Showing posts from January, 2008

I'll let God drive

Yesterday we forgot to mail the form 944, Federal employment taxes. We HAD to go in today, and since we had forgotten (what do we have, brain damage :-P ) to do the "meter readings" we did them too.

I had seriously considered "making" side effects happen when I took my morning dose. I was going to be dropping off my application at Metrolift, wasn't I? Wouldn't it be better if I looked the way I feel most of the time? I decided I have 2 choices, either act like God's in charge, leaving it all in his hands, or refuse to believe that God will make ANYTHING happen that He wants. In trying to "make it work" for myself, I could mess up God's plan. My life is a car and I'm letting God drive it.

So I took my usual dose, one Lithium, 1/2 Lexapro. On the way to work things became very soft and misty. I had major side effects - the "Pillow effect" where I'm slow, mentally and physically, very amicable, and just kind of stare…

The 18 hour day

Things I'll do and things I won't. I wanted 7 top turnip seeds and a soil thermometer. I found one page, they had both! I was thrilled until I started the checkout process. They wanted $14 shipping. For a pen-sized soil thermometer and a packet of seeds. Forget it.

Then I found these guys: Not only did they have the 7 top turnip greens and my thermometer, they had some really interesting varietal seeds, EASY interface, and fun shopping experience. Needless to say, I got more than just the one packet of seeds. After I subtract the $20 "Ooops" money, I still have $50 in my online account. That means I get to spend $25 a week. I had a very happy shopping experience and when I went to checkout, $8 shipping, BUT it's UPS, which I like better. I know, egg me, I am a hypocrite. I was delighted to give them $21 of this week's internet money. I'll let you know when the goodies arrive and how things turn out.

So, Heathe…
On our way to work, we rode with a woman who's a teacher. She doesn't have a very high opinion of children today. I think it's really sad. I'd rather believe the best and be disappointed on occasion than to give a child a bad reputation to live up to.

I was pretty toxic and miserable today. Queasy, weak, shaky, ugh. I had to take 5 ginger root capsules in about an hour. That's not good. I have to go back to 3 Lithium a day, obviously.

I perked up by the time the milk arrived. He's going to be off next week so we need to plan for a long stay at work so we can get the milk. I'm glad I know now.

By the time I got back to our area, it was really late. I had to do the pull and run the money so I could get paid and we could make our deposit. We'd already filled out our form 944 (federal employment taxes). I had about 5 minutes to do a half-hour job.

I left it in God's hands, "Hey, Lord, could you make it happen so I can do this and we get…

"Bipolar isn't a real illness"

It was an interesting morning. First, though, I have to tell you:
I DUG UP THE PEAR TREE STUMP! I am so thrilled. I was so happy I got the thing out of the ground, I almost brought it in the house to show Ron. I did slice my finger a little bit (probable scar, but doesn't need stitches) while sawing through the roots, but it was worth it! I mulched and amended all my garden beds except for bed 1. I don't want to get it just yet anyway, because I need to fill in the crater left by the stump removal (it looks like a fantastic way to break an ankle, leg, or both). I also need to wait for the soil to dry, the stuff around the pear tree was just miserable slock. It reminded me of quicksand. I plan to double dig the part I'm extending on bed 1, and I need to get some better edging. I had a great day and I'm so glad I did it!

I also got my seed order from Bountiful gardens ( The Malabar spinach included BOTH types, the red and the gr…
My throat hurts. Back when things were bad, Ron used to accuse me of being "sickly". My sister has an immune deficiency disorder, but my ailments are about on track for an "average" adult woman. In some respects, I do a lot better. I went 9 years between flu outbreaks, while Ron was getting it every year for a while.

I'm a big fan of Olive Leaf, I like to think it helps me stay healthier ("Nature's antibiotic"). I also believe in supporting my immune system so it can kill the nasties. Right now, that translates to Vitamin C powder, instant Honeysuckle/Forsythia crystals (clears internal heat per Traditional Chinese Medicine), antistress vitamins, and nutritional yeast. My throat still hurts, but hopefully it won't get any worse.

I guess that means I can't go for my blood tests until this thing is cleared up. It would mess up the bloodwork (he ordered a CBC in addition to other tests). Onto happier subjects, while I was getting mor…

My Glain

Today was a pretty major day with side effects. Ugh. I had that glue-brain thick feeling (Ron was lovingly teasing me and calling it my "Glain" [glue-brain]) and some other icky side effects. When I finally got home, I needed my nap. It's worth it. Every day, it's worth it. I can depend on my brain. You can't imagine the horror of not being able to trust your own mind (I hope you never have that horror), or worse yet, the look on your spouse's face as they realize "Here we go again." Worth it!

I was still productive at work, stocking snacks and sodas and helping Ron. I like to feel like I earn my keep. We ended up riding around a lot on Metrolift so we only got 1.5 hours instead of two, but it worked. I'm glad we went in, the nasty weather ensured a hungry captive audience. They like what we're selling.

After work we went to Wal-mart for lunch. I wanted to get some of the red peppermints, the circular kind with the swirly thing?…

Some observations on Lithium

I mentioned to Ron recently that my stomach's been a lot happier since I started eating soynuts. I love to snack on soynuts, and probably eat about 1/3 cup a day. I can't eat regular nuts but I love my soynuts. Maybe it's the protein (they are high-protein), or maybe some unidentified nutrient, but I haven't had to take my Pepto once since my soynuts arrived.

Normally I deal with a fairly acid stomach, nausea, and no appetite. It's a nice change to just be able to enjoy my food without having to reach for the Pepto.

Ron told me I should post this, and it got me thinking about all the questions I had when I started my Lithium. I take four tablets a day, extended release 300 mg.

I have a funny taste in my mouth, will it ever go away?
When I first started the Lithium, and when I increased my dosage, I noticed a horrible zinc-lozenge taste in my mouth. It's a side effect. By the time I'd bought a good assortment of breath mints, it had faded. Very rarely…

Why thin?

I was looking online at seed-starting books. One of them had a chapter on how to thin seedlings.

I've never understood the point of starting seeds, only to throw 3/4 of the resulting plants out. I have one Jiffy pellet with a tomato seedling, my "Stupice". I have two dill plants, and two cutting celery. That's all I want of them.

Sure, I may have a a failure or two but I can restart. I have a 10-month growing season, and I'm surrounded by nice nurseries. If I just can't get something right, then I can probably buy it.

It's what I plan to do with Rosemary - buy it.


After hours of frustration and exasperation, raised voices, and snippy attitudes, we finally got up our DSL. Thank you, Jesus. Oh, I am so glad it's over. So, so glad.

Yesterday I had a shitty day. A good, shitty, day. Chuck was able to take me to the Home Depot and got the mulch, manure, and fence posts I needed. Well, Home Depot doesn't have manure by itself (???) but Walmart does, and Chuck was happy to take me and wait in the truck. I got at least 16 cubic feet of mulch (eight bags!), four bags of manure, and a total of eight (six foot) fence posts. Once I pound the posts into the ground, they'll be five feet tall. I have two of them on the back of garden bed 1. They are great and I love them. But six-foot posts on Metrolift? Uh, uh.

I figure five feet of vertical is better than no feet of vertical, which is what I've got now. Ideally, I'd love six feet of vertical but hey, life is compromise. Five feet is better than no feet.

I'll get some of…

The Ultimate Cheat

Today was an odd day. Normally, we just go in, get the milk, out of there. I had big plans for working in the garden once we got home.

When Ron called the milk man (Lechero in Spanish), he was told a substitute would be covering the route. Our Lechero's brother was violently assaulted a few weeks ago, and el Lechero had to take care of his brother today. Of course he did. I'd be a monster to complain. I pray for all of them, even the attacker. Normally we get our milk between 7 and 8 AM. It didn't arrive until 11 AM. On the postive side, I did EVERYTHING, cookies, chips, crackers, candy, you name it, I stocked it. The machines looked fantastic. On the negative side, since we put the ride on hold we ended up staying 3 times longer than we'd planned (good thing I brought the Lithium!).

When we "took the ride off hold" to come home, we got a ride in 20 minutes. Pretty awesome!

Not so awesome - by the time I got home I was utterly exhausted, in despe…

Making the impact

My sister just sent me a link to enter poetry in a contest for people with mental illness. My family is a compelling argument for the genetic basis of mental illness. I may write something, I may not. We'll see.

I saw something at work the other day that made me fairly angry. The gist of the message was "God allows suffering because people won't come to him for help."

Uh, NO. That is not true at all. God allows suffering because it makes us stronger, we need to learn something, others need to learn something, or all of the above. I cried to God many times when I was ill "Why are you allowing me to suffer?" I needed to learn, and it made me stronger.

God can also use anything for good. Take my illness for example: When I was 12 I was deeply depressed. My HMO had me in group therapy, didn't help. They put me on an antidepressant. [eventually, that made me suicidal] Many meetings were had by my doctors and parents.

One day, my dad was schedul…

I'm a grub

We went to the wholesale store today to buy some candy and then we went to work. I brought my 5-gallon bucket (clean, with a lid) for the coffee grounds. We have a coffee vending machine, it fills a good 20 gallon trash can at least once a month. Why throw them out? They repel fire ants, are a balanced organic fertilizer, and the earthworms love them. I'll state the obvious, I'm a big fan of used coffee grounds even though I can't stand to drink coffee.

Ron tied off the garbage bag and set it in my bucket. The bucket's out in the backyard waiting for my next project. I'm not in a hurry to apply them; we have a good chance of rain 'most every day this week. Why let them wash away when they can hang out in a bucket?

Right as we finished up with the coffee grounds, I had my little "Candy wagon" all set up to stock. A woman came up to me: "I want to buy your tuna sandwich but your machines are down." "Your machines are down"…
I am so frustrated with this stupid, high-speed-going-to-make-your-internet better circus. First they were going to turn in on Jan 9, so I busted my butt working on the install. The "DSL" light kept flashing red, I got very frustrated, and I gave up. They said "Oh, it'll be on Wednesday." Ron told me to do the install Wednesday. I told him, no way, call the company first. "Oh, sorry, it's not on yet, it'll go on Saturday".

Saturday arrives. I'm here. I'm tired so I take a nap. I wake up from the nap, bring in the tomato and onions (they were getting shaded and it's going to be cold tonight), check the mail. My seeds from Southern Exposure are here! Mineral, Virginia. I got my Jericho lettuce, Jimmy Nardello Pepper (going to wait to start that rascal), and Tomatoes (Stupice and Peron Sprayless). I'm starting the Stupice tonight, and I'll plant it out in bed 2 with the Celebrity. I'll have 2 nice, early, and one guaranteed…

Happy Friday

I did it. I woke up today with a totally normal, manageable mood. Oh, thank God. I will of course tell my doctor that I increased my Lithium. He may want to order a blood test to make sure I'm OK but I doubt he's going to yell at me.

It was an utterly cold and nasty day. Wet rain and 30's - when you're in Houston everyone hates it. You could say we're spoiled and you'd be right, but you wouldn't want to be here during July. It's a different kind of hell. Me, I'd rather feel like a steam table vegetable than some poor wet, frozen thing.

Ron had planned a trip to Sam's club, but he cancelled. I agreed. I didn't want to get a box of candy bars home in the wet, frozen, and windy weather.

Have you guessed by now I'm not impressed with the weather? Ugh! I could never make it in Minnesota or Maine, I think you are heroes if you live there. Frozen heroes.

Speaking of Heroes, my Johnny's package (ordered the day before yesterday)…

Beet People

I've been running a bit manic the last couple days; I told Ron I would try an experiment. I took an extra lithium last night (1 at dinner, 1 at bedtime, I think my levels get too low otherwise). I felt great and I was less manic today. That means I was about a 2 on 1-10 as opposed to a three. Not bad, but a little aggravating. I feel like someone has given me "Super energy vitamins" and "Talkalot" pills. Not bad, considering other manias I have known.

So today I was chatty with anyone who'd talk to me. We have a lot of nice people at work. Remember the microwave sagas? The Post Office went ahead and BOUGHT 6 microwaves, commercial microwaves, for our area, and at least another dozen for the other vendor. Wooow! That was a very nice surprise.

If we end up going with Chuck to get my soil amendments, I'll have had a lot of preperatory lifting. I moved 48 cases of Coke. I stacked 24 of them. I put away our old microwaves (heavy!), with a littl…

No-regrets policy in my garden

I woke up at 5 AM. The Lithium makes sure of that, I always need to run to the bathroom. NOT complaining, just stating a fact. I love my pills. I rolled over in bed and looked at my tomato plant. I have to say, last night the weather was miserable, and that plant looked absolutely smug. "Look at me" I could hear it saying "I'm spoiled and pampered. I get my own light source, window, deluxe 8-inch pot filled with organic potting soil (I got premixed at the store, NOT cheap but worth it), and I know Heather loves me!" (the last part is sing-songy)

I'm always anthropomorphizing (I think I spelled it right), giving human emotions to plants and such, but I have to say, it looks pampered. It rained tonight and today, so no tilling the garden beds (I use hand tools, and it makes a fantastic butt workout). All my garden books agree so I won't do it. I just saw a bluejay fly by. Ron and find it ironic that the prettier birds like bluejays are the mos…


I started getting manic about a week ago. It's January, I'm manic for gardening. The frosts have killed off all the weeds in "Heatherworld" (our name for my garden area). I went out there and started clearing. Hey, this isn't that bad. I got most of it finished in about 4 hours, and I had a lot of great, shredded dry stuff for soil amending, mulch, and/or compost. I should mention that I've always been an organic gardener. I don't see the point of putting chemicals on things you grow. If you want pesticide, fungicide, and synthetic fertilizer in your food, go to the grocery store. I try to grow things that work in my zone (allegedly it's zone 8 but it acts more like zone 9 every winter).

For instance, after April, you can forget the leaf lettuce. It's not happening. The high heat and humidity are going to make the plants miserable. Lettuce likes days like today, in the low 60's with a drizzle. I plant Romaine lettuce, specifically…

Gardens I've had

I was sitting there on the title box, wondering what to title this blog entry. I thought of the "Chicken Soup" type titles "Rediscovering myself, and my garden" and other sappy crap. Then I thought of the dry toast titles like "gardening again".

Here's the backstory. I grew up in Northern Virginia, zone 6. We had a huge yard with dozens of beautiful shrubs and trees. One year, we had a fantastic vegetable garden that set the bar for my garden expectations. We also had a monster compost pile. Jumping in the compost pile used to be a fun activity (for everyone but me, the jumping part terrified me). When we moved to CA, Mom always had a huge flower garden with perennials, annuals, and bulbs. I used to talk to her as she'd work in the yard.

In Januaries, I get manic for gardening. At my first place in CA, the balcony didn't get any light at all. I could barely eke out a few sugar snap peas. I yearned to grow roses and succulent veget…

The soynuts are delicious!

Oh, I opened them. The butterscotch flavor is soooo goood. Ron is eating himself sick on cheddar jalapeno. Good call. I had to chase the UPS deliveryman and give him some driver candy.

Don't worry. I'm being "upgraded" to broadband (against my will, shocking isn't it? That I want dialup?) in half an hour. I'm consenting because it will save my husband money. He also likes the idea of not picking up the phone and hearing the screech of the modem yelling at him to hang up, you monster! You hung Heather up! Again!

We're reminiscing about all the fun we've had with dialup and how exciting it was when I got up to 28K.

Anyway, I'm tired, need a shower, and need to take my pills. If I don't post, I'm OK, just pissed at Ron for jacking with my internet.

Ron's chortling. He can get an IPOD now. I say, get an MP3 player and save the money you would have spent on the name brand. Save it to buy tunes. We'll see.

Wish me luck.

Out for delivery - the soynuts are coming!

I should be getting my flavored soynuts in the next couple hours. Obviously, I'm excited. Hey, they're healthy, great tasting, crunchy, and they won't give me migraines. I can't beat that.

I just told Ron I'm still a little manic, so I'm going to use my powers for good tomorrow and work on cleaning up the backyard. I might space-bag some of those "don't fit" clothes while I'm at it. Greg the handyman is coming out in a few days. Long story short, no more wasps in the garage, I will be able to use the garage without fear. We have to prop the door open slightly so the cats can get in and out of their cat door. Greg's going to put a cat door into the garage door, so the door can stay down. Yeeehaw.

This isn't a bad mania. Maybe a 2 on a 1-10. I don't have any incredible urges to call anyone up and yak forever, I don't want to buy everything in the world, I just tried a few new driver candies at Walmart. Peanut butter k…

Manic for soynuts

I want my brain to be a rowboat on a nice, placid lake. Paddle, paddle... nice and dull. Instead, God issued me a surfboard labeled "bipolar".

Other than my accident "Issues" which come up this time every year, I've been a little manic. I'm not talking my head off. I have $70 two weeks after I got paid, and I only want to buy a few things at Walmart. Most of what I want to get is driver candy (always a huge hit). I'm not irritable, paranoid, or very delusional. Off and on, I think I hear a phone ringing. I go "Huh? Huh?" and try to figure out if it's in my head or not, figure out it's in my head, sigh, and get on with my life. If it were any worse I'd call my doctor.

I've just got this intense fascination with soybeans. I want to buy them in all shapes and forms. Soy milk powder, soy grits, soy nuts, and whole soybeans. I did buy the first 3 online because I want to try them out anyway. My food choices are getting…

The anniversary I'd rather not celebrate

I have a lot in my life that I'm grateful for: the fact that the Postal Workers are wearing shorts because we've had highs in the high 70's, the fact that I have a job I truly love, even when I'm taking out the dumpster, a husband who values and respects me, and the kind of life where I can take a nap every day if I need to (I do).

Yesterday was the 5-year anniversary of Ron's accident. An exhausted and distracted postal worker (he worked "Tour one" or the night shift) ran a red light while my blind husband was crossing the street on foot. Ron traveled all over the country by himself, just the white cane. He went everywhere and had a great time. He even made it home drunk one night by himself (the development director bought him a few drinks at a Christmas party). I knew it wasn't Ron's fault. The driver saw Ron at the last second and swerved to avoid him, but it was too late. Ron was dragged at least a couple hundred feet, he was knocked o…

The cow bites back

Lactose intolerance can trigger migraines, a fact I've learned just this last month. No milk products at all. I thought I was "OK" with yogurt, when we went to Whole Foods I got 2 quart tubs of delicious cream-top plain yogurt. I ate about 3 servings on Saturday.

Sunday, I had a killer migraine. The only "new" food was the yogurt; not to mention the instant milk migraine I had about a month ago. We've also got a big drop in barometric pressure and it's about a week until my period, all conspire to create a pretty miserable migraine.

I don't really get scared when I get a migraine. The only thing that scares me is the fact that I can't take my Lithium due to the nausea and vomiting. As migraines go, this last one was a solid 6.5 to 7 on a 1-10 (10 worst) migraine scale. I doubt anything will beat the migraine I had with neck pain and a sinus infection about 10 years ago. I had to get a spinal tap on that one.

I don't like to whine. …

The perfect snack

I told Ron I wanted to take a trip to Whole Foods today, and Ron made it happen. I hate asking him to come with me because it's a long ride, it's never a straight trip, and odds are high we'll end up like sardines in the back of a minivan. It's a lot to ask, but Ron said he'd like some Cajun Mix.

I had a few things on my list. Organic soy stuff (flour, soy grits, and beans); wheat germ, organic molasses, the usual "health nut" goodies. Whole Foods doesn't have soy grits. They don't have wheat germ (in the bulk bins), and they don't have organic molasses. I was pretty disappointed. I'd budgeted $40 for the trip and I only spent $30. I got some lentils, soy beans, organic soy flour, and the no-aluminum baking powder. My brain suffers enough, it doesn't need aluminum poisoning on top of everything else (typed as I'm drinking out of an aluminum soda can).

I'm not too happy, then Ron tells me Metrolift is going to be half a…