Thursday, January 31, 2013

Roll Call

Well, I prayed about it and decided to share my half of why my friend came over. 

He feels I am "undressing" Ron online by sharing his bad behavior.  He told Ron I was relating this and Ron got upset.  As I told them, everything I have written about Ron and his behavior, has been 100% true. 

"You don't want me to tell the truth?" I asked. 

[shrug]  I'm still working on it, but a Christian Counselor friend of mine was pretty outraged.  I have a lot of online friends. 

Someone said "Heather, your honesty in sharing your struggles has encouraged me to share mine".  Then I got an in-box on a message board "Heather, I really want to share what you related about forgiveness with a friend, can I do that?"  Of course. 

It certainly seems like God is telling me not to shut up. 

Like I told her, I would hope my pain can help others.  Maybe inspire them.  Maybe encourage them.  Maybe make them think "Well, at least my life isn't that bad!"

After all, as regards the unreached "The world does not read the Bible.  It reads you and me".  (Corrie Ten Boom)

Maybe, by reading my blog, someone will be led to faith, or strengthen their own.  Maybe not. 

Because I shared. 

This seems like a shameless grab, but if I could get a kind of roll call - if you could let me know if all my gory struggles have helped you out with your own - that would be great.  You can leave an anonymous comment.  Sorry for the security features, but I have a lot of problems with spam. 

Thanks. 

Sorry to be vague

Well.  That was interesting. 

Short version: you won't be hearing much about Ron unless he OK's. it.  I will pray on it of course but that's how it will be for now. 

Ron doesn't have a blog, to write about me.  He can't make comments on this one - anyone can see it's very one-sided.  We'll see how it goes. 

If you pray, you could pray for Ron and his issues.  He can always use prayer on them. 

Ron has, however, said "Don't write about me online".  OK, I'll respect that. 

I can say that I came to a realization tonight: I haven't given Ron, completely, to God.  I have given his body, but not all his issues, to God.  On some level, I guess I think that some issues even God can't fix. 

As far as Ron goes, I think I can say he feels defensive and attacked and that's about it.  It wasn't my idea - which is good because I'm the one who has to live with him!   As it is, I'm hearing a lot but he's not mad at me. 

On the upside, we've forgotten all about the candy bar issues. 

Candy bar nightmares

For some reason, I set my alarm very early.  When it went off, Bubba got in bed with me and we had a snuggle for about an hour.  Worth it. 

I'd taken my shower last night - finally dragged myself in there - so my hygenie was fine once I got my teeth and hair brushed.  I did part of my God Time - still need to finish that. 

I was up a pound - this is one reason I hate weighing myself.  I always freak if I go up an ounce. 

Our driver came early, so I bolted out of the house with the Mountain Dew, my backpack, and no medication.  Boy, I missed that Wellbutrin today. 

I did have a funny moment at work; my jeans are getting very baggy in the butt - at least baggy for me.  I'm not used to leeway.  I told Ron about it.   He was sitting in the wheelchair, so I grabbed his hand and put it on my butt to illustrate "See?" 

As I did it, I thought "I hope a manager doesn't walk in."  No one did. 

We went back to work, stocking away, doing meter readings (how much the machine made every month).  I had to figure out meter readings on 2 new machines. 

The State of Texas purchased "Training" but I really am a "throw a manual at me and I'm fine" person.  They were a little shocked I had programmed prices, in fact. 

I would rather figure it out with the manual than have someone tell me.  Horrors!  So, I did that. 

I had a "Customer Service Emergency".  An item priced at 65 cents was wanting 75 cents.  I dropped everything and made sure the customer was happy, then fixed the problem while he watched. 

I hope I am the type of vendor who will drop everything to solve a customer issue.  I hope people think of good customer service when they think of me.  God will let me know. 

Right at the end of the day, the supervisor showed up!  I think she was more surprised to see us, than we were to see her!  "You only come in the mornings!"  Not always.  We like to shake it up. 

Ron and I don't like to be too predictable, and work various shifts, to make sure we're working with everyone.  I like that. 

Anyway, she complained about the machines.  I told her I don't want to stock candy until we get this pricing issue fixed - it's not feasible to make a quarter on every candy bar, if that.  She understood. 

I also explained the other vendor was balking a lot; and I just needed to know if they would raise prices.  If not, I need to take out some candy and put in other items with a better price point. 

I wrote "Candy bars not stocked due to high food cost and pricing issues" on the report, before signing it.  Now they HAVE to address the issue.  That report is filed to Austin. 

Of course, when I eventually got home I had nightmares the other vendor flipped out - not much fun.   But if they really don't want to raise prices they can have the bulk of the candy "sales".  I'll sell trail mix, granola bars, other things with better wholesale prices. 

Agh.  Politics. 

Another early pickup!  And we're off, to our favorite taqueria.  It's Thursday, fajita special day. 

I ate well within my boundaries and don't feel cheated.  I still have leftovers. 

We had a good ride home with one of our favorite drivers.  He talked to Baby Girl when he dropped us off.  I thought that was sweet. 

I found Bubba in my bed, all plump and cute.  He moved over and we slept for a couple hours (I had taken my meds at the taqueria, and they could fell an elephant).  I had the aforementioned nightmares, got up. 

A friend is coming over later, he says God wants him to tell us something, so we'll see how that goes. 

I lit some incense.  I would hate for my home to have an odor. 

We have tomorrow off; and work Saturday.  I like working weekends, as long as I can get to church on Sunday. 

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

A food blog

I had a nice baseline mood for about a week.  Today I realized I am getting a little manic. 

Ironic to type this: it was rather depressing.  I would love to have a good level mood all the time.  Instead, I'm strapped into this roller coaster. 

However, God has a purpose.  I just need to focus on serving Him. 

I saw a seedrack today and that reminded me of past manias, where I would buy dozens of packets of seeds.  Most would languish, never planted, because the depression would strike. 

I have a single collard plant out back, nice and green.  I haven't really gotten out to the garden in a while. 

Last year I was so wrapped up in home repairs and getting my lithium level right.  Now it's right, and I'm always tired! 

But I'm figuring out work arounds for my daily living.  For instance, I'm drinking a shake.  It's very good.  I use 2 cups of whole milk and a scoop of whey protein, plus some ice.  It's good, it's easy, it's healthy. 

When I was at the mall on Monday, I noticed a few "meal replacement" type shakes at the two health food stores.  One of them had creamer as the third ingredient, and it cost $20 a pound  That's just stupid.  I would never waste my money on that. 

I figure I can make my own, add a little fruit if desired, and take a vitamin and be done with it.  Walmart has a good whey protein "Body Fortress".  It mixes well, especially in the blender.  It tastes good, low carb.  I drank some when I was sick, just to get some protein on board, but I have to be careful about that. 

I got sick a lot, as a child. Mainly respiratory infections, and stomach issues.  I'm sick, here comes the chicken soup.  Every time.  Chicken soup.  Guess what?  I hate chicken soup. 

I also used to make gallons of chicken soup when we had the deli - from scratch.  I'd stand for hours over that giant stockpot, stirring and fine tuning.  I have never eaten chicken soup since! 

I do make Ron chicken and sausage gumbo, but I never eat it. 

And mint - I used to love mint tea.  But, I drank it when I was sick, or had a migraine.  Then I stopped.  But I'd use mint mouthwash everytime I vomited - so I associate mint with ghastly illlness.  Diet lemon-lime soda, and diet gingerale, also ended up on the no list because I'd always consume them when sick. 

I try to be careful what I consume when I'm sick, now. 

About the only standbys are grilled cheese (I'm up for that pretty much anytime, especially if you use a lot of butter), and macaroni and cheese.   I love both and will eat them pretty much anywhere, anytime.  Cornbread.  Oh, I love cornbread.  Pizza.  If I don't want pizza I am really sick. 

Does that happen to you?  Does your appetite up and die whenever you get really sick?  I can always tell I'm getting better when I get my appetite back. 

I have noticed that the Wellbutrin affects my appetite mechanism.  In some way, it turns down the volume on the "hungry".  That's great if I'm smart enough to eat small snacks on a regular basis, not so good if I forget to eat! 

It's also interesting figuring out the meals I can eat with the lithium.  Today, cottage cheese, a glass of milk, a molasses cookie.  Worked.  Just cottage cheese works with a beef stick.  It's been interesting playing with that. 

Ron's been good about supporting me.  I told him "No Chinese food" for the forseeable future, and he was fine with that.  I also told him I'd be happy to eat my own meal if he wanted some takeout for himself.  He does not eat vegetables. 

Mark, Ron's not looking good?  Ron never eats a vegetable.  No veggie juice, even, even though he knows it is in the fridge.  I don't think he takes his vitamins, either.  It can be hard to love him at times. 

The only time he gets a vegetable is if a restaurant has snuck it into his entree somehow - like Chinese food.  Or the tomato sauce on pizza (which I really can do in moderation). 

I saw some pasta at Walmart recently, it has vegetables in it, but looks normal.  That's the kind of thing I'd have to use on him. 

Overall I am happy with my new eating plan.  Down 9 pounds in a week, not bad for a lady in her late 30's.  I can eat things I want, in moderation. 

I don't have to buy any special food - I spent a fortune on processed, low-carb foods back in the day.  I don't have to do a lot of cooking, other than my usual "Found some ground beef at sell by date" cooking.  Ha.  Most of the meat I consume at home is that very ground beef, or the precooked sausage patties from Walmart. 

I should probably start canning some foods to work with my eating plan.  If my freezer went out I'd be in trouble. 

Better than a migraine

I realized a few things last night:
I need to cut off all liquids an hour before bedtime.  Dry mouth keeps me drinking and then I end up going to the bathroom every 10 minutes when I'm trying to sleep.  

I heard a high pitched whistle for a while and it was driving me NUTS.  I kept looking for the source, but it was the same intensity everywhere I went.  I finally realized (after praying about it) I was having tinnitus, a side effect of my medication. 

I had a terrible time falling asleep, but once I dropped off I was OK.  I mean, God love him, Ron always thinks he's "quiet"...

We woke up early and went to Foodtown.  I like going early, I have the store to myself.  The employees are long term and seem happy.  I got some soda for home and work (the business owes me $6 for Mountain Dew), and found the coveted $1 a pound ground beef.  Another lady and I were pillaging it, pretty funny.  I got about 2 pounds of 93% lean.  I was thrilled. 

Speaking of, I need to cook it - it's at the sell-by date.  I plan to cook some without seasoning for the cats, and then the rest for me with some Bolner's Chili seasoning.  I like to heat it up, put some cheese on it, mix it with something, for a good snack. 

And $1 a pound!  I've eaten, "like" 30 pounds of the stuff over the years.

I finished cooking it.  Baby Girl is full of hamburger, stuffed and happy.  She adored it. 

It's certainly easy enough to time my trip to Foodtown and grab some discount meat.   Cook a little for the cats with no seasoning, then season mine.  I like the Bolner's Chili seasoning. 

I am a little frustrated I forgot to get some more Meow For More.  It's a made in Texas cat food and my guys love the chicken flavor "Suitable for cats and kittens".  Good, I've got one of each.  They sure look good eating it. 

Have you ever met a stray cat and seen their coat?  It's always rough and thick.  My kids have nice, silky coats, even on the cheap cat food.  Good to know I'm doing it right. 

I got the enclosed litter box yesterday, and Baby Girl was fine with it.  She was having trouble with the door sticking, so I cut off the bottom half inch so it can swing freely.  Hopefully that will eliminate any problems. 

I think they were so focused on making it "airtight" they didn't think of the poor cat trying to get out!  And, the way I see it, if the box is that bad you need to change it! 

I'd put up the groceries (it was mostly diet drink powders, soda, meat, and some Mexican cheese), fixed the box, and now it was time to go to Dollar Tree.  I got my cotton swabs (I am a "waxer" to quote Ron's audiologist).

[Bubba just came home, he is murdering that poor cow all over again, gobbling his ground beef - definitely doing this again]

I mainly got a few cleaning things, a couple of snacks, and driver candy.  I'm wanting to bag up some New Testaments with candy and a Valentime, for Valentine's day or preceeding it.  Now I can do it.  I have plenty of candy, they had some nice toffees and heart shaped hard candy - those were very popular another year I did this. I also got some gum.  Some people go straight for the gum, first, even if I have chocolate. 

We had a good ride home, a driver we like.  Everytime we ride with her she says she is quitting but she keeps picking us up.  Jobs are hard to find. 

I put away all my stuff and took a nap.  Ron went to the liquor store.  He woke me up coming in, then the garbage truck came by.  So, I got up. 

I've been having a little pain today.  Years ago, I was diagnosed with ovarian cysts. 
Ovarian Cyst
I had a dermoid on my left ovary - I didn't even know it was there.  2 mm they said (this was 12 years ago). You can google it but the pictures are really really gross.  The only way I can stand having THAT in me, is to think I had it there for 26 years before I knew about it. 

The right side is the one that hurt - a lot. I couldn't even sleep on my right side.  That ovary had a hemmorhagic ovarian cyst - it would bleed and hurt a lot.  It was 6 mm. 

I had good insurance at the time so I went ahead and got them out.  My surgeon was also a fertility specialist.  I told him "If you have to take the whole ovary or impair my fertility I am OK with that."  I even brought Ron and gave the "genetic issues, NOT having kids" speech.  He just nodded.  I guess he thought about the divorce rate. 

So, I went under (only my third time - eye surgery for lazy eye, wisdom teeth, and this).  When I woke up my first thought "Oh, it's so much better".  Even the pain from the surgery was better than the pain from the cyst. 

I had an incision over my left ovary, but not my right.  To quote "We did a lot of cutting but we couldn't get it out".  That is where I thought he would have taken the ovary - but he didn't.  Admittedly, I was in my 20's. I bet he would have done it if he'd known I was bipolar! 

I'm not mad at him, just baffled.  I guess he was programmed to preserve fertility.  God knows my eggs are expired  now. 

He did get the right side cyst.  I've never had any trouble. 

The left side, because they did a lot of cutting, has some scar tissue, I think.  When I ovulate on the scar tissue it gets pretty ouchy, but only about 5 or so times since I had the operation.  Today was just my lucky day, but the pain's gone. 

It's a heck of a lot better than a migraine. 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Off Day

Down another pound!  Yay! 

I woke up late today, no God Time, barely got a shower!  I used my new hair cream on my ends and I like it.  The ends are nice and curly, cute, shiny, not greasy.

It didn't take long, either.  I hate taking forever "making up".   One of my dearest friends is a guy with very wild hair, looks like he just got out of bed (not Ron, someone else). 

Ron and I had a trip to Walmart.  We - meaning I - hate to shop when it is busy.  Ron bought a case of beer on his own.  A woman in line behind me had seen Ron and asked about it.  I said "I don't buy alcohol". 

"OOOOH".  Yeah. 

On the plus side, Metrolift (all good rides today) had given me enough time to find the perfect wide tooth comb, look at various hair "dressing" products, decided I didn't need more elastics, consulted my aunt about cocoa butter cream (she hears good things), and selected a jar of same. 

I used it by the way, the Palmer's in a jar, on my flabby areas, hands, and feet.  My feet loved the stuff, and my hands still feel nice.  I'm glad I got it. 

As I've gotten older my feet are drier, in particular.  Or maybe they just hate my work shoes.  I think I'm pretty good to my feet, no heels, no painful shoes, but I don't generally moisturize. 

I just had a horrific vision of a foot fetishist getting excited, so that's it. 

Ron needed a certain adapter for our freezer at work, not found.  I looked at the soda.  No generic Diet Dr.  I got a bottle of Diet coke with lime - I love that stuff and happy to pay full price, and some instant tea. 

I like tea.  When we first got to Houston Ron used to make me a cup of tea every morning when he heard my alarm go off.  Years later, he'd fix a sausage patty every morning, for me.  He would be happy to fix me a morning thing now, if I asked. 

However, I tend to get up far earlier.  I do my God Time; which didn't happen this morning. 

Oh, and I was down another pound.  Yay!  Total 9 pounds. 

I showed Ron a couple of buckets of lard at Foodtown - the 4 pound size.  The next time you go to the grocery store take a look.  I would like to lose 50, would be thrilled to end it at 150 pounds total (that would be 83 pounds total).

[shrug]  I won't be working out for an hour and a half every day like I did before my diagnosis.  I take medication that clearly states "weight gain".  So, we'll see.  It will be an adventure.  I did get down to 170 taking medication before so I think I can do it again - even though the meds are different - they are actually easier to lose wieght.  Two of them, that is.

Lithium has a bad reputation but I think a lot of that is just water retention.

At any rate, I may need to start looking for clothes, too.  When I sorted out everything in my closet I had another pair of 20W jeans, 18W shorts, fine for fun but not for work or church.  I also had a pair of 18 misses jeans.  Then I have some 14's. 

Time to hit the Family Thrift Center.  We had some rain today or I might have gone out. 

Back to Walmart.  I got my drink mix, cottage cheese (I like it), some cheese sticks (easy and very good with my salami sticks - you can get them at Sam's  'Trails Best Salami Sticks'), and that was about it. 

Oh, and Ron said he'd buy a covered litter box.  The romantic devil!  So, I found it and put it in the cart.  I just need to clean up the floor around the old box, put the new one there.  Hopefully Baby Girl likes it. 

An open box is a lot of extra housework I don't need, when I'm already a terrible housekeeper.  I mean, Ron has clean clothes.  Plenty of food in the fridge.  Toilet and shower are clean.  Ron can get around safely.... but for a long time my house could have been on hoarders. 

However, every time I get manic I purge, and things have improved a lot; but I don't want a hoarder house with a foot of cat poop on the floor.  Sorry if you were eating.  Ron called, told me I had 20 minutes to checkout, and asked for deli chicken. 

I got him some.  I was hungry.  I got me some.  According to Fitday I didn't do too bad.  I even got a very small portion of mac & cheese.  The nice thing about deli food - it is weighed so I can put the exact numbers in.  Then we got some chicken for the driver. 

I ate my chicken pretty fast, ate the mac at home, and took all my pills.  I was fine.  Good to know I can do that.  Some meal combinations + lithium make me horribly sick.

Ron made jokes about chicken - because I only eat chicken when I'm at a certain point in my cycle.  I guess it has a nutrient. 

Our ride came pretty quick and the vehicle was packed.  One of the clients was very large and I noted her discomfort, to remind myself at a later point why I am committing to weight loss. I'm not going to guess how she got there.  That's her business.  She looked so uncomfortable. 

We dropped her, and then we got dropped.  The driver asked about Baby Girl.  Apparently the cat was sleeping.  She's a big hit with the drivers.  I don't know if I told you, one guy picked her up and kissed her.  She was very gracious about the attention. 

I put away the perishables, did my God Time, and went to bed, after I put on my new cocoa butter cream.  I had a wierd dream about burning plastic and got up.   Ron and I talked a little bit, planned tomorrow, and I turned on the computer. 

For Mark

Hi Mark! 

Ron does walk some every day, and stands a good bit too.  Generally speaking he walks into the building (I had all the products in the wheelchair yesterday), which wipes him out.  Then he gets into the work chair and works from there.  He stands as much as he can, then gets into the chair when needed.   He does a little lifting and reaching to stock the machines. 

At home, he is in bed, unless he's getting himself something or in the bathroom.  That does bug me.  I admit I am hugely overprotective, and I don't like to nag him.  I may take him for a "walk" in the wheelchair later. 

About the only good thing I can say about Ron at home - it's a good thing he does have that clot filter! 

Trust me, if Ron could get out of the chair, he would.  He also has the hemiparesis on the right side in addition to the neuropathy.  Even at his "best", before neuropathy, he could only walk about 2-3 blocks. 

You're right, I didn't ask the driver to help.  I was just so shocked he didn't.  We live in Texas.  People always open doors for us, help with the wheelchair, etc... but the guy was not from Texas.  He'll figure it out, helping the customer = better tips.

I have to leave Ron, and his drinking problem, in God's hands.  He knows I will not help him buy it or even bring him a can of beer. 

I hope you are doing well, I pray for you and yours every day.  (((Hugs))) 

Monday, January 28, 2013

I was having a good day.  Apparently Ron was not.  Remember he has been drinking since we got home around 1. 

He came in while I was on the computer, angry at the bank.  The checking account balance got too low, so they transferred $100 off the credit card to cover it.  He was angry at the bank. 

"Ron" I told him, "The next time you go to the bank disconnect the 'overdraft protection' from your credit card.  If you tell them to take it off they have to do it."  He was pleased to hear that. 

Then he started about "illegal" immigration.  Had I been honest, I would have told him from the start "Ron, I don't want to talk about it." 

What's there to say?  It sucks to live in Mexico, unless you are a wealthy white person.  They don't have running water, safety, health departments, and sanitation.  Many live in filthy slums (ask me about my mission trips) that reek of feces. 

I get that.  I also get the parental urge to "make things better" for your kids.  However, they call it "illegal" immigration because they break laws to get here.  They use up resources allocated for US citizens and cause a hardship on the citizens as a result. 

Ron, however, takes a very annoying "hippie" viewpoint.  "It is all one planet, we should take care of each other".  OK, then, who's going to pay for it?  Because if that guy from Mexico isn't paying for it, if Mexico isn't paying for it, that means America is paying for it and that seems a little unfair. 

Obstinate, he won't hear it.  "We" must take care of everyone in the world.  How? 

I was dying to make the sarcastic comment, if you really think we need to take care of everyone from Mexico, let's give your debit card to the next day laborer we see.  "No!"  Of couse he wouldn't do it.  Same principle. 

We agree on this: only God can fix humanity's problems, humanity cannot take care of itself. 

But he just goes on and on and on and on and on.  I told him I can understand why people come here.  I don't fault them for that.  I fault the Mexican government for allowing such abysmal living conditions, such abusive work environments, such evil violence from the drug cartels, that people would rather die trying to get to America, than live in Mexico. 

That's a pretty sad statement: your country is so awful people are dying to leave it.  I think, if anything could be done, the American government could pressure the Mexicans to make reforms, improve living conditions, etc.  Make Mexico a great place to live! 

Then Ron goes on again about one planet, blah blah, which then morphed into the usual lecture about how God is a slow [censored] who won't come back and save us, who chooses to make us suffer because He can

I finally said, Ron, does it make you feel any better?  What?  When you go on like this, when you finish, do you feel better?  Because I see either the same or an increased level of anger in all these conversations.  You're just angry and it never gets better. 

Ron went off on a tangent without answering.  He was angry at me for my "behavior" this morning.  What did I do?  "You were rude to the second driver". 

The second driver completely ignored me and refused to put up the wheelchair.  I had to lift a 40 pound heavy wheelchair not one week after my back went out and put it away.  Then he tried to play the "Metrolift hustle". 

See, Metrolift will contract a cab driver for a trip.  We have had the experience that when they do that, the driver occasionally tries to pull a double fare, and charge the client and Metrolift.  We had it happen once. 

We have had drivers attempt to do it.  The way to foil it "If Metrolift is not paying you, we need to get out."  That always stops them, then they admit yes, Metrolift hired them, and stop pressuring us. 

Otherwise, when we got to the destination, they would say WE owed them $20, insisting that we had called them and we had to pay (like I said, been there), get the cash, and then ring up the paratransit trip and get paid for it too.  It's sick. 

So, Ron said I was rude and embarrassed him, because I said "If you're not getting paid by Metrolift, pull over and let us out". 

Why was I so mean to the poor driver?  I said, Ron, the guy didn't even help me with the wheelchair.  He's a young man, covered in muscles, and didn't even help. 

"Well" he said "it's in our notes that you can fold up the wheelchair".  No, it isn't.  I read the computer screen.  It clearly said only the pickup information.  It also indicated there was a wheelchair but nothing about me putting it away. 

He called me a liar and a f-ing b-. 

I said "This conversation is over" and I walked off.  He started verbally abusing me (it's never far away and I don't forget that), so I turned up my music - he had to listen to Paradise City at a very high volume.  By the time it was over he had calmed down enough to stop shouting. 

So, Ron can be upset that I was a little sharp with the guy who refused to help put away his wheelchair, who then tried to hustle us out of $30 on top of billing Metrolift.  He can.  I don't feel bad about my tone of voice. 

Oh, yeah, and then when Ron had gone into the "Don't take the mark of the beast" speech, the guy laughed at us and told us Revelation wasn't meant to be taken literally, in a very rude tone.  "It's not literal.  Do.  You. Understand?"  I thought it was very insulting. 

I said "I see your viewpoint, but what if Ron is right?  If someone comes to put any kind of mark on your right hand or forehead, just say no.  If no one does, so what?   If it happens, when you say no it will keep you out of hell."   He accepted that. 

So, let's see, the guy insulted me twice, and forced me to put a wheelchair into the back of a minivan and take it out, all by myself.   And I was mean to him.

AGH.  Relying on other people for transportation can be a real pain. 

Ron went off into his room for a while, then came out a couple minutes later.  He asked if he could talk to me.  I said "As long as you don't curse me or call me names"  He wanted to resume the illegal conversation. 

I said, what is the point?  Really?  I don't want to talk about it.  We aren't going to solve any world problems by discussing this. 

That's when he started cussing me out again. 

I wonder if I should have a "No talking to you when you're drunk" policy, but then I would never talk to him.   Outside of work, that is. 

I got your nuts

Our cafeteria area at work is about 2 acres, I'd say. 

So, I had to yell.  When I saw my favorite customer putting his lunchbag on the table, I yelled "Hey!  I got your nuts!" 

Heads turned, I realized what I'd said, and I started laughing.  I walked over, still laughing, and my customer raised an eyebrow.  I pointed at the vending machine and he want "Oh!" 

[He had "fired" me Thursday because I'd run out of his favorite peanut item]  "Can I have my job back?" 

"OK" 

Sorry I didn't post yesterday, it was crazy.  Got up, went to church, came home.  As Ron mentioned, the whole process, on paratransit, takes a while.  Once we got home I changed into my "civvies" and we went to the warehouse. 

I had to get those peanuts, you know.  [wink]  I also got some merchandise for my new snack machine.  Ron needed Mountain Dew. 

I got it all.  Boy, it was crowded.  I really prefer "business hours" shopping.  Finally got out there and came home. 

I had about an hour before I had to get to bed.  I took a shower, and Ron commented the drain was very slow.  I told him it's my hair.  When I have long hair it tends to clog the drain.  He suggested pouring a caustic chemical; I said no. 

Ron was reluctant to uncrew the pop-up drain, afraid he would break it.  So, I did, wearing my bathrobe and no glasses (I prayed first).  I extracted a monstrous clump of brown hair, I kept pulling and pulling.  You could have made a wig out of it! 

I was glad I wasn't able to see it very well.  Yuck.  Later, Ron remarked the drain was working perfectly.  Good.  I even got the pop up on again without any trouble (Thanks, Lord). 

Speaking of hair, I need to trim mine.  I have some bad ends and it contributes to hair tangles.  Of course, I act like I should be able to use the cheapest shampoo only and have nice hair.  I'm starting to use the stuff with conditioner in it, to help with the tangles. 

I brush it pretty well every morning, but Houston can be windy and I have an active job.  At any rate, the "nicer" shampoo helps me work out the in-shower tangles without yanking and possibly breaking my hair. 

Later on, at the mall, I stopped by the ethnic hair care store and bought some leave in conditioner and "breakage defense spray".  I almost got the hair relaxer by accident.  That would have been ugly. 

It was interesting, looking at the products.  A lot of them have petroleum jelly and mineral oil.  I don't need that, it's too heavy for me.  However, if Ron and I had a daughter I'm sure she would have gotten his frizzy hair.  I'd braid her hair every morning. 

I have been told, I have "good" hair.  I like it.  I like it better short but the only time I get a compliment is when I have longer hair.  Ron likes it long - so I have it long (about shoulder length).  I wear it in a ponytail which makes me happy.  Like I said, I have an active job. 

I need to get a wide-tooth comb so I can actually work these products into my hair.  I think they will help. 

I don't want to invest in my hair.  I don't mind spending $10 or so on some "helper" products. 

So, I took my shower last night, towel dried my hair, and went to bed.  I had a hard time falling asleep.  I think because I had been running around so much.  I ate "bad" and woke up a pound heavier. 

I got about 6 hours sleep.  I could go to bed right now, but I think that's the Haldol talking. 

I mortally offended our cab driver.  I won't say this to the cab drivers, but a couple years ago some psychos robbed and killed 2 cab drivers.  Ever since then, if Metrolift contracts a cab to take us to work, I warn them to "Drop us and get out of here, it's a bad area."  Today I used the word "Crackheads". 

I have excellent cause to use that word, especially after the http://houstonheather.blogspot.com/2010/10/which-one.html incident.  "You have a drug dealer living here, landlady".  "Oh, which one?  We have 3"

At any rate, he was furious I had "judged" his neighborhood.  With one sentence he said it was a great area, the next he says "I don't notice anything unless it's within 10 feet of me, I don't see anything"  If you don't see anything - like drug deals, why are you not noticing them? 

For 13 miles, I was lectured, all the way to work.  The guy was still steaming when he let us out. 

I decided I will say "Do you know the area where you're dropping us?"  If he says no I can say "It's pretty bad, get out of there".  If he says yes then he doesn't need to be told. 

I had to program 2 vending machines, with only a manual.  God helped me do that.  Ron loaded the change banks and I got everyone stocked.  I got 2 deliveries.  Busy. 

Finally, time to go.  We went to the bank and Ron made a small deposit, then I pushed him to the mall.  We brought the wheelchair, so I could push him.  5 calories a minute! 

I went to the ethnic hair store, and we got some Wendy's.  It was pretty good and low carb (the chili). 

Finally, we're home.  I got flat for a while. 

I lay in bed thinking: "How many people slave all day so they can lie in their bed?  I just did." 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Wrong Treats

"Those are the wrong treats" Ron told me indignantly.  "Get the other ones."  I got the identical item, except in a canister, and brought it out to him as he sat on the porch. 

"These are Bubba's treats" he told me, satisfied. 

"They're the same thing as her treats, just a different container."  Ron gaped at me.  "Really?"  Yup. 

Today was a little different.  My mood is still a nice normal one.  Not up or down - shocking.  Amazing to think people know they can wake up like this every day of the year.  I plan to enjoy it while it lasts. 

Last night, I sorted out all my skinny clothes.  I have a lot of 10-12s, but only one 18.  My 1X box has 2 items.  Oh, well, I live near 3 good, correction, 4 good thrift stores.  I was really happy I cleaned the top shelf of my closet.  It looks great now.  I had some old boxes from work. 

I am interested in getting into some of the cute stuff I have that will work for church, some cute dresses and a few long skirts.  I just do jeans now mostly, or a broomstick skirt (which is fine for this church). 

This morning, Ron and I overslept and had to redo our plans.  After my shower and God time, I did some laundry. Then he got in the wheelchair and I pushed him to the bus stop. 

We went to the grocery store, and I got a few things for work.  After the grocery store, we went to our favorite taqueria. I got 2 fajita tacos and a small quesadilla (about the size of a taco).  Surprisingly, according to Fitday, the carbs aren't bad, or the calories.  I did get hungry later so I ate some low carb food. 

Ron wanted to call a cab to go home (the fare was $6), so we did that.  We waited a while but I didn't mind.  I love quality time. 

We even got a small taco to go, for the cats.  Only chicken, please.  [grin]  They'll get a kick out of that.  They love chicken fajitas. 

We got home pretty quick.  It was a lovely, sunny, day, a little breeze, warm and a few clouds.  I took a nap for a while.  Ron woke me up, accidentally. 

"I get all choked up when I hear this song" he said, as the love song played on his speakers. "I always think of you!"  Well, that's sweet.  He was drinking by now but has been very respectful and nice to me. 

I don't mind, really, if he is decent to me and not falling on the floor.  Some might snark about high standards, but hey, they told me Ron would be dependent for the rest of his life.  He isn't.  He defied all expectations in so many ways. 

I venture to say most of us, blind, partially deaf, partially paralyzed, dealing with debilitating neuropathy, would drink too!  Of course I am praying for God to deliver him from the addiction. 

I found it kind of sad when Ron wistfully said he'd like to go to the park. Well, let's go.  "But it's so hard pushing me in the wheelchair". No, it isn't.  Come on. 

So, he got in the chair again and off we went.  He sat near the bayou, listening to the kids playing, the sun and wind on his face, and smiling.  When he was ready to go I pushed him back home. 

I burned 220 calories pushing him around, according to Fitday, and got some good cardio too.  That's an all around win.

Of course, I am able to do all this because my mood is stable.  I will enjoy it while I can. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

A Fable

I like to think that I'm making a lot of progress in my spiritual walk.  And then something comes along and knocks me back. 

I am debating how to convey this without getting in trouble.  Here's a Fable: 

A man and a woman open up a small business, which is affiliated with some un-named government agency.  They are in vending.  They are told only they should retain keys to the vending machine, except for the repairman.  They MUST give the repairman a copy of the vending machine key because "He can come and fix them when you're not around".  The repairman is self-employed.  We will disregard the fact that it is common practice to pay the repairman at the time of service, and that NONE of these "repairs while you are gone" ever occured. 

So, these hypothetical vendors, call them John and Jane, run their business.  However, the money isn't adding up.  They are losing about $300 a month.  Jane suspects the repairman.  John says maybe she is stealing.  "Take my key" she replies.  She insists he take her key.  "Take all the money out before I service the machine.  I don't care, because I'm not stealing.  The only thing I have ever done is make change and put the large bill in the coin bucket." 

Then she throws down a challenge.  "Change all the vending machine locks.  I will install them.  You keep the only key.  The repairman has never used his key to fix our machines.  Take his key away and watch your money come back.  Take my key away.  You keep the only one". 

John consents to this and tells the repairman, who says "You can't do that". 
"Why can't I change my locks?"
"I won't help you install them." 
"That's OK, Heather (I mean Jane) will do it herself". 
"You can't do that because I can't fix your machines."
{remember how Jane said "Take my key?  Go ahead, I have nothing to hide?"  - yeah}
It continues, with John slowly realizing that the repairman is panicking over this keychange, and there's only one reason he would.  Even more determined, he orders the keys. 

Jane installs the locks, herself.  The repairman makes a big production out of "returning the key".  Most insulting, he offers a complete fairytale about why the money HAD gone missing, but wouldn't anymore.  It is a complete lie and very insultingly designed to "defend" the repairman.  That's the final straw for John, who had still held out hope the repairman would be vindicated. 

Sure enough, they money came back.  John apologized to Jane, and never called that repairman again.  He called another guy, who was cheaper, came faster, and did way better work.  No one robbed him again because he and his wife kept the only keys to the vending machine.  They let the un-named government agency know what had happened, to be told "You're not the first ones to say this", and they all lived happily ever after. 

So, say I knew Jane.  I know Jane still has a lot of baggage as regards the thieving guy.  To her, it wasn't even that he robbed her (I'm used to that by now).  It's that he robbed her hardworking, disabled, husband.    That she had watched him agonizing when the numbers didn't add up and that made her very angry at the thief on his behalf. 

That, she, like me (wink) is very protective of her husband and very aggressive in defending him.  So, that was made clear to me: I need to forgive this man.  If I were Jane, I mean. 

So, I'll be working on it.  If I were Jane. 

Noise Machine

I think I've done a blog on this before. 

It's ironic, really.  My husband is black (says so on the Birth Certificate).  My customers are primarily black.  My neighbors are about half black, half hispanic. 

I very seldom hand out a Bible to a white person when I'm doing a handout. 

The devil wants me to be a racist.  I live on a street in NW Houston, in the suburbs.  It is a nice middle class neighborhood, mostly Black and Latino, with some Asian and White.  Median income is about 55K, with an average 2.74 residents per home.  The average home is valued at $93K (my home is half that). 

I would call that middle-class.  So, I live in a middle-class subdivision, very nice and quiet.  When I put my cat on a diet, he got fatter because other people fed him.  At any rate, we're not far from the Beltway which is a boon to most commuters, but it can bring trouble. 

One of the streets bordering our subdivision runs straight into Acres Homes, a notorious ghetto and home of 2 Bible Handouts.  I go where I'm sent. 

So, I went to Acres Homes for a Bible Handout.  My home is robbed by two black men (we had a witness).  Actually, being mugged by two black men 3 years before that - was a partial trigger on all the Bible Handouts.  So, attacking me directly via Black guys doesn't work too well for the devil.  I see it as an attack and I do my best to respond with love, forgiveness, and even more evangelism. 

I should add, my home was also robbed by a black man, whom I caught in the act, in 2004.  I tell you, the devil wants me to hate them! 

I live on a pretty short street.  About 20 homes.  Since the economy crashed things have changed, a lot.  About half the homeowners sold their homes.  One was already renting, and continues to do so.  These tenants are worth keeping around, except for their vicious dog, but they do keep her confined. 

The other guy is kind of high strung, dramatic, and high-maintenence.  He did a VERY extensive remodel several years ago.  His home is now overvalued, if he sold it, he wouldn't get his money back.  His first tenant was pretty unremarkable, except for the pit bull sitting in the front yard, unleashed.  I was glad I had not taken Ron for a "walk" in the wheelchair! 

The new guy clearly came from a bad area.  In the ghetto, loud music is played constantly, especially at night.  To his credit, he probably thinks he is quiet, but you long term readers will know how much it %ucks with my head to hear music at night!  I don't know if I'm hallucinating!  It is horrendous. 

I remind myself of things like: the uterus is a very noisy place.  When I was gestating it was constant racket, day and night.  Gurgling intestines, heartbeats, talking, you name it.  Noisy.  It didn't bother me then, did it? 

I tell myself things like that and it doesn't matter if I'm hearing the same rhythm again (because that's what happens when I hallucinate!).  It doesn't matter. 

Then I want to hate the guy because he's ignorant, ill-cultured, and black.  But I don't.  I just hate the music.  Then I just lie there and fester like a pimple.  Not God's will. 

So I turn it over to God.  I need to recognize this is a spiritual attack.  I know some of you hate that I attribute so much to spiritual warfare, but it helps me cope. 

Ron will also call in a noise complaint if required, but I think I'll just turn up my white noise machine. 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Heather's Chop Shop

I've been up for 16 hours straight, and so tired I'm hearing music that might not be there.  I know up-for-16 hours is not a big deal for an average person, but I've got a different brain from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and some heavy duty medication on board to manage the bipolar.  It's a lot. 

So, let me tell you about "Heather's Chop Shop".  First, though, I need to tell you a little about our location and the blind vendor program.  We have most of the machines we started out with 12 years ago.  They all belong to the State of Texas Blind Vendor program.  We own the inventory and that's it. 

In fact, when Ron leaves the program, he is required to leave a certain amount of inventory, or money to replace it, for the next vendor.  Overall it's a good program, but like our guy said "Everyone is hurting" right now. 

So, what a nice surprise that the program bought some new vending machines.  The last one we got, nicknamed "The Beast", arrived a few years ago.  Unasked for, it has done alright once I figured it out. 

Today, we got a new fridge/freezer (needed), a new snack machine (I really needed to replace the "biting" one), and a new food machine.  The old food machine was a Rowe. 

Rowes are fantastic vending machines, but they only make jukeboxes now - so parts are very hard to find.  When Ron found out it was going away I asked if we could "strip" it - and our boss said "Go ahead".  It is going to the junkyard, not to another blind vendor.  It's only smart to take the good parts and save them for use in the other Rowe. 

So, this morning we got up at 4 AM, went to work, and I ran a chop shop, with the repairman, taking EVERYTHING off the old Rowe.  I think we left a few screws, but we got the compressor (those are big bucks), 2 control boards, LCD, vending machine doors, you name it.  He took it all down to the bones. 

Then, we put the parts into our big stockroom.  I was able to get one lock out of the vending machine, but the repairman had to get the other one.  I like that I can install a vending machine lock on pretty much any machine.  I don't mind getting my hands a little greasy. 

I did some accounting and inventory things, in addition to stocking. 

So, we did our stocking, made sure the dead ducks were empty and ready to go, and waited on our guy from the state.  Sure enough, they came.  They did the snack machine first.  Goodbye, I will NOT miss you, you biting monster.  The new one is very pretty and I like the design.  It is tamperproof, good looking, has it's own surge protector, nice LED lighting, guaranteed to drop the product, very nice.  We'll be good friends. 

I installed the Medeco lock (our special order lock we use on all the machines) into the new machine as they brought in the food machine.  Our boss was thrilled we had stripped it down.  "It's only smart" he said.  It's just going to the junk yard, it has been depreciated past value. 

By the time I came up for air, having triumphantly installed the Medeco with only a little cursing (Ha!), they were bringing in the new fridge/freezer combo.  Looks like we need a special outlet thing for that.  But Ron says it still works now anyway. 

Then they left, and we had to, too.  I was beat.  We got home and I crawled into bed, exhausted.  I came up for air a few hours later. 

Ron wanted to order a pizza.  I put my food into Fitday and figured I could eat some.  I only went 11 carbs over for the day, not bad for my first week. 

I'm still figuring out my new eating plan, but I like it. 

Tomorrow is a partial day off, we need to do things away from work, but the rest of the day is ours. 

Last thought, I read this tonight and thought it made a great blessing: 

Psalm 20

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Assurance of God’s Saving Work

To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

20 May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
2 May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
3 May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah
4 May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
5 We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.
6 Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.
7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
8 They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.
9 Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

8 pounds since Sunday

I thought it was pretty funny, when I told Ron I made a migraine video blog, he asked me if I had vomited on camera. I told him "No, but it was pretty close". Ron slept through the whole migraine, I think that's a good thing. He would have been very angry at God on my behalf.

He woke up after I went to bed, and cleaned the litter boxes for me. 

I was really glad I was able to do my God Time yesterday, and contrary to my usual policy, will do today's God Time after I log off the computer. 

I did lose weight, down to 225 now.  That's 8 pounds since Sunday. It's a lot easier to lose weight when I'm fat, my body has plenty of storage. 

Today, I woke up feeling OK.  I had Bubba cat cuddled with me in bed, a rare treat.  When I got up, my head started throbbing.  My back hasn't bothered me unless I tried to lift or pull things. 

I checked the mail, my cell phone cases arrived.  I had ordered a set of 4, LG Sentio cell phone cases  for $7, free shipping, from Amazon.  The purple is very nice.  I also have some other colors when I get tired of the purple. 

That'll be the day!  I love purple and other bright colors.  One palette seldom found in my closet: pastels.  I have one lavender t-shirt and that's it.  I also have a work shirt in "oatmeal". 

I brought home some boxes from work to organize my clothes, I plan to sort them by size.  Then, as I lose weight I can put away the XL and move to L. 

The first time I lost weight, I had the bad tendency to wear a size the minute I fit into it, so I often resembled a sausage erupting from a casing.  I plan to wear a size until it's really baggy, then assume the lower size. 

So, head throbbing, I took some excedrin, ate a small cup of ice cream (3 oz and permitted on my plan) and took a phenergan because I was pretty queasy too.  That seemed to do it. 

We got to the warehouse and got Ron his soda and juice.  I asked an employee to help with the lifting.  He put the drinks into Ron's wheelchair.  Ron followed the wheelchair (the walking exhausted him) to the register and we paid.  Then we loaded the loaded wheelchair into the vehicle and went to work.  I only had to push it in the building.  It worked very well for my back, which isn't bothering me unless I pull or lift. 

While working, our guy from the State called and said he is bringing new machines.  We got permission to strip out the old machine that is going away.  I emptied out the naughty vending machine, the one with the coin jams and door problems.  I was OK with it until it started biting the customers. 

We can also talk to him about our need to raise prices on candy bars.  We aren't even making a quarter on them.   That's just stupid.  We're selling them for 90 cents and the gas stations are selling them for $1.20.  The other vendor only wants to go up a nickel because "They can't write a label or they'll get in trouble.  They can't find printed labels" (You just write the manufacturer). 

I told them "I can print up professional looking labels on the computer".  "You can do that?"  (Why would I lie and make an ass our of myself?).  "Yes, I can."  "Oh, we don't want to do that." 

So, Ron can get our mutual boss involved.  Like I said, it's just stupid to sell the candy bars so cheaply.  You might as well give them away, because you are.  Maybe they don't want to raise prices, you have to do it item by item and you have to know how to program each vending machine. 

They seem to be making plenty of money, and have said they don't care about our food cost percentage.  I'm sure the guy from the state will "make" them go up to $1, what we want, and they will be very petulant about it. 

They only work 8 hours a week, if that.  I don't see the "problem" with taking an extra hour and ensuring your business is profitable.  We haven't raised candy bar prices in about 5 years. 

Now, you might say (as the other vendor did), "Well, you make up the food cost on the other items they buy". Nope.  My candy bar customers only buy a candy bar, nothing else.  Then they go off and eat it. They aren't buying anything else to "make up the food cost". 

So, I'll see how that goes.  I don't want to come off all shrill. I think I'll let Ron do the talking. 

Since Rowe stopped making food vending machines right about the time of Ron's accident, we plan to "strip" the retiring machine of all usable parts (we have permission).  I want everything we can get.  Compressor.  Rotator.  Motherboard.  Doors.  That will save us a fortune in future parts. 

I will NOT be sorry to see the end of that snack machine.  I feel sorry for whoever gets it.  The new snacks are made by the same guys who made snack #1.  It's a good machine, it only has one glitch that doesn't affect the customers.  People can't shake merchandise out of the machine. The doors are well built, and don't bite the customers. 

Our guy from the state keeps threatening to take Snack #2.  It's very old, but I love it.  I can also program custom messages. 

"Thank you for supporting Ron and Heather". 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Tuneup Day

This might be a little TMI in parts.  I will put some **** before and after if you want to skip it. 

Today was just plain wierd.  I started with a fat old cat in my bed and the snooze alarm.  I got up, did my God Time, and got dressed.  I wore one of my pocket T's, jeans, and my steel-toe slip ons.  Those things are awesome with Ron in a wheelchair.  So what if he runs over my foot?  

I weighed myself, down 3 pounds, but I think that's just water weight from my cycle.  I generally retain about that much, but it will make my Fitday look pretty awesome. 

I had some of the shake I made last night.  Ooooh!  It was bitter!  I think the pineapple enzymes did something.  I will need to make the shakes right before drinking, apparently.  I don't want another one of those. 

Our ride came.  We had a hand cart with some drinks.  The driver kept making "mistakes" driving around.  Instead of using the GPS and going straight to the location, she drove in and out of every apartment complex on Greens road - and they have dozens. 

I thought she was a little -special- but then realized she was playing games.  Ron had mentioned we were going to work.  Everytime she drove into the wrong apartment complex (also drove around in circles a lot), she would look in the rearview mirror.  I ignored her. 

It culminated in our being late, the sandwich guy arrived at work before I did, she lowered the wheelchair lift too far, then said I would have to pick up the entire handcart + contents and lift it up in the air (about 2 feet) and then walk it a couple more feet, if I wanted my merchandise quickly. 

I said no.  She acted like she would do it.  I said no.  I could just see her filing workers comp for a "back injury".  As it happens, God had preloaded a nice huge man who lifts weights.  He picked up that cart like it was a box of tissue.  Thank you, nice man. 

I ran in the building, got the delivery, paid cash with my own money (I got it back).  That's small business for you. 

I stocked the sandwiches and helped Ron put the drinks in the fridge.  Later on, he loaded them.  Snacks didn't need much, nor coffee, but we needed some canned soda.  I did that. 

Today, I did NOT see the guy who ran over Ron.  I guess I was in a rush and missed him.  God's working on me.  I don't want to dismember him anymore. 

We did it all and then left, came home. 

This time, we had a great driver.  She even let Ron plug his MP3 player into the auxillary jack.  We're flying down the Beltway listening to "Old School" soul. 

I'm not a fan of soul, but I don't hate it.  I like dance music, gospel rap, and Jesus metal.  The drivers don't, so we play Ron's music. 

Ron adores Maroon 5 "One More Night".  So did the driver.  I like it too. 

We got home.  It's Ron's birthday.  He wanted to get some gumbo fixings from Walmart.  The driver was very late, playing games, kind of haughty attitude.  I was happy to exit the vehicle. 

And my mood is fine - I'm at a nice average mood.  I'm not manic or depressed.  I'm not paranoid or all the rest.  I was just happy to get away. 

I also had a passing thought, I was glad I didn't work with her. 

I got the gumbo fixings.  I also realized I needed to get some better eating food choices for myself.  Something to eat at work, for instance.  You'll see what I ended up eating today because I didn't plan ahead. 

I got some stuff like fat-free greek yogurt (generic) store brand sugarfree fruit yogurt (also nonfat), cheese sticks, and my old low carb staple, the sausage patty.  All I do is nuke it. 

I figured that would hold me pretty well.  Ron wanted something from the deli, and I had planned to get a bunless hamburger from McDonalds.  However, they had a huge line at the McD.  I forgot a lot of people have today off. 

So, I ended up getting a deli plate lunch myself.  The guy in line in front of me was very rude to the server.  I tried to be extra kind and she smiled at me. 

I checked out.  I brought an insulated "cold" bag, and all Ron's food and mine went into it.  I had bought a couple 2 liters of diet pop for me, that went in another bag.  Surprisingly, I didn't get anything for the cat. 

Unless you count the fact that Ron fed some of his chicken to Baby Girl.  No wonder she's so big and sleek. 

Our pickup was late.  The driver is very opinionated and likes things to be done her way.  That can be a little tiring. 

I tell you, today was just not the day for drivers.  Maybe tomorrow I'll get all my favorites, or the same favorite again and again.  I hope so. 

We came home and I went to the bathroom.  **** When I went to use the toilet, it looked like a crime scene.  Yeah, I'm having my cycle but it should be about done.  Instead, I passed a huge blood clot the size of my thumb.  Freaked me out pretty good.  That hasn't happened in 2 years, that time I think I had a miscarriage.  I had to do a lot of cleanup, thank God it didn't go through my clothes.  Probably premenopause I figure, either that, or I have been using a lot of generic Excedrin lately - and the asprin causes bleeding. **** 

After all that, I took a nap.  When I got up Ron said he didn't want the gumbo tonight.  He had already eaten some of my canned gumbo for lunch, making happy yum-yum noises.  It'll keep in the freezer - it's basically a compartmentalized "Heat and eat" meal.  I fix the roux, add the meats, and cook it.  Then add the rice. 

OK.  I'm not cooking dinner.  I noticed my neighbor was tuning his tools - he does landscaping and it involves a lot of revving of small motors, on tuneup day.  I turned on the computer and played some music. 

Since I'm medicated, I could care less, but tuneup day really used to bother me in the past.  I take a more placid approach these days. 

I think,after I do my Fitday, I'll take a bath.  I got some lavender bubble bath at the 99 cent store and it smells nice.  It should be a nice experience. 

Tomorrow we work; but this time I'll have my cheese sticks. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

3-2-1 Takeoff

Ok, I set up my Fitday with all the measurements and my weight.  It's in the sidebar, under "interesting links".  Last night I ate the last of the leftover pizza and a pint of ice cream, woke up with a horrible headache and some aches. 

I'll get it.  It was interesting, when I plugged in my food I had eaten about 1100 calories.  Yet I burned around 2500 calories. 

I didn't even eat particularly low carb, either, but I did keep it under 100, which is my new "Must do".  My percentages looked OK too. 

I also noted I had only gained 5 pounds since last June.  That's encouraging, even eating terribly I must be at a "set point". 

I was able to get to, and maintain, 170, pretty easily.  I intend to aim for that.  When I met Ron I was very underweight from years of antidepressants, and looked awful at 122.  I'd love to get to 140 but I don't think that is practical. 

I also reset my baseline to "seated".  I would rather underestimate the calories I burn than overestimate. 

I'm pretty sure calorie counting is going to be a part of my eating plan.  I'm OK with that.  I am doing a pretty generous plan. 

Now, ideally I would do an induction - but if I "have" to do an induction I won't do it.  I know that.  So, I will just jump into my moderate carb, lower calories eating plan.  Fitday suggests 1,300 a day.  I can do that. 

As I get healthier I'm sure I will resume the weights and working out.  I am pretty achy right now, though.  A muscle on my back, on the right, at the bottom of the rib cage, has been very unhappy for a while now.  I think as I detox from sugar and grains, eating generous amounts of protien, it will heal.  Then I can look into light weights to start. 

I can NOT afford to f-up my back.  I am the heavy lifting of the operation, literally.  Maybe I can get Ron in the wheelchair and take him for "walks".  That would be fun, exercise and quality time. 

Ron, and my doctor, are both pretty worried about my health.  I didn't plan it this way, but I will be formally starting my "diet" on his birthday. 

Ron wants gumbo, a reigonal dish.  He likes it with chicken, sausage, and dark roux.  I don't like gumbo.  I won't be eating any.  I'm happy to fix it for him, but I have no desire to eat it. 

I am sure thousands of Bouttes are rolling over in their graves at that last paragraph.  LOL 

I have some cooked-meat items I bought a while back.  They are already done. 

Since Ron needs to eat better too, I plan to get some salad fixings.  Ron likes salad, if I fix it with some grilled chicken, cheese, bacon bits, and Ken's Buttermilk Ranch dressing.  I like it too.  I can't eat that with my lithium but I can eat a smaller salad and a nice chunk of meat. 

Salad with chicken and lithium - I almost went to the hospital, the stomach pains were horrible.  I never did it again.  [shudder] 

I have to have a pretty good amount of protien and fat when I take the lithium, otherwise I have problems.  Tomorrow, I will probably eat a bunless hamburger or two. 

Those are very easy and I love them.  I have found it easier to feed the buns to the grackles (parking lot birds) than ask them to make it without a bun. 

They can't get it, if I do.  Then I end up with something I didn't want. 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Busy day

I've made some interesting observations about my diet: when I eat wheat, I cough a lot afterward.  Hm.  Let's add the rare outbreak of hives and I think I have a wheat issue. 

I got a few things this week for my "last meal" - like, ice cream, a stuffed crust pizza (if you are not low carbing, the Walmart Stuffed Crust Pizza - the one you find in the deli, is excellent), etc, and without fail, wheat = coughing. 

Ron hates that cough.  He's going to love next week.  No wheat, no cough. 

Depression was pretty bad today, but I did OK.  We went to the warehouse and got some supplies, then we went to work and stocked them.  I got 4 kinds of pastries.  They are all proven best-sellers. 

The Honey Buns were so large I had a hard time closing the tray.  When I stock a snack machine, I - visual aid: 


This snack machine has 6 trays that run from left to right.  They have various release mechanisms (I stock 3 different types of snack machines).  I engage the release mechanism and pull out the tray.  Each tray has several coils, running from back to front.  I put one item into each coil slot until the tray is full, then I push it back into the machine. 

The honeybuns were so tall, I had a hard time shoving the tray into the machine!  I tested them, though, and they will vend properly. 

I HATE getting ripped off by a vending machine, so I always check.  I helped Ron stock everything else, food, bottled soda, canned soda, coffee.  We filed the sales tax.  "Our quarterly mugging" I call it. 

We are a SMALL business so we can file quarterly and mail a check.  It's good for postal business anyway.  That would be kind of rude to e-file. 

The second quarter of last year, I filled out the check, except for the amount!  I had our ID number and everything, signed it, dated, but no amount!  The man who called was very nice about the whole thing, especially when Ron told him I am medicated. 

I was careful to check, the check, before I sealed the envelope.  All done. 

I loaded up a small hand cart with sodas for the Christian bookstore.  They need a couple of cases.  We're going tomorrow. 

We did it all!  Then we left, and came home. 

I took a nap, Ron went to the liquor store.  I had a nightmare.  It was pretty ugly.  I guess that's God's way of keeping me upright when I'm depressed.  He knows I'd rather live in bed when depressed. 

One time, almost 20 years ago, Ron timed me.  I spent 16 hours straight in bed on a day off.   That is very sad. 

At any rate, I get a little mania pop up now and then.  So, this will end.  I only took the boring cough stuff (the guiafenesen tablet - doesn't do anything but a dry mouth). 

Ron and I have a busy day tomorrow.  Good.  I need it. 

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pep-up

Hey, I think I'm getting manic.  Praise God if so, if I'm not, I'll just enjoy this for however long it lasts. 

I had a pretty long day.  Last night I read Diet 101, a really good book on low carb diets by a research expert. 

One point that stuck out, and I'm paraphrasing: "If you keep failing at your diet; it's time for a different diet."  I can't stick to Atkins for the long-term. 

So, I need to figure something else.  She also talked about eating things you enjoy.  I'm not a fan of eggs unless I'm eating out, and all I have are eggs or pancakes. 

I also have a low energy level most days.  I don't like to eat a big protien in the morning, but I need a solid breakfast or my Wellbutrin will have me queasy all day. 

What do I like?  Well, I thought of the shakes I used to make.  Whey protien and milk.  Good stuff, but I didn't have a blender so they were a hassle to mix.  The shaker bottle had to be completely scrubbed and then soaked and scrubbed again or it would smell bad. 

What about Ron's beloved shake?  I don't think I've shared this. 

First, we have to go back in time to the mid 1990's.  I was reading Adele Davis.  Link  In her "Let's" books, she spoke of making a breakfast shake she called "Pep-up".  She suggested it be fed  to anyone suffering from ill health or injury. 

When I got Ron home from the hospital, he refused to eat.  The only thing he consumed was cranberry juice.  I knew he wouldn't heal (He had open chest surgery, damaged kidney, multiple broken bones, collapsed lung, a hemorrhagic stoke, and a traumatic brain injury).  I was frantic. 

Then I remembered the Pep-up.  I asked Ron if he'd drink a shake.  He said, yes, if it tasted good. 

Ms. Davis like to put in things like nutritional yeast and all - that wasn't going to work for Ron. 

I went to Walmart.  I got fruit flavored yogurt, whole milk (he needed the fat and calories), whey protien powder, egg protien powder, bananas, frozen fruit, and frozen orange juice concentrate. 

Every morning, I'd create another shake for him, and he'd drink a quart a day.  He adored it.  That's all he had, the shake.  Sometimes he'd want fried chicken or pizza but he always washed it down with his shake.  And he got better, far faster than the doctors had predicted. 

Ron ended up with some complications and ended up back in the hospital.  He wouldn't eat.  He kept yelling for my shake.  They finally had the dietician come and meet with me.  "What are you putting in those shakes?"  I took her outside and told her. 

"Wow" she told me, impressed "I wish we could do that.  I have something like that - a high-calorie shake we can give him.  We'll try that."  The first ingredient?  Corn syrup!  Ron grimly gagged it down every day, because I told him the more he ate the faster he could leave. 

So, reclining in bed, it dawned on me.  Why not make myself the shake?  I can certainly vary it.  Whole fat yogurt, whole milk, frozen fruit, whey protien.  That should be solid enough to hold my medication, filling, and a lot lower carb than the stuff I'm eating now. 

I want to focus on eating quality foods.  Whole fruits, lots of veggies, veggie juice, meat, cheese, dairy.  No grains.  No sugar.  Nothing processed except my meat sticks (they are very portable and very low carb).   That's something I can do - and that's my goal, quality foods I can eat for a long, long, time. 

So,  I got the components today.  I also got Ron 5 of his beloved Mexican TV dinners.  He loves them.  He also has roast beef dinners I made, in the freezer.  He has canned foods in his cabinet, gumbo, and pinto beans with sausage (canned by me, and he's been eating them for 2 years now).  He also has plenty of canned pasta meals. 

Ron is amazingly healthy, on the worst diet.  He does have vitamins and access to healthy things like veggie juice.  He just doesn't eat them. 

Maybe I can get him to join me, in a shake. 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Home Alive

Today, I stood outside in cold, damp, windy weather.  It felt like the 30's.  I was not well dressed for the weather - I thought a layer of long underwear under sweats and a t-shirt would be plenty, turns out I was wrong. 

I have to wait outside because the drivers have a lot of trouble finding us, especially new ones.  The GPS directs them to the wrong driveway.  The building at the wrong driveway has the "proper" address, but it's 17 acres under one roof. 

The driver fails to realize they have TWO parking lots, and they're in the wrong one.  Ron and I board at the employee entrance parking lot, not the "123" address. 

We have put this in the notes: "Employee entrance.  Wife outside waving.  Call XXX-YYYY".  Instead, the driver sees a sign that says "Entrance" and enters that driveway.  Then Ron or I have to call and inform the driver to come to MY parking lot, while I stand outside waving like a demented sports fan. 

Most of the drivers get it, even the new ones.  They read the directions and come right to me.  I am out there waving, 15 minutes before the pickup time, every time. 

We have had some drivers go to the wrong parking lot, fail to find us, and cancel pickup.  Then Ron and I have to wait hours for a new ride because they failed to follow directions. 

So, I always go out and play "flagger".  If the driver is clearly not-getting-it I can call dispatch and give them directions.  Again. 

That means I deal with mosquitos, heat, humidity, rain, wierdos, and the cold.  Like today. 

As I stood at the "bus stop", waving madly at a man who clearly saw me, yet failed to grasp I was the "wife outside waving" in his pickup notes, on his computer AND the paperwork he fills out.... I thought to myself: 

"This is one of my biggest trials of faith." 

I get so ANGRY at them.  Some of them are playing games, I can tell because they give a very phony "I'm-sorry-was-that-YOU-waving?" with a smirk.  Some of them can't admit any fault and YELL AT ME because they couldn't figure out "employee entrance". 

One woman persisted in telling me I was in the wrong parking lot.  I told her to read the paperwork "It said entrance, and I went there".  "No," I told her, "Read it again.  It says employee entrance."  "I went there!" she screamed at me.  We were about to leave the parking lot.  "Please read the sign there"  I pointed.  "Employee entrance, right?"  She agreed.  "Now read the sign where you went, does it say employee entrance?"  She started to speak, read ENTRANCE and shut up, driving very angrily, speeding, all the way home. 

How is it MY fault YOU screwed up?   I'm just the wife outside waving! 

I just want to shout at them, how can you be so STUPID?  We even had the sign guy put up a METROLIFT sign at our driveway! 

It's scary, sometimes.  When I have a driver who can't grasp a simple concept, like two parking lots, I really worry about putting myself into their care for the ride home.  They could kill me, or worse, maim me for life.  They could kill Ron.  They could put either of us in a wheelchair!  If they don't have the chops to figure out simple directions, how can they navigate the traffic?  Is this the best driver Metro has to offer?  I get VERY scared. 

More than once, I have prayed frantically on the way home.  All the vehicles have various tattler/GPS gear embedded, so they will get caught if they are clearly driving recklessly.  I'm sure it alerts downtown.  It does for the big buses. 

So, there I am, dependent on unreliable people who scare me.  It's a huge test of my faith everytime I get one, because I am overwhelemed with the urge to treat them like they're STUPID. 

Then God reminds me, Heather, can you drive?  No, Lord.  Maybe you should stop judging them, and start loving them. 

So, as I stood there, outside, so cold my face had gone numb, I prayed and prayed to God as I waited for the driver to figure it out "Lord, please put Your thoughts in my head, Your love in my heart, Your words in my mouth.  I've got nothing good in me right now.  Please take away all the ugly and make me Your servant.  I can't do this without You, and I don't want to." 

Finally, Ron's call got through to dispatch and they contacted the driver, who FINALLY made it over to me. 

Best of all, we made it home alive. 

Bandwagon

I've decided to restart Atkins within the week.  A couple of things led to it: getting fatter - harder to do things.  Hurting more. 

The big one: moods.  What if I can improve my moods by eating lower carb?  I seem to recall the depressions weren't as bad. 

It's also simple things - I start coughing every time I eat something with wheat, then I get wierd abdominal pains.  I figured out my plantar faciitis hurt horribly every time I ate more than an ounce of sugar.  I try to watch that. 

So, if I'm cutting out the wheat and avoiding sugar, I might as well go whole-hog.  I have zero energy and little motivation, but I figure I can only help myself. 

I just want to re-read some of my low carb diet books and have a few "last meals" before I climb back on the very patient bandwagon. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

God likes my singing.

When my pastor literally chases me down and tells me to listen to something, I do it.  I just finished. 

"Heather" he told me, "I really think you need to hear this, it has a lot that covers your situation."  Audio sermon 

I'd had a tough night, I had a nightmare I was very pregnant, wearing a purple top, and battling a crew of bad guys, trying to get into a room.  One of the guys had me pinned, my arms behind me, a knife at my throat.  I was struggling and trying to kick him without losing my balance and hurting my unborn child. 

As I fought, the door I sought opened and a wild-eyed, bearded, man chambered a round in his shotgun.  I knew then I was safe.  It wasn't Ron, this guy had brown hair. 

After I woke up (still depressed!  Hating this!  It used to be 2 weeks only.), I took my shower and did most of my God Time.  I asked Him for help on what to wear, and figured out something cute. 

Our ride was a little late, but not too bad.  We got to Starbucks on time. 

If you clicked on the sermon link, you found my church.  It's in Cypress.  Metrolift doesn't go there.  So, we go to a nearby Starbucks and a church buddy gives us a ride.  We did today. 

Happily, it wasn't raining, but it was very gloomy, windy, overcast, and cold.  It certainly fed the depression. 

Church was good, VERY busy.  Good sermon.  I didn't know a few of the songs so Ron got a break from my "singing".  If they had played "Mighty to Save" "Strong Tower" or "Revelation Song" I would have bellowed like an ox. 

At least God likes my singing.  Part of the sermon that hit me: God may want to use you for personal encounters, and not big-scale evangelism.  I felt that God was directing that at me. 

Our friend was leaving soon after church, and Mike (the Pastor) was busy talking to someone else.  Just for fun, though, I stopped, picked up Ron's bad hand, and waved "Bye-bye!" with it.  The bad hand is so limp it's funny to watch.  He can always make me giggle just by waving the bad hand.  Not a bad trick, huh? 

Anyway, Mike broke away from the group and came over to me, told me to listen to the sermon, I agreed, and we left.  We went back to the Starbucks and had a VERY long wait on our ride (over an hour).  I wished for my Kindle.  I want to wait on taking it out in public until I get the case.  Not to mention, we were supposed to have a lot of rain. 

Ron and I had forgotten it was marathon day.  Traffic was a mess.  All the cabs were after runners, so when Metrolift hired a regular cab it took a while. 

We didn't blame the guy.  There we are way off in NW Harris County, he was probably closer to town, looking for runners.  I was just happy to see him when he did come. 

We came home, and I, still depressed, went to bed for a nap.  When I woke up (more nightmares, I think it is God's way of getting my butt out of bed), I ate and took everything, and made some decaf iced tea.  I've drunk most of the 2 quarts already. 

I need to stay hydrated.  I need to get my blood tests in about a month.  I want to display happy kidneys and liver. 

Saturday, January 12, 2013

More

WELL. 

Not long ago I typed out a bitter tirade about our crusade against Ron's neuropathy.  Ron tried everything, tons of diagnostic procedures, had electrified needles stuck into his legs, and guess what? 

The cough suppressant killed it. 

That's right.  I gave him 10 ml of over the counter Dextromethorban (Delsym) syrup.  He went to sleep because he'd been up all night.  When he woke up, he seemed in a very good mood.  I asked him how he was feeling, and he said great. 

I asked him about the shooting electric shock that has been plaguing his right foot.  IT'S GONE! He cried. 

Good stuff.  We're getting more. 

Working hard

I'm still battling a nasty, mixed, depression.  It's been about a month now, but Doc wasn't worried when I told him. 

I could have another 5 months of this.  Shudder.  Horrible thought! 

You might think, "Heather, you're married to an active alcoholic.  Your business is doing badly.  Of course you are depressed."  Well, I'd be inclined to agree with you, but:

I have had some of my most exciting manias when Ron was at his absolute worst behavior.  I still had a thrilling time.  I had a wonderful mania when Ron was in horrible shape in the hospital.  So, I think my brain just has "seizures". 

That's medically warranted, actually - they have done studies.  Interestingly enough, both bipolar, and migraine sufferers, light up normally dormant areas of the brain, and normally active areas of the brain begin to dim.  That absolutely happens with seizures. 

That's one reason doctors began using seizure medication for bipolar disorder (I currently take lithium as my mood stabilizer).   A blood relative has had some trouble with the common antiseizure drugs, so I shouldn't take them. 

I could also have a "post-ictal" depression - after the migraine.  I'm not really groggy, though.  With the excedrin, I'd be shocked if I were groggy. 

So, what do I do?  Avoid sugar.  Try to do fun things.  Watch Little Bub videos, and interact with my internet friends. 

I'm also thinking about a nap in a little bit.  Probably eat my big meal and then my lithium, first. 

I like having my meds onboard and working hard. 

Work Around

"They can't take away my dig-ni-tee!"  Remember that song? 

I will be a little mysterious because I don't want to shame Ron. 

Last night, I had some horrible hallucinations.  Have you ever watched a show where someone is invisible, and they show them moving around?  They look just like their surroundings, but the edges are distorted.  I had large blobs.  Then I had wavy, transparent arrows moving, distorting everything they passed. 

I was seriously freaked out.  I thought "I should probably go to the emergency room".  Then I thought about all the sick people in the waiting room, long ER waits, and then they would send me downtown to the emergency psychiatric center.  That would be a big hassle and very expensive. 

Then I thought, I can call Doc and ask if I can take another Haldol.  I decided to do that if the wierdness wasn't better in 15 minutes. 

It was kind of hard walking around, impossible to read, but I figured if Ron can do it totally blind I could do it hallucinating.  Ron, at the time, was essentially passed out. 

I ate some ice cream, and I thought 'What if I'm having a migraine aura"?  The last time I had one I was prostrate for 3 days.  I figured, accurately, it sure wouldn't hurt to take my migraine drugs.  I took some Napoxen, and my phenergan tablet.  A few minutes later, the aura abated and my head started to throb. 

I was RIGHT!  It was a migraine.  I put up a prayer request on Facebook (I am Heather Boutte there, you can see me with Ron.  I am not the "hot blonde" Heather Boutte but I wouldnt mind.). 

I went to bed.  My mouth was really dry from the phenergan, but the pain was mild and I had no nausea or vomiting.  I moved my bucket right next to the bed, just in case. 

I laid down, drifted off, and Ron started making noise.  I told him I had a migraine and asked him to keep it down.  He said "OK" in a way that let me know he wasn't processing it. 

He was processing that I had made a request, but not the details.  That's one reason I don't drink.  It just seems to make people stupid.  I'm not calling him names, but he has like, no cognitive ability when he drinks.  I don't want to do that to myself.  It seems very degrading, what alcohol does to people. 

Ron attributes it to my Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.  He thinks I hate "everything alcohol" because it damaged me.  No, not really.  Big Alcohol does their "drink responsible" campaign.  Every place in Texas, selling alcohol, displays this wonderful sign: 
 
 
I'm not angry, I'm truly delighted - this sign is found everywhere in Texas.  God also made a point: I sell things that are unhealthy.  But everyone buying my merchandise is an adult, and able to choose what they want to put into their bodies.  It's no different.  I forgive Big Alcohol.  I forgive whoever sold my very pregnant mother alcohol.  I forgive my mother.  I forgive the people who didn't understand I was damaged.  I forgive alcohol for damaging my marraige, because Ron is electing to consume it.  
 
I don't hate alcohol.  I hate watching people harm themselves with alcohol.
 
I think it's pitiful, what it does to Ron.  A friend called him last night and Ron was up for hours talking and talking.  I shut the door. 
 
I like the person who called, and I didn't mind Ron talking, but he could have gone outside.  He made more noise later, I told him I had a migraine, and he got it.  He was quiet for quite a while. 
 
I woke up around 7.  I was having a nightmare that involved pain and realized I needed some excedrin.  I took that and tried to go back to bed, but when Ron realized I was awake he kept talking to me.  I finally got up. 
 
I took my shower, yay, looking and smelling good.  While I was in the shower Ron had a problem.  He was very angry about it, yelling.  I kept telling him, it's OK, just let me fix it.  He finally stormed off. 
 
I fixed the problem, not a major one, and Ron thanked me several times.  He's not a monster. 
 
He did, however, seem to be acting drunk, still.  By the time this stuff clears his system it will be 12 - "Drink 'o' Clock".   That's frustrating.  I'd like him sober at least some of the time.   But that's not up to me. 
 
He just isn't really rational right now.  He's sleeping, a good thing. 
 
It just makes me really sad to see Ron destroying himself like this.  He did let me give him some Dextromethorban.  I read an interesting article about how they are using it to treat neuropathy.  We'll see if it helps.  It won't interact with the alcohol. 
 
We may have some guys over to help with the house.  If they do, great.  It not, I'll work on organizing and such. 
 
However, Bubba-cat is sleeping in front of the cabinet housing the garbage can.  I'll have to work around.  

"Right Mind"

I got to sleep late today; I got up at 8.  Still tired, though.  Always tired.  Not the illness, the "cure".  I wish it wasn'...