Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hot compost

Apparently, my compost wasn't hot enough to kill the ash seeds.  I have ash seedlings coming up everywhere, even my potted plants.  AGH.  

It's a little difficult for me to tell the good guys from the bad, especially the Amaranth pot.  I have a lot of seedlings coming up.  Who is the good guy?  Who's the bad?  I'm pulling out the obvious, and waiting on the rest..  I hope the first set of true leaves will reveal the parentage. 

My solution, for the next batch, involves sowing seed into peat pots.  Anything that germinates there, is a good guy. 

If it isn't a grass, it's a "dicot".  A dicot has 2 seed leaves.  They look virtually identical on every plant.  AGH.  Happily, I can tell my beets because they have a red stem; they stay.  Everything without a red stem is getting pulled out of that garden bed. 

Tomorrow, probably, I will spread a whole lot of mulch over everything.  Hopefully it will choke out the bad guys. 

I need to start harvesting some of my lettuce, and mustard greens.  I may plant some more beans. 

Tonight, I need to do my God Time, and organize my clothes.  I feel they're a bit scattered right now.  I also need to pull out the pull-out, because I have to go to bed at 6 PM and the neighbor kids love to play with their Dad, right outside my bedroom. 

Don't feed it and maybe it will go away.

I had a pretty good weekend.  I got a good night's sleep on Friday, woke up Saturday, and went with Ron to a Starbucks.  I went to Walmart. 

I got 3 bags of awesome-looking topsoil for my raised bed, and some peatmoss.  I took a cab home.  I did up the garden bed, it looks good.  I went to bed early. 

Today, we got up early and went to Foodtown.  It was "magic hour" for ground beef - discounted to $1 a pound.  I got about 8 pounds, came home, made cheddarburgers, and smoked them.  Then I froze the burgers. 

I did a little gardening, and then we went out to eat.  Some exciting drivers.  {rolleyes]  I really want a drama-free life.  I don't want all my drivers to be warm and cuddly; but I really fear riding with some of them.  I worry if I'll get out of the vehicle under my own power.  Happily, I did. 

I wonder, how do you tell a very needy, clingy, emotional vampire what they are?  Especially when they have reality issues, and are currently operating a piece of machinery with the capacity to ruin the rest of my life, if not end it? 

Me?  I just tried not to feed it.  Me, not talking... but I did it.  I just spoke to the other client; which angered the driver.  I just figure, if I don't feed it, it will go away.  

He kept saying things like "Where can I meet a woman like you, who will love me the way you love Ron?"  That's not for me to say.   The first time, I gently suggested that love comes when you stop looking, and if someone comes off as very needy they will frighten people. 

We suggested a dental discount plan, because he kept complaining about his teeth.  We gave him the number.  It's a good program, Ron and I have used to for years.  We don't get anything but a warm and cozy feeling if we make a referral. 

The guy was telling us that he was confused by the paperwork, and he wanted us to make him promises about what he could get done and all on his teeth?  Oh, boy.  What is so hard about filling out your name and address?   Sending a check for $X? 

The pricing sheet was included, and I got him to admit he saw it, so what is the whole "I don't know what is covered" stuff?  I'm going to suggest to Ron, that if the guy calls, to refer him back to the program or say "Maybe it won't work for you, and you should keep looking for something more in line with your needs."  I don't care if he gets the plan or not, and upon reflection I'd really rather he not see my dentist. 

I am not going to get sucked into the "Peep-Peep!  Help me!  Help me!" game.  It's just a way to get attention, and it was obvious to me, from the way the guy was asking ME and not listening to Ron, that it's just a way to get some attention, from me.  UGH. 

I had that happen a few times with computers, friends of Ron would get lonely and want us to come "fix their computer".  We would, and then a week later we'd get another phone call "Remember what you told us not to do?  Well, we did it.  You HAVE TO COME FIX IT!"  Why?  They weren't paying us.  We had to ride, minimum, 2 hours each way.  They weren't even paying our bus fare!  We were both working full-time.  We told you not to do it.  So, when I said no, suddenly the problems stopped. 

/Some people just make me uncomfortable.  Needy, emotional, vampires with reality issues really bother me.  I want to get away from them as fast as I can.  I really don't want to put my safety in their shaking hands.  But God wants me there, in that vehicle, weaving all over the road as the guy rants on about his father's mental illness. 

Oh, Boy. 

Needy emotional vampires

Today was good, the drivers were very strange. 

I'll tell you about the last one, first.  I don't know what it is about the older white male drivers, but they make me uncomfortable.  Some, like todays', have obvious mental health and reality issues.  All of them are not very attentive. 

I like to talk.  I enjoy talking to my drivers, generally.  I like riding in the front seat.  Today, I said as little as possible and got into the back with Ron. 

Why, you may ask, did you do that, Heather?  Well, somewhere between the guy wanting Ron's phone number, the incredibly intense "Needy emotional vampire" energy he was giving off, and the "visions" he told us about on our last trip... I got a little uncomfortable.  Not only that, things he said - "My father spent most of my childhood in a mental institution", stuff like that, and veering all over the road because he got so excited about the conversation, cause me deep worry about our physical safety. 

Today he was angry because we talked to the other client, instead of him.  He made several comments, saying we "weren't allowed to talk to other clients, we could only talk to the driver".  Oh, boy.  Complete fallacy. 

For a while, when we first started riding, we had a female driver.  She was a cat collector.  Her hair was always greasy and unwashed, and she smelled of cat urine.  Her husband also drove, and everytime we rode with him we were subjected to  delusional tirades.  He was a secret agent.  His family was very wealthy.  He was very wealthy, but hiding it... and even more bizarre stuff. 

With those drivers, I thank God they do have the visual and auditory monitoring nowadays.  I understand it's difficult to find compotent, professional, contract drivers.  Not many people want to get up at 3 AM every day, and get off work at 6 or later.  Not many people want to deal with disabled people and their baggage (both literal and figurative).  I get it. 

I'm just glad they're keeping an eye, and ear on the guy.  Yike. 

The first guy was more typical.  I didn't appreciate the constant staring at my legs.  I wasn't wearing anything slutty, baggy workout shorts.  I was showing about 3 inches of thigh?  What is the deal?  I have legs, so what?   He wasn't offensive, but I kept looking everytime he did, wondering what was wrong!  Pretty funny!  They looked OK to me.  I shaved my legs and everything. 

Anyway, we got to our destination and I didn't worry about my safety. 

Years and years ago, when we first started riding the service, I saw a driver get an announcement beep on her computer.  They had given her another trip.  She pushed the button, saw the client's name, and swore violently. 

God help me, that's what I did when I saw our return driver today. 

Friday, February 25, 2011

Bad company and good character

While reading Jiilian's Blog, I was convicted of my potty mouth.  It got me thinking about bad company and good character.  Ron's always been a profane fellow, and it bothered me a lot at first.  However, he's one of those "You can't control me" types, AND I was pretty backslidden for quite a while, so I picked up his bad habit. 

Now I'm not proud of it, but I haven't worked on it recently.  Every now and then God bops me over the head with an issue that needs work: Heather, don't be a gossip.  Heather, don't be negative.  Heather, don't be a potty mouth.  And just because bad  company can corrupt, doesn't mean it should. 

Today was a very wierd day.  Very little sleep, the Barkappotamous was at it all night long.  My neighbor, a lovely man of Latino origin, worked a long day.  He leaves about 5-6 every morning every day.  Last night he got home at 6, the minute I went to bed, and began playing a loud game outside with the children. 

After 7 years, I have finally learned a valuable lesson: on delivery eve, sleep on the pull-out couch.  Sure as the sun rises in the east, he will play with the kids. 

I'm a little envious, to be honest.  My Dad was always completely exhausted when he got home from work.  I always knew he loved me, but I would have loved to run around in the yard with him for an hour or so when he got home. 

Dad doesn't read the blog, so I feel OK writing that.  I know Dad loves me and would have, and would do anything for me.  That kind of foundation is vital.   Way to go, neighbor.  You are building great people. 

I got up at 2 AM and did my God Time.  I wasn't the most coherent, but He loves me and understood.  Happily, I had taken my shower last night so I didn't need one today. 

Off to work.  Yes, I will talk about it. 

A man at work died recently.  He had cancer, and was in hospice.  His wife is an employee.  We have about 800 people at work. 

She arranged to have a large floral arrangement delivered, on a tripod.  It stands directly in front of the door to the cafeteria. 

I was so glad I was with Ron when I saw it.  I was able to show him the display and warn him not to knock it over.  So what has he done all day?  Make horrible, tasteless, "jokes" about knocking it over. 

I will be the first to say, I am not Miss Manners.  I have a lot of trouble with social conventions and occasionally say the wrong thing.  People have gotten angry or upset at me as a result. 

However, making jokes about knocking over a FUNERAL ARRANGEMENT?  Repeatedly?  I found it very offensive.  I tried to tell Ron, but he didn't want to hear it.  I at least got him to shut up about it. 

I was worried his wife, or a friend, might hear him and complain.  "I got hit by a truck" may cover a faux pas or two, but I don't think it would cover THAT. 

I prayed about it and God let me know "Stop reacting".  So he made more comments, I ignored him, and he stopped. 

Today, he kept baiting me.  I worked nonstop from the minute we got to work.  At 5:30, our customary delivery time, I told him I was going to go check on the delivery.  He told me I hadn't "done anything".  I said when was that?  When I just filled the soda machine?  Or before that, when I.... ?   Then I left, to get the delivery, which HAD arrived. 

He apologized for that, but then kept making the comments about the flowers.  After 6 hours, I was hungry.  The labor laws say I am entitled to a break, and a lunch, if I work more than 5 hours.  I never, ever, take a lunch.  I usually take a 5 minute break and that's it. 

I sat down to eat a bag of peanuts.  I had received a delivery, unloaded the palllet, done the meter readings, stocked several vending machines, etc.  I was exhausted and so tired my legs hurt.  Ron came in, demanding I do something he could do himself.  I said, I'm taking a break. 

AGAIN? Oh, I was mad.  Except for a 2 minute trip to the bathroom, it was the first minute I had sat down all day.  I was entitled to my bag of peanuts, if nothing else.  If Ron had another employee, he'd INSIST they take a break, AND a lunch.  But I'm just Heather. 

"Look," I told him "Labor Laws say I get a break AND a lunch.  Do you want me to take both, or eat my bag of peanuts and go back to work?"  Some profanity, and he left.  The fun part, the profanity and cursing all happened in front of the other vendor, his wife, and their employees. 

That's one of the things that bothers me about him; he's always asking me to do things he could easily do himself.  Now, yesterday, he obviously couldn't move a cinderblock, so I moved them.  I'm fine with that.  But if he has a small piece of cardboard, he doesn't need to make the truly annoying "Paging" grunt and insist I come and dispose of it, when not 6 feet away he knows about the trash can. 

It gets old.  Now he just "warned" me that he took extra Neurontin, vodka, and "hopes" he doesn't "go buggo tonight".  Thanks.  I'll sleep great now. 

Now that the weather is nicer, I am truly, seriously, considering buying a tent and setting it up in the yard for times like that. 

I have TRIED to tell him, alcohol causes and exacerbates neuropathy, but he doesn't want to hear it.  If he could stop the drinking, I bet he would make a complete, or nearly so, recovery from the neuropathy.  Fairytales. 

In addition to all that, he was completely negative and depressing all day.  I really think he wants me to be as miserable and hopeless as he is.  Whenever I say something remotely positive, he wants to knock it down, kind of like the arcade game "Whack-a-mole" (the player has a "bat" they use to hit the "moles" as they pop up.  If you strike all the moles, you win the game). 

Finally, time to go.  I was beat.  Ron is making really snide, ugly, comments.  I was so happy to go out to the cab.  He generally behaves in front of witnesses. 

We had a driver I like, and I gave her some "candy".  She was thrilled.  I did it before Ron came out, because he tends to make negative comments when I hand out the Bibles. 

We got home.  Ron made really rude remarks about me "Going to bed, because you're in a bad mood".  ME?   I hardly said anything all day - because he was baiting me and trying to make me mad.  I'm no one's toy, and I refuse to play. 

I did.  I woke up about 45 minutes later, about to rupture, and urinated.  Back to sleep.  I had a wierd dream, which is my signal to wake, my body's had enough sleep. 

Ron was in an even worse mood.  Go back to bed, Heather, you're not being nice! 

How?  I said "Hi!  I'm up now, and I'm going to go work in my garden."  I was very cheerful.  How is that... agh. 

So, I went and worked in my garden.  I had a good time.  I need some more soil to fill the raised garden bed.  I plan to get a mix of topsoil, sand, and compost.  I stole some soil, from under the ash tree.  It was good stuff.

About the only place Ron does not make demands of me, is in my garden.  I don't take my cell phone, for one.  It seems foolish to hang a $200 computer around my neck when I am doing active things, and using a hose.  Besides, whatever it is can wait. 

I had fun in the garden for a while, watered the corn, and talked to my aunt for about an hour when she called.  It was nice to vent a little. 

I love Ron, I'm absolutely committed to him, and I know there's a good guy in there.  I get so tired of the endless negativity, et al.  I actually told him I had said he had "Deep existential Issues" and he agreed.  He really liked it. 

This is where, I would make the twitchy face, if this were a video blog.  Since bad company can corrupt good character, my objective is to remain positive and hopeful; I think my natual optimism is one of my greatest assets.  Remember that Bad Things can, will, and DO use my husband to attack me.  Don't let the negativity and doom infect me like a virus. 

Basically, put on the rubber gloves and haz-mat suit before I deal with the toxins.  [grin]   I don't want to "catch" it. 

It was a lovely day, by the way, and I had a wonderful time.  I can hardly wait to see what the garden holds tomorrow.  When will my beans sprout?  How much will the corn grow? 

Oh, yeah, and work on the Bad Words, too. 

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Video Blog!



The wierdness of my days.

Forgot a few things

I did a video blog, but forgot a few things. 

Today at work, I realized I didn't have my house keys.  When I got home, I found them... in the lock, on the back door.  AGH.  Thank you, Lord, for Your protection! 

I woke up with a ghastly migraine, and heard horrible fire-truck noises coming from the garage.  I very carefully made my way to the front of the house.  Bubba was in the garage and very angry at something outside.  I went outside and found a huge gray tabby cat looking in the catdoor at Bubba.  "Hi Kitty!" Boy, kitty moved RIGHT quick! 

Garden Photos!

Feb, 2011

More photos coming tomorrow; I added a new raised bed. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If I'm all buggy tomorrow

Another interesting day.  I'm convinced God signed me up for the adventure package. 

I had already bagged up a ton of Bibles & Scripture booklets last night; when Ron told me the Bible-Distributing couple had been killed by pirates, I loaded up.  Our first ride was late. 

That tends to happen a lot on our days off, especially when heading to Walmart. I wanted petunias, self-watering planters (it's not hard to have container plants in Houston, if they are at least a foot in diameter and self-watering), and more potting soil. Maybe some soda and whatever Ron liked.


I had a nasty headache, and had to take my Excedrin.  Most times, it's no problem.  I take it and I might get a little accelerated from the caffeine, but today I had a horrible interaction and, as I say,  "Galloping attack of the Stupids".  First, though, I got a little manic. 

I know it's bad when Ron screams at me to stop singing, already.  He apologized.

First ride, handed out 2 Bibles.  That made me happy.  I like feeling like I'm useful to God. 

We got to Walmart and I loaded Ron into the cart.  I decided to get a longer (24 inch windowbox) planter for the Spanish Lavender.  I got another pot for the Lemon Balm.  Ah.  I envisioned a nice assortment of scented container plants surrounding my chair.  I could pick them up and sniff them, or just pet them, as I relaxed in my chair and viewed my garden.  [done - and done - it's very nice now]

Can't forget the potting soil.  I couldn't find the organic stuff, so I went with the eeeky conventional kind.  I add compost and water holding polymeers, anyway.  I like tinkering. 

I found some purple petunias, and some orange marigolds.  I can always find room for marigolds.  I love what I did with them, I'll put up photos tomorrow. 

Then I got some soda and driver candy.  That ate up my budget.  Time to go home. 

I needed a nap, desperately.  I checked on my plants, they were fine.  My corn had sprouted, all of it.  It's funny.  It's in the grass family, and the corn seedling looks a lot like bermuda grass invading my garden bed.  I wonder how many people have "weeded' them, only to view the poor little cotlydon (sprout)  in horror!  [Bad Word!]  that was my corn! 

[Later on, I planted pole beans next to the corn seedlings - I have about 2 dozen seeds in the ground, now]

I took my nap.  When I got up, I planted the container plants and put them around my chair.  I planted the marigolds, pole beans, bush beans, and petunias.  I mulched.  I laid landscape fabric until I ran out of staples, and trimmed a tree.  I cleared away my new garden bed corner, and measured for utility access (legally I do not "own" the last 4 feet of my yard next to the fence, it belongs to the utilities - but I can put a large pot in that area if I want, as long as it can be moved). 

It won't be the biggest garden bed, but it will have at least 6 square feet.  I'll elevate it, because it is near two trees and the soil is thick with roots.  I laid cardboard in the perimeter, and tacked it down.  I'll arrange cinderblocks in a 4x4 foot configuration, and fill it with a special blend of soil.  More mulch on top and more garden. 

The garden looks great.  I still need to do a few things for my grape arboring - I plan to screw 2 steel fence posts together, 8 feet high, and run a line, or wire, across the garden for the vine.  It will go in 2 directions.  When the corn is done (about 3 months), I'll put in the grape vine at the back of garden bed 1.  As it grows, it can go OVER the other plants.  That's the concept. 

Right now I am only gardening in 2 dimensions, I want to add some height.  I've done that, a little, with the containers, broken up the flatness. 

I thought it was cute, watching and listening to the doves as I worked.  They are figuring out that I'm a "safe" person, and I'm not going to hurt them.  Bubba, on the other hand, spent his day chasing lizards.  We had a lot today. 

My Dad told about his acid reflux a while back.  It made him cough.  I noticed mine has been pretty bad.  I did a LOT of reasearch into side effects, and I ought to be OK if I don't hallucinate.  Yeah.  Possible side effect!  I got the cheapest stuff, in case it makes me freak out and I have to toss it. 

Speaking of, I kept thinking I heard/saw things out of the corner of my eye today.  Feeling watched?   Yeah.  I have a couple dozen hungry birds and a squirrel or two!  You bet they're watching me!  It only happened once or twice.  Generally, with the hallucinations, I will have an off couple hours, every few months.  Doc isn't worried. 

If I'm all buggy tomorrow, I'll blame the Ranitidine.  I took 150 mg tablet before dinner. 

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yark

Well, Ron just made himself look like a total jackass, to the police department.  More on that later. 

People tend to ask a lot of questions about the Bible handouts.  "How do you know" being a favorite.  It's like an itch that gets progressively stronger.  I just HAVE to go do it. 

I am getting an itch to do a handout, during a Gospel Rap concert.  When?  I don't know.  Where?  I don't know.  But it's coming. 

This morning, I got up realll early, went to work.  The problem with the vending machine was easily fixed, Ron had bumped a switch on the machine and accidentally turned off the blower motor.  Praise God it was so easy! 

When we came home, I heard a lot of noise out back.  I went to investigate.  My backyard touches other yards.  On the south side, I have an oak tree (love those leaves, which are blowing quite nicely into the garden bed), a Mexican Palm, and an ash tree.  The palm and ash cast a fair amount of shade across the yard.  The ash is "ours".  I like it, it's healthy and deciduous.  Not only that, it has weathered 2 hurricanes with a laugh.  It's a good tree.  When it goes, I would plant a citrus, and some other fruit tree, in it's place.  I like edible landscaping. 

It was amazing watching the oak tree during hurricane Ike.  I was, quite naturally, terrified.  It's about 50-60 feet tall.  If it fell, it could have damaged the house.  The winds blew pretty much straight from the north, then straight from the south.  I am west of the tree.  I looked out the window, it was very dark, and the tree was completely bent over, in the wind.  The eye passed, and then it went over the other way.  That house lost the roof, but the oak was fine.  I like to think maybe the compost pile nutrients helped it out. 

I was not a big fan of the palm.  Imagine my joy as I saw the tree guys trimming off all the dead palm thatch!  Yay!  I shouted "Thank you, my garden will love the extra sun!"  as I began to water my plants.  It got even better, by the end of the day it was GONE!  They cut the whole thing down!  MORE SUN!  Completely awesome. 

Even if she planted a huge sun-hog tree, it will take at least a decade to affect my garden.  I am thrilled.  They even came and got all the dead tree parts out of my yard. 

We went to Burger King.  When we came home, the tree guys were using power tools to saw the tree.  They are very hard to cut down.  My Dad actually burned out a motor on a chainsaw.  Yes, I have childhood issues with fan palms. 

The dog next door hates power tools, especially tools powered by gas motors.  A lot of frantic yipping and yelping and trying to jump over the fence and bite (!!) the chainsaw. 

People talk about dogs being smart.  I don't see it. 

Anyway, I managed to get a good nap while they went to lunch.  Bubba came and gave me a cuddle, even better.  I woke up before they came back and went out in the garden. 

"Vroom" went the powertool.  Yark!  Yark!  went the dog. 

Me?  I had the rather cynical attitude, good, wear her out now.  She will be too tired to bark tonight when I'm sleeping.  I also felt sorry for her, people were at the house, but too selfish to take her into the garage.  The poor animal is surrounded by other pets with loving owners.  She just gets a bowl of food everyday and that's it.  No love, no play, no petting.  It's probably the highlight of her day when I go out in the backyard and say "Hey, Dum-dum" when I walk by her fence. 

Ron has been talking a lot about beer today.  He wanted one last night.  He wanted one today.  He wanted me to help him buy more.  I told him no.  He made a trip to buy more tomorrow. 

He had at least a few glasses of wine.  RON called the police and demanded they send someone out to "Make them put up the dog, I hate that dog... etc."  They told him to stop ranting.  He got an attitude. 

AGH.  Hard to believe it's the same guy who helped me take the dove to the rescue place!  However, Ron made Ron look bad. 

Me?  I went out back and laid more landscape fabric to block weeds.  Then I discovered I had run the fire ants out of my mulch.  I watered  it well, added coffee grounds, and watered again.  It worked great.  I only got one bite, spreading 2 cubic feet of mulch.  Worth it.  I saved myself hours of labor. 

I have decided not to listen to the gardening books.  They say "Don't use mulch until the weather is warm".  Ha!  Tell that to my garden beds.  I used chopped ash leaves as a mulch.  I have the seedy ash.  Baby ash trees comingup all over the garden bed.  I spread the mulch on top of the leaves, so that should help.  I also have plenty of oak leaves blown off the neighbors' tree.  It's a good deal, some oak roots get into the compost pile, and I get plenty of leaves.  I'm happy. 

I'm delighted I saved all the money I would have had to spend on new mulch, plus delivery.  Now I can use my existing stuff. 

I also made some plans to put the scented plants (rosemary, lavender, and mint), in large containers, around my chair.  I can sit in the chair, rub the leaves, and enjoy the fragrance.  Nice.  Ron does not want any fragrant plants.  He worries about "bees". 

I wonder what he would have thought of the big red wasp, inspecting my tomatoes for tasty bugs to devour.  I have been stung, twice, by them, but it was my fault.  They are my little garden assasins.  I have seen them eating bad things off my plants. 

Good boys. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I'm glad I couldn't find my mallet

Dog next door barked ALL NIGHT LONG.  Loud, angry, barking.  As near as I can tell, it was at one section of our shared fence, near the new water bowl I put out for the birds and other backyard friends.  The fence has some gaps, so she could easily see into the yard. 

I figure we had a raccoon last night, they like to "wash" their food.  The sight of a large raccoon in our yard would have set her off.   I found some sunflower hulls in the water bowl. 

Anyway, I had gone to bed at 7, because I had to get up at 3.  Happily, we got a phone call letting us know we didn't need to work today.  The barking continued until well after 2 AM. 

I lay there in bed, begging God for help, and consoling myself with the thought that everyone crammed into that house next door was cursing the dog, too.  They never play with her or interact with her, other than feeding.  I think I spend more time with the dog than they do, when I'm working in my backyard. 

I didn't care if the dog watched me.  If she's that lonely, why not?  However, last night's escapade led to the blocking of all gaps.  She can't look into the yard anymore. 

I finally got to sleep, and what should happen... but the fire alarm?  Dead battery triggered ear-splitting shrieks.  Happily Ron was out.  [sigh] 

That was how my day started.  However, I decided to make it a good one anyway.  I woke up for good around 7:30.  So much for my day sleeping in. 

I did my God Time; the way current events are unfolding, I think it's more important than ever!  I threw on my casual yardwork clothes, a baggy t-shirt and shorts.  I did the dog blocking, and laid most of my weed blocker pathways.  I could not find my mallet. 

I hammer the metal pins into the ground to anchor the fabric.  As I attempted to shove it in by hand, it encountered an obstacle.  I looked up.  Sure enough, I was above the gas line.  Eeek.  I moved over a few inches and was able to insert it easily. 

I'm glad I couldn't find my mallet!  I could have easily whacked my pin into the underground gas line.  I was told it's only a few inches down.  Basically, the middle of my backyard is off-limits to any digging at all. 

However, I have some large pots sitting on top of the grass.  That's available, and good sun, too. 

I spent a while out there, picked up inside, and took my shower.  Ron was awake.  He wanted to go back to bed.  I wanted to go to Starbucks. 

I was feeling pretty ENERGETIC.  It dawned on me, manias are not improved by a bad nights' sleep.  When I got to Starbucks, I downed another lithium.  I was pretty groggy, still am, a bit, but worth it.  I was worried I would be annoying - talking all the time and bothering people. 

I made the right call.  I read a garden book for a while and decided to go to my local nursery. 

In Houston, it seems that many nurseries have birds.  This one is no exception.  I found the doves cute.  They reminded me of the little guy I rescued this weekend. 

They were busy, and I was able to resist the urge to get yet more bean seed, and bother people.  I happily picked out a few annuals, and gave a very small and dignified screech when I found the Spanish Lavender.  I love it.  I actually have grown it, in pots, on a driveway, in Houston.  It has lovely flowers and is adapted to heat and humidity.  Lavendula stoechas. I found something called a "Barbados Cherry".  I was pretty medicated. 

I knew that name.  I knew it was something I wanted, but I didn't know why.  It was a dollar and fifty cents, and did well, the label stated, in shade.  Good.  I could put it in the south garden bed.  It gets about an hour of sun a day. 

I have some leafy green things, and some Caladiums (a red-leafed bulb).  I could use something that had both flowers and fruit.  Imagine my joy when I got home and discovered I had bought an Acerola Cherry!  Awesome!  A fruit I can eat!  That likes shade!  It's pretty!  It's a modest size!  Excellent. 

I love the whole "Edible Landscaping" concept.  I have already planned to get a fig tree, to add to the grape, and the banana.  Now I had the Acerola Cherry.  It grows well in the heat and tropics.  I was so glad I bought it. 

It is such a cute little thing, only a few inches tall.  Hard to believe this little cutie will grow to be 10-20 feet tall.  I had average rides home.  A fair amount of waiting, but the weather was nice. 

The more I read about Vitamin D, the happier I am I've never used sunscreen.  Not consistently.  I'm actually developing a light tan on my arms, and the back of my neck feels a little tight.  Vitamins. 

I was pretty seriously medicated when I got home.  I was glad I've walked it so many times. 

I put the plants out back and gave the lavender a drink.  Tomorrow, I'll figure out my placements.  I will absolutely make room for the lavender.  The petunias will go in my new garden bed, between the onions and the beans.  Beans and onions don't get along very well, they both suffer. 

However, beans love petunias.  So, a nice row of petunias between the onions, and the beans.  I was daring and selected one of the "mix", instead of a known color.  Spanish Heather (not making it up) will probably go over near the sunflowers. 

Ron loves scented plants, but is worried about them attracting bees if I use them in close proximity to his seating.  Hm.  That's a puzzle, too. 

Tomorrow I take in a lot of crackers and cookies, and then later on we get a hamburger. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Backyard Buddies

Nasty headache today; and I have to get up at 3 AM tomorrow to go fix a "down" vending machine.  Ron complained bitterly during lunch, he wanted a beer but it wasn't 12 yet.  I don't think he was happy when I agreed it would be a bad idea to break his "No alcohol before 12" rule.  I got attacked by fire ants. 

However, I got the bird to the rescue guy.  We had a straight trip.  I had put a heavy glass bowl of water in his cage, along with a big cup of birdseed (cracked corn/millet/sunflower seeds).  He ate some last night, pooped in his cage. 

Today he seemed a lot more mellow and energetic.  He looked around, and seemed to enjoy looking out the window of the cab as we rode down the freeway.  He actually craned his head so he could see better.  He even ate some food on the way, and seemed to be having a great time.  Amazing, because it is a wild bird.  It acted like a pet. 

I was really happy to see that; the last "rescue" - a wild rabbit Bubba brought home, died the next day (probably the fright).  We got to the feed store and handed him over.  The guy took one look "Oh!  It's a dove!" and grabbed him with one hand.  He went "out back" and put the bird in a huge aviary half the size of my house, with some other pigeons and doves.  The bird really seemed to like it.  He had other birds of the same species, so he won't be lonely. 

No good deed goes unpunished, Metrolift was going to leave us there for 2 hours.  I looked around, found some veggie transplants (tomato, Malabar Spinach, and some herbs), and paid for them.  There's birdie's rent.  [grin] 

They managed to find us an earlier ride, so we only waited about an hour.  Then we got some Mexican food and went home.  I took a nap, and did a little work in the garden.  My head is bothering me, though, so I didn't feel up to laying the weed blocker fabric.  Not only that, I had to fix the hole - the neighbor's dog was about to dig into our yard again.  Grrr. 

I wasn't the only one annoyed at the dog.  The people behind her were hammering and screwing loudly.  I could tell they were very annoyed.  It took them about an hour to fix the damage. 

I feel sorry for the dog, no one loves her, everyone is mad at her.  She has to listen to the children behind me play and love their dog every day.  No one plays with her.  No one goes out and loves on her, either.  Sad.  No wonder she's always trying to dig out.  I would. 

I did a little planting, but had to forget about the mulching; my mulch had fire ants.  Boy, that hurt.  All over my feet, hands, and arms!  I put a lot of coffee grounds in the mulch - they hate that.  Watered it in very well (they hate that).  If that doesn't work I'll put the mulch in the compost pile and buy more.  I try not to use poisons. 

When I picked up a piece of wood to block the fence, it had 2 lizards on it.  I don't want to kill my backyard buddies. 

I need some more potting soil; and the garden center has a flat rate delivery fee.  I can get a couple extra bags of mulch for $10 and it won't cost any more on delivery.  I'd pay $10 not to get eaten! 

I planted my Italian parsley, the Large Red Cherry tomato (in one of the very large pots I had planned to use for quinoa), and that's it.  I need to figure out where I want to put the Malabar Spinach - it is a hot weather green, vining, wants to go up a trellis.  Which trellis?  Probably Garden Bed 2 - it is partially shaded.  I might run some cucumbers in there, too. 

I had gotten a variety pack of assorted seeds that failed gernimation tests.  I was having trouble figuring the small curcurbit seeds.  A curcurbit is a melon/cucumber family.  Which was it?  While at the feed store, I looked at the jars of seed; and I have cucumber seed in my packet.  The melon seeds are bigger, thicker, and more tan.  Good.  I love a good cucumber in the summer. 

They had pepper transplants, too, but it was way to early to even think about them.  They are midsummer plants.  It isn't even hot yet. 

Oh, and my potatoes finally sprouted.  I was beginning to wonder!  I thought, did I screw up?  Will they ever sprout?  They did, at least some of the ones planted in the garden bed.  The ones in the pot haven't, yet.  The pot is an experiment, though.  Can I grow good potatoes in a large pot?  That means I will be harvesting in late April/early May. 

So, it was an interesting day.  It didn't go at all as planned, but I made it a good one anyway. 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sixty Cents

I'm used to the weight-loss ads and links to prostitites (just some of the fun "comments"), but I got a couple recently for private wart removal?  Uh.  No. 

Ron and I had planned to go to the warehouse with a friend (the guy with the truck), and then take the merchandise to work.  Surprise!  Ron was in the bathtub (he prefers a bath to a shower, pretty entertaining watching him get up - NO I DON'T WANT ANY HELP, HEATHER!).  Sorry, he couldn't make it. 

If he could see, we would have looked at each other.  Huh.  So much for working today.  Ron had only arranged a ride home.  He cancelled that, of course. 

What to do?  Hm. 

Ron wanted to "Go somewhere".  You've heard me talk about our lovely metal wheelchair; purchased from a tool company.  It's a great travel chair, heavy, but solid and rugged. 

Let's go ride the bus.  Amusingly, the first driver was the scary guy I think had a demon.  He was the one, I got a "vibe" I shouldn't give him a Bible, ignored it, and he began raving?  He drives very angry, stomping on the gas and brake, especially when people are standing up, moving around on the bus, and sitting down. 

I told Ron "Don't talk to him!" before we got on.  Of course Ron kept asking me why, why, why.  Then he guessed, and I confirmed it.  Quietly. 

Sure enough, as I stood up the driver stomped on the brakes and made me fall over the wheelchair.  Happily Ron had moved to a seat.  Nice. 

So, we went to a McDonald's and had a very good breakfast.  We talked a lot and I mused sadly over the kind of store that has a large sign "Soda in a water cup is stealing" and "Drinks are not free!"  Ron and I always share a drink, because he consumes maybe 4 ounces' worth. 

I stuffed Ron in the chair and we left.  I had to move a shopping cart by the bus stop to make room for Ron.  We ended up at Starbucks.  Then we went to the pet store (all on the bus, and some walking). 

I bought some cracked corn (I already had sunflower seeds).  The label assured me that all birds loved cracked corn, in conjunction with sunflower seeds.  Sure enough, they did. 

Hopefully they don't realize that the delicious cracked stuff on the ground, is not the same as the delicious intact stuff, in my garden bed!  Ron decided he was tired of the bus and walking, and wanted to take a cab home. 

The paratransit company makes a subsidized cab available for patrons, the first $8 on the fare are free.  If you only have 5 miles or so, that's pretty cheap (the going rate in Houston is about $2 a mile). 

Ron called the company.  Yes, he had a wheelchair, but he had me to fold it up and put it in a trunk.  He could transfer.  So, a sedan cab came for us, a nice older guy who flirted with me as I took the wheelchair out of the trunk.  I think he was flirting... not so good with the cues sometimes. 

I was pretty tired.  My brain felt very foggy.  [speaking of foggy, Ron paid the water bill, and prepaid a little too]  I needed a nap. 

I have a hard time admitting I am disabled; as I always suspected, it's hard to develop something later in life.  I never used to need a nap, until the medication.  That came along when I was in my 30's.  The three decades prior, I hated naps. 

The brain damage?  Not driving?  No big deal.  It's not like I ever had it; and what with gas prices, insurance, and car repairs, I'm glad of it.  It costs me sixty cents to ride the bus. 

So, I took a nap.  When I woke up I did some work in the garden.  The guy across the street was doing his lawn. 

I don't know if this applies to your area, but the SECOND the weather gets nice in Houston, people start mowing, even if the yard is fine.  It's just conditioning.  They will mow, weed-whack, and leaf-blow the perfectly fine yard. 

I guess it made him feel productive; he's self-employed.  So am I.  We each did our yard time.  I tacked down cardboard on the "path" areas (about half-done), weeded, and watered.  The dog next door was very agitated.  She hates lawnmowers and power tools. 

I suspect the other neighbor knew this, and deliberately took his time to annoy her.  She got so upset she started digging herself out, partly under my fence. 

However, *I* had bought a few bricks at Home Depot yesterday, and used them to brace a board and keep her out.  [sigh]   It is really sad, all those people next door, and not a one lovesher.  I never hear anyone playing with her in the yard, or taking her into the house. 

I did my best to avoid the drama.  Oh, this morning?  The guy next door had this uprooted tree stump in the front yard.  I'm not kidding.  He dragged it to the street and left it out for the garbage pickup. 

I thought for sure it would stay.  However, they took it.  I did call the garbage company and ask them to mail the neighbors a "What you can put in the trash" flyer, because they don't seem to understand. 

If I got cited by the health department, I would pick up all the old food wrappers, empty bottles, and half-drunk bottles of juice.  They took out the tree stump and left the food trash.  Huh. 

Tomorrow, up early, to work.  Then home I think; nothing else. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

So I went home in a limo

A rather interesting day; our first ride was very late, Ron dropped my plants while carrying them into the house, and we got a cutoff notice from the water company.  Ooops. 

I love auto-pay.  It makes life simple for us.  Sometimes we don't get the water bill and simply forget about it... then a pink notice on the door, agh.  We can address it tomorrow. 

It was a lovely day, and I had the day off.  We went to Walmart (when our ride finally arrived).  Ron's next pickup, to come home, was very soon afterward.  I left him on the bench out front. 

He asked me to get him some deli chicken "If I had time".  I figured, might as well TRY.  Good thing I did.  His ride to get home?  Late also.  He enjoyed the chicken outside on the bench, in the sun, while I took care of business. 

The greeter was mildly surprised to see me - again.  Ron said his new pickup time was 20 minutes.  I headed over to the garden center.  Yay!  Marigolds!  I picked up a 6-pack and found some nice romaine lettuce.  I have some buttercrunch at home, so the romaine would be a nice complement.  I got the lettuce, too. 

I also selected the weed-blocker fabric I need for my garden paths.  It makes life so much easier, especially since some of the paths are too narrow to mow.  It's Texas.  The bermuda-weeds can get insanely huge, and steal all the good stuff from my garden beds. 

Important.  Not cheap, either.  Since I'm planting corn and beans, my garden books ASSURE me the birds want to peck and eat it all.  I had to get some kind of netting to keep the birds, etc, out of my garden beds.  At least the "corn" bed, and then the "bean" bed (the new one I dug last month), can be protected with my lovely 10x14 foot "bird netting".  I had budgeted for them. 

Ron said he would take one tote bag home.  I tied the plants together in a plastic bag, and placed them, the netting, the weed-block fabric (which kept falling out and had to be carried separately), and a bulb planter (I plan to use it to plant clover in the yard - clover attracts beneficial insects, unlike plain grass).  Ron fumbled the bag later on, at home, and dropped the plants. 

They were fine. 

I went back into Walmart, and got the mens' tshirts I had wanted.  Dr Pepper went up a dollar a six pack, to $4.  What the?  Today's the day I got pissed about the economy.  I figured out it was still cheaper than the gas station (not that I'm welcome), so I resentfully paid up.  My latest items went into my backpack and handcart. 

We waited a while, and a while longer.  No ride. 

Ron finally told me to leave and go have fun.  I had to mail some important papers, too.  Not the water bill.  Had to. 

So, I left.  As I crossed a busy street a while later, I saw Ron.  The driver was stopped at a light.  I pointed at Ron, he opened the door.  I yelled "Hey, sexy!" at Ron, and he grinned.  I blew him a kiss and left. 

Ron told me the driver was shocked to hear we had been married for over 18 years.  I crossed the street. 

The Post Office was pretty quiet.  I stuffed everything in a flat rate envelope and got it sent off with a confirmation. 

Then, it was time to have fun again.  I walked/rode to Home Depot.  For some odd reason, a Mercedes pulled up behind me and honked loudly. 

I thought, wryly, that I didn't know anyone in a luxury car.  I kept walking.  I wondered for a while if I'd actually ever ridden in a luxury car - the answer, once, after I got my wisdom teeth pulled.  Ron had just started a new job.  They had put me out for the procedure. 

He couldn't get the day off.  I needed a ride home, I would be too groggy.   Ron called a friend who had been a cab driver.  The problem?  I wasn't allowed to leave IN A CAB. 

Chris had just started his own car service.  He assured Ron he had the perfect vehicle, and set a price.  Ron gave me the fare (I think about $20). 

When I woke up from having 4 wisdom teeth and an occlusion cyst removed, boy was I miserable.  Everyone was grinning.  I didn't understand. 

Then I was taken out to the vehicle.  A MERCEDES LIMO!  I was desperately queasy, and kept thinking, I can't get sick on the leather seats.  From what I recall, it was a very nice ride. 

He took me to the pharmacy and waited while they filled the prescription.  Then he took me home and helped me up the stairs.  I grabbed my ice pack and laid down in bed.  So, that was my one luxury car ride. 

I went into the garden section.  I found tons of seed, and restricted myself to some lemon balm, and some galliardia.  The latter is a very pretty orange-red-yellow, daisylike, wildflower.  It loves hot, dry, sandy, well drained soil.  I plan to grow some in pots.  I can make a custom soil blend and water it as needed. 

I found some nice little spinach transplants, a four-pack, for less than $2.  That's cheaper than Foodtown.  I got them.  They went very nicely into my "greens" garden bed (it is partially shaded).  The greens bed has lettuce, mustard greens, parsley, and the spinach.  I also got a four-inch asian jasmine plant, to put in the front garden bed. 

I want Ron to enjoy the gardens, with lovely fragrance.  I spent a lot of time deliberating over roses, and decided no.  I got some trellis netting (since I am growing pole beans, I need it).  Not cheap, but long-lasting. 

Oh, and I got some bean innoculant for my uncle.  I am sharing some bean/pea seed with him, and it helps. 

I got some other little items, a drainage tray for seed starting (they work great), etc.  I paid up (ouch), and stuffed everything into the hand cart.  Yes, it fit perfectly. 

Then off to the bus again.  Ron had planned to meet me, wanted to stay home, and offered to pay for a cab. 

At first, my natural cheapness said NO.  But then I thought, Ron wants to do something nice for me.  Let him. 

I went to Starbucks, got my drink, and told Ron to call it.  It showed up within 10 minutes. 

It's nice to have a decent reputation with Yellow Cab.  I was glad I had it; as we passed one bus stop to go home I saw the alcoholic panhandler gang, drinking out of a bottle at the bus stop.  I'd really rather avoid it. 

Besides, the marijuana jokes get really old.  Everytime they see me with a plant they make the same old, tired joke about smoking it.  Right before they ask me for money and I say no, again. 

Thanks, Ron.  I was happy to ride.  Oh, and it was a TOWN CAR!  With leather seats!   I felt very famous as I rode home.  [grin]

I took a nap, slept too long, had really odd dreams.  I got off my butt and got out into the garden, planted the corn, covered it with the netting (took a while to untangle it), and planted the greens and marigolds.  For a while, I lost the spinach.  I finally found it in the house.  Oops. 

Everyone's in the ground now and looking happy.  Yay. 

Oh, and while at Starbucks the Health Department called, to let me know they'd be "filing charges" on the McNasty's next door.  They never cleaned up, just threw away some of the trash. 

I know 2 little girls, their mother, 2 young men (20's), and old man, and another woman live in the house.  Today I also saw a boy.  I don't know how many people ARE living in that house.  It's only a 4-bedroom.  Ew.  No wonder they have so many cars out front.  What I find sad, Ron and I can pick up our trash, we're both disabled and no car.  My garden bed is neatly mulched with flowers, the yard is mowed and raked. 

They have old takout trash from McDonald's strewn all over the yard.  They have at least five able-bodied adults, a van, a pickup truck, and 2 SUV's.  Not one, but THREE large trash cans.  These are the same people who wouldn't put a board over a hole (their dog made) in the fence, when Ron LEFT THE BOARD ON THE PORCH for them.  We had to take it back after about a week (they just left it) and secure it from our side.   This is where I remind you we are both disabled, no vehicle. 

Anyway, I was happy to hear the Health Department would file charges, but wonder on whom?  So many people! 

The landlord moved these people in, 2 weeks after they put the house up for rent.  I almost feel sorry for them, but their greed is going to cost them a lot of time and money.  You and I know, if they aren't picking up the front yard, you can imagine the kitchen... ew.  That's going to cost thousands of dollars and hours of labor. 

Ron and I figure, if each adult pays $300 a month, they all can afford to live in a nice middle-class neighborhood.  If you're a landlord,you need to inspect the property.  You need to find out if you're renting to a whole clan, or a single family. 

I also feel sorry for the father of the girls.  I see him come by now and then for custody visits.  His kids are living like that, with half the subdivision in one house. 

Anyway, I leave it all up to God.  They are quiet, don't park in front of the house, and stay off our property.  The last bunch broke Ron's gate, climbing over it after their balls. 

I was advised, by a lawyer, not to allow them access.  Liability.  That's why we had a locked gate.  I always told them I'd throw it back when I found it, and I did. 

I didn't really think it was necessary, until one day I found a boy, old enough to know better, staring in the window and watching my husband.  He had the ball in his hand, he was just snooping.  THAT's what led me to lock the gate. 

These guys don't do that and they are quiet.  I really don't care how many people live there, if they are quiet and stay off my property.  Dog included.  [laugh]  Other than that, they are fine. 

So, I had lots of fun in the garden.  I am really excited about my corn.  I planted all the transplants.  The seedlings are all fine.  I gave everyone a drink (before I lose the water, ha-ha). 

I came in, Ron was very upset about the reporter in Egypt.  I diagnose him with a bad case of "News Poisoning".  I think, if you watch the news all the time, you begin to think the entire world is evil and corrupt.  You can't find anything positive in life and believe everyone is out to get you. 

Not true.  Yes, the world can be grim.  I look at my Bible and read Matthew Chapter 24.  I think we are the generation, the end-times generation, referred to in the passage.  I expect to be raptured before I die.  I expect I will not collect retirement. 

I believe in God; I know He'll take care of me.  So I don't focus on the news other than the traffic and weather report.  I'm sure Ron and such would view me as an ostrich, but I already know the world is full of evil. 

I would rather not hear all the gory details.  I have enough problems with depression as it is. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Weekend in review

I've been busy, haven't had a lot of extra energy the last couple days.  But I've been OK. 

Last couple days in review:
  • Went to the wholesale warehouse and got more supplies for work.
  • Had our quarterly review, the only thing we didn't do well involved inventory Ron hadn't let me buy. 
  • Got paid, went to Walmart. 
  • Ron paid for all my Walmart stuff; including a small hatchet I DESPERATELY needed for the garden. 
  • I used the hatchet to clean out some weed trees (only in Texas!). 
  • I planted some beet seeds, chard, and all the Caladiums, which were starting to sprout. 
  • Ron took me to a garden center today; a long ride each way, plus travel in the wheelchair.  Very good sport about it. 
  • I got the Cowart Muscadine grape vine I had been wanting.  It's in a pot, so I have a little time to prep it's new home. 
  • Ron fixed the bed.  No more crunch.  Yay. 
  • I got some cuddles as a result; no fears about crunching.  G-rated. 
  • I moved my seedlings outside, along with the tomato plant, etc. 
  • I started more seeds, including some nice feed store finds, and some sorrel I got today. 
  • I also found the Lemon Cucumber seeds I'd wanted. 
  • Somewhere in there I got a migraine. 
  • Still battling the depression.
  • Ron had problems with birds flying into his window; horrible thumps.  He taped a piece of printer paper in the window to warn them off.  He has a very kind heart. 
  • That's it for now. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

I am loved

As I type this, Ron's on the way to the liquor store.  In a cab.  With a huge tote bag.  [soft groan]  UGH. 

He was definitely conflicted as he left.  I guess I can tell you now; I signed him up for the TV show "Intervention".  They were interested for about a week, until they got more details.  The casting lady really wanted us, but the committee voted no. 

So much for my intervention.  [wry grin]  Back in God's hands. 

In the meantime, I have found my Al-anon time very uneducational and unfulfilling.  It takes about 5 hours a day on my day off, to attend a meeting.  I realize, an alcoholic marriage has two unhealthy parties.  I realize I have issues.  I am happy to look at my issues and work on them. 

I spend a fair amount of time examining myself.   I confess my sins to God as I catch them (often after a very unkind thought; sorry Lord, help me take my thoughts captive [2 Corinthians 10:5]), and earnestly work to be my best.  I am not playing the old game "It's all Him". 

I know getting angry or playing into the games is unhealthy, so I seek to avoid it.  I am clear on boundaries and do not allow him to cross them (ie - I will not go to the liquor store with you - that means I will not come out and read the cab meter, or help you carry the booze into the house, or wait for the cab and come get you when it arrives). 

I'm honestly concerned; I want him to realize his problem and get help before it's too late.  I have to turn my fears over to God, or I'll be in the Neuro-Psych unit downtown! 

However, I leave the meetings deeply depressed.  I can't talk about the meetings, or the other people.... but - AGH. 

I'm not asking anyone to fix my problems, but just sitting there and then going on to someone else?   Nothing I would deem useful, carried out.  Just a dry monotone reading from a little book and then staring at the walls. 

My Dad said he got great advice, well, Dad they don't seem to do that anymore.  They talk about spirituality, I think I qualify as fairly spiritual.  I HAVE God; I just want some tips. 

Nothing, except for the brochure I got, and I am doing that.  I do reading and all the books talk about "Oh, I got all the love I wasn't getting at home, at my meeting".   That's not what I want.  I am loved.   I know that. 

I have a very loving family.  My husband loved me enough to come back from the dead.  God showed him what would happen to me, 5 years later, and Ron elected to be there.  That's a lot of love.  God loves me, enough to send His own son to die for me. 

God loves me every minute of every day; first, best, and always.  Any human love is a pale imitation.  I thank Him for it; I'm loved. 

I don't want "strangers" to love me.  I don't even want to stop Ron's drinking; he needs to do that on his own, for himself.  He needs to realize it is harming him, is not a friend, and is damaging his life.  I need to leave all that to Ron; and trust God to handle things. 

He created Ron; he knows how to fix this.  I trust God to fix this. 

Ron just came home, very jolly and carrying a gallon and a half of vodka.  Gulp. 

I'll focus on the good things; we had a decent review, work was busy and productive, I got paid early, Ron gave me a little bonus.  I had a good laugh at the fat squirrel outside my window today; they love sunflower seeds.  I bought a sack and distribute them in the yard. 

I'll focus on the flock of sparrows chirping outside the window, the fact I've got tomorrow off, the red geranium, and the sugarfree hot chocolate I plan to fix as I watch a good TV program.  I'll do my God Time and leave it all up to Him, again. 

And hopefully, I'll have a quiet night. 

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sprouty

Jillian, I pray for you, (and all my readers, etc.) every day!  I think it is very important!  It's funny, whenever I start feeling lazy, I end up reading something (like your comment) that reminds me why I do it!  Last night, I read a very interesting devotional, said that prayer is a weapon we can wield, if we choose, and that praying for others is the most powerful weapon of all! 

Today was really long... got up at 4.  Horrendously itchy; didn't sleep well.  Hives due to wheat.  UGH. 

Still battling the depression/mixed.  Ew.  I am sick of that. 

Went to work, rushy rush.  I hate that, but when we left everything was OK.  We went home, ran an errand, and then went off to our other location.  Filled that; then Ron came home. 

I wanted to go to a hardware store and get some more Emerald Edging.  It was one of the big chains.  I had a decent bus ride to get there, me and my hand cart.  Got off, went in. 

Got my edging.  I love the Emerald Edging.  It's about $5 each.  They're four-foot long strips of plastic edging, very thic, one end is serrated.  Really does a great job at keeping the bermuda grass out of the garden beds.  The metal edging has a similar price, but I went with the tried-and-true. 

Looked around.  I saw some steppingstones made out of recycled rubber; but they cost $7 each.  A little spendy for my budget. 

I saw some cute geraniums.  I have a soft spot for geraniums.  My parent's house in CA had some geraniums in the most unpromising situation imaginable, a small growing area, in the shade, no direct sun, little water, yet they kept blooming away as if they lived in paradise.  They were a good role model for me. 

As a result, I love them.  I like the fragrance, too.  They are frost sensitive; I lost some lovely scented geraniums a few years back when we had the snow (Dec '09). 

$4 each, and they looked so cheerful and sprouty.

Explanation time.  I tend to evolve words to create my own dialect.  I use the word "Evil" as an endearment with Ron, and I never call "Mr Black" by his real name.  I call the neighbor's dog the "Barkappotamous".  [shrug]   So, it's no surprise I came up with an adjective/endearment for my plants. 

Sprouty:  a healthy, vigorous, cheerful plant.  Used for a happy plant; or a plant in bad circumstances (ie hardware store) that is determined to make the best of things. 

Well, the geraniums just looked so sprouty.  They had nowhere near the amount of light they required, but they kept on growing and blooming.  I had to get one.  I very carefully selected a nice red-flowered one, with a few pending buds and plenty of healthy new growth (God forbid I get one with bugs).  I have been known to take my plant selection over to the water fountain, on occasion, and water it from the spout.  These had adequate water, but the lower leaves were yellowing from lack of light. 

Since I knew we'd have freezing temperatures every night until Friday (you can see why I wanted to rescue one), I wanted to put it in a pot.  It was pot-bound, and top heavy.  I found a nice clay pot that cost about as much as the plant. 

Years ago, I bought a sack of gravel for some project.  I use that for potting plants.  I also accidentally broke an empty clay pot, so I use the shards as well.  Geraniums don't like to be soggy, and prefer a clay pot so the roots get more air. 

HOWEVER freezing weather will shatter a clay pot, and ki9ll a geranium.  So, I had to pot it  and bring it in. 

I had put the lettuce transplants outside today, and plan to rotate (geranium, letuce) in and out of the house as required to avoid freezing temperatures.  In the meantime, I have plenty of sun. 

Speaking of, it was getting late.  The vampires, and ignorant, like to come out at night, looking for trouble.   So I paid up (telling the cashier how to grow potted plants on her balcony) and left. 

Other women at the bus stop seemed to feel very safe being near me.  Nothing says "safe" like a red geranium and some plastic edging in a hand cart!  [laugh]  One of the bus drivers implied I'm a very determined gardener. 

I guess I am. 

I came home, and potted up "Big Red".  See, the names just come to me like that.  Anyway, made sure the mustard transplants had a good drink too, and covered everyone up for the freeze tonight. 

When I take out Big Red and the lettuce tomorrow morning, I'll uncover them so they can get some sun.  Then, probably, back under the blankets/boxes, etc. until it warms up again. 

I came home; Ron was drunk.  Not belligerent.  He told me he is making a trip to go to the liquor store (by himself) tomorrow.  However, we got a notice from the water company; they will be doing work outside tomorrow, in the street. 

That ought to be interesting. 

We have a trip to Walmart; I'm not sure what I'll do later.  I'm pretty tired, so I may just come home and stay.  Or, I may go check out yet another feed store. 

I'll take it as it comes. 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

I told you I'd be back

Oh, I'm tired.  I had horrible nightmares even before Bubba began vomiting into our shared bed.  And the slats supporting my mattress fell down, twice.  Annoying.  I think Ron and I need to rig some kind of cross-brace.  I got called the eipithet that means "female dog" twice.  Sounds like witch. 

You'd think with a start like that, it would go downhill.  It didn't. 

Last night, I planned out my trip - to check out the feed store.  I'd have to ride downtown, and then ride out to the store.  I wrote down all my directions (go north 2 blocks, turn left), using a mapping program and the Metro trip planner.  I also packed my bag. 

This morning, I did my God time, ate (but not enough, I got hungry later), readied my hand cart, and left.  I caught my bus - eventually ended up downtown. 

As I stood at the bus stop, a guy wearing clothes that would have cost me half a month's pay asked if he could "Borrow a quarter".  Huh.  I've heard that one.  First, they mean TAKE a quarter.  They will never, ever, give it back.  Second, they know most people don't carry change. 

Meaning, "Give me a dollar so I can go spend it on my addiction".  No.  Along comes the hard-luck story.  No.  Then he called me the bad name, gave me the finger, and stomped off. 

I was happy to see him go.  As I stood at the downtown bus stop, they came.  Pigeons.  They KNEW I had lots of birdfood - at home.  I had forgotten them!  They pecked around me with their sad brown eyes.  I apologized to them, and told them I'd buy them some birdseed at the feed store. 

Next time I go downtown, I'll bring a baggie for the pigeons.  Ron will remind me, too. 

I called, left a message for him (he was sleeping).  He called me back and we talked.  "Please don't bring home any livestock!"  [giggle]  I wonder what I could have fit in my handcart? 

The bus came.  I rode along, found the bus stop, and got off.  I walked up to the store. 

They had a nice selection of potted veggie transplants.  My handcart and I were viewed with a moderate degree of alarm and puzzlement.  I explained, can't drive, it's me on the bus.  OH!  You can put it here! 

OK.  Some store owners don't like the handcart rolling around the store.  That's fine.  I wouldn't want someone taking a backpack into my stockroom. 

I parked the cart and looked at the animals, picked up 2 mustard green transplants, and viewed the animal feed and seed selections.  It was pretty cool, looking at a 50 pound sack of lettuce seed. 

Apparently I'm not the only fan of "Georgia" Collards, they had a fifty-pounder of that, too, in addition to the transplants.  I had to remind myself that five plants are plenty for one person. 

I ended up selecting some Brown Crowder cowpeas, Crowder Field Peas, Oak Leaf Lettuce, and Romaine Lettuce.  I'll be sharing the cowpeas with my uncle.  I think they gave me enough lettuce (for about the price of a regular seed packet) to feed the whole subdivision. 

I asked if I could get a 10 pound bag of Cottonseed meal, I really like it as a fertilizer.  They said no, but they could put 10 pounds, into a bag, for me.  I went with that. 

Everything cost less than $20.  It took a little work, putting them all into the handcart, but I eventually figured it out.  I like the challenge.  I rolled off to the bus stop. 

The neighborhood was OK - nothing to worry about.  I called Ron again; told him I was coming home.  By the time we finished, the bus was coming.  I got on and went downtown. 

As I got off the bus, I was accosted by a belligerent homeless woman.  She tried to get my attention (so she could ask me for money), and I ignored her.  That made her mad; and she began yelling.  Said she wanted to know where I got my cart, but it has been my experience if you allow a panhandler to engage you with an "innocent" question "Do you know the time?", etc.. then it immediately goes to give me money.  So I don't feel bad. 

That's when I got called that LOVELY word for the second time today!  [laugh]  She followed me for a little bit but got bored and left me alone. 

Oh, happy day.  Pigeons waiting at the bus stop.  I started spreading the seed.  Boy, they had a GOOD time.  For less than a dollar, I got about half an hour's worth of entertainment.  Pigeons really like "laying blend" - something for chickens, apparently.  A few sparrows and grackles got in on it, too. 

"See, I told you I'd be back!" I told them as I flung out handfulls of Laying Blend.  They cooed and pecked away. 

Ah, there's the bus.  By the time I got off my home route, I had to urinate desperately. 

Oddly enough, a man got off at the same time I did.  It's a sick world, I "let" him go first. 

He turned on my street.  Odd.  He began cutting across my yard.  Oh, now I'm ticked. 

Then he knocked on my neighbor's door!  What are the odds of that?  They let him in. 

I went in, took care of business.  Ron was asleep.  I went out back, spread about half the fertilizer (according to Dr Bob, I am using way less fertilizer than I need), and planted the mustard greens.  They will do OK with the freezing weather due Wednesday.  I put them in garden bed 2 , which I plan to use for greens this year. 

Ron woke up, figured out I was home, and opened his window.  It was lovely weather, sunny, 70... such a nice change from last week and the ice everywhere. 

By the way, my plant covers worked, everyone lived.  Yay!  Ron and I had a nice chat. 

He told me had already made trips for tomorrow, and hoped they were OK.  Sounded fine to me!   I'll need to get up around 4. 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Still around

Pretty tired today, went to work, ate, came home.  No nap... going to bed early. 

Depression is better but still around. 

Friday, February 4, 2011

Part 2 - a little explanation required. Antivirus booted up and began running at the end of my video. Not sure how it turned out at the end, I didn't have time to review.

Part one!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'd be on the floor!

"They" keep threatening us with snow.  Where is it?  If I can make a request, I would like six inches please, with a couple more weeks of really cold weather.  Every now and then my "Northern" pops up. 

I can hear a feisty flock of sparrows outside the window.  Ron's "watching" TV in the back of the house, and I'm wondering about dinner.  I got a Bad Thing and ate it.  I need to get some nutrition.  Yay.  I just remembered I got cottage cheese. 

Today was pretty quiet.  I got up, did my God Time, sorted out what I was taking today, put some hot water out for the birds to enjoy (it's still liquid).  It was popular.  I did a little housecleaning. 

I need to do some more; maybe it will help with the depression.  I get so tired of the moods. 

We went to Walmart and that was it.  I picked up some seed packets, a new desk lamp, groceries, and soda.  I didn't have time to do the deposit.  The store was almost empty; hardly any cars in the parking lot. 

They were so clever!  They had a huge display of winter coats and blankets by the front.  Just for fun, I looked at the women's "warmwear" (thermals and such).  If I was 2XL, I would have been set.  Happily, I am a large (12-14). 

Ron got a hug from a woman who was very thin recently, about 100 pounds and 5'2.  For the last month, he talked about how "Good" she looked and how he wished I could look like her.  She had no breasts.  No hips.  She looked like she was a 10 year old boy.  I told him, that's not healthy, and I'm not doing that.  I am in no place (between you, me, and the blog) what with his alcoholism and my bipolar, to even THINK about attempting a serious weight loss routine.  I am maintaining at a size 14.  I'm doing GREAT to only eat ONE bad thing today! 

It would be easy to get angry at him.  I don't tell him, I wish he were one of those big beefy guys out of the romance novels, who can carry me up the stairs.  I never once complain about having to do all the heavy lifting at work.  I never once complain about having to read him things, or push him in the wheelchair.  What about the fact that his hearing's so bad, I can't even talk to him from one room to another?  I have to stop whatever I am doing, walk up within about 10 feet, and face him (if I can see his ears, he can hear me), to tell him something simple.  It gets OLD. 

But I don't compare him to other men.  The next time he makes a comment, I will say "Would you like me to compare you to other men?  How would you feel?"  It also evokes a really STUPID reflex to say, so... You don't like my weight?  Wait 'till you see this! 

Like I said, stupid.  He is probably doing this to make me feel threatened and insecure.  Maybe I'll talk about this in group.  I think it's just a case of wanting what he doesn't have.  When I was thin, he was constantly ranting about my chest.  He said he would even pay for surgery if he got a lot of money.  Now I have the chest, and he's unhappy!    If I lost down to my very unhealthy weight of 120 (about what I weighed when we met, and I'm 5'7), it would be the chest again.  For a guy who doesn't see any visual images, he has a very unrealistic expectations of womanly appearance.   Not to mention, I doubt "Barbie" would be able to lift a 50 pound sack of birdseed and carry it a block like I did yesterday. 

I am HEALTHY.  I am sane.  Isn't that what matters?  When I work out, I have to be very careful not to become an exercise addict or exercise bullimic.  It is VERY easy to slip into the "I ate a bad thing, but if I run for an hour I'll burn it off" mentality.  That just hurts body and soul.  Sure, once in a rare while, it's fine.  But it started happening more and more often, and I was getting hurt.  And scared.  I don't want to be dependent on anything like that. 

I never forget, I am hardwired for addiction.  FAS has 80% admitted addiction rates; bipolar has 50%.  If you had a 50% chance of dying if you went to work tomorrow, would you go?  What if you had an 80% chance of going bankrupt if you slept in your bed tonight?  I know I'd be on the floor!   And people wonder why I'm careful! 

I think avoidance of certain things, is the best choice.  It's worked for me.  I think I'm doing very well, considering.  My life is damned hard but I'm determined to make the best of it, with God's guidance. 

So I focus on the positive things that bring me joy.  My new indoor plants (tomato, lettuce, etc) are all doing well under the grow lights.  I need to check and water them.  My covered plants are all doing well; except for a few pansies.  Even the uncovered red kale, looks fine.  I am definitely saving that seed!  I can focus on fun things, like planning my garden.  Where will I put the lettuce?  How many seeds should I plant?  Do I want to devote a garden bed to flowers only?  Where can I find a small hand hatchet?  What kind things can I do for myself? 

I can brood about the Bad Things all day long, I can deny that anything's wrong in my life.  I can accept the Bad Things, ask God to handle them, and go work on what He wants me to do:  Love others, love myself.  Let Him do the heavy lifting! 

You've suffered more...

I got a good laugh over my statistics just now.  A lot of the search results were some parameter of "Heather knits junk". 

What do you think?  I should rename the blog: HEATHER'S JUNK!  [snort]  Pretty appropriate! 

Last night I had some nightmares.  I get resentful about "having" to go to meetings.  I get angry that my husband is an alcoholic and I "have" to go on my day off, structure my whole day around "my" meeting, which should be HIS meeting.  It isn't fair. 

God is patient with me.  Last night He told me during my God time that He just wants me to love everyone, and myself.  That's my "job" right now.  He will give me what I need to handle the alcoholism; and if it wasn't this it could be a lot worse. 

I'm also somewhat freaked out, wondering just what my uterus will produce this month.  The 4-ounce blood clot and friends, last month,  were deeply disturbing.  I've always trusted my body; not now. 

Anyway, I decided I'd skip the meeting (last night I made the decision), and last night I had nightmares about Ron completely OFF THE CHAIN and trying to get him into AA.  By the way, the literature says I shouldn't even mention AA.  When Ron is desperate, wondering what can he do to stop, THEN I mention "I think I know where they have a meeting".  Hell, if he'd go I'd push him all the way in his wheelchair.   

Needless to say, THAT changed my mind. 

Just now Ron wanted to make a video blog.  I helped him record it, and as I assisted him into the chair the overwhelming stench of alcohol took me back to some very unhappy childhood places.  I had a double punch of anger and despair. 

It's as bad, watching him with this illness, as it was with him in ICU, wondering if he would EVER wake up.   God just sent a frisky blue jay and cardinal to entertain me.  Here come the sparrows.  I put some seed outside my window today.  They're having a great time. 

It's exactly the same feeling.  [sigh]  Ron told me, when he came out of the coma: "You've suffered more than I have".   But Ron has his own, painful demons.  I found it VERY significant, recently, when I was telling him about a battle with depression.  He kept insisting I have a drink.  I told him it would only make things worse.  He was completely shocked and baffled. 

I have my own theory on that.  So, Ron recorded his video.  He talked about some drug use back in the day, and I said, "I can't let my family see this.  They will worry."   He was not happy with the audio quality, either.  So I deleted it. 

Then he asked me to look up a woman on Facebook.  He cheated on me, with her.  I told him no.  He whined.  He just wanted to know how she was doing.  I told him, she was an alcoholic at 20.  I am sure she is not doing well.  He finally agreed it "might" be a bad idea, and went on back to his man-cave. 

I get angry.  I get sad.  It tears my heart out to see him addicted.  I want to kick his butt.  I want to crack his denial and drag him out into the light of truth.  But that's not my job, it's God's. 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

For Heidi

Tell your hubby I figured out the "red sparrows"  - house finches
I also have chickadees, ring-necked doves, mourning doves, regular house sparrows, cardinals, blue jays and God only knows. 

Quick Trip

Bad news first: I woke up to no power.  It continued for over an hour, came up, went off again. 

I had massive flashlight and lantern problems.  Grrr. 

The covers blew off my pansies - they are clearly dead.  [Heather cries]  I loved my pansies.  The red kale looks horrible, too.  I tried to cover it... we'll see. 

I think the hose faucet froze.  The hose seems full of water and there's a giant icicle hanging off?  Nothing was running and all the internal plumbing seems OK. 

I had to wait for half an hour, outside in felt like maybe 10 degrees.  Not fun. 

I ran out of birdseed. 

We are forecast to get a couple inches of snow. 

We are losing power, periodically, at work. 

I had to do my God Time, by flashlight, and not as long as I like due to the flaslight and lantern issues. 

All the traffic lights were down, and people were driving like maniacs.  So glad I ride with PROFESSIONALS.  Yike.  We were late on our first trip, which messed up all the other ones. 

Ron tried to "help" heat up the house, by turning the oven on high during my nap.  The oven started to smoke, and the smoke and fire alarm woke me up.  Couldn't sleep after that! 

Good news:
I discovered the religious candles do provide excellent light.  The Academy sports "Tent Light" was fantastic.  The LED flashlights, huge thumbs up.  I'm glad I sent those flashlights to my family in their disaster kits. 

The horribly tenacious Yucca plant, planted by the house; the one Ron has tried to destroy with herbicide, salt, sawing off at the roots, etc. is clearly badly damaged, if not dead.  He was thrilled. 

We had nice drivers all day. 

The house is warm and cozy, now.  I have quite a few blankets on the bed. 

The depression is better. 

I did everything I wanted; went to the warehouse, got the supplies for work.  Waited half an hour on my pickup.  I didn't care if I looked funny, I wore the fleece blanket with sleeves, over my clothes and coat.  It worked.  Went to work and stocked them.  Decided to work Friday in the lousy weather, with Ron and be  good vendors.  It was a mutual decision. 

Went to Starbucks.  I really wanted to walk over to a store and get some birdseed; but it would have been impossible without traffic lights.  They drive INSANE here. 

Ron suggested another store very close by.  I went, found a 45 pound sack of birdfeed for $16.  Perfect.  I bought it and carried it partway back to the Starbucks.  The driver almost fell out of her seat when she saw me with it.  "Can I put this in the back?"  Happily, carrying it, picking it up, and holding it while she unlocked the back was NOT a big deal.  The birds should be set, even if the weather remains awful, for a couple of weeks now.  I can do that again, anytime.  Good.  I love my birds. 

We had great drivers all day, too. 

I'm a little hivey from the Mexican food yesterday, but I'll live.  It was worth it.  Tomorrow, we're off.  Just a quick trip to Walmart and that's it. 
Lost power for an hour. Its back for now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

At least twice!

Today I woke up to winds, gusting to about 60 mph.  They were so severe they blew the lawn chair off the front porch, into the red-tips, about 15 feet away.  Yike. 

I just KNEW IT.  I knew the cold front would come in the middle of the night and GET us.  To hell with the forecast, I brought in my plants. 

Boy, I'm glad I did.  I laid in bed under my nice warm blankets (one of them purchased from Harbor Freight for $10 - a nice warm 3 pound wool blanket), looking at my plants all warm and cozy in the corner.  Bubba came home, soaking wet.  I dried him off as he stood there, so regal. 

I had a very good day, actually.  Ron and I went to the little Taqueria for breakfast.  Yum.  I love the diversity of Houston Cuisine.  Ron had Chilaquiles.  Some kind of egg dish?  I had a regular omlette, and a cheese quesadilla. 

I wore my usual cold weather gear, and I was nice and warm.  With the wind chill, it felt like the 20's all day. 

It took me a while to sort out all my stuff.  I needed my fingerless gloves, regular gloves, cash, wool hat, backup wool hat, neckwarmer, heavy coat, fleece coat, bus pass, house keys, etc.  It took a while.  Now I am all set to go for tomorrow, too. 

After breakfast, Ron went home.  I went to the store and got some soda.  I also have a bag of smoked almonds running around somewhere in my bag. 

I went out to the bus stop.  Cold weather kept all the creeps at home.  I was toasty, I didn't even need to use my hot hands hand warmer. 

I caught the bus, I had planned to go to Starbucks and then my meeting; but realized that wouldn't work.  Next time, maybe. 

I had a good meeting.  Anonymous and all.  I can say that one of the ladies insisted I get a book of daily readings.  She told me, "If you only get one book you must get this one!"  So I got it. 

Afterwards, we went out to lunch.  One of the ladies gave me a ride home, and I took it.  It was cold!  I was very tired, too. 

I went home after checking on the plants.  Gale-force gusts had not disturbed my plant covers.  Yay.  Huge flock of birds, so I spread more seed.  Poor things aren't used to this kind of weather. 

I hope Dum-dum the dog, next door, has enough sense to stay in her dog house with the blanket.  I'll ask God to put it in her head. 

I was exhausted.  I went to bed and slept about an hour.  When I woke up, massively depressed.  I finished covering my plants and fed the birds again.  Hungry fellows. 

Then I watched a little TV, battled the mood, took my pills, ate a snack, took a nice hot bath.  Mood is OK now.  Now I'll do my God Time and go to bed. 

The leftovers from breakfast will taste great tomorrow, and I put my fake "snuggie" in my tote bag.  I will be waiting outside on Metrolift at least twice tomorrow. 

Torbie on my feet

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