Sunday, September 30, 2007

I left him

Tonight my husband became physically abusive. The saddest thing wasn't that he shoved me, hit me, and verbally abused me. It wasn't when he bit me repeatedly, or when I was hitting him with a shoe, trying to make him stop.

It was when he hit me in the face. Then I said "That's it!", smacked him over the head a few more times to get him to stop (the bed is broken now from his tackle and the subsequent grappling), grabbed my cell phone, and left.

I told him I was calling the police (I didn't - I can always call them later). He stopped. I got a few things together (including my medication) and waited outside while I called my aunt and uncle.

I got paid recently. I still have most of my money. I have my pills, and good old Puppy, the stuffed dog. No cats, and I'm worried about them. They're tough, and Ron wouldn't dare hurt them, but I still worry.

Part of why I'm glad I'm away from him is the overwhelming homicidal urge to beat him over the head with one of his liquor bottles. He's not worth a felony or a misdemeanor (I feel my actions tonight were purely self-defense).

How did it start? He went into my room, thinking it was the bathroom. He tripped over something and urinated all over himself and the floor. He began throwing things around and broke a lamp. I told him to stop. Cursing, verbal abuse, shoving, more cursing, hitting, etc.

I am so sick of him right now. So angry and disgusted. What makes me really angry? When I was leaving in the car with my aunt and uncle, he said "Tell Heather I love her". Then he left 11 extremely abusive, hateful, ugly messages on my cell phone.

I'm guessing 11 negatives outweigh one possible positive. He's going to get help before I come back, that's for sure.

He's already said I'm fired. He's throwing all my stuff out (see you in court!), I'm easily replacable, I'm a crazy sick burden, and he's better off without me. He can't wait to have me out of his life.

Oh, and he needs me at work tomorrow.

Say WHAT?

I already called a friend and told him I wouldn't be in and why "Ron hit me in the face." So, if you're a believer, and even if you aren't, send up a prayer that God show me His will.
I'm a wild woman. Yes, I am. I woke up early (for a day off, 6 AM is early), went to Walmart. We rode with a nice driver. He's from Vietnam, got caught by the bad guys, prisoner of war. Got out, came here. Nice guy, couldn't be nicer. We've ridden with him before so we enjoy him.

Once we got to Walmart, breakfast. Took my pills, got out my list, I'm ready to shop. I start at the "Non-perishable" side and work my way across the back to the perishable foods. As I passed the craft department, I noticed more Red Heart Zebra yarn! I only bought one additional skein. I'm cutting back. I also found size 8 *(5mm) 16-inch circular bamboo needles for $2.44. That is an insanely good deal. I couldn't believe it. I bought all 3. I got some Chappel Hill garlic sausage, oh, that is the best. I got Ron some spicy pre-cooked sausage patties, bacon, and other good things. When I feel more energetic, I'll have Ron cut up the Chappel Hill sausage so I can cook it. I hate cutting raw meat. Yuck.

When I got home, I couldn't wait to (1. Put up the needs refrigeration stuff) get out my new circular needle and play with it! I have to say, it was a tad splintery but it's not bad. I got out some 220 sandpaper I have and used it with great success. It's better than aluminum "circs", and no worse than the $10 wooden circulars. It makes me realize the outragous markup the craft stores charge on that stuff, they have no problem... eek. Walmart is so popular for a basic reason, one I try to emulate. They buy low, sell low.

Ron and I have gotten into trouble at work with a Buy-Low/Sell-Low philosoply. Virtually every item we sell is covered by a contract. We have to sell sodas for 70 cents, and candy bars for 75. We do have a few "gray items". A good example -- the granola bars. I found a great deal on them, 22 cents a bar. Ron and I try to keep a certain percentage food cost (food cost is X% of the final cost). We decided that 50 cents would be fair. The other vendor was buying them from our wholesale supply company and selling them for 75 cents (but we didn't know at the time).

The other vendor has the Buy-Low/Sell-High philosopy. If you can buy an item for 18 cents, and sell it for 60, then you ought to. Except he's been complaining a lot about poor sales. When I was at Walmart today I saw peanut bars, 10 for $2.42. According to our contract, we ought to be selling them for 75 cents. If you want a Peanut Bar every day what are you going to do? I doubt they'll come to us. People are cheap, they want a good deal, that's been my philosophy. A good example, I'm not wild about root beer. But when I worked at a linen shop I would buy root beer from the soda vending machine because the guy sold generic root beer for 40 cents, name brand sodas 60 cents. For a dollar, I could get a soda and a candy bar. Or I could get a "Coke".

Ron agreed. So we put the granola bars in at 50 cents. We sold 2 cases a week. Then a customer complained to the other vendors that their granola bars were more expensive. OOoooh. It was ugly. They felt attacked. They actually had granola bars written into the contract at 75 cents. Ron's boss's boss actually told him "We're in this business to make money" - not realizing that selling 2 cases a week at, say, $30 profit a month was a lot better than selling two cases a MONTH at $24 profit. We're still making more money than the other guy.

No. And when we raised prices, sales dropped like a rock. Of course. People want a good deal, they'll go out of their way to get it. Like I did.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Puppy

Today, I had a horrible headache. We had an appointment to go into work, though, so I took my asprin and staggered onto the van.

I knew snacks were tragic and they were bad. Ron also needed help clearing off a pallet in our big stockroom. Anyway, I battled the headache and my ever-present nausea. I stocked the machines, I waited outside and roasted like a potato. I waved at our van, came home, and ate some soup.

After I figured I'd given the soup some time to settle, I laid down and took a nap with Puppy. What? I have a dog. Allow me to explain.

For a while I've been thinking Puppy deserved an entry of his own. As you all know by now, Ron was in a horrible accident almost 5 years ago. He spent over a month in ICU. We had crisis after crisis, setback after setback. In between his hospitalizations, my grandmother died. It was tough.

One thing I heard constantly was "So, I guess Ron will get a guide dog now." Or "When is he getting a guide dog?" The implication being - Ron walked to work on his own. He was hit by a truck. It's not the guy who was in a hurry's fault, the guy who ran a red light, the guy who broke several traffic laws. No, it wasn't his fault, it was Ron's for walking alone and mine for letting him. (HA! No one lets Ron do anything!). These well-meaning souls kept asking and asking about Ron's future guide dog.

It was 2 years before Ron could even walk much. But they didn't think of that. One must be ABLE to get around in order to get a guide dog. Besides, Ron's girlfriend had one that had to be put down. "It's like losing a child" he said. He still gets emotional when he talks about that dog.

He also made a good point about white canes - use it up, throw it out. Someone breaks it, buy a new one. It's less committment.

One day I was out shopping at Walmart and I saw a cute stuffed dog. It was a "German Shepherd" with floppy legs and a cute expression. It was maybe a foot long, only a few dollars, and I said "Aha! Here's the guide dog!"

I took it to the hospital and showed Ron. I even sat it on his bed. A few days later, I found out my mother died.

Only my faith in God sustained me. I'd almost lost my husband repeatedly. I had lost my grandmother. I was paranoid and manic and having a really bad time overall.

The stuffed dog's black eyes seemed to gleam with sympathy as I lay down one night, and I snatched it close. When I was a little girl, I had a stuffed bear. I slept with him every night, and he was the first thing I wanted when I woke up from eye surgery at age 3.

I was very shy about being caught with Puppy. I felt like I had this strong, capable, caregiver image to project. I had to be the kind of woman who didn't need a stuffed animal. So I'd put him on the arm of my fold-out chair bed in the hospital room. If I woke up, I'd see him and I didn't look quite so "weak".

When "we" were released, Puppy came home with us. He slept on the floor with me, in the same room with Ron. Then my aunt gave us an old daybed frame, we got off the floor. Remember I had undiagnosed type 1 bipolar so I had PLENTY of ups and downs. Puppy was there for me every night.

Cats are fickle. I love sleeping with a cat in the bed, therefore, they hardly ever do it. I could roll over on Puppy, squash him, drop him out of bed, he's happy. If you remember your Velveteen Rabbit he's certainly real.

One of my favorite memories of my cat Baby Girl is one morning when she climbed into bed with me. She was a smallish kitten at the time. She startled when she saw Puppy, so I made him "Bark" at her. She galloped off. This happened a few times a week.

One morning, I woke up and she was dragging him off by an ear, growling ferociously. She showed Puppy who was the boss!

I still sleep with Puppy every night. You couldn't pay me to give him up.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I was right.

A couple days ago, I mentioned that Ron's "Love Language" (I've never read the book), seems to be "actions". He really feels loved when I do things, like mowing the yard or some housekeeping thing. When I do them, he heaps praise on me and thanks me repeatedly.

Well, being a normal human woman I like that. Me, I'm more of a cuddler. He was rubbing my back today while we waited on Metrolift and it was wonderful, totally G rated. I also like hearing about how wonderful I am. [sticking my tongue out]

I even asked him. He agreed. He feels loved when I help him with "cleanup" things. We've already designated a couple days a week so that ought to help us both. I can literally look at a cluttered room and not see it. I have no idea how I'm different from average but I know that's a part of it.

I told him he might want to get the book. I was completely impressed when he read "Men are from Mars...." He even has his very own "Man cave". It's pretty funny to see him and the two cats stretched out and napping.

Anyway, I'm glad I talked to him. I venture to say we won't fight as much about all this. He's a good husband, and I love him. I want to keep things that way.

Minus - Ebay

Sometimes I get an email from Paypal, or someone claiming to be Paypal. When I do Froogle searches (if you want to buy something, you can go to froogle.com and find the beast faster) I always modify the search for - (minus) ebay. No ebay. Of course, a lot of times Froogle doesn't listen, and I get the links anyway.

I have reached the conclusion that for me, Ebay is very dangerous. If I'm even a little bit manic for something (say lace knitting patterns and needles) I can find dozens of "Buy it Now!" links just waiting for my mouse click. It took me years before I started my online debit account (for stores) because I simply didn't trust myself.

Bipolar? Spending sprees! I hate being a cliche.

Yet it's true.

My medication helps tremendously but why punish myself? I hated the "Oh, God. I got paid 2 days ago! Where is it? Where is my money!" I really hated it. I used to dread counting my money because I literally couldn't hold onto it.

I can go to Walmart and spend $28 (like I did today, and about five of it was cat treats Ron requested). I can have a birthday check in my fun money account and tell my husband "I want to get something good, not just little dribs and drabs." I haven't touched it yet, I'm still considering.

I love that I can see my doctor in 2 weeks and pay with my debit card, instead of cash (which freaks them out). I like having deposit tickets instead of checks. I like being the master of my spending, not the victim.

You couldn't pay me to use Ebay. It's like asking a drunk to work in a bar. If I can't find it at an online store, I'm not buying it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Learning patience!

I really, really want the new Knitpicks size 8 wood interchangable needle tips. But they won't be in stock until Oct 22. AGH.

I'm delighted I'm not the only person who loves these tips. I'm delighted that they will continue to carry something so obviously popular.

But my 2 year old side wants to stamp my foot and pitch a tantrum! Another thing, I'm missing a cable, somewhere.... it's been bugging me.

If any of you find my Knitpicks cable, 32 inches long, running around anywhere let me know would you? It only cost $2 (set of 2, $4) but it's bugging me.

"The Guy with the naked wife"

After the day was long past, Ron could call our local law-enforcement office and simply state, "It's me, Ron B, the guy with the naked wife." Oh, they'd exclaim, let us connect you to your officer.

I'd been living with undiagnosed bipolar disorder for over 20 years. I also have Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (click here for info: http://come-over.to/FASCRC/), also known as ARND. They're very similar in some regards, words like "Poor judgement and impulse control" and "Socially inappropriate and immature" are basically roadmaps for both conditions. I have heard that 33% of FAS sufferers are also bipolar. It just predisposes us.

So, I'm sick. That said, I had just gotten out of the shower one fine Saturday morning. It was about 10 AM. I heard a god-awful racket coming from the garage. I realized someone was breaking into the garage! What did I do?

What would you have done, had you heard some thug (who later turned out to be a crackhead) breaking into your garage? Think about it for a moment. You're undressed. You just got out of the shower.

I must also add at this point that we had just had our stock room broken into a few months before this incident. Some thug stole over $500 in quarters. The man we suspected? His car burned up on the freeway one day a few weeks later - electrical problems. He lost thousands of dollars when that happened. A few years before this incident, an individual sworn to serve and protect helped himself to the contents of Ron's backpack, leaving me nothing to live on for months while Ron recovered - that slime that wears a uniform stole nearly $2000. May he reap what he sows.

So, I'm a little sensitive on the subject. In the interest of full disclosure I must add that when I was a manic teenager I did some really dumb shoplifting/stealing. "As ye sow, so shall ye reap". See, I'll always give you honesty even when it makes me look bad.

I'm standing naked in my bathroom. I can hear the thieving slime. I'm naked.

Next thing I know, I'm hiding behind the open front door yelling at the thief. He just hurries up as he drags our lawnmower out to his van. I realize: "He's going to get away!"

We all know how important the police find basically petty theft of a lawnmower on a Saturday morning. The next thing I know, I'm outside, stark naked, stretch marks and all, screaming.

I remember I called him a little bastard and an M-F. The guy looks at me like his eyes are going to pop out of his head. I've got my hands over my crotch, I'm cursing at him, and I don't care. I only wish I had some clothes on so I could try to kick his ass. I march around the front of his van. I brand the license plate into my brain. I scream the license plate at the thief. I've got you, you little bastard! ABC-123! I gotcha!

I storm back into the house and grab Ron's cell phone. Ron has slept through the entire event. He only finds out about it as he hears me talking to 911 dispatch. When he found out I went outside naked to confront the thief, his eyes almost fell out of his head. Even the policeman looked a little alarmed.

"How did you get his plate?"
"I went outside naked and read it of the van."

That's how Ron could call and say "The guy with the naked wife." and get a response. I was apparently quite the subject of discussion down at our local cop shop.

And that's why I take my pills every day. The guy actually did us a favor (he was a crack head, went to prison on a bigger charge, had to detox! My lust for vengence is slaked thinking about that.), stealing our gas lawnmower. Ron got an electric one we both like a lot more.

I finished Dad's hat!

Last night, I finished Dad's hat. I was on the loading dock Tuesday, working on it, and waiting on my milk man. A couple of guys came by and admired the hat. Ron likes it. The other vendor likes it "That's really nice, Heather." So, hopefully, Dad will like it too. It was a fun project. I just need to give it a bath in some Eucalan and dry it on the foam head sitting on my bookcase. I plan to send them a goodie box in a week or two when they come back from vacation.

The electrician just left. Our "Ground wire was loose" so he fixed it. The built-in microwave works the way it should, and we don't have to worry about the house burning down. Yay. He was really reasonable, too.

We had a nice time chatting with him while he worked, and he told me he really liked Ron. Ron's pretty hard not to like.

I got a decent night's sleep and we'll be going to Burger King soon. Tasty.

I was working on Lite Brite this morning, I enjoy it, I think, but I really need to get some circulars. Ugh. I can't stand using straight needles - they don't support the weight of the project the way circulars do. My birthday check cleared; I get paid Friday. Between the two (and the fact that the Knitpicks Harmony wood tips in size 8 ought to be in stock by then), I can afford to get a few sets of size 8 tips.

I've been thinking about the vest project. What do I want to make? Do I even want to make a vest? Will I wear it? Will it wear well, or fall apart? How do I balance itchiness/durability vs Softness/more delicate? Do I get acrylics, or wool? These questions have been running around in my head for a while.

On the positive side, I saw Fall Colors (3/4 completed shawl) today and I didn't want to run screaming. Maybe I'll be up to finishing it in a few weeks.

For now, I'm working on Happy (the garter stitch afghan). I got my 60 inch cables for the interchangable needle system (Knitpicks Options). Oh, I LOVE it. It is so much fun to work without it being all bunched up on the needle. I can actually finish a row and drape it over Ron (I love it, but don't make me one - Ron), garnering admiring compliments. It's happy and fun and a little bit awkward to tote around, but I'm managing.

Soon, I'll be eating a delicious hamburger. I can't think of any food I enjoy more than a Burger King Stacker, no sauce.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The cats made kittens, or would have if they weren't fixed

First things first, Ron was very nice to me the day after our fight. He realized he didn't act properly. Once he finished apologizing, I told him my "Tuesday afternoon cleanup" idea. It seems like he loved the idea overall, but a part of him still wishes he didn't HAVE to tell me what he would like organized. Anyway, I think it'll be good for us overall. "Yelling at you for being disorganized is like yelling at me for being blind." He does get it. I don't want this, and I'll do what I can to give him what he needs.

Yesterday was good from what I remember. A little busy, but not bad. Today, we got up at 6 am to go get the Dr Pepper order (we had about 80 cases). We got a nice straight trip with a wonderful driver, and we got to ride in a Chrysler 300. Nice ride! It was a "Luxury" cab. Like the driver said, she only lives once and she really wanted it. She was a wonderful woman and I was thrilled to arrive in a nice ride. Normally, we get either a white "Short bus", a Ford Windstar, or a Dodge Ram SR5 minivan. Very rarely we'll ride in a sedan cab, a basic 4-door model. Once, we got to ride in a nice SUV.

So, we got out and went into work. Got the soda. Everything was good except it was stacked too high for Ron. I was really tired (cats howling outside the window, I think they made kittens last night, or would have if they weren't fixed), but I wasn't dizzy. Normally I can't do a lot of lifting or exertion with a sudden stop or I get really dizzy. Today, I wasn't having that problem so I helped Ron get the sodas down. Because of his stroke, his right arm is totally useless once you get it above shoulder level. I took down over half the pallet of soda, rotated the older stock, and stocked the new soda first, old soda on top. It's called FIFO - first in, first out. By the time I got dizzy, all the wierd layers (3 sodas to a layer, mixed layers) were all put away. I was able to tell Ron, this layer is 7UP, this is Diet Dr, these are Dr. Easy for him.

Snacks didn't need much work, so then I helped Ron put away sandwiches and sodas. I was a lot of help today, he said, and I don't remember what-all I did.

Pickup time arrives and I'm out there. We got a really nice driver who took us to the bank. Ron needed to make a deposit. We did that. Roderick, our favorite teller since Robin moved, was back. He'd eaten some bad sushi on Sunday.

Our next driver was early but we didn't complain, we basically got a straight trip to Walmart. Yay! I finally deposited my birthday check. Ron found out, surprise, they cancelled his appointment. It looked like we'd be stuck at Walmart for almost 4 hours, waiting to be picked up.

UGH. I was so tired I wanted to cry. I ate my burgers and took my Lithium while Ron promised he'd get me home as soon as he could.

"Yeah, right." I thought. I bought a few things I needed and checked out. I headed over to the bench where I leave Ron.

The guy who brought us to Walmart was waiting to take us home! A STRAIGHT TRIP. Oh, what a gift from God.

I came home, collapsed, and just now woke up. I needed that nap. I still feel dead.

Speaking of dead, our microwave outlet is out. It's not the microwave, it's the outlet. Ron checked and it has current going to the outlet. I asked Ron, could we just change out the outlet? He says no, he wants an electrician. I understand but I hate the idea of paying someone hundreds of dollars to do a 10 minute job.

Hopefully, Ron thinks, we can get someone out soon. Neither of us feels easy sleeping with a bad outlet in the house.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Lite Brite

Remember those things? The lite-brite? You put the little light bulbs into the black, papercovered, pegboard. The bulbs would light up against the black background and look very pretty (I had one).

I was playing around with some scrap yarn yesterday. I have a whole box of brightly colored scraps, ranging from a few yards to a few dozen yards. I've been thinking they'd look fantastic against the black wool-ease that's been running around in my yarn box for a year. Wool-ease has held up very well in my "favorite" afghan that I've slept under for over 10 years.

So I cast on 36 stitches. Knit about 5 rows in black garter stitch. Joined my leftover "Sunshine" print - about 20 yards or so. I've only knitted a row and a half and I love it. It looks just like my old Lite-brite. I plan to use a couple rows of black in between the colors.

It ought to be great. Now, I'm thinking strips. I have a couple dozen granny squares hiding in a yarn box that I never even joined. Sewing together several strips would be a lot simpler.

I can even use one as a scarf. Best of all, it's yarn I enjoy, in colors I enjoy. I don't have to buy anything until I run out of the black wool-ease. That'll take a while.

In the meantime, I have a great project that's easy to carry around. I'm glad I did it.

My decision

Sounds ominous, huh? Well, it isn't.

I had a good time after I logged off. I threw the sheets in the wash. I decided to take a nice hot bath with my Lander rose bubble bath. I dug up 2 relevant books: Boundaries in Marriage and How to Act Right when Your Spouse acts wrong. Both are EXCELLENT books that I could stand to read more often, although I have to admit I'm partial to "How to act right".

One relevant chapter heading (as I ate my sugarfree pudding and drank my Diet Rite in the tub) "Don't react, respond". Very good advice.

Ron's biggest gripe (other than "You don't contribute to the income" - HA! and "Your pills are expensive" - The most expensive one goes generic in December) is the housekeeping. He kept saying it over and over in so many ways, but when I asked him he denied it. He equates a "clean" house with love. When we're not fighting, he'll talk about how his mother kept an immaculate house and how much he admired her.

Why can't I be like "normal" women, who are good housekeepers? My reaction: Why did you marry me? I'm the LAST person he should have married if it's that important to him.

It went like this, if I loved him I'd keep a "clean" house. I don't, so I don't. He doesn't love me either. Why did he marry me? I'm a burden, etc. I won't elaborate. It wasn't nice. We're stuck together, says he. He hates God because God stuck us together. If he could leave me he would.

I read a great line in "How". "It feels good to express negative emotions, just like vomiting. But don't vomit all over your spouse on a regular basis." That's exactly how I feel, like my 5-gallon barf bucket. Anyway, I told him, you have choices, you're not STUCK with me. You can leave. Or I can. We're not chained together. (He had the martyr/victim thing going)

At first he said anyone would be better than me, at the end it was I'm really a wonderful person, except for being nuts, "broken-brained" and a bad housekeeper. Oh, and I'm repulsive because of my weight. I disgust him. Huh. I'm in the low women's sizes, and my pants are getting loose.

So I guess if I love him I have a size 8 figure and an immaculate house, and I've undergone a personality transplant, I'm a sparkling entertainer with lots of freinds, who loves to have them over.

WHAT?

MAN did he marry the wrong woman. It makes me wonder about the severity of the brain damage he suffered. I ASKED him before we married to really think about these issues.

So. I decided. The "Working on the yard every Monday afternoon" worked out pretty well. We were both happy with it. So, I'll do "Pickup around the house for half an hour once a week" and if he isn't ugly, more often. Apparently certain things, like a counter, just eat away at him like acid until he "Can't take it anymore". That's not condoning his behavior. I'll tell him, this is in spite of your actions yesterday, I will make this offer.

It's my opinion that the worst thing I could ever do would be to reward him for ugly and hateful behavior. Where's the motivation to improve HIS attitude?

Just because he acted hateful doesn't mean I have respond in a hateful manner. I'll make the offer, we'll see what happens. I'm no doormat, I will make sure he respects me and my boundaries. ACK! It's a lot of work.

He'll do something I like eventually, I'll try Dale Carnagie and thank him for being so ___ every time he does something I like. That does work. "Give them a good reputation to live up to" is another one.

Ron's complaint

Ugh. Ron's in a nasty mood right now. Complaining about my housekeeping, complaining about other things, and stomping around muttering curses under his breath. Yuck.

First of all, the housekeeping thing is in "My" area of the house. [Here he comes, muttering the f-word under his breath.] I'll listen to your input but I've got a lot of things to manage {Ron wants to know what God would do if Ron "quit"}, and clearing off a counter on one side of the kitchen is not a huge priority when I've got to take care of both of us. For instance, his shirt is filthy. Probably the pants too. I have to tell him to remove them so I can wash them, dry them, and hang them up the "right" way. [rolleyes - freezer door slams as he gets some ice cubes for a hard "drink"]

I'm not saying his life is easy. I'm not saying he doesn't have a valid complaint. I'm just saying, in the big scheme of things, it doesn't matter. Am I a good, loving wife? Do I make sure we have food to eat and clean clothes? Lots of toilet paper? Do I make sure the cats have food to eat, fresh water, and medication? Didn't I offer to go outside and help with yardwork today? Would you rather I did that, or cleaned off the counter? I've been so tired I haven't even washed my sheets. My allergies are killing me as a result, but I'm still so damn tired. I'm so tired I don't even want to fight, Ron just gave up after telling me how to run my life for a while. I don't complain about that. I don't make it his problem. No, I offer to help him with the yardwork.

Agh. Marriage isn't easy. I like to think I'm more mellow, and better able to see his point of view, but I feel like all the accomodations go one way only - me to him. All the complaining and bad energy go one way - him to me.

He just "Ordered" me to clean off the counter. I told him no. Now he is marching around with a garbage bag, "I'm sick of living with a broken bitch". etc. And worse.

"Do I see what living with me does to a person?"

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It's nice

I was just poking around my favorites, froogling various items. Sites pop up, look interesting, I'd investigate and move on.

For about an hour, I really considered buying some hand cards. They run about $50-100. That's a decent investment. The most I've paid for anything fibery was $40 for my first spindle (money WELL spent). I thought about it.

I could use it to blend my own merino wool blends, merino and this, merino and that. Yak and Camel. Except. I have pounds of wool already that's ready to spin. I've only found a couple of types of loose, washed wool (I don't want a sheepy, greasy thing in my house, the cats would go nuts) ready to card and spin. I don'w want to wash my own fleece. I want it already, um, "scoured" I think is the term. RH Lindsay has a few but again, pounds of wool in my living room already.

So, let's forget the wool. I can use it to card exotic fibers! But I have 2 ounces of yak and a pound of camel. It's not going anywhere. I plan to spin one ply of each, then ply them together. I'm sure I'll love it. I'd like to blend them each with some wool - wool will add strength and resiliency, but here's something I could never grasp when I was "sick" and unmedicated.

It's not going anywhere! I can buy hand cards in a few months if I'm just burning for them. Until then, I'm going to get the history of European knitting designs (Scandanavian, Italian, French) I've been eyeing for a month or so. That's about $10 with shipping.

I've got the money in my account, budgeted for me to spend online, this week. That's not even counting my birthday money.

Now, if anyone who's family finds a set of fine hand cards for $10 or so, please buy them. [giggle] But I'm not holding my breath.

Escape to reality

Ron was just listening to some classic rock. He had Queen's "Mama" playing.

"Escape from reality" It really stopped me for a minute. I've heard the song dozens of times at least, but at that very moment, I thought "Escaping from reality is the last thing I'd ever do."

I talked to Mom and Dad yesterday, and my sister today. I talked to my aunt Friday and dozens of postal workers over the last couple days. They all like me. My family loves me. My cards show words like "Joy to know" and "love to hear from you".

That's new. Trust me, that's new. The place I used to live was grim and terrible. If I wasn't suicidal, I was compelled to spend, talk, and act in ways that are totally unlike "me". Thank God I escaped to reality. I don't want to leave reality. I never want to leave.

It's a beautiful and wonderful place, filled with warm and caring people. Joy and happiness are all around me. I'm liked and appreciated for who I really am. I'm a valued and productive member of society.

So I get tired. I get foggy thinking. I get headaches. It's a small price to pay.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"I'll push him around"

Ron and I were talking about a fun trip. We'd like to go to the petting zoo, at the zoo. We enjoy petting my fibers as they arrive in the mail and imagining what the animals themselves look and feel like. I think it would be a blast to actually pet a little lamb or an alpaca (even an angora goat - from whence mohair comes).

I told him we'd probably want to take the wheelchair. The last time we went to the zoo, about 9 years ago, we did a whole lotta walking! Even "before" (the accident) he hated all the walking. These days he can walk but it ain't pretty. He's good for up to about 1000 steps a day but anything more just wipes him out. He was thrilled to hear I'd push him around! So, we take the wheelchair.

"Just think, you won't be 'sardines' in the backseat with someone wearing too much cologne, either." Ron loves that. Wheelchair riders get to sit in about 8 square feet in the back cargo area of the Ford Windstar or Dodge Ram SR5. That's more room than anyone else! He likes it - a lot. I'll do some zoo research but I think we'd have a blast. He always loves my descriptions of the animals when we go to a zoo. He said I was the best narrator he'd ever had [Heather puffs with pride].

We may get the child molester treatment. People tend to get weird about older childless couples hanging around children. They'll live. We're there for the 4 leggeds, not 2.

Obviously I'm a lot sharper than in my last post. Oddly enough, it wasn't until I took Lithium #3 at dinnertime that I felt sharper. Go figure. I'm just happy I have a mood stabilizer.

Oh, when Dad comes out to visit next year he says he'd love to do out attic insulation. Ron doesn't believe me. It'll be fun seeing who can out stubborn who. I told Ron to think of other projects that he would like. Hey, the shelves in the garage. I like it.

I'm having lots of fun petting my fibers and organizing them. I plan to - well, I don't know what I'm planning.

I've got half a pound of hand-dyed superwash wool with some nylon in it. (Ron's surprise)
Another half pound of a glamorous gray alpaca-superwash wool blend.
And last but not least, some "Spinning fiber clouds" that are just that - 25% mohair and 75% soft white wool. Glamorous, dyeable, fluffy, and silky. Hmmmmm.

Where do I start? It's all so gorgeous and glamorous. I also got 3 knitting patterns that look VERY interesting. Vest patterns galore, I really can see myself in a trademark knitted vest. They're all different, yet unique and stylish. But who do I make first?

Let's not forget my 5 skeins of good old faithful Red Heart acrylic yarn in the white-gray-black colorway (I love that word). Tasty. I just want to mention that I've noticed the Red Heart is getting a lot softer. It's popular to bash the yarn, but it's very durable and affordable at it's worst. At it's best, it's a vital tool. My own experience? Even if the yarn feels like that jute twine, washing it in warm water with lots of fabric softener changes it into something you hate to give away.

Plenty of fun money from Mom and Dad, too. Sue sent me a perfect needlepoint pillow, some clothes, and a mug for my ever-growing collection!

Oh, I finally remembered what I've been forgetting this whole blog. The shower chair. I love our shower chair. After Ron's accident, I bought it from Memorial-Hermann Home Health service. It's a plastic bench, about 2 feet wide, with a back. It's got holes in it to drain off all the water and rubber feet. It cost me $40, delivered, fully assembled. For a while, it languished in the garage, but we both love it now. We both need it now. Ron's needed it since his accident but now he knows I use it too. I get AWFULLY dizzy in the shower, I end up turning the water down to "Arctic" and still feeling flushed and dizzy. I sit down in my trusty chair and boom - I feel a lot better. That thing has probably saved me from passing out at least a couple of times.

Now, my pills do warn "Don't get overheated" in bold print. I like hot showers, but they never used to affect me that way. So, I'm glad I have it, I love it, and you couldn't pay me to take it out of the shower. Ron always comments on how much he likes it when he takes a shower and I'm talking to him. I never leave the poor man alone, yak yak.

Which reminds me, I have yak fiber too. Mmmmm.

My first birthday

My only complaint: Horrible movies on TV today! I just wanted a nice relaxing time, sit, knit, talk to family, get a pizza with some garlic butt (aka garlic bread).

Instead, I got awful movies on Sci-fi and even worse "Romantic Comedies" on USA. What's romantic about a couple breaking up? People lying and sneaking around? I don't see it. Anyway, I found something good coming up so I'm happy. Survivorman.

I slept late and had a great night's sleep. I ate a slice of cheesecake with Ron when he woke up - he got the chocolate and I had the plain. What I won't have - a migraine.

Um. Getting a little foggy now. I got a nice card from my aunt, and Mom and Dad. I also got some fun money! I'm going to have fun figuring out what I'd like to get with it. Ron spoiled me. A half pound each of some fibers I've been eying, AND all the patterns I wanted. He's a keeper. I gave him his nuts and the card, he loved them.

I also got a goodie box from my sister. I love the pillow: I smile because you're my sister. I laugh because there's nothing you can do about it. Very cute! It's going in my chair.

I told Ron a few days ago that it's my first "Well" birthday - finally 100% myself. I may be foggy and have a dry mouth, but I'm me.

Tomorrow we go to work for a little bit, and then go to Walmart (some lunch, mainly). We also need more cat treats.

All of a sudden, I'm totally hammered. I'm going to take a nap.

Don't worry, I'll be back.

Friday, September 21, 2007

I gave myself a break from Fall Colors...

I gave myself a wonderful gift when I put up the Fall Colors shawl for a while and got out good old "Happy" the garter stitch afghan. It's about 2.5 feet by 5 feet (5x5 completed). Ron got me the yarn for Christmas ("Sunshine Print" by Red Heart) and I enjoy it a lot. It's got 6 sunshine print, 2 golden yellow (solids) and one hot pink. Hot pink is the center stripe, it goes 2 "Sunshines", one golden yellow, another sunshine, Hot pink, etc. I was so glad to get it out, nice brainless knitting. "Happy" is exactly how it makes me feel.

I was starting to make mistakes on Fall Colors and I noticed a definite feeling of resentment - and I'm knitting for fun. Yeah, I'd love to be the kind of disciplined knitter who only has one project on the needles at a time, but I'm not. I can alternate between "Happy" and Dad's hat for now.

Ron is so impressed with the garter stitch afghan. He really hated crochet. "Too many holes!" He wanted to like it, but he didn't. He truly loves my knitting - I want to impress him. I may give him "Happy" when I'm done.

In addition to the very kind comment I got yesterday (I love knowing that people enjoy reading this!), we've gotten a couple of nice comments recently. When we've told our drivers we're coming up on our 15th anniversary, they're surprised. "Really? Y'all act like newlyweds!" and "What's your secret?" (answer "Two good forgivers"). I think that's so sweet that people think we're a cute couple.

I had a great time working on Happy yesterday while watching the zombie movie. Zombie dogs, that's a new one. I'd love to see Resident Evil part 3. I think I'll wait until it's close to the house and take a cab each way to see it. Ron would HATE it. I only had one problem with the movie - I took a while to unwind before I fell asleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, Bubba the cat came home through the cat door, meowing at the top of his lungs. I translated that into Bubba is a zombie cat and he's out to get me! Needless to say, when I woke up I had a little trouble dropping off again.

This morning I woke up OK. I needed to go to Walmart to get my sausage and sauce for the spaghetti (Ron's going to cut up the sausage for me). I was also hoping Dr Pepper had stocked "MY" Diet Rite Cherry Cola (drinking one now). They had! Something told me to go look at the acrylic yarn.

I know. I know. I was cutting back. I wasn't buying acrylic anymore because I liked wool better. But... I still love my Red Heart. I couldn't resist the "Zebra"! It's so cute and I can see it in a garter-stitch vest - nice and cozy. It'll wear like iron and match everything I own. So, I got it. Then Ron told me to put it on his debit card. Even better! AND Walmart has knocked it down to $2 a skein. You can't beat that for a 5-ounce ombre skein of yarn. I also got a nice dark teal, just one, because I like it.

I can't help but feel vaguely guilty for buying it, like it's "Too cheap" for me. I have an afghan out of this stuff that's going great after 10 years of life. If it makes me happy, why spend more money? Especially if it's something I'm going to be spending a lot of time knitting up - it had better be something I'm passionate about! I have yet to find a wool yarn (or even the $20 a skein stuff at the yarn shop) that I liked better. I refuse to feel guilty.

While I was rampaging through the yarn section, I had to laugh at myself. I was as "into" that yarn as a fashionista at a runway show. "Ooooh! Look at the new lines!" I thought it was cute when I saw my beloved "Sunshine Print" in its' own bin. Their acrylic yarn buyer has fantastic taste.

I wanted to get myself some kind of birthday cake but I woke up with a bad headache today. I kept thinking, "Do I want to wake up feeling like this ANY time this weekend?" Of course the answer was No. I looked around, held cakes up in the air so I could read the labels, and discovered that "White" cakes have yellow #5. Bad news!

I settled on a cheesecake 2 slice pack. One side is chocolate cheesecake, the other is plain cheesecake. I've eaten the plain with no problem, so Ron gets the chocolate. He'll love it. I'll call it "Anniversary cake".

I also got Ron a really cute singing card. My aunt sent me a meowing card and he loved it. I think he'll love one playing a sappy love song. Finally, a card for a blind man!

He doesn't know I got him a can of cashews and a can of smoked almonds, too. I hid them. He "Doesn't want anything, save your money, Heather." but he'll eat them and enjoy them and not feel guilty! I don't want him to feel bad, just appreciated. This ought to do it.

After Walmart we headed home. We had about 30 minutes before work. I put up my stuff, changed my shoes (I miss wearing my sandals to work!), grabbed a bottle of diet Dr. Pepper, and ready to go.

I got another nice comment from a Metrolift driver recently. "Whenever I show up, even if it's early, you're ready!" I really work at that, so it makes me happy to hear I'm appreciated.

We got to work, and it's a good thing we went! Soda 1 had a burned out light bulb. It looked like it was out of service. One food machine wasn't accepting dollar bills, and we were completely out of sandwiches. Ron listened to me and we bought individually wrapped PB&J sanwiches. I can't eat peanut butter anymore, so he ate one of each, and loved them. They'll get 2 sandwiches for $2 and we have a good food cost percentage. We put out 10 "sets", so we'll see how many we have left on Sunday.

Yup, we're going to work on our anniversary, seems appropriate! We'll only be there for a little bit - just enough to make sure all the "kids" are behaving.

After work today we went to Burger King. YUMMY. I let myself get a little too hungry but once I ate I was fine (and the headache ran off). We each got a burger for breakfast tomorrow - I love those Stackers! The sauce is NASTY but I love the burgers.

They'll make a delicious birthday breakfast.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ron just told me that Hurricane Katrina evacuees were responsible for 1 murder out of 4 in Houston last year. Whoa! This year, they're responsible for 1 out of 10. They were about 3% of our population at their peak. Hm. Most are wonderful, law-abiding people who want to live peaceful lives but the other ones are really making them all look like a bunch of wild thugs.

Today I got my lace shawl patterns from Blackberry Ridge http://www.blackberry-ridge.com/index.htm. I also got a gansey (textured sweater) pattern as well. Fast shipping, only 2 days, and gloriously detailed patterns. The "easy" lace charts have me fairly baffled and stupid-feeling but I'm sure I'll figure it out when I'm ready. For now, it's nice to file them away in my organizer notebook and just admire the artistry in the color photographs. They're very inspiring.

I got 2 cards from Mom and Dad, one addressed to me, one to "us". I put the "Me" with my "Bacon" (Ron's gift) to open Saturday, and we'll open the "Us" on Sunday.

Speaking of hurricanes, it looks like we might have another "thing" in the Gulf, but God's holding off for a couple days. Good! Hurricane Rita during my birthday in 04 was no fun.

I'm a little foggy today, it gets old but it's a price I have to pay. Ron asked me if I wanted to "go anywhere" for my birthday/anniversary but I said no. This weekend, Galveston (wonderful tourist stop) has their Harley-Davidson motorcycle rally - not really my scene! I went to the yarn shop yesterday and got some cute yarn (that Brown sheep in the cream really calls to me, but I don't know what it wants to be yet). I'm pretty indecisive.

I told Ron, I just want to go to Burger King tomorrow after work. I love their hamburgers and I can't think of anything else I'd enjoy more. I'm "supposed" to want a fancy steak dinner but I want BK. Saturday, I decided I want my low-carb spaghetti more than anything. I make it with ground and sliced sausage, sauteed in a big iron skillet. I prepare a box of Dreamfield's elbow noodles (Ron likes short noodles), open up a can of spaghetti sauce, and mix the sausage(s) and sauce, pour it over the noodles. Maybe make some low-carb garlic bread. MMMMMM. That is the most delicious-sounding meal I could eat! And leftovers!

I've been wanting to watch Resident Evil Apocalypse for a while. It's on TNT or something tonight at 8. So I'm happy. A good zombie movie.

Tomorrow we go to Walmart (to get my "fixin's" for the spaghetti), and then work (gotta check on the kids), and BK. Home.

I'm really trying to think, is there anything special I want to do, and I keep coming up with no. Huh. I can't decide if that's a good or bad thing.

When I started my Feather and Fan shawl (fall colors beast) I used a plastic circular needle. ICK. I graduated to a bamboo circular. Better, but slow. I had to drag at the stitches. Last night, I switched to my Knitpicks Options 32 inch circular - yeehaw! It's like knitting with a Lamborghini. The knitting just zooms along. I did drop a few stitches when I stuffed it into a bag but they were easy to get back.

I did some calculations and I'm looking at 80+ rows to go. It's enough to make me want to scream, cry, or stuff it in the closet for a while. For now, it's my carry-along but I'm sick of it.

Sounds like what I really want to do for my birthday/anniversary is put up my project for a while. Hm. If I do that, what will I have for my take-along project?

I've got to think about this.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

We didn't work today. Ron told me, I could do anything I wanted so this was it: 1 hour at Walmart, 8:30 -9:30. Go home, go to the yarn shop - 2 hours at the yarn shop, go home. Nothing else. Ron planned all the trips.

The greeters at "My" Walmart are very kind and freindly. They understand the whole concept of waiting forever on Metrolift if it comes to that. I show off my projects, they ooh and ah. When I'm done shopping, they tell me Ron was a good boy and they didn't mind watching him.

So I got to Walmart with my red plastic (18 gallon) tote box. I sat Ron down on his bench and got us breakfast. We used the tote box as a table while I ate with Ron. Then, Ron loaned me his debit card (he wanted some things I couldn't afford), and I was off. I got hit pretty hard by my medication today, so I was glad I didn't have to do intensive shopping. I had a very detailed list which helped tremendously. Dr Pepper hadn't restocked yet, so I didn't get "my" soda. Other than that, I got my pudding and the only ice cream that doesn't induce migraines (Blue Bunny No Sugar Added Vanilla). I found a wonderful zipperec organizer/notebook for my knitting patterns and papers. I can't remember everything I bought but it was all on the list. Like I said, I was pretty medicated. When I'm done shopping and paid up, I stuff all the purchases into my box and put the box into the cart. It's easy to get the box onto Metrolift and into the house. Multiple plastic bags would take a lot more time and effort.

Overall people are very kind when I'm walking around "stupid". I guess my face shows how I'm feeling, and they respond well. I've had a few people take a look at me wandering aimlessly down an aisle and duck away, but overall they're nice. Hey, I have to take these pills. I'm glad they work, and I'd tolerate far worse to be healthy.

I asked God for good trips and I got them, all day. We had two "Oh, it's good to see you again!" drivers who missed us, that's so nice to have a good reputation. No one missed having the OLD me around.

I had just enough time to put everything up and get ready for my trip to the yarn store when our ride showed. I raced outside and we got an almost-straight trip. Very nice! We went next door to the Mexican food place, ate a great lunch (Ron loves authentico Mexicana taquitos), and hobbled over to the yarn shop.

Ada was working today, she's a sweetheart and very professional. I put Ron in his corner and he listened to the radio for over an hour while I shopped. The store is about the same commercial square footage as our house, maybe 900 square feet (Yarns to Ewe on Shepherd), but loads of fun.

I love petting all the yarns, I'm very tactile. They'd rearranged and I felt incredibly stupid looking for the patterns. I went over to check on Ron and realized, they're right behind him. I had a good time pawing through all the patterns for about half an hour. I was talking to Ada about my organizer and showed it to her. I told her "I'm good at organizing the small things, but not very good at the big things!" Ron laughed pretty hard.

I also showed off his "Look Ma, No eye holes!" hat. They laughed. I thought it was adorable when Ron and I got home. He touched the foam head on top of the kitty condo (used for storing the hat) and said "He's bald, Heather!", in a plainative voice. I made sure to put the hat "Home" where it belongs.

So, I looked at patterns. I've eyed the new yarns. For some reason, the Malbrigo and Noro yarns don't really call me. I did hit the sock yarn department though. I wanted to get a big ball of the orange Trekking but it was that or some patterns, so I waited. I got a lime green skein of the Brown Sheep Wildfoote yarn - my idea is to make some handwamers on 4 DPNS (double pointed needles) and get used to managing them, I've only used DPNS to finish off a hat. Once I get the hang of that, move into making myself some cute and original socks. I have to wear sneakers at work but they can't dictate the socks!

All told, I did pretty well. I got some knitters graph paper, blocking pins, a Spin Off magazine, a cute triangle shawl pattern, and some Cascade and Brown Sheep yarns. Fun, fun, fun.

On the way home, we had to ride with a very decrepit, infirm lady. She had DRENCHED herself in the most noxious perfume, I could literally taste it. We were cooped up in a small sedan cab with her for half an hour. At the end of the ride, I was very dizzy and nauseated. I was so glad when she got out.

It kind of confirms my attitude of "Let the scented deodorant do the work, with maybe a tiny dab of 'splash' type fragrance." UGH. I never want anyone to think that about me. The sad thing is, even toxic body odor would have been better than that perfume!

When I got home, I was pretty sick - maybe a little lithium toxicity, car sickness and perfume fumes? I went straight for the Pepto bottle. I love the stuff, I adore it. I would be seriously screwed at least one day a week without it, so much so that I have a Pepto stash. One large swig, a trip to the bathroom, and a nap and I was OK.

Some days I feel guilty about working part time. Today wasn't one of them. I barely had the wits to shop at Walmart, there's no way I could have worked!

All in all, a good fun day.

Only a couple days to my birthday!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

On the plus side...

I finally got my patterns and Yak fiber! Oh, I was so happy to see the UPS man.

I love the Spincraft patterns. They're a little "mathy" but not scary, they're very flexible and interesting. I can hardly wait to plan out my first vest - "Easiest Vest Ever". It has a lot of options to make it unique without being scary complex.

It's so nice to sit down with Dad's hat and just knit away. I did a couple of inches today just calming down.

Also, Ron's taking me to the yarn shop tomorrow. Please, Lord, let it be good trips. I think we got the ugly ones out of the way already. Please, God.

When I got home, I had a much needed nap. Now, I'm going to do some knitting and unwind. I need all the help I can get today.

I want a dull life

Tuesdays tend to be bad for me. Ron's accident? A Tuesday. Just one example. Although I must say I got married on a Tuesday and it was lovely.

Today, lots of drama. We had an 8 AM pickup. Metrolift calls a cab and pays for the ride sometimes. All we do, as clients, is give directions if the driver needs it. Remember this.

Metrolift has another program, called MSP - they subsidize part of the trip if you want a straight ride somewhere in a cab as opposed to riding around "Carpool" style in a regular Metrolift. And everyone knows the regular, call a cab, pay the fare, give a tip based on service.

So. Metrolift called a cab for us - they tend to do this on Tuesdays mornings, I've noticed. No one in NW Houston wants to go to NE Houston on a Tuesday morning except us.

The cab pulls up. We have ridden with the driver before. The last time, he acted like it was a "regular trip". "You called me, not Metrolift, you gotta pay the whole fair! Don't you try to rip me off, creep!" Attitude, and lots of it. I find it insulting that he believed we were so stupid we'd fall for it. I KNOW how the system works and I told him, it's in your computer, here's the contact information, and used the "code words" - I look at the computers in the cabs, I read them, and I'm crazy and brain damaged but I'm not DUMB! After a lot of bluster and bluff, the guy finally "remembered" and did the trip properly, but I made a note to myself to remind the driver it's Metrolift if he asks the destination.

We also told the guy, please don't honk. Where we used to live someone had a van pick up their kids every day for school. The guy would lay on the horn for 10 minutes every morning until the kids came out. We don't want to be like that, the hated noisy neighbor. We tell all the drivers this.

The guy pulled up and laid on the horn for a couple of minutes. I came out. "Where are you going?" He asked. That's what a cab driver asks when you call in a trip, not when you have a Metrolift ride. When you have a Metrolift cab ride Metrolift tells them the pickup, the destination, and the fare they're willing to pay (the shortest route). The driver knows this.

I vaguely remembered this guy as "trouble", so when he asked our destination, I told him "Metrolift didn't tell you?"
"It's not a Metrolift, you called a cab"
By now Ron's outside. We tell the guy, this is a Metrolift ride, we know you know this, (why would he be outside if he didn't get the trip from Metro?), and we're not paying for this ride.
"Oh, I'll do you a favor and make it an MSP trip so you don't have to pay the whole fare."
"No."

Again, bluster and bluff. I tell Ron. "This guy doesn't even know it's a Metrolift. We're getting out, and when you figure it out or remember it's a Metrolift trip we'll get back in. We're trying to get to work, and Metrolift called you. We've got better things to do today than play your games!" And I got out. So did Ron. The driver got upset and started yelling and I told him, "Don't worry, we'll call Yellow Cab and make sure they know about this (which will result in a suspension from taking metro trips)." The driver tried to play "I didn't know, I remember now, oh, get back in." Ron was so enraged he said we'd wait for another ride.

So the driver lost out on a $26-$30 trip, and will get a spanking from Metrolift. I wonder how often he does this "Shakedown" on Metrolift clients. We live in a very modest house. We can't afford a $30 cab ride! I'm glad I remembered the pig and his "game".

So we get out and go into the house. I work on some knitting. I tell Ron I love how it calms me down. Ron calls Yellow Cab and tells them what happened, and they send another cab.

About half an hour later, a very nice, polite, respectful man who was happy to get Metrolift's money drove us to work. A $28 trip. He couldn't have been more different from the other guy.

I was telling someone at work about this and he wanted to know the race of the driver. I said, it doesn't matter what race he is, it matters that he's an ugly person.

We got to work. Someone came up to us and said she had another refund (two in two days). Hm.

I did the snacks, and they looked pretty good (I need more candy bars). Then it's time for the milk.

I had to use another cart, and I was running late, but then so does the milkman. I like him but he's always late (and the order is always correct, so it's worth it). Got the milk, put it up, left.

It was time for me to go. Outside we have 3 driveways. The one that says "Entrance" is the entrance driveway for the wrong parking lot. Generally, the first or second time the driver will go in the wrong parking lot, I wave at him, he figures it out, and comes over to the correct parking lot.

This time, he went into the wrong parking lot, stayed there for 10 minutes and almost passed me up. When we got ready to leave Ron gave him very clear directions, and the guy "misunderstood". The ride home is 20 minutes. We have another pickup, so call it another 25 minutes to get home.

Fast forward an hour. For a guy who has a keymap, GPS, and clients giving clear directions, the guy is consistently "getting turned around" "making wrong turns" and "misunderstanding directions". I was willing to believe he was that stupid until we got to the house (almost an hour late).

"Turn, here, and it's the second house on the right." We told him multiple times. He didn't brake until he was halfway down the block. Then it's "Oh, did you say the second house?"

Ugh. I can't stand people who play games. I may be dependent on a driver to get me around but some people can't leave it at that. They have to brutalize you with the limited power they've got.

I'm so glad I take my pills.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ron has ruined me

Ron has ruined me for other men, particularly, other blind men. I expect a certain standard; and the guy we rode with today sure didn't meet it.

First of all, while Ron's blind he can get around. This guy couldn't. Even after a stroke Ron gets around better than him. He asked the driver to lead him around. He didn't use his white cane properly (he just kind of poked around vaguely as he walked), and worst of all, he had a horrible attitude. Ron is grateful and appreciative of service professionals, and he does nice things like telling them so. "I couldn't do your job! You make it look so easy!" Whooo! I was glad I married Ron and I told him so repeatedly. The driver thought we were a hoot.

Some people with a disability act like the whole world owes them a butt kissing, and I didn't appreciate the guy's comment of "People like your husband". Oh, you're better than him? In your dreams. He wished he could be half the man Ron is. It's the kind of encounter that makes me VERY glad I'd just taken my afternoon dose of Lithium and brought my knitting. I just dragged out my Fall Colors Beast (worsted weight shawl) and started purling away. It kept me from saying something I shouldn't have.

Yay! I got a comment! I got a comment! [scroll down] That always makes my day. Someone's reading!

Other than riding with grumpy, we had a great day. We got up at 5, went to work, got the donuts, got the sandwiches, put them up, I helped Ron, we left. Then we went to KFC, Ron was craving some chicken. I'm not a huge fan of chicken but they have a $2 lunch special with chicken fried steak. The steak was nicely tender and juicy, and it had a good brown gravy. I was pretty medicated all day so I was happy so sit there with my knitting and wait on the pickup.

Pretty soon, the driver pulled up and we had a great ride until "grumpy the incompotent blind man" got onboard. I'm sorry, I just hold everyone up to the Ron B. standard. Ron has a fanatical work ethic, to the point that it's a huge deal if he takes a 5 minute break at work. He's everything in your favorite Boy Scout and a lot of fun besides. He's interested in me, he listens, a good boss, and a great husband. He's very considerate of everyone. Like I said, he's ruined me for anyone else.

I'm glad I did an itch test for my new yarn, the Wool of the Andes. We have to wear security badges at work. I made Ron a chain-stitch badge holder (one giant loop of chain stitches), out of some red Paton's Merino. It's felted a little but it's in fantastic shape, which lets me know that a sweater would probably be durable, too. My old cotton "string" was looking kind of ratty so I cut it off and made a new loop out of the Wota. Today, I couldn't figure out why I felt like a cat, scratching at my neck all day. Then I realized, it's the wool. It's just too itchy for me. I am so, so glad I tried this out first. I would have been devastated to learn after making myself a vest or something. It would have been AWFUL. In the future, I think I'll do a "badge test" on all my new garmet yarns, just to make sure they don't make me itchy! It's so pretty, too. I may have to get myself some 3/4 sleeve tshirts and make something anyway.

I think I remember how to reply to my comments. I'm going to go try.

Oh, and my patterns are in Texas, according to UPS tracking. Worst case, I ought to get them tomorrow.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Speaking of lace

I had a happy surprise today. My bank deposit went through even though I made it yesterday. That means (drumroll) I could get something tonight if I'd like.

I've been eyeing a lace shawl pattern, two of them actually. They're very pretty and feminine, and one pattern touts itself as the perfect introduction to lace knitting. Look: http://www.blackberry-ridge.com/lacshwls.htm, it's the "Violets by the River" pattern. And I love, love LOVE the "Wings of Fantasy".

But then the practical side kicks in. I don't know how to do ssk or psso yet. I can do yarnovers and knitting and purling 2 stitches together. I can make a very basic faggot lace, but shouldn't I learn how to do all the other stuff, really get my "Skills on" and then progress to the shawls? And what about shawls? I work in a warehouse. I take out giant rolling dumpsters. How practical is that? I couldn't wear them at work. So where would I wear it, Burger King? Vests are a lot more practical. I should stick to vests. Vests are flexible and wearable in Houston, and I don't have to worry about messing up the sleeves when I'm taking out the dumpster.

The other side of my brain is screaming "Pretty, want pretty!" I want something frothy and feminine that will awe all who behold it with my mighty, knitting talents.

It wouldn't be very warm, though, would it? I do want to knit something new. Not just a cap. Not even a Santa hat although I've been wanting to knit myself one for ages. Gloves, scarf, legwarmers, yawn. Not a shawl (I have my worsted weight wool wrap I'm still finishing), and nothing too challenging right now.

I'll be glad when my patterns arrive. I need a new project.

Hurry, patterns.

Damsel in distress

Up until the late 80's, a girl like me had very few role models. In the action or horror movie, the woman cringed and wailed in the corner while the men fought it out (or man vs monster). Please! I always wanted to gag.

I was watching the Sci-fi channel today while I worked on Dad's hat (the lace is going well - the lace project, not the lace on Dad's hat... ;-P ), and the last movie was pretty decent. Until the end where the female cowered and the big strong men battled it out.

It wasn't until I saw women like Linda Hamilton (Terminator 2) and Sigourney Weaver (Aliens, the second Alien movie) battling it out, hand to fist, kicking and screaming their way to equality, that I had even the remotest sense of pride in being a woman. Up until then, women were too weak and stupid to participate in their own self-defense.

I told Dad today "I'm the daughter of an engineer, I like the technical aspects of vending". I meant it. Just because I happen to have a uterus doesn't make me some vapid moron. If someone has trouble with the fact that I can lift more than my husband, screw 'em.

I love the fact that in today's horror/thriller movies, the women are just as strong as the men. I cannot abide the "Damsel in Distress" concept.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

They love it when they see us working weekends!

Yesterday I got paid. Yay! This morning, I went to Walmart. Spent a total of $40. Wow. That's a huge change from the old days. They didn't have my Cherry Cola Diet Rite but that's OK, I still have plenty. We came home and I put up my groceries. I managed to drop some breakfast on my T-shirt so I was glad I could come home and change, as I was changing I dropped something on my shorts and changed them too. You know me, "I'm so glad this happened at home!"

We got great drivers today, all of them were a treat who enjoyed having us on board. We went to work with "Mr. Mumbles" who mumbles almost everything. The stuff we do understand is very funny. He's a very skilled driver and a genuinely nice guy.

As we headed into work, we saw a lot of pleased expressions and happy smiles. They love it when they see us working weekends! We came in just for them! The snack machines looked good, so I helped Ron with change banks (filling them up with dimes and nickels, and telling the computer they've been filled). I told Ron yesterday, "Nothing good on Sci-fi today, you need to go in, I'll go with you!" We had about an hour and a half. Ron needed to take care of the sodas and the food machines. I helped him with the above and did some soda stocking and fetching.

Then, it was off to Burger King! I really enjoy eating there, it's relatively cheap and it's charbroiled beef! MMMmmm.

By the time we got home I was beat. I was so happy to come home and flop. Which I did. Now I need to eat something and take my pills.

I tracked my UPS package to Kansas, they say I'll get my patterns on Tuesday. I don't see myself as a very patient person but I think I'm getting a lot better. I'll sure have fun when they do come.

I want to do something new. I don't know what, but I want it to be new, different, not too hard, and interesting. I'm tired of this, tired of that, feeling kind of whiny in regards to my current works in progress:
Happy the knitted afghan, all garter stitch, all of the time, will be 60 inches square when done.
Dad's hat, going well...but I've done a lot of hats.
Fall Colors shawl/wrap. It's glorious but I am SO SICK OF IT. On the one hand, I want to put it up for a couple of months, on the other, I want it DONE by the time the cold weather hits. AAAGH.

I should add "And relatively quick" to my want-list for my next project. I'll figure it out. I still want to try out that "Feather Lace" on some scrap yarn. I have some gorgeous laceweight when I'm ready to start something new.

I did see some fun, not screamingly difficult shawl patterns at the Blackberry Ridge website. I plan to order 2 of them once today's deposit goes through. Knitpicks, some of the new Harmony interchangeable needle tips and cables. When my knitting patterns arrive, I might get some yarn from Knitpicks for whatever I decide to start.

We'll see.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A good day to thank God!

Someone prayed hard. The hurricane that was headed straight for Houston is now headed for drought-stricken Alabama. It just - turned. God did it! I'm very appreciative today and THANK YOU, LORD. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It could have been awful, with millions in property damage, deaths, and millions of square yards of ruined carpet stacked at the curb due to flooding. Thank you!

I'm also grateful on an even more selfish note. Yesterday I ate something that wasn't chocolate, and didn't really give me headaches, but might. I forgot that it was the very worst week of the month to do so - my headaches have a very strong hormonal connection (ie menstrual migraines). Today, I woke up with an awful headache, almost a migraine. I ate my pudding cup and took rapid-release (can I spell it? can I?) aceitominaphen (close enough). When I got to work, I took my lithium. Bad headache today... I was able to work but the pound, pound, pound was really awful. I got the dumpster (crushed all the trash down, drove it 1/4 mile to the dumpster, flipped it over, dumped it out, ran a compaction cycle, brought it back). I helped Ron with a nasty coin jam.

Hey, if it looks like a "funny" coin in some way, the machine won't like it either and you'll be out your money AND your snack. So, I found the culprit. Later, the coffee machine went down, I fixed that. I had the manual in one hand before it dawned on me to clear out the error messages, sure enough, it was fine. Gave away samples of the new cookie, it is a runaway hit. 3 different people all started doing the "Mm, mmmm!" thing as they ate it. I filled up 2 coils with that rascal.

I also did chips, the candy bars are still good. Then time to go, called Mom, told her we lived, waved Metrolift in, got home, curled into a ball after drinking some Pepto (love that stuff!), and managed to fall asleep with an ice bag (love that too!) on my head. I had weird dreams about ninjas who ran a temple/day old bread/herb shop/clothing store. The dream featured a few zombies, too. Typical migraine dreams.

I woke up once, still felt awful, woke up about 10 minutes ago, no pain. Thank you thank you thank you thank you Lord! UGH.

I hope I learned my lesson. I'm on God's "Aversion Therapy" diet. Everything I love that makes me fat, now gives me a migraine. It works. Eventually. I hope I've been stupid enough.

For my birthday, it looks like my big treat will be a slice of sugar free apple pie at Cracker Barrel. I don't have problems with that. Hey, I am losing weight.

THANKS AGAIN, LORD!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

See, it always gets better!

I knew things had to improve, not that they were that awful to begin with. Last night I had a nightmare I lost Ron - horrible. I woke up and just stood near him, listening to him snore until I felt better.

Ugh. Something happens to him, you might as well put me down, too. I finally went back to sleep. I dreamed of happy cats. I didn't understand until I rolled over in bed. Frosty the snow-cat was asleep next to my pillow. He was so precious I fixed him a num-num (Walmart's Special Kitty brand Tuna and Shrimp canned food, on a foam plate) before I even brushed my teeth.

We went to Walmart, had a good ride with a great driver. Ate some breakfast, got a cart, started shopping. OOH! Look! A cable-knit zippered, hooded, cardigan in dark gray cotton! How much? $14! Sold! Of course that would have wiped out my budget, so I called Ron on my cell phone (I leave him by the door, sitting on the bench). Can I get an advance? Why? I told him. He told me to just put it on his debit card (I had it to pay for the prescriptions). Alright! I'll thank him every time I wear it.

I went over to the soda section, 2 more cases of Cherry Cola Diet Rite. Tasty! Got my pills, they are so nice, I just love them to death over there at the pharmacy. By now my morning meds were starting to make me goofy so I got the cat treats and got in line. Whoops. Forgot the pudding! Got out of line, got the pudding, checked out.

Our ride was on time, but the other client wore way too much cologne. He was pretty vile, it was so strong you could taste it. Ron opened our window and I asked the driver to put on the fan. We got rid of the other guy, yay! Time to go home. I was very spacey by now - the driver offered to help me off the van. Normally, they don't do that!

I was so tired I went straight back to bed. Nap time! And look, there's a precious boy come to cuddle! Frosty! We had a good nap, then I was awakened by my favorite sound in the world, the package hitting the porch and the doorbell!

I tore into my Knitpicks goodies (now I can make Dad's hat!). I love the Wool of the Andes Bulky - it's so plush, cozy, and vibrant. Their circular needles are awesome, I feel like I'm knitting with a Lamborghini. The "Wheat" and "Mulled Wine" Wool of the Andes yarns are perfect together, just like I'd hoped. I see legwarmers and lacy scarves...I got some more interchangable components, (Love the options system!), and the yarn I got as my just in case ball (in case I run out) is even the same dye lot as the other skeins. Phew! Happy, happy, day.

Paradise has ALREADY shipped my replacement order. UPS! Ron called the supervisor at our Post Office station and explained everything, he had the guy laughing. I feel confident they'll find out what happened to my order eventually. I'm not screaming, demanding money, I'm just asking "What happened? Don't let it happen again, please!"

Now we have a tropical storm off the coast, headed north, should hit sometime tonight. Tomorrow, unless the flooding is awful, we'll be at work stocking the machines. I'm glad I put in all that candy yesterday.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MOnday was a bad day

I'm an optimist. The story will have "A Happy ending".

Monday was a hell day. It ended on an even worse note than the rest of the day when I tracked my package from Paradise Fibers (patterns, and 2 ounces of Yak Fiber). It was sent Priority Mail. They claim it was delivered. Oh, I'm sure it was delivered but not to me.

And that's what hurts the most. Not that the substitute mail man was an idiot (incontrovertible), but that whoever got it just threw it out, apparently. They probably opened it, said "Booor-ing" and threw it in the trash.

They had a car. They can see. But they just didn't bother to bring it by. They could have even left the opened package on the chair by the door. I would have felt a little invaded, but I would have at least had my patterns! Now all my eager, happy, expectation has turned to a big lump of disappointment.

I've spent at least $300 with Paradise. They don't make mistakes on the addresses. Good old USPS, at it again. I remember thinking the mail guy looked "wierd" on Saturday, which is when he mis-delivered my package.

Ron is outraged. That mailman will be sporting flames on his butt by the time Ron's done talking to customer service. When he gets home, I'm reading that tracking number off for him, giving him a USPS complaint number, standing back, and letting him "Off the leash". SIC EM!

I thought it was very sweet when he told me it's awful to watch me sad. I reminded him, "Hey, this is the worst thing that's happened to me in a while!" I'm not suicidal, delusional, paranoid, hostile, yak-happy (except for my fiber, WAAAAH!), or any of the rest of that.

Ron's offered to re-order and pay for my order himself. "Just NEVER use USPS again, you know they'll screw it up!". It's sick, you know? They always fill up my mailbox with spam but they can't get me the one thing I do want?

Happy ending, I get it eventually.

It's really hard not to feel disgusted with the USPS and humanity in general (whoever threw away my package stole it, in my opinion). Everything I order is getting shipped UPS at least for a long while.

At work, I remember looking around at 17 acres of equipment, thinking, "Wow, they get it all right. Amazing."

I don't feel that way today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Will this day ever end?

We got home from work, we each took a nap. Ron woke up. We haven't had a long enough day, let's do bookeeping! I say OK. We work on last month's payouts.

I check the mail. NOTHING except the stupid quarterly sales tax (give us your money!) form we need to fill out next month and mail along with our "protection money". I'm reminding myself, no payroll tax in Texas. Count your blessings, Heather.

Then, it's "Let's mow the backyard". I check for bugs and spiders. It seems OK. I mow half the backyard. I'm wringing with sweat, very dizzy, but not complaining. Ron says "It's too hot, let's finish tomorrow".

Then he goes out an hour ago and plays he-man. He's gonna mow it himself. I was already undressed, mosquitoes love me, and I SAID I would do it tomorrow. No one can see in our backyard unless you are a snooping neighbor, climbing on something to see over the fence. I don't care about HER anyway because she left a ripped open bag of garbage (dogs got it, I guess) all over her yard for 3 days before picking it up. Like I care about her opinion after that! That is just NASTY and I would never do that. If she weren't a renter I'd have taken pictures and mailed them to the homeowner association. Both the renters living there both had a very lazy attitude towards upkeep and keeping the deed restrictions.

Anyway, it sounds like he's stopping. But it's like, stop. Dude, why are you martyring yourself? For the nasty, nosy next-door neighbor (I will say this, she hasn't threatened to kill the cat like the homeowner's wife did)? God only knows. But it's late and I want to go to bed and so do the neighbors. If someone else had done this last night I would be having fits.

I try to log on. AOL says "You don't exist!". AAAAAH. Obviously I got it fixed.

Happier subjects: I finished spinning, plying, and setting the black Welsh/brown Corridale yarn. It's drying on the bookcase right now. The next "twist" will be brown Corriedale/fawn Corriedale (kind of a very light beige). I think it'll be great.

I am trying to figure out what to make after I finish my fall colors shawl. It will be complete in the next couple weeks. Something bluish. The warm fall colors have been great but I am aching for something in a nice purply-blue. Leg warmers?

I want something sure-fire, easy, and portable. That, for me, eliminates a lot. I don't want to do another Feather and Fan just yet, but I have some ideas for the future. I found a lace pattern. It is called f*aggot feather (lace). Now in lace the f-word refers to holes in the fabric. Not sexual orientation. I don't have a problem with homosexuals, I just don't get the appeal. And it's not in the Bible. But other than that, we're all sinners, so I try to be a loving beacon for God. It's His job to judge, not mine. You can tell I'm tired, huh?

Anyway, the lace. It's perfect for me, in that in only has knits, purls, purl 2 together, and yarn overs. I already have those down from the Feather and Fan. Right now, I don't want any challenges. I want something fun, doable, a little interesting, but no major nightmares or hair-pulling. So the "Feather Lace" as I will term it from now on.

After I finish Dad's hat (when the yarn comes, waaaah!), and the shawl. I think I'll make myself a scarf. Then, a vest for me. I can use that this winter. I'm not into the head covering thing. That's not me at all. Unless it's a nice ribbed wool hat for winter.

I'm glad I don't have a spinning wheel

I'm glad I don't have a spinning wheel. I like things simple. I like being able to stop on a dime, or take my spindle and roving into another room to read something for Ron.

I like to read the spinners forum on a message board. They are mainly into wheels. I read a lot about the various problems of broken drive bands, finding bobbins, winding off, and other things.

I like things simple. I'm glad I have a spindle (or 3).

An I'm-not-Manic Monday

Well, Ron and I made up. "I was mainly angry at God." OK.

It's a good thing we did, today was a tempest! The cat brought home a flying, noisy insect in the middle of the night... through the cat door. It woke us up. We had to get up at 3 AM. We had a good ride to work with a really nice driver. Our Vistar (junk food) guy was late.

Ron discovered a coin jam in the soda machine that has the bad validator. Dr Pepper couldn't come out today. I had to help Ron with the Coin Jam. We had a lot of unhappy people due to the coin jam and all of them wanted to tell us that the machine was down. If only they'd tell us when the machine is running the "Buy one, get one free" promotion! That, we have to discover for ourselves! So, hectic. Thank God I take my Lithium. No candy in the machines - it's like they were imprisoned with my snack machines or something and literally ate them down to the coils!

The only thing that hadn't sold? My "Sweet Onion Chips". I stocked all the good stuff I DO have and the chips looked pretty good. I still need to stock my new cookies and some crackers. I stocked the few candy bars I did have, but I told Ron "Urgent! Need candy bars!". Someone (nicely) reminded me to stock the Fisher chocolate covered peanuts so I got them too.

We went to Sam's club after work, the driver was late (out in the hot humid sun for an hour). He was "speedy" - a guy who drives in a very fast, erratic, jerky manner that's guaranteed to make me queasy (and I don't get carsick). He doesn't listen to directions, he likes to play explorer and go his own way (always 3 times as long). He's not a bad guy, but I'm glad we only get him a few times a year!

Before I got the candy, though, I had to eat. My stomach was a roiling mess of acid and nausea. I almost cried for joy when I saw the pizza ready. Ron and I each got a combo and I thanked the deli lady profusely "I've been having a crazy day, I really needed this! Thank you!"

I got the candy bars and stuffed them into my candy box. We didn't know yesterday that we'd need candy today, so the candy went home with us. The few candy items that don't have chocolate or peanuts have artificial colors. Ha. A box full of migraines!

We brought the migraines home (the driver is a really nice guy we know well) and collapsed. I took a nap for a couple of hours, Ron is still out.

I hope my boxes come today. I could use it.

Oh, and Knitpicks has introduced a really awesome line of wood needles and tips for their interchangable needles. I am so excited. I definitely want to get at least some size 8 tips this weekend when I get paid.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Breakfast with Heather

I had the day off, so I slept in and got up about an hour ago. I need to take my Lithium, but I'm out of my delicious Kozy Shack Sugarfree Tapioca.

When I first got up, the house was a bit cool. Ron's doing the whole "silent sphynx" routine. Ron got angry at me last night and I took some advice I got from God (years ago) - Ron had been saying and calling me ugly things, and I was so angry that all I could do was take it. I don't want to tape his mouth shut, tempting as it is, and I thought it was very unfair that I just had to sit there and "take it". "But you don't have to sit there, Heather." I heard it very clearly. So now, when Ron's lost his temper and is saying things that would make your eyes bleed to read, I go outside. Even being eaten by the mosquitos is better than that. No matter how angry he is, Ron won't come outside and make himself a "public" spectacle. Part of it is the brain damage, impulse control and all, but part of it is just bad habits. I see it as, it's his shame, not mine, and I said I was sorry I didn't put the sponge back [rolleyes].

Onto happier subjects, remember the wool I was talking about in my other post? Well, I spun and plied the black Perendale together with the black Welsh. I have to admit, it looked very disappointing. They were almost the same shade of black. The spun yarn seemed rather thin and wimpy. But I gave it a chance. When I plied them together (which went really well), I could notice some difference in the two colors. Hm. I wound it into a skein on my niddy-noddy. Then I put it in my large pyrex casserole dish and covered it with water. I let it soak until it was "sopping" wet. Then, I put it in the microwave and cooked it for 10 minutes.

The house was filled with a wonderful warm, wooly fragrance as the yarn "set" its' twist. The pyrex dish is too big to rotate in my microwave so it went "thunk, thunk" every 20 seconds or so as it tried to revolve. I took it out very carefully and covered it. The goal is to let the yarn hang out at a "simmer" temperature for at least 10-20 minutes, if not longer. I left it alone until it was cold. Then, I poured out the water. I held up the skein of yarn and let all the excess water drain away in the sink. Here's a good place to mention the fact that I use clean, processed, wool top. It is in great shape when I get it, it doesn't need to be washed. However, my spinning book advises it. I got a little dab of Eucalan and put it in the pyrex dish, then added water and yarn. I let it sit about 20 minutes, then I drained it all off. With Eucelan, you don't need to rinse, so I hung it up on a hanger (it was about 1 ounce) near the fan. Let's go look at it.

It's perfect. It's got a nice subtle flavor. It's a few shades darker than my brown Corriedale/black Perendale twist, but it's got the same flavor. I loved the way the corry/peren worked up as I was knitting it so I've got a winner!

I'm spinning up another half ounce of Black Welsh to ply with the Brown Corriedale, the corry's already done, but I'm still working on the Welsh. I'll finish it today and hopefully get the yarn plied and set tonight.

I'm also working on my Feather and Fan shawl/wrap. I'll be glad when it's done, it's been fun, but LONG. I have about 7 (16 row) repeats to go, so "soon". It'll sure be warm this year! Watch, we'll have a mild winter. ACK!

Since I don't have any pudding, I had to make some oatmeal. God looks to be slowly weaning me off processed food. I can't eat nuts, chocolate, yellow things, or red things. Good news, I lost at least half an inch off my belly. I used to eat oatmeal squares, but they have nuts. So. I realized "Why should I be eating all this processed oatmeal crap when I can just buy a big canister for the same price as one package of processed?" Then I got some dried fruit, boom - my own custom oatmeal.

Today it was "Sunmaid fruit bits" and 5/8 of a cup of oatmeal, cook for around 2 minutes (until it almost overflowed the pyrex measuring cup). I added a little artificial sweetener (I keep 3 kinds in a pencil box, right next to the oatmeal). Not bad. It's not a gourmet item, but it's decent and it will keep my lithium from tearing up my stomach.

The only real pill problem I've had recently - my pill cutter died. AGH. I use that to cut my Lexapro. One day I took my Lexapro late - big mistake. I was a BASKET case. All the old depression came washing back, hell is a good word. It was hellish. So far, I can force my old one to work, but I need to get a new one.

And that's breakfast with me. I hope you enjoy your next breakfast. I had a lot of fun doing this.

Friday, September 7, 2007

I love this wool!

I can tell I need to order some more wool. Ask me why.

Because: I love my brown Corriedale and black/brown Perendale so much that I don't want to spin it. Or rather, I do want to spin it, into several different projects. The Corriedale/Perendale twist is so gorgous, it's very subtle and complex. I love it! Love it! I want to make a vest! I want to make hats, and legwarmers... and I am jealously guarding it.

I'm going to work on spinning up my Black Welsh this weekend (there's a reason In Sheep's Clothing only gave it one diamond for softness). Then, I'm going to ply it with some black Perendale, and brown Corriedale.

I'll have
Brown/brown (corry/peren)
Brown/black (corry/welsh)
and Black/black (corry/welsh) I can have a lot of fun placing and interchanging them in my projects.

When I get paid next Friday, then I go straight to my bank and make a deposit, so come Saturday I can order more of my Perendale and Corriedale. I LOVE this wool.

I told Ron earlier today: I'm so glad I have so much fun with this. I really enjoy my life.

15 years in CA will get you...

The average American Household uses about 100-200 gallons, per day.

We use 80 gallons a day. I've been reading our water bills for years, and it always runs between 2 to 3 thousand.

I owe it to living in California. During the late 80's, early 90's we had a terrible drought. One year, I think we got 12 inches of rain in the whole year. One thing we learned quickly - water conservation. Don't leave the faucet running. I remember hearing "DON'T WASTE WATER!". They'd teach us lots of tips in school on "living green".

Same with electricity. I loved the new flourescent (sp) light bulbs as soon as they came out. It uses 15 watts, and I get the equivalent of 100? I'm there. Ron's totally blind. He could care less, but he loves knowing that - right now for instance.

Desk Lamp: 4 watts
Kitchen lights: 160 watts
Hanging light fixture: 18 watts
If I had the lamp in the corner turned on, it would add another 17 watts. That's all lighting about 500 square feet of living space.

I've been using these bulbs for over a decade, and I love them. The only ones I've "lost" was one in a lamp that Ron knocked over. The only problem I've had is with the lampshades that rest on the light bulb, some of them are a little wobbly.

We use the microwave for most of the cooking, and mainly use disposable paper plates for our "china". We have a natural gas stove, furnace, and water heater. Our house is well-insulated. The biggest energy hogs are the fridge, my 20-inch TV, and my washer and dryer.

So, living in California for 15 years will get you good habits of conservation that help you to be a good steward of God's planet AND save you lots of money.

I don't know how many kilowatt hours we use a month, but our electric bill is always 1/3 to one half of everyone elses'. Ron and I keep the thermostat at 77 during the summer, and I have a couple of nice warm robes I wear in the winter.

Like he says "That's more money I can spend on you, Heather."

A nice day off

I needed today. I needed to sleep late, go to Ikea for breakfast, and wander around the store for an hour. I got a nice cotton bedspread (rose), some throw-rugs to put under my Lilberg rocking chair, and a couple of hot-pink Vessla storage boxes (They have wheels and lids. They stack. They rule!).

The cafeteria lady likes Ron. She looked in on him while I was gone to see if he needed anything.

I got what I came for, had money left, a good meal, and a great ride home. Then I took my lithium, and a nap. I woke up, Ron's at Starbucks. I'm did some spinning. He came home and beat the rain.

I didn't get my Knitpicks order yet, but I can wait. It will come.

A good day.

Shooting myself in the foot

A few months ago, I was accused of being a racist because I made the following comment: "The wedding reception was uncomfortable, in my opinion, because not only did we have to drive an hour to get to the reception, but they held it in a mosque. This wasn't long after 9-11."

I had simply meant, it was uncomfortable for me (and others I overheard). First of all, I'm a Christian. Personally, I feel uncomfortable in other places of worship. Then, the media had shoved the Islamic religion down our throats as pivotal as to why the terrorists did what they did. So for me, and others I overheard, it was odd and uncomfortable. Houston has thousands of banquet halls, why this one?

Some people got really angry and accused me of being racist. I had two cab rides today. One driver was Hispanic. When I offered him a soda or a bottle of water, the poor man looked like I'd slapped him. His face was slack with shock, but he managed to let me know he'd like some water. As I handed it to him, I told him "All the skinny drivers want the water!" We had a great time riding with him, and he smiled as he saw us cuddling in the rearview mirror.

On the ride home, I discussed the various ways to say "Thank you" (in Arabic and Urdu) with the driver. We offered him a drink, too. We complimented him on the condition of the cab, and the driver said he wished he could drive us every day. When Ron made a joke about hiring him as our personal driver if we won the lotto, the driver said he hoped we'd win! "I'd like driving you!"

It wasn't until recently that I figured out why I have so much innate respect and affection for Black women. It would probably scare them to death. I really enjoy them. I admire and respect them. They have taken some very sour lemons and turned it into lovely lemonade.

When I was a toddler, my Dad had to put me in day care. The owner/manager was Black. I really liked her a lot. My memories are tinged with respect and affection.

Nearly every ride we get is from a "Minority". There are only 5 or so Caucasian drivers, and one of them is not a very good driver. On the other hand, we have a couple dozen "Favorite" Black, Hispanic, and Arabic drivers. I think it's awesome. Racist? Only if I like shooting myself in the foot.

Oh, yeah, and my husband's birth certificate says "Negro".

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The most important thing I did today...

I'm going to share what I think is the most important thing I did today, then I'll backtrack and tell you about the day itself. I got up at 5-something this morning, and I had been going all day. No nap today!

In the very late afternoon, Ron went outside to wait for a cab that was supposed to take him to Starbucks (he later changed his mind). The "little boy" next door, maybe 7 or so, yelled a greeting. I said hello. Ron didn't hear the boy and kind of turned his head to me, so I told him. I then told the boy, "My husband is blind".

"I know" he said, "My cousin told me". I didn't think much of it at the time, but then it started to fester. Who was this cousin? How did he know about us, and what was he doing telling our personal information to this child? The nerve! [note to reader: let's thank God his mother doesn't read this.] Things were definitely taking a familiar path and I stopped myself.

The most important thing: I assesed my mood. I am feeling persecuted and paranoid. I'm feeling outraged. I'm doing a lot of feeling; this is my illness talking. I'd been up for about 12 hours straight. I'd been running around a lot. I was tired, probably hungry, and I most likely needed a nap.

"No, I don't" I thought. I feel fine! It's not me! It's THEM! They're out to get me again! I have to stop this!" OH, no, I don't.

I told myself. "I'm going to take a nap. If I lie awake for a long time I'll get up. All I'm going to do is lie down for a while. Before I do that, I'm going to have a high-protein snack and a cold diet decaf soda. That won't hurt, and if I am 'sick' it can only help."

I lay down, fell asleep, and had a totally normal dream about alpaca farms. When I woke up 2 hours later, I felt like my regular self. No paranoia, no one is out to get me, and what the hell does it matter if someone knows Ron's blind?

I hate having this illness, but I'm proud of how I manage it. I'm very proud of myself for how I handled things today. I have a lousy self-esteem, so me saying that is monumental.

This morning we got up at 5-something. We went to Walmart. I was desperately hoping for at least one 12-pack of my beloved Cherry Cola Diet Rite. I adore the stuff. It's traumatic for me when I open my last 12-pack, but Dr Pepper was out of it! No one had it! Happily, Walmart had not one, but three cases! YEE-HA! I flung them in the cart and continued down my list (all told, I only spent 30-some dollars). Ron, very lovingly, bought me not one but 2 kinds of Pepto. He is a very kind and wonderful man. I'm glad he decided to share his life with me. I got us some frozen dinners, various other things we needed, and then we went home.

We got home, and I put away the groceries. Then, work. I did an inventory, assisted Ron, and called in our food order for delivery Monday. A validator isn't working, so I got Ron the can of air and read the error messages (the machine has a chart, a steady light is good, flashing lights are bad, depending on how often they flash) and commisserated when he called Dr Pepper.

How funny is that? We get my Diet Rite Cherry Cola money back when they do the repair. Funny!

[getting queasy, need to eat]

OK, I'm working on a lovely snack of mixed canned vegetables. After work, we went to Taco Bell! It wasn't a straight trip but it wasn't bad. I was glad I'd eaten a snack at work because it was a rather bouncy ride.

After Taco Bell (which didn't settle as well as I'd hoped, and necessitated the use of 2 chewable Peptos), we went to Krogers. Ron wanted to get something nearby, and I got some low-carb pasta. Guess what? Krogers had a sale on Cherry Cola Diet Rite. So I got 3 more cases - this is why I find the "free" validator repair so amusing. [already feeling better from the snack]. I also got some Potato Sticks (I got carb-blockers at Walmart), a tasty snack anytime.

Our ride home was looking so grim (about an hour late with rain pending) we called a "Real" cab to get home. Not only did the driver get a nice tip, he got a can of soda! We have a whole stash in the fridge just for giving away. The cab made it to Krogers in just a couple minutes. Yay!

Then we get into the whole "Best thing I did today" incident. It's sad in a way, just a couple of "regular" errands can wear me out so much I get "sick", but then God's given me the kind of life where I don't have to run around much.

Oh, and good news on the flood insurance. We're using our agent, she found us some house and contents ($1,000 contents, because my yarn can't swim!), for a very reasonable price. Yay! I really wanted to use her anyway, it just seems smarter to have one person doing all the insurance. But she understood when I told her, "I hope we never need you".

"The perfect combination"

I didn't sleep well last night.  The Claratin was alive and well in my system.  It will probably come as no surprise to you that I would...