.  I put Ron's coat in the seat, which was wet with dew, and he climbed aboard.  We went into the store. 

I headed over to the bill-paying center.  The lady taking payments said she couldn't take our payment, because it was from November, she said she needed an end of November or early December.  I think she was intimidated by the so-called $1900 credit on the bill. 

Yeah. 

Anyway, she basically told us to go away.  "When we came back" she told us, we could jump to the head of the line.  I told her we were on public transit and would not be coming back today.  She kind of smirked at me. 

Nice. 

I made my deposit.  At least I could do that. 

I went in search of heated mattress pads for Ron, but I couldn't find them.  I am hoping to keep the thermostat down if Ron has a heated mattress pad.  He likes the house at about 80 degrees in the winter.  It's absurd.  He doesn't even like it that warm during the summer!  I keep waking up with these awful, dried-out, headaches I am convinced are linked to Ron's excessive heater usage.  He doesn't care. 

"My knee hurts when it's cold, and I don't like being cold anyway".  "Cold", remember, is anything below 80 degrees.  It's suffocating, expensive, and burns up the furnace.  He's really going to cry when that goes. 

I moved on to sweatshirts.  Ron needs dark tops because long sleeves pick up vending machine grease.  It is very obvious on a light or bright colored top.  That means I have to wash it every time he wears one to work, pretreat it with stain remover, etc. 

I try to make my life simpler, not harder.  I managed to find 4 (2 each in navy and black) sweatshirts in medium.  Good.  I will put them in the "use this" part of his closet. 

Then I went on to cleaning supplies.  I needed washer cleaner, and 409 for the vending machines.  That's the only cleanser my repairman wants me to use.  He should be a spokesman. 

I found those.  I had to get around the obligatory person standing and gaping at the room freshener display.  She was texting, I guess trying to figure out what fragrance he wanted.  "Warm Vanilla Harvest, or Holiday Pine?"  [snort] 

Cat food.  I managed to find 15 cans of Gravy Lover's Salmon.  They had some other product improperly stocked in the salmon slot.  I had to move it to scavenge what I could. 

"Sorry" doesn't cut it with Biscuit, when it's time for his num-num. 

I "made" Ron buy me 2 containers of Shout Gel.  That stuff is amazing for getting out his stains.  Amazingly, it got out all of Ron's looked-like-old vomit stains out of his current batch of clothes. 

Ron wanted cat treats so I bought some, and I bought some smaller bags to give away to some friends.  It's really fun to feed a cat treats.  Torbie will put her paw up on Ron and tap him when she is craving some. 

I bought some nitrate free deli meat and some cheese, and found some amazing dark wheat bread with wheat berries in it.  I also got some whole wheat hot dog buns, link smoked sausages, and cheese dogs. 

I try to keep the menu simple.  I am trying to get more protein so I think I did a pretty good job there. 

Time to check out.  We had fun with the cashier.  A policeman got in line behind us and she was giving him a hard time about "being a trouble maker".  He played along. 

I told her he couldn't be that bad, he was getting cat food.  We had a grin over that. 

We left and I went to McDonald's.  I got Ron a Chicken Biscuit, and a Sausage griddle for me.  I ate my food but Ron waited until we were on the way home. 

Our ride home came pretty fast. 

I put away the "cold" stuff and took my nap.  I had taken some Excedrin earlier for a headache, and I didn't sleep well. 

Torbie joined me, though. 

I got up and did my God time, then worked on the laundry.  As I said, Ron's clothes were a mess.  I really had doubts I could save them. 

I had done the Shout gel pretreater, and put some Cheer Dark (because they were all darks) into the washer.  I also added a Tide Pod.  Tide has the enzymes to kill stains and all.  I figured I needed all the help I could get. 

I checked all the clothes, again, and made sure I didn't have anything I shouldn't.  I added all the clothes and got it started.  I let that work while I got back online for a while. 

I got hungry and made a sandwich on the lovely dark wheat bread (I think one of my caregivers, when I was very young, used to feed me bread like that).  I put Gouda, Sharp cheddar, salami, ham, and turkey with mayo.  It was very good.  I gave Ron a bite and he loved it. 

That's some really good bread.  I will tell you in case bread is OK on your eating plan: Pepperidge Farm German Dark Wheat.  It was $2 for a loaf.  Worth it. 

When I can, have energy, time, whatever, I want to change my eating plan to less than (I always get the symbols mixed up ?) 100 carbs a day, and 1000 calories below what I "need".  That should do it.  I have had good results when I did that in the past. 

Really, it's the tracking that's the nightmare.  Writing every little bite down, putting it into Fitday, etc.  So far I haven't gotten to the point where that sounds doable. 

I used to have this cool little thing, it looked like a pocket calculator, I could just input the carbs for each meal, or look them up, and add them to my day's total.  Sadly, it died.  It only cost $20, too. 

The clothes came out of the washer, sparkling clean. I literally couldn't tell the new clothes from the horribly stained ones that had gone in the washer.  Impressive.  I'm going to split the credit 50/50 between the washer and the Shout Gel. 

I threw them in the dryer, they are mostly done now and hung up in Ron's closet.  I just need to finish drying my black cat nightgown.  It's a nightgown, with black cats all over it. 

I like it. 

Holy Spirit, or menopause

Sunday night I finally took a hot bath with some lavender essential oil.  It helped.  When I finished, I took a hot shower to wash off all the toxins from my sweating in the tub. 

Monday I got up late (for me) and went to work.  We met the repairman, who fixed all the problems with the coffee machine.  It now takes bills and change, and brews coffee - I did a test vend and gave it to a customer.  Of course my hands shook as I handed it to him, I almost dumped it on him.   That poor man.  He snatched it from me before I could do any damage. 

He also, I hope, fixed the bottled vendor.  It was working when we left.  A sensor got sticky and needed some cleaning.  That reminds me, I need to get some 409, the only repairman-approved cleaner. 

I just put it on my list.  I lost my paper list so I am using my "talk and make a list" app on my cell phone.  I don't use a lot of apps but this one is funny.  One time I made a list and said "Snickers" - it substituted the n-word.  I said "Ron" today, it put "women".  But I will get the general idea. 

I stocked, snacks really needed a lot of work.  Candy, not so much, but chips in particular.  I also had to fill up the change banks.  Inside the vending machine, lives the coin mech.  It has tubes for quarters, dimes, and nickels only.  That's why you never put pennies in a vending machine, it will jam.  So, I had the glamorous job of putting nickels into the nickel tubes, one at a time, as the computer added them to the change bank.  One machine does that, the other one doesn't count the change, but it knows when it's out and says "Exact change only".  I filled it, too. 

Now people can buy their snacks and get the correct change.  Yay.  Sodas are easy because they are 75 cents.  Most people just use 3 quarters, and the people who use a dollar get a quarter back.  No filling of the change bank.  I am hoping we can stay at 75 cents for a while yet. 

Coffee, by the way, is 75 cents for 12 ounces of regular coffee with cream and/or sugar.  Premium drinks, like hot chocolate or French Vanilla, go at a dollar for 12 ounces.   A pretty good deal for the nightshift workers. 

Pretty soon, all done.  We went home. 

I can't talk about what happened in the next hour.  It was good, but it could get someone in trouble.

When we got home, #6's yard guys had their equipment strewn all over my driveway.  The driver was pissed.  Glad to know it wasn't just me that got annoyed.   

Ron and I had a good lunch, I took my meds, and took my nap. 

I woke up and did my God Time.  Ron complained about it.  I did it anyway.  I cried over my persecuted Christians news letter.  I don't know if that is the Holy Spirit, or menopause. 

I watched a little TV.  I heard some doors slamming.  I looked out.   #6 had a bunch of cars in front of his house and across the street.  Great.  I figured it wasn't another party because it was a Monday night and all of them have kids. 

It was also cold and damp, lousy weather for the kids to run around with the soccer ball.  It was quiet, but I figured out they were having another home church. 

Last year, they had loud home church sessions in the back yard, terrible singing, some guy shouting about the devil for over an hour, in Spanish, etc.  Very rude and, in my opinion, a terrible witness.  That is not the way to advertise or share your faith, by keeping your neighbors up on a work/school night. 

It came to an end last year when another neighbor got a gun and started firing it into the air during the sermon.  They stopped after that.  I did not call the police.  I wanted to hug the gun owner. 

So, since he built that big addition on the back of his house this year, they are apparently having the services there.  No one is bothered.  Good.  That's the way you should do it.  Maybe put an invitation on your neighbor's door but leave it at that. 

I was happy. 

Ron had messed up his clothes again.  I told him he has to get naked if he eats, or drinks alcohol.  It is too much work scrubbing out these stains every week.  It took me about 20 minutes to do them all, and he didn't have that much.  Happily the blue Shout Gel works pretty well, I haven't met a stain it couldn't beat. 

I went to bed early.  I only heard a little talking as one guy left (he was really loud), and that was it. 

I slept OK, had some interesting dreams, but woke up with yet another headache.  I am so strict with my diet.  I am not eating anything that would cause a headache, but I still have them.  Ugh.  Horrible. 

I took some Excedrin and drank a Diet Mountain Dew.  That helped. 

We are going to Walmart in a little while.  I'll let you know how that goes. 

Hopefully I can put Ron in a kiddie cart. 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Sorry about the whining

My headache never died.  I woke up with it again today.  Ugh. 

I am guessing it is the rain, as I know I haven't eaten anything that could be a trigger.  Heck, if I'd known I'd have such a bad headache, I would have gone ahead and eaten a couple of the Reese's Big Cups.  Yup.  

I kept waking up, drinking some water, urinating, brushing my teeth because even my teeth hurt with this headache, etc.  Ron kept complaining I was "keeping him up" but he was laughing.  I'm sure he thought it was really funny. 

Not so funny, when he got up he wasn't quiet so it woke me up when I was sleeping.  Sorry, gang, today I'm going to whine a lot. 

I finally fell asleep around 1 AM and woke up around 9.  I took some aspirin and drank a Diet Mountain Dew.  I ate a protein bar because I was a little hungry, always a good sign. 

Ron asked to watch the sermon on my computer, I turned it on.  He watched for a little while and then asked me to turn it off.

I did my God time, despite his constant interruptions and my repeated reminders I was doing my God Time.  It's like he sees it as a contest, who is going to get my attention, him, or God?  Well, God did. 

Ron stopped pestering me and waited for a couple minutes, then he began laughing softly.  That was supposed to be my cue to ask him "What?"  I didn't.  He did it again, and again, louder.  I didn't react, I just kept praying.  He finally gave up and left me alone. 

This is why I try to get up early, before Ron, to do my God time.  He sees it as a competition.  Once or twice I thought maybe he innocently wanted some attention, and I gave it to him, but the minute I did he shut down.  He only wants attention when I am praying and doing my Bible study.  He wants to "make" me stop.  If I tell him "I'm done" he isn't interested any more. 

And I don't have time for games.  My faith comes first, live with it.  At times my faith has been the only thing keeping me in this relationship.  I would think he'd respect that. 

Do you think I want to live with a verbally abusive alcoholic?   I'll tell you, I didn't have happy, dew-eyed dreams of being shouted at and called a stupid bitch, growing up. 

God gives me what I need. 

Ron got into his bitter and angry drinking mode, had some vodka, I don't know how much.  He didn't point his anger at me.

I watched a little Law & Order (it's funny when I've seen it before and know how it's going to end up), and then took a nap. 

When I do my God Time, Torbie gets up on the couch with me and curls against my leg.  She stays the whole time. 

When I laid down, she ran in the room meowing and laid on my legs.  We had a good nap for a couple of hours, my legs got really stiff but it's Torbie. 

Sad that I feel I get more love from the cats then from Ron.  She was so sweet lying on the wool blanket, purring and letting me pet her at will. 

I got up and Ron wanted to do the report.  We have to file a monthly accounting report every month. 

Then we pay a percentage of our sales to the state program.  It's a pretty good deal. 

He worked on the computer for a while, then asked me to "do" the receipts.  I organize them in date order and staple them together, then read all the dates and totals to Ron.  The stapler ran out of staples.  I asked Ron to fill it because I hate filling staplers, but he just shouted at me. 

He was very invested in doing the report, overly stressed about it, and giving me overflow verbal abuse.  I didn't much care for it but I did my job. 

Later on, when he's ready, I will file the report, hoping he doesn't shout at me any more.  When he's like this standing up for myself and demanding respect?  It just provokes extreme verbal abuse and Ron goes into "fight mode".  Not worth it, sadly. 

Boy, I'm in a negative mood.  Sorry. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gaslighting

Today was a good example of gaslighting. 

It started harmlessly enough, I woke up around 4 AM with a bad headache, it progressed.  I finally got up at 6:30 and took some Excedrin.  It helped, but the 200 mg of caffeine in the tablets ensured I wasn't going back to sleep any time soon. 

[sigh]  Biscuit was happy to see me up so early, so was Baby Girl.  I gave them their can of salmon and did my God time.  I got on the computer for a while. 

Ron woke up during my shower.  He was OK at first.

Then he started drinking.  I told him I was going back to bed, to take a nap. 

He said OK. 

He had some kind of bathroom crisis, I didn't investigate.  He was cursing pretty loudly and woke me up.  OK, I'll give him a pass on that. 

He didn't leave a mess, but he did leave some moist wet wipes on top of my toilet paper, saturating the roll.  I didn't say anything, I'm sure he had other things on his mind. 

I went back to bed.  I was almost asleep, again, when he started yelling at the news on TV.  I did object to that, and very politely went in his room, reminded him I was trying to sleep, and stated he had just woken me up. 

He went ballistic, shouting at me and calling me names, saying I was "crazy" and hallucinated him yelling at the TV, "Take a pill", basically hitting below the belt in all possible ways. 

I don't think I need to explain I don't hallucinate like that.  Never when I am taking my Haldol, which I had just done.  Never when I am asleep or falling asleep, so I was pretty peeved.  He had yelled at the TV and woken me up. 

He was drunk, he had forgotten he did it, but his impulse control was shot and he was proving it with every word. 

This, he decided, this terrible insult, claiming he had woken me up, could only merit one response.  Verbal abuse (he didn't say that, but he was proving it), and yet more drinking.  He went into the kitchen and poured more drinks.  Then he made a lot of noise heating something up in the microwave, all the time shouting that he was quiet, hadn't woken me up, and I owed him an apology. 

Then, later on (I'm still trying to sleep), he says he's sorry, it's not my fault I hallucinate, that God gave me "such a f-ed up brain", etc.   That was even worse than the shouting. 

Then, to me, the final insult, trying to tell me what was on TV "Before I came in there".  Something about the president, and China.  No doubt that's what he was shouting about. 

"I don't care."  I told him.  "I just want to sleep.  Will you please let me sleep?"  My headache was coming back full force.  Ron objected to that and shouted at me some more. 

Finally I guess he got drunk enough he didn't care any more, and went to bed. 

I would love to go in there and wake him up, throwing trash out his window into the trash can, but I won't because I'm better than that.  Not to mention, you don't kick rabid dogs. 

On a positive note, at least this time he didn't fall on the floor.  I hope he is still taking his minerals because he does that a lot when he's drinking. 

The stupid, stupid, thing: one day God is going to show him I was right and he treated me like crap for nothing. 

His alarm is going off.  This should be interesting. 

Nothing so far.  I guess he doesn't want any rides tomorrow.  God knows I'm not going in there to break the ice. 

With God's help, I don't have to be vindictive, although some might say blogging about this is, in fact, vindictive.  No, that's sanity. 

I don't have to stick my hand in a blender, though.  I'm not approaching him until I can feel out his mood. 

He just got up and thought we had to go to work.  I told him it was Saturday. 

Oh, boy. 

Good news, I did get my nap but the headache came back with some force.  I actually had to take another dose of Excedrin.  My hands are going to be shaking all night. 

For a while, I had 2 cats in my bed, Torbie, and Biscuit.  They left me after I fell asleep.  I probably rolled over and squashed them :(. 

What a day. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Snack Day

Today was snack day. 

I didn't sleep too well last night.  I had abdominal cramps and some urgency.  I finally figured out it was the shake I had with dinner - dairy and I aren't getting along these days. 

I have a theory God only made us to consume milk during the childhood and reproductive years, once we are past that we lose our tolerance.  I have no problem with people drinking milk, but I can't. 

I finally got some sleep, but I was really tired when I woke up.  I hit the snooze a few times and finally dragged myself out of bed. 

I was going to work, so I had to look OK.  I took a shower and dressed in all black (depressed), donned my Santa hat, put on my badge and keys (I wear my keys around my neck so I don't lose them), and finally donned my back brace. 

I didn't expect to be doing a lot of heavy lifting today, but you never know.  I did know we needed orange soda.  We were "short" on our delivery last week. 

We left and had a good trip to the warehouse.  It was already open so I could leave Ron inside as I did my shopping.  I got a flatbed cart and headed out. 

I needed 3 cases of orange soda.  I got that.  I wanted a case of Monster energy drinks.  People are working a lot of overtime, they will want that.  I wanted the Java flavor but they just had the regular, and some diet, flavors.  I got the regular flavor. 

I had plenty of nuts (that sounds funny), so I headed over to the 1 ounce potato chips.  The warehouse sells the potato chips in one ounce bags, a case of 50.  They cost me about a quarter each.  I bought some hot pork rinds, two kinds of plain chips (regular, and Ruffles), hot variety chips (5 flavors in one box), big (ounce and a half to two ounces) hot chips, etc. 

I forgot to get my Cheez-it's.  Then off to the cookies. 

I got two cookie variety packs, the customers like the varieties and they have a good price point. 

I bought some oatmeal cream pies, basically an oatmeal cookie sandwich with frosting in the middle.  The last time I stocked them, they sold out fast. 

Once I got cookies I moved on to the crackers.  Then on to the candy bars.  I bought several, and some variety boxes too.

I had seen one of the variety boxes for a while.  I didn't know it had a food cost of 52 cents.  That is exceptional for a name brand candy bar. 

We sell candy bars for $1 - they really need to be $1.25.  Candy bar prices range from 52 cents up to 61.  Ideally "you" want to double the food cost. 

Chips have a way better profit margin.  I buy them for a quarter and sell them for 70 cents.  If you think that is a bad markup, we are the cheapest game in town. 

When Ron was in the hospitals in October, many, 25 cent, chips were $1 to $1.50 and candy bar was $1.25 to $2.  Even crackers, which we sell for 65 cents, were priced at candy bar prices.  I'm talking about the peanut butter or cheese filled crackers.  "Everyone" loves those. 

Except me.  Ick. 

Then I went to get pastry (I'm getting tired just writing this) and got some selections.  Vanilla cupcakes are always popular, and honeybuns. 

One guy complains we don't have the pastry he wants, but I notice the pastry he wants is never one we have in stock.  He will ask for cheese Danish.  We get cheese Danish and then he whines he wants cinnamon rolls.  He wants to complain. 

I'm going to sell what the majority buy. 

After that, I paid, found a cart attendant, and loaded the truck. 

We got to work.  Ron almost had a heart attack when he saw all the merchandise How will we get it in the building?  How will you fit it in the stockroom? 

I managed.  I did a lot of stocking and stored the candy bars in the bottom of Snack #2.  It has a "locker" compartment in the bottom of the machine.  It is very useful. 

I stocked the chips that needed work (not many) and put them all in the stockroom.  I had to stack them pretty high but I did it.  Crackers and pastry can stay on the carts.  [sigh]  Finally done. 

I got everything stuffed in the stockroom. 

While I had been working, Ron had been texting the repairman.  He sent me a copy of the text - a very nice apology for "being an asshole" yesterday.  Good.  We don't want to lose the repairman. 

He had stocked what he could, but the bottle vendor is still broken so we didn't do that.  I did sell a drink to a customer who was interested in buying one.  She liked the way they looked on the cart, so I opened the machine and sold her a cold one. 

500 ml, or 16.9 ounce drinks will cost you $1.25 at our place.  I think the price is fair and reasonable. 

We finally left.  It was raining a little but not bad.  The driver was stressed and having a tough day, but really nice.  We made her laugh a couple times on the way home.  We had a straight trip. 

I took a nap.  When I got up I did my God Time, then turned on the computer.  I plan to watch a little TV tonight and then go to bed. 

I'm tired.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

".... We'd be bankrupt"

I had an 11 hour day.  Holidays. 

I got up at 5, had a cuddle with Biscuit, took a shower, and did my God Time later.  I just finished it, in fact, before I turned on the computer. 

We got picked up and went to the warehouse.  Ron "ordered" so much stuff I didn't have any room for my snacks.  I was pretty upset.  I did manage to get 5 things but that's all we could fit. 

I had a great guy help me load the truck, they really have some nice guys. 

I got to work and unloaded the carts, then took them out.  I loaded them with "fresh" inventory and took them into the building. 

One of the managers stopped me "Gimme one of them sodas".  What?  She pointed at the cart. 

"They're all warm, anyway, you don't want them." 

"I'll get ice.  Gimme a soda."  Free, she meant. 

"If I gave everyone who wanted, a free drink" I told her "We'd be bankrupt." 

She got very offended and stomped off.  I hope I didn't make an enemy there but some of the managers are really bad about demanding free merchandise.  If I give her something free today, then it will be something free tomorrow, and the day after... and pretty soon I will be bankrupt.  She makes at least $50K a year.  She can afford $1.25 for a soda.  And a cold one, at that. 

It reminded me of the manager who thought it was "funny" to steal a case of honey buns off my cart and refuse to give them back, because, after all, "They were 'free', right?"  I just stared at him, deadpan, until one of the other managers made him give them back. 

Recently I had a guy wanted to run a tab.  Even if he hadn't treated me horribly in the past, I told him "No credit". 

Now, I have no problem helping people out.  Recently I found one gal in front of the soda machine, nearly in tears.  She extended her hand to me, full of change.  "I only have 70 cents (price is 75), but I really need a soda..."  I was happy to get her something.  I'd rather make a little less profit, have goodwill, and make some kind of sale, and Ron was OK with it when he heard. 

Ron agreed with me today, in fact.  He was shocked I'd even bothered to mention it to him.  Of course I wasn't giving away free merchandise. 

If we have dented cans, ones we can't stock, we will give them away to whoever is at hand.  People are always happy to get them.  I have also given away partially filled bags of chips - ones that were "short" enough that the customer would be upset.  I've had a few that only had one chip.  The customers and I had a good laugh over that. 

I got the soda cart into the building.  I had a second cart, with sodas, and some chips on top (the 5 cases).  As I brought it in "Freebie" yelled something at me about "chips" but I didn't hear her.  I just kept pushing the cart. 

Did she want a whole meal?   I don't know.  I was busy stocking and helping Ron, for hours.  The bottled vendor is acting up again, it's not lining up with the shelves when it goes up and down.  That's a problem. 

The coffee machine coin mech says it is disabled from machine.  Or board, or something that will probably cost us a couple hundred dollars.  [sigh] 

All the other machines were OK. 

I wore my Santa hat.  People seem to like it. 

Finally done, we went to the bank, lugging a big canister of dimes.  We did a "coin dump", where they send it to a sorting facility and then credit our account.  They basically put the money into a giant plastic bag with a durable seal.  They put the coins in the bag, and seal it.  They put the deposit slip in another compartment and seal that, then away it goes.  Ron will get the credit to his business account. 

Done at the bank; Chuck picked us up.  We went to eat at Carl's Jr - we all got chicken strips.  10 is way to many for me or Ron.  I could barely eat 5.  They were good, though. 

Happily they agree with my pills.  I forgot about chicken strips and lithium don't get along, at least for me.  Traffic was very long coming home, but we made it. 

It was after 5, way too late for a nap even if #6 wasn't home. 

They had some excitement this morning.  #6 has 3 vehicles, his work truck (it has storage compartments built into the truck body), her SUV (seats driver and 7 passengers, just enough for her family of 8), and a ugly burgundy 13-passenger van.  Various people drop their kids off in front of the house in the morning, the kids all pile into the van, and they go to school. 

Today, though, they came back.  "Oh, they have a flat" our driver remarked. 

All - 10? kids piled out of the large van and got into the 7 passenger SUV.  Notice the problem?  Not enough seatbelts, not safe at all.  But they were laughing and carrying on. 

I hope they all made it.  The van is back in front of the house (it was gone earlier), so I suppose they did. 

I have heard of some horrible accidents, too many kids in a vehicle, no one in seatbelts, rollover, kids thrown out of the vehicle, etc...it's really awful.  Don't the parents care? 

I don't know.  I assume they do but you've got to be careful. 

When I got home I put our leftovers away and then did my God Time.  I have just enough time to spend maybe 20-30 additional minutes online before I have to go to bed. 

Tomorrow, I get snacks.