Friday, September 30, 2011

Canning world

I'm still pretty tired.  Run down from fighting the bladder infection?  Battling a mild depression?  Probably both. 

Ron's been very appreciative.  It's nice to hear.  It means a lot to hear "You were a huge help today, I couldn't run this business without you."   And "I'm so glad you're in my life"; especially when coupled with pretty positive energy, and minimal drinking. 

For instance, he just paid the flood insurance - when redistricted, we ended up in a "flood plain".  We are now required to carry flood insurance as a condition of our mortgage.  The house flooded ONCE, in a 500 year flood (2001), and that's when the sheriff went down our street in the airboat.  It wasn't the flood that got the house; it was the WAKE.  Agh. 

He paid the extra $14 for more coverage.  Pray God we never need it.  I'm trying to view it as charitable support for those in the flooded areas this year.  Ron and I just made a lovely $1,000 donation to relief efforts. 

We had yesterday off; and just went to Walmart.  I got more yogurt, some soda, and other things I forget.  I made my deposit, so all my charity stuff is covered.  The Bible says not to brag, I won't.  If I can throw a few bucks at a worthy cause, I will. 

I got canning supplies, some jars, and lids.  Ron doesn't want me canning in the summer, which makes sense.  It's hot work, in a house he's trying to keep cool.  He'd rather I "heat up the house for free" during chilly weather.  HOWEVER, the supercenter doesn't sell canning supplies in the winter; only the summer.  See the problem?  So, I had to get my jars, etc, now, while I could. 

I plan to can up some beef stew for myself (I am a carrot and potato kind of gal), and can up some gumbo (Ron loves chicken and sausage, with a dark roux, celery, and onion), and pinto beans (with spicy sausage) for Ron.  Ron bought 2 cases of jars, I bought one.  I also bought the lids.  A jar and screwband can be reused again and again, but a lid can only be used once. 

After I got them, I also got some screen protectors for my cell phone (gotta protect the baby), and a whole lot of diet cranberry juice.  Normally, I like cranberry juice.  However, a good 20 years' worth of bladder infections (I haven't had one in about 5.5 years), have programmed me to detest water and cranberry juice, because I ONLY drink them, and to excess, when I'm sick. 

Kind of like that vapo-rub.  If you only use it when you're sick, you start to imagine a sore throat when you smell the fragrance.  It has bad memories.  I think that's the case for me. 

I can tell I'm sick, my urine is burning and my beloved diet soda is actually making me queasy.  Unheard of.  So I drink lots and lots and lots of water today, hoping to dilute my urine, flush out infection, and make my body happy. 

It's funny how I really take my health for granted.  I'm working on taking good care of myself, lots of rest and plenty of fluids.  I'm also battling a depression; I can tell. 

Dad emailed me; they got my gift and he loved the coffee.  Good.  That's the idea.  Nice, gourmet, decaf expresso.  It sure smelled good in my bag as I went to the Post Office, and the Post Office did their usual wonderful job. 

Yesterday, while I had a little energy, I put all the canning jars, etc., up on the bookcase.  They are nicely organized.   If I bring something new into my home, I like to have a place for it.   Now, I have a little "canning world" on the bookcase, with pressure canner, water bath canner, jars, and accoutrements. 

I also filled up a couple of empty 2-liter bottles with water.  I read a very good article on disaster prep, and the author said the #1 priority should be stored water. 

I can certainly stick a couple of 2-liters full of water in a cabinet. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

A few anwers

I'm sure some people end up on my page, reading about my life, and wonder "Heather, why do you have your faith?  It seems like this 'God' you love has given you a lot of pain!  How can you worship that?"  I'm actually ASKED this question, by my husband, on occasion. 

I have a couple of answers to that: One, no matter what has happened in my life, God has always been there.  Pretty much every PERSON on my life has failed me, but God never fails.  He has always carried me through the pain, sent me someone with an encouraging word, or just wrapped me in his comfort as I sobbed hopelessly in the dark.  No matter what happens, I am NEVER alone. 

Two, I'm an arrogant person!  I am full of pride, and not the "Pride-in-a-job-well-done", but the ugly, haughty, "I'm better than you" pride that is condemned in the Bible.  God allows pain and humiliation in my life to remind me, I'm just the servant.  God is in control.  HE is the only judge.  My job is to do His will, not my own.  His lessons help strip away my pride and teach me to depend on Him.  Sometimes, it feels like getting an operation without any anesthetic. 

However, I am certain it ALL works for my good, and the good of those around me.  I want to live a useful life. 
I'm sick of being sick. 

I KNOW I'm not drinking enough fluids, so I'm still in some pain from the bladder infection.  My goal is simple, whack it before I need to see a doctor, pay more money, and get MORE antibiotics. 

Too bad they don't have a doctor vending machine.  It would have things like pregnancy tests, antibiotics for bladder infections, anti-nausea stuff and hydration drinks for vomiting illnesses, burn ointment, etc. 

Which leads me to a peeve.  Years ago, our employee Debbie suggested we put home remedies into vending machines.  We could staple them onto cardboard, and then put them in.  I thought it was great, and started doing it.  My head was so massively screwed up, though, I had a hard time keeping the machine stocked. 

Very few people, at work, understand the concept of 2 vendors, 2 businesses.  They are constantly complaining to me, about their machines, and vice versa.  Anyway, the customers started telling the other vendor's wife, she needed to put the remedies in her machines.  She investigated, and decided to do it. 

Great concept, right?  Except she was putting in things like caffeine pills and drowsy-causing medication.  Bad idea.  People drive powered industrial trucks at work.  Someone got into an accident with one after taking HER drugs, and we all almost got thrown out.  AGH.  Not only that, our supervisor kept praising HER for the concept. 

There's no gracious way to say "It was my idea and she ripped it off."  The way he saw it, the first time he saw the remedies they were in her machine.  Mine was empty, because I was sick.  Therefore, it was "her" concept. 

No, actually, it was Debbie's.  My ideas featured the low-carb vending machine (everything in it was low-carb, but not a popular concept), the Value Line (still running that today, it has a modest profit), expresso in the coffee machine, the juice box, flavored water, and other concepts.  Ron's very supportive of my ideas.  I can't think of anything that made him say NO. 

Generally, it is no, no, yes.  Oh, boy, Heather, these things are selling like hotcakes!  [laugh] 

I like what I do.

Even when, like today, I had to get up, still feeling pretty lousy, and go to work.  Work was not a problem.  However, I had the equivalent of 2.5 PALLETS of soda to store.  I had piles of soda everywhere in my stockroom.  2 orders came in on the same day. 

Not only that, I had to check and stock the machines.  One of my snack machines wasn't working, I had to fix it.  It has an easy fix.  I also stocked 10 cases of soda into the vending machines. 

I started by putting about 40 cases of bottled soda drinks onto a handcart, driving it to the other stockroom, and unloading them.  I took the old merchandise off the stack, stacked the new inventory, and put the old on top.  "First-In-First-Out" FIFO.  Then, I put up the Cokes.  About 30 cases. 

But wait, there's more.  I had a pallet of Dr Pepper drinks.  Bottles, and cans.  I put them up.  You get the idea.  I was pretty exhausted. 

I did all my other chores, including checking the machine for bad codes, and removing them.  Finally, time to go.  Our ride was late, but at least I was sitting down. 

We came home and I took a nap.  I woke up, still tired.  Not really formally depressed, but very very tired.  I finally dragged myself out of bed. 

Tomorrow, happily, I have nothing planned other than a trip to Walmart.  I tried some of the Greek Yogurt, and I really liked it.  I want some more. 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Road Trip!

Well, I'm glad I went by myself. 

It was apparent today, as I got up, that Ron was battling a black mood.  If you read the Bible, kind of a hybrid between Ecclesiastes and Job.  "Everything is hopeless/why does God hate me?" 

He was pretty abrupt.  I had to make a deliberate choice, again and again, not to be hurt or offended.  He was pretty irritable. 

We got to work, I did my inventory, and made a landing pad for the deliveries on Monday.  I knew Ron was worried about finances, in addition to his "Ontological Insecurity" - his words, not mine.  [big sigh]

SOOOO, I kept telling myself, it wasn't my fault, Ron just had HIS issues, and the WORST thing I could do was take it personally and get hurt.  I did tell him, I felt like "Oh, you're back!" - in a hostile way... and he said he didn't feel that way.  Then he did make an apparent effort to control himself. 

He made another comment, later, "I know you didn't want to come back."  I thought about it, and felt I had to address that, so when he called me to help with something, I brought it up.  I then, teasingly, told him it was a very tough call, but he was MARGINALLY cuter than the seagulls.  He smiled, and made a cawing sound. 

Not to mention, I want and need to be exactly where God places me.  God wants me in Houston.  In my house.  With Ron.  Trust me, I have prayed on this many, many, times.  Working my job, assisting Ron, and yet ALSO taking time for myself. 

Galveston is only 50 miles away.  Once I get to the Grayhound, an hour ride.  It's affordable.  I have never been to the tropics, because I simply can't afford it.  Galveston?  I can round trip on the bus, rent a motel room, AND eat (cheaply) for less than $100. 

God knows, back in the day, I used to spend more than that.  It would, and will, be easy to budget $40 a pay period, save that up for a few months, and take a little trip. 

I forgot to mention, my first day there, I fed a loaf of bread to some seagulls.  I called Ron to share, but he didn't pick up.  I left him a 2 minute message, me feeding seagulls.  Loud cawing noises, me making coaxing sounds to the birds, the wind and the water.  He really liked it. 

I'm not embedded in my life; I'm not grown into the house.  I can certainly take a couple days off in the middle of the week, during a slow period, at work.  Ron will be fine with some TV dinners.  It is perfectly easy and safe for me to get downtown on the bus, take the Grayhound bus, and spend some time on the beach. 

Especially since I have my new, nifty, folding purple chair. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

A loaf of bread and some seagulls

I'm wearing my fat pants. 

I know I was secretive this week, and I apologize.  However, it is a sick, SICK, world, and I could just see some freak tracking me down, or Ron. 

I went to Galveston.  Ron had talked about it for a while, and made reservations.  I was thrilled.  I love Galveston.  I would be happy only vacationing in Galveston. 

In my "I just won the lotto" dreams, a starring role is played by a lovely, Galveston, condo on the Seawall.  Many exist, but just the thought of living in Galveston makes me grin. 

However, God wants me living in Houston.  I don't think, in the long run, I'd enjoy living in a tourist destination. 

So, I kept my mouth shut, packed my bags, and then Ron said "I don't think I'll have any fun.  I'm going to stay home". 

Well.  That was a wrench in the plans.  I told my aunt, and she talked to Ron. 

"Heather," she said "I think it would be a good idea if you went by yourself."  OK.  She's like, my benchmark "Normal" person, so if she thought... I continued to plan. 

Ron paid for the hotel room.  It is a lovely little motel.  Clean.  Quiet.  Wonderful showerheads (boy, let me tell you, I used 2 people's worth of water), and cute rooms.  Very good location.  Not expensive.  I could have paid for the room.  I didn't.  I love staying there, so I will not share the name. 

Ron also gave me some spending money.  I accepted.  My aunt offered a ride, which I accepted. 

I can get to Galveston on my own, but it takes a little doing.  First, I have to ride a bus downtown.  Then, walk to the Grayhound bus station.  Buy the ticket, and ride to the Galveston bus station (about a mile). 

Today, as I watched the bus pull up, the Galveston Taxicab brigade proceeded into the parking lot.  TWO Yellow cabs, and an Island cab, pulled in, eagerly waiting for people to disembark.  

It's easy to get a cab, from the bus station!  I would have taken the cab to the hotel. 

As it was, my aunt picked me up at the house, in the morning, after rush hour.  We took the Car People route (the Grayhound goes through Texas City).  We got there, signed in (I love the hotel, they let me check in early), put up my stuff, and off we went.  We did some exploring, ate a fantastic lunch at Millers (I have to take Dad there when they come to visit), looked at a gift shop, went to Academy Sports, and ran by the grocery store.  I got soda, and 4 loaves of bread.  I'd be there a day and a half, I wanted to feed some seagulls.  To me, the perfect vacation ALWAYS features me, a loaf of bread, and some seagulls.



We went back to my room, and said goodbye.  She headed home. 

I tried to take a nap, but was pretty wound up.  I took my loaf of bread, a couple of Diet Dr Peppers, the folding chair I'd purchased at Academy, and hit the beach. 

Aaaaah.  I started tearing off bits of bread and flinging them.  The seagulls showed up and had a good time.  One pigeon kept flapping right by my head, so I tried an experiment.  I held a piece of bread in my hand, out at shoulder level.  The pigeon landed on my hand and began pecking at the bread. 

It was a rather awkward arrangement for us, so I shifted the bread to the left hand.  Pigeon on right hand, pecking at bread in left hand.  I wish someone had taken my picture!   I did this with a couple of different pigeons.  I got a few seagulls to take bread from my hand as they flew by, but the majority of them stood on the sand, cawing excitedly, as I flung them bits of bread. 

NOW, I was on vacation.  I haven't had one in two years.  I have never had a vacation away from Ron.  Like my Dad said, "Heather, you're always 'On' with the caregiving.  You need a break where you just focus on yourself."  Apparently, someone's been doing some reading on caregiver burnout! 

I sat in my chair, a few hopeful gulls lurking as I read my book (I brought my Kindle).  I drank my soda, and felt terrible when I put my "empty" in the empty bread bag - the poor gulls got so excited when they saw the empty bread bag! 

I wasn't really hungry, I'd had a huge lunch.  I decided I needed to eat; the sun was thinking about setting, and I chose a frozen custard shop.  I got a vanilla, in a waffle cone.  When I got back to the hotel I took my pills. 

I had a little bit of a learning curve, trying to operate the shower.  I spent about 5 minutes shivering in tepid, at best, water, before I figured it out.  [laughing]  I felt rather foolish when I did figure it out. 

Oh, they have the best showerheads.  You can get all kinds of settings, from a pulse massage, to a soft rainy mist.  Like I said, I used up 2 people's worth of water!  

I finally got out and dried off.  Nice towels, I like the way they were folded.  The room was great, painted in turquoise and chocolate.  Wonderful, soft bed. 

We had requested a room with 2 queen sized beds.  Ron likes his own bed. 

So, I had two beds.  Ron had teased me about sleeping in both of them.  I chose the bed I liked, and stole ALL the pillows off the other bed.  I am a pillow hog. 

I slept pretty well, but I woke up, convinced I had overslept.  I looked out the window.  It was dark.  I turned on my cell phone.  It was 3 AM.   Happy Birthday.  I set an alarm and went back to sleep. 

I wanted to watch the sun rise, so I got up around 6.  I ate, sort of missed the sunrise, but got a nice photo anyway.  I had a pecan waffle and an "adequate" ham omlette.  This morning, I just went for the waffle. 

The loaf of bread, Kindle, Dr Pepper stash, folding chair, and matching purple folding umbrella walked to the beach.  I like that I'm an active person. 

It was the middle of the week.  In September.  I pretty much had the beach to myself.  Fed the seagulls, no one sat on my hand.  Sat down and read my book, the sun got brighter.  I heard the faint strains of Jimmy Buffet from the pier.   It was beautifully sunny, breezy, and about 90 degrees.  I set up my umbrella, and it worked great.  My forearms and lower legs were more exposed, and they got a little red. 

I have some Native blood, and one feature (other than really nice cheekbones), is the fact that I seldom burn.  I get red, and tan the next day.  Nice.  Thank you, Lord. 

I finished my book, and the last of my soda.  I used the port-a-pottie, which wasn't bad, considering.  I took the chair back to my room, and got some more frozen custard (it is very good) for lunch. 

Ron and I loved the 61st street fishing pier.  They had an observation deck, out on the water, about a quarter mile from the shore.  

When my Dad comes to visit next month, we plan to visit Galveston.  Ron, too.  I needed to find something Ron-able. 

I was also eager to see the "new" pier.  The lower deck is designed for fishing, but if you buy a snack you can go up on the top deck.  It's beautiful, nice breezes, quiet, and you can look into the water, which was beautifully clear that day. 

I bought a diet soda, and headed upstairs.  I happily noted the fact they have a second-story bathroom.  Ron could do that.  They did have a mix CD playing on speakers, he might not like that so much. 

But it was my birthday, MY vacation, and I wanted to sit on the deck.  I did that and watched the water.  I took a few photos, read dozens of Happy Birthday wishes from Facebook friends, and sighed happily.  I watched schools of fish, the fishermen, various tourists, and a couple of seagulls fighting over a fisherman-discarded fish head. 

Speaking of fish, getting a little hungry.  Hm.  What's for dinner?  I wanted something good, local, not a chain.  Ron called and got a recommendation for me.  I'd check that out later. 

I took my shoes off and waded in the water for quite a while.  It was so warm and lovely.  I wanted to stay forever. 

I really hope Heaven is a lot like Galveston.  I will be so happy.

I'm sure God has something even better! 

I got out of the water and changed into a nice tunic top and my black capris.  Time for my birthday dinner.  I checked out "Ron's" recommendation - the restaurant was completely empty and I had a very bad vibe. 

I listen to my gut.  I left before anyone saw me. 

Then I went to another restaurant and got some coconut shrimp for dinner.  And some custard, from the shop, for dessert. 

I went back to my room, talked to Dad when he called, and watched a little TV.  Then I told myself, I can watch TV anytime.  I set my alarm, and took another nice long shower. 

I went to bed, slept fine except for the people next door who talked outside as they checked in, and 1 AM.  I was a little peeved, but not much.  More along the lines of "Come on, really?"  I also had an evil thought about my last loaf of bread, seagulls, and 6 AM outside THEIR door! 

I DIDN'T! 

When my alarm went off I made sure I'd packed everything.  I took my last loaf of bread to the beach.  It was too early, apparently, for feeding seagulls.  I saw them and threw bread but they were more interested in some THING that had washed up during the night. 

I watched the sunrise, and went to breakfast.  Ron called me a cab (we talked a pretty good amount, but kept it light), and I went to the bus station. 

Actually, it is a gas station - see why I had to keep this quiet?  It would have been too easy to find me.  I waited outside with a couple of over-the-road truckers who talked shop.  A married couple, and a single guy.  The single guy sure had a lot to say, and say, and did not shut up for one minute. 

I waited, with my tote bag, backpack, and chair ensemble.  A ticket home cost about $20. 

I had to use the onboard, bus, toilet.  It was surprisingly clean. 

I got an even bigger shock when I got to downtown Houston.  I got a little dehydrated, and had to drink a lot of fluid to compensate.  I had to urinate, again. 

The last time I went into a Grayhound bus station bathroom, it was beyond filthy.  I wanted to take a bath in disinfectant.  That was 2 years ago. 

This time, it was spotless.  The bathroom had CLEARLY just been cleaned.  A pleasant aroma of disinfectant, sparkling clean everything.  Soap, toilet paper, hand towels.  Awesome. 

I called Ron, and told him that I felt I was in a different reality.  We laughed. 

Houston public transit is a lot like a spiderweb.  Pretty much every route originates from downtown.  You just have to find the stop.  I did. 

By the time I got home, I had to urinate again.  Ron, happily, had unlocked the door when I called. 

He was very happy to see me.  So was the cat! 

Happy anniversary - 19 years today. 

I went to Galveston!

Birthday in Galveston

I went to Galveston!

From Birthday in Galveston

Thursday, September 22, 2011

To answer a question: Ron and I only have sex with each other.

I'm having fun, and will tell you all about it tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A few days

I think I'm an odd mix, at times. 

On one hand, I am pretty completely open and transparent about my life.  I will share anything, if I think it might help someone else, or just make you appreciate your life. 

On the other hand, it's a sick world.  I have to be careful about what I do share, because anyone can read this blog. 

I have had something planned; something I have been unable to discuss due to security reasons.  It's something fun, for me, and it starts tomorrow.  I can't talk details because someone MIGHT be able to find me. 

Isn't that sad?  The only time someone actually "found" me,  I was with Ron.  We were at a warehouse club.  He was in the wheelchair.  We were arguing about who had the receipt.  A woman walked right up to me and said "You must be Ron and Heather from the message board!"  She was very nice. 

Another time, I asked a lady from that same message board, for a ride, and she helped me out.  I met her for the first time that night.  She was incredibly kind. 

Then, there's the guy.  He might read this, actually.  We met when I was about 10.  The school had kids paired up, playing tennis, and we were put together because no one chose either of us as a partner.  We started talking.  We're both extroverts.  I think he might also have FAS. 

Anyway, I've been in and out of contact with him for years.  In High School, we dated (his idea).  I just never had that spark for him, though.  I met Ron, and years later looked this guy up.  We talked a little, had lunch, and that was it for years.  We'd basically have lunch every couple years. 

I moved to Texas,finally married Ron, and changed my name.  I figured he wouldn't be able to find me.  I was wrong.  He found me somehow on the internet; sent me a note, didn't hear from him for years, then he "friended" me on Facebook. 

He's off in CA.  He's not coming to visit. 

However, I guess it's theoretically possible I could have a stalker.  A very quiet, non-posting stalker.   Still, two people did find me from the internet. 

So, I can't tell you now.  But it's fun, and good for me, and I will tell you all about it in a few days. 

Life's about compromise.

I have to laugh at myself on occasion.  The boy next door came into our yard after his ball. 

I always get a little territorial and want to bark; but I didn't. 

HIM, I don't mind.  He uses the gate, properly.  He closes it when he leaves.  He does not climb on, or damage it, in any way.  He gets the ball, and leaves. 

The kids renting on the other side?  Totally different story.  They treated my yard as community property, climbed over my husband's hand-constructed gate (breaking it), tore boards off the fence to gain access to the yard, and I caught them peeping in my windows.  The little fart just stared at me - "What?"  You're staring in my window.  "So?  You have a lot of books."  I should add, the house is set back from the street, and one has to walk across private property to look in a window, past the curtains and miniblinds.  They had no concept of "boundaries" or "property line". 

I thanked God when they moved out.  The current tenants?  Some of them are  illegal "immigrants".  They are messy.  But they are quiet and the girls never use the yard. 

I'll call him Mr Diaz.  He has lived next door for at least 7 years.  The boy who came in my yard just now was a toddler when I moved in.  He's a good kid, and his Dad has been great.  If I have to have a neighbor kid in my yard, I'm glad it's them. 

Not to mention, I thank God it is them; because my zero-property-line bedroom wall is the property line.  They could really make my nights miserable.  They don't. 

And Mr D was very nice about helping me turn off my water when I had the broken water line.  Life's about compromise.  I can live with a ball retrieval now and then. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

A good thing

I had a good day. 

Finally getting out of the depression.

Got some good work news. 

Something fun coming up; but I won't talk about it until afterward.   It's a good thing. 

Saturday, September 17, 2011

A good day

I had a very good day today, actually.  I got up, slept in a little (I did my God Time later), and went off with Ron to the warehouse.  We took the wheelchair with us, and it came in handy. 

I found everything we needed, and we took it to work.  We had just about the right amount of stocking time to get everything done.  I pushed Ron, in the wheelchair, out to the bus stop.  He kept thanking me. 

To me, it's not a big deal, but for him, it's his love language (acts of service).  We had a good pickup, and went to the mall. 

The touch screen on my cell phone had died.  I didn't do anything to it.  It just failed.  I took it to the Tmobile guy.  At first he didn't believe me, but he quickly understood.  He told me, yeah, it's dead.  I handed him my old flip phone (it can call, text, and that's it), and he did a SIM card transplant.  I'm back. 

Good.  We use the phones at work.  A moderately hearing impaired Ron can't always hear me shouting; but I can call him easily. 

I looked around the mall.  It is not prospering.  We got some lunch, and headed out to the stop. 

Hey, lookit that!  It looks like RAIN!  Sure enough, it rained.  My yard got about half an inch.  Happily, I do not need to water the foundation.  If I were watering my plants, I wouldn't need to. 

My poor garden is all dead and hopeless.  The few survivors appear to be near death.  Hopefully this drink will help them. 

I took a nap.  I woke up and decided to check on my plants, finding the orange cord mentioned in the other post. 

I'm almost caught up on the laundry, we have something fun planned for next week, and work went very well today. 

All in all, a good day. 

Peggy

I went into my backyard today.  I was very unhappy. 

I have a cable junction box in my backyard.  I'm fine with that; not a big deal.  I'm not so happy with the cable guys coming in my yard "whenever" and doing their thing. 

I tend to be very territorial.  Not really with Ron so much, but definitely with "my" property, which I know isn't really "mine".  When you look at the deed restrictions, easements, etc, I'm lucky they let ME live here.  I get that.  I work on not being the wierd lady who yells if you walk on her grass.  I laugh at myself, wanting to "bark" at the "intruder". 

I do get twitchy about it.  In fact, one reason I am so tolerant of the people next door, they NEVER set foot on "my" property.  I had problems with all the other renters constantly coming into my yard.   So, they don't put up their trash cans, I can live with that. 

I like my privacy.  I like the illusion that I live in my own little bubble.  If you've seen photos of my property, you know I have a nice little yard. 

Imagine finding this: 

Not really happy, with the VERY LOUD ORANGE CORD running across my backyard.  It looks so ghetto.  It looked so bad, I thought they HAD to be stealing cable.  I checked it at the junction box.  It had a work order number. 

So, apparently they thought that was adequate.  Just connect it up, walk it across my yard, and run it through a hole in the fence?  Huh. 

I took my photos, put them on facebook, and waited for Ron to wake up.  When he did, I told him.  He was appropriately outraged and called the company. 

We agreed, it was remarkably like the commercials featuring "Peggy" - the terrible customer service. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WIwxQjvfFI

Finally, he got through to someone.  He encouraged them to check out my Facebook profile with the photos; and told them we'd take the photos down when it was fixed. 

As "home invasions" go, this isn't a bad one.  The poor workmanship bothers me more than the intrusion.  Doesn't anyone take pride in a good job?  Or is it just "Give the minimum and get out"? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Entitlement

Hm.  How do I say this?  Some drivers are better than others.  There, I said it.   We had an "others". 

We got picked up, late, and got to the restaurant.  The other client was whining "hungry", and basically asking either the driver, or us, to buy her a meal.  I was pretty revolted.  She was normal intelligence. 

First, with what she had spent on hair, nails, clothes, shoes, and purse, she could certainly have gotten something off the value menu.  Second, begging is always just completely degrading. 

Ron was pretty hungry, so I just said "Bye", got out, and took Ron into the restaurant.  Later on, I saw the driver, with the client, at the counter.  It appeared the driver was paying. 

I told Ron, she's an enabler.  If people told the client "It's your responsibility to bring a snack when you travel" guess what?  Next time she'll have a snack.  But if you buy her dinner, you are just teaching her to beg. 

The program had the same problem with people who refused to buy tickets.  People were getting free rides all the time.   A ticket costs $1, and most social welfare programs give them to benefits recipients.   If you are low income disabled, you are probably getting free tickets to ride the paratransit. 

The client would turn around and sell the tickets (I've seen this), to other passengers, and then cry "I don't have a ticket"!  The driver would get an approval.  The client got a free ride, plus the money from selling the tickets.  One day, Ron and I were riding, and they had THREE "ticket" approvals before dropping us off. 

They must have had an audit.  They began a crackdown.  One man lost services when it was revealed he had been stealing rides for a while.  Another couple were banned, when they found out SHE had been riding around, by herself, on his account.  They instituted the "No ticket, no ride" policy that still exists today. 

A lot of the "frequent flyers" like Ron, buy a monthly or yearly pass.  They are much more economical per trip, if you ride a lot. 

It's apparent to me, from riding with Ron for over 8 years, that some clients will try to manipulate as much as possible, but if a firm boundary is set they behave.  That's why, before they came in, I told Ron I refused to buy the driver a sandwich.  I knew she would just hand it to the client, and validate the begging. 

Again, this is not someone in poverty.  The hairdo alone cost well over $100.  To paraphrase some ghetto slang: "OK?"  She's not poor. 

Ron and I enjoyed our meal, and the next driver pulled up.  HE got a sandwich.   He said thank you and put it away. 

Some drivers fall on the food like a starving wolf.  It's a little alarming, and makes me glad I DID just feed them! 

A gift is a lot different than a begging.   One time comes to mind. 

We rarely ride with a young woman who is disabled.   Her speech reflects a deep level of ignorance..  Again, "average" intelligence.   She is very into drama; lots of shouted, dramatic, conversations with friends or family member, loud gossip, etc.  She was crying poverty.  She lived with her mother, who provided the food and paid all the bills, and "only" lived on the entire disability check every month (nearly what I make).  She was very ungrateful, and whining loudly. 

God forbid I have to live with my family, they will be getting money, gratitude, and a hell of a lot of chores!  That's apparently just me!   I need to tell them this. 

Anyway, we picked her up one day, and the driver immediately tells her "Oh, these are the people I was telling about.  They have their own business."  Then she told me we had to hire this woman, and asked how much we could pay her. 

First of all, we're not hiring.  That's what we told them.  Secondly, we don't make enough to pay ourselves, much less someone else.  We also shared this.  What we didn't say, is that we wouldn't have hired her if she was the last person on the planet.  Lastly, she couldn't have done the job.  I may have done another blog on the subject. 

It was obvious she would not be an effective, productive, employee.   The driver was really upset.  She had it all laid out in her head; we would hire this woman, and "save" her from the poverty of "all bills paid" living (except for the cell phone, boo-hoo) with free room and board, and a disability check on top like a freaking cherry on an ice cream cone.  NO WAY. 

I didn't appreciate the fact that the driver had CLEARLY been gossiping about us to this woman.  I gossip, yes.  Not like that.  I certainly don't imply someone else will hire you!   She acted like she already had the job.  [snort]

There is a deep and ugly thread of "entitlement" running in many of the paratransit clients.  It is ugly.  I detest it. 

I don't think I have problems with entitlement; I will happily accept whatever God gives me.  If anything, I think He's too good to me.  I think I don't deserve to live the way I do, which by "car people" terms  is completely unacceptable. 

I have a great bus line, not far from my door.  It connects to other great bus lines, and excellent transit centers.  I can walk out my door and go to the bus stop, and ride a bus pretty much anywhere I want in the service area.  When I'm with Ron, I have access to shared-ride public transit. 

I have a great little house, less than a thousand square feet, with one bathroom (one woman claimed that was barbaric! - I laugh).   It is safe, quiet, and sturdy.  During my tenure, it has withstood two hurricanes and a couple of flooding events that did not reach the house.  I love the layout, it's very effective, logical, and a good use of space. 

For the first time in his life, my husband has his own room.  He loves it. 

I have a disabled husband, who lives in a country with universal access.  He may need a wheelchair, but we've got them, two in fact.  One at home, one at work.  All our transit is wheelchair-accessible.  I can push him anywhere we want to go! 

We have fantastic emergency services, should either of us get sick.  The few times I called 911 a very nice officer showed up and helped me make things right. 

I may be mentally ill, but I have excellent, safe, and affordable medication.  I never take that for granted. 

We have a great grocery store right down the road and an abundance of affordable food.  If we want an inexpensive sit-down meal, we have a great taqueria just minutes away.  We also have dozens of quality fast-food choices.  I do live in the BIG city. 

I have great clothes that fit right and wear well.  Not only that, I have my own washer and dryer.  Sure, the washer is naughty at times, and refuses to spin.  I just pray over it and God gets it going again.  God forbid it does die, I've got a guy at work who can fix it. 

Speaking of, both my husband and I have enjoyable, part-time work we do well.  We have our own business, and get to make most of our own decisions.  I enjoy all my customers. 

I have a great life, and I thank God for it every day of the year.  I even have a healthy, happy, cat. 

If anything, I'm guilty of pride.  I feel derisive when I hear car people talking about the horrors of walking to their car on a hot day; wondering how long they'd last at the bus stop.  I feel derisive when I do see a car person at the bus stop, whining, like a little child.  I obviously have some "judgemental" issues, too.  I'm working on them. 

I would like to think I am completely honest with myself; and when diagnosed with bipolar disorder I was told I was "remarkably self-aware".  I hope I am.  I hope I do listen when God is telling me something. 

I just pray that He never calls me "Entitled". 

Usual self

I tend to get a lot of pageviews.  I'm glad people like to share my life.  I certainly don't plan to use it to make money; I know a log of "bloggers" get into some kind of commercial arrangement, but that's not my intention. 

It's MY blog, after all.   It's funny, though.  When I see I'm getting a lot of pageviews (I have a toolbar), it actually tends to put pressure on me, "A lot of people are reading, YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT INTERESTING!" 

It's really ironic, when you consider my #2 goal in life (after serving God), is to have a boring life!  Talk about cross purposes! 

Now onto women issues; now's your time to run if that bothers you. 

So, my cycle was late again, and acting kind of odd when it did show.  I have to figure it's a late 30's thing.  If I hit menopause tomorrow, I wouldn't mind. 

It's funny, though.  I get hot flashes from my medication.  Had a couple this week, in fact.  Having one right now, but it's in the 90's outside and I stupidly thought I would wear jeans today.  Once I finish here, into the shorts! 

So, I could be in premenopause and I wouldn't know.  Oh, yeah, I could get moody!  [snort]  Like that is new.  I seem to be my usual self so I'm not worried. 

I have made a concious decision, I will not worry.  It doesn't help, makes me sick, and I don't need it in my life. 

A small pet peeve; don't you hate it when you read "I have to follow my concious".  And you realize the mean their CONCIENCE.  But they don't know how to spell it, so they use the wrong word, and spell-checker, if they have it is OK because "concious" is a real word (as in, he was concious at the time of the accident).   Ugh, someone on a Facebook group did that today and I am DYING to correct him; but that would be "bad" so I won't. 

I know I have plenty of grammar fumbles, trips, and misspelled words.  Part of that is due to my medication; and I leave them in  because I either missed them, or I figured "I might as well be real". 

Ron and I have a fast-food date.  Later today: I will talk about watering my foundation.  And how I felt when I saw the cat had peed on the siding. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

I do just fine

Today was a little wierd. 

Still battling some depression.  Ron wanted to exchange his headphones; so we went to Walmart.  I wanted to run a few errands, so he left me there. 

I did exciting things: tried on bras, got one.  Looked at nightgowns, got one.  A woman approached me near the checkout. 

"Are you paying cash?" 
"What?" 
She repeated herself. 
"That's a very strange question to ask, I'm not giving you any money". 
Oh, she didn't want me to give her, money... exactly. 

I found this very insulting: I am not an idiot. 

See, her car broke!  [I thought, very cynically, why should I care,  I don't even own a car]  She HAD a credit card, but the repair shop would only take CASH!  Since I was paying cash (which I did not say), could I use her credit card, and then pay her the cash? 

I told her no. 
She touched my shoulder, pleading. 
"You have to help me!" 

"Look."  I said firmly "I don't know you.  I'm not stupid, either!"  I walked off.  I found a manager and reported her.  ThenI put a "Vanilla Spice" candle in my shopping cart. 

I'm not stupid.  See, a repair shop is happy to take a credit card, with PROPER ID.  If her car was broken (which I doubt), she was trying to use a stolen credit card.   "If" she was telling the truth, which I completely doubt, that was her problem and not mine.  Most likely, she was a drug addict with a stolen credit card (she was obviously high), trying to get some cash to score a fix.  She had probably just stolen the card. 

I'm not stupid enough to break the law.  Especially for a woman wearing designer jeans that cost me half a month's pay. 

I don't even own a car, and I do just fine. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Dad with long hair

My mood cycles have changed.  I have been depressed for weeks past my due date.  Hopefully, I will get a little manic at least before my birthday next week.  From what I read, though, rapid cycles (my usual) are "bad" so this is a "good" thing, even though I have major fatigue and loss of interest. 

I can't talk about some plans, for obvious reasons.  Example: you will never read "Ron and I are going to make the deposit tomorrow".  Nope, I tell you AFTER the fact.  Same thing with certain plans, especially when you factor in the public transit.  Anyway, something fun, and not expensive, planned for next week. 

Speaking of money, I got paid today.  I knew I was depressed, when even after buying groceries, a a case of Diet Dr Pepper bottles, a 20 pound bag of cat food, and household supplies, I found I'd only spent $40 at Walmart.  I hate whiners. 

Got up, did my God Time (when I am really depressed I do the big prayer part in the evening, instead of the morning, because I have a better focus) Bible study, and then off to work.  We had several good trips, favorite drivers.  I wonder how we will pay for that in the future.  Our rides Monday were just awful. 

After work, we went to the bank, I got paid, and then we went to Walmart.  We had a lot of time, which was good, because I had to find the "right" printer cartridge and Ron wanted some headphones.  He doesn't like them; we will return them.  I got some candles.  I like burning a votive or tealight now and then, like I am now.  Candles are cheap, so I got a few. 

I got the other aforementioned stuff, and Ron and I discussed Bubba's diet.  Bubba loved the kitten food when Lucky was sniffing around (the little black kitten).  He took off after a couple of days (the kitten), so I was left with a couple pounds of kitten food. 

I noticed, when I fed Lucky, that Bubba loved the kitten food.  So, tonight, I mixed a little into his regular food.  He LOVED it.  He kept rubbing against my leg for hours. 

My allergies are pretty bad; I think it's due to smoke from the fires.  Most of them are contained, but I think my system is just a little haywire. 

I have a new routine: when we get picked up from Walmart I buy the driver a Happy Meal.  Most of them are getting us around lunchtime anyway.  Today's driver was so happy.  I'm glad I did it.  Glad I do it; and glad Ron is happy to give me a couple bucks to make it happen. 

Caregiving is one of my spiritual gifts, and I like to spoil everyone.  It's fun when people like it.  I could pay my flood insurance if I had a dollar for everytime a driver pulls up and says "I remember you!  You (fed me)!" 

I imagine, if I died in a horrible accident, you'd see a lot of yellow cabs in the parking lot at my funeral.  Onto happier thoughts, we have tomorrow off.  The machines were fine.  I got paid.  I made my deposit, so the hospital bill gets paid and I still have $20 or so for books, or whatever. 

(Adoptive) Mom and Dad are putting up vacation photos.  They look like they're having a GREAT time.  Good.  It is funny to see how much my Dad and I look alike.  I'm like, Dad with long hair.  I have more of a "rosebud" mouth (I've been told, by a therapist), but it's uncanny. 

What was really wierd for me, when I visited my aunt, to see how much I resemble my great-grandmother (Dads father's, mother).   It is really amazing.  I got her figure, too! 

Ugh.  Coughing a lot, really tired, going to bed. 

I'm praying for you,  and do so daily! 

Have a good one!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I said no

I just had a rather odd intereaction with someone, which I'll tell you about in a minute. 

Sunday: violently ill with Clostridium perfringens - bad takeout.  I used up a lot of paper. 

Monday: up early, work.  Donuts, sandwiches.  A little gossip with Mark about the vending company at the courthouse.  Stocking, looked pretty good.  I needed some value line items. 

Ron and I are coughing a lot, smoke and "particulate matter" from the wildfires are making our allergies pretty bad.  It's not apparent, looking outside or anything.  We just cough a lot, itchy eyes, etc.  I had to take a guiafenisen pill on Monday.  I think we got something to eat, and went home. 

Today; I should add, it is horrendously hot again - well over 100 every day, and oddly humid though we've had no rain.  Anyway, I decided I'd stay home today.   I slept pretty well last night. 

I woke up with a horrible headache.  I whacked it with some Excedrin.  Ron and I went to Foodtown.  I found some great bargains.  I found 2 pounds of cooked processed turkey (ready to eat, looks a little flaky is all) for $1.  Fifty cents a pound.  And it's good.  I got a pound of sausage for $1.70, and a package of turkey bacon (12 ounces) for 80 cents. 

I've noticed God really takes care of me in the food department.  I always seem to find the most delicious items for very low prices.  I also got veggies, etc.  After I get paid, I plan to get some shredded cheese. 

I came home, watched TV for a while, and took a nap.  2 hours!  Woke up, watched some more TV, did my God time, organized the front room, and cleaned up the vomit after Bubba got sick on the floor. 

My mood is OK, a little tired, but not bad. 

Oh, and the thing?  I suggested prayer to someone on a Christian message board.  Someone else got upset about that and told me to delete it. 

I said.  NO. 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Care of an Invalid

Last night was pretty horrible.  The bugs that weren't there kept biting me.  Tonight, I go with my protocol and take TWO tablets.  [shudder]  Awful night. 

Yesterday we went to work, stocked, and had a fast food lunch before coming home.  It was a good day.  Even Ron has to grin at my enthusiasm.  I just love what I do; taking an empty vending machine and filling it with delicious treats. 

Today, we went to the warehouse and got more supplies.  I didn't need much.  We went to Walmart, and I got some soda.  I got plenty of decaf because I just KNOW caffeine aggravates the psychotic symptoms.  Then we came home, and I took a nap.  I decided last night, to wash all the bedding.  It's more psychological than anything, but it makes me feel better. 

Now that I have a cute winter jacket, the temperatures are well over 100 degrees every day, and forecast to be so for the next week.  EW.  Ron and I are coughing a lot.  Smoke from the wildfires. 

It isn't overt, walking out of the house to a burnt smell or anything, but I notice a lot of haze, and people everywhere are coughing. The experts are telling us to stay indoors as much as possible. 

After my nap, Ron and I went to a KFC/Taco Bell combo restaurant.  They are both owned by Yum foods, which also has Pepsi.  I got a couple of tacos and Ron got his chicken.  He's been craving some extra crispy for a week or two. 

We had excellent rides today, truly excellent. 

When I checked the mail, I got my check for jury duty, along with a note thanking me for my "unselfish service to the community".  I was happy to serve, happy to go, willing to be objective and impartial.  I didn't do anything to disqualify myself, and I had plenty of opportunities. 

Heck, I could have done "Care of an Invalid" - exemption and skipped going downtown altogether. 

I was willing to serve, and happy to serve, and I thank God I was not chosen for the case.  It was a horrible felony sex crime. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Don't buy the cheapest

I'm sitting here at my desk, absolutely delighted I bought the candles.  I went to Walmart, and they had some nice piney candles; probably in preparation for the holiday.  They have a great aroma, so I got some tealights.  I think this one only cost me a quarter, but it's money well spent. 

So, what did I do today?  I overslept, barely had time for my shower.  We went to the wholesale warehouse and I got the supplies; and I also found a cute jacket.  I need one in my size.  Now I have it.  I was going to go to Academy, but when I did they weren't in stock, and I told myself last year I'd get one, if needed, and they came back. 

We went home, and I organized the front room so I had room for the inventory.  I like to sort through it every few days. 

Ron made a trip to Burger King.  Our pickup was late, and our ride back home was early; so when we got there our ride was waiting.  Ron got his food to go and went back home. 

I ate, and then went to the fancy grocery store.  I'm on the hunt for coffee pods, the soft, tea-bag looking, single-cup things I need for my "Senseo" brewer.  I love the coffee, and really want some decaf. 

Most places have the hard plastic cups, with the concentrated coffee inside.  AGH.  Not what I want.  Ron had called the grocery store and they assured him they had the coffee. 

About this time, I had trouble walking.  My feet were killing me.  They have been for a while.  My cheapest, bottom-of-the-line sneakers don't offer support?  Huh! 

Let's not forget I am also packing an extra 50 pounds over my ideal weight.  I aim for honesty. 

I hobbled out of the store, resolving to go to Walmart and get some good hiker-type shoes.  I love my workboots, they are very comfortable, now that I'm used to them.  I wanted something like that, but not a boot.  It was becoming apparent I would HAVE to make the purchase. 

Happily, Ron had given me the money ($20) I spent on the coat.  I could afford a basic pair. 

I looked at the coffee aisle of the store.  They had K-cups.  They had ground.  They had beans.  They had "grind-your-own".  They had instant.  They DID NOT have any kind of Senseo coffee pod! 

As I stood there, looking at the display, I was very, VERY, happy Ron had saved me 3 bus rides and a mile of walking.  If he hadn't given me a ride, pretty much to the store, I would have been FURIOUS.  Especially since my feet hurt and I had to walk over from the bus stop - and back! 

I found some dried fruit that looked interesting, for the disaster kit.  I got that and some soda, and left. 

I checked out a Target, before going to Walmart.  They did not have any decaf coffee pods, or workable shoes.  I left, buying some instant decaf. 

Then, I went to Walmart.  I got a few little things I needed, viewed the 3 coffee pod flavors (same as Target), and got some insoles.  I have a brand I like.  I wish I had it here.  Anyway, I got the "heel and arch support" type.  The pain in my feet has also moved to my calves, and radiating up my calves.  I hobbled over to the shoes, and found a great pair of "hikers" on the first try.  My feet loved them from the minute I put them on.  Good. 

After checking out, I put them on, with the insoles, and had a much better trip home.  The pain in my calves went away almost immediately.  My feet feel a lot better. 

DON'T BUY THE CHEAPEST shoe, Heather! 

I called Ron and verified he wanted a bag of Flamin' Hot Munchies.  He adores them.  I got the candles, for me. 

I checked out, removed my old shoes, put them in a different tote bag, and wore my new shoes.  I went to Starbucks and got myself a cup of decaf with some real cream.  It was good; "plain" coffee with some fake sugar and cream.  I could do that on a regular basis and my system seems to like it. 

Then I came home.  I had really good rides and transfers, and got home very quickly. 

Ron just did the accounting report, and sales are better than last month.  Good. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A very long time

Really tired today; happily not really depressed. 

Got up early, went to work, played catch-up.  Ron was in a lot of physical pain.  We are going to look into getting a TENS unit. 

After work, he took me out to lunch and I helped him run some errands, me pushing him in the wheelchair.  He was very grateful and appreciative.  After we finished the errands, we went to Starbucks.  I really like the decaf (plain) coffee, with some cream.  It was very good; no digestive weirdness like I was getting on the steamers.  Our ride home was well over an hour late. 

Good thing we were at Starbucks.  That might have gotten twitchy at the office supply store.  I still need to do my God Time and all; I'll check my comments tomorrow. 

I have to get up early so I can get more supplies.  I have the rest of the day off; thank God. 

All day today, I kept thanking God I was not called to serve on that case.  I can't say much, but I will say it was a felony crime, against a person, and would have given me a lot of nightmares for a very long time. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

I hate sharing bad news. 

Ron started making noises about getting something "stronger".  I thought he was button-pushing (he has accused me of "going buggo" whenever alcohol is mentioned), so I ignored it until he made a reservation to go to the liquor store.  Then, as agreed, I called my uncle. 

My uncle called Ron and left a message.  I'm, in the meantime, in the throes of a horrible migraine.  No Chinese food for me. 

Ron got all indulgent with me this morning, "Oh, you're so afraid aren't you?"  I told him no, I wasn't.  I had made an agreement and I kept it.  And while on the subject of agreements, what about his agreement not to drink anything stronger than wine?  Out came the excuses and justifications. 

My favorite was "I have it harder than anyone else in the world" (due to his physical problems) "Therefore, I am ENTITLED to drink."  I told him, you have a track record of breaking every promise you made about moderating alcohol intake. 

He tried to change the subject, but I didn't let him.  I just got up and left the room. 

While taking a shower, I resolved to get another job even though he continues to object.  He came in the bathroom while I was showering and apologized.  Said he had cancelled the trip, and "I'll get fat drinking wine, and that's your fault".  I reminded him he could moderate his intake. 

I also told him I made a decision, if he drinks anything stronger than wine I will be getting another job in preparation to move out.  He acted like that would be so great.  AGH. 

Now, you'll love this, he is talking about sleeping pills.  [rolleyes]  I am certain a trained medical professional will see right through him. 

Friday, September 2, 2011

Old Diary Video Blog



I found and read parts of my old diary. A lot of what I found is miserable unhappy, codependent times. You think I'm codependent? You should have met me back in 1995. Anyway, I burned it.

I can't fix what's wrong with him.

I slept OK, once I got to sleep, and woke up right about the time of my alarm clock.  It hadn't been set properly, apparently.  I got ...