Monday, January 31, 2011

I'm blaming the coffee

I thought I was having a heart attack.  I had crushing chest pain, I was sweating, and I was very tired.  Oh, crap.  Well, I thought, Lord, if I'm going to die, remember what I said about not wanting to suffer?  Let's make it quick. 

No real regrets.  I wondered about my seedlings, and my tomato plant outside with freezing weather forecast.  Poor babies. 

Happily, I gave a tremendous belch and it got better.  Gas.  How embarrassing; how much worse if I'd CALLED 911 and ended up farting or belching... and I'm all better.  GLACK! 

Time to get some Maalox, I think.  UGH.  Too much drama! 

I slept horribly last night; so did Ron.  I was up at 1:40 and figured "Why try to get back to sleep, and then just wake up in 20 minutes?"  I got up, did my God Time, sucking on my Diet Mountain Dew like a baby with a pacifier. 

I need another 6 pack.  I did my usual stuff, bagged up some candy.  I made some coffee and drank a cup.  I never do that.  Our driver arrived at 3:45 AM.  The early morning paratransit drivers tell me they love the 3-11 shift.  Some of them do 2-10.  Dialysis is so common, and so prevalent, people get all night treatments, or treatments that start in the EARLY, early, morning. 

I will restate: I do not want dialysis.  Absolutely not.  My husband and aunt know this.  So does my sister and I need to tell Mom and Dad.  If God allows my kidneys to fail, then that's it. 

It's a good thing other people have different opinions, about 1/3 of the Metrolift trips are dialysis related.  Another 1/3 are developmentally disabled people going to and from their day programs, and the last third are the work-doctor-walmart trips. 

We rode around for about an hour and a half before getting dropped at work.  Yeah, I may not work 8 hours, but when you factor in my transit times... I'm working!   Hours a day waiting on rides and going all over Houston.  Thank God for it. 

So, I got to work.  I had to receive our Dr Pepper delivery.  I also had to get our Coke order from the other vendor.  I pulled a back muscle last week, and didn't want to annoy it.  This is about where the chest pain began.  Oh, it was horrible. 

I'm blaming the coffee.  It was the only unusual change in my routine. 

I managed to deal, get our delivery, and stock.  The "Beast" bottle vendor was naughty, so I put up a note "Use bills only".  I am tired of feeling like crap everytime I see someone got ripped off.  I taped over the coin slot.  If they ignore the note, tear off the cover, and put their coins in, they deserve to get robbed.  No, they don't... but they won't do that.  Then I disassembled it, again, and cleaned out the coin jam.  Then reassemble, remount, and slide back into place.  Oh, and I had to fill the change bank. 

It was pretty empty so we must have had several dozen happy campers, at any rate.  We restocked it.  I got the sandwiches. 

Ron was puzzled, the delivery guy is an hour earlier.  I had a lightbulb moment: the economy.  It's not just our business: everyone's bringing their lunch.  The vendors aren't buying sandwiches, or as many.  Of course they are an hour early now.  Sad for them. 

I like to bounce, and figure out new ways to get that vending quarter, if I can't get the dollar.  I like a challenge and I love offering a good bargain. 

So, work was productive.  I need more candy bars and crackers.  Pretty weak right now.  Other than that, I was happy.  We want the machines nice and full so people can get their snackies when the cold weather and rain hit. 

They opened up a donut shop down the street.  Competition; although I can say I haven't seen anyone bringing in donuts.  If they get them they aren't eating them at work. 

Finally, time to go.  The driver was right on time.  We went to Walmart.  I got some seeds and soda.  Something else I'm forgetting.  Oh, some snack food. 

I didn't get the evil sugarsnack.  I was happy about that.  Those things are wicked. 

Time to go; but the weather was lovely.  Ron and I waited outside, sunny, upper 60's, nice and balmy.  Ominous looking clouds have moved in; that's about to change. 

We came home, and I went to bed.  I slept a couple hours. 

I woke up thinking about my poor little collard greens shivering in the cold.  That got me out of bed.  I'm pretty pleased with my solution.  They need sun; because the weather will be awful for about a week.  They need serious protection, because lows will be in the low-20's. 

I drink a lot of soda.  2 liters, and 500 ml size (17 ounces).  Aha.  I cut the bottles in half.  I put half a small bottle over the plant, secured it, then layered the bigger bottle on top.  They're clear plastic; the plant get sun.  2 layers of protection; should be safe (collards can withstand at-freezing temps, in fact they are supposed to taste better). 

I was pretty irate when I saw that SOMETHING had munched one of my collards.  Grrr.  Good thing I didn't catch it! 

I "capped" everyone.  I spread a nice layer of chopped leaves all over the stuff, covered up the sweetpeas with some cardboard boxes; then I put a garden tool on top so they wouldn't blow away.  We are estimated to get some high winds. 

I covered up the rosemary, parsley, etc.  I used one of my 2 liter bottles (cut it off at the top, so it was longer), to cover the bay "tree" (about 8 inches tall).  I stuck some bamboo poles in the soil around the plant; it isn't well rooted yet so I can get away with this.  I rubberbanded the bottle"cap" to the poles, then fashioned a cardboard windbreak on the north side.  It should be OK; and it's windproof.  Nice layer of protection, plenty of sun shining in the plastic. 

I had bought a 4-pack of lettuce; it was fresh off the truck (the plants).  I know how the others will look on Wednesday -dead and dying.  Lettuce hates to be frozen.  I put them in with the tomato pot, and brought them inside.  I rigged up grow lights with the tomato cage, and everyone looks delightful.  Now I just need to rearrange that corner so it "flows". 

They'll be in the house for about a week or so, they need to "eat".  I put them on plastic so I can water them, too. 

A busy day. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Little brown grub

This time, the depression seems to be running more to the fatigue/nausea department.  I still enjoy doing things, I just don't have much energy. 

Case in point, today.  Got up, went to Walmart.  Got some garden stuff: onion transplants and a nice "Patio" tomato.  I got some potting soil; because we can still get frosts for a few more weeks.  I can just bring the tomato indoors.  I have grown dozens of tomatoes in pots; it's easy if mulched and watered daily. 

While everyone else is eating wooden tasting supermarket "shippers", I'll be snacking on lovely homegrown organic tomatoes. 

I'd grow them even if they didn't fruit; I love the way they look and smell.  I found some seeds I've been wanting for a great price; I got a little soda and we left. 

Came home, and I went out in the garden.  By the time I finished I was filthy.  I always think I can stay clean; never do.  I'm like a grub.  A little brown grub, digging in the dirt. 

I planted most of the onion transplants.  I had envisioned a nice row of onions marching down the front of bed 3.  I did it.  It gave me a good opportunity to check out the other plants.  They look good, most of them.  A few rather tired pansies. 

I potted up the tomato.  Boy, a tomato in a 15 inch square pot, freshly watered, is a heavy sucker.  I inserted a tomato cage for support.  It is a "deterninate" tomato; so it ought to stay at a reasonable size. 

In Houston, tomatoes can get up to 8 feet in the right conditions.  So, one tomato done, without taking up garden bed.  I like to give the tomatoes about 3 square feet or so.  While planting the onions, I was overwhelmed with fatigue.  I HAD to lay down; and did. 

Ron had made a trip to Starbucks.  We went, and came home.  I was so tired I laid down again, and slept for hours.  I guess this depression is more of the fatigue and nausea variety; as opposed to my general hopeless/loss of interest.  Either way, it sucks.  I know it could be far, far, worse.  I could still be in bed, with nothing in the garden, wanting to die right now.  Thank you for my pills, Lord! 

So, I got up.  Trying to figure out dinner.  Tomorrow we go to work (we like to check on them when it rains), and then Monday morning, we get up at 2 AM again.  I may not post much tomorrow as a result. 

Off to watch the end of my scary movie. 

Really tired today

Friday, January 28, 2011

Who wants a video blog? 

Restaurant tried to steal the debit card #. Pissed at them, more later.

In the house

Today was pretty funny, especially in light of certain events. 

I got up at 2, went to work.  I had to tell Ron his new business debit card came in the mail, but I lost it.  He was very nice about it.  I found it about half an hour ago, under my hand cart.  AGH. 

Ron's debit card goes out in Feb, why?  He started the business, and business checking, in July.  Well, years ago I lost a checkbook.  Also his account got hacked; which, I recall, is why he had to get a new debit card.  Huh.  I thought that was "my" fault. 

Then, while opening a vending machine, the chain broke.  Ron has forbidden me to open that vending machine; and I'm thrilled.  It DOESN'T LIKE ME.  Just like the bottled soda vendor, and Snack 1, hate Ron.  They'll let him stock them but I have to service them. 

I forgot I was getting paid, until Ron reminded me.  While at the bank, I walked off and left the receipts on the counter.  [laughing]  Sometimes, it's a miracle I remember to wipe my butt. 

Also, my account's overdrawn!  Happily I have my OWN account, so it doesn't matter; but it's at a different bank.  I just laughed all through the day, thinking "Tell me again how I have it together". 

I know it happens to "normal" people, too.  It's just, in my world, I have a dread terror of important things.  I am more afraid of an important item, say a business debit card or a letter, than I am of a wasp nest. 

In the house. 

For Bird Nerd

Heidi, tell him I saw a sparrow, looked like a female house sparrow; but had a pink-tinted throat and chest.  They were very pretty.   According to one of my books we have 9 kinds of sparrows in Houston. 

video

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wait 10 minutes

Tonight I was doing my God Time; and got a great verse. 

Exodous 14:14
14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (NIV)

Exactly what I needed to hear.  Happily, when medicated the worst of the moods run kind of like the old parable: If you don't like the weather, wait 10 minutes.  That, plus my Bible verse for the day, turned the night around. 

Ron realized I could use a little boost and got me involved in helping him do some downloads. So, I didn't really get the reading, but I had some good quality time with Ron. 

Chryssi, I have deleted your hostile, unkind, and very judgemental posts.  You do not have my problems.  You are not a neuropsychiatrist, psychiatrist, or brain injury rehab specialist:  therefore you are unqualified to make "evaluations" on my abilities.  Do you feel better for having looked down on me?  Judged me?  Good.  Now go away and leave me alone.  I'm sure your attitudes look good to you when you dress it up in the clothing of "concern".  However, I have PLENTY of people in my life who truly care.  They give me honest feedback. 

I do not accept your opinion. 

You obviously don't understand what I am saying, so please delete the link.  I have way too much on my plate to deal with backseat judgers who couldn't pick me or Ron out of a lineup. 

I have too much on my plate to even BOTHER to explain; and I'm not going to try.  Believe what you want: I am a horrible housekeeper, so bad we're going to DIE!  [snort]    Please take the energy you're investing into reading my blog, getting upset over the fact that I didn't clean up some cat puke the instant I got home, instead taking a photo of cat + squirrel (who hid), and invest it into your family. 

Job #1

I'm getting absolutely munched with depression.  Horrid.  I took what I can take to help, but I think when I finish this post I'll go cry for a while. 

Ron wanted me to take a photo of him with the 2 liter bottle of vodka today and send it to his boss.  [twitch]   Did not do that.  Then he worried I might put it in here, and my aunt and uncle would see it.  [head in hands]

I'm glad I have some Al-anon books so I don't start screaming and never, ever, stop.  Or start binging on sugar, and/or turn into some horrible, shrill, negative, hater.  GLACK. 

Not a lot of energy left, let me tell you.  Anyway, I did read something encouraging on Facebook:

I think God gives a vision to all of us in some form or another. What is the dream God placed in you? What is your passion? What are the issues of your soul? Tap into that and watch God change the world around you!
I need to focus on job #1 - PLEASING GOD. 

Anyone is welcome to come over and vacuum. 

Backyard friends

Not only do I have squirrels, but I have a dove as well.  This was just a few minutes worth. 

Backyard Wildlife

2 Hours?

I found it interesting; today I actually documented I was queasy for over 2 hours.  I took an hour nap when I got home, and woke up even more tired and depressed.  Off to run another errand with Ron, then when I get home I need to read him the mail and pick up. 

I'm doing laundry right now, then I need to put away clean dishes and do the dirty ones.  Ron's calling... back later. 

An almost Disney movie

video
If this works, a nice video of the backyard wildlife.  Large ringneck morning doves, sparrows, and squirrels eating birdseed.  Ron is embarrassed he mentioned the sex shop on Westheimer.

Not the best video quality; but you can see something. 
Home 1pm
9:20 started to get goofy from medication. Ron 10 minutes late leaving. Waiting on ride 10:40ish. It's supposed to be our day off.
8:07 arrive at work. Nausea better @ 8:30.
7 AM pickup. Loaded wheelchair 7:05. I forgot the handcart Ron wanted, but I could not do them both anyway (cart and wheelchair).
Horribly queasy.
I thought I'd do a day in the life. 5am, up. God time until 5:40. Blog 20 min...shower, check on Ron, take out trash, eat, wait on ride 6:30 to....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

At what?

OK.  Enough with the unkind comments already.  They have been deleted.  No one forces you to come here and read my blog and/or look at my photos.  Sorry you object to an un-vacuumed floor.  [scoff]  Maybe you haven't read ENOUGH of my blog.  I always give the anonymous comments the most credence, of course.  Cryssi, Bubba had gotten sick on the floor before I got home.  I can't pause life, tidy up, and then take a candid photo.  I thought you would enjoy a photo of Bubba and his new "friend".   

If you really want to "understand" - go to the FAS-CRC website and look up "executive functions".  It's very educational. 

Where is it written I am a perfect housekeeper?  I'm not.  I'm one woman with a shitload of problems, trying to keep it together.  I am sure it is very easy to sit there with your normal brain, the car you can drive in the driveway, and look down on my life.  If you don't like it, step out.  Seems easy to me.  [shrug]  Anonymous haters feel like judging me.  [shrug]  So what.  The same people who down their noses at me in my Goodwill coat when I'm having a Day Out.   

That's all you get. 

Still battling some depression.  Bubba has been very affectionate recently.  He slept with me last night, as he does every night now.  It was great. 

Since I was pretty depressed, I slept in some.  Then Ron wanted to talk.  I had a little bit of a headache, too.  AGH.  Anyway, I was late getting out to the bus stop and missed my bus.  I spent about an hour waiting just to get to Al-anon. 

Then, I was late.  I hate being late, like you probably hate the sight of my un-vacuumed floor!  [laugh]  I really debated even going in at all (15 minutes late), but recalled they had been very nice to the 2 women who had been late last time.  I explained about the FAS and public transit last time. 

So, I went in.  Can't talk about it; anonymous and all.  I wouldn't respect myself if I did.  I will say I was told that I am a "very quick learner" and they invited me to lunch.  I chickened out and made excuses, but I'll go next week if they have something planned. 

It was a cold day, windy, and sunny.  I know I got plenty of Vitamin D, waiting on the bus and all.  I can almost feel sorry for Car People because they don't have the outside time I get.  Of course, they don't get the wierd guy off his meds, either. 

Shockingly, I saw no one fitting that description.  Seems like every time I go out recently, there's some manic guy raving off to one side - and I don't mean the party.  It was nice and boring. 

I went to Starbucks, and then the used bookstore.  Everything I read about Al-anon says "learn all you can about alcoholism".  I think I talked about how, last time, I had tried to find some good books but found them all incomprehensible.  My reading comprehension has taken a hit from the medication. 

Anyway, I went over to the appropriate section and looked around.  I found some books.  Opened them up at random sections and read various passages.  I ended up getting 3, at a cost of $20.  I stuck them in the tote bag (boy, the "judgers" really get all frowny at the sight of me in the thrift store coat - which is old but clean - and the tote bag.  It must be nice to have a trunk.  I don't).  I didn't have any trouble understanding THESE books, published by Al-anon. 

It was pretty late; so I headed home after a stop at the grocery store.  I went out into the garden and had a seat in one of my red plastic chairs (see garden video).  Bubba was stalking around, meowing at the birds.  The birds were smart enough to avoid him. 

I read part of one of my books, and Bubba suddenly leaped into my lap!  He has never gotten into my lap in 8 years.  He'll walk around me, if I sit on the ground, but never, ever, get in my lap.  Until today. 

I think he enjoyed shocking me (Ron's comment).  I sat there, petting him with one hand as I read with the other, enjoying the sun and the fresh air.  Did some more reading.  More petting.  I was glad he was in my lap, it was cold and I couldn't get my blanket, which was all wet from yesterdays'  rain anyway. 

So, I sat there in the chair with Cuddle Cat in my lap, wondering what has changed for him; that he's so affectionate.  Is he just older and more appreciative?  Did God put it on him that I needed some affection?  I don't know.  I'll just enjoy it while it lasts. 

Then I came in, did some dishes, and cooked dinner.  Black beans with bacon ends and onion, for me.  I didn't know this, but should have: the black beans turned the bacon a horrible shade of black.  It looks decayed or something; really revolting.  Ron teased me, said he didn't mind. 

I replied, I could only serve them to a totally blind person.  The "partials" would not be happy! 

I also got Ron to cut up some sausage; so I could fix him "his" beans.  He loves pintos with sausage.  They're simmering right now. 

The dog next door is persistently barking.  I can't help but wonder: at what?  On my way to the bus stop, I saw a huge, dead, possum in the road.  It was bigger than Bubba! 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Drop Box

From Drop Box

If you look just past Bubby's head, you'll see the squirrel (between Bubs and the hose reel). Upon edit, I realize the squirrel bailed. Sorry. Well, Bubba sure is handsome.

Therapeutic dose

Ugh.  Miserably toxic from my lithium today.  I feel very tired and queasy.  GLACK. 

Got up, our ride to work was very late.  We were late, and then the pickup was early.  Lots of excitement. 

While fixing "The Beast" again, I pinched my thumb.  Ow.  That could have been REALLY nasty; happily I just have a blood blister.  I could have ripped off some skin.  I was just happy I wasn't bleeding all over the place. 

You can imagine the difficulty of a bleeding food vendor.  Very awkward and unsanitary, even though I am a certified blood donor. 

When we first started; we used to bang our hands on the sides of the soda machine columns.  A fair amount of bloodshed.  Big secret: DON'T HURRY when stocking them, and watch the sides of the columns.  The lockbar receptacle is a notorious wounder. 

Anyway, I think I'm going to keep a log and actually document how many times I get coin jams.  Then they can get a new one under warranty.  I NEVER have any problems with my other Coinco.   The CoinPROs are extremely reliable.  I have never had any issues with them. 

I may actually take the good one out and photograph it, then compare it to the naughty one.  Perhaps it's an easy fix.  Anyway, it keeps me busy. 

I was seriously considering flaking on my meeting tomorrow.  It's a big time investment; on my day off.  Then I got an email from my Dad talking about how useful...and he's so proud... I swear he knew!  OK, OK. 

AGH.  I just remembered my meat.  I need to cook it; although that's the last thing I want to do.  We went to Foodtown after we got home and I found some of that sell-by-date meat at $1 a pound.  I was a little manic, so I got some vegetables and all. 

I'd bought some in-shell peanuts, unroasted, for some odd reason.  I found them ghastly, so I put them outside for the squirrels.  I put some right outside the sliding glass door in the bedroom. 

Sure enough, when I got home from Foodtown there's the squirrel, right outside the door, looking in the window as he ate the nuts!  Bubba loved the show, he squeaked happily at the squirrel. 

He was the cutest cuddle-cat last night.  That's my new name for him; Cuddle-cat. 

Anyway, I got some meat, vegetables, milk, and cheese.  Soda.   A few things for work.  I got some laundry detergent, too.  I could have gotten it at Walmart but I like supporting the local grocery.  It's about the same price either way.  Paid up, they did a great job bagging it. 

Waited a while, gave the driver his pastry (I got him a cream cheese croissant), and went home.  Put up the perishables.  Miserably toxic and queasy.  It's the price I pay, sometimes. 

The therapeutic dose and the toxic one, for lithium, are pretty close together.  My levels are also affected by things like exercise (did a lot yesterday), and hydration (not drinking enough).  I took a nap. 

I had wierd dreams, definitely toxic.  I was glad to wake up; Cuddle cat loyally at my side.  He went out, I put up my soda and rotated my stock.  I like to have 2 cases of Diet Dr Pepper bottles, so I drink the "old" one first, and put the new one underneath.  I did that.  I got some Sprite Zero, so I put that with my stash. 

It's funny what appeals to me when I'm queasy; green beans, diet citrus soda, and oddly, beans.  I wanted some for the disaster kit anyway, so I got a pound each of a couple different varieties.  Hey, cheaper than a six pack of soda.   I got some bacon ends, too. 

I envision a nice little pot of black beans, with bacon and onions.  Yum.  They are pretty low-carb, considering, too. 

I'm not ready to commit to a full blown induction, > 20 carbs a day lifestyle, but I can at least eat better things, when I'm eating. 

When I got up, I fed the birds again.  I have a flock of sparrows, a flock of blackbirds with yellow on their wings (?), doves, jays, cardinals, etc.  They eat a lot of seed, but it's cheap entertainment. 

Tomorrow I plan to call Urban Harvest and make sure squirrels don't go after potatoes.  I would be furious if they did. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Depression again

Yesterday at work I was listening to my new music.  I got Lacrae's new album, "Rehab". 

Uh.  Yeah.  It definitely had a rehab theme.  I found myself getting a little discouraged as I worked with Ron. 

See, that depression; it sneaks in and bites me.  The music was great; but the depression turned it into a dreadful reminder of Ron's problem.  GLACK. 

Then I got all goofy from a tylenol/lithium interaction and had to go to bed early. 

Today didn't get off to a very good start.  I slept in with Cuddle Cat.  He has such silky fur, it's addictive.  I love petting him while I'm lying in bed. 

I got up, did my God Time, and got dressed.  We went to Starbucks.  I felt pretty enervated from the depression.  Like a couple of vampires had a go at me. 

We came home and I took a nap.  Then I got smart.  I knew I needed to do some things I enjoyed.  I'd gotten some coffee grounds from Starbucks.  I scattered them in the garden.  I had a good time  and even made a garden video. 

Then I had a great workout; exercise bike, powerlifting, and a short run.  Good workout!   I ought to sleep nicely tonight. 

Friday, January 21, 2011



From 3:20 to 11 and a half or so, you get great bonus feature of Bubba, on the table, eating and cleaning himself. 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Cherry Pick

When I got paid, I'd budgeted $15 for internet money.  Maybe I'd buy some seeds, vitamins, or who knew. 

Last night, I decided to go hunting for some music.  I laugh at myself, sometimes.  I have a 1 gigabyte MP3 player.  I like it a lot. 

My phone has MP3 ability, and I put a 8 Gig chip into it; but I find the old player more convenient.  Anyway, I looked around.  I downloaded "Rock On" and "You'll Never Take Me Down" by KJ-52.  He's a self-described "Plain White Rapper".  He grew up in the suburbs.  I like him. 

I seldom, if ever, just buy anything by a certain artist.  I prefer to cherry-pick.  I'll take that, and that; and that one by him. 

Of course my Amazon "Recommendations" are rather schitzophrenic; I help Ron get his music, too.  [snort]  I looked around; in conjunction with YouTube.  Sometimes the sample track is promising, but when I listen to the whole thing I think "Ewww".  Or, a not very promising sample turns out to be a lifelong favorite. 

Anyway, I found something by BabyBoy - who has turned his life over to Jesus.  I only listen to GOSPEL rap.  Anyway, his version of "Under Pressure" was very promising.  I looked up one of his collaborators, which led to Manfest and "Bring the Ruckus" being downloaded. 

They had some specials, so after review I bought the entire "Pro" and "Lacrae; Rehab" albums for $5 each.  All done.  I only have room for maybe 130 songs on my player, so I had to pluck off a lot of stale tunes to make room for the new stuff.  I did that.  I'm very pleased, everything has the intensity I crave. 

I also need to back everything up; onto a flashdrive.  Along with my photos.  I was happy I did something nice for myself.  I read the first devotional in my 12 step Bible. 

I slept in with Bubba; woke up around 7 AM.  When did that become sleeping in?  Ha! 

I took my shower; Ron was pretty moody.  I did my God Time (twice a day), and ate something.  When Chuck knocked at the door, I was bagging up candy.  Most of which I handed out. 

Off to Foodtown.  I bought some stuff for work.  Then Sam's Club, where I bought insane quantities of soda.  I did case after case of bottled soda; and other drinks.  After all, we had a RIDE. 

Chuck has offered to be our driver, after he retires.  Of course we'll pay him, like we do now.  He has back problems; I don't let him pick up anything heavier than a "Cup-a-noodles"!  They were on sale, and we got 4 cases. 

So, I put the cases on the cart, pushed the cart to checkout, paid, pushed it out to the truck, loaded the truck (GRRR!), rode in the truck, got the handcarts, unloaded onto the carts in the rain, and pushed the carts to the stockroom.  Unloaded the carts, and stacked up the merchandise. 

I'm glad I'm healthy and strong.  I can tell it would be a bad idea to do my weights tonight, so I won't.  After all that, I still had to FILL the vending machines.  I had to dissasemble the coin mechanism again on "The Beast" (bottled soda vendor), and clear out some errors.  That done, Ron and I filled it.  I did snacks, I did sodas, I checked coffee and stocked everything.  WHEW. 

No wonder I'm tired.  A cold front came in, and boy it was miserable as I left work.  Happily, the driver was already waiting.  Ron staggered out (it's how he walks) and climbed aboard.  We rode around for over an hour before coming home. 

I felt rather uncomfortable when the driver picked up another client and told her "These are the people I told you about, with the vending machines."  Then they both started dropping heavy hints about her needing a job. 

She can't perform the tasks required; we told her no.  Ron does the stuff that can be done by a disabled person, and I do all the able-bodied stuff. 

She had a little bit of an attitude when we told her no.  Hey, get out there and look.  No one handed us this job, we had to work for it; and you're no different. 

Besides, I can't STAND drama.  Everytime we ride with her it's heated phone calls and loud drama.  UGH.  No thanks. 

Really, the ideal employee would be a retired mechanic or something.  Someone with good "fixit" abilities, physical strength, discretion, maturity, honesty, and a good work ethic.  Assuming we needed an employee, and we don't. 

Paying Chuck $10 now and then for transportation is a lot different! 

Finally, home.  Oh, I had to pee.  That resolved, I checked the mail.  We got something icky, that Ron can deal with Monday.  I'm not going to "make" him do that on his birthday.  He also got a talking book. 

As I came back, I noticed trash was blowing over from piggy's yard.  I picked up the stuff on my property, debated throwing it back (it would just blow over again), and threw it in our trash can.  Someone next door has a big McDonald's addiction. 

I hope they're not feeding that to the kids every night! 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A healthier way to deal

Recently, Ron bitterly complained that *I* got Tuesdays off, and he was supposed to get Wednesdays.  I had him explain. 

What I understand; he wants a day where we go out and do what he wants.  [shrug]  OK. 

So, yesterday I asked him what he thought he might like to do today.  He wanted to check out the new restaurant; that was it. 

Of course he made a trip to the liquor store, so it wouldn't "fall off his list" - he cancelled it.  Yikey.  I teasingly knocked at his liver and made hollow thumping noises.  He laughed.  I was quite serious under my grin. 

I think I had the wierdest experience of my life today.  I was reading the brochures from Al-Alon.  Things like "So you Love an Alcoholic".  He walked in the room and chatted with me, and I couldn't help but think "If you could see, you would have a meltdown".  I picked up another brochure later, and sure enough here comes Ron!  It's like a magnet for him on some level. 

Ron and I have a connection; a very deep one.  ON some level he knows things are changing. 

My God Time tells me God wants me here; but I need a healthier way to deal.  Yessir. 

Ron and I discussed our plans.  He wanted to sleep in, go eat, and then come home.  He would leave me at the restaurant so I could try to find the elusive knockoff blanket with sleeves.  I didn't, by the way. 

The dog next door went insane around 2:30 AM, and kept barking until 4.  I kept waking up, looking at Bubba-cat (black cat), and going back to sleep.  It wasn't Bubba. 

I found a hole in the middle of the yard, like a squirrel or raccoon maybe?  I don't know.  [blowing out a sigh]  If the dog didn't bark, and destroy the fence, and they picked up their trash, they'd be decent neighbors. 

Speaking of destroyed fence, she broke another board, I had to fix it from my side.  AGH.  I did a good job, though, using a scrap piece of lumber and a piece of metal. 

I remember I took a personality test when I was about 12.  I was utterly shocked to discover I was very left-brained, analytical and all.  I am an engineer's daughter. 

At the time, I was shocked.  I spoke to the teacher after class and told her the test was wrong.  She laughed and told me, "No, Heather, you are very good at analysis and evaluation.  You don't see it, but you are." 

I guess so.  When I was at the restaurant, I saw a Coke guy working on the post-mix soda machine.  I chatted with him, shop talk.  I asked if he ever serviced the Vendo bottle soda vendors.  He shuddered.  It's not just my repair guy; everyone is terrified of them. 

I have an understanding with mine.  I think, on some level, my machines have sentience.  On some level, there's a tiny spark of awareness.  Most people give me that "Go take your pills" look, so I don't often share my view.  Like people, they like to be appreciated and respected.  Treated with respect and courtesy. 

I can't see you, nyah, nyah.  [laughing]  I keep thinking of Ron walking in while I was reading those Al-anon brochures.  Oh, he would have flipped out.  Happily, he IS blind. 

I got up around 8, did my God Time, read the AA stuff I plan to read daily, "Just for Today" for instance, ate, took my pills, put on my grubbies, and went out into the garden.  I spread a bag of cow manure, dug up my new garden bed, moving it over, dealt with Dum-Dum's damage to the fence, filled the birdfeeder, planted my hollyhocks, planted the pineapple sage, put some new edging on the garden bed, etc. 

After all that was done, I came in and took a shower.  It was odd, showering at around 11 AM.  Lots of natural light.  I got dressed and waited for our ride.  We went to the restaurant, enjoyed the food, Ron came home.  I went to the linen shop. 

To digress slightly, if I drop anything like those chicken livers I passed last month during my period; I need some serious bed protection.  I got a fitted vinyl sheet for $5.  I layered it on the bed with all the other stuff. 

That way if I leak and bleed all over the sheets, I can take everything off, and still have a layer of protection on the bed.  It's not just me, either.  Bubba has vomited in bed on more than one occasion.  Usually he jumps down and yarks all over the floor, but sometimes he can't.  No biggie.  [shrug] 

He  NEVER vomited while I had the cats on the low carb, grain free cat food, but after Frosty died Bubba refused to eat it.  I guess I can see his point!  [snort]

I'm listening to Manafest right now - good artist.  Whenever I'm manic I always feel tremendously guilty, but God's let me know JOYFUL NOISE.  That's what He wants.  He knows I have earned the mania, battling through those depressionhells. 

I didn't see the blankets, so I went on.  I checked on our vending machine at the Christian bookstore, and investigated the alcoholic reading stuff.  I felt very thick and stupid.  My reading comprehension has taken a huge whack from the medications. 

I used to be so prideful about my reading comprehension.  I could read anything once, and get it.  [sigh]  Not these days. 

I finally went with a "Life Recovery Bible".  We'll see how that works out. 

I am a little worried my whole life is going to get wrapped up in all of this; and I don't think it should. 

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

So I did it...

I went to an Al-Anon meeting. 

First, I got up and did my God Time.  Chuck came over and gave us a ride to the garden center.  I got some bagged soil amendments and loaded them into the truck.  While loading, I realized I had forgotten, and the cashier had not rung me up for the sand.  I went back and paid for the sand. 

She was really shocked.  How sad.  Like Ron said, that's two commandments: lying and stealing. 

Chuck, in the guise of "informing us about developments" tried to pump us for information and tell us how the Post Office would manage to combine 2 offices.  Of couse they would be doing ___ , and they HAD to ____.  We told him, our boss has assured us we will only be doing vending, and in the very unlikely event they do a cafeteria it will have a profitability clause: no profit; they close - and some other vendor. 

The old days of going into the deli and bossing us around are over, boys.  Besides, we have a Burger King, a chicken place, a donut shop, several covenience stores, a McDonalds, and a Taco Bell all within driving distance of the plant.  They don't have a lack of hot food; it's all around. 

They only did the hot food deli as an experiment, one that failed.  It consistently lost money, regardless of management.  The one downtown was so bad they closed it in 1991.   Our area is a stockroom.  We don't have any foodservice equipment. 

Anyway, I'm not going to worry about things that MIGHT happen in the future.  What's the point? 

I just found it annoying....I hate fearmongering and gossip. 

We came home, I unloaded my sacks of cow poop, potting soil, landscaper mix, and of course the sand.  If I get some sweet potato starts, they like a lot of sand, so I plan to put them in a large container with a sandy blend. 

After that, I took my shower!  Ha!  I was pretty filthy and had a barnyard fragrance.  I saw a chickadee, ring-neck morning dove, mockingbirds, blue jay, and sparrows all eating my birdseed today.  I'm glad they enjoy it. 

I looked all over the house, couldn't find the directions (bedside table).  I headed out the house anyway and caught the bus. 

I managed to use the mobile application on my phone to find the meeting.  A little walking and I'm there. 

Half an hour early.  They were open.  OK.  I had some soda and soaked up the ambience. 

Then meeting time.  It's confidential.  I can say I cried; I think finally admitting that Ron has yet another serious problem.  [sigh]  One that can't be fixed by surgery. 

They were nice and gave me some tissues, without getting all fussy.  They gave me a newcomer packet and got me to commit to coming back. 

[shrug]  Nothing there to scare me off, and they seem to be fine with me arriving early.  The way the buses ran, it was half an hour early, or late.  I hate being late for anything. 

The thing I found surprising, the Al-Anon attendee has the same 12 steps as the alcoholic.  Admitting there's a problem; yeah.  Turning it over to God, pretty much done; still have some work on that one. 

I told Ron I was going to "A caregiver group".  At first he thought it was a reflection on him; he's so awful I have to go to group.  I told him, it's not about you, it's about making me the best and strongest person I can be.  All of this is true. 

I don't think he'll be obstructive.  That's good. 

So, I went out and had some fun after the meetin'.  I got some sweats at Walmart, and some Hollyhock roots.  I need to do some research on Hollyhocks.  I love the way they look; never seen one live and blooming, but the pictures are glorious.  I can certainly stick a few in the garden beds. 

Then I met Ron at Starbucks.  I didn't have time to go to the linen shop; I've been trying for a while.  Tomorrow. 

Then we came home, I took a nap, and here we are. 
Did my first ALANON. No one bit me.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The crimes I allow

Oh, Monday. 

Ron decided to call an old friend in California.  At 11 PM.  When I had my alarm set to go off at 3:30 the next morning.  He was very loud and woke me up.  I wasn't happy. 

I was pretty tired, which is frustrating when I had to file sales tax and fix FOUR naughty vending machine errors.  Plus get the deliveries, etc. 

The fun part was having to get some bottled water Ron ordered, out of the harrasser's stockroom, while he was in it!  UGH. 

Happily, it appears sales are up.  So, we came home.  Bad Squirrel knocked my birdfeeder sideways, twice.  I fixed it both times.  I saw some cardinals, and Bubba got so excited by the bluejays he woke me up from my nap. 

Mew.  Mew.  They were RIGHT OUTSIDE THE DOOR!  I'm happy to see he's energetic, he has a case of kitty sniffles.  Mainly some sneezing. 

I was not feeling very loving, or even like a very good employee, but I asked God for help.  He did a good job. 

Uh... then we went to Burger King.  Got some burgers, came home.  Poor old Dum-dum next door was making horrible wailing/groaning noises everytime I went outside.  She looks awfully thin, so I threw her the hamburger buns.  Yum, yum.  They will have to answer to God for starving the dog, but I believe the crimes I allow are as bad as the crimes I commit.  If I have a fistful of discarded double cheeseburger buns I'm going to toss anyway, I might as well toss them over the fence. 

She was making the noises before I even got the burgers.  I'm glad I did it, even though it's bark, bark, bark right now. 

Ron had planned to go to the liquor store with Chuck, but recruited Chuck to help me get some soil amendments.  I thought it was very funny when Chuck told Ron "I'm getting an SUV soon.  She knows she can't get the cow manure when that happens, right?"  [snort] 

The garden center has the guy with the truck; I'm not worried.  I work well within my limits. 

Ron was bragging to one of our drivers today about his trip to the liquor store, and how much booze he got.  I asked him how long he thought it would last, he said two weeks.  YIKE.  The driver almost went off the road. 

I got the info on an Al-anon meeting tomorrow.  I intend to go.  It will be a little tricky doing the errand with Chuck, coming home, shower (I have to shower after wrangling bags of cow poop), and then Day Out - with "Meeting" in the middle of it.  Hm. 

I am trying not to have any expectations.  Everyone in my life is insisting I go, and my Dad seldom offers advice. 

Your president

While I believe I'm living in the end times, it's not often that I'm actually reminded. 

Today I heard a really alarming statement on TV: Because of the shooting in Arizona, we "Can't question the president's love for our country".  Excuse me? 

First of all, I doubt he's a citizen.  He wouldn't even wear an American flag pin because "some might find it offensive?"  Oh, I could go on.  If you're read my blog you know I've never liked or trusted him. 

I view him as some kind of puppet, being used to slide in alarming new policies, ruin what's left of the economy, and set a general apologetic tone towards the rest of the world. 

He's YOUR president, not mine.  I voted for the other guy.  I didn't like Palin, either, still don't - but they were better than him. 

Why does question the president's track record have to do with a shooting?  The guy shot people because he was mentally ill, not because someone doubted someone else's patriotism. 

It seems as if this tragedy is being used to limit what's left of our free speech rights.  Alarming. 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The compost pile?

Ron also bought VODKA yesterday.  Yike.  He was quiet last night and I had a pretty quiet rainy day.  I slept in, battled a horrific headache, and read a couple of inspirational romance novels. 

I think one problem I have in my life; Ron considers it enough to provide for my physical needs.  That's enough, in his book.  I will feel happy and loved if he pays the bills. 

[groan]  I want to feel safe.  I want to live a life free of verbal abuse.  That will make me feel secure.  I could care less if we live in a hellhole, as long as he loves me.  I'm very good at making lemonade. 

Anyway, the CONSISTENT message I have gotten from EVERYONE in my life, including Dad, who is very supportive (having gone through this with my birth mother): GO TO AL-ANON. 

I got it.  I found a meeting, nearby.  During the day.  Although, if I meet a nice lady who wants to give me rides, I'll accept.  Worst case I can AT LEAST go once a week, during the day. 

"I know, 30 years ago, I could find a meeting every night of the week." Dad said.  He's right, and Houston is a lot bigger than my hometown.   Of course we have the transportation issues, but if I'm a believer, and I am, God's got that covered. 

I don't want to be the alcoholic spouse; the persecutor, the victim or the rescuer.  I don't want to be a bitter, hating, hater.  I don't want to feel shackled to him out of duty.  [shrug]  To some degree I have that now.  All of it. 

If I can't be honest here, then I shouldn't be typing. 

On a more positive note, the squirrels are having a very good time knocking down my birdfeeder and raiding it.  Good stuff.  They broke the "tube" feeder.  Bad squirrels!  They knocked the other feeder down, but I re-hung it. 

For some unknown reason, they are also fascinated by my compost pile?  What the heck? 

Do I even WANT to know?  Hm. 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I had a fun day out:
Bought myself a fleece blanket with sleeves (not the name brand).  Love it.
Discovered, to my joy, Dr Pepper makes a DIET CAFFEINE FREE in a 20 ounce bottle.  Happy day.  Perfect for bedside table. 
Went to a garden center and looked around.  It's bare root rose time.  I need to think if I'd like one (I have seriously considered it)
Talked to my aunt
Went to Starbucks
Read an inspirational romance novel and started another
Bought myself a very small, purple, space heater.  Perfect for those early morning wakeups in the cold - warming the bathroom. 
Bought myself a lovely purple Tshirt.  A gift?  I will never say no to a plain purple or blue tshirt. 

Evolving a nasty headache.  Going to bed early once I take my risperdal - I don't want to hallucinate tomorrow. 

Lost Dog

I'm reaching a gradual conclusion that Ron is evolving into an unpleasant old man.  It's not the incessant grumbling.  It's not the fact that we had a long argument about getting me a new bedframe - which got into the ludicrious (me: "Would one of your precious normal women consent to sleeping on a bed that goes CRUNCH every night?   Would they find that acceptable?")... more on that later, maybe. 

No, it was the lost dog.  I knew someone's dog had gotten out, because the neighbor dogs signal a "dog" bark.  More of a high-pitched yelpy bark.  Kind of like when Dum-Dum next door sees a car or bicycle.  She yelps at a high pitched note. 

So, last night I heard a high-pitched voice (a woman I think, or an adolescent boy) calling a dog.  I thought, oh, good.  They'll find the dog, and lock it up.  No more barking. 

I don't know if they found it or not, last night.  I slept well, on the bed that goes crunch, and got up around 8.  My trick today is avoiding Ron - making sure I don't get sucked into "helping" him get alcohol.  From what I can figure of these games, if I "assist" in any way then I condone it. 

Tricky when he has all the disabilities, and I help him with those, it's challenging finding the lines.  At any rate, I plan to leave later so I won't see whatever ensues.  He already got a huge attitude when I brought him his clean clothes and hung them up, picking the dirties off the floor. 

So, Ron was out on the porch.  He has a chair and likes to sit out there in mild weather.  I heard the voice calling for the dog, and she walked up and spoke to Ron, asking if he had seen or heard their dog. 

[I heard this, and concluded, the dog was a block over based on the barking.  I would have said so and wished them luck in finding the dog.]

Ron says something along the lines of "Your dog is going to die if you don't lock it up.  If you love your dog, lock it up so it can't get out.  If you had taken better care of the dog it wouldn't have gotten out; it could be lying in the street right now."  A horrified exclamation; and Ron shouted "Lock up your dog" as she left. 

The dog didn't get into our yard.  The dog didn't harm the cat.  Why the hate? 

When Ron came in, he was grumbling loudly about "I'm not going to pay you attention because you didn't lock up your dog". 

I'm not sure, at what point, he became a jerk.  But I think we're there now. 

Most alarming; THIS IS SOBER. 

Friday, January 14, 2011

Sugarfree cookies for dinner

So, my bed went crunch again.  I am so sick of it, and so very tempted to turn my bedframe into a lovely bonfire. 

I got pretty bitter and resentful for a while.  Made some analogies: my marriage is like my bed, it looks fine from the outside, but put some weight on it and it goes crunch! 

Did the whole bitter, brooding, resentful thing.  Got kind of old.  Amusingly, I found a copy of "How to act right when your spouse acts wrong".  It's a good book.

It can't "fix" my issues, of course.  That's up to God. 

My job is being obedient to God's will, whatever He shows me, and not being a bitter, hating, hater.  [shudder]  I don't want to be one of those awful, hating people.  I am really working very hard on the negativity. 

For instance, I had a good time cleaning up the bedroom, around the bed, and throwing out stuff like yarn (yes, I threw it out) that had morphed into clutter.  I did my God Time, and had a good cuddle with Mr Cuddle Cat. 

Sometimes I feel he gives me more love than Ron.  Ron has a lot of issues, and he doesn't have much to spare, I figure.  That's why I have God; God is the #1 source of love and affection.  Cat is probably #2.  Then Ron, when he feels like it, which isn't often for many reasons. 

Anyway, I wonder things like, I found some deodorant.  I don't know the age of said deodorant, but it smells OK.  I guess I won't need any new stuff for a while.  I'll test it when I'm home one day, in case it fails.  Which also brings me to when was the last time I cleaned out under the bathroom sink?  Hm. 

I piled a lot of stuff on the bed (after arranging the slats so it wouldn't go crunch) to be sorted.  After I finish this, I'll do that. 

I watched a nice drizzle, and admired the $2.50 solar light I got on Sunday and stuck out in the garden.  It's very nice.  I burned some incense, and read parts of various romance novels I discovered. 

Happily, the neighbor's dog is barking her head off; on the other side of the yard.  Bark away, doggie.  She is driving other people nuts for now. 

I did laundry, and happily my washer is still going strong.  I remember when Ron and I first married, we had to walk about half a mile to the bus stop, ride the bus, get off, walk to the "Duds and Suds" laundromat, and do the laundry.  Then we had to load up the clothes, and reverse the process. 

It was really fun when I got sick with mono.  UGH. 

Oh, and I ate sugarfree cookies for dinner.  With my pills. 

Now it's off to clean off the top of the bed and finish laundry.  Whatever I do, I plan to hang out in my sweats tomorrow, but they're wet in the washer right now. 

I wonder how Ron will do tomorrow night.  Another Buggo?  Quiet and snoring?  Defensive and chatty? 

I used to worry about Ron being drunk when I'd call Mom & Dad, but since they know know I feel like [shrug] whatever - it's not a secret.  If it's embarrassing, it's HIS shame, not mine. 

The name of my street

What a sad, screwed up world.  I would love to give you all the details of my life, the name of our vending company, for instance.  I thought Ron did a good job with it. 

I would love to tell you which Foodtown, and which buses I ride, and call Favorite Dollar by it's real name.  I'd love to say where I live in Houston, etc.  I'd like to talk about which malls I visit and the stores I shop. 

But it is a screwed up world, with very sick people.  I am more vulnerable because I do ride the bus.  Car people can run into a place, and run out again.  I can't.  Odds are I will have to walk part of the way there, and wait outside for 20-30 minutes, if not longer, on a bus.  Couple that with the known fact that I never go out at night... and safety. 

Compounding all that; the images of the office shooting when I was 13.  Wondering if my father was at work, and if he was alive or dead.  The terror of wondering if he'd come home, and our relief when he did. 

The shooter was a stalker.  Hell, I didn't even put up a hurricane photo, a rather spectacular one at that, because the name of my street was clearly visible.

Blind Drunk

We had today off. 

I didn't even want to ask Ron to make the trip to Walmart, because I knew I'd have to pay.  After his last blackout, I refused to buy him any alcohol. 

I don't like confrontation and Ron is a master manipulator.  It brings me no pleasure to say that.  In the past, he has "talked me out of it" eventually. 

He tried to "talk me out of it".  I told him, calmly and sadly, no.  But he was fine, he just had to change the way he ___ and he is a complete victim in the process, the Neurontin....

I told him the answer was still no.  He accused me of being unreasonable and harsh.  He had been fine drinking this week, hadn't he, because he had changed the way he.... he was fine now. 

I told him, calmly and sadly, no.  Actually, on the way to Walmart, we picked up a blind man at a liquor store, he had a case of beer, and took him home.  He does this often. 

I actually asked the driver, is it the blind guy with the beer?   And she said yes, before we even got there. 

Ron's not the only blind drunk.  He made a big point of "understanding [my] viewpoint" and I calmly and sadly reminded him I had 18 years worth of "See, I'm fine now... blackout!" 

I told him I wasn't being punitive, but doing it to protect us both.  He pouted and sulked for a while.  He tried to portray me as some persecutor - "Beating me over the head with what I do during the blackout!" 

Um.  No.  I told him in 3 sentences what he did; fell on the floor, woke me up, took my shoes out from under the couch and put them in a big pile.  Stayed on the floor for a few hours, made it back to bed somehow, I went out. 

I jokingly asked him how long I "beat" him, and he backed off.  I have read that an alcoholic will focus on the wife's reaction to the drinking, so they don't have to face their addiction.  I reminded him, I went out and had fun. 

He seemed really shocked by that.  I mean, what was I supposed to do?  I was very upset, and I knew that was letting him "win".  I did have a good time, and plan to make it a day out when it happens again. 

It will happen again, I know that. 

Ron, meantime, called Chuck.  Chuck said he would take Ron (whom he has referred to as a MAJOR alcoholic) to the liquor store on Tuesday.  Ron asked if I "wanted a ride". 

I told him, no, I'm not going anywhere with you 2 when you're buying liquor.  That's how I got tricked into helping last time.  Chuck refused to leave the vehicle.  If you're going to buy booze, you two have a good time.  I'll do something else. 

Later on, Ron mentioned, enticingly, that he had planned to take Chuck out to lunch later on.  I told him I hoped they had fun, and I meant it. 

Just now, I checked.  Ron made a Metrolift trip to go to the liquor store tomorrow.  He will go by himself.  Normally, when we have a trip, I wait in the front of the house so I can hear the vehicle.  Then I alert Ron.  Not tomorrow.  I won't be vicious about it, just "busy in the garden" or something. 

I have a lot more in my life than Ron's drinking, and I refuse to allow my life to revolve around anything other than pleasing God.  So, I had to go to Walmart today.  I was out of tampons. 

I got the good kind, and some store brand.  They were very affordable.  I got more of the ultra liner things - they really proved their worth.  I also needed toilet paper and wet wipes.  Boy, that wasn't cheap (added up). 

But necessary.  I also "treated" myself.  I went to the garden center and got 2 bird feeders, and a big bucket of birdseed.  Everything ran about $20.  Worth it. 

When I got home, I assembled the feeders and hung them in different areas of the yard.  Bubba and I can see both of them out the window. 

Speaking of Bubba, I heard the "Proud Meow" (good blog title), last night.  He killed the mouse, it was a big one.  The body was about the size of a 12 ounce soda can.  It had a very long tail.  It was in rigor mortis.  I took a photo of it for the homeowners' association and left it in the gutter outside "filthy's" house.  I hope the school kids see it and tell their parents. 

I found it funny that Bubba brought it to Ron.  Bubba got lots of petting, admiration, and several cans of vile-smelling cat food as a reward.  I only gave him one can, he will get 1 daily for a while, in addition to his dry food. 

I would so much rather have a dead rat on the floor, than a live one in the wall.  Good boy. 

I used to get very upset, but I view him as a savior now; saving me from those horrible rodents.  He is quite the cuddle-cat, too.  He really seems to enjoy sleeping with me. 

I could say something really bitter, but won't.  These days Ron isn't a cuddler.  Factual. 

My bed collapsed again.  I am so tired of that.  I plan to pick up and organize the bedroom so the assemblers can work.  I was a little worried mousie would come out during the process, but Bubby killed it. 

Ron refuses to acknowledge that his drunken tackle broke the bed, 3 years ago.  He talks a lot about a screw and a cross brace, but when he tackled me into the bed I heard a crack and the "spine" broke.  It's currently propped up with a block.  When I lift the mattress, I can clearly see a broken board. 

Whenever Ron asked about it, it was always "Oh, let's get you a new bed and assemble it".  No, assembling it is torture.  Also, the last thing I want to do when depressed, and I am a majority of the time, is a lot of high-speed brain processing visual into audio speech, while "sounding nice" because Ron immediately says I am "being mean"  and "Using that tone of voice" if I allow any natural, human, emotion, into my voice when I am trying to do something that is EXCEPTIONALLY difficult for someone with brain damage and bipolar medication. 

I told him, let's pay to have it assembled.  "Oh, we don't have the money for that."  He'll pay $100 for a bed frame, but I'll have to pay to have it assembled? 

I reminded him to brush his teeth today.  "Why?"  So you don't end up with another root canal.  Funny, we always have money for Ron's root canals, but when I said I needed a checkup it's "OH, we don't have the money.  Are you sure it can't wait?  You'll have to pay for it yourself!" 

Tomorrow he will probably spent between $40-100 on alcohol, instead. 

Yes, I'm bitter. 

Praying on that. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Obviously, time for a checkup

Last night was not fun.  Tremendously heavy bleeding, large clots, and a great deal of alarm.  I have never, in my 23+ years of cycles, had a cycle like this.  I estimate I lost about 2 cups of blood. 

Obviously, time for a checkup.  Things appear to be normal now (although I need more tampons!  I went through several yesterday), so I don't think I need urgent care of anything. 

I'm a little dizzy and tired, but that's pretty normal for me.  I also figure stress has to play a factor in all of this, too.  The fact that I've been at (pardon) Red Alert for the last day is a factor. 

I just never knew my body was capable of producing all that!  It was like "The Blob" meets "Red Tide"!  [snorting with laughter]  It all goes to the completely wierd life I live.  

I was just thinking, what a nice normal cycle it's been.  Every 30 days, same amount of fluid, very predictable.  Mom reminded me recently, I always had a terrible time with my cycle.  Early, late, and always accompanied by horrendous pain.  I should have known something was brewing. 

I was glad I had doubled up, a ultra tampon with the ultra pad.  I needed both.  "Red Tide", indeed. 

So, other than that, things have been alright.  We went to work, worked, got the coffee machine fixed, attempted to reprogram a price on "The Beast", it won't let us.  Stocked, and even had time to mash up the cardboard. 

We went to the bank.  Metrolift left us there for over an hour, so I went exploring.  I found a good restaurant and got Ron some takeout.  I got some butter so I could make my sugarfree peanut butter no bake cookies. 

They are VERY rich.  I am happy they are sugarfree.  The Walmart version (which was a Bad Thing, and eaten) had sugar as the #1 ingredient.  My version has about 7 carbs per cookie, and I can only eat 1-2 at a time. 

When we got home, I made them, then took a nap.  Mr Bubba Cat was asleep in the bed.  He let me have the left side of the bed, by the window, as he occupied the middle. 

Don't tell, but he's become quite the Cuddle Cat in his old age.  :) 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Lizards don't scream

I didn't get sick; although I rode with a pretty sick driver this morning.  It wasn't a bad day, either. 

But somewhere between the mighty rodent hunt (apparently, it escaped and is still live in my home) at 1 AM, the bed collapse at 1:30 AM, the horrendous cramps, the blood clot half the size of my fist (that was a first and hopefully last), the depression, Ron's depression, the cold weather, and still terrible sales, I ran out of gas.  I apologize for the negativity in advance. 

I woke up at 1, rodent hunt.  Tried to sleep, got up at 1:30 to use the bathroom.  Crunch.  The bed slats slipped off the frame and sank.  Ron was actually in a good mood, and fixed the bed, offering to buy me another one (maybe Friday, I hope).  I will need to organize the bedroom so 2 assemblers can come out and make my bed, ha ha.  No way am I assembling it myself, like we did last time.  Crunch. 

Off and on, I heard loud squeaks as Bubba persued his prey.  He has been rather intent for the last few days, staring into and under various things.  I figured it was a lizard.  Lizards don't scream, though.  [sigh]  That was awful. 

Even worse was not finding a corpse.  That means I may very well have a repeat. 

Cramps were ghastly, I know why now.  This morning, cramps were bad but the flow was average. 

Got up, did my God Time.  No headache, felt OK except for the cramps.  I took a couple asprin (probably a feature in the clot). 

I dressed, layering up.  One of the customers said I looked "cute, and warm" in my purple sweatsuit.  When I'm out waiting on my ride, in feels like 20 something, I want to be warm! 

Our first ride was Foodtown.  Ron was in a vile mood.  I got his lemonade, (he loves the diet Sunkist sparkling lemonade), and a lot of cookies for work.  We have supervisory approval to sell my cookies for 30 cents.  They're good, too.  I ate one. 

The cashier commented on the cookies, herself.  "These are good".  I always liked giving customers positive feedback on good products. 

With my own money, I bought a couple of mousetraps, some cheap peanut butter, and some Diet Dr Pepper (we didn't get any on our delivery).  I hope to trap the little expletive, if Bubba doesn't munch it first. 

Out I went, and we rode for an hour before getting dropped off at Sam's Club.  I left Ron at the food court and got the chips, candy, and crackers I needed.  Interesting fact: they hate the cheese on cheese crackers, but love peanut butter on cheese.  So, I sell it.  The food cost rocks. 

Speaking of Food Cost, Ron's boss wanted us to send us a product list with food cost, and prices.  For instance, the saltines I can't get anymore: 11 cents cost, sold for 25 cents.  I know most of my amounts off the top of my head.  I'm proud I do. 

For instance, I save a nickel a bag on chips, if I get them at Sam's Club, vs. the wholesaler.  Those nickels add up, in this economy. 

I did that up later, and emailed it.  He will call Ron if he has any questions. 

As I walked into the building, I noticed the union was offering free lunch to the members.  In the cafeteria.  Our area.  Hm.  It's a mixed blessing. 

On the one hand, no one bought anything.  It was annoying, as I worked on "The Beast", to have postal workers breathing down my neck and making "Helpful" comments like "STILL NOT FIXED?"  AGH.  I don't do well with a peanut gallery, especially when I have to disassemble, and reassemble, a naughty coin mech, twice, fix all the error messages and modes, and then go to TEST VEND and the little expletive STILL eats a quarter! 

GLACK.  Ron had to drag me away, and insist I take a break. 

However, on the other hand, the free lunch got people into our area, watching us work.  They got to see brave and noble Ron, rolling around in the wheelchair, filling the vending machines.  They got the entertainment of watching me with "The Beast".  They got to check out our new product lineup.  So, not all bad. 

I am very glad the winners, won.  One of the challengers had always treated me horribly.  I think I can learn a lot about someone, by the way they treat someone they see as "unimportant", and the "I'm a special, pampered, princess" routine did not bode well for the future.  If she's like that as a clerk, imagine when she is union ___ !  Agh! 

The people who won seem very dedicated, hardworking, and honest.  Good.  I told them I was glad they won.  They liked that.  All very true. 

After work, Ron and I got some lunch, then came home.  I worked on my end of the accounting and reports for about an hour. 

When changing my stuff, I gave birth to an enormous blood clot, half the size of my fist.  The toilet looked like a crime scene, blood everywhere.  [sigh]  I'm blaming the asprin.  I looked it up, seems normal.  Never had one like that before, hopefully never again.  It was deeply alarming. 

 I cleaned up, then took a nap. 

Woke up horribly depressed.  I didn't even want to bring in the trash cans.  I literally forced myself to go check the mail, then the garden (the squirrels and blue jays are obvious in their enjoyment of the birdseed).  I put soil in 2, four inch pots, so be seeded later tonight. 

I blogged.  I guess I will do the laundry, work on the bedroom, and maybe do dishes if I have time.  Things seem to get away from me everytime I turn around.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

I had considered going to a feed store today.  Supposedly, Houston feed stores have lovely, local veggie seeds. 

Option #1, involved about 2 hours each way, and walking through a REALLY bad neighborhood.  Option #2 - another really bad neighborhood, and 2 hours + on the bus.  Option #3, walk half a mile north of the bus stop, though a better neighborhood. 

Well, somewhere between not finding the place, after 3/4 of a mile, the broken bottles all over the culvert, where I had to walk, because they had no SIDEWALK; I decided it wasn't worth it.  I was pretty upset. 

I just wanted to go from point A to B.  Sorry, you're broken, you can't do that. 

First, I got up.  The birdbath was clear of ice... and my plants nicely covered.  I ate, did my God Time, and layered up.  Ron warned me it would feel like 20's for most of the day with the windchill.  I did long underwear under sweats, and the fleece jacket on top.  Over all that went my big blue coat.  I was fine. 

I went to Foodtown and got some soda; and noted the saltines I sold are discontinued.  I hate to disappoint my postal workers.  The next option would cost about 50 cents.  I don't know if they'll bite, if you pardon the pun. 

I was kind of depressed this morning, manic in the afternoon.  That's a mixed episode for me these days.  Or maybe it was rapid cycling.  I realized at some point I was brooding; and not about the things I found upsetting. 

Ron felt better; but now I feel warm and tired.  I'm pretty flushed.  I hope this does not mean the flu. 

Anyway, I made a conscious decision to focus on other things.  I had a nasty headache; and my period had started. 

What's got me alarmed, is the fact that it started, and stopped.  The last time it did that (about 17 years ago) I had a horrible kidney infection that landed me in the hospital for a week.  I was a complete and total brat, too.  I'm sorry. 

I went to Starbucks and had a Bad Thing with my drink.  To rip off a line from AA, I need to decide, I will not eat any Bad Things TODAY.  It's very simple when you view it that way. 

Ha, I like how I can turn bad things in my life around for the better.  Never would have read that line, but for Ron. 

I brooded and whined as I drank my drink.  I resented the fact that my 100 count bottle of "Migraine Formula" headche tablets (generic Excedrin Migraine) is half empty, and I bought it a month ago.  Then I tried to be grateful I had them to take.  And they worked. 

What did I want to do?  Well, I thought, maybe I could go to the Fiesta.  It is not near the house; it is massive.  They have a produce selection almost as large as my subdivision lot.  I sat by the road, waiting on the bus.  Thanks, Lord, for the bus bench.  OK.  I'll do it. 

Maybe I could find some Jerusalem Artichoke tubers, or maybe a Yacon tuber.  I am interested in growing either in my garden this year. 

Fiesta didn't like the looks of me.  Yes, I am wearing a large, old coat.  Yes, I have a backpack.  I got my own personal shadow.  At first I thought it was an odd coincidence, seeing the same man over and over.  Then I realized he wasn't shopping.   When I smiled at him he got all twitchy. 

[shrug]  I'm honest, nothing to see here.  I had fun.  I got some jicama; didn't see the other things.  I got an INDIAN bitter melon; they had both chinese and indian varieties.  I love Houston.  I'll see if I can get some seeds and grow them.  They do great in the heat.  I like them; just not in soup. 

I found some incense.  I thought it was very cool, in the Old Testament God tells Moses that he wants the Levites (the tribe of priests) to burn an incense made of Frankencinse and Myrrh when they minister at the altar. 

I like to burn incense when I pray; it's certainly Biblical.  It makes the experience more pleasant (no incense if I have a headache).  When I saw Frankencense and Myrrh, incense, I had to get it.  I thought it was so cool.  I liked it.  I have plenty, they incense was only $1 each. 

I got some ginseng tea, and a can of oolong tea (drinking it now, tasty).  No sugar, product of Japan.  Very good clean flavor.  Full of antioxidants, but I'm drinking it 'cause I love Oolong tea.  I spent about $12 total. 

So far I had spent $5 at Starbucks, and $12 at Fiesta.  I had a creepy manic guy in line behind me.  I prayed about it and got a great idea. 

There was a big, burly, guy waiting off to the side.  He was obviously waiting for someone.  I pushed my cart right over next to him.  He glanced at me, and I rolled my eyes back at Manic Man (bouncing around like a demented rabbit and babbling).  He nodded and stood there as I took my time "arranging my stuff".  Manic Man went away.  I smiled thank you and left. 

I always figure God sticks THEM into my life to remind me of Before (pills).  It is easy to get tired and frustrated.  I lose things, the house is a mess, I'm forgetful.  But I'm not THAT, either.  Thank you, Lord. 

I wondered if the local nursery could deliver potting soil.  I would like to grow some sweet potatoes, in a large pot.  From what I read, clay soil and "sweets" don't get along very well.  Bugs and disease.  However, I can make my own custom blend in a pot.  I rode and the driver let me off right next to the entrance!  What a nice man! 

I love all my bus drivers.  Without them I'd be so limited. 

Of course the place was in full wintermode lockdown.  I discovered they would deliver potting soil, and 3 bags of cow poop cost $10.  I plan to buy 6 bags. 

She laughed when I told her how much I needed delivery.  I can't take it on the bus.  I can't take it on Metrolift, and I sure can't take it in a cab!  [quaking with laughter, as I envision one of those nice Town Car cabs]  No.  It's got to be Jose and his truck. 

Thank you, Jose.  About a year and a half ago I got several bags of mulch, cow manure, and all delivered.  It worked great.  In fact, the delivery beat me home; when I turned the corner it was sitting at the top of the driveway. 

I got a list of what and how much.  I was delighted to see they had pole beans. 

I had debated the purchase of some Rattlesnake pole beans, or maybe some purple.  The purple did great a few years ago.  In fact, I got depressed and couldn't pick them all, so they went to seed.  Then I had purple volunteers coming up for a few years.   I also hear excellent things about Rattlesnake.  Well, they had a combo package of seeds, with both!  Yay! 

That'll save me plenty of shipping, too.  I have no problem buying off the internet, especially since I am limited to the bus, but I prefer to buy local, AND small business, if possible.  Now I could. 

It cost $3, I could probably buy a packet each of seed at Walmart or Home Depot for $1 each, but I like Renees garden brand, and I love the nursery.  I know I am a little wierd, and probably talk too much... but they are always so kind. 

I headed off to the bus stop.  Happily, the homeless people were all downtown at the shelter.  The incense smelled so nice, everywhere I went a lovely fragrance. 

I had bought additional Bad Things at the Fiesta.  I decided to feed them to the pigeons.  By the time they had eaten the Bad Things, my bus arrived. 

I got home, helped Ron with some accounting, put some birdseed out - I caught sparrows eating off the bell thing I hung out yesterday.  I did some weeding, and dug up a new garden bed outside this window.  I am tired of seeing weeds and a fence. 

I dug up 4x4 feet, and spread some amendments (I have depleted my stash) on top.  I need another rain, and then a few days later I'll finish forking it.  Then I need some more Emerald Edging.  It's a hard plastic edging that is fantastic.  It isn't cheap, a 4-foot section runs about $8, but so worth it.  It keeps out all those nasty invasive things.  Once I set that I'll be ready to plant. 

I also decided to plant some of my red caladiums in the front garden, it is mostly shaded from spring to fall.  I only get about half sun in the winter.  I'll have some on the side, and some in front. 

I may grow some lettuce in the side bed, it is pretty much full shade, and ought to do well in the summer.  I know the leafies like shade in the summer. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

The shrieking and all

I forgot to mention: remember about a year ago?  I lost some money?  I found it today. 

I had looked everywhere, including my copy of "Botanica's Organic Gardening".  It is a fascinating book.  COULD.  NOT.  FIND.  THE.  MONEY. 

I had taken a cab the last time I had the money, and I really wondered if I had dropped the money in the cab.  The driver had his whole family riding, which I found kind of odd.  [shrug]  It was a memorable trip.  The mother and 3 kids sat behind me, in the last row.  STARING at me. 

Yesterday, I bought some seed potatoes.  I read my garden books and got the data I needed to get them started.  I remembered "Botanica" today, and took it out of the closet. 

I opened it up, and what should I find at "Berries"?  A paper bank envelope.  I opened it.  YUP. 

The shrieking and all got Ron worried, until I told him.  I prayed about it.  Obviously, God wants me to have the money now. 

I put half in my savings hidey-hole, and the other half went into my pocket.  I also save my change.  Usually I split it between emergency fund, and charity.  From about November to December, I felt God telling me to save it - for myself!  Get myself something nice! 

OK - I could do that.  I cashed it in today.  $30.62.  Nice. 

I also read, in Botanica, a great tip on an easy harvest method.  Plant the potatoes an inch or two deep, then mulch thickly.  At harvest-time, just pull off the mulch and pick the potatoes off the ground.  Sounds easy, and fun. 

Since I do have wildlife, I'm glad I also planted a couple into a large plastic pot.  One way or another, I ought to get some 'taters. 

When we came home, I took a nap.  I slept for about 3 hours, I think.  I have no intention of catching whatever Ron's got, if I can help it. 

Yesterday I got a bell-shaped seed cake for the birds.  It hangs on a chain.  When I went to sleep, it was intact.  When I woke up, the top half had been eaten off. 

SOMEONE had a good time!  I wonder who it was, the sparrows?  Blue Jays?  Doves?   I can hear the sparrows outside my window now.  They are very faithful; an hour at sunrise, and sunset, every day. 

I hope they get some of the birdseed. 

Day Out Tomorrow

Well, Ron has a horrible virus.  Sore throat and all. 

This morning, when we had a quiet moment, I told him a few things:
1.  I am not ever buying him alcohol again, no matter how "good" he is.  He will have to go to the liquor store. 
2.  He tried to tell me it was 80 proof that hurt him; I reminded him he has had blackouts on wine and/or beer as well. 
3.  I am deeply worried about him. 
4.  I "rescued" us yesterday, but from now on it is his responsibility to make our trips.  I will not "save" him again.  If he doesn't make the trip, we won't ride. 
5.  I asked him to please read the file I copied off the internet (scroll down for link), and ask himself a few questions. 

We went to work.  I introduced my new, 30 cent cookies, to great acclaim.  They are GOOD, and I get an awesome deal.  I pass the savings onto the customer.  They like it. 

I did sodas, food, and not much snacks because I didn't have the inventory.  I mainly just stocked the cookies. 

Then we came home.  Ron complained about his throat and I looked with a penlight.  It looks awful. 

I still plan to have my Day Out tomorrow. 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The way I look, I should be asking you for money

So, I left Ron at home, snoring away.  I don't know how he made it back to bed.  [shrug] 

I looked all over for my bus pass, sobbing in frustration.  Quietly, though, I didn't want to wake him up and get the whole scene. 

I had a few singles, so I just took them and some quarters (regular person fare is $1.25, no transfers, if cash).  I broke a $5 and got some more change.  While waiting at the last bus stop, to come home, what should I find but the pass?  Frustrating. 

I thought for a while about what I'd like to do.  It was cold, feels like low-30's all day.  Some rain in the morning.  I dressed in long underwear leggings, under sweat pants.  I wore a long sleeved cotton tshirt under my fleece jacket, and my big blue coat with scarf, gloves, and hat on top of that. 

I finally decided I would like to go to the home improvement store's garden center.  It would involve a few buses. 

Amazingly, I caught my connector bus quickly.  I got off at the transfer point and walked, thinking.  I had a long wait at the next bus stop. 

That's where I saw the twitchy guy.  He looked like he was in withdrawal, manic, and drunk.  YIKE.  Happily, I had a book, and my "ears" (headphones connected to MP3 player), and the cultural mandate "Don't bother her, she's BUSY" held.  I was glad I had my pepper spray.  Like I said, I am not often frightened at the bus stop. 

He got on the "bad" bus, so I think he was "drug-seeking".  My favorite was the guy in designer shoes (I wore a very old pair of sneakers, the soles are coming off, but they don't mind getting wet), tried to beg for money!  From me! 

Something about a cup of coffee!  I just kept going (after the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, I am pretty immune to soliciting and creepiness), thinking to myself... the way I look, I should be asking YOU for money.  [snort]

No one wants trouble; they just want the bus to come quickly so they can get "destinated".  They don't want drama and problems (possibly legal) with complete strangers.  I've ridden the bus for a good, oh, 19 years now.   Seldom had an issue. 

I was happy to see Twitch go.  I waited with a young Black man in gang colors.  [shrug]  Like I said, no one wants trouble.  I read my book (they lived happily ever after), and my bus came. 

I rode to the garden center and had a look around.  Not much.  I used the bathroom and left.  I walked a while, took a bus, and went to Walmart.  Their garden center looked a lot better.  They had Caladiums (a pretty, leafy, thing that likes shade), and seed potatoes.  Happily, the variety I picked is well reviewed in my Houston Organic veggie book. 

I bought some sugarfree cookies, and some soda.  As I crossed the parking lot I saw "my" bus pull up to the stop.  I tried to run, but the guy in the Mustang decided to be cute and cut me off.  Curse you, yellow mustang. 

It was a long and cold wait of 45 minutes at the bus stop.  Then some guy walked up, smoking, standing upwind.  Yuck.  The bus came. 

Let's take a moment to praise God for nice, warm, Metro buses.  Aaaah.  The drivers wear shortsleeves, that's how warm they are; and they're opening the front door at every stop.  Ahhh.  I pretended to cry getting off one bus "Don't make me go out in the cold!" (we were alone on the bus), and the driver chuckled. 

I had considered going to Starbucks, but missing that bus had set me back almost an hour.  It was already dark and gloomy, I did not want to be out at night in the cold.  So, I went home. 

All day, I debated.  I had hoped Ron would be awake by 5 PM (he is still alive, by the snoring).  He was not.  I checked online, and he had not made any trips.  Two minutes to 5. 

Was it enabling to make the trips for tomorrow?  Something normally a Ron item?  I still don't know.  I managed to get a ride to work before the system closed down.  He will have to beg a ride home. 

I don't know what will happen when he wakes up.  The fact that he had a blackout and lost almost a whole day.  The fact that the drinking affected work, again.  Hopefully he will read the AA thing and have a lightbulb. 
Dude. Scary twitching guy at one bus stop. Not often scared waiting on bus. Went to two garden centers; got potato starts, caladium bulbs, and birdseed. Having fun.
Couldn't find my bus pass. Drove me to tears. Took cash instead. Riding the bus & considering other jobs.

I'll come back TODAY.

I really have much better things to do; than an endless recitation of "What-he-did-during-the-latest-blackout".  He didn't appear to have hurt himself, or me. 

I'm going out; even in this miserable weather, it's better than dreading the conflict the moment he wakes up.  I copied this: http://www.aa.org/subpage.cfm?page=71 and put it on a flashdrive which I hung on his door. 

I really liked this one: Do you have "blackouts"?


A "blackout" is when we have been drinking hours or days which we cannot remember. When we came to A.A., we found out that this is a pretty sure sign of alcoholic drinking
 
and:
 
Has your drinking caused trouble at home?


Before we came into A.A., most of us said that it was the people or problems at home that made us drink. We could not see that our drinking just made everything worse. It never solved problems anywhere or anytime.
 
I also wrote a few brief sentences letting him know HE moved the couch and lined up all my shoes in front of the fridge.  He fell on the floor and lay there for a few hours last night.  I know better than to help; either he'd just fall again, or he might "turn".  I didn't want him blaming me for that.  I also left the couch where he moved it. 
 
I told him, I'd come back TODAY. 

Consolation

Ron needs to realize, not everyone is consoled by his "Don't worry, the end of the world is coming soon" speech.  Agh.