Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Happy Tuesday!

Generally when I have a "bad day", it's a Tuesday. Happily, that did not happen today. I started out right; turned on the Contemporary Christian satellite music channel and read a devotional, took my pills. Out on the loading dock, did a devotional. It's actually pretty cool for people to catch me reading a Bible.

I took in some Bible-themed paperbacks and such, snuck them into the "free reads" pile. Hey, if they can put in their "Finding your spirit guide" books, I can put in my Bibles! Even though I didn't get enough sleep last night, I still had enough juice to deal with a visit from our boss, a visit from a difficult supervisor who wants to push Ron around (Thank you God for Lithium and my other medications!), etc. Even Ron's doing pretty well today.

My Bibles and such shipped from Christian books. I can hardly wait to get into them.

I've been thinking about what I'd like to get with the remainder of my fun money. I've decided to go with the ...... (drumroll) Wool! I can get the spindle next week but for now I already have a spindle.

I plan to get one pound of each, from RH Lindsay
Black/dark brown wool blend
Domestic wool blend (it does not feel like a $6 a pound wool blend)
and the infamous camel top.

I'm going to go get them!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Why shouldn't I?

Today wasn't bad, but it was incredibly hectic for us. Get to work, run, run, run, receive orders, repairman came right before Metrolift, run, run. Got to the bank late because Metro was late, thank God! Rush rush... etc. Walmart. Eat. Pharmacy, put in refill request, shop, go back to pharmacy. Try to find things for Ron, almost time to go, slow checkout....!

Culminating in coming home from Walmart (I got really goofy from my pills and forgot how to add - I didn't get any of my food shopping done) and discovering a horrifying crime scene. It started at the cat door, an ominous trail of feathers. It got progressively worse - enough to make me gag, while, at the same time, thanking GOD that Ron had not stepped in "it" and tracked "It" all over the house. We barely had time to turn around when BAM! Metro is there, time to go to Starbucks (for me, the UPS store). I mailed Sue's thing. Yay!

I went to the bookstore, thinking to maybe buy myself a cheap paperback Bible (they're a collectible vice I don't mind retaining). Just when I've added one and marked up all my favorite passages, I always encounter a "Seeker" who is absolutely STARVING for the Word. I give them one of my Bibles, and get another one. I passed on my NJKV to a cab driver and he met me about a month later, raving about how much he loved the Bible. I can't exactly begrudge them, but I do like to have a collection with a couple different versions.

Let me see, in order of time I've had them, I've got:

  • Good news Bible I got at age 8
  • NIV/KJV Mom & Dad got me in 2002 - about 2 weeks before Ron got hurt. Boy, that rascal got some MILES! I also have a One year NIV
  • Recovery Bible and NT Sue gave me in 2003.
  • Various devotionals
  • Scofield Bible that belonged to my maternal grandmother - thanks Sue!
  • My beloved NKJV, about 5X6 inches, I carry it in my knitting bag. I guess you'd call it my "throwdown" Bible, I can pull it out anytime, anywhere. I bought it this year to replace my larger paperback, which I gave away.

So, I was at the bookstore. I saw a CEV. It looked interesting. But I didn't have enough time to buy it. AGH.

I came home and logged onto Christianbooks.com . I didn't see a $5 CEV like they had at Barnes and Noble. But I did see a cover for my "little guy" (the small NKJV I always take with me), some "How to read the Bible in a year" tracts that look interesting (give away 24, keep one, I'm happy, God's happy), a "going to be given away" NKJV paperback bible, some NLT New Testaments (give away 7, keep one), an NCV paperback Bible, an NASB paperback bible, and covers for the bigger bibles (NCV, NLT) in my favorite colors at only a couple bucks each. I thought, well, I'd sure like to get all this but it's going to be $40!

I try to avoid spending half of my "Debit Account" deposit on the first day of my pay period. It just seems wasteful and foolishly indulgent. Then I had some thoughts: What's more important than eternity (for the recipients of my low-key, leave it out, seekers help yourself) for the recipients of the New Testaments? Would I spend this much on a hobby (YES! Without a qualm). Well, isn't God at least as important as spinning or knitting - yes. Do I believe God would put it in my heart to buy these things if He weren't going to use them? Well, you get the idea.

So I bought them. Do I plan to do this every pay period? NO WAY! I'm going to have fun when my new Bibles arrive, playing dress-up with the new covers, leaving out the New Testaments (I have to be sneaky), and praying for everyone who comes into contact with them. God can use me if I LET him. This is a tiny little step of faith.

Besides, I still have $50 in the debit account for me, and I can deposit more Wednesday if I choose. God's been very good to me, He covers my needs. I'm rich in the things that matter.

Now, lest you think I'm some kind of high-powered, fireball Christian, I have to say this. I don't read my Bible on a regular basis. Sometimes, I don't read it once in a week! I have found, to my horror, dust on my bible on more than one occasion.

I took this to God today and said, I want to make reading Your word a priority but how do I do it?

I love the answer I got: TREAT IT LIKE YOUR LITHIUM. I would never ever skip a dose of Lithium unless I was retching into my barf bucket. I take it faithfully 3 times a day. I take my Risperdal later than my Lithium, so I make time out of my day, 4 times a day, every day.

Do a small Bible study at every "Pill time!"

God's a genius. He gets all the credit for this one!

I'll be praying for you.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

I don't want anything!

Sometimes I'm really taken aback by my medication. Take just now. Ron is paying me on Monday; we're going to Walmart afterwards, then going home, mail Sue's thing, go home and stay there until Tuesday.

So I was trying to tally up things I'd like to buy online with my debit account so I can make a correct deposit. Yarn. I've got a couple dozen skeins of nice wool yarn, several dozen skeins of acrylic yarn. I'm good for yarn.

Then I went to the spinning sites. Nice fiber! Lovely spindles, but I've got a great Nordic spindle (from Paradise), a plying spindle, no urgent need. I might get a "Mini" Nordic but a burning desire? No. Overwhelming, desperate, hungering need? Nah. Wow. It's such a wonderful new feeling. I'm in control of my spending (you won't see my calling Dave Ramsay because I never used credit).

What about fiber to spin? I've got almost 5 pounds. I'm not "Starving". Uh. Anything else? No.

This is so alien to me, so novel and interesting. It's sad, too, but God needs me Bipolar; and he gave me Lithium so it's all good.

Wow. I don't want anything!

Hippity Hop go the rappers

One thing I love about Ron is the fact that he can always make me laugh. I had a choice between "Frankenfish" and "Anaconda" today. I chose the snake movie (that really freaked Ron out "Do I want snakes? Yeah, I want snakes."). I noticed that a Hip Hop artist is in it. I told Ron I've noticed a tendency to cast hip hop/rap artists in horror movies (Coolio did an excellent job in Pterodactyl). Ron asked was the hip hop artist cast as a bunny rabbit. "Hippity hop! Hippity hop! Don't eat me monster! Look at my fluffy tail! I sing nursery rhymes for money!" Thank God, the man doesn't have a blog. I'm laughing again, envisioning Coolio with a fluffy white rabbit tail. Actually, when I laugh I bray like a donkey, it can be a little alarming for people who don't expect it. I told him I'd post it to my blog so he's happy.

I sent Roxane pharmaceuticals (they make "My" Lithium) a fanmail. I hope they print it up and post it on the breakroom wall. I'd love everyone to know they're literally saving lives (and marriages) with every Lithium tablet they make. I'm glad glad glad I did it. Captionmax loved my "Thank you for captioning all my favorite shows" email so who knows? I like to think I'm the kind of person who writes fan mails to her favorite pharmaceutical manufacturer.

Yay! I get paid on Monday and we'll probably go to Walmart on Tuesday afternoon (I hope). Monday I will mail the infamous thing to Sue.

Just for fun, I've started on a "No holes" ski mask for Ron. He doesn't need any eye or mouth holes when he's outside in the cold. He can just roll it up and stuff it in a pocket when he's inside. I'm using Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride wool/mohair blend in a nice denim blue heather. I'll throw in some charcoal stripes but it'll be nice and cozy. His only gripe with the wool watch cap I made him was that it wasn't tight enough. He wants a hat sized several inches too small, for a nice, tight, fit. If he decides he doesn't like it than it goes to the Russian orphans. They can roll it up over the ears a few times to be nice and warm.

I may even get him a new jacket, and stick the hat and gloves in the pockets.

Friday, July 27, 2007

It's Friday night...

Why am I posting?

I finally finished "Sue's thing". I hope she likes it. It's really pathetic when I think about it, I hardly ever make anything for family. I plan to remedy that this year.

It took a couple of hours, but I'M FINISHED!

Yay.

Knitting is my fourth medication

First thing! I got a good link for my gloves. http://www.palmflex.com/storefront/detail.aspx?ID=506 Ron hinted strongly he'd like some, so I asked Ron point-blank if he wanted a pair and he said yes. So, happy anniversary. I don't have to spend a lot of money for him to feel loved.

Whenever I'm ready to hang up my crochet hook, I get another call to arms. After I finish "Sue's Thing" I'm going to be doing "Polly's thing". This time, I have some ideas for a lovely earthy hue; with the recipient's name embroidered on the afghan so no one can "Lose"it. I think I'm going to end up storing that yarn I assumed I was giving away. I've been thinking about maybe doing a sort of store. I'd make afghans and put them online. If someone wanted one, they'd send me a check made out to the Salvation Army or another good charity. Once I got the check, I'd donate it, and mail them the afghan. I'd appreciate input. What do you think?

I feel sorry for vegans. For a while, when I was manic, around age 13 I decided to live the vegan lifestyle. It didn't work. Not to mention I sure missed those trips to Burger King with Dad. Thick shakes, charbroiled patties, yum yum. I cannot imagine a life without meat and animal-based products. It must be very sad. Self-satisfaction and moral superiority don't make a good meal; I've tried. Sorry.

I had one of those "Purpose of life" incidents today where I realize God does need me exactly how I am now. If I were "normal", He couldn't work through me the way He can now. Ron and I were riding Metrolift to work; we had an hour and a half trip to work. That's not uncommon; the weather was horrible, and the driver had 3 other trips between our pickup and our drop off. Anyways, we'd made our last pickup and I told the passenger, "Don't worry, she's a good driver, we've been riding for over an hour." He looked in the backseat at me and said "Really?" He was shocked and surprised that I had such a calm and happy attitude, I guess, and it was a good opportunity to witness "I let my life be my testimony". Anyone can pitch a tantrum and get an ugly attitude, what's our secret? We're saved. It was really neat to see him to a double take and think about our "Fruits" (as believers, we're supposed to act differently). I'm glad to know I'm doing my job.

All that said, I do have to add, I had my knitting and I was knitting during the waits. It makes me a better me, kind of like my medication. Ha! I like that. "Knitting is my fourth medication". Nice.

We had another trainee invasion at work. I helped them as best I could, got Snack 2 running again (the poor baby is very decrepit), stocked the machines with chips and candy bars, etc. I did, however, run out of time before I could check the change banks. I need to make sure they're full or it will say "Exact change only" - some naughty machines will just fail to give correct change. Other than that, I got everything done and helped Ron too.

Then we went out to lunch, came home, and took a nap. Yay!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Sue's thing

As I began to type just now, I heard a terrible racket outside the window. "Fluffy", a longhaired, gray and white, stray cat, has been sniffing around the house for a few years. I can't blame the poor thing. Our house reeks of spoiled rotten felines; our boys are overweight, and Fluffy's looking pretty rough these days. I think Fluff's people moved and left him behind. They're on the roof now, the cats, and I hope they settle things quietly. I don't mind having a third cat, assuming it is freindly, fixed, has good toilet habits, and gets along with the other two, but I doubt my guys would allow it. So I'll just enjoy the fire-engine roars of anger and disapproval on an ongoing basis. Worst case, Bubba can always sit on poor Fluffy. It'll be all over then.

So. Sue's thing. I was going to make a teasing post about how Sue would love her olive-green poncho, but then I realized Sue likes Olive Green. So, it isn't an olive green poncho. I can't really think of a handmade article that would make her gasp in horror - "Oh, no, Heather made me a Quizzy!". Now I wish I'd made a fake object, so horrifying that it would make anyone's eyes bleed to behold it (like my first afghan). I could put up a picture and call it "Sue's thing". I'm evil. So, I finished most of it, I just have a little bit left, and barring a major disaster I will have it done tomorrow. Yay!

I got an interesting pattern book today. First, Chuck came and met us, drove us to Metrolift, we dropped off the paperwork for him to get renewed. Yay! The lady said everything was in order, and Ron unintentionally demonstrated that the line about him being partially deaf is all too true. We then ate breakfast, yum. We passed Hobby Lobby and Chuck stopped so I could run in and shop. I kept it short but I found an interesting Bernat Camoflauge (sic) pamphlet. I am interested in several items, namely the crochet mittens, the fingerless gloves (!!) and a couple of the sweaters. You probably couldn't pay me to make anything out of their suggested yarns (UGH!), but the patterns themselves are intriguing. It began to pour so we ran to the vet, got some medication (I've forgotten what they're calling the stuff that used to be Revolution), and ran home. Then I got all the fun of dosing the cats.

My gloves came today! They are really nice, thick, durable-looking and warm. I love the cozy liner. Ron has already mentioned he wouldn't mind a pair himself. I think I may have my anniversary gift. He tends to like either tools or warm things (I've bought him a few coats and many hand-tools). I think the gloves would be great.

I took my Lithium late today (I waited until we were out to breakfast) and got manic, demonstrating yet again that I'm only one or two missed doses from going into a major freak-out. I don't find it as depressing as I used to, thank God.

Tomorrow starts early but it's over early, too. They call me an optimist! Envision me laughing, but it's a healthy laugh, not "Oh, God! She's OFF HER PILLS!" manical laughter. I have a lot more real fun on my medication.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Bermuda Weeds"

That's what Ron calls the grass: "Bermuda Weeds". He detests it with a special passion. Frankly, it's scary to see how fast the stuff can grow. One week of rain, and we've got waist-high weeds out back.

About the only thing that restrains it is shade. Good thing I couldn't kill that pear tree. I kept cutting it down; it kept growing back. Last fall it turned colors beautifully so I decided to "keep" it. That's one of the things I miss from Virginia, those beautiful falls. Crunchy leaves, blazes of color, the acrid smell of the dead leaves... sigh. So the pear tree stays; and it can help keep the bermuda weeds down.

I gave Ron some names and numbers of growth regulators. I had teased him about getting some "Don't grow" or "Stop Growing" - maybe a product like that will work.

I was just drafted by Ron. Frosty the snow cat (I know) had something sticky on his tail. "It's been there all day," said Ron, as he got his wet washcloth "I'm going to clean it off." Frosty was amazingly sweet-tempered about the whole experience. Ron couldn't get it off, it looks like some kind of industrial glue, but he sure tried. I just stood there and told Ron he'd better give Frosty treats afterward or I would. He gave Frosty a very generous portion.

Frosty is really a perfect lap cat for us. Bubba brought him home to us after our other cat, Baby Girl, died. At first, he was unsocialized and terrified of us. He tried to throw himself out a window when we finally got him into the house. Now, he only leaves the house to play or lay sentry at the top of our driveway. He sat in my lap for half an hour this morning, happy as could be. Most cats only like some petting, but Frosty can't get enough. Like I said, he's perfect.

Ron's cut the offending patch of hair off Frosty's tail and is now rewarding him with even more treats. My boys. I sure love them. Ron loves to talk to Frosty as he pets him.

I'm going to go work on Sue's thing, which won't be getting mailed tomorrow. Bad Heather!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Rabbit Strips

Thank God our milkman came back from vacation today. He confided that his bosses had really dropped the ball on virtually all his stops (mainly convenience stores and such); some stops had no deliveries at all. So they were pretty enraged by the time he showed up.

I handed him a snickers bar and a cold soda. We got a lot done at work today and we got Ron's new Metrolift letter. He's now certified as a real train wreck (which he is). I don't know WHY God decided we had to go back and get the doctor to fill out the paperwork again... but there you have it. It's not about what I want anyway, but what He thinks we need to do.

I went by the leather store. Apparently, anything I might have been interested in doing is prohibitively expensive, so I just settled for a rabbit skin for the cats. Bubba's had a lot of fun attacking the rabbit skin and dragging it around (it does have a rather gamey aroma), so Ron suggested we cut it into "Rabbit strips" for an even more exciting toy.

I went by the Scrub/medical supply store after the leather place. I asked if they had replacement feet for a shower chair. HUM. What an attitude I got. She was very rude AND she lied to me (I have never seen shower chair feet at a hardware store and I've been to plenty!). I was not going to spend a penny at a place like that (and I didn't see any interesting scrubs for Sue, either).

Our commercial microwave is not working, and based on what I saw of the door that's a good thing. I don't want to glow in the dark; so we'll just have the repairman out. Ouch, that won't be cheap, but Ron loved the note I put on the dead microwave. Just "Sorry - out of order, working microwave over there, we called the repairman, have a nice day, sorry again"

My pills are kicking in.. horrible spenning (that was supposed to be spelling but I left it to convey the point) etc... if I seem foggy I am. About a week ago I bought a "Tall" wool throw at Ikea on clearance ($10 for a new wool blanket was theft) and washed it very carefully. Last night I put it (I mentioned I've only made myself one afghan) on top of my one afghan and slept great. The afghan kept off the itchies, and the wool kept me well ventilated and warm. I'm glad I bought it.

Yay. No delusions, no symptoms. Plenty of Lithium in the medicine cabinet; I can tolerate the side effects.

Chestnuts of my Dad's I use a lot come to mind:
"It's better than the alternative" being foremost.

Ron's very fond of "If you don't ask, the answer's always no."

Goodnight, wherever you are.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Patience

When I get frustrated at my mental sluggishness, when I get dizzy and start to lose my balance, and when I have to take longer naps than I did as a toddler, I try to recall the good things I've gained from my medication.

Today, I meditated on how nice it is not to have delusions anymore. I don't miss them one bit. UGH. A horrible thought, stuck to you like a leech, a horrible, soul-sucking leech. I know it isn't true, yet it's utterly convincing. It's in my mind constantly, lurking like a hated stalker. Everywhere I go, there it is. UGH. No more, thank God. I can stand a little mental fogginess.

Ron and I seldom fight anymore, either. Partly, it's because we've had 15 years of practice at getting along with each other, being sensitive and loving mates. Mostly, it's because I take my Lithium.

I'm not obessed with spending my paycheck. Tomorrow, I'm going to run to the leathercraft store that's near our doctor (Ron needs paperwork filled out). I might buy some scraps and play around with making a pillow. I've considered it for a few months, and why not? I still find it interesting.

I was just looking at the Sheep Shed, they've got some fantastic superwash wool rovings. Paradise Fibers' Columbia-Dorset blend worked out perfectly for me. It's an ideal wool for a "Store quality" handspun yarn. The yarn was loads of fun to spin. I've got about a pound of roving, I'd like more. But it can wait.

I can't tell you how nice that is, to think that I can wait. I can wait until I finish Sue's thing, I spin up the rest of that pound of the Columbia-Dorset, and play with the gray blend I got from RH Lindsay. The Sheep Shed and Paradise Fibers aren't going anywhere; I can get the things I want, if I still want them, in another few weeks.

I like having patience.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

All set for winter now!

I think, in yesterday's post, I mentioned how I wanted some good gloves for winter.

My requirements:
  • Wool
  • Fold-back mitten/fingerless glove style (great for needlework or writing checks out in the cold weather)
  • Ideally, a tough palm that wouldn't pill like the fold back mitten/fingerless glove style I bought last year in a cheap acrylic. It pilled like a drug addict!
  • A color I could look at every day.

I found it! Yeah! I am so happy. It's even got a Thinsulate lining so I'll stay EXTRA toasty (I hate cold extremities). Here's the link: http://www.palmflex.com/storefront/detail.aspxID=506

At less than $20 WITH shipping, I told Ron I had no problem buying them then and there. That's why I keep the extra $20 in my debit account. This morning, I bought two wool watch caps at the surplus store (I'm not the biggest fan, they always look at me like I'm some kind of specimen or shoplifter). Anyway, I got 2 wool caps. One for me, one for Ron (If he wants it).

They're extra long so he can pull it down over his face - being blind he prefers to do so. Women especially tend to freak out over ski masks so we avoid them, and they let in too much air for his taste anyway.

Hence the title, I'm all set for winter now. I've got toasty wool gloves, toasty wool hats, a warm wrap/shawl in progress, and some cheerful bright yellow yarn/future scarf. I bought a nice long (ankle-length) coat a few months ago, and a fake sheepskin lined (ALWAYS wanted one) jacket - both at Goodwill. Neither coat has any velcro - an important considerating for me, working with easily snagged fibers while waiting outside in the cold. Knitting last year was SO aggravating with the velcro coat closures. I only spent $20 combined on the two coats.

Yeah! Almost done. I even have a couple nice warm pairs of wool socks (hint to those who may be considering presents - wool socks) that I adore on chilly days. I just need to make my legwarmers after I finish "Sue's thing".

Today was wonderful. We went to Burger King in the morning after sleeping late. Ron got a burger to go and put it in the backpack he brought. I went to the surplus store and came back while he murdered tacos, fries, and onion rings (I didn't leave him many fries though).

After we got home I took a nap for a couple hours. Ahhhh. Just what I needed.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Current projects and a defense of my sleeping arrangements

This post is all about the yarn; my current projects. Things I plan to finish or start; and my thoughts on the projects.

  • #1 priority is "Sue's thing". Sue reads this so I won't say what it is. I just need to finish part of it and then wash said thing, then mail it to her before her birthday (still a couple weeks away). Hey, I can mail it to her next Thursday, we'll be running errands with Chuck anyway.
  • I need to "finish" - actually cook, the yarn I spun (about 25 yards or so) last week. It's a nice creamy Columbia/Dorset blend; it's spun up a lot nicer than I expected. It will eventually become legwarmers or fingerless gloves, I'm not sure which, but it will be MINE. I am terrible about making things for myself (as in, I never do). Then I'm going to spin some more.
  • Which leads me to the next item: spin up the gray Romney blend yarn I got from R.H. Lindsay (http://www.rhlindsaywool.com/products/index.htm ). Specifically, it's "Light Grey/Silver Scoured Carded Sliver" in a Romney Perendale blend. It's very pretty to look at and the micron count (ie itch factor) is low enough that I ought to be able to wear it next to skin (think hat, gloves, or the infamous legwarmers I've been planning).
  • I also want to spin up the new "Domestic 56 wool top" - it was only $6 a pound but it is very soft and tasty looking. I'm seeing beautiful thick yarn.
  • I always have my "Take along" project in "Knitty", my brightly colored, tie-dyed tote bag. It's the Feather and Fan shawl in the autumn colors. Sighted people who see me working on it smile, they tell me they like the colors, and they enjoy petting it. I'm the knitter who's always shoving the project at admirers, demanding they feel it. Everyone seems to like it, women look at it covetously, and I still like it. That's no small feat. After hours of time and thousands of stitches, many times I get absolutely sick of the pattern and colors, and I can't wait to gift it. I love fall colors, the pattern is the perfect level of difficulty, and I still love my shawl (estimated finished size, 5-6 feet by 2 feet wide). It's about half done. It's my take-along. I work on it while I wait and wait on deliveries and rides.
  • My last goals - make myself a nice warm hat (maybe with my leftover shawl yarn - it's merino). scarf (a cheerful yellow that didn't work in the shawl), legwarmers (with handspun yarn) and gloves. I'm toying with fingerless gloves and maybe a pair of mittens. When it's cold here in Houston, it's COLD. We're not acclimated, so we feel it a lot more than a "Yankee" (tongue firmly in cheek).

I don't have anything in the works for Ron. He's "good". I knit him a lovely alpaca/wool blend hat (he's gotten compliments and requests for the store name), but he's very partial to the cheap acrylic boy's ski mask I bought at Walmart for $2. OK. I bought him a foam head (storage for a hat that kept getting crushed); it sits on the kitty condo. It's wearing the knit wool watch cap I made with the straw hat on top. He'd never wear a sweater, scarf, or gloves.

He also has last years' anniversary gift (he tends to like tools and warm things as gifts); a nice feather comforter. He's not using it now but he loves it. He gets chilly and likes to wrap up like a burrito in the winter. He loves to sleep on the heated mattress pad, with the heavy comforter on top, wrapped up so you can hardly see his bald spot.

Since we spend every day together, hours on end, we have seperate bedrooms. Ron never had his own bedroom, ever (he always shared), so he loves his "man-cave". I flail around at night, have insomnia (as he does), and throw my covers off periodically when I'm sleeping. Ron wraps up in his covers like a mummy, and listens to the TV in bed (like his Dad), while I think it's creepy nightmare fodder. We have a good marriage, with separate beds. It works. We're not that far apart.

He doesn't like afghans, all the ones I make him end up going to someone else. He's just not that impressed. Now the HAT, he loved that.

He's a good sport about feeling the yarn and the current projects. I'm happy. He's glad I'm creative and budget minded and all the other things that make me, me. I love him, too.

Major Yarn Purge

Well, today I'm doing better. Everyone's suffering, my pain isn't unique. In fact, it's shared by one percent of any given population. Kind of odd for me to think about being a member of such a large "family" when I think about it. What's one percent of 4 billion Americans? 4 million, I think. Needless to say, a lot of zeros. I'm surely not alone!

I really appreciate my medication these days when I realize that without it, at that point and time, I'd be flying into the stratosphere, compelled to spend all my money on odd things, picking fights, and acting wierd. I'm very glad I'm not doing any of those things, just a little more "peppy" feeling than normal. In the midst of this paragraph, I got whalloped with a dizzy spell. STILL better than being manic.

Take Knitpicks, for instance. A wonderful store, they carry a wide selection of gorgoeous yarns. It's very easy to find something I want, especially when they've just trotted out their new fall products. I have a wish list on my desk: one bulky alapaca-wool blend yarn, two different "twist" sock yarns (I am very partial to "twist" colorways), two different worsted twists, and two worsted heathers (I always have fun with heathers). I couldn't buy just one ball, either, I'd have to buy two.

How I can tell the pills work:
1. I only want to buy two each, and maybe not even that.
2. I'm rethinking the sock yarn.
3. My "Don't buy unless you plan to knit it up and have the project in mind" policy.
4. Maybe just buy the worsted twists, the bulky, and start from there.
5. Wait until my next paycheck before I get that, even. If I still want them, they'll be there. It's new stuff, they ordered trucks full.

And the list remains on my desk. My money remains in my pocket (and my debit account). I'm fine with that. Hobbies are supposed to be fun, after all.

I've done a major yarn purge - 99% of my acrylic yarn, and most of the wool-blends. I've got wool, wool-mohair, and some wool-alpaca blends sitting in their storage bench. That's it. Maybe a couple dozen balls and skeins.

And I'm happy.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

"Withdrawals"

I used to spend a great deal of time on a Christian Message board (before medication). When the board would be down, people would kid around about how they'd go through "Withdrawals" while the board was unavailable.

I'm not sure what it was, but something killed my computer last week. I couldn't blog - that was rough; and I missed my email. I was waiting on a "We shipped your order" confirmation from a wool place; amusingly, the snail mail receipt and the order (via UPS) arrived yesterday.

A couple days ago, we had to ride with another Metrolift client. She had some kind of joint problem and kept screaming every time the driver hit a speed bump. The driver was very regretful and apologetic but the minivans are not known for their fine suspension. The vans aren't much better.

I couldn't understand why I was so angry at her - both during the ride and for about an hour afterwards. I finally realized that when I'm in pain, I don't get sympathy from the general public. If I tell a friend or family member, they're sympathetic, but that's it. I can't "scream". If I did "Scream" I'd get locked up, no one's going to feel bad for me. I can't limp around and have people rushing to open doors or help me lift things. If I'm having a bad reaction to my medication, I'll get looks of skepticism. What am I doing, staggering around? Am I on something? Get away from me! I can see it in their demeanor - Get away from me! I don't know what's wrong with you but I don't need your wierdness!

It's painful. As I've been grappling with this issue, the triangle of symptoms/medication/side effects, I've encountered several obviously manic individuals. They're obnoxious. They couldn't shut up if you paid them to be quiet for 10 minutes. They're hyper. They talk too loud, don't listen, they're nosy, tell you what to do, invade your personal space, and generally scare the hell out of me. I don't want to be like that. Not to mention the fact that my symptoms, pre-medication, were so terrible I probably would have killed myself if I hadn't known they were treatable. I'm never going off my pills.

That said, it's awful when I fall over things, the perpetual dizzy spells, forget Ron's breakfast in the "To go" bag sitting on the table right in front of me, get nauseous instead of hungry ("I'm queasy, I need to eat something. Ah, much better now"), the insistent dry mouth, and the weird pimples on my lower legs. A few days ago, at Walmart, all of a sudden I could feel my medication SNAP into place. I had a lot less desire to spend! spend! I felt dizzy and foggy and medicated. I had an overwhelming sense of depression and loss.

Why? I thought. I like to be "self-aware". I finally placed it and called Ron. "It's like you know, every time you take your pills, an hour later you'll go blind." I definitely suffer a "loss" when my meds kick in. I can't think as well, if at all. I get very "foggy". I get dizzy and kind of numb. It's a lot better than being sick but why should I have to choose?

There's nothing like getting smacked with side effects to make me realize, I have an incurable, lifelong illness. It's a serious illness that will kill me, if given half a chance. 50% of all Manic Depressives attempt suicide. 11% succeed. Plenty of cancers exist with lower mortality rates. I've got a disease, that in some regards, is worse than cancer. If I allow it, It will destroy my marriage, ruin all my relationships -- I did a pretty good job of trying with my family already, wreck my career, and ruin my life. It's not a gentle illness.

Here I go, battling my monster, one day at a time. I have to look at it as a daily battle, otherwise it's too depressing. But it's a battle, and a monster.

That's a lot to deal with.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Spinning adventures

I made my first skein (ei, Heather, ei) of yarn last night! I decided to play with my gray Icelandic wool. The nice thing about Paradise Fibers, you can get from 1 ounce to many pounds of many different wools and other spinnable things. I digress.

So, I'm watching Fox (Bones and Standoff - Friday nights at my place) and spinning. I'm a wild woman. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't call the police! I spun up about a half ounce of yarn before I realized, oops, I did it "backwards". The yarn is rotated in either a clockwise (usual way) or counterclockwise direction as you spin the "singles". Then two or more "singles" are twisted together (plied) to form a strand of yarn.

I spun the singles counterclockwise. The resulting yarn (after plying) will be excellent for crocheting. So I figured, what the heck, I'll try plying these rascals tonight. I did and the resulting yarn is GREAT! I even overdyed the natural gray with some grape Koolaid. I love it.

I terrorized Ron with the yarn (look at this!). Some people get strange about this, but when I tell Ron to "look" at something I'm really telling him to feel it. He did and he was very impressed. He's a good guy.

On Monday, I plan to take my yarn to work and terrorize some other people with it, as well. Ray, the sandwich delivery guy, is very interested.

I'm going to finish this up before the that thunderhead blows up. Besides, I gotta take my Lithium.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Off day

Well, I'm proud of myself. I turned what started out as a bad day into a good one.

Today, we didn't go to work. Hence, it's our off day. We had plans to go to Ikea; we'd grab some breakfast, Ron sits at a table near the bathroom (I showed him the way to the men's room if he has to go while I'm gone), then I shop. My old "computer chair" was a wooden folding chair in a fake walnut veneer. It's cute, and a great chair, but when I'd sit at my desk here (aside: desk was $30 at Ikea and I love it - had it for over a year), my neck and right shoulder would get incredibly stiff. I figured out the chair was too high (and couldn't be adjusted) and resolved to get a new one.

The last time I went to Ikea, I had seen a cute adjustable height chair with a plastic seat (the "Snille" for Ikea buffs). It's about $25 and I liked it anyway, it would be perfect as a computer chair now. I couldn't figure out a pressing need for it at the time, but now I knew.

When our ride to Ikea was over an hour late, Ron was not happy. I resolved to remain mellow and cheerful, and did a great job. I read a good book in the plastic lawn chair out front, drank a couple of cans of Diet RC, and petted the cats everytime they came by.

I love Ron for many many reasons. But the fact that he brought our driver a cold can of Dr Pepper, even though she was over an hour late, is one of them. She was happy to get it and thanked us repeatedly. There's a line in the Bible where Jesus says "Anything you did to the least of these, you did to Me." So we were giving Jesus a can of soda.

We had to drop off another client and then we were far away from Ikea. It looked grim. Breakfast? Forget it, over at 11. We got there at 11:15. But - they hadn't thrown the breakfast out, so I had a lovely meal of scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, and chocolate cheesecake. Ron had his breakfast with the "Lingonberry drink" he enjoys.

I had enough time to do my shopping and browse a little. I got a teal "Snille" and some other things (small sized). We were outside at our pickup time and best of all, we had the same driver who dropped us off (she waited, always a luxury).

It opened up on the way home; it's still raining. We have super-cells from hell. We had planned to eat later but we agreed to cancel the IHOP trip. Ron's sleeping, I'm relaxing and typing away in my new chair with no pain.

We turned an off day into a good one! I'm proud of us.

"You'll be no good to him"

I posted this originally on a knitting message board but I feel it bears repeating. Ron was in the hospital and I was caring for him, living in his hospital room (all the nurse-aide type stuff, feeding him, keeping him company, helping with the bedpan). "We" had a bunch of really wonderful nurse aides, all from other countries.

The lady I'm going to tell you about was from Jamiaca. She had watched us for a few days as she cared at him, and a couple times I caught her looking at me with a frown on her face. I told her, on this particular day, that I had to go home and do laundry, I was really sorry, etc. She frowned at me again while I continued to apologize for "leaving" him.

"Honey" she said "I've been wanting to tell you this for a while now. If you don't take care of yourself, you'll be no good to him. I want you to make me a promise. Today, you go home and take care of your business. Next time you leave, you do something nice for yourself! You've got to take care of you or you're going to be in that bed right next to him (she pointed at said bed, empty). Every week, you take half a day for yourself. A whole day would be better. I've cared for a lot of people like your husband and neither of you will do well unless you promise me, one day a week, you take a half day for yourself." She even woke Ron up and made him promise he'd "Let" me have a half-day a week.

He used to tease me about it. "When would you like your off day?" If I said I didn't need it, he'd remind me of the nurse's comments. Even if it was "only" taking the bus to the thrift store, spending $10, eating a dollar menu hamburger, coming home and taking a hot bath, it was bliss. I'd take the cell phone and we'd talk as husband and wife, not caregiver and patient. It really helped us both pull through.

I am so grateful to that woman for making me promise to take a little time to myself. Ron got to feel like he was helping ME out when I took a little me time, and he made a lot of acomplishments while I was out. One day he called me and told me he'd made it all the way to the kitchen without my help and "Whatever you had on the top shelf was good!". I wish we both could hunt her down and give her a huge hug.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

I finally got the last of the used books I ordered online June 10. The package looked like it had quite a story to tell. I wish I could hear it. Next time I don't cheap it out - I get the tracking number.

The books? Not half as good as the one I've already had for nearly a month. Ha Ha! Joke's on me.

"Spinning in the Old Way" is the best of the hand spindle books. 5 stars.

Where are the 9?

One of my favorite stories in the bible is the story of Jesus and the 10 lepers (my favorite story is the blind man on the road who wouldn't shut up until Jesus healed him). Jesus healed 9 Jews and a Samaritan. The Samaritans where the "untouchable" mixed-breed mongrels that neither race wanted to claim. Poor things.

Jesus healed the 10, and they ran off to be ritually cleansed and pronounced clean. One, the Samaritan, returned to thank Jesus. He looked at the one man who returned, and a Samaritan at that, and said "Where are the 9?" Talk about ingratitude!

Today at work I had some trouble with side effects. It's like I'd just gotten off the "Teacups" ride - I felt very dizzy and off-balance, with a whopping dose of slow-thinking fatigue. Even now I'm having trouble spelling (thank God for delete key). Anyway, I was out of some snack product (Just In Time Inventory, some times you run out early). I couldn't stock the machines. Metrolift got us to work an hour early, already called in Monday's order, so I tried to make myself useful.

When I had a good spell I took out the dumpster and dumped it into the compactor. I have to squat and hold the dumpster upside down by one wheel to get all the junk out. Not something I want to do when I'm dizzy! Right as I got back to "our" area I got dizzy again, so good call.

I ran some change (seperated it and rolled the nickels), and Ron asked me to check the codes on the pastry. We sell the Hostess/Dolly Madison line of prewrapped packaged pastries. They have no redeeming value; loaded with sugar, white flour, and fat. Boy, I'd love to eat 'em.

The Cinnamon rolls expired on July 3. Ron told me to throw them out but I like to give them to the Maintenance guys. They're always nice guys, love to play cards and dominoes on their breaks and lunches. If we need help and they can help us, they will. When we were out after Ron's accident, I missed them.

So, I placed about a dozen pastries on "their" tables. I took some to the credit union, where they were received with glee. We discovered some more pastries in a vending machine, about 6, so I pulled them. I'd seen about 6 people in "The TV Room" where they can watch their soaps and game shows (on break, of course). I started handing them out. Most people said thank you. One guy picked up the cinnamon roll, read the label, and said "Hey, these went out of code on July 3!" The woman sitting at the table with him said "Well, I'm eating it anyway" as she peeled back the wrapper. I assured her that the cinnamon rolls were "Loaded with preservatives." so she'd be fine. Mr. Ungrateful huffed, but he stuck it into his lunch pail.

I wanted to take it back. What a change from the Maintenence guys! They came in and fell on the pastries like a pack of wolves on a deer. A little squabbling "Hey, how many you got?" and everyone was happy. Many, thanks and much gratitude. They even gave one to George (who isn't even in their department). They are always happy to get free, out of code product. I hate to throw away good product and I don't have a hog, so I've got to find some one to eat it. Even if I had a hog (Heather modifies) I'd still want humans to eat it first, if no human would eat it I'd give it to the hog.

That all said, I could relate to how Jesus must have felt when He said "Where are the 9?" That guy was so ugly and I was trying to GIVE him something. I really don't see how He did it.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Heather blows something up

I don't think I'm going to top the title "Thank God for Paranoid, pill-hoarding delusions" for quite a while. I'm very proud of myself. I spent hours online today and didn't buy a thing. I considered some stuff but I'm going to think about it.

I've got a birthday coming up in a little over 2 months. If I still want the things I saw, and I haven't bought them for myself, then I'll either email to family or give Ron a floppy disk with the item, price, description, * rating (*** I really want this, for instance, or maybe *if you want to surprise me), and 800 number. He calls the number, tells them what he (I) wants and has it shipped. I get a pre-wrapped box on the doorstep. I use my imagination. Everyone else sees a brown UPS or US Mail box; I see a beautifully wrapped gift.

I'm having so much fun with the spinning I'll probably get myself another Nordic Spindle from Paradise on my next pay period (the half ounce one). You cannot beat Paradise for customer service. I mentioned, jokingly, in my "comments" (while placing last night's order), that the only problem I had was keeping my cat out of the Corriedale wool roving. Travis emailed me, on the 4th of July, with a great suggestion (put the roving in a drawstring fabric bag) and some links (to very fancy bags I can't afford, but I appricate the thought). Wow. Here we go: htpp://www.paradisefibers.net They get 5 stars from me. I'll probably "wish list" some different rovings (the stuff that ends up as yarn) and give Ron the phone number, then he can select one or two and surprise me.

Ron just found some Saturn missle firecrackers. Off I go to blow something up.

Thank God for paranoid, pill-hoarding delusions

I use a large (national) pharmacy. The pharmacy is located in a large store. The store has .... hell with it.

I use the Walmart pharmacy. I bank at the little bank in the front, next to the nail parlor. I fill my prescriptions at the pharmacy. I shop in the store.

Yesterday, I planned to do all 3. I dropped off my prescription (the 450 mg Lithium Carbonate ER). I love the pharmacy. The employees are very kind and compassionate. They're smart and efficient. They know me by name. I love the pharmacy.

After dropping off my prescription, I did some shopping. Got some dried fruit for the disaster kit. Walmart was out of Cherry Cola Diet Rite. Shame on them! I did my shopping thing for an hour, finding everything else on my list (* Cat food- all, conditioner, etc.). See, I love Walmart.

Imagine my shock when I got back to the pharmacy. "We're sorry, Ms. B., but it's going to be a partial." What?

They were out of Lithium. They could give me six tablets (I guess to keep me from becoming "Breaking News"), but that was it.

How can a pharmacy run out of Lithium? I'm just boggled, baffled, and bewildered (oooh, ringing ears side effect). How? A sudden rash of bipolar diagnoses? Huh?

Thank God for paranoid, pill-hoarding delusions. I always have an extra month on hand. Gonna have to use it.

But they will call me when they get the Lithium. AAAAGH.

Papi

I wish we could hire him. Ron always gets nervous when I mention that in public. "People will think we're rich, Heather! Most people couldn't have employees!"

Faithful Papi. First I have to mention I drink a tremendous amount of canned diet soda. A couple cases a week, minimum.

A few years ago, I heard "something" in the garbage. I looked out the window and noticed an elderly hispanic man garbage-picking, carefully removing the cans. Poor guy, I thought.

Then the 15 years of California kicked in. See, recycling is huge out there. I always felt sacreligious throwing out a recyclable, especially aluminum cans. "Wow," I thought "This is great! I can recycle without leaving the house!" In Houston, at this point and time, you have to take your cans to a scrap metal place to sell them. I can't just leave the cans at the curb to get recycled. Or could I?

We started saving the cans. Boy, Papi loved that! He called Ron "Papi!" one day so that's what we started calling him. Even though my Spanish is minimal and his English is worse, we managed to communicate. Papi makes a run through our subdivision twice a week on garbage days. We told him we'd save our cans and put them on the porch for him to take.

Recently he managed to communicate that our house often yields more cans than half the subdivision. He's gone from plastic bags and gloves on his bicycle to a grabber tool and plastic panniers. Sometimes we'll see him, two large garbage bags of crushed aluminum cans, riding down the road.

Sun, sleet, rain, heat, cold, or holiday, he's on his route, collecting cans. He's faithful, diligent, and appreciative. He already got his cans today. 7:30 like always. He's got the best work ethic.

MAN! I wish we could hire him.

My husband, the pit bull magnet

Many times I don't know what I'm going to blog about (blog on?) until I'm here on this page typing.

I've got so many things today. My husband, the pit bull magnet. I'll start on that one.

Am I just a typical woman, or an insensitive *itch? You decide. A few years ago, when I saw a large, scary looking dog in the backyard I told Ron. "There's a dog in the backyard, please get rid of it." Batting my eyelashes won't work 'cause he's blind but you get the idea.

So, being a red-blooded Texas man he got out his long white cane and hobbled out into the yard (did I mention he had a stroke? He has trouble with his balance and walking too.). "Here doggy, come on, you've got to go."

I think I'm going to go with I was a *itch, because at this point I shut the blinds and left Ron to the mercies of the stray animal. Fast forward 20 minutes. Ron's sitting in our plastic chair on the porch. He's scratching the dog - he knows all the "good spots" as he was raised with pet dogs.

Ron never had his own guide dog. He said it was just heartbreaking when the his live-in girlfreind's retired guide dog had to watch the "new" one take her to work instead. "I used to put the harness on him and take him around the block, even though I'm not supposed to. He just loved it when we got out the harness for him (to work)." It was even worse when they had to put the dog down ("Like losing a child."). So, he's always had his trusty long white cane.

To digress, I think one of the best things I did for Ron after the accident was buying him a new long white cane. I wish I'd done it sooner.

I left you back on the front porch with Ron and his new friend bonding. "Oh, Heather, he's so sweet. What a good boy!" He tried to bring the dog in the house, but Frosty the snow-cat would have nothing of it, and the dog went back outside. I fed the dog some sausage. Ron petted him some more (I ascertained it was an uneutered male). It appeared to be a "dump dog". We live close to a major freeway and unfortunately we get a fair amount of dump dogs.

The dog lies on the front porch, whining at the door periodically. I feed him more sausage. That night, I put out a polartec-type blanket ($2 at Ikea) and a pile of dry cat food. By now, I've named the damned thing "Happy".

We tried to find the owner. For about a week, Happy lived in the backyard, eating dog food and loving the large rawhide bones I bought him. He'd play tug with Ron, but was too dumb to fetch. Ron would spend about half an hour a day just petting him. He (Happy) was very polite every time I fed him.

Then we found out he was a pit bull. We couldn't keep him. I could maybe do an elderly lab - a dog for dummies, if you will, but not a pit bull. The insurance company said, "Hell no!". We kept him another week after that but Ron always got nervous when Happy licked his neck.

Eventually, we had to turn him in to animal control. 2 weeks of ads in the paper, calling all the vets, begging pit bull rescue to take him, and we had to do it. It broke my heart. I still miss him.

You can imagine my shock when Ron woke me up from a nap a few days ago. I opened the front door. Ron is petting a large pitbull-shepherd mix. "I heard him panting in the yard and I called him, he's so sweet, he loves to be petted and I gave him some treats. What is he? Does he have tags?"

My husband the pit bull magnet. Fortunately, it was a family pet that escaped. Next time she gets out I'm sure she'll come to our house for some petting and a treat.

But don't kid yourselves people. It's a lot more loving to call animal control, knowing the animal will be put down (like I did), than to leave a helpless animal to starve. They're dependent on you! GET THEM FIXED.

We got the cats "done" for $40 each at the clinic.

Torbie on my feet

Two days in one, again.  I got up at 7 AM (late for me) yesterday and we went to Walmart.  I finally found a canister for the dry cat food...