Friday, April 29, 2011

Pretty medicated today

Video time!  I was feeling pretty medicated today.  A good example, I had been picking snap beans for the soup I planned to can. 

I forgot to put them in the soup, and ended up eating about half for dinner tonight with butter. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I need to pray

I was so excited about this post, I am sitting here half-dressed, hungry, and thirsty, but I had to share. 

Romans 8:28 (NJKV):  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Well, what does that mean? 

Let me start with my day.  I overslept.  Ron was really annoyed.  I was SUPPOSED to have today off, instead I had to go to the wholesale warehouse, and listen to Ron complain as we waited an hour for our pickup.  We picked up an extremely obese man on the way to work, and he was wearing so much cologne he gave me a massive headache that morphed into a migraine.  At work, stocked, and worked my tail off for hours until my feet were killing me.  I finally sat down and phony refund guy came by with a massive attitude.  Halfway though my bag of peanuts Ron starts shouting for me...

Finally got home and took my nap, but had nightmares.  Got up, the handyman never showed.  Ron shouted at me and was very intoxicated from noon onward.  I guess he is not rationing, because he is cutting back on the gabapentin, and has a liquor store run planned for tomorrow. 

When I got online, someone got upset because I referred to someone else, as a bully.  Well, to me, she was.  The kind of person I have to put on the prayer list.  I don't see the fun in kicking someone (me) when they're down but she was making it a sport!  [laugh] 

I was pretty upset and realized, I never had my God Time.  I NEED TO PRAY. 

I was thinking about all this, and it came to me: ALL THINGS WORK FOR THE GOOD... so that means God is using all of this to make me a better person; more like Jesus. 

Well, Jesus was very humble.  I can certainly use work on the humility; and the things I experience daily certainly work to that end.  Today's a really good example. 

I felt so STUPID when I found a load of wet t-shirts (mine), in the dryer... I had put them in, days ago, and forgotten to turn it on!  I hope they didn't mildew.  That's my life; I forget things. 

God uses it to show me, I can do all things in HIM (Phil. 4:13) - who makes me strong.  I am strong, in Jesus.  Without Jesus, I am just a pathetic wreck.   With Him, I can do amazing things. 

So I'll keep hanging onto Him, and asking Him to use me. 

Garden video blog

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oooh, my feet hurt!

Harvest time.  Tomato, two ears of corn.  Also a good cup of beans.  I ate them for dinner! 

I had a very busy day.  I got up around 8:30, did my God Time, talked to Ron, shower, all that good stuff.  I headed out the door and went to the grocery store. 

The handyman is coming tomorrow, and I wanted to get him a treat.  The kitchen is a mess, so he probably wouldn't want anything I cooked, even if I used the oven.  I wouldn't due to the heat! 

So, I bought him some bakery-made cookies.  They had a nice variety, a couple each of several delicious looking cookies.  I also got him a 6-pack of Dr Pepper bottles. 

A good time to remind you, I'm on the bus.  I have to walk more than a block, less than a mile, each way to the bus stop, carrying whatever it is I have.  So I didn't get a whole lot. 

I did get more items for the disaster kit.  I don't think I'll use it; probably some scavenger after the rapture, but I felt like I should get them so I did.  When I added in the Diet Dr Pepper for me, I decided I had enough. 

In fact, it was AWFULLY heavy, so I brought it home and put it up.  Ron was surprised to see me. 

I'm happy to say, no suprises for me, either!  I have heard a lot of sad, sad, stories of people who went home early and the revelation destroyed their marriage.  Ron was out of bed and greeted me. 

I had a snack and headed out again; I'd done my "work", now I wanted some fun.  I was also mildly worried "Anonymous" would yell at me again if I only got groceries on my Day Out!  [grin]

I went to the Christian bookstore; they made it really clear they want to see me, if nothing else.  Happily, I did have some non-Bible business.  My adoptive Mom and my sister are each getting something for Mother's Day.  I got the items and some cards, looked around, ordered some more New Testaments, and yakked at them for a while. 

Now and then, I realize I have made an "inappropriate" remark by the way someone reacts.  Not sexually inappropriate, but "off".  I always want to beat myself up for a while afterwards, but remind myself God needed someone a little "off".  Normal wouldn't do half of what I do, and wouldn't even CONSIDER the other half! 

I, ah, stumbled, apparently when I remarked, if I were Catholic, I would put one of those prayer cards (maybe St Joseph) in the vending machine we call "The Beast".  [shrug]  They did the kind of glance at each other, raised eyebrows thing.  AGH. 

Which brings me to a gripe; people who call themselves "Evangelist".  [shrug]  People call me that, and I accept it, but I really think of myself as Heather, or if it's in regards to my faith God's child/servant.  Not very obedient at times!  [laugh]  I don't give myself a title; the Apostle Paul called himself a "Slave" of Jesus, and that's good enough for me. 

I don't want a title, other than "Mrs. Ron" - what I had to do to earn that Mrs!  A lot of trials, because I didn't have it, but I've covered that. 

If someone wants to give me a title, fine, but I don't want it.  If you ever find me on Facebook, it is Heather [lastname].  I don't want a fancy title.  I want God to tell me I was a good servant, when the time comes. 

If He spoke to me direct I would probably soil myself, take an antipsychotic, and call my doctor!  "Doc!  God just spoke to me!"  [snicker]

After that, I went to the Walmart, looking for my beloved $8 mix.  It is a huge bag of individually wrapped candy, for $8.  I didn't see a label on the display, which I find ominous.  I just bought a tshirt. 

[I am swaying from side to side, singing along with Theocracy]  Which brings me to yet another topic.  I sing along with my music.  I love my music.  I spend probably a few hours a day, every day Out, waiting on a bus - which is why I am often found, at the bus stop, singing along with my music.  I must be a sight.  I get the gape, and then the grin.  [shrug]  I'm out there in all kinds of weather, snow, ice, rain, thunderstorm - that was funny.  It was pouring rain and I looked like a huge yellow lemon in my poncho, dancing in place, doing my own rap-a-long with 116 Clique's "Fanatic" "I'm an F-A-N-A-T-I-C!  I rep Christ till I D-I-E!  I'm not extreme, I'm redeemed with faith, to serve a God that's extremely great!" 

All of a sudden, a nice older voice asked me if I'd like a ride.  An older lady heard me - saw me - and decided it was safe to give me a ride.  I accepted and rode up to my connector bus stop. 

So, I'll keep singing.  I have a lot to sing about; God's got my back.  My happiness should not be dependent on my circumstances; it should be dependent on my relationship with God.  If I'm close to Him, things are better. 

I was positively starving for some good God Time today.  I had skipped a few days.  Ugh.  God time makes me nicer.  I don't like the person I am when I skip. 

So, I went to the grocery store, and home, and out again.  Then the Christian bookstore, Walmart, and Starbucks.  It was a little later but they got my drink right.  I relaxed for a while (my feet were killing me, I had walked about 5 miles in some older shoes).  I had worn my old shoes because it might rain. 

After Starbucks I went to the bus stop and caught my connectors to go home.  I took out the trash and checked on the garden, found the corn was ripe, and a tomato.  Picked a nice bowl of various snap beans.  Cooked the corn briefly, gave Ron the "better' ear - I wanted his first experience with home-grown corn to be stellar.  He adored it and is licking his lips, waiting on the next one. 

I ate my ear, a tad starchy, but good.  Ate the tomato and beans, I will have some milk later and take my lithium.  I will always eat my vegetables if I grow them.  I had about 4 servings today. 

I pass a vacant lot near a bus stop.  It had lovely looking black raspberries.  I picked a few.  UGH.  The worst, ever.  I was so glad I had a couple of ripe strawberries in my garden to take the taste.  So, that's a fruit serving, too. 

Pretty good.  Now I have about an hour and a half before I need to go to bed. 

Tomorrow?  Work.  Was supposed to be off, but that's small business for you. 
Pretty tired. Had a fun day out. More later.
Heather

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Average is a big deal

It took me about a week to figure out; this is an average mood. 

Yesterday was pretty quiet; stayed home, slept in.  Housework and gardening.  Boy, that does sound dull.  I did watch some TV while working.  Really, I had a pretty good day.  It was nice to have more energy than depressed; and not manic.  Average is a big deal. 

I talked to Dad; it's pretty clear he is enjoying "retirement".  Ron told me he stopped taking Neurontin. 

I had an exciting day or so, until he decided it would be better to taper.  He could have had a seizure.  I really did not want all the drama, if avoidable! 

I am picking pick double handfuls of green beans every other day.  Probably a big handful every day.  The rest of my potatoes (about 4 plants, 2 in ground, 2 in a large pot) are looking very healthy; not ready yet.  The onions also look good, probably the next to produce. 

I can't forget the corn.  I wanted to check the ripeness and had a look - it is a beautiful small ear of corn, about 5 inches long.  Lovely looking kernels.  It's not ripe yet. 

Today will not be a LONG day by any means; I have to go to bed around 6.  I will use my pull-out because I am certain our neighbor will play ball with his kids right outside my bedroom window.  From what I can see, he's a great dad.  Just a loud one, playing with the kids! 

Ron and I lived in apartments for many years, two apartments had wife-beaters.    Another apartment you could hear small children screaming and crying as she disciplined them.  Was she over the line?  I don't know.  We both lived on the third floor. 

However, I always thought it was a BAD idea to feed sweetnened iced tea to small children.  They went through a huge canister every week; she would throw her trash outside the door.  She would throw the used diapers on top of the adjoining apartment building.  Ew.  Ew. 

Happily, we don't get that here.  Just "rowdy family time" - they play ball right over by the section of my house that has the degraded siding; I really want to have the handyman put some hardi-plank up there.  The "wood" is about $30, so we can afford to do it.   The handyman is not going to extort us; and a rebound ball won't wreak havoc.   

I also had some fun as Heather the Lizard Wrangler.  Bubba likes to bring home live lizards.  One made it's way into the computer room here, and likes to hang out on the curtain.  I kept trying to catch him, and he'd escape.  Today I finally caught him and put him in a container.  I covered the top with my hand. 

When my hand is in a relaxed and natural position, the pinky fingers stick out at a 45 degree angle, and upward, creating a big gap between ring and pinky finger. It actually makes my hand ache, if I wear a glove, because it is forced into a "natural" position.  I have a photo of my mother, and her hand does the same thing, so it might be genetic.  Anyway, the lizard popped up between my pinky finger and ring finger, taking a suicidal leap 4 feet to the floor.  He then escaped into my closet. 

Boy, that'll be fun.  I have a live thing in with my clothes.  That's almost as bad as the time a mouse got into my underwear drawer.  [shudder]  That's all I'll say on that.  Happily I didn't find it there, just evidence it HAD been there.  Yes, I threw them out.  Lysol in the drawer, etc. 

Ron enjoyed the mild shrieks and the "Get back here!"  "HA!  Gotcha... oh no!"  "You little varmit!", etc.  He was laughing his head off, and calling me the lizard wrangler.

Now I'm debating if I want to be one of those HORRID people who go to the grocery store on a holiday.  It's not far. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Better think about it!

I just laughed at myself; so hard I almost wet myself and fell out of my chair.  Why? 

Well, let me tell you about my day, first.  It was pretty quiet; got up, went to work.  PRAISE GOD sales are better, and we actually NEEDED to stock EVERYTHING.  Yee-haw.  Boy, I worked my tail off. 

Happily, Ron had just planned a work-and-home for today, so that's what we did.  We had a bit of a tour going and coming. 

I came home, took my nap.  The garden looks good.  The cat, fat and happy.  *I*, after a lot of hard labor, have spent a good long time rotting my brain in front of the computer. 

When Ron wakes up, I'll try to coax him into a video blog.  I also need to eat and do the dishes and pick up and all that other junk.  Oh, yeah, also take my pills and do my God Time. 

It hasn't rained yet... but I'm still praying for a MODERATE amount.  I would rather not EXERCISE the flood insurance! 

Huh.  It was about 10 years ago that we had Tropical Storm Allison, also known simply as "Allison" in Houston.

"The worst flooding occurred in Houston, where most of Allison's damage occurred: 30,000 became homeless after the storm flooded over 70,000 houses and destroyed 2,744 homes. Downtown Houston was inundated with flooding, causing severe damage to hospitals and businesses. Twenty-three people died in Texas. "  It was BAD. 

Ron and I were at work, getting trained.  We got stuck due to the flooding.  Houston Metro does not run buses through floodwaters!  The NERVE!  We had to walk out - happily Ron COULD walk at the time. 

Although, when we walked any distance he always complained bitterly about his flat feet - hurting. 

Anyway, we had to walk out over 9 miles.  We spent the night on the floor of his parent's house.  When we finally got home the apartment was fine, and we ordered a large meatlover pizza and ate the entire thing without guilt (a feat only matched by my post-half-marathon pizza in January 2004).   I saw huge, dead, turtles on the freeway. 

I saw fish and huge snakes.  I saw all kinds of nature.  Ron's most vivid memory:  We were walking on the elevated part of the freeway, 20 feet up in the air.  The floodwaters touch the bottom of the freeway, so they're about 18 feet deep. 

I remembered how Ron said he hated shopping because "I'm just putting one foot in front of the other". 

Ron used a straight, hollow-fiberglass "long white cane".  It was approximately 5 feet long.  I made him stop walking. 

He stopped.  We went over to the edge, and he made a nervous joke.  The barrier was about 3 feet high.  I had him lean over the barrier and extend the cane downward, a few feet, through the water.  CLUNK, CLUNK. 

"What's that?" 

"Ron, that is the TOP of a big-rig."  He gaped in shock, poking.  "The top of the cab." 

Yeah.  Serious business. 

So, I am very careful when asking God for rain, in Houston. 

Anyway, I have an extra $20 in my account.  I can spend it on pretty much whatever I want.  I was looking at one of my inspirational romance novel sites.  They had an offer, $11 a month.  It is now up to $13. 

Hm.  I am considering it seriously.  That's $2 more than I had planned. 

I've explained how Ron pays the bills and "my" money is pretty much mine to spend as I please.  I can get this, if I want. 

Why did I laugh?  Because this is a lot less than the money I spend on God.  He gets more than $13 a month; a good percentage more. 

If it were a charity, I would  have already entered my debit card.  It would be a dedicated line-item in my budget; I would plan trips to make the deposit, or ensure it was covered when I did my early-month deposit. 

I used to make a lot more money; working for Ron in the early years, and also working for other people.  I make about half now, what I used to.  Back then, I had no problem spending a lot of money on myself. 

I never went into debt, but if I liked it and could afford it, or I was manic for it, I'd get it. 

Now, I will probably debate another 5 minutes or so before I finally sign up for the auto-pay, and then feel vaguely guilty.  That's why I laughed so hard I almost fell off the chair. 

If it had been Bibles?  No question. 

[snort] 

But for me?  Hmmm.... better think about it! 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A short one today

I had a good day; got a lot done.  Pretty exhausted.  I'd love to "do more" but remind myself it's quality of life that matters. 

We went to the wholesale club and bought 12 cases of drinks, then took them to work and unloaded them into my stockroom.  Then lunch, then Home Depot for some cinderblocks. 

I wanted to make my outdoor kitchen; basically a propane camping stove, on some cinderblocks.  Ron and I are in agreement: cooking in the house, in summer, is a bad idea.  Why run the A/C and a hot stove at the same time? 

In our first apartment, we didn't have a stove.  We did a lot with a crock-pot and microwave. 

Now that I have my canning stuff; it's even more important to do it outside if possible.  For pressurecanning some items, you have to cook them for 90 minutes.  Boiling.  In the house.  In summer! 

Ah, no. 

So, we did that.  I got 4 cinderblocks.  We came home. 

I set up my little stovepad in the backyard; then I took my nap.  When I woke up, I got online.  My local news site mentioned that our governor is requesting Texans to pray for rain this weekend.  I've been praying; we are in a severe drought.  If it weren't for my hose, my garden would be dead. 

My faith is important to me.  I voted for the governor because I didn't like the other guy's policies.  For me, it really was a case of "He is better for business, and the I don't like the other guy".  Currently Texas has one of the only decent economies in the nation. 

I see a lot of out-of-state plates on the freeways.  Other people know it, too. 

So, I think it's great; the guy I voted for is asking us to take a serious problem to God, in prayer.  Like we should! 

I'm happy. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

She laid down the law...

And they are STILL picking up next door.  Wow.  I wish I could have been a bug on the wall during that conversation. 

I just suggested "come by and take a look" - boy..... I am so glad I read "How to Win Friends and Influence People" - great advice went into writing that letter. 

I am glad this is resolving. 

Happy! Happy! Happy!

I know a few things about the mail.  I knew, the landlord next door would get the letter I mailed, today. 

Boy, did she get it.  She came out to inspect and was FURIOUS.  She was almost speechless with rage, ranting at the tenants.  They did not have permission to have a dog.  She was enraged when she saw what the dog did to our fence, and how they just laughed at me when I asked them to please fix the holes THEIR dog made. 

She was snapping photos left and right of the junk piles; swearing she was going to put a stop to this, and apologizing again and again. 

She said they might have to move back into that house, and they wanted it "kept up". 

Thank you, God. 

Where's my peanut butter?

Another peaceful night; I'm starting to think they got rid of the dog.  For me, the dog was the #1 issue. 

When I was out in the yard today, I counted, and I have had to patch over 10 holes in the fence.  I hope the homeowner does come by for a look.  Their yard is full of junk, just as I'd written.  [shrug]  I'm a messy person, it doesn't bother me, except I wonder the junk might attract "trashy" people moving into the houses for rent down the block. 

Slept in until about 8:30, for me that's late!  Got up, talked to Ron for a while, took my shower, God Time, the usual. 

By the way, I called Ron and told him about the video blog request.  I asked him to come up with some ideas.  He said he would, and made a few suggestions.  I called him back FORTY FIVE MINUTES LATER and he was still typing up ideas!  Got a little annoyed that I "interrupted" [snort]

EVIL!  My Dr Pepper won't open.  I had to get the vice grips. 

Got it open, happy.  Ron went off to the liquor store, and I got ready for my Day Out.  I decided to take the handcart. 

I went to Foodtown and got my stuff, then went to a bus stop.  I had really good trips all day; it seemed like I hardly waited at all on my bus rides.   One of the things I bought: a small jar of hydrogenated peanut butter.  Like my Dad, I love the stuff.  Unlike my Dad, I'm a "crunchy".  So's Ron. 

I stuffed everything into the handcart.  Good trips all day, like I said.  I heard yet more confirmation about that one bus route - they will be improving it; and like the driver said "The last time gas hit $4 a gallon, it was standing room only on the bus".  Good. 

I got off and went to Starbucks.  I thought about what I might want to do.  I decided to go to the dollar store, and the used bookstore.  I got plenty of trash bags at the dollar store.  I found a couple more "bricks" of used books at the bookstore, so I have about 18 additional books.  I like to have a surplus. 

I always have a worst case scenario going in my head; when I had the Horrible Hives (45% of my body) back in 2009, I was so glad I had lots of inspirational romance novels.  They provided a lovely distraction from the agonizing itch/pain.  I always think we will have some kind of bioterror attack, or end up quarantined, and won't I be glad I had them. 

Horribly depressing, isn't it?  Welcome to my brain. 

Anyway, I happily paid the $9 and left.  Then it was off to the Christian bookstore.  I am a complete vending geek. 

Yesterday at work, I found a Diet Pepsi flavor strip - it has the logo nicely printed.  It sure beat the hand-lettered one in our vending machine, so I actually made a special trip to the bookstore and inserted it.  [laugh]  I am a complete geek.  I also checked the machine and verified it was happy and did not require servicing. 

I'm happy now, knowing it has a "proper" label.  After that, I was pretty tired.  I had considered maybe Walmart but not with the hand cart.  So I went home.  I did have one longer wait going home. 

Now I'm debating, cleaning and organizing, or taking some time to just relax?  I don't know.  I would like to get the sink cleaned.  I also need to move a bunch of winter stuff into the garage, and sort through my yarn and figure out what I'm selling. 

I'd give it away, but I'd rather make sure someone will value it. 

Oh, and the title?  I was hunting all over for my peanut butter.  I found it with my Bible, in the handcart.  Then I couldn't find my soda! 

I can certainly feel a "lack" in the organizational ability at times. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

I try not to crow

Well, like I said, I actually got some sleep.  Ron said he didn't hear any barking last night; and I had earplugs. 

Boy, my ear canals feel a little weird. 

I'm not sure what to think; but no barking last night or all day today.  Not only that, when we got home from work the gate was wide open to the backyard.  Ron thinks they have the dog in the garage.  I HOPE they gave her to the humane society.  We'll see. 

If nothing else, I think it's a promising sign they're also sick of the barking.  Only one person claimed it as "my" dog, and I'm almost certain she works nights.  Yesterday, when they let the dog out, it barked incessantly.  While she would have been trying to sleep. 

Not to mention, I mailed the letter to the landlord.  When we got home I checked their front yard and sure enough, they have an old truck tire, a pile of boards, assorted loose trash, and the pile of junk just in the front yard.  If/when the landlord comes by that ought to be plenty provoking.  If she does come by to check out my side of the fence, it's obvious I have had to do extensive work to keep the dog out of my yard. 

So, I got up around 3:30, I'd gone to bed early.  I had a nasty headache that got progressively worse as the day wore on.  I was functional for work, so happy. 

Work was a little busier than usual.  We had to mail our sales tax today. 

The other vendor asked why we still mailed it, didn't we have to pay online?  No, I said.  He told me, if we owed over $1,000 we had to e-file. 

I told him we owed far less than that, for a QUARTER.  He got very quiet for a while, then came by and talked to Ron about improving our income.  There's something we could do if we needed; but I think Ron feels he isn't going to worry about that unless he can't make the bills. 

Right now, we can.  If things keep up, definitely.  Our "value line" has been a real liferaft.  I try not to crow about it, but selling the 50 cent juice boxes, instead of the $1 cans of bottled juice, really help sales.  Everytime we stock, Ron has to put them out.  The $1 bottled sodas, same thing.  My crackers and all are far more modest, but still respectable.  I've never had to worry about one of those items "going out of code".  So, I try not to be one of those horrible "Boy, I saved the day, didn't I?" people. 

Don't always manage, though.  [crowing]  Huh, it's God who put it in my head anyway, so He gets the credit. 

It's been interesting at work.  We have, basically, 3 groups of people.  We have the Maintanence crew, the Clerks, and the Mail Handlers.  Maintanence does just that - maintains, custodial, etc.  They seem pretty well protected. 

The Mail Handlers are the ones who move the mail into, and out of, the building.  Generally they drive something called a "Tow Motor" - it looks like a forklift without forks, and it pulls rolling carts like a locomotive.  I am always alert, out on the floor.  Years ago one of the carts came off as a guy turned a corner and it crushed an employee.  He lived, but he lost his spleen.  They are the quietest group, politically. 

The Clerks are the most numerous, I believe.  They have the most dramatic elections, lots of slandering of each other's mothers and such.  They are up for a contract, and the Yes and NO  factions are very, very, verbal.  Lots of flyers everywhere "Vote NO!"  "Vote Yes!"  The No crowd seems to believe that the middle-class postal worker lifestyle is at an end, a lot of Walmart analogies.   "Thowing light and limited duty employees under the bus" things like that.  Yike.  The Yes crowd talks about the COLA, and the health plan. 

I got up, did my God Time, talked to Ron.  If nothing else, at bare minimum I can now use my earplugs.

Years ago, Ron made a very noisy "Water fountain" from a 12 volt bilge pump, a power supply, a 33 gallon plastic trash can, and about 10 gallons of water.  Boy, that rascal was LOUD.  It made very loud whoosy thump noises.  I am sure Ron could help me rig up another.  Since we don't share any walls, I wouldn't worry about disturbing neighbors. 

So peaceful right now, just the sound of birds.  [happy sigh]  This is why we bought a house. 

[scoff]  Later on, I have to do a blog of the apartments we've lived.  I might even drag Ron into it, do a video blog.  It would be pretty funny. 

So, we went to work.  Mailed the taxes, letter to the landlord next door, and the water bill.  We pay about $30 a month for water and trash.  Probably a lot less, when we fix that leaky faucet. 

The snack machines didn't need work, the sodas only needed about 2 cases.  I stocked them, got the sandwich delivery, and stocked it.  I did a lot of helping Ron; getting him drinks, putting things into the fridge, taking things out and putting them on his cart, etc.  We really do complement each other. 

Finally, all done.  About the only thing I didn't do - take out the cardboard trash. 

We went to the bank.  Unfortunately, the driver had a very intensely fragrant air freshener in the cab.  Ever had a nasty headache and a strong, fake-smell makes it worse?  Exactly.  We had him twice, when he dropped us at the bank and then when he took us home, after.  Ron wanted to put a little in to cover the sales tax. 

We got home, I saw the gate was open.  Watered my plants.  We went to the Taqueria.  It's not far from the house, very good, very affordable food.  I tell Ron, I can't see how they make their food cost, and secretly wonder if it is a front for a drug cartel to launder money.  Who knows?  It is delicous, wholesome, food.  Ron had a burrito, I had a quesadilla, two drinks and about $10. 

We had a good ride home, too.  I took a nap - and COULD.  I feel better now, just very tired so it was a migraine.  It was so bad I had to take a phenergan.  It makes me groggy and raises my lithium level, but a lot better than getting violently sick. 

I did not take my noon lithium; because I had taken 3 doses of drugs that raise my lithium level.  OOOH.  I'd have been TOXIC.  Ugh.  Gotta be smart. 

I'm an engineer's daughter, I like getting under the hood and tinkering, and think I do a pretty good job with God's help.  Well, God does most of it! 

I got an email from Dad - he got laid off.  It doesn't sound like they were very respectful to him. 

I can take it pretty well when people get ugly with me; talk about me, stuff like that.  A lot of times I just laugh at them; like when someone calls me "crazy".  [snort]  That's like calling Ron blind. 

I do take it very personally when I feel someone has hurt one of my loved ones.  My heart just broke as I read Dad's email.  He was so kind about his former employer.  [sigh]  I hurt, because I know on some level he hurts. 

So, I've gotta pray on that.  This is a sick twisted world, and Bad Things want to get me anyway they can. 

Ron noticed I am trying to pick up more around the house, and I told him I understand it is his love language, I'm going to do all I can.  He was touched. 

That's it for now.  Hopefully the dog problem has been solved.  I pray it has.  I just want to sleep at night. 
Actually got some sleep; dog locked up in garage, I think. Work went well. Horrible headache. AND my Dad was fired. Pretty mad about it.
Heather

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sick of the barking video



You can hear plenty barkappotamous in the audio track.

More ravenous barking

Yup, more ravenous barking for hours on end, last night.  I finally just got up. 

I prayed and prayed, and finally figured, "God, you must want me to write the landlord a letter".  When I did, the barking stopped. 

I mean, enough is enough.  I need my sleep!  I am dead serious when I say the dog always starts barking from 2-4 AM, EVERY NIGHT,  minimum.  I just wanted it to end. 

Plus, I have to figure the owner would WANT to know he has way more tenants than he thought.  I am certain they did not know they would be renting to two women, four men, two kids, and a home-based daycare.  Imagine the wear and tear!  That's just the ones I SAW! 

I can't imagine what it's like in that house. 

I am completely baffled by the dog - I have NEVER seen anyone spending time with the animal, petting it, playing, or talking to it.  It just runs around in the yard and barks constantly; and about the only kind thing I can say is it's not aggressive towards humans.  Why have a barkappotamous?  Don't they need THEIR sleep?  I don't think I want to understand. 

I mean, someone is always at the house, so they're not worried about robbery.  Besides, the dog barks all the time.  How would anyone know it was a burglary?  Let's not forget the fact that I had to sic the Humane Society on them because they had no shelter for the dog. 

I really had hoped they'd just surrender the dog.  Oh, well.  The dog has food and water, so nothing on that front. 

It's enough to turn me into a dog-hater; and I know that's wrong.  This is an unusual dog, obviously mentally challenged, a high-energy breed, and very bored.  All it can do is bark.  Most dogs are wonderful family pets, quiet and playful. 

I told the landlord, you can do a lot better than that. 

Ideally, he will throw them out.  Second best, make them get rid of the dog.  The homeowner's wife was adamant about hating all animals, so maybe they don't know.  I hope that is the case, and they will tell the tenants "Get rid of the dog or move". 

It's a nice middle class subdivision; if you want to have old time barrio style living, 8 people to a bedroom, fine, go do that in the barrio neighborhood.  But don't move here for the nice neighborhood and then do your best to throw it in the toilet. 

All that said, I plan to do some organizing today.  It would be pretty ironic if I ranted about the filthy people next door and the landlord came by my house, and it was messy. 

So, I'll organize and pray the letter has a good reception.  They don't live that far, it would be easy for them to drive over and have a look.

Enough is Enough

Dear [Landlord];


Years ago I was in my yard when you told one of your tenants [next door] was the first house you'd ever purchased, you were proud of it, and you'd appreciate it if they took care of it. Well, they're not.

You may or may not be aware I have counted at least 4 adult men living in the house, at least 2 adult women (a blonde and a brunette), and 2 children. Not only that, I have seen other children leaving the house like they do daycare (a parent drives up and pcks them up). When the garage door is open, it is so packed with junk I can't see the walls.

If you contact the homeowner's assocation, they will tell you about all the many, many problems all of us have had with the trash in the front and backyard. Just big piles of trash all over the place like they live at the dump. They had to get the Health department involved. I had problems with mice the minute they moved in. I must have killed at least a dozen. Right now they have a large pile of junk next to the driveway, old weedwhackers and other junk. One old vehicle in the driveway reeks of gas - I guess something is leaking.

If that is what they are letting us see on the outside, I can only imagine the inside. I think it is very sad when I remember you talking about it being your first home, and asking them to take care of it.

And the dog.

I don't know if you gave them permission to have a dog, but they do. It has destroyed the fence on two sides. The lady behind your house and I have both had to make extensive repairs to the fence. When I asked them to please fix the holes, they laughed at me. It barks constantly. I am awake right now at 2 AM, like I have been every day this week, because the dog barks at EVERYTHING.

I didn't complain when the other tenant's children ripped boards off the fence to get into my yard, or when they broke my gate, climbing on it. We haven't had any major problems with any of them, except these.

We have asked all possible ways for them to please pick up and take care of the dog - they don't. They have a very nasty "Make me" attitude.

When the owner of [two doors down] went to rent it, he had nice people looking at it in a few days - a family of 3 people only. They looked like they were nice, quiet, and respectful of the property you worked so hard to buy.

When they move out, please, please, PLEASE do not rent to another family with a dog. It has been terrible.

Don't believe me; please drive by and take a look. Look in the house. See what they are doing to your property. Come into my yard (you have permission) and look what I've had to do to the fence just to keep the dog out. Think about my blind husband in his wheelchair, listening to the barking every single night, then going to work the next day.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

They hate to see our number...

This morning got off to a HORRIBLE start.  More wild barking next door at 4 AM.  Based on what I saw out front, I believe someone's dog got out, again, and went over to the yard.  Maybe the Barkappotamous is in heat?  And the strange dog sniffing around made her nuts. 

I try to tell Ron - and myself - that she bugs all of the 10 little piggies (my new name for them, at least 8 of them next door) at least as much as she bothers us.  More, in fact, because she is right at their windows. 

I believe I'm right - because I saw a dog tie out front - they had gotten out of bed, gotten a spool of weed whacker cord, and used it to tie the strange dog to the tree in their front yard.  At 4 AM. 

I have only had one person next door refer to the Barkappotamous as "my" dog.  She seemed like a very young woman - maybe 19.  I have never seen her spend time with the dog, walk it or do normal dogowner things... I don't even pretend to try to understand the weirdnesses of next door's tenants.  You should have seen the last ones...

So, anyway, Ron is shouting out the window at the dog, calling the police (oh, they must HATE to see our number on the caller ID), and generally making things a lot worse.  He was "altered" - from what I understand his medication means that his liver takes a LOT longer to sober up. 

I mean, they are obviously trying to make things work - and if I get annoyed, imagine how they must feel.  If the dog barks more than a few minutes, Ron will go beat on their door for 10 minutes, shouting at them and the dog, and call the police.  Frankly, I am amazed  he hasn't been arrested yet. 

I feel sorry for the people next door.  One day the guy came over and we had the spoken discussion and the unspoken discussion.  The spoken was "Who is the blind man?" and "Did you write a letter that was left on my van?" (no)   The unspoken, was, boy he's a drunk - can't you do anything?  No, sorry.  He has a lot of health problems.  Oh.   

So, [waving hand] a pretty LOUSY start to the day.  Lots of drama.  Sleep deprived.  I am starting to run a little manic because I recall feeling wide awake at 4 AM, and thinking maybe I should get up.  I did manage to get back to sleep. 

So, Ron didn't want to get up.  At all.  He got really mad when the ride came.  Wasn't ready.  I am always ready early. 

The driver, however, is a really nice Christian man.  I had a good chat with him while we waited on Ron.  Ron finally staggered out (that's how he walks, even sober). 

Off to Walmart.  Walmart had fixed the wheels on their kiddie carts.  We went and got his Neurontin (it dropped in price, a few more dollars), and I got some soda, etc... the usual Walmart stuff.  I got another 4 pack of the tshirts I like in Heather Blue - various shades of wedgewoody and denimy blues.  Cotton. 

We had a horrendous wait of 1 hour, 10 minutes, to go home.  Finally got home; had the same driver for our next trip.  I put up our stuff and brought the soda out for the Christian bookstore.  We went and stocked that, had a good ride home.  I took a brief nap, watered the plants, and worked on putting up the Walmart stuff. 

I plan to do some organizing while watching disaster flicks.  I am going to choose to make it a good day.  If I let stuff like this morning get me down I would never have a good day. 

Then, do my God Time. 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Peanut police

I'm going to look awful, saying this. 

Just the phrase "Peanut Police" can make people boil.  "I have an allergy"  "My kid has an allergy - we have to eliminate every peanut from the face of the earth!"  How DARE I eat a peanut, when somewhere, someone in Houston, has a fatal allergy that could KILL THEM? 

Quite comfortably, thank you.  A peanut allergy is your problem, not mine. 

Before I write this, I need to say: I understand Multiple Chemical Sensitivity is a true illness.  I understand it is debilitating and incapacitating.  You have my sincere sympathy, and I'd suggest Whole Foods line of body care products - they have a really nice line of fragrance free.  If you can make it past the soap aisle! 

However, I used to work with a woman who claimed to have a severe chemical sensitivity.  I am quite serious as I tell you she would come up to me and sniff me like a dog, when I started working there, interrogating me on which deodorant I used, which shampoo, and I HADN'T USED ANY LOTION, HAD I? 

Give it a rest!  The real clincher for me, was when I saw this woman with this supposed brutal health problem, putting Tide laundry detergent in her basket at the grocery store.  She showed it to me (we worked about a block from a grocery store).  "Look, Heather!  It's on sale!"  It was the fragranced kind.  She also smoked.  Talk about chemicals!   I would find her using the most toxic smelling cleaning products to clean the kitchen when it was her turn; and she never even sniffled or coughed. 

I clinched it when she told me of a BBQ she'd had, using lighter fluid.  It was obvious to me her problems were related to smoking cigarrettes, not my deodorant.  It was apparent to everyone in the office that she used her "problem" to dominate and browbeat her other employees.  It gave her an excuse to shout at people... especially newcomers. 

I'm surprised we had any visitors.  When she quit, in a fit of pique, she came to me and basically wanted me to cry over it, and I couldn't.  "I hope you enjoy your new job" I said calmly as she fumed.  We all gave a HUGE sigh of relief. 

I can't help it, when I hear about "severe peanut allergy" people, I flash back to "Wendy".  I get a reflexive flash of resentment as I recall the sight of Wendy, castigating a sweet old lady, because "Your prescription skin cream is BOTHERING me!"   I get angry. 

It's not just that; either.  Peanuts are a friend to this household.  Many of the items we sell are, or contain, peanuts.  I sell a 1.5 ounce bag of roasted peanuts.  a 1 ounce bag of Japanese peanuts (hecho en Mexico),  peanut butter cheese crackers, peanut butter toast crackers, peanut M&M's, Snickers bars, Hershey Almond (could contain peanuts, per label), and a 5 ounce tray of peanut butter sandwich cookies.  They are all very popular items.  For a while, we had some great peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, we sold 2 for $2.  People loved them; until the company stopped making them.  We also sell some muffins with walnuts. 

Peanut allergies, according to Wikipedia , affect about .5% of the population.  That's very uncommon - one person out of 200 has some kind of peanut sensitivity.  Heck, one kid out of 140 has autism, and 1 out of 100 - well, that's FAS or Bipolar disorder percentage in the regular population.  The only thing rarer than a peanut allergy, is a FAS victim with bipolar disorder (me, and 1 in 300).  Actually. blindness has me beat - that's 1 in 500. 

Peanuts are my freinds, and they'll stay that way.  Don't try to take my peanuts or you'll have a fight. 

Oh, and I'm eating peanut butter right now - it helps with the nausea if I eat some when I take my lithium. 

Video blog - not really lively this time.

Features Bubba, the black cat.  Just in case you're weird about black cats. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When I get manic

A - don't worry about it.  I always wait a while before moderating a comment. 

Pretty tired today.  Um, more barking excitement last night - someone's dog got out.  The boy across the street, the one whose house is for sale, now has a leg cast.  I guess he climbed over the wrong gate (he used to to that with our yard a lot).  Thank God it didn't happen on my property. 

The 10 little piggies next door are building a new junk pile.  I throw anything back over the property line if it comes to visit, and put their trash cans (still in the street well after trash pickup) back on their side.  But, they're quiet, sane (the homeowner threatened to kill the cat, and meant it, because he LOOKED at her), and don't invade our property.  I can live with the junk piles. 

I'm actually a very messy housekeeper, out of anyone on the block, I'm probably the least upset.  As long as they don't have food trash, and Bubba (cat) comes home with an empty mouth, we're good.  If I start getting dead mice; I'll make ANOTHER call to the health department.  They were really good about that. 

Happily, I think I am cycling out of the depression and into a mania.  It's about time.  I'll keep taking my pills, keep things at a happy level, and enjoy it.  God knows I've earned it! 

I still have some shame about my illness, especially the manias.  Sometimes I feel guilty for feeling so energized and lively.  God has let me know it's OK to enjoy it, as long as I keep taking my medicine.  Doc, and Ron, and all my loved ones "feed back" that I am within a good parameter.  If I'm not, I'll hear it.  Dad will soberly query "How would you evaluate your mood?"  - which means he thinks I am manic.  Ron will say "You're manic" or "You're talking a lot/revved up today".  Doc would probably say "Let's check your lithium level"  [laugh]

I can also direct the mania at some organization, and yarn purging.  I plan to sort through my yarn and only save one bag (13 gallons).  I have a few partly finished objects, and their yarn.  Just save that; and put the rest on Craigslist.  Some of the yarn is very nice wool.  Some is more basic acrylic.  I'm sure some happy crafter would love to get it for $10-20.  That's on the to-do list, when I get manic. 

The yard looks pretty good.  I actually had a dream during my nap; I needed to harvest my beans.  I went out there and found about 2 cups of bush beans, and a couple of really nice pole beans.  They were all delicious, raw, with a little ranch.  The birds like my elevated poles and trellis; lots of bird manure in the garden bed.  Good.

I seldom eat any vegetables, but I will if I grow them. 

The potatoes look pretty miserable.  They are not a hot weather veggie.  I'm beginning to see why Dr Bob with Urban Harvest says they are not the best for Houston.  But, I'm glad I attempted to grow them, and who knows what I'll dig up?   The tomatoes aren't ripe yet, but look good.  The Patio tomato has some pretty large fruit.  The Red Cherry is looking OK, but not great.  I need to figure out what to do.  I have a few little corn ears, but when I get manic I need to trim back a tree that shades them in the afternoon. 

For me, making my "when I get manic" list is just a part of life.  For a normal person, it must be a really odd concept; when I climb out of this major fatigue and depression, and get LOTS of energy, I'm going to do this; and that... I really ought to make a list. 

I've done a good job keeping up with the laundry, but I need to attack the dishes.  Ron said he'd like it if I cleared off the counter. 

I realized since my love language is quality time, and Ron seems to have the concept down very well - I should work a litle at speaking his love language (acts of service).   Ron does a good job speaking both; he loves to walk out to the bus stop and wait with me, bringing me a cold soda. 

He understands, on some level, that I want to spend quality time (I don't play with my phone, or read - but actually talk to him) with him.  His way of saying he cares is doing something - bringing me a soda.  So, when I want to speak his language, it's "doing something".   He loves it when I cook for him, or mow the yard.  Bring him a treat (which is actually another love language). 

He was delighted I helped him download some tunes today (we buy them off Amazon).  I did ask, if I could do something around the house to make you feel better, what would it be?  He finally mentioned the counter, said it would be nice, but he wasn't asking. 

He's getting pretty good at realizing I don't have much energy when I'm depressed.  However, when I get manic, I can direct some of that energy at the counter.  He was really happy I DID clear off the table.  I'll remember to keep it clear. 

Someone had asked about the Driver Candy - had I been keeping that up with everything going on?  Every week or so I make a huge sack of about 70 items, and dip into that every day as I leave.  Well, today I brought a double handful (bagged candy with a scripture booklet, and a few New Testaments bagged with candy) and gave it all away.  I'm not distributing AS MUCH, but I'm handing it out as I go.  People really love it.  I am phasing out the caramel and chocolate due to the heat, but I have some other good heatstable items people enjoy. 

I figure, worst case they can throw away the "Jesus" and eat the candy, and who knows where the booklet will end up?  I read a great story of a man who got saved by buying a bag of peanuts.  He was in India, and Hindu.  He was having a major depression.  He only had a few cents, and bought a bag of peanuts from a street vendor.  The vendor wrapped the nuts, in a GOSPEL TRACT.  The man read the tract, got converted, and became an evangelist!  From a "wasted" tract! 

I love stories like that; and it will come as no surprise that some of my God money (I have a modest amount allocated) goes to Bible, scripture booklet, and tract distribution.  That's how I found God; reading the Bible. 

My family was pretty tepid - we went to church and prayed before dinner, but that's about it.  I got saved at Bible camp, but I had years of Bible-reading before that.  I believe the Bible did most of the converting; one reason I'm so passionate about sharing.  I can get on a soapbox and preach all day, but God has a way of taking even a tract or scripture booklet and hitting someone in the heart.  I have seen this; when someone opens up a Scripture booklet in my presence and reads it.  It always seems to have a significant impact.   Anyway, some big crises in 1988 led to my Dad getting saved and a better home spiritual life. 

Still handing them out.  No Bible Handouts yet; but I have a feeling we will have another major crisis, closer to home, and God'll have me do my handout then.  In the meantime I'll hoe my row of scripture booklets!  A lot of farming analogies in evangelism! 

Speaking of, I need to go do my God Time.  More later, taters! 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Random questions, input welcome

Well, I did a query on my favorite Christian message board, waiting to see what they say about this group. 

Like everyone, I know some people involved in some questionable religious groups.  I wonder why the JW's like me so much?   They are ALWAYS trying to give me something and invite me to a gathering of some sort.  I don't think it's just me, though. 

I think God uses them to show me, I can be at least that faithful to Him. 

This will be more of a random thoughts thing: 

Wondering about the blog here; more videos?  More text?  Any Deaf readers?  If so I would do more text, or a text adjunct to the video blog at least summarizing the video.  A mix?  Comments welcome. 

I have some original poetry - any interest in a video blog, me reading some of it?  I would rather be flogged than listen to someone reading poetry. 

My weight?  Right now I feel like I have enough on my plate just maintaining, but I intend to go back to Atkins Induction when I get manic again. 

Garden photos? 

That's it for now. 

The Line

Within the last couple of months, the local newspaper has done two stories.  Each featured a woman who had caught a horrible infection, that required the amputation of both arms and both legs. 

It got me thinking.  I told Ron, I would be furious if you consented to that.  One limb, OK, but not all 4.  Nothing extreme for me.  No dialysis, no transplants.  You had better let me keep my lithium to the bitter end.   If I am badly burned, let me die.  I would rather be dead than badly burned, especially as it's such a long recovery process. 

If I am paralyzed from the waist down, I would work with that.  Anything "higher" and I will have to refer you to "no extreme measures".  I am a Christian, I know where I'm going and I know I'm saved by faith. 

Alive at all costs?  No way.  You will know when it's time to let me go, sooner, rather than later.  Don't you torture me because you can't stand the idea of "losing" me.  If I'm out of my body, I'm with God, and that's a way better place. 

Now to CC to all my family members. 

How an atheist....

Ron decided he didn't want to work today, and stayed in bed.  The handcart and I went to the store, bought soda, delivered it to my other location, and stocked it.  Yay me. 

I finally went to my favorite Christian bookstore.  They were seriously worried about me and said they'd be praying.   I told them Ron is a hardcore alcoholic, and I'd take it.  I also got some New Testaments with what was left of my gift card. 

I considered buying the 5 love languages book for Ron, but prayed on it and got a no.  They had an audio book.  I am trying to recognize his love language is acts of service, so when he brought me a cold soda a while back, I treated it as a gesture of love.  He hates walking; it hurts his feet.  Bringing me a soda is a big deal. 

Can I cherrypick?  I feel that's what I'm doing; picking out the best and leaving the rest up to God.  That's all I can do. 

I persist in saying, I don't see how an atheist can get through the day.  My problems are pretty big to me, but everyone has problems.  How do they cope?  They don't have a God - they don't have the promise of Hebrews 10:30 *"Vengence is mine, I WILL repay" says the Lord.  "The Lord will judge His people."* 

Ugh.  I would go buy a gun and do something final.  I wonder what the suicide rate is for an atheist, compared to an evangelical? 

Anyway, I made a pretty good day of it today.  I went to Starbucks.  I read a couple of shorter inspirational romances.  I wasn't all shrill and hatey with Ron.  Honestly, I feel sorry for him.  He is really ill and is in complete denial. 

It felt good to tell someone how awful it is, to see him staggering home from the liquor store with 4 liters of vodka in a bag hanging from his neck.  Even nicer to know they will be praying for both of us. 

I was scolded for neglecting them and making them worry, which I thought was really sweet.  It is nice to have people care about me, without any baggage.  

A lot of running around planned for tomorrow, I'm glad I went ahead and got the machine stocked.  It is starting to pick up on sales.  I think gas prices could be a factor; it is a lot easier to stay in the breakroom and shovel a couple quarters into "my" vending machine.  I always thank them! 

I also got some interesting gossip from one of my bus drivers.  They might be changing one of the routes.  If they do, I think it will be a good thing. 

Then I came home and it was about 4 something.  I did my God Time, talked to Ron for a bit, and checked the mail.  I got an invitation to join a new church.  I will do some investigating.  However, they claim they are missions-minded and do outreach in cities and worldwide.  That would be very cool. 

Sometimes I feel very alone out there with the Free Bibles sign.  Except for Him, of course. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I thought this was really cute.

As a Houstonian, and a Christian, I had to put this up.

Bush bean harvest

I picked these while out in the garden.  I'll show them off to Ron, then eat them for dinner. 

Lizard corn

I like to summarize my thoughts before I start typing, and as I did, I had an aha moment.  No wonder I was in such a lousy mood! 

Last night: Ron "tried something new with the medication".  Cue blackout.  Happily, no verbal abuse or shouting at me (I have learned to pretend he's invisible), but a lot of crashing/banging and what was he doing in the laundry room?  He knocked over the trash can in the bathroom, dragging a trail of used "things" back to his bedroom.  Oh, how I wish I were kidding. 

And, that little gray-and-white dog got out again, running all over the neighborhood, and agitating the Barkappotamous next door.  Barking, crashing, mumblings... oh, what a night.  I tried to count my blessings today, especially when I saw the pit bull car. 

Some people who live (I think), in the next subdivision drive around in an average-looking, 4 door, compact car.  With their pit bulls hanging out a window, barking viciously at everyone and everything.  I first saw them a week or so ago, they made the turn into the subdivision as I waited at the bus stop.  The vicious monsters lunged as far as they could, snarling viciously and making it clear that Heather was on the dinner menu. 

Today, as I left the house for my Day Out, I encountered them again.  This time they were trying to get out the window to eat two small dogs being walked by the nice older man.  I got some snarling, too.  It is obvious they are vicious, aggressive, monsters.  I am SO GLAD the Barkappotamous is a loving and sweet dog.  If she sees me working by her fence, she always comes over, wagging her tail.   Can you imagine living next to that? 

Ron got very contemplative when I asked what kind of person owns 2 vicious monsters like that, and drives them around all over town.  He said they are probably a very fearful person.  I'm just glad that isn't next door. 

I'd rather have a clean, quiet neighbor with a quiet dog.  I'd rather have a husband that didn't drink.  But in comparison, yike. 

I know one of my drivers was telling me about how her neighbor's pit bull got onto her property, and the woman refused to get anywhere near the dog.  She told the driver if she wanted the dog off the property, she would have take it to the house and secure it to the dog chain, herself. 

It just seems to me, they are very vicious animals.  I may get someone talking about their dog, but let me ask you this: out of all the millions, billions of dogs out there, why do you have to pick one of the top 4 dog bite breeds?  Why not a harmless mixed breed?  Or a lab? 

That goes for the wolf-mix hybrids.  I can hear myself being delinked right now, but that's the #1 biter - wolf mix hybrid dogs. 

Oh, and speaking of neighbors, yet another is selling their home.  Boy, if you want to buy a house on my street you have choices.  You can rent.  You can buy.  You can pick one side of the street, or the other.  Single, or two-story home. 

I am actually happy to see these go, they had a little brat who was part of the pack climbing over my gate and staring in my windows.  Another reason to be grateful for all dozen or so of the people next door, they keep to their own yard, and don't have little hooligans running though my yard and destroying Ron's gate. 

I worry a little about the neighborhood composition changing.  Will we see more, ignorant, people?  Will it stay pretty much the same?  Will people downsize to these homes, bringing high standards?  [shrug]

It is kind of funny for me to ride the bus these days.  It is immediately obvious to me that many car people are riding Metro (bus company).  They are always so impatient at the bus stop.  They get upset if the bus is a minute or two late.  They fumble around with their money and the bus fare meter.  The fare card is far cheaper than cash.  One, today, rode very rudely and stuck his legs out into the aisle.  But the driver let him. 

I'm also seeing a lot more people on the bus.  One of my bus stops, in fact, got upgraded from a pole and a concrete bench, to a nice setup with a covered shelter.  It's on a busy street (most are), I hope it doesn't get taken out by a drunk driver.  I've seen that - and the guy who hit the bus stop died. 

So, getting to my Day Out.  I got up around 9 - all the drama kept me from sleeping.  Moderately depressed.  I decided to water my plants.  I realized recently that I am not watering my plants deeply enough.  I did that.  The beans look great, the potatoes rather fatigued.  Humid upper 80's aren't good for potatoes, apparently.  They look healthy, just stressed.  

The lizards love my corn; I have to remind myself I have Lizard corn - and to expect sudden movement when I get near the patch.  Yes, live things in the corn.  Sudden movement!  Don't scream. 

I came in, did my God Time, and talked to Ron for a little bit.  I try to enjoy him when I can.  Took a shower. 

I decided to take my handcart and go to the Christian bookstore (the New Testament one, not the one where we have the vending machine).  It was kind of a hassle but I like to have it when I have a load. 

It was hot, sunny, and humid.  Ron said it was a little cool last night. 

I went to Foodtown.  I got some soda, and some almonds.  I missed my next bus, I saw it leave.  Curses.  I had a long wait.  I'd brought a few inspirational romance novels.  I read about 1/4 of one, waiting on the bus. 

Got off, pretty hungry.  Went to Starbucks.  Ate a bad thing.  Not much energy.  I went to the Dollar store, then the bookstore.  Didn't get anything.  Called Ron, and decided to go to the Christian bookstore and check our vending machine. 

I did that.  They have a Coke Fiend..  Good, good, good.  It needed stocking.  I called Ron and told him, and made plans to get more merchandise tomorrow and then stock it.  We can have a little fast food date, too.

I looked around, picked up a few clearance inspirational romance novels, and left.  I was completely exhausted. 

Well, I remind myself, I'll get the energy back during my next mania.  In the meantime, I could force myself out for a few more hours, or I could go home. 

I went home.  I finished the one romance novel and started the next. 

I started getting REALLY depressed; I couldn't figure it out.  Then I took a good look at the plot of my book.  A single mother, gives her child up for adoption; grieves for her daily. 

How to express it?  Memories of my mother: lots of anger, shouting, fights.  Me: hungry, lonely, scared, neglected.  Fear of her competing with a desperate need for her love.  Her sucide attempt.  She went away.  Maybe a dozen supervised visits total in my life; everytime at the end she cried about how much she'd miss me as I wonder what I did wrong.  Phone calls, sobbing how sorry she was, me telling her it was OK, I forgave her.  Why couldn't she love me?  "Mommy is sick". 

COLD COMFORT.  One of the many reasons I never had kids.  My Dad remarried and she wasn't bad; she listened to me, taught me (how to cook, etc), and was a stable feature of my life.  But we all knew she wasn't my mother. 

No wonder I found the book so upsetting.  I'm sure my sister will tell me how my mother grieved losing me 'till the day she died.  She has.  She has told me my mother died thinking I hated her (not sure where she got that).  When I moved out, I didn't leave a forwarding address.  For anyone.  But I didn't hate her. 

I just felt a combination of bafflement, despair, and resignation.  This was my mother; who prenatally maimed me, but was very, very, sorry.  When she called.  Which was seldom.  Maybe 10 times.  A birthday would come and go, and my Dad's wife would make me a cake and sing happy birthday and I would wonder if my mother even knew.  Or cared. 

But in a perverse way, she as a good influence.  She taught me alcohol was poison, only to be used as a disinfectant.  She taught me that motherhood is a huge job, and I'd better make sure I was up for it.  She taught me how NOT to manage my illness, and the consequences of going unmedicated (from what I have heard, she was on and off medication quite a bit).  She taught me to avoid dramas and to strive for a quiet life, and self-management was a load of crock - let God carry the load. 

I had an experience the night she died, and she came to me in a dream.  I felt tremendous love coming off of her; and her sincere regret that she'd hurt me.  I believe she did not know the consequences of drinking when pregnant.  I was able to forgive her, and I'm sure she's with Jesus. 

I never had a mother.  No wonder I hate that book. 

I've cried enough for now, off to go plant some cowpeas. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Paratranst videos

Video part 1:

Video part 2:

Driven, against my will

Horrendously queasy today.  UGH.  I'm glad my illness is so severe, trust me, it takes severe medication to tame it. 

One thing I don't understand, people who say "Oh, just take something else".  Um.  NO.  I probably talk the most about it, here.  Needless to say, it was a horror movie in my brain. 

I recently corresponded with someone who had a brief episode of weirdness, and they found it deeply and profoundly disturbing that they didn't feel in control of their brain, for about a minute, and dreaded a reoccurance.  It gave me a really good insight into the "normal" mind. 

Now envision never feeling in control of your brain; it's the hostage of the illness.  Today, my illness would have had me depressed and non-functional.  Yeah, I still need to do the dishes, but my husband and I are clean, wearing clean clothes, and I could let a handyman in without worrying.  Othertimes it was like being given some kind of hideous stimulant; I couldn't slow down, couldn't rest, couldn't BE.  I was compelled to go-go-go.  Driven, against my will. 

"An Unquiet Mind" covers this in some detail.  Needless to say, when I first got my lithium (sorry for mispellings today), I knew, KNEW with every atom of my being, that I NEEDED THIS STUFF more than anything I had ever encountered in my life.  Ron was very worried - I was kind of a zombie at first, and I remember reassuring him "I need this - I can tell it is working". 

I also had plenty of time to think about medication.  I was diagnosed on September 1, 2006.  The evaluator (I was depressed) said I wasn't a suicide risk, I was bipolar, and go to the county clinic.  Well, I did that.  It didn't go well, but I got processed.  Then they said "We don't know how long it will take to get you evaluated, if you get suicidal or homicidal call 911".  How comforting. 

I remember, my evaluator at the clinic was deeply concerned.  It was obvious to me she didn't want to send me home.  I was really, really, sick at the time, so I must have been a royal mess. 

So, they sent me home with no meds.  I am flying all over the place, completely nonfunctional, horrible mixed epsisodes.  I consoled myself be doing research.  I read about symptoms, and realized I was type one, psychotic, rapid cycling.  I learned about medication, and side effects, and realized I'd really prefer to start with lithium. 

So, when I went in I asked for it, and the minute I got the bottle in my hand I took it.  I read a lot about people with my illness "restarting" medication, going off medication, drinking, and having meltdowns.  I think I am somewhat unusual - I am completely dedicated to my medication, even if it one day kills me. 

I can live with the nausea; because I WANT to live now. 

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Ark

I like watching disaster movies: no matter what's going on in my head, or my life, they always have it a lot worse on my low-definition 24 inch TV screen.  [on a side note, when we have had burglaries in the area they have never bothered with the contents of my home]  Comet is heading for the earth, volcano, the core stopped spinning (actually some very good movies on that theme), and today's feature, the sun having coronal mass ejections towards the Earth, and impacting. 

Nasty stuff, all of it.  In at least a couple of movies, the writers covered the theme of "An Ark" - some kind of massive underground bunker designed to shelter "The Best" and save civilization.  In the comet movie, they had a lotto for average citizens, plus a list of the invited experts.  In this movie, they just had the invited experts. 

And, if they were very lucky, their families.  As I sat there thinking about the whole concept, I realized that no ark would ever want me and Ron.  Ron's got all the disabilties and the drinking problem, and hell, I'm nuts. 

Today, I battled major fatigue issues and had to come home and take a nap after going to the grocery store and putting up the perishable groceries.  And I only spent $20! 

I'd like to think I knew a little, about a lot of things.  I know some very rudimentary electronics, irrigation, soil science, gardening.  home preservation, nutrition, cooking, soapmaking (not the melt and pour stuff, actually creating a chemical reaction out of lye and fats), candle making, knitting, crochet, spinning my own yarn, and vending.  Like I said, I know a little, about a lot of things.  I like to grow my brain. 

I just ate a few fresh green beans out of my garden.  The yellow and green ones always ripen before the purple ones.  They were delicious.  I need to remember that beans are itchy, though.  I knew I had to pick the beans before watering, so I didn't spread any bean fungus diseases.  I knew I needed to plant my zinnias when it gets darker, so the poor things have a chance to settle in before roasting in the sun. 

But according to those standards, I am certain they would say my life has no value; due to the brain damage and mental illness.  Which is fine.  I don't think I'd do well in that kind of environment anyway, and I KNOW Ron wouldn't! 

In the meantime, if disaster strikes I have a good 3 months of medication and a nice little garden.  I even saw a chicken running around outside the subdivision today.  I would LOVE to have some chickens.  I wouldn't do roosters, though.  Too noisy, and they can be aggressive with small children.  That would be horrible for neighbor relations. 

I even saw "Poultry netting" at the Home Depot.  I bet Ron and I could make a great chicken coop.  [sigh] 

Maybe God will let me have a few chickens in Heaven. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

All my soda

My headache is abating, I'm a little jittery from the Excedrin. 

What nice things can I do for myself tonight?   Well, I just took my pills with some applesauce. 

Tomorrow I think I'll read some of my poetry onto a video blog.  Yup, I have written a fair amount of poetry.  People always seem to enjoy "Revenge of the Prawns". 

A bubble bath sounds nice, and my God Time, and watching my movie... not sure what else I'll do, but I'll let you know. 

Tomorrow we have an early trip to Foodtown so I can drink up all my soda. 

Annoyance of the day

I'm feeling just a tad cranky today.  My period is late, again.  I have to assume I am premenopausal, which is fine, I would never want to have a child with bipolar disorder.  It is a terrible burden to carry - not to mention the fact that I am a carrier for severe immune deficiency. 

Not only that, yesterday's Bad Thing (the cookies I mention in the video) triggered a nasty headache. 

Now, all that said, I'm working on having a good day.  It's hot, it's oppressively humid.  I hope it rains.  We're running the air conditioner.  All quiet on the home front.  Yay. 

However, I read something today that really pushed my button.  I don't know about you, but when someone misquotes the Bible that makes me very angry. 

I was on a message board, and she said the Bible said something about "Bow to no man".  I know that's a steaming bucket full of... I have read my Bible from cover to cover, more than once. 

I very politely asked her to please quote the book, chapter, and verse, as I had never read that.  I "suggested" she might have been referring to idols - we are told many times over not to worship idols (which could be, these days, anything like money, fame, celebrity, political power, etc.).  "Did you mean, don't worship idols?"  I queried. 

Oh yeah, she replied.  The Bible talked about don't worship idols... which she had perverted to say "Don't bow to any man".  I almost quoted Revelation chapter 22 at her - where God says if you add to the Bible, you will have the Revelation plagues added to you, but refrained. 

I have learned some measure of discretion.  That's one reason I do read my Bible every day, so I can call people like that on misquotes.  I am sure a lot of people would have read that, thinking it WAS in the Bible.  But it isn't.  In fact, it says clearly we are to respect our leaders and pray for them. 

I had a little trouble with that one, as I am not a fan of our current leader - but God told me to pray, so I do, and I mean it.  I really want him to have good guidance and discretion as he leads our country. 

Anyway, that was my annoyance of the day.  Not a large one, happily. 

Video blog: Why I'm not a nudist (PG-13)

COMING SOON:  Video Blog: Why I'm not a nudist!

Bad Things video

A little manic this morning, I had to take some Excedrin for a headache. 

The Bad Things video: I talk about the Bad Things I sell, and the Bad Things I eat. 



Don't watch if you're hungry.

Friday, April 8, 2011

I had to have the nuts

So, you're right - I need to do some nice things for me this weekend. 

First, we got up.  Went to work.  My label gun malfunctioned again.  I had to bring it home.  I'll work on it later.  We stocked what we could (sales are dead - I am glad we own a small home and don't drive). 

Ron actually came out and sat with me outside while I waited on our ride.  I like quality time.  That's my love language "Quality Time". 

We rode around for a bit, the driver was a little into the nailbitey category, but not "biting my cuticles" bad.  [laugh]  We got to Walmart. 

Most of the "Kiddie carts" have bad wheels.  I found one that was less damaged than the others, but didn't check the seat.  Ron sat in some melted candy.  Agh.  As his laundress, thank God for Shout gel sticks. 

You will probably find it karmic that Ron essentially looked like he'd had a terrible bowel accident, when he did get out of the seat.  Then he wanted to walk through the Walmart with that crud all over his butt.  It's pathetically sad, and very, very, funny, at the same time.  Especially considering some of the things he said! 

Anyway, we got our pills.  Yay, mood stabilizers (btw, I am taking them at my prescribed dose).  I was actually a little toxic today, I felt pretty queasy and shaky all day.  I need to drink more fluids.  The proper dose and the toxic one are pretty close. 

Ron was all, get another one.  I said, you don't know what it's like in my head.  I would vomit nonstop all day long to keep from going back!  Not to mention, I don't know well-controlled people on the other stuff.  One drug causes a fatal skin reaction, and started to in a family member of mine.  Another causes major snack attacks.  That's out.  I am OK with lithium and accept the side effects. 

Ron said, he wished he could make it better.  I said, thank you.  Maybe a cold soda would help?  He got me one, I drank it, and let out a huge belch.  He was happy, I was happy. 

His love language is "Acts of Service" - he wants to do something. 

Yesterday, when I was out, I got some zinnias and a nice little pepper plant.  It's a "Yummy".  I grew it years ago when I was very ill; and once I got it in the ground it did great, in spite of severe neglect.  It kept going.  I'd go out there after ignoring it for a month, and it would have nice little peppers all over it.  I made a strong mental note to BUY ANOTHER YUMMY PEPPER if I ever saw another. 

I did, and I did.  It has nice little small peppers.  Good for a salad.  I don't really eat the big ones much. 

Then I got some screws and nuts for my u-posts.  If you've seen the garden videos, you've seen the metal posts in the back of the garden beds.  They're designed for fencing.  They have screw holes all up and down the body of the pole.  I wanted to make my (5 foot) poles taller.  I had bought more poles. 

I just needed to connect them.  Ron had some screws, but they seemed pretty flimsy.  Since I was already at the home improvement center, I got a post, and went to the screw aisle. 

I was the only woman.  I was surrounded by professional types getting a few DIY items for their weekend project, day labor types getting necessary items, and a small business type looking at the nail guns.  I hunted up and down. 

I found screws, threaded all the way from the base to the head.  It didn't need to be sharp, probably a bad idea.  Blunt tip, threaded.  What size?  A few comparisons revealed the ideal size ought to be 1/4 inch by 1 inch long.  I found some candiates. 

Ron loves to do DIY projects, and he does them well.  He built me lots of furniture over the years, and assembled every item I ever got from Ikea (most of the house).  He built the gate. 

He loved that I weatherproofed this one like fine furniture!  So, I called him.  Did I want a hex head, or slotted?  He said phillips, if they had it, then slotted. 

OK.  I hung up.  Found a slotted.  $1 a bag, for 4 screws and 4 nuts (I had to have the nuts).   Got a couple, and paid up and left.  Lost the $6 in the parking lot.  [shrug]  Well, some desperate soul is happy they found it. 

It's God's money, anyway. 

I had the plants out in the garden.  I had to pull up what was left of the lettuce, and designated that area for the pepper.  I try to only buy a plant, if I know where I will put it. 

I only have a couple hundred square feet, after all. 

So, after Work and Walmart we came home.  I was pretty tired.  Ron wanted to do a liquor run, by himself... which he did.  I took a nice longer nap (about an hour) while he ran his errand. 

When I got up, I went out and had some fun in the garden.  I watered and did some weeding.  I made my post extensions.  I stung trellis netting.  I tenderly coaxed pole bean tendrils to climb the new netting.  Bean stems are itchy. 

As I was standing on my stepladder, leaning forward, stringing my netting, I thought "Better not fall.  Ron would be so screwed if I died like this - the authorities would think he killed me!"  So, I was careful not to fall.  Not to mention, it's going to be really hot this summer and I don't want a cast. 

I made sure to take some breaks, so I don't cook my brains.  One consistent warning on the Risperidone - don't get too hot.  It affects the temperature regulation center of the brain; and can cause heatstroke.  It also does a rocking job of eliminating hallucinations, delusions, and all kinds of mental wierdness - and gives me bigger breasts!   Like eating candy, that makes you thin.  You'd be happy to do it for the one reason! 

I dug some compost in the area, and planted the Yummy Pepper.  It looks good.  Dr Bob of Urban Harvest "DO NOT FAIL TO SHADE TRANSPLANTS" - in hot weather.  I got a newspaper type piece of junk mail and used that to shade the pepper.  I was happy to notice I didn't even get cranky at the neighbor children.  Always a sign I need some help with the medication, or a nap. 

I never say anything, and they can't see me anymore than I can see them.  Anyway, I did all that, with cold air breaks. 

We had to turn on the air conditioner.  Yike. 

I think it's going to be a very hot summer.  Last summer was pretty dry, and we are already in a pretty severe drought.  Hopefully we'll get plenty of rain. 

I ate a Bad Thing for dinner and took my pills.  Now I just need to do my God Time - I was a little wound up this morning, and didn't sleep very well. 

Ron is still attempting to work on the lawnmower, with the battery removed. 

Hashing it out

Well, last night had a great ending. 

My #1 thing has not been to get Ron out of my life.  My #1 thing is Ron treating me with respect, and I feel valued.  I told him that. 

He "caught" me making the video blog.  I told him I would be happy to play it for him.  I told him, I was expressing how I don't feel loved [because of the verbal abuse]. 

Some raised voices on both our parts; but I told him - this can't continue.  I am battling an illness that wants to kill me, and the last thing I need when I'm depressed is to hear the man in my life calling me a broken piece of crap.  I told him the cat was a better husband, and more supportive. 

He told me he was in a lot of mental pain; I told him so am I.  But I don't dump it on you.  I understand you are angry and have a lot of frustrations, but you can't continue to take them out on me.  How do I know you love me?  When was the last time you said something kind and supportive, not 2 minutes ago you said I was "F-d up". 

He said I couldn't dominate and control him - it is funny how he can accuse me of doing the very things he does.  I said, no, I couldn't, and he was welcome to call me whatever he wanted until I moved out. 

I coudln't do that!  Oh, yes I could.   Why shouldn't I?  I told him, I have Biblical cause to move out.  Even the most die-hard Bible thumper would support me, and 95% of the people in my life would have a party if I did move out. 

He tried to play the pity card, would I really leave him like that?  I said, that might have worked, and did, but you can get a home health aide.  You can get an employee, especially in this economy. 

Then he really started talking.  He said he was shocked I didn't know how he felt.  You mean...  and I quoted "The Usual" back at him.  I said, this is what I'm hearing.  I would think you'd be happy to get rid of me if you really think that. 

I told him [the verbal abuse] has to stop.  You don't have to fawn over me, but stop calling me [the usual]  I said, that hurts me.  When you refer to me as "broken", that hurts me.  It makes me feel like a used piece of toilet paper. 

Anyway, he seemed to get it, for now.  We'll see.  He did ask me to let him know when he does it, so he can stop. 

He was very nice to me today. 
Last night went surprisingly well. Told him if he wants me to stay; no verbal abuse. He said OK.
Heather

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I can't do a video blog tonight, he keeps lurking around. 

I wasn't even planning on talking about him, but I feel very uncomfortable doing one in front of him.  1.  I never know what he'll say.  [His latest thing is yelling the terrorist cry now and then "Just for fun"]   and 2.  He wants everything to be about him; and feels fairly threatened by the blog.  It revolves around me. 

Huh, seems to have left me alone.  Having a little trouble with the camera now. 

He kept shouting at me and telling me it was all my fault, because I "wouldn't communicate".  Then accusing me of "trying to dominate him"  and how he wished I wasn't in his life. 

Oh, we could work on that.  I told him "Why don't I just move out?"  Big time freakout. 

Basically, I couldn't leave him because he is disabled.  I said, you don't need me.  You can get an employee for the business and a home health aide.  YOU DON'T NEED ME. 

You can guess how that went.  He is convinced; that *I* need to "work harder on communicating".  AGH. 

A man in the kitchen

Ron's in the kitchen right now, I can't really do a video blog. 

To answer the question about the "Nice man" - a nice man wouldn't be paying attention to a married woman!   Not like that.  I am very friendly with everyone, male or female.  Today I was chatting with a guy who looked kind of like a human pretzel (he had some back problems).  I chatted with a happily married, male, bus driver. 

Tomorrow, when he's sober, I plan to set some boundaries with him.  "If you curse me out, I will give you a warning.  If you curse me out again, I will leave and rent myself a hotel room.  I will not help you with anything the next day."  I will specify that name callling and cursing are the same. 

I was cruising some of my message boards and wondering how I could get a word from God.  I remembered, I hadn't done my God Time. If I get any significant insights I'll tell you. 

I wouldn't help you either

If I did a video blog right now, it would be a real eyeful. 

First, my moods are about normal.  I am back to my before I cut back soda levels. 

I had a weird, post traumatic, dream last night - preRondays.  I still have nightmares I am back there. 

Let's set the scene, the lawnmower is broken.  Lots of drunken shouting, beating on the lawnmower, and attempted repairs on same, in the house.  I needed to sweep the tiles; now I REALLY need to. 

Then we segue to Ron shouting at me angrily and calling me names.  He was entitled.  He asked me to find him a tool and I didn't!  How dare I fail to serve him!  I told him "One more word and you can work by yourself tomorrow, I will walk out this door in a minute".  He shut up. 

I took a shower, when I came out he was shouting a variation of "Why me" at God.  I told him, you treat me like crap, drink yourself stupid every day, and you mess with that chat line [I was cruder and far more profane].  You give God the finger most of the time, and now you want help?  If I were God I wouldn't help you either. 

I finished with calling him a hypocrite.  Which I may be to some extent. 

One thing that bugs me, my local contact is always all "Oh, poor Ron!  He's in PAIN!"  I want to say, fine, you move in with him and when he has called you a useless bitch,  and run you down every day of the year, then we can talk about HIS pain. 

UGH.  Glad I did get back to drinking the sodas again. 

Actually, mood-wise, other than the nightmare, and the Barkappotamous going off at 1 AM, it was a pretty good day.  I got up late, flaked on my God Time - boy do I need it. 

We got picked up and they rode us around for quite a while.  One of the other clients is a single man, and very lonely.  Ron got really aggravated I was talking to him.  Not jealous, he doesn't think I'd ever leave him. 

And I wouldn't leave him for another man; so he's right on that count.  He found the man's voice "annoying" so he kept asking me questions until the other man shut up. 

Ah, here he comes.  Shouting at God all the way.  I really think he has to look at what he's doing; he has himself out of the Safety Zone.  The way I see it, by doing my best to keep the 10 commandments; I put yourself in a safety zone.  If you step out of that zone; coveting, stealing, whatever... then Bad Things have a lot more freedom to attack.  And God isn't going to intervene because YOU put YOURSELF in that location. 

It's not necessarily Biblical but I have a very strong feeling about this.  One reason I do my best to try to have a gentle, loving spirit.  Yes, I need to get all the intensity out of my system when I have a day like today, but I can't carry it around and brood on it. 

I would end up in a very bad place mentally if I did.  So I do my best to dump it and move on. 

I also find it interesting, that as Ron gets hateful to me, more men pay me attention.  I expect that one. 

I did have what could be termed an emotional affair back in 2000.  I moved, and asked Ron to stay in California.  Ron basically invited himself along, and I wasn't strong enough to say "I don't want you in my life".  Boy, if I'd known, I woudln't have had that problem!   He had 2 affairs with co workers; and lied about them. 

Can I say it?  The most offensive to me, one of them was a real skank.... I was horrified he did that with her. 

He is pretty drunk.  If he tries to mow the yard.... he's mowing. 

Obviously this will require an update, later. 

So, I met the nicest guy at work.  Everything I wanted from Ron; was in this man.  I didn't leave Ron for him.  Sure wanted to. 

Every now and then the devil throws another nice, attentive man my way.  One who is understanding and compassionate and sensitive, who would never, ever even think of calling me "The Usual".

Consolation

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