Saturday, December 31, 2011

It doesn't have to cost a fortune.

Year in review: pretty awful!  I'll do a more extensive one tomorrow. 

Happily my biggest issue right now, other than eating the pizza I'd already bought for New Years, is how to find some field peas for my garden. 

I cannot find the seed anywhere.  I ordered it from one company - never got it.  I ordered it from another company - out of stock!  Agh! 

I love to eat them, too.  [sigh]  Ah, well, if that's the worst of it right now I'm OK. 

Tonight will be fireworks and pizza.  Ron bought plenty of firecrackers, a few whistling fountain type items, and I got a few kiddie things - like sparklers and the flaming balls that spin on the ground. 

It doesn't have to cost a fortune, to be fun. 

I had a great quote on Facebook - I had mentioned how Ron and I will try to avoid setting his hair on fire this year (the wind will often blow his hair into the lighter, as he holds lighter and firecrackers up near his ear).  One of my friends said "If he sets his hair on fire, get a photo before you put him out!" 

Ron almost fell off the couch, laughing. 

Friday, December 30, 2011

"New Post"

It's been a few days since I hit the "new post" button.  Sorry about that. 

I can trot out the old "depression" flag, and that's the majority of the issue.  Doc once told me, I am a "loss of interest" depressive.  I don't want to do anything I find fun.  I have to force myself to it. 

Heck, I was doing pretty good just to shower!  One day I went to work with pretty greasy hair.  Laundry?  Good luck with that.  So, mostly depression. 

A lot of fatigue, and headaches.  Today I had another migraine but the "headache relief formula" kept me functional enough to work and run errands. 

I've reached a conclusion: no more sugar.  It's just not worth it. 

What kind of person am I, pointing the finger at an alcoholic when I'm just as bad?   When I'm enslaved to a health-destroying, mood-killer, substance?  There are no health benefits to sugar, and I can make a pretty persuasive argument that at least Ron's red wine has some antioxidants! 

One reason I resent the whole weight loss issue: Ron always says he "deserves better than a fat woman".  Oh, doesn't that just make you want to slap him?  To gain 100 pounds and tell him to suck it up, jerk? 

Obviously, the man who once majored in psychology has forgotten a few tricks!  So, do I stay "fat' just to spite him? 

That would be, idiotic.  I don't want to see myself as an idiot. 

God gave me this body, with the expectation I'd care for it.  I need to do that, just from a purely spiritual standpoint. 

And while I can do everything I need to care for Ron and our business, it would be a lot easier if I could knock off this extra 50 pounds. 

Gasp!  I said it!  And I didn't die! 

I can be pretty horribly, internally, regarding "fat people".  Horrible.  And while I may not be saying any of it out loud God hears it and it's shameful.  I need to work on that. 

I need to focus on taking care of me.  Of course, on some level, it may very well reward Ron's stupid attitudes about a fat wife.  He makes it sound like getting last place. 

But, I knew getting into this, he had some attitudes.  I can't exactly say I'm shocked. 

While I never intend to get back down to the 130 I weighed when we met, that doesn't mean I have to stay over 200, either.  [shrug]  Only God knows, my ideal weight. 

Somewhere, I think, between 150-170 pounds.  I would be very happy to get there. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

He'll take my adoration when I'm manic

A sing-a-long?  Oh, you poor thing.  You don't know.  I am incredibly tone deaf.  Every cat I have ever known flattens his ears back and flees when I sing. 

I'm listening to Theocracy (Gospel Metal)'s version of Christmas carols.  Ron calls it "Your devil music".  [snicker] 

I'm pretty sure I can coax Ron into making a video blog; I'll appeal to his vanity and tell him an adoring fan requested it.  [giggle]   He tends to get moody on holidays, so it'll be a good distraction. 

Boy, I have felt like crap this week.  Crappy horrible depressed mood.  We have gotten lots of rain (I think the yard has gotten about 4 inches this week), which is wonderful - but I do miss the sun.  Cold, too. 

Plus, I started cycling depressed.  UGH.  Throw in my "new" cycle and it's not a fun week.  OH, and the migraine.  [wheezing] 

I can't tell you how many crappy Christmases I have had, either sick, depressed, or both.  Good thing God made me, and understands I can't always be joyous.  He'll take my adoration when I'm manic. 

As it is, I'm doing well to eat, take my medication on time, shower, and laundry.  I did manage to drag myself out into the garden for a few chores.  Today, for instance, I planted onions.  Good timing.  The soil was a little dry (ha!), but not for long.  Once I got the onions in we got hours of rain.  Lots of rain outside. 

Thank you, God for a good roof, and an even better heater.  We had a new roof put on right before we bought the house.  Right after we did, we got 19 inches of rain in one month.   Gulp.  Really glad we had the new roof.  Glad I have it now. 

I'm glad it appears we are edging out of the drought.  We humans desperately need the water, broken water pipes, shifting foundations, etc.  Then you think of the poor animals, domestic and wild - desperate for food and drink. 

Ron's fix worked, by the way, speaking of wild animals.  Nothing in the attic.  Praise God.  Oh, that was horrid.  People kept telling me it was probably a rat, raccoon, or possum.  All of them just big rodents - and awful. 

Santa Cat has been doing well.  I find it funny, he loves to escort me to the mailbox.  He seems concerned I might find a friend.  I did bring home a cat, about 8 years ago. 

A lady down the street, in the bad neighborhood, didn't fix her tabby.  Tabby had a litter, and one of them was solid black.  Just like my cat Midi.  Hm.  I did the math, and realized he could be Midi's (Midi had been fixed in October, and Bubba born in January), so I always took an interest in him. 

Boy, that was a bad year.  Ron's accident, in and out of the hospital all year.  We lost Shadow, Ron's baby.  I lost Midi.  Bubba grew up, happy and content living down the street.  I made friends with him, it took forever.  It was pretty tough to be a black cat in an ignorant neighborhood.  If someone believes that a black cat is bad luck, wouldn't hurting the cat bring worse luck? 

Ugh.  I am not superstitious. 

Anyway, early December his "Mom" moved.  I was pretty bummed, I was going to miss him.  I secretly wanted him for myself, but he had a home.  Besides, even if I did steal him - and it would have been stealing - I couldn't exactly hide him. 

She left, took her bird feeder.  I got whacked with a horrible December depression and holed up in the house for about a week.  I finally dragged myself out for a run. 

Poor old Bubs came running up to me, much thinner.  That bitch had left him to starve.  I was furious. 

I immediately got some cat food, but Bubba wanted petting before he ate.  Poor baby so obviously realized he was unwanted and abandoned.  After he ate, I tried to talk Ron into taking him, but Ron made a valid point "She could be coming back for him". 

So, I talked to the landlord.  Nope, she was gone.  Bitch. 

I told the landlord, he's MY cat now.  He just shrugged. 

I continued to feed Bubba and have our cuddle sessions every night, while plotting how to convince Ron to adopt him.  I knew, once Ron met Bubs, he'd love him as much as I did.  I also knew Ron was unwilling to love, and lose, another cat. 

I took it to God.  Prayed on it. 

It was a miserable night, much like tonight.  It was raining, cold, and windy.  I'd fed Bubba, pleading with Ron to let the cat in the house.  No. 

I went for my run (I was training for a half marathon), and Bubba met me.  Every lap, he wanted me to pet him.  On my last lap, I coaxed him into coming along with me.  We went home. 

I sat down in the driveway, still in my running clothes and covered in sweat.  I was getting cold. 

"You're in"  I told him "I will take care of you until you die, but you HAVE TO SELL RON.  You have to make Ron WANT you, OK?"  Bubba purred and nudged my hand with his head. 

I opened the door.  We had placed Ron's bed in the living room.  Bubba made a beeline straight for Ron and got on the bed, nudging at his hand. 

[this is the same cat who took 5 months before he permitted any petting]  I grinned. 

"Heather!  What's this?"  Ron  began petting Bubba. 

"This is the cat I told you about". 

"Heather" (still petting, and I could hear Bubba purring across the room) "I TOLD you, I don't want another cat." 

"Ron" I pleaded.  "It's cold.  It's raining.  Please let him warm up a little before I put him back out." 

"OK"  I noticed Bubba was climbing into Ron's lap as he lay down on the bed. 

I went and took my shower, dried off, checked my computer, and got ready.  I opened the front door.  A freezing blast of wet rain blew into the room. 

Ron bolted up, the cat still lying across his body.  "Heather!  SHUT THE DOOR!' 

"Don't you want me to put him out?"  Ron stroked the cat again as Bubba happily slitted his eyes at me, purring so loudly he roared. 


That's how Bubba came to stay, about 8 years ago.  A few weeks later I found Baby Girl in a trash can.  Bubba never liked her, and when my "neighbor" poisoned her (the day we moved), he didn't miss her.  He is now extremely careful about letting me out of the house.  He will follow me for blocks, making sure I don't encounter an adorable kitten or pathetic stray. 

And he ALWAYS goes with me to check the mail, even in the rain. 

Even if I did find a cutie, or more likely a "Heather's special"; I promised Bubba he would be the only cat, after Frosty died. 

I have a 3 day weekend.  Today was nice.  We had lunch with my aunt and uncle.  Gift exchange.  They liked it.  I liked my stuff. 

I had spent days prepping myself for sleep deprivation tonight - but the neighbor is not having his all night, raucous party.  Maybe because his wife is pregnant, or they just had the baby. 

That's great for me.  I don't think they would have had much fun with 40 degree temperatures, gusty winds, and rain. 

My mail carrier liked her present.  I had gotten some truffles, but chocolate gives me a migraine so I regifted.  Everyone wins.  I have 2 mysterious boxes from Mom and Dad, and one from my sister. 

I gave up on getting my field peas from the online store.  I don't know if they shut down for the holidays or what, but I'm not going to stress out over $10.  Shame on whoever is at fault. 

Ron said "A neighbor probably got it".  I hope they enjoy their field peas!  I also had a hand tool.  Oh, well. 

When Ron was in the hospital, hooked up to life support, I realized there is very little in life worth getting upset about.  Really, is it worth it? 

Praise God medication helps me remember that. 

So, I was looking around last night, trying to find another company.  Boy, some of those organic garden shops online really hose you.  I found a good site, once I get my goodies I'll tell you. 

I got my field peas, a whole pound; a pound of a cover crop mixture; a packet of red mustard - it is so pretty - just a beautiful plant; and lastly, something I'd been wanting for a while - red oakleaf lettuce.  I got a huge packet of the regular green kind, at the feed store.  I think it's great, but I love red/purple greens too.  I had wished for it, and got it!  Yay! 

Best of all, I used this company years ago, when I lived in crack-town.  I got my stuff quickly, got a free sample, and the seed did very well. 

In fact, I realized tomatoes wouldn't thrive on my balcony - not enough sun, and gave all my ( happy) seedlings to some co-workers, who brought me tomatoes all summer!   So, good stuff. 

It was also a good distraction.  Garden work this morning, planting the poor onions I got 2 months ago.  Some of the transplants clearly didn't make it, but I have at least 3 dozen good prospects planted over by a collard (a good companion planting).  I had forgotten them, been depressed, etc.  I found them the other day and realized I had to get them in.  I did. 

When I realized I was getting depressed, I'd bought some pears and tart apples.  Tonight, I made some of my spiced pears and apples.  I made a very light syrup (I have no joy with sugarfree canning), peeled, cored, and chopped the fruit, put it in the syrup with some spices (I didn't have any cinnamon), and cooked it until soft.  Then I canned it - water bath, only took 20 minutes.  All my lids popped too.  It kept me busy.  I have a small amount of leftovers for tomorrow's breakfast. 

It's hard to know the line sometimes, where does "staying busy" become "running around like a gerbil and ignoring my feelings" and when does "resting" become brooding? 

It's funny; when I'm down, I need to stay busy and work on being kind to myself.  When I'm up, I need to work on resting, being deliberate,  focusing on my "core values" (frugality, honesty, faith, no gossip, etc), and resting. 

It is fascinating; I really am 2 different people, and often more than that - while continually being "me".  Happily, while I had plenty of pain, I never "split" into multiple personalities.  Yike. 

I'm getting tired, so parting thoughts:  Merry Christmas!    Make it a good one! 

And, if you just aren't feeling it; God loves you anyway.  (((hugs))

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Whatever happened to soffit?

Oh, I'm beat. 

Something has been waking me up in the middle of the night, now and then, for a while.  I couldn't determine what though, and blamed the dog that lives behind us. 

I gradually realized something was scrabbling around in the attic at night.  It was very bad on Monday night, and woke me up.  As I lay awake in bed, a thunderstorm rolled in.  My neighbor had put a bucket right under the corner of my house, at the eaves, and I had to endure a very loud DRIP DRIP DRIP. 

I got up at 2 AM.  Got a lot done, then went to work.  Worked, came home.  Talked to Ron about the problem, worked up our nerve, and went into the attic.  Whatever it is, doesn't sleep in the attic during the day, so I can put up vent covers to keep them out.  Good.  Ron went up into the attic and changed the light bulb, and put a small radio turned to the news station.  It worked.  Nothing last night. 

When the neighbor's wife left to run an errand, I went over into the yard and found the bucket.  I moved it a few inches.  We are a zero property line boundary.  Anyway, it's been moved.  I can certainly move it again, or mention it to the neighbor.  Considering he has two toddlers and an infant, I doubt he wants a bucket of water on his property, anyway. 

Last night I slept great, but woke up with a migraine.  Booo. 

I managed to get to Home Depot with Ron, and bought some "undereave vent covers".  What ever happened to soffit?   They mean the same thing. 

So, we got the screens, got the nails for them - Ron says I can just nail them in place, and I have never known him to be wrong on a carpentry issue.  He actually built a lot of furniture for me, 3 cat condos, 2 gates, a bedside table, microwave stand, and bookcase from scratch; and assembled 2 couches, a rocking chair, a kitchen table and chairs, a treadmill (sold before we moved from CA), a bed, 2 dressers, and a wall of bookcases.  I'll trust him on the fasteners! 

He always planned it out in his head, then went to the store and had the wood cut to his specifications.  Then he would assemble it, and it was always very rugged.  The only problem we had with the gate, was the large young man next door climbing on it. 

I felt pretty dreadful, and went to bed.  Ron made me an ice bag, which helped, and I took a phenergan and beat out the nausea before it showed.  The phenergan also helps me sleep. 

I woke up around 5, in terrible pain.  Took some excedrin - which makes a total of 3 lithium-elevating drugs in my system.  It's good to know these things. 

I ate some pasta.  I know, not low carb, but I kept it down.  I put some olive oil and butter on it, and it digested well.  I was really craving salt, and ate quite a bit.  My medication makes my body lose salt.  I could get really sick if I didn't replace it. 

Finally felt well enough to get online, and here I am. 

Tomorrow we go to Walmart. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sunday Night Readers

Pretty tired tonight, but I know I get a lot of Sunday night readers.  Happily, yesterday I was fairly manic; we went to the store, went to work, stocked it all, fixed a down vending machine, etc.  Came home, I took a nap. 

Then I raked the front yard (maybe 400 square feet).  I poisoned the fire ant mound - pillow sized, in Ron's path to the mailbox - that would have been DREADFUL!  I am completely organic, except for fire ants. 

Speaking of organic, I put the leaves in the compost pile after some internal debate.  The ash tree is a "common" ash, with seed pods.  If I put the leaves in my compost I get baby ash trees coming up for months.  My pile doesn't get hot enough to destroy them, and that's OK.  They are easy enough to remove and often draw my attention to other problems. 

I am not always very observant.  While placing the leaves (I got a nice layer), I noticed some old bean pods are sprouting.  I have pole beans coming up in the compost.  That's fine too.  I am pretty relaxed.  At least I know the pile gets enough sun to support my squash idea.  I would like to plant some moschata squash in the pile, next spring. 

I do need to bring home some coffee grounds, so I can get some nitrogen.  I have a lot of carbon-rich "brown" items. 

Finished all that.  Checked my plants, they needed some water.  I watered them all with my hand-held watering can.  It's more work but I get a closer interaction with the plants.  I also ensure the plant is getting every drop.  A lot of times, with the hose, the water comes out too fast and runs off into the grass or pathway. 

I found it very relaxing.  The purple, frilly kale (I have 2 different purple kales) caught my leg as I walked by.  After I finished my plant tending, I went into the house and did all the dishes. 

I love a nice mild mania.  I get ALL the chores! 

I got a pot with a tight fitting lid, and a knife.  I went out in the garden, and cut some kale.  I also got some collards and chard.  The only chard to survive was pink,  and yellow.  As I munched a pink stalk, I tried to decide if I liked it.  I decided I certainly didn't hate it.  I chopped the greens, de-stemmed them (more on the stems in a sec), and put them into about a cup of boiling water.  My pot was stuffed.  I just added a little salt and turned it on low for about 25 minutes. 

I then turned my attention to the stems.  I chopped them, and threw them in my stockpot, along with the veggie-stuff from the freezer.  I like canned green beans, from the store (they are so cheap commercially it doesn't make sense for me to can).  When I eat any store-canned bean or veggie, , I pour off the water into a ziplock.  When cutting veggies, I put those hard ends and stems, too.  It's all nice and clean.  Carrot tops, etc. 

I took that out, it was full, and dumped it in the stockpot with a quart of tap water, and set that to simmer.  Boom.  Veggie stock.  When it was done, I strained it and canned it.  Boom.  I have a quart and a half of beautiful stock.  They sealed great, and I only had to process for 30 minutes. 

Since I was manic, I got out the lentils (my favorite bean) and made some chili lentils.  I found some chili powder, with a good date.  I put a cup of lentils, a half teaspoon of chili powder, and about 3 cups water in a small pot without a a lid.  When they finished, I added some grated cheese. 

As I told Ron "They are FAR better than I expected!"  Once I cleaned up, I went to bed. 

I didn't sleep very well, neither did Ron. 

We woke up early and went to Walmart.  I got some soda, powdered drink mix, and vitamins.  I was happy to see the folic acid.  I couldn't find the Black Cohosh for some reason.  Agh.  They didn't have lentils, either.  How can a grocery store not have lentils?  I felt very "thick" mentally and had a terrible time finding ANYTHING. 

I was really happy I got some cold and flu remedies.  My first winter as a cashier, I got the flu and mono, because sick people come in, buy their nyquil and hack all over the poor cashier.  I think that is VERY rude.  I prefer to buy the stuff I would need, when I'm healthy.  That way, when I'm sick I can literally reach under the bed.  I also put the sore throat spray where Ron can find it if he wakes up with a sore throat. 

Recently, when manic, I cleaned up my "cold kit" and got rid of all the bad codes, leaving me with a nice collection of sugar-free cough drops!  I replaced a lot of it at the dollar store, and the rest today at Walmart. 

Ideally, I will buy some 1000 mg vitamin C.  Ron always wants that.  Maybe my next Swanson order. 

Our ride came, and took us to the taqueria we like.  Ron wanted to try a dish I know is good.  I went with a bacon and egg taco, and a quesadilla.  Ron got his dish and loved it. 

I told him "I thought it was really cute, you started out so civilized with the fork, but finished eating with your left hand!"  I do find it endearing.  I was so happy to see him enjoy his food.  I ALWAYS position Ron so he is not visible to other diners. 

Our ride was about half an hour late, but we are quiet and good tippers.  They don't mind.  The last time we had breakfast, a middle aged guy brought in his mother, in a wheelchair.  They sat next to us and ate.  Same happened today!  It was the disabled corner! 

We went home, and I was beat.  Looks like today was going to be a low energy depression day.  So, I took a long nap.  When I woke up I saw, literally, 10 doves in the yard.  Ringneck Mourning Doves are huge birds, and least mine are. 

I am, generous. 

Here is an online image: 
Make it a little fatter, and give it 10 friends, and you've got my backyard.    source

But wait!  Look, it's the House Sparrows!  They live in my red-tip bushes.  I had a dozen or so of them cheeping and pecking away. 

The cat was having a great time, watching them.  I also have some cardinals, a blue jay, and the occasional purple finch.   Good times. 

I went out and fed them, then checked on the plants.  Bubba got out and scared  the birds.  They're not stupid.  

Ron and I have talked about getting a microphone outside, so he can hear the birds.  I think it's a great idea. 

When I came in, I cleaned up the front room a little bit, took out some trash, and decided to relax a little. 

That's my weekend. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Take your pills!

I've been seeing a lot of paranoia on Facebook, which is sad.  Someone on a message board said she was afraid to post because "Is this safe? Am I putting myself at unnecessary risk by 'voicing' my beliefs so strongly?"

I strongly suggested she get some medical help.  It is easy for me to see, in others, what I battled for so long. 

One thing I can say, I may go up, I may go down, but I'm not paranoid anymore.  I don't have delusions (one, I will share now: for months I was convinced my sister's daughter was actually mine - even though I have never given birth, she looks just like her parents, etc... yet I couldn't get it out of my head).  I don't have delusions, anymore.  I was paranoid and delusional; I know how it "feels". 

I always, always suggest they talk to a good doc and get some medication.  God knows mine has worked great. 

Which is a good thing, because I started cycling depressed again.  Boo.  Ron was actually the first to notice, and has been really supportive.  "Can I do anything to help"?  

I told him, today, I had planned to run an errand on the bus.  It would require 4 bus rides total and a long walk.  He was happy to set up a paratransit trip with himself in the wheelchair. 

I accepted.  I was looking for a sale item; one I had missed last year.  They only do the sale once a year.  The items are 75% off, for a couple of days.  I really, really, wanted to "hit that". 

I went in, looked around, asked, and no one knew what I was talking about.  I made a pretty careful search of the main areas of the store, pushing Ron in the wheelchair.  Nothing. 

He encouraged me to keep looking, if I didn't find it, he promised he would buy me one at full price.  He laughed when I told him, I want it at THIS price! 

Finally, I found it!  I wanted 5 items (4 are going for gifts).  He was such a good sport about being the human shopping cart, holding them all in his lap.  We went to checkout, and his wisecracks had everyone in line, laughing. 

We had a good ride home, too. 

He's been really good about letting me know I'm appreciated, even before I got depressed again.  I really need to hear that, especially when depressed. 

I watched a show on TV about someone who didn't take their meds, and murdered people.  Well, people, that's why I take my pills.  I have a huge responsibility. 

If a diabetic or an asthmatic doesn't medicate properly, they will die.  It will be ONE sad and pointless death. 

If I don't medicate, [snort]  it will get very bad, very quickly.  I will become paranoid, delusional, hallucinate, and very hostile.  I'd put a high probability that I would kill at least a couple of people before killing myself. 

All I have, keeping myself from that, is a line of medication.  You can bet I am going to keep that line strong! 

Having this illness can be a blessing; I have some great painting ideas.  I am very creative and fearless.  I feel very close to God.  However, this illness can be deadly to many people, so I have a responsibility to protect society, by taking my medication. 

I'm only fit for the public, on my medication.  No side effect will deter me from taking my meds. 

Did you know I carry a months' worth of medication on me at all times?  In case I have to take Ron to the hospital, family emergency, if I get injured, or something?  I will always be medicated.  Always. 

And, like I told Ron, I'm always out there, telling people, take your pills, as directed.  You can have a great life, if you take your medication consistently.  I was so horrible "before" Ron was willing to put himself in the hands of Adult Protective Services.  Now he's a happy husband.  Why?  Because I take my pills. 

So I do, and I tell others to do it.  If you have some wierdness in your head, go see a doctor, BE HONEST and tell them exactly what is going on. 

It isn't always hearing voices.  I have never heard "voices".  I heard a really alarming laugh once, that wasn't real.  But normally I heard music.  I see things out of the corner of my eye.  I had obsessive thoughts about the government coming to get me and put me in a camp.  I couldn't stop thinking about it (and why I wish, so desperately, my "FEMA camp friends" would consider medicating).  I would get a thought about anything stuck in my head and couldn't let it go.  I would obsess about "wrongs" done to me.  I got depressed, and thought about suicide.  It got so bad I couldn't NOT think about suicide.  Wow, I'm still alive, that was the best I could do.  I would talk a lot, stay up for days, spend a lot, and get very hyper.  I didn't understand, but I told the professionals - and they were able to get me the medication help I needed. 

Thank God. 

Do you know, I have only really LIVED for the past 5 years? 

Please, take your meds. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A trip down memory lane

Oh, I'm so happy.  I found Theocracy Christmas music, for free.  Christian.  Metal.  Christmas music.  So perfect.  AAAH.  It's got me thinking about some assorted Christmases I've known. 

When I was a kid, guaranteed I WOULD get the flu around Christmas.  Every year.  It was pretty horrible.  And it would linger forever.  I always got pretty much anything I wanted, and a lot besides.  I think my favorite childhood gift (other than learning to crochet when I was 8), was a weaving loom. 

My adoptive Mom would cook the most delicious tidbits.  Little cheesecakes on a Nilla wafer.  Fudge.  Oh.  The fudge.  A huge dinner.  Special Christmas morning casserole.  Good times! 

We always had an artificial tree.  Dad would argue, every year, it was in perfectly good shape, so why buy a real tree?  So, the memory of "Dad taking the disassembled Christmas tree out of the attic, and assembling it" is another happy memory. 

I remember when I figured Santa out - and Mom begged me not to tell my little brother, who still had a couple years left.  I didn't. 

In my late teens, I started getting horrible Christmas depressions on top of the flu.  1991 was a memorable, miserable,  year.  I started getting sick on the last day of school  We had elderly family visiting, so I was banished to my bedroom for the duration.  I had no appetite (that always used to bother Mom), and I remember slowly picking apart and orange, and eating it, as I read a book from high school English (a Jack London/Mark Twain anthology).  Mom kept heating up the same bowl of chicken soup, wondering when I'd get my appetite back! 

Christmas 1992 - I had run off with Ron.  We were living in a poorly converted garage apartment.  I had Mono!  Ron felt terrible because he couldn't afford a present, and was happy when he won a raffle at the vocational school.  They taught him computers, and did a fine job. 

Every year I worked retail (another couple years), I always got sick!  Always depressed!  I was pretty far from God so for me it was about presents.  Ron got a part time job in 1994 to supplement his check, so he liked to get me things I wanted (books, etc). 

In 1998, I was working at office jobs, thanks to Ron, who'd taught me computers.  I already know Mac, but Ron taught me DOS (remember "Bad command or file name?"), and I learned more as I went along. 

I had gotten a job at a company.  We'll call it Fredco.  Sorry, if there is a real Fredco. 

Anyway, the Fredco employees were very ambitious.  I'm not.  To me, money's always been a way to pay the bills, nothing more.  It's a very useful tool but I'm not making it my god. 

Money, was God, at Fredco.  We had a pretty big conflict right there.  Even before Ron's accident, I tried to focus on what matters: quality time with those you love. 

I listened to country music at the time.  Seems funny now.  I DREAMED of moving to Texas, a little house, and a garden!  Yay!  I did it!  They wanted money, money, money.  Oh, and love too. 

I had no problem showing up and putting in a good day's work.  I was working 12 hour days with the commute, in the winter, so every minute of daylight, I was chained to my desk.  I always tried to get out during lunch and soak up some sun. 

I had my first Red Bull then.  Boy, it was vile.  I tried, and failed, to like coffee.  I just couldn't.  I'm more of a hot milk kind of gal. 

I was horrified when I left my ATM card in the machine, by accident (since then, I have witnessed several normal people do just that, and always make sure they get their card back).  The guy in line behind me punched "another transaction" and stole $240, which was later returned (they got the camera footage and I signed an affadavit).  I made the mistake of sharing this at work, and got a lot of verbal abuse about my "stupidity". 

I thought that was completely unkind.  I already felt terrible.  How is yelling at me - and I lost my money, not theirs - going to help? 

Anyway, we had some value differences, but I didn't think much of it until the day after Thanksgiving.  Before I was robbed, I had bought a small Christmas tree and a string of lights.  I got a garland, and set up my tree at work. 

People LOVED it.  They would come and stand by my desk, talking, and complimenting my little tree. 

My boss came by and ordered me to take it down.  I said, everyone likes it.  She said, the building owner is Jewish.  I told her, but he just complimented the tree.  He likes it. 

Besides, I added, I didn't have anything religious on the tree.  I could see a problem if I had Bible Verse ornaments or a nativity.  I told her, I wouldn't do it. 

A week later, I got canned, and the tree and I had to wait outside for an hour, on the shuttle.  That was an awful day.  I had to figure out how I'd tell Ron. 

He came home and greeted me.  I started crying.   Ron panicked.  "What's wrong?"  I kept sobbing.  Ron always worried his vastectomy would fail one day: "Are you pregnant?"  No.  "Did you get fired?"  I began wailing.  He patted me consolingly and told me it would be OK, he wasn't mad. 

So, for that Christmas I took 2 weeks off (Ron insisted), even more depressed than usual, staring at my little Christmas tree, every day.  Probably the worst Christmas ever. 

Well, I wasn't sick that year.  Once New Year hit, I applied for, and won, unemployement, but I only needed 3 checks (even with my disabilities!).  I embarked on a serious job hunt; and then won a job at the sister agency to Ron's.  They liked the idea of "keeping it in the family" and all had been told.  Nepotistm.  I love nepotism - it's kept me employed for over 13 years (seeing as I am married to my boss). 

1999 was interesting, we went to visit Ron's family, and enjoyed Houston.  It was lovely and warm.  Ron made his brother roll down the windows and we savored the fresh air.  I took some echinacea prior to our flights,  Ron did not.  He also smoked a cigarette after he'd had a few beers, with his brother. 

Ron was a petri dish, just waiting to incubate.  He got horribly ill.  There he is, feverish, coughing up blood (he had the flu and pneumonia) and we lived about a mile from the hospital.  He refused to call a cab, "I don't want to get the driver sick!"  I could understand, so we walked, very slowly, to the hospital.  I wish I'd had a wheelchair. 

The doctor examined Ron, diagnosed him, said "I'd love to admit him but we're full" told me I'd make a good nurse, keep him hydrated, wrote prescriptions, and sent us home.  So, I brought in Y2K nursing Ron!  [laugh] 

By Christmas 2000, we had landed in Houston.  We were thrilled, because Ron had been accepted to the blind vendor program.  I also had a good job with a company that respected me.  They knew I'd be quitting in July to work for Ron and figured I was cheaper than a temp.  We did alright. 

Christmas 2001 and 2 were awful; trying to run two business, drowning in a sea of red ink.  I was manic, and one year I got some nice CZ earrings for "the girls".  They loved them.  I wonder if they still have them. 

Christmas 2003, Ron was still recovering from his accident and we were back at work, trying to figure how we'd cope. 

2004 - we had the house!  Yay! 

2006 was awesome, as my first MEDICATED Christmas! 

And here we are, Christmas 2011.  Well, not yet. 

I hope you enjoyed my trip down memory lane.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Lithium always wins

Today I found out yet another family member has bipolar disorder.  I really wonder, if you threw a dart at my family tree, would you hit a "normal?"  Doubtful. 

Well, I pray for everyine.  I also have a page in my notebook; and pray for people with mental illness (the right medication and will to use it, proper diagnosis, affordable medication, etc).  I just wish I didn't know so many who qualified. 

Don't get me wrong; I love them.  But I know it is hell, and I hate to see anyone, especially those I love, suffering the way I do.  AGH. 

Not much I can do, just pray.  Encourage them to take medication as directed, avoid alcohol, and strive for a stable routine.  However, we have at least 4 generations running around out there.  [sigh]

I am glad I'm enrolled in a genetic study for bipolar disorder.  I hope, one day, they will be able to do a DNA swab and tell a parent "Your child has ABZ Bipolar disorder.  As she starts to exhibit symptoms we'll start her on lithium, and antipsychotics as needed.." 

That is, until the Rapture. 

I was thinking today.  I was at the Post Office.  A family had come in to get passports.  They were jabbering away in Spanish and I thought "You know, if I didn't believe in the Rapture I'd be pretty annoyed."  When did America become a Spanish speaking country?  If I really thought I'd be around in 40 years, I'd have been upset. 

If nothing else, my belief in the Rapture has certainly kept me calm!  Things that MIGHT bother or worry me (like, retirement), I just shrug off and take a "Cross that bridge when I come to it" attitude. 

Last night I started getting manic.  I slept in today, got 10 hours.

I had a lot of energy this morning; got my God Time, talked to Ron for a while, showered (funny, I was so depressed last night I didn't have the energy!), got my presents, and left. 

I went to Foodtown, got some soda, a little candy for the Postal Clerks, and some last minute additions to the goodie boxes.  Now, there's a happy memory; the goodie box. 

I don't have a lot of ideal memories of my mother.  If I had to claim one, it would be of her suicide attempt when I was a toddler.  She attempted suicide while I was home.  I remember a lot of paramedics, I'm scared and crying, something written on the wall, and someone picking me up.  The second memory would be myself, as an older child and young teen, listening to my mother sobbing on the other end of the phone, begging my forgiveness.  Telling her it was OK, I forgave her (I do). 

However, I also have a lot of happy memories of goodie boxes.  See, when Mom was manic one gift just wasn't enough.  [laugh]  If you know bipolar disorder, you know what that means.  I remember when I was about 7.  She bought me a whole zoo's worth of stuffed animals.  My adoptive Mom was shocked. 

When I was 10, "we" moved cross-country.  My bio-Mom wasn't too good with birthdays and Christmas.  I might get something, I might not.  More often, I got a lavish gift box in the middle of the summer for no apparent reason (I'm good for aummer manias, too). 

So, my adoptive Mom would bake the cake and the birthday meal, plan the party, and select a present.  Birth Mom was "good" for the occasional goody box.  They were always stuffed full of various, interesting items. 

My sister does that, too.  I LOVE YOU SUE!  Just in case she is reading.  Anyway, she always makes an interesting little goodie box. 

Generally, it seems like the holiday, whatever it is, hits right in the middle of one of my depressions.  I was feeling very sorry for myself the other day, mentally whining about the difficulty of selecting presents when depressed.  I don't have the energy or creativity.  I feel like whatever I select will end up in a trash can, unappreciated.  Horrible, right? 

I have also MISSED many festive occasions, I'm ashamed to admit, because I couldn't lick the bad thoughts or muster the energy for a gift box.  It's sad, and I'm sorry. 

However, last night, as I began to get manic, I had some great ideas for inclusion in the goody boxes (Dad and adoptive Mom, and my sister).  I finally had the energy and inspiration.  If Allen is still reading, something he liked went to my sister.  I already had the meat, but I was able to add a few condiments. 

The grocery store provided the finishing touches.  I wore my Santa hat.  Happily, it was not as bad as I'd feared, at the Post Office.  It wasn't much busier than normal.  I wore my santa hat and brought candy. 

Please, if you are going to ship something, bring some candy for the clerk.  They will love it.  Mine did. 

Did I have anything hazardous?  Well, some sweets... got them all shipped off in their medium flat rate boxes.  I love those things; and got some more. 

By the time I finished, the lithium had effectively "slammed" the mania.  I was pretty fatigued, so I went home. 

On the way home, I met a woman on the bus. 

"I remember you!  You gave me a Bible!" 


Monday, December 12, 2011

You don't like money?

You know, I get it.  Some people find me annoying.  I understand. 

However, in this wonderful internet age, no one has to read a thing I type.  Between message board "Ignore poster" buttons, "Unfriend" or "block" on Facebook - and the simple fact that anyone can delete a bookmark, why would anyone choose to read something I wrote, if they don't like my style? 

I talk a lot, I get that.  I talk a lot about my problems; because I hope it can help other people, with, I hope, "Lesser" problems.  I talk about my problems because I want to be a source of encouragement for people with mental illness and those who love them: "Heather does all right because she takes her medication as directed".  If you don't like that, you can stop reading.  I can't force anyone to read a thing I type. 

I hope, people, would also learn from me; a 20-years-older "boyfriend" might bear a little consideration.  Drinking is bad.  Especially if you have a family history of "problems".  While I'm at it, don't drink when pregnant - while the child may APPEAR fine they could have lifelong, devastating, brain damage that will plague them. 

I APPEAR fine, and most people doubt I have any "problems" but as they get better acquainted, they realize "Hm.  Something, here, is off."  I see it in their eyes when I make an off the wall comment.  I try not to, I try to be relevant and appropriate, but a lot of times people just LOOK at me after I say something and I go, OH.  I did it again. 

Some people get angry at me; because I express myself fairly well in this context, they assume I am fine and just whining.  Of they don't like the way I say what I do. 

Recently I have had people getting upset at me because I chose not to have kids.  I think, you should be thanking God I never had kids! 

1.  Would be born blind, due to Ron's genetics. 
2.  Strongly possible Deaf, too, due to Ron's genetic nerve deafness - he has a couple of deaf cousins and can't hear me unless we are in the same, small, room - and I'm facing him.  I have to "point" my mouth at his ear. 
3.  Mental illness.  Mine is more severe than my mother's, I assume it would be far worse in my child. 
4.  I am a carrier for Bubble Boy syndrome.  That's very bad news, and very expensive to treat.  Even if the taxpayers picked it up, which you would, it is incurable except with a bone marrow transplant and anti-rejection drugs for the kid's whole life.  Also expensive and difficult. 
5.  I am not fit to be a parent!  I can't say it any clearer!  Regulars know why! 
6.  Neither is Ron!  And if you're a regular, you KNOW why. 
7.  We are low income, we don't drive, etc. 
8.  The world is a sick and evil place. 

I am sure, if, God wanted me pregnant, it would have happened.  The God who created the universe could certainly make it happen.  And it never did, so I safely conclude it was NOT GOD'S WILL. 

But the people, we'll call them the "judgers" - don't want to hear that.  They want to tell me how to live my reproductive life and I just think, "What gives you the right to judge me?" 


You don't have the right to judge me, only God can do that! 

I know I am living a life pleasing to God; and I'm working on becoming MORE pleasing to God every day of my life.  That is my #1 goal, above and beyond ANYTHING else I accomplish during my "life".   Anything else is just a step on the road to "Pleasing God". 

Besides, whenever I ask the "judgers" if they will adopt my severely disabled and EXPENSIVE baby, suddenly they stop talking.  So, they want me to to do something they won't!  Let's add "hypocrite" to "judger". 

Really, I would think anyone who pays taxes, would be delighted to know that because I married a sterile (by choice) man, we have saved the taxpayers at least a million dollars. 

Like the commercial says, you don't like money? 

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Houston Squash

Still battling depression. 

I have to pick how to spend my energy.  Ron loves it when I cook him things; so I did that.  He was a good sport about doing the dishes.  I made him some tuna salad with hardboiled eggs, and some pinto beans.  I canned most of the pintos (and sausage). 

Today, I made some 15-bean soup, with a sprinkle of bacon.  I also put in some fava beans, and some dried pole bean seed from my garden (I picked it off the vines).  I added a lot of salt and garlic, two of my favorites.  It's extremely doubtful Ron would eat any of it, he loves his pintos. 

The weather will be nice and mild, so I put my plants outside.  Well, all of them except the pointsettia.  I watered the container plants with some saved water (from the showers we had). 

"Don't just work" Ron told me "Have some fun".  So, once I finish the dishes, and set the canning jars to cool, I plan to take a nap. 

When I was manic, I got some garden edging and marked some tentative garden beds.  I am happy to report they all get lots of sun, so will be productive.  I'll do the actual construction and soil amendment during my next mania.  I'm playing with the idea of growing some moschata squash this year; they are resistant to the bugs that gobble all Houston squash. 

I was a little manic for squash, but I didn't buy any.  It can wait.  We could still have frost for another 2 months, so I have to anyway.  Do I ever buy it?  No.  But if I grow it I will eat a modest amount. 

We had a bad freeze this week, but nothing died except the Amaranth.  I was getting a little scared of the amaranth.  I had it in a very large pot.  Completely neglected it, and it kept growing.  Now I can till the dead plants under, and plant something in the legume family to help build the soil.  My lima bean (I think it is a King of the Garden pole lima) was pretty frostbit, but has plenty of healthy leaves.  I'll let it keep going, then.  I'm not inclined to rip out a healthy thing I planted.  It certainly adds a bright spot of greenery. 

Anyway, that's it for now. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Thank God for Santa hats

For the last couple days, I've been completely exhausted.  It's not a depression fatigue, I know those well; no hopelessness, despair, or pain.  Just an unrelenting desire to sleep, and some vague aches. 

If I had a sore throat or a fever, I would have called it "the flu".  If I were vomiting or otherwise, I would have called it "a virus".  As it is, only God knows.  Nothing specific enough for a doctor visit. 

I decided to treat myself as thought I were sick; what would I do?  I would get tons of rest; so I did.  I would stay warm and take it easy mentally - did that.  I would do things I enjoy - didn't really do that, but I got a lot of sleep. 

I love a red wool "safety" blanket I bought online a few years ago.  I have no idea why a $8, itchy, wool blanket makes me happy, but it does.  I put it on the bed.  The cat and I love it.  I have a huge mountain of blankets, actually.  5 if you count the quilt. 

I'm happy; I don't take very good care of myself, and I need to work on that.  I did pretty well this week.  God values me, I need to value myself.  Working on that. 

At any rate, when I woke up from a 4- hour nap yesterday, I realized I WAS feeling better.  Happily I'm back to my usual energy level - which is pretty low as I am in a depression.  I can think about presoaking some beans to make soup tomorrow, and I put up the trash can. 

Ha.  When I loaded the page I wasn't really going to talk about this at all. 

About the only other physical issue of note; I have the metal-mouth again.  My mouth, and everything I consume, tastes like rusty nails.  Yuck.  The peanut butter was REVOLTING.  I ended up eating some plain cream cheese so I could take my lithium.  That tasted OK, but that horrible flavor persists. 

I probably need to try drinking a lot of water, sometimes that will help.  Worst case I have sugar free cough drops. 

Today we went to work, stocked what we could.  I was very upset, I thought someone had stolen our tree.  They didn't, they just knocked it down.  I duct taped it in place. 

We stocked what we could, I took out the bad codes, and threw them out.  Sometimes I wish I had a farm animal, like a goat.  I could feed it the out of code product.  [sigh] 

After work, we went to the Christian bookstore.  The machine was down.  I had done everything I could think to troubleshoot. 

See, I was feeling pretty proud after getting our old Royal Vendor up and running.  It had crashed, and I got it going again.  I was mentally strutting around like a rooster.  I can fix anything!  Look at me!  See what I did! 

Now, everyday I ask God (during my God Time at least), to keep me humble.  Well, it is very humbling for the Great Fixer to say, sadly, "I can't get it to work".  We had to call the expert. 

So the second half of "work", today, was "getting the professional out to tell me a part had gotten unplugged".  Ouch.  Hm.  That's a big blow to the old pride.  After fixing it, I picked up a few clearance things and we came home.  I got a good nap. 

When I woke up this morning, it was literally freezing.  [shiver]  I decided I really didn't want to take a shower, I'd just use the dry shampoo. 

I bought it, thinking it might have some good disaster kit applications.  However, when I tried it, it had a very strong (objectionable) smell that reminded me of those pink, scented, tampons.  I kept smelling it all day.  It didn't work, my hair still looked awful.  I got white junk all over my hairbrush, and had to wash it. 

Dry shampoo is a big failure, at least that brand.  I might try the mousse, but I don't have high hopes.  I felt so "dirty".  Ugh.  One day I will figure out, the only surefire way to perfect hair is a hot shower. 

Thank God for Santa hats. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Two migraines, a pointsettia, and some cheesy bread

Boy, I'm tired. 

I'm not sure if I'm fighting something off, "just" depressed, properly medicated ("fatigue" is listed on all my medication side effects), or a combination, but I'm exhausted. 

Happily, we got some rain this weekend.  Before it hit, I got some good garden time.  While this week promises to have lows in the 30's, and generally miserable daytime weather, I have a nice warm house.  I brought the lettuce planters in for a nice vacation.  I have plant lights. 

Saturday I was a pretty depressed mess. Dad always used to say "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" and I figured that also applied to my blog. I also had a vicious headache that wanted to be a migraine. My aunt, and my niece, both swear a cold front storm system is always "good" for a migraine.

Yesterday, before the rain, we ordered some pizza and cheesy bread from Dominoes.  When we lived in "Cracktown", Dominoes was the only pizza who'd deliver.  Of course, we had to meet the deliveryman at the gate, but at least we got pizza.  I had seen the ads for the cheesy bread and decided to try it. 

Boy, it was good.  It was insanely cheesy and so good I hardly ate any pizza (at that meal).  Way to go, Dominoes.  That was Sunday. 

Ron was having a lot of neuropathy troubles with his right foot (we have a call in to his doctor), he didn't get much sleep this weekend and inadvertently kept waking me up last night.  We both got a pretty good nap when we got home, after work. 

I got my second migraine,  this morning.  I slept really poorly and finally went ahead and took my Excedrin at 3 AM.  If I have a migraine and I take Excedrin, I will go to sleep.  If it's a regular headache, I wake up.  Sadly, I had to get up at 5 for work.   By the time I got up, the worst of the pain had retreated.  I was able to go to work and get everything accomplished. 

Oh, and on my way into work, I was given a pointsettia plant.  It's over next to the lettuce, under the plant lights. 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

You're getting in the truck

I've been hearing a lot about the purported "FEMA" camps, online.  Message boards and facebook.  I thought, I'd better share my perspective. 

First, lets take a trip back in time; my early teen years.  I love reading biographies, adore them.  I really enjoy the "overcoming adversity" ones, so I've read a fair amount on WW2 survivor accounts; The Hiding Place, etc. 

Part of my illness includes delusions and some persecution issues.  I have always been convinced, on a deep and unreachable, level, that one day THEY will come to get me and put me into some kind of concentration camp.  I'd obsess about it. 

Happily, my medication pretty much got rid of it.  I mentioned this and got some odd comments about "telling the 6 million Jews to take medication".  I didn't say that.  For one, I think it is incredibly insulting to WW2 Jews, to compare them to yourself today.  They endured horrific persecution and discrimination, before being put into camps, starved, worked like slaves, and murdered. 

And what?  You think - you MIGHT get put into some kind of camp because you have conservative views, read something online, and say you're Christian?   Hm.  Sounds more like a medication issue. 

I don't think I would need to alliterate all the reasons; but a few: "we" are not a cultural group, persecuted for milennia.  No laws have been passed forcing us to register, wear yellow stars, restricting our faith, etc.  I will also refer you to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and the fact I have the right to write this blog and publish it to all readers.  I think it's "premature", at best, to start anticipating lockup in camps. 

But, you might say, what if they do exist?  What if "They" really ARE plotting to lock "us" up? 

What are you going to do about it? 

Really, what?  If someone shows up with an automatic weapon, pointed at you, ready and willing to shoot, and says "Get in the truck", what can you do?  You would have to comply, or die. 

And, as I mentioned on a message board, anything else would probably be considered terrorism.  It's not like you could "shut down" a camp, "expose", it, or whatever.  Say you have a gun, somone shows up, several someones show up, with bigger guns.  They are pointed at your children.  Yeah, sure, you're going to shoot, and kill your loved ones. 

No, you're getting in the truck. 

Now, that's just the secular side of things. 

Let's examine the faith issue.  The Bible DOES say, in the last days, some of us will be persecuted for our faith.  However, I think that goes more to the Iranian Christian who'd be executed, for converting from Islam.  Women raped, tortured, and murdered for their faith in Africa, for refusing to convert.  Believers in Indonedia, kidnapped and "married" to Muslim captors. 

Again, I think it is incredibly insulting for Americans to compare ourselves to these people, and say we're equal.  No, they have suffered far more than we have, and will have a greater reward in Heaven.   We like to complain, but haven't had anything even RESEMBLING persecution. 

No one is going to lock me up for handing out Bibles.  I have First Amendment rights protecting me.  Even if they did outlaw Bible distribution, I'd find a way to do it.  I'd share Jesus with everyone I met (I hope I do that now), and be a light in the darkness.... assuming that moment arrives before the rapture (which I doubt). 

In China, believers are frequently imprisoned and "deprogrammed" - torture, sleep deprivation, and worse.  And where, I ask, is this happening in America?  That's right - NOWHERE. 

So shut up already.  You're an embarrassment, and most likely in need of medication. 

Friday, December 2, 2011

The thought of tomorrow

If you're a regular reader, you might remember a post I made a while back. 

In the post, I displayed two images.  One was a small white mouse.  Ew.  Get it away from me.   That's how a lot of people interact with depression.  It is a yucky, nasty, thing.  They are glad to see the last of it. 

For me, [pardon me while I get out the violin], my depression is far more relatable to the second image; a massive, nasty, vicious BEAST that clearly wanted to eat you for dinner.  In another post, I described my depression as "roaring in the basement".   Sometimes, managing my depression is a lot like walking past a cage containing a vicious animal. 

I got bit.  Oh, I feel like I'm crawling off to hide, bleeding profusely; in terrible pain.  Trying desperately to distract myself as I face the fact that, no, I don't have the "juice" to take a shower tonight. 

I tell myself that's OK.  I don't have to be perfect.  I don't have to do it all.  I don't have to try.  Sometimes all I will do is stand, endure, and survive.  That's wonderful. 

I tell myself God gave me this illness; and He had a reason.  It makes me depend on Him.  I have to take it all to Him when I'm like this.  Just the thought of "tomorrow" sometimes, is such a horrifying concept I can't allow the thought. 

God doesn't require perfection; He wants my faith.  He wants my trust.  I can give Him that; and sometimes that's all I can give.  He gives me "The Grace to Deal" - which I so often request, and thank Him for. 

I try to be a grateful person.  I have so many wonderful things in my life; in fact, sometimes I'm embarrassed to talk about them.  I work part time.  Very few people can do that.  I have a fantastic little house; I adore it.  I love my yard, my garden.  I love the natural sunlight.  I love the sound the trees make when the wind picks up and it's about to rain.  I love to squash around in the soggy soil after a good downpour, checking on my plants.  I love my collards.  They have endured drought, floods, heat waves, snow, ice storms, hurricanes, and they just keep going.  I hope I have half the endurance of my collards. 

I remind myself, the same God who created my illness also created my medication; my AFFORDABLE medication.  He also created my doctor and pharmacist.  He created many excellent resources; people who would love to help me manage my illness. 

I'm glad I work; because I need to work.  I need to stay busy.  I need to know, I have to get up at 5 AM tomorrow to get ready for work.  That I'm needed to troubleshoot and stock vending machines, and help Ron do the same. 

Sometimes, the thought of tomorrow is the only thing that keeps me going. 

Side-effected... Video Blog

Not just whining about side effects (brain fog), talking about my garden and faith, too. 

Scattered Shower

I didn't sleep well.  I was happy, though, when I kicked my foot out, only to end up in fur.  Torbie had joined me in the bed for a cudd...