Thursday, December 31, 2009

What a year!

I was shot, mugged, and covered in hives of a truly Biblical scope. Frosty went to Jesus. I handed out hundreds of Bibles, discovered that God has called me to evangelism, and started a regular program of Bible Study. I cared for my husband, managed a business, and learned to take better care of myself. I took Ron to a family reunion. I was attacked by an evil stray cat. I learned I love Chicory coffee, and Foodtown grocery stores.

As I started the year, I was just getting back on the bus again after a long hiatus. Ron was recovering from an allergic reaction to an antibiotic, it was a battle to get him to eat at all.

In January, I made the decision to deny myself access to a message board forum. I realized the forum was causing me a lot more stress than joy, and decided that I didn't need the aggravation. I haven't regretted the decision. I took Ron to a couple of doctors, with unsatisfying results.

February, I had a nasty gallbladder attack. Once I got over that, I had some struggles "Coming to terms" with the whole bipolar label and all that implies. Ugh. I can see why people don't say they have the illness. I did have some serious quality time in the garden.

March, I worked up a good "Things I love to do" list and began actually doing the things whenever I began feeling depressed. Now, it's almost a reflex. "I'm getting depressed, what 'things I love' are possible right now?" I battled a pretty nasty depression "He's only 54! It's not fair. The best years of his life, I was sick with undiagnosed, unmedicated bipolar disorder. I finally get fixed and how he's circling the drain? Cruel."

I did find plenty of motivation in my music: "You always say you wanna follow me
But when I call you're never around
Talk is cheap it's time for action
This time I'm gonna pin you down
I wanna see your faith on the line
You've got to take it to the limit
'Cause my love is all you need
Take it to the limit
And by my side you'll always be
I could provide everything you lack
But you keep tryin' to carry the world on your back
I wanna see your faith on the line
You've got to take it to the limit
'Cause my love is all you need
Take it to the limit
And by my side you'll always be.
You talk in circles
But you can't see
You'll find your freedom
When you start trustin' in Me
I wanna see your faith on the line
You've got to take it to the limit
'Cause my love is all you need
Take it to the limit
And by my side you'll always be- Take it to the Limit by Whitecross

I lost Frosty. God took him in such a way that I knew I had to let him go. It was so awful saying goodbye.

April, the H1N1 flu hit the fan. I was attacked by a truly VICIOUS stray cat, necessitating a course of antibiotics. Ron had carpal tunnel surgery, which went fine. Dear old Chuck gave us a ride to and from the hospital.

May, I started handing out Bibles, and had a good month overall. My biggest problem - Ron feeding the cat too many treats.

June, we took Ron's internet wheelchair and went on a family reunion cruise. We had a great time, the wheelchair worked great, and I even wrote Western Safety a fan mail. Every day's an adventure. I bought myself a smoker and a wok. Both have gotten plenty of use. We had so much fun on the cruise, we did a little trip to Galveston.

July, I expanded Garden Bed 1. I battled the heat, and caregiver burnout.

August, I don't even NEED to look at my blog archive, August I had the spectactular Lexapro reaction. Hives of a truly Biblical nature. Oh, I was probably sicker than I've ever been in my life. It was about 2 months before I healed, that included over 80 grams of steroid cream and a course of oral steroids. I learned I'm OK with Solu-Medrol. I found a good primary care doc. I stopped the Lexapro, and learned that if I stop Risperdal, I will have full blown hallucinations. Ron slowly regained a few more food flavors. He says nothing is a "10" anymore, but they are enjoyable now.

September, I had some psychotic issues (seriously), and Doc increased my Risperdal. I slathered on square feet of steroid cream daily. I sliced the end off a fingertip. Ouch. No typing for quite a bit after that. I read a lot of inspirational romance novels. I handed out lots of Bibles and found $60 lying on the ground on my birthday.

October: Old "Sparky", my computer, finally died. God really laid it on me, that I need to pray for those who've "Done me wrong". Ron bought me a new computer.

November: mainly annoyance with Swine Flu hysteria, deepening my spiritual life.

December: Mugged! I learned I will FIGHT when someone tries to take my Bible. I am delighted I got to keep "Little Buddy". Thank God the thug didn't bleed on me, when I hit him! I tried another antidepressant and learned the pharmacist is right, I'm allergic to all antidepressants in the SSRI category. Ah, well.

So, overall, a challenging year. I learned a lot. I pray next year will be easier!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Would you fight for it?

I learned something interesting yesterday during my mugging. When someone tried to take my Bible from me, I fought for it.

While thug boy is now on my prayer list, and I'd be happy to GIVE him a Bible, I figured if he stole my Bible, he'd just throw it away. Yesterday, I learned that God's Word has such value to me, that I'm willing to fight for it. God's Word has sustained me through the worst times of my life, and I wasn't willing to let that boy take that comfort away from me.

So I fought, punching him in the face, to protect my Bible. You and I both know he'd have thrown in away if he'd gotten it.

I've learned a valuable lesson: When someone tries to take my Bible from me, I'll fight for it.

When the bag ripped and the Bible fell on the ground, he ran away like it bit him!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Mugging fail

Today I got mugged at the bus stop. "Highway robbery or "mugging" takes place outside and in a public place such as a sidewalk, street, or parking lot" - per Wikipedia.

Yup. First, I'll tell you what happened.

This morning I did my Bible Study. I had a nasty headache and decided to take my fake Excedrin. I took it. I had a "feeling" I shouldn't take my backpack today, so I didn't. I took a black canvas tote bag instead.

I put my Bible, a bottle of Diet Dr Pepper, 10 bags of "driver candy", and my fake Excedrin into the tote bag. I wore my cheap MP3 player around my neck. I had cash, but it wasn't in the tote bag.

I guess I should explain the whole concept of Driver Candy. In 1992, I was working at Target. I was a cashier, and my scanner was broken. That meant I had to type in every single UPC code by myself. All those digits! AAAAGH. People were getting in my line because it was "short", until they realized I had to hand-code each item. People were VERY annoyed.

I was tired. I was starving. A nice young man - about mid 20's, moved forward and placed a few large bags of Peanut M&M's on the counter. I commented on their tastiness as I rang them up.

"Hold out your smock" he instructed. I was wearing an ugly smock with 2 large pockets. I held it out, baffled. He tore open a bag of M&M's and filled up BOTH pockets. I almost cried for joy, nibbling happily on my treasure as I worked my way through the rest of that horrible day.

I have NEVER forgotten that man's kindness. I realized the best compliment I could give the man was in duplicating his actions.

A few years back, I started buying assorted wrapped candies, bagging them out, and handing them out to cashiers and drivers I encountered. People love them; especially during the holidays.

I really enjoy doing it for bus drivers, so I like to leave the house with about a dozen bags or so. My Days Out involve several bus transfers. I like to give a bag to EACH driver.

Hence, 10 bags of Driver Candy in the tote bag. I walked off down the street and headed off to the bus stop.

I've gotten complacent. I grew up outside a big bad city; and I've always lived in the suburbs of some large city. I remember the safety classes and all "Be observant". "Notice your surroundings".

However, years of "What a nice, quiet neighborhood" had numbed my instincts. I have lived in some BAD areas. My favorite was the apartment complex. I saw a drug deal and told management "You have a drug dealer living here".

"Which one did you see?" they laughed. Oh, boy. In that environment, I NEVER let my guard down. The worst I saw there, other than the drug deal, was a very poorly endowed flasher (I laughed at him and he drove away).

However, everyone talks about my beautiful, quiet, subdivision. I just assumed bad things don't happen here.

So, when the 2 young men approached me rapidly, from behind, I just assumed they were residents, in a hurry. They seemed agitated, but I turned my back. I made a POINT of not noticing them, as I got out my paperback.

Then "Red" struck, snatching my tote bag off my arm. I fought him for the bag, and he asked his companion for help. His companion refused. The bag was on my left shoulder, I fought him with the left arm as I began giving him a Right Hook to the left eye. POW, POW, POW.

We battled, and I have to say I was winning. "You idiot!" I chided him "All I've got in here is some candy!" Then the handles tore off the bag and he bolted. Everything fell out of the bag except for a few bags of driver candy. He must have been furious when he searched the handle-less tote bag.

I'm glad I got my Bible. I'm glad he didn't bleed on me. I'm glad he'll have a nice black eye tomorrow. I'm glad he didn't have a weapon. I'm glad his cohort didn't jump in to subdue me. Things could have been very bad.

I know God protected me. It's been a challenging year. First I get shot in the leg with a BB gun, carrying Bibles. Now mugged.

After thug boy ran away, I called the police. I gave them a report and waited on the nice officer to come out. I gave my report and he offered to drive me home. "I'm going out, like I planned." I told him. "You're very brave" he replied. "After something like that even I would want to go home!"

"I need to get back up on this horse and ride it!" I replied. The nice officer gave me a ride to my destination and I went off on my Day Out. I knew, if I went home, I would probably never ride the bus again.

I don't want that to happen. I do have some pepper spray now. I have decided I need to be a lot more alert at the bus stops. I need to pay attention.

That may mean, putting my book away if someone approaches. Not listening to my MP3 player.

I continue to Thank God that it wasn't any worse, and thug boy and his cohort have now gone onto the prayer list.

Spanish Bible Handout

Today was my all Spanish Handout.  I thought it would be interesting, but never could I have dreamed how odd it would get.  I had trouble ...